Reduction in Hours Would Impact Community
Local MP Alyn Smith has backed a local campaign to halt planned Stirling Council cuts to Fintry Nursery’s opening hours, as part of the recently passed Council budget.
Residents and parents in Fintry have reacted with anger and disbelief at plans from Stirling Council to reduce the village nursery’s operational hours – part of a controversial budget recently passed by the Labour minority administration, supported by the Stirling Tories.
According to a public petition launched by the Fintry Parent Council, the nursery opening hours will be reduced from 8-6pm Monday-Friday to 9-3pm Monday-Friday, in efforts to save around £28,000 in 2023/2024 and close to £17,000 the following year. Parents will no longer be able to pay for extra days or hours beyond their state-funded nursery hours, and the nursery itself stands to lose one staff member.
Questions also remain over where children will be placed once Fintry’s overall capacity has been reduced. Nearby nurseries in Balfron, Killearn and Arnprior are thought to be near their current capacity.
Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:
‘Thriving rural communities are vital to Stirling’s overall success, and Fintry is no exception. Whilst I understand the budget process can be difficult, the community outcry at the Labour-Tory Council’s decision to cut back on Fintry Nursery’s hours must surely give the policymakers pause.
‘Reliable, affordable child care provides a huge boost to a local economy, as well as helping reduce inequalities. I urge Stirling Councillors to reconsider this decision in light of the facts, as well as the prevailing feeling amongst the Fintry community.’
Rosemary Fraser, SNP Councillor for Ward 2 Forth & Endrick, which covers Fintry, said:
‘This budget has been a shambles, and the community pushback here in Fintry has been huge. Parents and residents can see the future implications for the village, even if Stirling Council can’t. A reduction in local nursery provision will have profound implications for Fintry Primary School, especially once catchment areas and childhood friendships come into play.
‘If these cuts are not reconsidered, we may well see Fintry Primary School come under pressure too. Fintry is a wholly viable, sustainable and thriving rural community – they don’t deserve to have these cuts imposed on them, especially with no notice or consultation.
‘I urge Stirling Labour to do what’s right by Fintry, and revisit the sums. Establish the facts, do your homework – and I’ll stand with you in reversing these cuts in Fintry.’
The petition can be found here.