Mothers’ fight to save nurseries now backed by MPs and Labour
PUBLISHED: 08:36 22 October 2014 | UPDATED: 08:52 22 October 2014
Mums fighting to save nurseries from possible closure received a boost after both the borough’s MPs and the Labour council group came to their aid.
The Save Our Nurseries campaign held protests at Bethnal Green station, the Whitechapel Idea Store and Watney Market this week over proposals to close four nurseries – Queen Mary Day Nursery and Overland Children’s Centre, both in Bow, John Smith Children’s Centre in Stepney and Mary Sambrook Day Nursery in Shadwell – as part of a £100million council savings drive.
Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, joined the Labour group in offering to help the mothers, many of whose children have disabilities or health issues.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “To be proposing to close their centres has caused parents great worry, and Rushanara and I are doing what we can to help them.”
He added: “At all four nurseries there are children with disabilities – they are the most vulnerable children in the borough.”
The MP said he visited Overland Nursery, which has special facilities for deaf children, calling it “an absolutely basic essential”.
Cllr Rachel Saunders, leader of the Labour group, said: “It’s vital for all of us across the borough that local parents have access to that support.”
A council spokesman said government cuts could mean the nurseries closing, but added a consultation was held and ended on Sunday.
A final decision will be made in time for the March 2015 budget.