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SALFORD MAYOR FINALLY ASKS GOVERNMENT FOR NURSERY FUNDING FLEXIBILITY
 

Star date: 13th March 2018

MAYOR REQUESTS 'URGENT DISCUSSION' WITH MINISTER OVER NURSERY CLOSURES

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, has finally sent a letter to Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, asking for funding for the five nurseries that the Council is set to close – three weeks after the Department of Education stated that it hadn't received a request for flexibility in its Early Years funding.

Now the Mayor is asking for discussions 'as a matter of urgency' – because the consultation on the closures is due to start on March 26th.

Full details here...


Save Salford Nurseries Save Salford Nurseries
click image to enlarge

A full three weeks after the Department of Education revealed to the Salford Star that it had not received a request from Salford City Council for Early Years funding flexibility, the Salford Mayor has finally written to Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Standards, asking for discussions "as a matter of urgency".

Salford Council is proposing to shut its five OFSTED rated outstanding nurseries due to changes in the funding formula for Early Years, which mean it cannot retain as much subsidy for its own childcare places as previously.*

The consultation on the closures was due to start on 26th February but, after huge opposition by parents, staff and unions at a public meeting, and the revelation by the Salford Star that funding flexibility hadn't even been requested from the Government, the consultation was halted for a month.

During the month's grace, the Mayor and councillors have agreed to take part in a campaign with parents, staff, unions and activists to lobby the Government for extra funding, and this will conclude with a Save Our Nurseries march and rally on 24th March, two days before a new closure consultation is set to start.

The march will be from Victoria Park in Swinton, to the Salford Civic Centre in Swinton, and the Mayor will be one of the speakers at the rally, along with parents, staff and unions.

In the meantime, the letter, dated 9th March and co-signed by Salford Conservative Party Leader, Les Turner, has now, finally, been sent to the Government.

The letter states that the "redistribution of the funding towards providers to support working parents...has had a profound impact on services". It adds that the Council didn't consider that it was eligible to apply for what it calls 'disapplication of the regulation', nor for extra funding for Maintained Nursery Schools, and has "no option but to reconsider the future of our 5 Dedicated Schools Grant Funded and much loved local authority nurseries".

The Mayor asks for the Council to be eligible for the Maintained Nursery School funding and "for any future funding that is made available", adding that he "would welcome a discussion with a lead officer in the area of Dedicated Schools Grant as a matter of urgency, given the planned consultation will commence on 26th March".

The Minister now has less than two weeks to respond and sort out the mess...


March and Rally To Save Our Nurseries
Saturday 24th March
Victoria Park 11am

Almost 6,000 people have now signed the petition to Save The Nurseries - to sign, click here


*For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...

Over 100 Workers Could Lose Jobs in Salford Council Nursery Massacre – click here

Salford Nursery Closure Fightback Begins – click here

Hundreds of People Pack Save Salford Nurseries Meeting – click here

Salford Council Nursery Closure Government Bombshell – click here

Salford Council U-turn On Closure Consultation – click here

Save Our Nurseries Lobby Becomes Press Launch of Campaign – click here

Salford Council Still Not Asked For Funding Flexibility As Closure Clock Ticks – click here

Terry wrote
at 16:13:41 on 19 March 2018
My god, of course I realise the seriousness of the ineptitude of these characters and by default the impact on parents, should't judge a book by it's cover but looking at them, is this the best we can elect? Bob the regular is so right. Nurse! bed baths before matrons rounds please,
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 15:44:06 on 15 March 2018
Good picture. Especially Merry."The Five Thinkers". Although you could substitute the word thinkers for another one ending in nkers.
 
Joe O'Neill wrote
at 10:49:27 on 14 March 2018
I was amazed today to read Mr Dennett wished to turn the Crescent into Brooklyn, Funny from a city that can't fund it's own nurseries. Or perhaps he sees a Brooklyn that many Photographers miss the slums, boarded up shops, drug addiction and gangs, well i suppose even without the investment he craves we are half way there.
 
wrote
at 06:02:44 on 14 March 2018
Confused of salford may go on to ask if the mayor will resign in april when government do not pay up
 
Confused of Salford wrote
at 18:08:24 on 13 March 2018
Confused of salford writes will the mayor be protesting at the end of the march about his idea to close the nurseries or again are we seeing shaky bum time with the election coming round
 
Gareth L wrote
at 15:58:05 on 13 March 2018
It seems to me that taking 3 weeks to draft a letter inicates a complete lack of interest or intent in finding the money to keeps the nurseries open. I would not be surprised if they had not already been sold to private companies. Listening to the speeches made at one of the meetings I felt that the council and the union were only interested in political grandstanding against the tories.
 
Bob wrote
at 15:16:17 on 13 March 2018
If the 'consultation' period does start on 26 March then there can be no grounds for continuing a 'joint' campaign over the nurseries with the Council, can there?
 
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