Nursery Nurses No Longer Focus of Cuts

The Executive of the London Borough of Hounslow agreed last night to withdraw proposals to reduce the number of nursery nurses in reception classes in favour of a reduction in growth to education budgets across all age ranges in schools.

“We have listened to parents who tell us they want do not want any reduction in the quality of service for reception classes and under fives” said Cllr John Connelly, Leader of the Council. “As a result we will be looking at a reduction in the growth of the education budget across all age ranges.

“Hounslow is spending up to 54% more on services for under fives than some of our neighbouring boroughs, however if parents would prefer to see cuts across the whole age range rather than concentrated in reception classes then we are prepared to accept that view.”

Hounslow Council is facing tough decisions over its budget this year. The Council has received one of the lowest government grant settlements in London. The authority claims this leaves them with a stark choice – reduce services or increase Council Tax.

Education spending takes up more of the budget than the cost of all of the other services combined (54%) and in recent years the Council points out that it has increased spending by over £2 million more than the government’s allocation.

A consultation is about to start with residents across the borough asking them for their service priorities for the whole range of Council services from pavement repairs to libraries. They are also being asked what Council Tax increase they would prefer in order to pay for them. A final decision on the Council’s budget will be made on 5 March.

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