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Southwark Labour councillors lead fight to save local nursery


21 August 2014
Tower Bridge Rd nursery Smart Start Centre nursery on Tower Bridge Road has been saved after a campaign by local parents and Labour councillors Claire Maugham and Neil Coyle to stop the nursery being turned into flats.

Smart Start Centre nursery has been running for 11 years and is much loved by loyal parents in the local area. The popular nursery is oversubscribed and has a long waiting list, as well as 77 children and 6 babies currently being cared for in the nursery.

The nursery was under threat by a planning application to turn the building into flats, which was challenged by Labour councillors who mobilised parents and staff to submit their objections to the development. The Labour councillors challenged the applicant’s assertion that there were sufficient spaces at other local nurseries and planning officers agreed with this challenge, leading to the planning application being withdrawn.

Labour Councillors are now supporting the nursery with its plans to expand further into adjacent vacant premises on Tower Bridge Road to meet demand. 

Chaucer ward councillor Claire Maugham said:

“I’m delighted that our campaign to save this much-loved local nursery from closure has been a success. At a time when parents are struggling to access quality affordable childcare it is more important than ever that we support local childcare providers and the support from parents for this campaign is testament to the great work Smart Start Centre does in caring for local children.”

Christine, Manager of the Smart Start Nursery, said: "All the parents and staff are so relieved that the nursery will remain open.  We're so grateful for all the support our parents and neighbours showed to the nursery - and for the help of our local councillors."


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