For the last six months Wandsworth’s Labour Councillors and Sadiq Khan MP have been working hard with parents and carers to fight the council’s plans for the closure of One O’clock play clubs.
Those of you who have ever been along to a One O’Clock Club will know what a vital resource they are in our community – providing the much-needed opportunity to talk with other parents in an environment where children can play safely. That’s why local parents were outraged when the council first announced their plans to close the clubs in January.
Parents have campaigned, signed petitions and marched through the streets of Wandsworth in opposition to the cuts. The good news is that at a town hall meeting this week the Tories backed down: Stay and Play has been saved at all centres except Battersea Park, nursery workers at Windmill, Bolingbroke, and Coronation Gardens jobs have been saved and charges will be kept affordable. But despite support from independents on the committee, Labour’s amendment to cap charges at £1 was defeated by the Tories.
We have come such a long way. When the plans were first announced the council wanted to close the afternoon clubs completely: but now, thanks to a fantastic campaign, families will be able to use the clubs in the afternoon and access the outdoor space for free in the late afternoons and at weekends.
Labour Education Speaker Cllr. Sheila Boswell said: ‘All in all an innovative campaign with a powerful alliance between ‘Nappy Valley’ parents, Battersea and Wandsworth trade unions, Labour Councillors and Tooting’s Labour MP. There is a lot to be proud of.’
Nappy Valley Parents