Creche closure ‘minor’ impact’: report

The closure of a daycare nursery at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus will have “minor adverse impacts”, a leaked confidential report has revealed.

Derry MLA Pat Ramsey, who has seen a copy of the document, says he is shocked and angered at its conclusions.

The SDLP Assemblyman is again calling on the University to halt the planned closure of the Magee and Jordanstown creches this summer.

Mr Ramsey said: “I have consistently called on the University of Ulster to halt its closure of these two facilities in order for the Employment and Learning Committee to investigate the basis for the closures and to hear from both the University and the users of the daycare nurseries.

“I facilitated staff and users to meet the Committee in March and we agreed to contact the University formally to ask for them to stop any moves towards closing Magee and Jordanstown facilities.

“I have now received a confidential document which outlines the impact the decision to close the nurseries will have. I am shocked and angered that it contains the outcomes that ‘the policy is likely to have minor adverse impacts on current and future users of the University’s nurseries, in particular, young female students who are single parents, and female staff’.”

Mr. Ramsey said he was “absolutely astounded” that the University seemed to regard redundancies of all staff at the daycare nurseries to be a ‘minor impact’.

“Equally shocking is the conclusion that those who use the daycare nurseries will be able simply to access other facilities close by, particularly when it is clear the sector itself is over capacity.

“I do not understand how making staff redundant and reducing the direct services the University makes available to students and staff fits in with the repeated calls from senior management that Magee, in particular, needs support to grow.”