Friday, 20 June 2008

Play In - Mums and Kids Occupy Leith Victoria Creche

Today a group of mums and kids took over Leith Victoria creche in protest at the Council's failure to honour their agreement to urgently look for other sources of funding to keep the creche open. Lothian NHS had said "We would be happy to discuss this when or if it's raised by our council partner" but it took the Council over two weeks to send a letter to Lothian NHS. Hopes has been raised in May that progress could be made - read more...

All of the mums taking part in the 'play in' today felt frustrated and angry that the Council have not taken any action to avoid the creche closures at the end of this month.

The Council and Edinburgh Leisure have picked on the creche service as an easy option. Women who use the service will be excluded from the sports centres in their own communities due to lack of childcare. The creche is a service that we all subsidise through our council tax and it is crazy to stop women having the chance to exercise when it cuts the rates of post natal depression, reduces obesity, makes healthier mums which leads to happier kids.

The protest was covered in the Edinburgh Evening News (scroll to bottom of page), on Leith FM, Talk 107 and was the main news item on Radio Forth throughout the day.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Crèches are Edinburgh's best kept secret.

Why is it that when the Council and Edinburgh Leisure have a difficult problem to solve they walk away from it. The creche services offered by Edinburgh Leisure are not fully utilised and they claim they cannot afford to run them. Rather than take a creative approach and market the service better they have decided to close them. Jo Howlett argues that there are other solutions to the problem. Read her Mouthpiece in tonights' Evening News.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Shy Bairns Get Nowt!

A deputation of women and children protesting against the creche closures in Edinburgh today persuaded the City of Edinburgh Council to urgently look for alternative funding to stop the closure of the threatened creches.

Just goes to prove - if you don't ask - you definitely don't get!

We now need to ensure this becomes a reality and quickly, the creches are due to
close at the end of June. Let's make sure this stays a high priority for the councillors .

Well done to everyone who has kept this campaign going.

Council notes the demand by crèche users to ‘Explore alternative funding sources within and outwith the Council to replace funding withdrawn by the Council from the grant to Edinburgh Leisure‘.

Council therefore instructs officials to enter into urgent dialogue with Lothian Health Board with a view to utilising funding streams to close the funding gap for Leith Victoria, Kirkliston, Craiglockhart, Royal Commonwealth Pool, Portobello, Drumbrae, Gracemount and Ainslie Park which has resulted in price increases or closure of crèche facilities at these centres.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Lobby the Council

The City of Edinburgh Council will next meet on Thursday 29th May at 10am at the City Chambers. We plan to be there to protest at their decision to cut funding from Edinburgh Leisure resulting in the closure of creche facilities.

Come and join us - bring your banners, balloons and bairns.

Assemble outside the City Chambers on the High Street at 9.30am.

The BBC have already promoted our event here

Sign Up to Save Our Creche Services

We intend to hand in a petition to the Council to protest at their decision to cut funding to Edinburgh Leisure, resulting in the closure of our creche services. We want them to explore alternative funding sources within & outwith the council to replace funding withdrawn by the council from the grant to Edinburgh Leisure and to enter into dialogue with Lothian Health Board to utilise funding streams to close the funding gap for Leith Victoria, Kirkliston, Craiglockart, Commonwealth, Portobello, Drumbrae, Gracemount and Ainsle Park

Sign our Petition here

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Parliament Meeting a Huge Success - Committee Room Finally Comes Alive!

The campaign to Save Our Creche Services had a fantastic response to our call for a lobby at the Scottish Parliament on 1st May. Over 60 parents came to the Parliament to meet with MSPs in the Lothians to ask for their help in saving the Creches. Committee Room 1 has never been so full of life as the children played, screamed, cried and crushed their biscuits into the posh carpets! Mums from all over the city who use
Craiglockhart, Leith, Kirkliston, Portobello and the Royal Commonwealth Pool creche services attended the meeting. Parents were angry at the £2 flat fee increase that has already been slapped on the creche resulting in some women 'disappearing' as they are unable to afford the new fee. Edinburgh Councillors and Edinburgh Leisure had both refused to accept responsibility for this decision. In determined mood we agreed to fight on to ensure that women in the city have access to gym, swim and fitness classes. With the current political focus on health, it is absurd that mothers of young children are to be denied access to these facilities.
Full STV coverage here.

Friday, 18 April 2008

May Day Greetings for Edinburgh Leisure

We will be lobbying MSPs at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday May 1st.

We have arranged a meeting with Lothian MSPs interested in our campaign to Save the Creche services here in Edinburgh. Assemble outside the public entrance at 10.30am. Children welcome, also the Parliament has a free creche with some places available for the meeting - you do have to pre-book. This is an important op
portunity to protest against Edinburgh Leisure's cuts in childcare and women's access to health.

Demo To Save The Commie Pool Creche

Show your support for the creche at the Commie by joining our
Demonstration on Tuesday 22nd April 12noon

The creche at the Royal Commonwealth Pool is still under threat of closure. This well used facility is loved by many parents and carers in the local area. The Commie is to be upgraded for use in the Commonwealth Games 2014, if we don't fight to keep the creche there now - they won't give us a new one as part of the redevelopment project.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Hands up for Leith!

If you use Leith Victoria Swim Centre Creche and want to help in the campaign to keep it open then come along on Monday 14th April at 2pm to The Junction, Great Junction Street, to find out what you can do to Save Our Creche. All welcome.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Protesters braved the rain and wind last Sunday at the World Cross Country Championships to keep up the pressure on Edinburgh Leisure and the City of Edinburgh Council. While the world's media focused on the international athletes, our team reminded visitors to the event that Edinburgh needs creche services so parents can keep fit too.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Sports and Excercise for All

Bring your banners, buggies and bairns to Holyrood Park this Sunday 30th March for a demonstration at the World Cross Country Championships. Meet at noon (remember clocks will have gone forward!) at the bus stop outside the Scottish Parliament. Please let as many folk as possible know this is our chance to shame both the Council and Edinburgh Leisure about their actions.

Unhappy SNP try to pull the wool

The SNP group on the Council are now trying to take the credit for Edinburgh's Leisure's decision to amend the closure list. Their press release to the Evening News states how 'unhappy' they were and how they managed to persuade Edinburgh Leisure to change the plan. Not a mention of the protests or the complaints!

This letter Nationalists need a crèche course in consistent views spells out their recent stance on this. If there had been no protest we are sure they would have remained happy with their original decision to cut the funding to Edinburgh Leisure and take the consequences.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

And They Think It's All Over

Following huge protests from parents and carers across the city Edinburgh Leisure have been forced to reconsider their decision to close 6 out of 8 creche services in Edinburgh.

Keith Jackson, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Leisure, announced their change of plan with a revised list of creche closures. In a letter to parents he admits "the changes to the original decision have been made following consideration of representation from users and others who have contacted Edinburgh Leisure". This proves that our campaign has had a result but...................

Edinburgh Leisure still intends to close 4 out of 8 creche services.

Does he think we are daft?

Closing Kirkliston leisure centre, the Leith Victoria swim centre and Craiglockhart Tennis and Sports Centre, as well the Royal Commonwealth Pool facilities is unacceptable.

For Edinburgh Evening News coverage click here

Back to the Drawing Board Mr Jackson

Angry parents demonstrated outside Edinburgh Leisure's board meeting to ensure those responsible for closing our creches knew that we weren't accepting the decision. To see full coverage click here

On Tuesday parents caught up with Alex Salmond, First Minister, when he was in Edinburgh to launch a new Scottish Government policy on "early intervention to create a fairer society". Despite all his talk he tried to slip through the new of responsibility by stating that the creche closures were "a matter for the Council". The Herald report is here

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Dear Dear Councillor Cardownie

It had to be a man that said it, and a foolish one at that. Our Council's attitude to the provision of quality childcare as delivered on behalf of the Council via Edinburgh Leisure was summed up by Deputy Council Leader Steve Cardownie:
Edinburgh Leisure's main job is to provide sports facilities, not childcare
He just doesn't get it, without the childcare there will be no sports facilities available to thousands of parents and carers across Edinburgh. Most of these people are women and the lack of childcare is a huge barrier to women taking exercise.

See the full story in the Evening News

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Are they listening?

Over 100 parents protested outside today's council meeting - I don't recall electing these people to close our creches - do you?

To see and hear the protest on STV news click here and to read the the full details here

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Edinburgh for us or them?

This letter
appeared in the Evening News and rightly questions who the council are prioritising - tourists or residents?

Tonight's letter gives one parents' experience of the creche and the benefit that it has had for her and her family.

Well done to both, we need to complain loudly - send your letters to

Saturday, 8 March 2008

The Bad News Breaks

Edinburgh Leisure have just announced the closure of 6 of their 8 creche facilities. This announcement is a huge shock to parents and carers using the facilities. Most people who use the creches are regulars and have every confidence in this first class childcare service. Edinburgh Leisure stated:
These tough decisions were based on identifying those areas where maximum savings could be made with the minimum disruption to services
Management babble for cutting a service that is not profit making and is subsidised, exactly what you pay your council tax for - public services.

Quality Childcare - Worth fighting For