COUNCILLORS were misled about demand for nursery places, says the deputy leader of the Labour group on Kirklees.
Clr Ken Smith has called for council chief executive Rob Vincent to halt plans to close the Cambridge Road nursery near Huddersfield town centre.
His call comes after he saw the report presented to council Cabinet members making the decision, which he says contained misleading figures.
But Cabinet member Clr Jim Dodds said the decision to close the nursery was the right one.
Clr Smith, an Ashbrow ward representative, said: “Staff preparing the report showed the number of Huddersfield nursery places without Cambridge Road and NY Nursery at Aspley, which is also to close.
“Mistakenly, they went on to remove the children attending those nurseries from a column headed ‘estimate of places taken’, thereby showing less need than there is.
“Staff have made a serious error in the presentation of their own figures.
“Figures taken from reports clearly show an immediate shortfall in full day care places, with worse on the way as new housing is built.
“There never was a need to close Cambridge Road.
“As we showed the Tories a year ago they were wasting £350,000 on a top-heavy management system, money which could provide this care for children.
“The Tories have always been mean to ordinary working class families.
“But in this case I think even they wouldn’t have voted to close Cambridge Road if they had seen the true figures, since they always claimed there were sufficient alternatives.”
Clr Smith believes the figures highlighting the number of full day care places available were wrong.
The report said there were currently 292 places taken by children, but Clr Smith says that figure should have been 326, to include the children now attending the nurseries set to close.
He has asked Mr Vincent to look into the decision.
But Clr Dodds, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The figures that were produced are as good and accurate as there are.
“There are sufficient places within the system to accommodate those young children.
“We are having the independent auditors look at the situation and they will give us an unbiased point of view to make sure that it is kosher.
“I am satisfied we have made the right decision.”