Nurseries set to be privatised

NurseryProtest'Mothers and children protesting against the proposed closure of Westcroft Day Nursery, The Mall, Westcroft.''MPMC WK06 M11

NurseryProtest'Mothers and children protesting against the proposed closure of Westcroft Day Nursery, The Mall, Westcroft.''MPMC WK06 M11

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CHILDCARE services at four city nurseries are set to be privatised.

Westcroft, Little Chestnuts, Fledglings and Wolverton nurseries were all earmarked for closure 12 months ago but parents fought to see them kept open.

The services will no longer be council run with Kids Play taking over the running of Wolverton and Little Chestnuts nurseries and Acorn Childcare set to run Westcroft and Fledglings.

Councillor Andy Dransfield, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Staff will be able to transfer across and form a new bond with the providers. There are over 100 nurseries in Milton Keynes so there is competition. This means there is no expectation that fees will rise.”

However, Clare Tucker, whose daughter Millie goes to Westcroft Day Nursery, said: “This isn’t the outcome we as parents wanted or expected after fighting the decision for over a year.”

Councillor Elaine Wales, who serves the West Bletchley area, added: “The decision to privatise the nurseries is a bad move. There is a danger that under the new owners experienced staff will leave and be replaced with low paid staff.”

> Library services are also set to continue after similarly strong campaigns to save the facilities.

Councillor Peter Geary gave assurances all libraries would stay open and those which had provisions for new centres, such as the Kingston Library, would only be closed once the new building was opened.