Nursery plea in East Dunbartonshire

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FIND a way to address a lack of nurseries across East Dunbartonshire – that’s the plea to council chiefs from MP Jo Swinson.

Ms Swinson wrote to the council in the wake of the sudden closure of the privately-run Little Gems nurseries in Milngavie and Westerton.

The MP for East Dunbartonshire says she has long been calling for the council to conduct a thorough review of nursery provision.

Ms Swinson said that in a meeting in June 2011, council officials recognised the need for a review, but to date none has taken place.

She said: “The council may not be to blame for the Little Gems nursery closures but they are part and parcel of a larger problem.

“The council has been promising a strategic review of nursery provision for almost two years, with no sign of it. Parents depend on nurseries to help them juggle work and family life.

“The council needs to make sure there is adequate provision and do more to keep nurseries open.”

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “East Dunbartonshire Council Early Years Childcare Team gave a lot of support to Little Gems as they do with all their partner nurseries.

“I am not sure what more the council could have done to save this private business and certainly a review would have made no difference.

“Our resources are all stretched, but staff are doing the best they can within reduced budgets in local government. I’m happy to discuss that problem at any time with Ms Swinson.

“The council does meet its statutory provision working in partnership, but we will carry out a review.”

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