Parents fight to reverse cut to crèche hours

Parents petitioning against the cuts to the creche hours
Parents petitioning against the cuts to the creche hours

A mother of one has started a petition to get Lifestyles@tiddenfoot to reverse the decision to cut the crèche hours on a Friday afternoon.

Zoe Tofield, of Leighton Buzzard, was shocked to discover that the Friday session was cut from four hours to just 90 minutes, without any parents being notified.

The 41-year-old has the support of other mothers who use the service, she said: “I joined Tiddenfoot gym in the summer after the birth of my son. I had suffered nerve damage due to the anaesthetic and was barely walking for several weeks, I also have multiple sclerosis.

“The crèche made a huge difference to my life, without it I would not be able to use the gym which has become essential to getting back on my feet.

“The slot has been given to another group in addition to the room they already used. The leisure centre and council need to help parents, we need to make our voices heard.”

The petition has over 180 signatures.

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman said: “We are sorry that some customers are frustrated about the crèche opening hours being reduced, and we will be responding directly to them in full.

“We do understand that it is important for parents using the leisure centre to have access to this facility, however, we need to consider the space we have available and ensure that we best meet the needs of all of our customers.

“We are currently looking at increasing the crèche opening hours at other times of the day, allowing customers with young children to take part in more activities.

“This is part of a review of all the activities taking part at lifestyles@tiddenfoot.

“A draft programme will be completed by the new year, and we will ensure that centre users have the chance to comment on this and give feedback, including at a customer forum on 21 January, before the final programme is introduced in February.”