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Parents march to Westminster in fight to save Queen’s Park nursery

PUBLISHED: 12:53 02 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:45 02 November 2012

Campaigners with Glenda Jackson MP in Westminster yesterday.

Campaigners with Glenda Jackson MP in Westminster yesterday.

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Hopscotch nursery campaigners hand in petition to Brent Council

Parents striving to save a much loved nursery from being booted out of its home have staged a march to Westminster and handed in an 800 strong petition calling for it to be saved.

Hopscotch Nursery, in Chevening Road, Queen’s Park, is facing possible closure after Brent Council failed to admit whether they would be extending the lease on their current home.

In protest campaigners marched to Westminster yesterday (Thursday) where they called on Glenda Jackson, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, to back their campaign.

The actress turned Labour politician has written to the local authority urging them to save the nursery and extend the lease, which runs out next summer.

She said: “There is a big shortage of nursery places in the borough and its essential that children get a place, especially in the early nursery years which is of vital importance.”

Speaking to the Times Gali Gold, chair of the Hopscotch Parent’s Committee called on the council to make a decision. She said: “It is very late in the day and we need to know within the next few weeks – we obviously aspire to get long term lease or long term premises.”

It is also feared the local authority maybe looking to cash in on the building, which was recently valued at around £3.25m.

The council has said the lease is dependent on whether the Islamia School, which occupies the upper two floors of the building move out or not and campaigners claim they have been told Hopscotch would be “surplus to requirements” if they do.

Ms Gold added: “We are working with potential partners for the top two floors but we have also said that we could take over whole building but we have to know where we stand.”

Lara Edgar, whose two-year-old daughter Elle attends the nursery said: “I am a new mum to Hopscotch but already I can see what it means to the children and mothers around here.

“There is very little else for them around here that offers what they do.”

The nursery offers full time hours but also runs a drop in session on weekday mornings where parents can leave their children for three hours.

A spokesman for Brent Council said no decision had been taken yet on the future of the site.

For more about the Save Hopscotch campaign visit www.savehopscotch.org.uk


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