WISBECH: Celebration time as parents, staff and youngsters celebrate nursery saving

By MAGGIE GIBSON IT S celebration time for parents, youngsters and staff who have fought a successful battle to save vital pre-school and after school services in Wisbech. The facilities at the Isle Campus of the College of West Anglia were facing the axe

By MAGGIE GIBSON

IT'S celebration time for parents, youngsters and staff who have fought a successful battle to save vital pre-school and after school services in Wisbech.

The facilities at the Isle Campus of the College of West Anglia were facing the axe but have been given a reprieve after Cambridgeshire County Council stepped in with an offer to fund the service until next April allowing time to find an alternative provider.

College bosses have also admitted that a calculation that the service was losing around �30,000 a year may not have been correct. They told parents that additional costs had been attributed which may not have given a true account of the finances.


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Campaigner Tracy Loughlin said: "As a parent this is fantastic news. We have managed to save this service which is such a wonderful facility and very popular. I think the college was surprised at the level of support we got in such a short space of time."

She said parents were very grateful to the county council for identifying a way forward without having to close the facilities. However, it is understood that not all the staff working in the childcare services at the college have had their contracts renewed.

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The college argued that the services were originally intended to cater for the children of students and staff but were being used mainly by families in the community.

The pre-school is so popular that it has a waiting list. Mrs Loughlin said: "We need this service in Wisbech, we are losing so many provisions. No one wanted this provision to close."

More than a hundred families would have been affected if the service had closed. Two nearby primary schools, Elm Road and Peckover do not have any nursery provision attached to them.

Mrs Loughlin also paid tribute to the staff who worked hard to improve the service. She said: "They all give 100 per cent and every child is treated as an individual."

n Next week's issue will feature pictures showing just how youngsters at the pre-school enjoy themselves.

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