Plea to PM over Hailsham nursery closure

Parents gathered at the community centre
Parents gathered at the community centre

More than 800 people have signed a petition calling for the Prime Minister to intervene and stop the closure of a nursery in Hailsham.

East Sussex County Council announced it will be closing the Sure Start nursery, based in the Vega Close Community Centre, in March next year.

The news, sent in a letter to parents and carers last week, was met with waves of anger, with many concerned about the disruption and upset it would cause to their children.

The online petition states, “The parents of Hailsham Children Centre Nursery have been told the nursery is going to close on March 25 due to funding cuts.

“This is very hard for children due to start school in September 2016, as they will now be unsettled going into a new nursery for a couple of months, before becoming unsettled again going into school.

“The Government say how they want people and parents to go to work but how can we when the Government is cutting nursery funds, which are very important for children’s futures and parents who are working and now need child care as soon as possible?

“This nursery has been there for 15 years and it is fantastic. We can not lose this nursery and we don’t want to.”

A county council spokesman said, “It is with regret that we’ve taken the decision to close the Sure Start nursery based at Hailsham East Children’s Centre from Thursday, March 24, next year.

“The nursery has been running at a loss and this, combined with the financial pressures we’re facing as a result of significant cuts to Government funding, means that unfortunately the nursery is no longer sustainable. There are enough places at other nurseries in the local area to accommodate all the children from the Sure Start nursery and our staff are working very closely with parents to help them find alternative provision.

“However, we do appreciate that this is upsetting for parents and children and will do whatever we can to support them through the transition.”

Hailsham town councillor Mary Laxton said, “Many of the parents in this area rely on the nursery being close by, a lot of children wouldn’t be able to go nursery if the only place was further away.”

Cllr Laxton said she would work with parents and the residents’ groups to challenge the decision. Lawrence Keeley, county councillor for Hailsham and Herstmonceux, will also meet with parents.

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