- Created: Saturday, 24 February 2018 17:45
- Written by Manchester FRFI
On Friday 9 February, Salford City Labour council announced that it was planning a consultation exercise over the closure of all five of its council-funded ‘outstanding’ Ofsted-rated nurseries in the city. The council is citing a £1.7m shortfall in funding, outside a further £11.2m austerity cuts elsewhere in the city. These nurseries are located in some of Salford's most deprived areas; Salford overall is in the top 10% of deprived cities in England. Just over a week later, at a packed public meeting of over 200 people called by Salford Unison, residents voted overwhelmingly to set up a campaign against the closures.
The meeting rejected a call by Salford's Mayor Paul Dennett, a Corbyn supporter, to participate in a joint campaign with the council against the governments cuts. As Unison representative Ameen Hadi put it, this would be a conflict of interests: there could be no joint campaign as long as the Council proceeded with its so-called consultation exercise on the closure of the nurseries. Over 100 jobs will be lost by such a decision, quite apart from its long-term impact on the children and their families that attend them. 327 children, 87 of them with special needs, attend the five nurseries.