Karen Buck

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Residents collect petition to oppose cuts to local nurseries

Westminster Pre-school Learning Alliance is a grouping made up of nine community nurseries. In past years the Alliance has received grant funds from Westminster City Council to aid with affordable nursery provision in the area.

However, Westminster has recently cut this grant. This means the loss of approximately £45,000 from each nursery. The nine nurseries affected are: Parkview Lodge Pre-School (Westbourne Area), Moorhouse Pre-School (Westbourne Area), The Vestry (Abbey Rd/Maida Vale Area), St. James Community Pre-School (Bayswater Area), Ashmore Pre-School (Queen's Park Area), Fisherton Street Pre-School (Church Street Area), Independent Mother's Pre-school, (Church Street Area), Barrow Hill (St. John's Wood Area), Elgin Pre-School (Harrow Road Area).

In addition to the cuts additional expenses formerly covered by the grant such as cleaning, accounting, and rent have now been made the responsibility of the nurseries themselves. The combination is pressuring the nurseries to drastically increase fees in order to survive. Many are now in danger of having to close.

The withdrawal of the nurseries would mean:

- Extra strain for parents who are already under a lot of pressure balancing finances, work and family;

- Discouragement for parents to access jobs/education due to limited children facilities;

- Loss of jobs and no redundancy packages to dedicated members of staff who have been working for the nurseries for as long as 20 years.

Residents are collecting signatures for a petition calling on Westminster City Council and the relevant authorities to reinstate the grant to the Westminster Pre-school Learning Alliance nurseries and/or to allow the nurseries time to financially prepare for these cuts.

You can sign the petition by clicking the link below:


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