Council bosses have given a reprieve to an under-threat Bolton nursery.
Harvey Childrens Centre had been slated for closure - but the local authority now say they'll keep it open - though they'll have to start charging for certain services there to make ends meet.
Councillor Linda Thomas, Deputy Leader of Bolton Labour Group and Bolton Council, commenting on the Harvey Nursery Consultation, said:
“There has been a real strength of feeling around Harvey Nursery and we have listened carefully to the views expressed during consultation. We said this would be a consultation, where nothing was off the table, and unless anything else significant comes up before the end of consultation on Friday, we believe we have now identified a solution. We are taking the unusual step of announcing what we think our final decision will be before the formal end of consultation to give assurance to the children and families at Harvey.
“This has been a very difficult situation. We are living through unprecedented austerity cuts and as a result of seven years of being forced to implement cuts to services, we are now having to look at areas we would never have envisaged. The proposal to close the nursery was developed as a result of competing budgets within the People Services Department. Budgets have shrunk to such a low level that there are very few services remaining that are not statutory and we must continue to protect the services that are vitally important to our most vulnerable children and families such as child protection, Looked After Children and services for children with disabilities This means that the choices facing the Council are very limited.
“The Council has decided to continue to operate the nursery. There will be a staged move to increasing income generated from fees and from consumables in order to reduce the current level of subsidy which the Council provides. The Council has been able to take this decision as a result of savings made from increased rates of recycling in Bolton.”