Parents protest against King’s Lynn college nursery closure plan

Applewood Children's Nusery Parents staging protest against proposed nusery closure. ANL-150418-104221009
Applewood Children's Nusery Parents staging protest against proposed nusery closure. ANL-150418-104221009
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Parents yesterday met education bosses to demand answers about their plans to close a nursery on the College of West Anglia’s Lynn campus.

Campaigners say around 500 people have now signed petitions against the proposal to close the Apple Wood children’s nursery on the Tennyson Avenue site.

Approximately 20 objectors also staged a protest against the plan outside the building on Friday afternoon and a further demonstration is planned.

Health and social care student Kayleigh Enefer, whose 20 month old daughter Sophia attends the nursery. said she was encouraged by the level of support for the campaign so far.

She said: “We’re doing everything we can to keep it open. It’s vital not just for me but other parents who don’t want to see it closed.”

Miss Enefer has previously warned that she could have to give up her studies if the nursery is closed.

She added that parents, some of whom had indicated they were willing to pay more for the service, wanted to know what could be done to save the nursery from the axe,

More than 50 children can be accommodated at the nursery, which employs 15 full and part-time staff.

But college officials, who have not commented further on the closure plan since it was first announced earlier this month, maintain they have no option but to close it in order to help plug a £1.7 million funding gap.

And principal David Pomfret urged the area’s parliamentary candidates to end the austerity which he said was leaving them with the “impossible task” of continuing to provide high quality education with reduced funding.

He said the nursery, which could close this summer if the plan is implemented, had never managed to cover its costs and could not be subsidised in the future, as it is not part of the college’s “core business” of teaching and learning.

But, last week, West Norfolk Council leader Nick Daubney, who is a member of the college’s board of governors, pledged that he would do all he could to help keep the nursery open.

And Labour politicians have also called for whoever is elected as the area’s MP at next month’s general election to secure the funding needed to save the facility.

Just over 300 people have signed a petition on the Change website against the closure proposal. A paper version has also been set up at the college.

And Miss Enefer said: “Everyone has been so supportive of each other. It’s a real group effort.”