Mums’ campaign to save council creche

Parents Claire Summerskill, Vicky Queenan, Gemma Sykes and Wilma MacGregor with children Alice Summerskill, 19 months, Ben Michell aged six, Ethan Queenan aged five, Lily Michell aged two and Cameron Queenan 10 months protest at the closure of North Bridge Leisure Centre Creche.
Parents Claire Summerskill, Vicky Queenan, Gemma Sykes and Wilma MacGregor with children Alice Summerskill, 19 months, Ben Michell aged six, Ethan Queenan aged five, Lily Michell aged two and Cameron Queenan 10 months protest at the closure of North Bridge Leisure Centre Creche.

A MUM is drawing the battle lines after they were told the crèche at North Bridge Leisure Centre may be closed after 24 years.

Parents who use the facilities have been told the council cannot continue to subsidise it and are opening a consultation period about its future.

It has been open for 24 years, is now entering a 90-day consulation period about its possible closure.

Vicky Queenan takes her 10-month-old son Cameron to the crèche every Friday while she goes to yoga class.

“The council are saying they can’t afford to subsidise the crèche. I can completely agree if that’s the case but when we pay £2.50 we’re going into the leisure centre to do an activity, which costs another £4.10. Then three of us go for lunch and coffees,” she said.

Mrs Queenan said her trip actually generates £7.50 towards council funds. She is now spearheading the Save Our Crèche campaign and is planning a petition. The nursery, which has been open for 24 years employs three part-time staff and was used by 45 children last month.

Parents were warned by letter the service may be withdrawn.

It is the only leisure centre in Calderdale to offer a childcare service.

“If we’re meant to be getting mums fit after children, promoting safe childcare and want to get people fit then surely the council has a corporate responsbility to provide this?” said the angry mum.

Mum of 20-month old Alice, Claire Summerskill, said: “I believe it’s so true that a happy and well mum or dad means a happy baby. That’s why its essential that parents are able to get the opportunity for regular exercise.

“Many of my friends have no relatives locally and rely totally on external help.”

She said with better marketing the crèche would increase its appeal and keep going.

They have now started campaigning against the closure.

To back the campaign contact Vicky at vickyqueenan@fsmail.net

l Are any community groups in your area under threat? Email newsdesk@halifax courier.co.uk