Last week, the Conservative Cabinet of Walsall Council took the decision to cease funding for Stanley’s Nursery in Birchills Street, Walsall.
The cabinet’s reason for closure of this vital facility is that it would cost £138,000 a year to keep it open.
Following the decision to close Stanley’s, Walsall Labour Group Leader Councillor Aftab Nawaz along with Labour Councillors for Birchills Leamore Councillor Tina Jukes & Councillor Lee Jeavons and Walsall Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Ian Shires and Liberal Democrat Councillor Daniel Barker have used the councils “call-in” process to have the decision challenged and referred to a special meeting of the Council’s Scrutiny Committee at 6pm on Monday 3rd August 2020.
In a statement the four councillors said that the closure would have a negative impact on one of the town’s most deprived areas.
They also said: “Whilst we are aware savings will be made, there are concerns that any savings made by the closure of the last remaining centre run by the council will create a long term legacy that further embeds deprivation in the Birchills area and ultimately would cost the authority and its partners significantly more.
“The nursery provides much needed care and support to a cohort of vulnerable children, not just now but into the future.”
During the consultation process that was conducted, many concerned parents voiced their opposition to the council’s plans, saying it would unsettle their children.
With the Covid 19 pandemic over the last few months, the nursery’s resources have been stretched, and they are now having to handle the additional pressures and stresses placed upon them as a result of this Conservative cabinet decision. Affected parents are facing additional hardship and pressures and are left wondering who they will rely on to provide the necessary care should the challenge fail.
If the Conservative cabinets decision stands it will lead to 23 staff being made redundant as a result of closure, and will leave many parents without the vital provision they need.