Parents campaigning against closure of crèche services in Ipswich vow to fight on

Julie Bloomfield and Claire Kendall say they will continue to fight on following the decision to clo

Julie Bloomfield and Claire Kendall say they will continue to fight on following the decision to close creche services in Ipswich - Credit: Gregg Brown

Parents protesting the closure of crèches in Ipswich say they are upset by the decision, claiming their views were not heard.

Ipswich Borough Council voted through plans on Wednesday to axe the service at Crown Pools as well as at sports centres at Whitton and Gainsborough.

Mums and dads who use the service launched a campaign to save the service collecting signatures for a petition against the plans.

Claire Kendall, one of the campaign’s organisers, said they would be out in Ipswich on Saturday this weekend collecting more signatures in protest to the closure.

She said: “I know so many mums who use the crèche. “I am upset but I expected the decision was going to be made.

“It was a really vital service to me because I am an older mum and really struggled to adapt to my new role. “I was working as a railway guard before, a very sociable job, and went from that to being home 24 hours a day.

“I found it hard to adapt to my new identity.

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“I had always swam, doing lengths calmed me down and relaxed me and makes you feel better when I am upset in life.

“The crèche enabled me to have a little bit of my life back and be myself again.”

Julie Bloomfield, who also led the campaign, said she felt the reasons for people signing up for an iCard, which allows access to the sports centres, was not taken into consideration by the council.

She said: “I think what we are quite angry about is how the figures were being presented by the council.

“It didn’t take into consideration that many people have an iCard because of the crèche.

“We felt they cherry picked the figures to make out there was a smaller number using the service.

“At the moment I use crown pools and am about to do an aqua class.

“That is now something I now won’t be able to do.

“What I worry about is all these mums in the future who won’t have the service.

“It was never set up as a money making business, it was never supposed to be.

“It was about parent health and wellbeing.

“We will carry on fighting.

“We just want our views to be considered, we would really like a consultation.”