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CONTROVERSIAL plans to merge two Newport nurseries could be given the green light next week after the final consultation raised no objections.

If approved Kimberley Nursery School and Fairoak Nursery School would merge.

A council report says the final stage – a 28-day statutory notice – received no formal objections despite a petition against the proposal racking up more than 1,200 signatures.

Parents at both nurseries had previously raised concerns over the proposal to merge the two nurseries, which are 2.7 miles apart.

Concerns were also raised by residents and parents in the initial consultation stage, with more than half of respondents against the proposal.

If given the go-ahead, the two nurseries would merge to form a single nursery school on the current Fairoak site from September 2021.

The proposals come after declining pupil numbers and an increasing deficit.

The report on the final proposal says Kimberley Nursery School is projected to be in deficit by £125,000 at the end of the 2020/21 financial year, while Fairoak Nursery School is projected a surplus of £2,000 for the same period.

The report on the proposal says the move could help save the council £65,000 a year.

The report says:

“The proposal will reduce the number of surplus places currently available in standalone nursery schools across the city.

“The larger Fairoak building is sufficiently large enough to accommodate the children on roll across both schools.

“Kimberley Nursery School has been operating with a worsening deficit budget for the last four years, and currently there is no achievable plan to recover this.

“The communication class hosted at Kimberley Nursery School is a much-needed valuable and beneficial resource providing specialist nursery education to children across Newport. Under this proposal, this provision will continue on the Fairoak site.”

A decision will be made on whether to merge the two nurseries by the executive member for education, Cllr Gail Giles, on Tuesday (February 16).

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