Parents save Tower Hamlets nurseries from closure

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Campaigning parents have won a victory against Tower Hamlets Council to keep four nurseries providing specialist services for children with disabilities and learning difficulties open.

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Parents from the 'Save our Nurseries' group led a successful campaign to keep the four settings open

Families started the ‘Save Our Nurseries’ campaign in September, launching a petition and holding protests against the proposal to close the settings as part of a multi-million pound savings drive.

On the ‘Save Our Nurseries’ Facebook page, a representative of the parents said, ‘Thank you to the mayor and the cabinet for finally hearing our voice and finally agreeing for all four nurseries to remain […] Greatest of all is our children can continue with their friendships and continue to receive outstanding support from all staff.’

Nursery World has previously reported that plans were in place to close Overland Day Nursery in Bow, which is the only setting in the area that provides services for deaf children.

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Queen Mary Day Nursery in Bow, John Smith Day Nursery in Stepney and Mary Sambrook Day Nursery in Shadwell were also set to close in an attempt to make up for a £100 million shortfall brought about by Government austerity measures.

After a two-month consultation, it was announced at a council cabinet meeting on 3 December that the settings will be removed from the savings proposals.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said, ‘After giving careful consideration to the views of users, parents, nursery workers, trade unions and other members of the community, it is our intention to keep all four nurseries open. […] As mayor I will work with the community to best protect our borough from the impact of Government cuts.’

The National Deaf Children’s Society has also released a statement thanking the local parents for their campaign and also to the mayor of Tower Hamlets for his positive response to the protests.

‘Keeping the nursery open will mean young deaf children and their families continue to receive the specialist support they need to do well and thrive when they start school,’ said Brian Gale, director of policy and campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society.

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