Threatened Brighton nursery given glimmer of hope

Posted On 15 Oct 2010 at 4:15 pm

Moves to close a Brighton nursery have been put on hold so that councillors can take a closer look at the process.

The news brings a temporary reprieve for Bright Start Nursery in Barrack Yard, off North Road, Brighton.

The Brighton and Hove City Council cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Vanessa Brown, appeared to seal the nursery’s fate at a meeting on Monday (11 October)

The Conservative cabinet member formally agreed that the council should consult staff and parents with a view to closing the nursery by next April.

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A report prepared for her said that closing the North Laine nursery would save the council £87,000.

Parents and supporters protested outside Hove Town Hall before the meeting and packed the room where the decision was made.

The next day Green councillor Amy Kennedy wrote to council chief executive John Barradell asking for the decision to be “called in”.

Her request has been approved.

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Now the decision will be reviewed by the council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee at a special meeting next Thursday (21 October).

Fellow Green, Councillor Rachel Fry, said: “The report which recommended consultation on whether or not to close Bright Start was written in such a way as to make closure seem a likely outcome.

“Yet we were told the decision being made was only to go out to consultation.

“Furthermore, the report did not contain any worked up alternative options or what the social or financial implications for closure would be.

“We felt it was essential to consider these first.”

The Greens have vowed to fight the closure of Bright Start, which they say provides essential childcare services for many council staff.

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