Campaigners fight to save nursery

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A petition with 400 signatures has been taken to council bosses in the hope of saving a vital nursery in Kilburn.

Parents who use the Children’s Centre Services at Sidings Community Centre face losing their childcare provider if funding is withdrawn from the setting. They made their way down to Camden Town Hall last week to hand over a petition that boasts 407 signatures to Cllr Angela Mason CBE, the cabinet member for children and Martin Pratt, the director of children, schools and families.

Director from the Community Centre’s Children’s Centre said:

“Our petition demonstrates the strength of feeling use, of how important it is to keep the full range of affordable services to children and parents at Sidings children’s centre, visibly and publicly.”

“We believe that now Camden has offered to meet with centre representatives to discuss the options for some future funding support, we hope this petition of 407 signatures, still growing, will encourage Camden to ensure the outcome of this discussion will guarantee services at Sidings will continue on a sustainable basis.”

The setting provides care for 46 children, and with a soft adventure room and crèches, admits more than 100 children per week.

The council’s Early Years proposal looks to cut £1.5 million from its budget, with the consultation regarding the Children’s Centre set to end later this month.

The proposal is currently looking to create a hub of 5 buildings, in which Sidings is not included.

Cllr Mason said: “We know Sidings is an important and well-loved part of the local community. We welcome their engagement with and contribution to our early education and childcare consultation.”

“By 2017 our funding from central government will be cut in half compared with 2010 and this means we have to make tough choices about how and what we fund. We have to save £1.5m from our early years budget and we want to make sure every penny is spent on where we can have the biggest impact and on those who need it most.”

“We are committed to working with Sidings management to find a way forward”.

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