Last chance to save nursery?

Wakefield Fire Sevice's arson task force are cleaning up Portobello estate in an attempt to stop people starting fires.'Coun Olivia Rowley with a copy of the information pack being posted to residents on the estate.
Wakefield Fire Sevice's arson task force are cleaning up Portobello estate in an attempt to stop people starting fires.'Coun Olivia Rowley with a copy of the information pack being posted to residents on the estate.
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PARENTS, carers and staff have been given the chance to rescue a cherished nursery from closure.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet committee agreed on Tuesday to discuss business proposals before they close St Swithun’s Neighbourhood Nursery, in Eastmoor.

Last week it was announced that the nursery, which was opened as part of an initiative to help children in deprived areas, would close next month.

Council bosses said they could no longer afford to run the nursery, which they have been subsidising since government funding dried up in 2008

Groups now have until January 20, 2012, to submit viable plans for the running and management of the nursery.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Olivia Rowley said: “Deciding the future of these neighbourhood nurseries is one of the most difficult decisions we have faced.

“The financial situation surrounding the nurseries is the same – the loss of government funding and the £67m of savings we are being forced to make means we cannot continue to subsidise this service.

“However, parents and local ward members have approached us with suggestions in a bid to try and make the nurseries viable.

“This is something I feel we must explore in more detail so we are giving parents, carers and staff the opportunity to put together a proposal, with the help of officers. We will then consider what is put forward to see if it is sustainable.”

Six members of staff could lose their jobs if the nursery closes.

Other services run at St Swithun’s Community Centre will continue.