Campaigners fighting to save nursery in Kilburn hand in petition to council

Parents and children took a petition to Camden Town Hall to save Sidings Community Centre pic credi

Parents and children took a petition to Camden Town Hall to save Sidings Community Centre pic credit: Adam Thomas - Credit: Archant

Campaigners fighting for their vital nursery in Kilburn have taken a 400 singature petition to council bosses in the hope to save it from the axe.

Parents using the Sidings Community Centre’s Children’s Centre Services in Brassey Road, made their way to Camden Town Hall last week, as they risk losing their childcare if funding is stopped next March.

They handed over their petition with 407 signatures to Cllr Angela Mason CBE, the cabinet member for children and Martin Pratt, the director of children, schools and families.

Eddie Hanson, director of Sidings Community Centre, said: “Our petition demonstrates the strength of feeling use, of how important it is to keep the full range of affordable services to children and parents at Sidings children’s centre, visibly and publicly.

“We believe that now Camden has offered to meet with centre representatives to discuss the options for some future funding support, we hope this petition of 407 signatures, still growing, will encourage Camden to ensure the outcome of this discussion will guarantee services at Sidings will continue on a sustainable basis.”

The centre provides a nursery for 46 children and, with a soft adventure room and crèches, admits more than 100 children a week.

Officers from Camden Council spoke to representatives from Sidings at a meeting in Kilburn Grange Children’s Centre, Palmerstone Road, last month where they were urged to save the service.

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The council’s consultation on proposed changes early years and childcare closed last week, while the consultation on children’s centres is due in at the end of the month, as it looks to slash £1.5million from the budget.

It is looking at creating five “hubs” and maintaining nine centre buildings, of which the Sidings nursery is not one. It is a dedicated service which runs from the wider Sidings Community Centre.

Cllr Mason said: “We know Sidings is an important and well-loved part of the local community. We welcome their engagement with and contribution to our early education and childcare consultation.

“By 2017 our funding from central government will be cut in half compared with 2010 and this means we have to make tough choices about how and what we fund. We have to save £1.5m from our early years budget and we want to make sure every penny is spent on where we can have the biggest impact and on those who need it most.

“We are committed to working with Sidings management to find a way forward