Closure of Sprouts Nursery in Wrexham to be investigated

Reporter:

Jonathan Grieve

THE closure of a nursery is to be investigated.

Sprouts Nursery in Rhosddu Road, Wrexham, closed its doors in September and now a Wrexham Council scrutiny committee has vowed to get to the bottom of why it shut.

The local authority took the decision in a meeting held behind closed doors, where it was determined that the nursery was unsustainable.

It was decided the council could not offer the financial support needed to keep Sprouts from closing.

The service, which only opened in 2015 and had been given £150,000 in Welsh Government funding as well as about £90,000 from Wrexham Council, provided full day care for up to 40 children.

Cllr Marc Jones requested the employment, business and investment scrutiny committee examine the reasons for closure.

He said: “This has been on the cards for a few months.

“It is important we do scrutinise what happened with Sprouts. It was public money and lessons need to be learned.

“We’ll scrutinise, challenge and find out what went wrong. It’s not time sensitive.”

At the time, the council’s head of education, Ian Roberts, told parents: “It is with regret that I have to inform you that as a result of ongoing concerns about the future sustainability of Sprouts Children’s Nursery, a decision has been made by the council’s executive board to close Sprouts.

“Despite the best efforts of staff and managers to develop and deliver a comprehensive childcare provision in the town centre, it has become clear the model is unsustainable without financial support from the council but unfortunately the council is not able to offer this support.

“Our priority now is to support staff and also to support you to find alternative provision for your children.

“The proposal is to close the setting by mid-September 2017 to enable you to have sufficient time to secure alternative childcare.

“We apologise sincerely for the inconvenience that will be caused by this decision, especially as we recognise that your children are settled in the nursery and supported by a very dedicated and committed staff team.”

It has not yet been decided when the matter will be brought before the scrutiny committee.

Email:

jonathan.grieve@nwn.co.uk

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