Joint Statement on Nursery Provision in Arundel

We are pleased to update you on the situation regarding nursery provision in Arundel following a meeting on Friday 28 March.  Those involved in the meeting were: Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel & South Downs; Cllr Mark Dunn, WSCC Cabinet Member for Children and Young People; Cllr David Britton, WSCC Member for Arundel and Wick, Cllr Paul Dendle, Arun District Council; Cllr David Wood, Arundel Town Council; Matthew Jones, Constituency Researcher for Nick Herbert; and Sue Berelowitz, Head of Integrated Services, WSCC.

Old School Nursery

The nursery has been issued with a notice to quit because Arundel CE Primary School requires the space for an additional classroom as they are increasing their intake from September 2008.  This decision is entirely within the control of the school governors because the school is a church aided school and owns its own premises.  West Sussex County Council has no powers to affect this decision.

The County Council is committed to securing the long-term future of the nursery and is actively exploring a number of options so that the nursery can continue to operate from September 2008.  A potential venue has been identified and David Wood, with Nick Herbert's support, will be urgently commencing negotiations to secure permission for the use of this building.  West Sussex County Council is committed to funding any necessary refurbishments to ensure the premises are suitable for young children.

In the longer term, discussions are underway with the Arundel Lido Trustees about the possibility of the nursery relocating to a new building on the Lido site as one of a number of community user groups.  This too looks promising and would provide an ideal venue for young children.

The intention therefore is to secure temporary premises from September 2008 with the hope of a permanent move to the Lido in 18 months to 2 years.

Finally, the option of a portacabin on the school playing fields is also being explored as a contingency plan.

Butterflies

All plans to use the building for a pupil referral unit have been suspended indefinitely.  The nursery is therefore secure.

We can assure you that all parties are working very actively to ensure that both Old School Nursery and Butterflies continue and we will keep you updated on further progress.

Nick Herbert                                       
MP for Arundel & South Downs       

Cllr Mark Dunn
Cabinet Member, Children & Young People, West Sussex County Council

Michelle Taylor