Nursery to stay open

FOLLOWING a public consultation into the future of the Oasis Day Nursery in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire County Council has decided the Nursery should remain open and continue to operate from the Children’s Centre.

Nearly 250 responses to the consultation were received, of which over 180 favoured keeping the nursery open.

Wisbech North County Councillor Samantha Hoy supported the need for the nursery to be kept open.

A total of 11 per cent of respondents were in support of the authority tendering for another organisation to take over the running of elements of the Oasis Nursery, while only four per cent indicated a preference for the Nursery to close.

The County Council also asked whether any other childcare providers would be interested in taking over the running of the childcare facility on the Oasis Nursery site.

As a result of the feedback, County Council officers concluded that:

1. Option 1 - to close the Oasis Nursery and redirect parents to other childcare provision should not be pursued further.

2. A proposal identifying how the County Council might continue running a childcare facility on site, and the costs of doing so should be developed as a new alternative option.

3. A formal tender exercise inviting applications from other childcare providers, to offer an alternative to the County Council running the Nursery, should be undertaken.

4. Consultation should be done on both of the above options using the methods employed during the original consultation.

Cllr Hoy said: “I am very happy that the nursery will be staying open - it is a vital facility for the North of Wisbech. I am looking forward to working with residents and the County Council to find the best way forward. I was also pleased to see how involved local residents became in their campaign. The fact that the nursery will remain open illustrates the value of consultation and the County Council’s commitment to listening to the views of residents.”

The new timescale for this second phase of the review is as follows: January Preparation of Authority proposal and tender specification. 30 January - 26 Feb the second phase of public consultation, including public meeting to outline proposals. 17 April Cabinet meeting: decision sought on recommendation.

23 April tendering process commences.