Residents angry over Hailsham nursery closure

Vega Close community centre Hailsham SUS-151116-164933001
Vega Close community centre Hailsham SUS-151116-164933001

Parents in Hailsham have been left angry after East Sussex County Council announced the closure of a Sure Start nursery in the town.

The council announced it will be closing Hailsham Nursery – based in the Vega Close Community Centre – on March 24.

In a letter sent to parents and carers last week, the council said the nursery is not making enough money to be financially sustainable.

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 the funding we get from Government, 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.”

The decision has been unpopular with parents and other local residents who say the closure will leave many parents unable to find nursery places in the town.

More than 790 people have signed a petition calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene in the closure.

Other residents have raised concerns over the effect the closure will have on the number of childcare places available in the town.

Hailsham town councillor Mary Laxton said she is concerned the closure will impact one of the most deprived areas of Sussex.

She 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, said he would also be meeting with parents affected by the closure and would look into the decision.

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