Last Tuesday, Edinburgh Leisure announced its plans to close its remaining crèches in the capital. The crèches at Ainslie Park, Drumbrae, Gracemount and Portobello are to shut, due to lack of funding, in March 2010 unless an alternative provider can be found. We fear one crèche, at Ainslie Park, may not reopen after Christmas.
Closure will have a huge negative impact on the lives of many families in the city, never mind on the dedicated staff who'll lose their jobs. The service currently provided is excellent. Its loss would be a terrible blow for the parents/carers and children who use the crèches. If people can't access health and fitness services they are less able to look after themselves, and the children they care for. The impact mentally and physically could be immense on individuals and increase pressure on the health service at a time when all political parties say they accept the need (and indeed actively lobby) for better health services - what use are Leisure Centres a significant section of the community cannot access?
Coverage of the decision has already begun – see the BBC News site here.