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SALFORD COUNCIL U-TURN ON NURSERY CLOSURE CONSULTATION
 

Star date: 22nd February 2018 

HUMILIATING CLIMBDOWN FOR SALFORD CITY MAYOR

Just two days after announcing that a consultation would begin on 26th February for closing Salford's five nurseries, this afternoon Salford Council announced that it is to be paused for a month.

Less than a week ago a huge Save Our Nurseries public meeting voted, against the wishes of Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, and Children's Lead Member, Lisa Stone, for the closure consultation to be stopped. In the face of growing anger from the community the Council has been forced into a humiliating climb down.

Full details here...


Save Our Salford Nurseries Save Our Salford Nurseries
click image to enlarge

Last Saturday, a meeting attended by hundreds of people, including Salford and Eccles MP Rebecca Long-Bailey, heard Salford Mayor, Paul Dennett, and Children's Lead Member Lisa Stone, propose that a consultation should begin concerning the closing of five of the city's OFSTED rated outstanding nurseries. Hardly anyone at the meeting voted for that motion.

Instead, a counter proposal was overwhelming passed, calling for the consultation to be stopped, and 'Unless the Council withdraws the threat of closure and consultation, a lobby of the Labour Group and the full Council meeting on February 26th will take place' (see previous Salford Star article – click here)

Two days ago, this will of the people was ignored as the Council issued a press statement confirming that a "ninety day consultation will run from 26th February until 28th May…and that if a 'cost neutral solution' couldn't be found the nurseries would close".

Children's Lead Member, Lisa Stone, was quoted in the press release, saying that it was "a direct result of Government changes, which reduce the use of Dedicated Schools Grant."

Then, the Department of Education told the Salford Star that the Council could have applied for 'increased flexibility' in the Grant's use – and that Salford Council hadn't actually requested any 'increased flexibility' (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

The Star added that the revelation was bound to increase pressure on the Mayor to halt the consultation until the Council had at least asked the Government for 'flexibility' and received a reply.

This afternoon, in the face of growing anger from the community, that pressure told, with a humiliating climb down, as the u-turn was announced that the consultation had been put on hold for a month.

"City Mayor Paul Dennett says he's responding to calls from parents and staff, at a public meeting coordinated by Unison, and the pause will allow the council, trade unions, local MPs and parents and staff who would be affected if the nurseries had to close to lobby the government for funding to keep them open and under local authority control" the press release stated.

"I have written to the Government to raise the funding issues and the severe impact on services which are facing unprecedented demands on the residents of our city" Dennett added "I have asked for them to review this funding shortfall."

Angry parents, grandparents and staff working at the nurseries will want to know why the Mayor hadn't asked the Government to 'review this funding shortfall' before proposing to close the nurseries.

Lisa Stone adds in the press release that "I know this is a difficult time for parents and staff but it's important that we support the passion they have shown for the nurseries and use that to convince the Government to think again and provide the funding we need to keep this excellent service open."

...The problem is that, as of two days ago, the Government hadn't actually been asked to 'think again'.

The press release adds that a "campaign will be launched at full council on Wednesday 28th February when the Council confirms its budget for next year".

Meanwhile, the Salford Star has emailed the Department of Education to ask if it is indeed willing to be 'flexible' on the use of the Direct School's Grant. As yet, no reply has been received.

Mike D wrote
at 07:01:11 on 27 February 2018
Nice one Felsey - you tell em - I love your comments - don't let the knockers get you down. Chin up, chest out, carry on.
 
Felsey wrote
at 09:02:18 on 26 February 2018
Thank you George. Please do not waste your time bothering with the likes of Wrote or Phil. If they are unable to check facts that is their problem. Of course South Yorkshire have records including the maximum penalty for assault that saw one group of the scum animals made to pay. Sadly mental pain remains fifty years on. It is true I will always pursue injustice. Wrote fails to realise it is the perpetrators that have built me into fighting to protect others less strong. It matters not what idiots call me. What matters to me is I stand for justice, honesty and public safety. Be sure I could never give up fighting for a better world, free from cruelty and from the horrors nobody should suffer. I thank everyone who hears the call of justice in Salford. Those like minded make me proud. Michael.
 
wrote
at 11:47:35 on 25 February 2018
Whether the historical abuse allegations are true or not, there's something grossly manipulative about people who invoke their personal tragedies to score points in arguments; "I was abused. Your point is invalid.", "I'm disabled. Your point is invalid.", and he's not the only person here who does it.
 
George in Labour wrote
at 11:47:31 on 25 February 2018
I disagree with wrote writer. Felse is exactly what Salford needs. I know he raised two million pounds for charity and wrote the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act for Labour. At the time his savory love affair with the MPs wife was banned by the PM in the party well known showdown. Michael sent a dozen Labour Councillors to court and some to prison. His brother told me child sex abuse against Michael was extreme in the mining village of Doncaster. If you ask the right people you get the right answers. I have asked our last MP who told me Michael J Felse advised London Labour Government Ministers. Went on to write qualifications that trained 5000 health workers. Wrote is cruel by attacking Mr Felsey. Why would you blacken his character? What has he done to deserve that when my asking tells me Michael would do all the things he says. Wrote must be damaged by all of those broken promises by his Labour. I am shocked Felsey is not winning but he takes it on the chin. I would vote for him if he stands in my ward and I have always voted Labour. You know what you made me realise why I must stop voting Labour in Salford. I finally got the message.
 
wrote
at 04:53:04 on 25 February 2018
I really dont want to write this but at least the comment will bump the story up to the top. There is something about Felse that just seems creepy. He jumps on most of the articles on the Salfordstar and spouts what he is going to do when he is major. It seems like there is no bandwagon this parasite wont jump on. He claims to be a victim of historic abuse but is there any actual historic proof of this, ie a name and or a police case reference number? I am expecting him to wear a black dress next and claim to have be a victim of Harvey Weinstein. Felse seems to run about looking for love in the same way as a toddler who has been rebuked by one parent does, running from relative to relative, craving attention. exactly what his agenda or manifesto is and then stop commenting on nearly eveery article on the star. It would be a win win. Felse would have a voice and the Star would have some revenue. I think Felsey is probably very good at mining grants but not much else. I would be interested to know exactly how he intends to get to be Mayor? He did piss poorly in the Langworthy election. He has no chance of winning anybody over with his personality and charm and not much more with huis panaceic ideas. Time to throw in the towel Felsey? Maybe on a sunlounger in Alicante to beat get the jump on the Germans?
 
hedley hopper, political realist wrote
at 08:52:07 on 23 February 2018
Well done Salfordstar for exposing an alleged dereliction of duty by failing to explore all options available to prevent the closure of the Council's Nurseries. Whether this failure was an error of commission or omission is neither here or there but those accountable and or/responsible should do the politically correct thing and resign. They used to do so in my day! Those that didn't eventually came to a sticky end (politically speaking)!!!!
 
Alice wrote
at 08:50:22 on 23 February 2018
I would like to think that it isn't a ,'climb down' by the Council but a response to the feeling and arguments of the parents at the meeting. It was people power with its strong case getting the Council to listen and then withdraw the idea of a consultation and moving to get a better response from the Government. I see that as a positive move by the Council, working to the arguments of its people. This is how it should be. Let's hope it's a successful outcome.
 
Felsey wrote
at 21:02:05 on 22 February 2018
I call for the Mayor to resign. Vacate the seat and re-run the Mayoral election. That will stop closure during the process and will give Government reasons to understand the urgent needs here in Salford. It is with gratitude I thank Paul Dennett for making a short term postponement. I trust he will see sense and ditch revenue commitment on future borrowing and make the priority meeting the needs of local people.
 
Paul Whitelegg wrote
at 21:01:22 on 22 February 2018
the Salford Labour Council budget for this financial year shows: £278,550 net payments to The Lowry; £180,000 to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; £60,000 for 'premises' at Middlewood Locks; £144,859 net cost for a Salford Quays project office; £180,740 for the Salford City Mayor and his office; £127,586 for 'Greengate'; £407,604 for The Landing at Media City, and £730,673 in interest payments for 'unsupported borrowing'. The Salford Star has also documented huge spending on websites and TV streaming of council meetings, over £7million planning fees avoided by developers, and seriously massive spending on the RHS Garden in Worsley(£19million) and new office blocks(£200million). With the local elections coming which moron Will put a X next to a selfseving labour candidate
 
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