£400k build costs scuppered nursery

Editor – In the interests of a complete story about the closure of Racing Start Nursery, Lincolnshire County Council would have had a bill of more than £400,000 for the cost of a modular building which the present provider could not finance.

The closure was also considered in the light of there being sufficient childcare places in the area.

The Government grant for our Local Authority capital pot for children’s provision ceased in 2010. This could have been used for a building, but now any capital funding would have to come from LCC.

The town council did not “block” the site at De Aston Field because they have no power in the matter of planning applications. Their role is purely consultative. It is the district council that rules on these matters. In this case there were objections from residents, and the land there had other problems.

We could not opt for De Aston School because the governors did not agree to the reduction in school sports land.

The primary school was discounted because it is too close to at least two other child facilities and has a Sure Start attached to it.

We even looked at two sites in Wragby, but ruled them out because they had no outside play areas.

We could have had racecourse land for an inexpensive ground lease which could have been passed on to the provider, and therefore cost-neutral to the taxpayer. But here we encountered the £400,000 building price.

The nursery will now close on July 19. Because Town and Country Kiddies have just expanded, there are enough 0-5 year old places for the 11 children using Racing Start.

Coun Burt Keimach

Member LCC Children’s and Young People’s Scrutiny Committee & Leader of WLDC