Parents hit out against Brent Council’s plans to axe two nurseries
Children’s centres in Neasden and Willesden facing the axe
Brent Council has been accused of targeting the borough’s youngest residents by planning to close two of its popular children’s nurseries.
Treetops Children’s Centre nursery, in Doyle Gardens, Willesden, and Harmony Children’s Centre nursery, in Bridge Road, Neasden, are expected to close in March next year.
The nursery at Willow Children’s Centre, in Barnhill Road, Wembley, will remain open but will only take children with disabilities and special needs.
It has left worried parents scrambling for places at other pre-schools which they say are fully booked.
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Many also say they will have to give up their jobs if the vital service goes.
Charlotte Sones, of Furness Road, Harlesden, has set up a campaign group on social network site Facebook.
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Her 21-month-old daughter Margot goes to Treetops.
Mrs Sones said: “My daughter is a sensitive child but she has got use to the people looking after her.
“Moving her will have a massive affect.
“Treetops has been a lifeline to many parents and if it closes I don’t know what we will do.”
Mother-of-two Polly Iannaccone, 40, of College Park, Kensal Green, said: “It’s a nightmare. They have just sprung this on us.
“The council is telling us there are places at other nurseries but that is not true. I will have to give up work if they close Treetops.”
The council says the centres are expected to make a total loss of more than �250,000 by the end of the financial year and it can no longer afford to keep them open because Government funding has been cut.
There are 49 children who attend Treetops and 30 at Harmony.
A consultation into the proposed closures has been launched. But concerned parent Marcus Foley, 40, of Victor Road, Kensal Green, whose two-year-old son Harrison goes to Treetops, claimed the council had already made their minds up.
He said: “The consultation is a sham. The council says every child matters but they don’t. Not in Brent. “
Councillor Mary Arnold, lead member for children and families, said: “This is a genuine consultation; we want to know what people think.
“We have to consider making difficult decisions and ways to prioritise funds for vulnerable children.” Parents can have their say by visiting www.brent.gov.consultation