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Outcry over decision to close Shrewsbury nursery

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | Education | Published:

A nursery is at serious risk of closure this summer after Shropshire Council threw out its petition.

Sunflower House. Photo: Google

Earlier this year, Sunflower House Nursery in Shrewsbury was told by the authority that it must be out of its base in Kendal Road, Harlescott, by August 30.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition to get the decision overturned.

Despite support from a number of councillors, it was thrown out at the Shropshire Council meeting last week.

Councillor Kevin Pardy told members he had been inundated with concerns emails from parents.

“What I have read about this situation doesn’t put the council in a good light,” he said.

“There has been no consideration for the future of the business, jobs or the damage it will cause to the children. The council only began to try and think about an alternative after an outcry.”

'Ashamed'

Sunflower Nursery will have to vacate the building because the centre has been earmarked by the authority to become one of seven new hubs following the reorganisation of Sure Start.

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Shropshire Council has said it will attempt to find an alternative location but still nothing has been found months down the line.

Portfolio holder for children’s services, Councillor Ed Potter, said: “While we appreciate that this will upset the families using the nursery, a sizeable amount of discussion was held with the owners of the business.

“I am very mindful of the impact the decision will have on the community. We will do all we can to help families access other provision. So I propose we take no further action.”

Councillor Roger Evans said he is “ashamed” at the way the nursery has been treated and has asked the council to call the decision into the scrutiny committee.

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“I am disappointed and even ashamed at the answer given by the cabinet member in answer to this well supported petition,” he said.

“It is not good enough to just state that belatedly that council will look at how we can help provide alternative premises.

"To give the minimum needed legal notice of six months and not do anything until elected members raise this problem and then to sit on it is not acceptable.

“I will request details as to what exactly the council is doing to help ensure this much needed facility remains available in the area.”

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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