“Our intention was always to listen, to understand and to make decisions based upon evidence and the views of everyone.”
The words of North East Lincolnshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Education, Councillor Margaret Cracknell as she announced an immediate end to the current consultation around the future of Great Coates and Scartho nurseries, and the Reynolds Day Care facilities. The settings will therefore remain open as normal with parents encouraged to enrol for the new term in September.
Instead, the council will now take time to work with staff, governors, and parents. Together they will fully assess the situation, taking account of the hundreds of views already gathered. They include positive approaches from organisations already working in local childcare, as well as parents, governors, and residents.
Once that is done, the future of the nurseries will be decided in collaboration with those responsible for their governance and management.
Councillor Cracknell said:
“As a Cabinet , taking into account the strength and breadth of feedback and representations received, we feel that continuing the consultation at this stage is not an appropriate course of action. Instead, we want to have productive and pragmatic conversations with each setting to understand what the options are. To that end, the 3 meetings that have been organised with invited representatives later this month will still take place as continued engagement and dialogue is vitally important.”
Councillor Cracknell also stressed the importance of the Council reflecting on the lessons of this process to date. “In view of the strong feedback we have received about how parents and staff were made aware of the consultation, the Leader of the council has asked the chief executive to instigate a review of this process to ensure that lessons are learned and any necessary improvements to how the Council engages and consults with key stakeholders are implemented.”