A MUM spoke of her devastation after councillors decided to close her daughter’s nursery.
The councillors of the Cabinet voted yesterday to shut Cambridge Road Nursery after a marathon dispute.
Razwana Allam, whose two-year-old daughter Daania goes to the nursery, said: “I’m devastated at this decision.”
The Birkby mum had made a last-minute appeal to the Cabinet not to go through with the closure.
Razwana, 36, told the councillors: “For us as parents this is about our children and their futures. We’re begging you not to close one of the best nurseries in Kirklees.
“To remove one of the community’s most valuable assets is madness.”
And Razwana paid tribute to the workers at the council-run nursery.
She said: “I find the love which the staff at Cambridge Road have for children is absolutely inspiring. It makes me want to be a better parent.”
The Cabinet decided to close the nursery after receiving a report saying it was no longer viable.
Along with Sankofa in Hillhouse and Tiddlywinks in Deighton, Cambridge Road was first threatened with closure last February.
Protestors organised a 5,000-signature petition and a pram-push through Birkby against the plans.
Last September, the council announced Sankofa would close and Tiddlywinks would stay open. Officers were asked to look into the viability of Cambridge Road.
They found there were 26 children at the nursery in January – an occupancy rate of 46%.
The officers concluded that Cambridge Road should be closed as there were enough places at other nurseries nearby.
But Unison spokesman Mike Foster criticised the report.
He said: “Prospective parents were told that their children could only have a place at Cambridge Road on the understanding that they would have only four weeks to find a new nursery if it had to be closed.
“This discouraged parents from using the nursery. People want places at Cambridge Road, but not with an axe hanging over their heads.”
Clr Jim Dodds, Cabinet member for children’s services, said the nursery had been in decline for a long time.
He said: “The nursery doesn’t serve a natural community. Even before closure was mentioned, parents were staying away from the nursery.
“I know this will be a bitter pill for parents to swallow.”
The Cabinet voted unanimously to close the nursery.