Parents fight for Tower Hamlets playgroup's future
PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:10 05 October 2010
ANGRY parents are fighting to keep their children s playgroup open following possible council plans to demolish their building. The future of Allen Gardens Playgroup hangs in the balance as parents wait to hear what Tower Hamlets council is planning for
ANGRY parents are fighting to keep their children's playgroup open following possible council plans to demolish their building.
The future of Allen Gardens Playgroup hangs in the balance as parents wait to hear what Tower Hamlets council is planning for the former farm building in Buxton Street in Spitalfields.
Town Hall chiefs say they have not yet made a decision but manager Mina Barber claims she has been told it will be torn down and that the playgroup will have to find a new home.
The small building was once used by Spitalfields Farm to store hay but was handed-over to Mina 19 years ago.
Since then the playgroup, which is run by mums and receives £23,000 a year in council funding, has offered day-care five days a week.
It has 34 kids on its books and another 20 on the waiting list who are cared for by six care workers and five volunteers.
Aisha Mortuza, 36, a project development worker, has been bringing her three-year-old daughter to the playgroup since October last year at the cost of £20 a week.
She said: "Where are all the children supposed to go if they close this down?
"I don't know what I would do without this playgroup.
"This is the only affordable place in the borough. I work five days a week so I need this kind of day-care."
Mina claims she was told last year that the building next to Thomas Buxton Junior School would have to be demolished after asbestos was found in its roof.
But she says the Tower Hamlets Early Years team told her it could be re-built during the summer holidays and re-open in September.
The 47-year-old added: "I want to stay in this building.
"The council is keeping me in the dark and parents are very worried about what is going to happen
"I have built-up so much here from nothing, I do not know what I would do if we had to move."
A council spokeswoman insisted the Town Hall was spending £4.7m on improving child-care facilities across the borough.
She added: "The council is actively looking at alternatives to the current building being used by the Allen Gardens Playgroup.
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