Emergency meeting to save pre-school

An emergency meeting will be held tonight in a bid to save a pre-school in Shropshire described as “an asset to the community” from closure.

Tibberton Pre-School, near Newport, is facing the axe after Government grants dried up. The volunteer-run pre-school has been run in the village for more than 30 years.

Tonight’s meeting at Tibberton School hall at 7.30pm will be held to discuss the pre-school’s financial problems and possible solutions.

There are two paid staff at the nursery, which is next door to Tibberton Primary School.

Committee member Helen Osterfield, headteacher at the primary school, said grants which the pre-school previously had access to were no longer available due to UK-wide cuts.

She said: “We have insufficient funds to keep the pre-school going for an extended period of time. Grants which we’ve been able to access in the past no longer exist.”

Parents said it would be a great shame if the pre-school was forced to shut its doors.

Lucy Benting has a four-year-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son at the nursery.

She said: “We live locally so it would mean we would have to travel further afield. It would be a big shame because the staff are very good. It brings the community together. It means local mums can chat and local kids mix together.

“I am hoping something can be done to save it.”

Emma Woolley, meanwhile, has three-and-a-half-year-old twins at the pre-school. “It came as a bit of a shock,” she said. “They are settled here and it would be a shame if they had to move somewhere else. It’s an asset to the community.”

Miss Osterfield said the pre-school has no debts but cannot carry on as it is.

She said: “Voluntary committees are entirely liable for debts. We don’t want to get into that position. It’s a tremendous shame. People have worked tirelessly over the years. It has been extremely well managed.”

There are currently about a dozen children on the pre-school’s books.