Mums and dads protest plans to cut ‘lifeline’ Ipswich crèches

Parents were out collecting signatures today in protest to planned closures to creche services in Ip

Parents were out collecting signatures today in protest to planned closures to creche services in Ipswich. Photo: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

Parents were out in protest today to rally against plans to close a crèche at Crown Pools in Ipswich they argue is a ‘lifeline’ for mums and dads.

The group needs 2,000 signatures to prompt Ipswich Borough Council to have a second look at a proposal to axe the service and two others at Whitton and Gainsborough sports centres.

Gemma Peck, from Great Blakenham, who was out campaigning with her two-year-old son Jacob, said the crèche had allowed her to stay healthy and to meet other parents.

“For me it is vitally important,” she said, “it is a critical service for new parents and parents with young children.

“It is the only way for me to exercise and to keep fit.

“I have a little boy and I am also 25 weeks pregnant.

“The service has helped me cope with morning sickness and depression, all the things that affect you as a young parent.

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“We understand the crèches are expensive and complex to run, we are not expecting them to just keep it as it is.

“We are just asking for some constructive consultation so it can continue to run some kind of service.”

Conservative borough councillor Nadia Cenci said the council needs to consult with parents before axing the crèches.

“We just want them to give us a chance to consult on how we can make it work,” she said.

“We don’t need this carte-blanche decision.

“I was a single parent for 11 years and was lucky I had family around to help me.

“Some women are on their own and this service keeps them healthy and sane.”

Claire Kendall, from Rushmere, said: “I have a very hyper active three-year-old girl so I need to keep myself fit and active.

“I have been using the crèches for three years and have had three years of being able to keep healthy.

“The crèches are a lifeline, they really are. A lot of mums get stuck at home and it is not healthy. With the crèche you get a break for an hour and are a better mum afterwards.

“I did cry when I found out they were being cut and I know a lot of other mums were just as upset.

“They are not supporting the communities they serve by closing these crèches.”

The council are set to discuss the plans on Tuesday March 7 at Grafton House.

For more information on the campaign against the plans see here.