A MUM has spoken out against plans to shut the last Bolton Council run nursery – saying earmarking it for closure is an 'easy target'

Harvey Nursery in Great Lever is under threat again with campaigners desperately fighting to keep it open.

Nasira Mitha’s eldest son, Salahuddin Adam, has attended Harvey’s for the last couple of years, and her youngest is due to start in April.

She said: “Stop looking at The Harvey Nursery as an easy target, it just needs to be given a proper chance.”

Mrs Mitha and her husband both work full time and Harvey’s offer a year-round service, something which, she says not all nurseries in the area offer, so closure would likely cause considerable stress and cost implications: “I honestly don’t know what I’d do with my son.

“Anyone who’s had children go to nursery knows it’s an anxious time for the parent and the child. The settling in process can take a while, so to move a child on to a different nursery isn’t easy."

She met with councillors Martin Donaghy and Madeline Murray, who are part of the group fighting to keep the nursery open.

Cllr Donaghy, Bolton Labour group's children's services spokesman, says the decision to close the nursery – which could be as early as August of this year – should be relooked at.

He 'called in' the decision so all councillors could vote on the future of the nursery.

Cllr Donaghy said: "We’ve had a global pandemic, beginning with a national lockdown in March 2020. People didn’t need nurseries – they were furloughed, they were at home looking after their children.

"How could you use that as a benchmark period to make a decision? It’s madness."

Children's services bosses say that a plan was put forward in 2018 to secure the future of Harvey Nursery which was dependant on reaching 75 per cent capacity and bringing charges in line with other childcare providers.

But add that the nursery has never achieved 75 per cent and in September was only 44 per cent full and it is costing £100,000 plus a year to keep open.

A spokesman said that if the nursery closes families would be supported to find alternative provision.