Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Apologies for short notice -- we have only just heard that about these huge cuts to nursery budgets in Hackney, and we want to mobilise people to help try and save them, so we are organising an emergency public meeting THIS THURSDAY 22ND APRIL 6:30 P.M. -- further details below. It is outrageous that Hackney Council/The Learning Trust should think that they can get away with attacking services to women and working-class people in this way, and just before the election.
We have local elections in Hackney, including for our elected mayor, as well as the General Election. Even if you don't live in Hackney, you can bring this up at any hustings meetings you go to, because this is part of a nationwide problem, and the Daycare Trust just published a report saying that childcare issues are almost the most important voting issue for women … now there's a surprise!
If you would like to help, but cannot make this week's meeting, please send us an e-mail -- FHN@live.co.uk.
Thanks, Friends of Hackney Nurseries
(After successfully fighting against huge cuts to council and community nurseries in the 1990s and early 2000s, Friends of Hackney Nurseries is being re-activated to fight against Hackney Council and the Learning Trust's plan to impose cuts of upto 60% in this year's grant to community nurseries, and indeed to fight for even more and better childcare provision locally. JOIN US!)
Media release -- 20th April 2010, for immediate release
From Friends of Hackney Nurseries, FHN@live.co.uk
Just a couple of weeks before the election, Hackney Council and the Learning Trust have delivered a devastating blow to Hackney's community nurseries
Despite Diane Abbott telling us in her election address that "Only a Labour government will protect our schools, hospitals and public services", community nurseries have been told in the last few days that, with immediate effect, they will be having cuts in their budget of up to 60%. This means cuts of £40 to £50,000, which will lead to the serious threat of nursery closures, and hardship and distress for parents, workers and children.
Jules Pipe, who is standing for re-election as Labour mayor of Hackney, has been boasting recently that “For the fifth year in a row Hackney’s part of the Council Tax will not increase," and he claims that "Investment in services for Hackney residents is at the heart of spending plans for the coming financial year – at no extra cost to the tax payer."
The people of Hackney would like to know how he can square this with the devastation that is threatened to our nurseries. The withdrawal of public funds will affect all nurseries, and consequently our children's opportunities will be diminished, and nursery staff will have to spend valuable time struggling for their financial survival. Hackney's nurseries have always fought to remain inclusive, affordable, and professional, but it is impossible to achieve that by relying on parents' fees alone to meet all the costs.
Dawn Primarolo, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, said recently, "We are spending a billion pounds a year on early years education, and even in these tough times we have said we will sustain this over the next three years, because that's how crucial we think excellent early years provision is for children and families, and for our economy." In which case, we would like to know why our share of the money is not coming to Hackney’s nurseries.
Friends of Hackney Nurseries is organising an emergency meeting to campaign against these cuts. If you want to help us defend good quality, affordable childcare in the borough, for our children now, and for future generations, please come to our meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 22nd April at The Bath House Children's Community Centre, The Old Warm Baths, 76 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EY. You can contact Friends of Hackney Nurseries at firstname.lastname@example.org