Centres’ future bleak as nurseries face axe

Wellholme Day Nursery, Bradford Road, Brighouse
Wellholme Day Nursery, Bradford Road, Brighouse

COUNCILLORS have no intention of closing any Calderdale Children’s Centres but they might decide to close some nurseries.

Five centres had been singled out for attention in the Lib-Lab coalition’s draft budget but consultation has now been extended to every one of the 19 Children’s Centres, including two in Brighouse, which fail to meet specific criteria.

Staff and parents questioned the cabinet about their true intentions.

Calderdale Council’s children’s services spokesman Coun Ashley Evans said: “Just to be clear, we have no intention of closing any Children’s Centres, but we may decide to close some nurseries.

“We had done some initial analysis which raised questions over those which were inadvertently published BUT no decisions have been made as we need to do further analysis.”

Councillor Evans said the planned savings of £1 million in staffing costs which would result from closures are not included in the budget until 2014-15 because more work needed to be done on alternative provision, standards and costs. He said there would be full consultation with everyone affected in due course.