THE Labour group on Hillingdon Council has been thwarted in a bid to stop the closure of the borough’s Early Years centres.

It tabled a motion at the last council meeting, asking the Conservative-led administration to review its decision to shut centres on the grounds of cost.

Labour leader Cllr Peter Curling urged the council to explore alternative ways of tackling a budget deficit.

Cllr Curling said: “The families impacted are distraught, and I have been an active supporter of the fantastic, resident-led Save Our Early Years Centres campaign. We will continue fighting to stop this injustice.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown, the council’s early years centres were the only ones in the borough open for the children of NHS staff.”

Conservative group leader Cllr Ian Edwards replied: “The closure of the council's nurseries is regretted but is inevitable.

“For a number of years, [they] have required a subsidy of about £6,000 per place from council tax payers to operate.

“This subsidy benefits only about 1% of nursery children and is not targeted at those most in need of help.

“All council tax payers, including the families of the 99% of children who use other nurseries, are having to underwrite [them].

“We all have to be careful about how we spend our money and have to make difficult choices to make ends meet.”