Becci Heagney, North West Socialist Party organiser
The ‘fight for the five’ campaign, which is trying to save the remaining local authority nurseries in Salford, took their battle to parliament on 25 April. A coach full of parents, children, staff, trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners and councillors travelled to London to meet with MPs and protest outside the Department of Education.
The nurseries are under threat of closure or privatisation because of the cuts to the ‘dedicated schools grant’. Labour-controlled Salford council has been forced, because of the mass campaign which has held a huge march through the city, to find the extra money to keep the nurseries open for another year.
However, they are currently consulting on alternative options such as private or voluntary organisation provision.
A petition will now be organised that can be presented to the government – Tory ministers have agreed to meet the campaign on 16 May.
Afterwards, a noisy protest was held outside the Department of Education and Salford is also linking up with similar campaigns in Cambridge and Birmingham to really put the demand for excellent quality, publicly run nurseries on the map.