STAFF and parents have thanked Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk for his tireless campaign to save a local nursery from closure.
Last year, Rochdale council proposed closing South Street Nursery as part of ongoing cost cutting measures.
But Mr Danczuk has taken up the cause and has even raised the issue in a House of Commons debate. The MP held a public meeting on Thursday as a show of public support for the 80-year-old school which has received nine consecutive “outstanding” ratings from Ofsted.
The audience heard from Mr Danczuk, education expert Zafar Khan and Muhammad Mushtaq, chair of Bilal Mosque Committee.
Mr Kahn said: “When pupils from South Street go to primary school they are a few months ahead of the other children, that shows you the hard work that the teachers and staff do.
“When there are efficiency cuts, the first thing that suffers is quality. That’s exactly what will happen if South Street closes.”
Mr Mushtaq said: “We are all here to acknowledge, appreciate and say thank you to South Street and in return the minimum we can do is ask the council to save the nursery.”
The meeting ended with those in attendance putting their name to an open letter to the council cabinet urging them to “preserve this valuable community asset for future generations of Rochdale’s children”.
Last month, council leader Richard Farnell wrote to Mr Danczuk to congratulate him on his campaign and said he would recommend that the Nursery is kept open.
But the final decision has not yet been reached and will be determined by a vote taken by the whole cabinet later this month.
Mr Danczuk told the audience that the proposed closure was the result of Conservative Government cuts and stressed the need to keep the nursery open.
He said: “It is great that we have Cllr Farnell’s backing on this, but we still have to work hard convince the rest of the cabinet that keeping South Street open is the right thing to do.
“I hope that today’s meeting will go a long way to show just how much public support there is behind this fantastic nursery and its staff.”
Rochdale Council’s cabinet will make the final decision on January 25.
Text of the open letter signed by those at the meeting:
Dear Cabinet Members
Ahead of the vote later this month, we the undersigned would like to stress in the strongest possible terms our opposition to the proposed closure of South Street Nursery.
With exceptional facilities, exemplary teaching (including SEN provision) and excellent community links, it is no surprise that South Street has been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted in each of the last 9 years.
From teachers and parents, to members of the public and former pupils, there is considerable public support behind the campaign to keep this school open.
As you may already know, Cllr Farnell has written to the Member of Parliament for Rochdale to say he will personally recommend that South Street remains open.
We sincerely hope you will be similarly minded to preserve this valuable community asset for future generations of Rochdale’s children.