Pre-school vows to fight closure

PUBLISHED: 11:02 15 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:20 02 June 2010

Disappointed youngsters make their message clear.

Disappointed youngsters make their message clear.

A VILLAGE pre-school could close after being given to notice to quit a church hall. But staff and parents say they will not leave without a fight and want the church to have a change of heart. Upwell Methodist Church says Puddleducks Pre-School must be o

A VILLAGE pre-school could close after being given to notice to quit a church hall.

But staff and parents say they will not leave without a fight and want the church to have a change of heart.

Upwell Methodist Church says Puddleducks Pre-School must be out of its hall by July because the room is needed for other projects which it has been struggling to accommodate for some time. The pre-school has been an important part of the community for more than 30 years.

Staff and parents have been devastated by the news which came in a letter from the church secretary. They are to spearhead a campaign asking the church to have a change of heart.

Chairman Sarah Ford said: ""We do not intend to go without a fight. Welney pre-school has already closed and we really need this in the village."

She says closure of the thriving group would lead to youngsters going to pre-schools outside the village and then on to other primary schools.

Methodist minister, the Rev Ann Bossingham said the decision had been taken at an ordinary meeting of the Church Council. She said: "This decision was not taken lightly, nor without some thought as to a reasonable period of notice. We wish Puddleducks every success in the future."

Mrs Ford said: "We had no inkling at all that this was going to happen. The church sends a representative to our committee meetings and nothing was said at our last meeting.

"They haven't complained to us about anything and we have fulfilled all the requirements including paying the rent on time. The whole thing is very, very strange and it has come as a total shock and there is more than a bit of anger about this."

Committee member Nicola Evans said: "We don't want our children to go elsewhere. We respect it is the church's premises but we have always done everything they have asked us to do. It will be a very sad day for the village if we have to close and we are just hoping the church will have a change of mind."

The new Methodist minister coming to the village later this year has already requested a pre-school welcome pack - and the group hopes it will still have a future.

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