Future of Wirral's day nurseries to be decided tonight

Wirral Globe: Future of Wirral's day nurseries to be decided tonight Future of Wirral's day nurseries to be decided tonight

THE future of six Wirral day nurseries will be up for debate tonight when the authority’s ruling cabinet meets.

Nurseries in Liscard, Birkenhead, Claughton and Rock Ferry could be taken over by neighbouring schools if plans set to save £772,000 a year are approved.

But that would mean they would only operate during term time and normal school hours, meaning parents would need to make alternative arrangements.

In a report to tonight’s meeting, the authority admits that New Brighton’s Day Nursery is the only one to have received a confirmed offer from outside organisations.

Discussions are still ongoing over the future of Miriam Place day nursery, based at Bidston St James Centre, who have “expressed a tentative expression of interest” in developing a social, not commercial model for the two, three and four year old education on offer”.

Councillor Tony Smith, Wirral’s cabinet member for children and family services, said:  “As there is already provision across the private, voluntary and independent sectors, and at this time of considerable pressure on budgets, we as a Council are proposing to stop delivering this service.

“We will support any family affected by working with them to manage the transition to another provider. This will include drawing up individual plans in partnership with each parent or carer, and preparing contingencies to enable us to provide support if we need to.

“Staff affected have been briefed and we are asking schools to ring fence posts of a similar nature for those whose jobs are at risk.”

Although parents pay for their children to use the council’s nursery service, it still requires a £772,000 a year subsidy from the council.

The plans, agreed last year as part of the council’s budget options, will enable that money to be saved by removing the need for the council to subsidise the service.

The nurseries are New Brighton Day Nursery, Honey Bees Day Nursery, Reach High Day Nursery, Miriam Place, Windmill Day Nursery and Little Ferries Day Nursery.

Last June, the council’s ruling cabinet approved plans to outsource day nursery provision to mitigate against budget cuts.

The council asked interested providers to offer the service for a five year period but of the 65 suppliers who registered an interest, only two completed applications were submitted.

Of those, only the application to run New Brighton Day Nursery, developed by staff, was taken forward.

If this move is endorsed by the cabinet on June 19, a target date for transfer for that nursery has been set for September 1, 2014.

The day nursery service delivered by the council was originally supported by grant funding made available through the national Neighbourhood Nursery Initiative and Surestart.

Neither of those funding streams remain available today, leaving a shortfall of £722,000 to be met by the council.

Local authorities’ responsibilities for childcare has also changed, from ensuring childcare is available, to one of offering a brokering service to support families to find and secure childcare.

Families in receipt of government funding for two, three and four year old children will still continue to be able to access nursery provision elsewhere in the borough, but instead of accessing council-run nurseries, those affected will be given support instead to find alternative providers in local schools, or in the private, voluntary and independent sector.

  • Wirral’s ruling cabinet will discuss the move at Wallasey Town Hall at 6.15pm today, Thursday.

Comments (4)

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1:11pm Thu 19 Jun 14

bigfoot says...

Does the reduction in children's services provision mean that the inflated salaries of the Departments chief officers will be reduced?
No I didn't' think so.
Does the reduction in children's services provision mean that the inflated salaries of the Departments chief officers will be reduced? No I didn't' think so. bigfoot
  • Score: 12

3:23pm Thu 19 Jun 14

spamfiend says...

Once upon a time, Lord Burgess was sitting on his throne of gold, pondering the decisions he has to make. Tough choices are needed. We 'need' to save money he proclaims. Whatever shall we do??

We can either build a new privy and staircase in the Clown Hall or we can shut the nurseries, libraries, Special schools and sack 500 people.

No mention of recalling the £32 million quid in loans to the other Clowncils across the land - at I must hasten to add, a very cost effective 1% APR. Nor lessen the burden to Mr & Mrs Tax Payer by continuing to have 66 ward councillors who get new tech toys every year to play.

Lord Burgess and his evil cohort Sir Stabemintheback Davies will start their evil plotting tonight.
Once upon a time, Lord Burgess was sitting on his throne of gold, pondering the decisions he has to make. Tough choices are needed. We 'need' to save money he proclaims. Whatever shall we do?? We can either build a new privy and staircase in the Clown Hall or we can shut the nurseries, libraries, Special schools and sack 500 people. No mention of recalling the £32 million quid in loans to the other Clowncils across the land - at I must hasten to add, a very cost effective 1% APR. Nor lessen the burden to Mr & Mrs Tax Payer by continuing to have 66 ward councillors who get new tech toys every year to play. Lord Burgess and his evil cohort Sir Stabemintheback Davies will start their evil plotting tonight. spamfiend
  • Score: 12

11:38pm Thu 19 Jun 14

It's all gone to pot says...

The ways things are going with all the cuts I can honestly see peaceful protest outside the entrance of Royal Liverpool Golf Club when the Open as the only option as they never listen to anybody, ostrich heads in the sand come to mind.Imagine parents and children from Lyndale special school, Council workers being affected by cuts after having wage freeze for last few years,Library staff whose jobs are under threat and various other groups whose services and jobs are being depleted. What an embarrassment this would cause to the Mayor of Wirral,and Chief Executives Burgess and co at the Clown Hall being shown for what they are,complete amateurs, on the TV and in the National Press.
The ways things are going with all the cuts I can honestly see peaceful protest outside the entrance of Royal Liverpool Golf Club when the Open as the only option as they never listen to anybody, ostrich heads in the sand come to mind.Imagine parents and children from Lyndale special school, Council workers being affected by cuts after having wage freeze for last few years,Library staff whose jobs are under threat and various other groups whose services and jobs are being depleted. What an embarrassment this would cause to the Mayor of Wirral,and Chief Executives Burgess and co at the Clown Hall being shown for what they are,complete amateurs, on the TV and in the National Press. It's all gone to pot
  • Score: 7

11:48pm Fri 20 Jun 14

kriz240174 says...

The way the council has treated the sure start teams is nothing short of a disgrace they have been on a pay freeze for years getting worse off year after year struggling to make ends meet and they repay them by making them redundant its true that it rolls down hill always the frontline staff who take the beating what about the fatcats at the top? council has been wasting money for years spending thousands on carpets and toilets while making low paid workers redundant is an insult to every tax payer makes me think twice about paying my council tax at all when i i have to see my family treated so poorly. Lord Burgess shame on you.
The way the council has treated the sure start teams is nothing short of a disgrace they have been on a pay freeze for years getting worse off year after year struggling to make ends meet and they repay them by making them redundant its true that it rolls down hill always the frontline staff who take the beating what about the fatcats at the top? council has been wasting money for years spending thousands on carpets and toilets while making low paid workers redundant is an insult to every tax payer makes me think twice about paying my council tax at all when i i have to see my family treated so poorly. Lord Burgess shame on you. kriz240174
  • Score: 0

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