Union members pledge to lobby councillors ahead of key nurseries decision

UNION members have announced they will lobby councillors ahead of a meeting to decide whether to close down two council-run nurseries.

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, January 8) to debate and vote on the future of its Kids and Co nurseries, based at Borough Road Nursery and Northwood Primary School, which were ear-marked for closure late last year.

Parents, staff and members of Unison have campaigned against the proposed closures and say 180 childcare places will be lost for the town, with 43 members of staff at risk of redundancy.

Unison has pledged to lobby members of the cabinet as they arrive for the meeting to urge them to reconsider the plans and consider other options before closing the facilities for good.

In a report prepared for councillors, which recommends closure of both nurseries and a Flexicare service, council officers say that the nurseries are running at a loss of more than £200,000-a-year and that there are enough nursery places at other facilities in the town.

Dawn Taylor, UNISON assistant branch secretary, said: “Kids and Co has been operated by the council since 1994 and has helped hundreds of parents in work and education through its flexible approach to childcare and as a viable alternative to often unaffordable private provision.

“Unison is acutely aware of the drastic situation the council faces as a consequence of the Government’s cuts agenda, but at a time when people are facing true hardship, when they need to be in work or training and need their children looked after, this lifeline service is needed more than ever and to close it would be a step backward for many.”

Comments (6)

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7:03pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Gamechanger says...

The council exists to provide frontline services such as kids and co to meet the needs of our community. We all need to support our local services.

I look forward to seeing Councillor Bill Dixon's name on the save kids and co petition and to the same level of support for local services and jobs he has given Mowden Hall.
The council exists to provide frontline services such as kids and co to meet the needs of our community. We all need to support our local services. I look forward to seeing Councillor Bill Dixon's name on the save kids and co petition and to the same level of support for local services and jobs he has given Mowden Hall. Gamechanger
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Lifetime Townie says...

A few less at the top in the town hall, Councillors included, would easily pay for kids & co.! A matter of priorities from the eyes of the council, no doubt.
A few less at the top in the town hall, Councillors included, would easily pay for kids & co.! A matter of priorities from the eyes of the council, no doubt. Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Sun 6 Jan 13

louisewilson55 says...

Gamechanger wrote:
The council exists to provide frontline services such as kids and co to meet the needs of our community. We all need to support our local services.

I look forward to seeing Councillor Bill Dixon's name on the save kids and co petition and to the same level of support for local services and jobs he has given Mowden Hall.
If only Bill Dixon had given us the support he had given Mowden Hall. He's done nothing but avoid us and make excuses about Money being needed else were. I'm very disappointed in the lack of support we have had.
[quote][p][bold]Gamechanger[/bold] wrote: The council exists to provide frontline services such as kids and co to meet the needs of our community. We all need to support our local services. I look forward to seeing Councillor Bill Dixon's name on the save kids and co petition and to the same level of support for local services and jobs he has given Mowden Hall.[/p][/quote]If only Bill Dixon had given us the support he had given Mowden Hall. He's done nothing but avoid us and make excuses about Money being needed else were. I'm very disappointed in the lack of support we have had. louisewilson55
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Sun 6 Jan 13

1234user says...

Bill Dixon and the council need to get real, what's more important, saving essential front line services like Kids & Co nursery, or spending £1m on introducing wheelie bins that no one wants?!

The nursery has provided excellent childcare for many children in Darlington for many years, yes it is currently costing money to operate, but numerous submitted businesses cases show it can operate in profit. Question is, will the council actually take notice of these business cases, it seems to me their minds is already made up.

Lets hope the council sees sense and decides to keep Kids & Co open, operate it as a business, not make a loss, and more importantly keep this excellent essential service which many parents have come to rely upon.

Darlington Council.... wake up and smell the coffee!
Bill Dixon and the council need to get real, what's more important, saving essential front line services like Kids & Co nursery, or spending £1m on introducing wheelie bins that no one wants?! The nursery has provided excellent childcare for many children in Darlington for many years, yes it is currently costing money to operate, but numerous submitted businesses cases show it can operate in profit. Question is, will the council actually take notice of these business cases, it seems to me their minds is already made up. Lets hope the council sees sense and decides to keep Kids & Co open, operate it as a business, not make a loss, and more importantly keep this excellent essential service which many parents have come to rely upon. Darlington Council.... wake up and smell the coffee! 1234user
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Gamechanger says...

Its a bit rich of the council to engineer a case to cease to provide a front line service mainly for financial reasons. I hope they spare a thought for the millions of pounds of our money wasted on consultants paid to do the job managers are already paid to do. How many services could be saved if our money was spent more wisely?
Its a bit rich of the council to engineer a case to cease to provide a front line service mainly for financial reasons. I hope they spare a thought for the millions of pounds of our money wasted on consultants paid to do the job managers are already paid to do. How many services could be saved if our money was spent more wisely? Gamechanger
  • Score: 0

9:02am Mon 7 Jan 13

kimbo666 says...

its ok them saying there are plenty of other nurseries with places but i put my son into northwood school based on the fact that i can pick him up and my daughter up from kids and co at the same time.
if i have to move her to a different nursery how am i supposed to be at 2 places at the same time.
its a fantastic nursery with exceptional staff who care for my little girl so much.
Stop digging countless holes in the roads and building pointless roundabouts that dont work and invest your money into something that matters.
SAVE KIDS N CO!!!
its ok them saying there are plenty of other nurseries with places but i put my son into northwood school based on the fact that i can pick him up and my daughter up from kids and co at the same time. if i have to move her to a different nursery how am i supposed to be at 2 places at the same time. its a fantastic nursery with exceptional staff who care for my little girl so much. Stop digging countless holes in the roads and building pointless roundabouts that dont work and invest your money into something that matters. SAVE KIDS N CO!!! kimbo666
  • Score: 0

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