Cllr Julia Davidson and I recently handed in a petition of around 1000 signatures (the largest petition EVER handed in for this area in 14 years) from concerned parents, who were campaigning for action following news that Funbase on Gunthorpe Road, was due to close.
Local parents in Gunthorpe, who used the after school and holidays club, discovered that it was set to close after it was given ‘inadequate’ ratings in an Ofsted inspection.
Instead of simply accepting this news, several leading lights took up the campaign, held meetings, door knocked and collected 1000 signatures, calling for action from the City Council, to ensure that the service was maintained.
Within the days of the petition being completed the City Council announced, the after-school and holiday club threatened with closure, would remain open after charity Barnardo’s took over as its new provider.
Barnardo’s will assume the role previously provided by Funbase and develop the childcare offer for families from this month.
Local Lib Dem councillor Julia Davidson, arranged a meeting with the heads of department and the CEO of Peterborough City Council, Gillian Beasley, and also secured a follow up meeting at the Town Hall to present the petition.
There has been a lot of concern in Gunthorpe about this – parents didn’t know what was happening. But they thought on their toes, created a WhatsApp group, organised a petition, and canvassed their neighbours and local councillors.
The Ofsted reports were not good, but many families rely on this service.
So it is welcome news that it will continue. That said, I am not ignorant to, what I consider the Council’s failure to support Funbase previously, and I made that clear at the meeting, which admittedly caused one or two heads to turn.
- Barnardo’s already run a child care service at the Fulbridge Acadamey.