TWO valued nurseries in Brent will close the council confirmed this week, in another blow to the community in turbulent times.
Members of the Brent Council Executive met on Monday night to discuss the future of the facilities at the Harmony and Treetops Children's Centres.
A crowd of passionate residents gathered, with one speaker branding the closure of the nurseries a "wanton act of vandalism".
The council says cuts in Government funding mean it can no longer afford to subsidise the nurseries.
The nursery at Treetops Children's Centre, in Willesden, will close on July 20 this year, and the nursery at Harmony Children's Centre, in Neasden, will close on March 30.
The executive agreed to close Treetops a term later to minimise disruption for youngsters due to start school in September.
In an attempt to soften the blow, councillors decided to see if any organisations wanted to let the space at Treetops to run a nursery there. Organisations will have the opportunity to make a proposal to rent the room after the council has finished its scrutiny process.
It is hoped a centre of excellence will be created at Wembley's Willow Children's Centre.
Justin Morgan, a local resident, spoke out against the plans before the executive rubber stamped them.
He said (of Treetops): "After so much investment, to close the nursery would be a wanton act of vandalism and an unforgivable waste of tax payers' money. As well as the facility, the staff have consistently achieved outstanding Ofsted reports.
"All our children are developing wonderfully, and have formed fruitful relationships with their peers and staff. The nursery provides affordable child care for over 100 local families, affordable child care really does level the playing field for all our children... There is too much at stake here."
A council spokesman said: "The committee discussed evidence showing that there is plenty of alternative, comparatively-priced child care within a reasonable distance. The council has offered individual help to families to make alternative arrangements."
Councillor Arnold said: "We have listened to what families told us, amending our proposals where we can. We have given as much support as we can to families during this difficult time and will continue to help them throughout."
Under the proposals, private, voluntary or independent organisations have four weeks during March and April to offer to offer to run a private nursery space at Treetops.
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