ANGRY parents have vowed to fight on to save three Huddersfield nurseries.
Their pledge came after they had a face to face meeting with the councillor in charge of a review into the threatened nurseries.
Clr Jim Dodds met parents of children and staff from the Sankofa Nursery, Tiddleywinks in Deighton, and Cambridge Road at Huddersfield Methodist Mission.
But his argument about why the council believes it is right to close the nurseries did not go down well with the parents.
Spokesman Mell Mills said: “Clr Dodds finally made his presentation to staff, parents and unions last night.
“The only justification for proposing closure is based on the cost of subsidising the nurseries. This is the first time we have heard the council’s arguments and they are completely flawed.
“If the council wants to save money why have they frozen admissions to the nurseries over the last six months costing them thousands in lost revenue?
“Why have they been prepared to subsidise these nurseries for the last 15 years without complaint?
“Parents and staff have spent literally days preparing submissions to the council about the future of our nurseries.
“It was obvious that Clr Dodds has either not read them or has ignored them. He gave us a ten minute power point presentation which had obviously been written and prepared by paid officers from the council who have had an agenda to close these nurseries for the last 18 months.”
Mrs Mills insisted that Kirklees Council will not save much money by the closures because the staff will be entitled to redeployment on the same pay and the wage costs will still have to be met by the council.
“The council has just turned in a massive surplus of nearly £16m yet they want to try to save yet more money by closing three nurseries. This is bad management and short sighted.
“Parents stand by these nurseries because they value them. Staff have fought to keep them because they are proud of the high standards of care they provide.
“Children love their nursery care because they feel safe and secure in their environment.
“We are now being asked to respond to his proposals over the next six weeks. Parents and staff are united in wholly rejecting this report.
“The meeting was determined and angry. We are meeting together to formulate a detailed response.
“We will also be advocating our own alternatives. We will be seeking the support of the public and other councillors. The question we put to all the councillors is this:
“Do you want the children of Huddersfield to be looked after in exclusively private provision or are you prepared to use council resources to maintain high quality public care for our future generations?”.”
She added: “Last night’s meeting registered a deep unhappiness and anger with the council’s proposals.
“We are determined that we will win this argument and save all our nurseries. The strong feeling of annoyance of having been kept in the dark for this length of time to hear what the review entailed was strongly present in the meeting.”