Sheffield parents seek judicial review of nursery cuts

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A group of parents has applied for a judicial review of a decision to cut funding from 20 nurseries in Sheffield.

The city council withdrew the childcare subsidy grants on 31 March as part of £50m of budget savings.

Lawyers acting for parents of children at the nurseries claim the consultation was flawed and have served papers to the High Court in Manchester.

The authority said it did not "consider it appropriate to comment in detail on legal cases".

Sheffield City Council's consultation on the redesign of its early years services ended in February.

'Severe cuts'

A report put to the authority's cabinet on 27 February said out of more than 200 childcare organisations in the city, 20 nurseries received a childcare subsidy grant, but this would be withdrawn "as a result of the severe government cuts to funding and changes in government strategies for early years".

Douglas Johnson, from Sheffield Law Centre, said: "We're acting on behalf of four parents, but of course there are parents all over the city, in the areas where these centres are, that are going to be affected by loss of service."

Genine Nuttall, deputy manager at Tinsley Green Nursery, said: "The revenue that's brought in from the children was used to keep the building going, but the local authority paid the service charge which meant that we could stay afloat.

"That money's now been withdrawn which means that we can't be sustainable anymore.

"We've all been issued with our redundancy letters, but it looks as though we'll be okay until July."

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