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Executive Mayor John Biggs: looking for improvement to part of the nursery sell-off proposals

Biggs sells off nurseries: fury grows

AS JOHN BIGGS – Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets – keeps tight lipped about his intention to sell off the last three Council day care nurseries to alternative providers, more people are coming forward to condemn the plans.

Cllr Rabina Khan, Leader of the Peoples Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH) Councillors, said: “Under Mayor John Biggs’s failed ambition for the borough, he spent almost £7 million pounds on redundancies and dismissals between June 2015 and the end of October 2017.

“Yet again John Biggs fails our borough by not committing to stop the privatisation of our treasured council run nurseries.  We have had a damning Ofsted Report on Children’s Services and one in three of our children live in poverty. More than ever our nurseries are a life line for our families and communities.”

Cllr Oli Rahman, Leader of the Tower Hamlets Independent Group of Councillors, was almost speechless to hear that after the negative consultation Executive Mayor still intended to go ahead. “Mothers have been fighting for months but clearly Biggs is not interested in providing efficient services,” he said.

Women members of the Save Our Nurseries campaign were equally disappointed. They had taken part in the consultation in good faith – and now felt they were being patronised and ignored.

There was a particular concern that although the Executive Mayor has given one minor response to the consultation – a promise that concerns about affordability were noted and that officers would “look again at the proposals to see if they can be improved” – the result of “looking again” will not be known until after the elections this May.

A spokeswoman for Save Our Nurseries said, “We wanted the nurseries given a full reprieve – in line with public opinion – well before the election period, because we care about the service. If John Biggs wants to play politics with our children’s future, then it will become a live election issue. We are grateful that Labour’s Rushanara Ali MP asked John Biggs to reconsider the sell-off – but we need to know where the Labour Council candidates stand on this question.”

We have asked the Council to clarify a number of points about their response to the nursery consultation and await their response. One of our questions was:
“Your PR [press release] of 9th Feb as on the Council website states:
“A summary of the consultation responses can be viewed on the council website here
“but there is nothing to click on and nothing to view.
“Can this be corrected?”

We note that press release on the website has now been changed and instead of saying
“A summary of the consultation responses can be viewed on the council website here”
it now says:
“Check the summary of the consultation responses.”
There is still no link to the consultation responses.

•Read more about it:
Biggs refuses to bow to public pressure on nurseries
Biggs finds his inner Corbyn at charity dinner



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