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Blandford Nursery Safe for Now

Blandford Nursery Protest

12:37pm 8th April 2014

A Blandford Nursery that was threatened with closure is to remain open until at least the end of the 2014.

Dorset County Council announced the town's only nursery was set to close last year because they could no longer afford to keep it running, after losing a government grant.

Campaigning parents put pressure on leaders and managed to save the Sure Start hub from closing its doors with the local authority saying they'd keep it open and help search for another provider to take it over.

Months on, and Dorset County Council say that the Blandford Nursery will stay open and run on a new business model from September.

But there won't be provisions for under 2's and some staff will lose their jobs if the structure is signed off.

The news comes just two weeks before the end of an extensive public consultation between parents, nursery workers and Children’s Services.

Dorset County couldn’t put someone forward for an interview with us but did provide us with a statement from the head of family support, Vanessa Glenn;

"We have extended the consultation period to make sure that staff, parents and carers have their say on the proposed operational model for Blandford nursery.

"The feedback we have already received has been extremely positive.

"The final draft of the plan will be available by the end of April."

A spokesperson at the Council added; "The proposed new model will be implemented from the 1st September with a proposed review built into the process to take place in December."

Paul Butcher takes his three year old son to the nursery and attended the most recent public meeting for parents with Children's Services. He says if the Blandford hub was to close he'd be in a real tricky position.

He's pleased with news but still feels a little on edge about the future;

"We're still a little bit apprehensive because we don't know the details and we don't know how it will work out, with the monitoring period, so fingers crossed it will all go to plan. But it is really good news and good for continuity. Hopefully we'll have continuous support from the local council to keep it running."

"The positive message is the nursery will continue to be monitored so it's not a review period in December to see if it will definitely close, it will be a continuous cycle and hopeful run into the next year."

Dorset County Council say they'll announce more details on the future of Blandford's Sure Start Nursery at the end of the month (April).

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