Little Owls Nursery protest. Photo: Leeds SP
Little Owls Nursery protest. Photo: Leeds SP

‘Isabelle Grant’, Leeds Socialist Party

Around 20 parents and trade unionists marched against the proposed closure of Kentmere Little Owls nursery on 18 May.

Leeds City Council will decide in June the fate of council-run Little Owls nurseries across the city. Three face closure, a further 12 face privatisation.

Kentmere Little Owls is a small nursery in the heart of its community, next to the local community centre and small shopping area. We marched down to the Green, a short walk from the Seacroft Little Owls.

Children at Kentmere have been guaranteed places at Seacroft. However, there has been no real consideration of the impact on working parents, especially those who don’t drive. Our march between the two took over half an hour – too long for any of the children to have walked.

Local Labour MP Richard Burgon’s office lies between the two nurseries. Several parents have written to him since the start of the campaign but we are still awaiting a response. Parents who have previously voted and campaigned for him to be elected feel abandoned.

Most welcome was the support of the Unison local government branch, which has backed the campaign and sent a speaker to the march.

We urge both Richard Burgon MP and local councillors to work with parents and trade unions in the campaign to defend a vital resource that is at the heart of the local community, and fight to demand from central government the funding needed to keep them open.