Yes, Sir; the Kent County Council has decided to close five of the 10 nurseries as from today, and to keep the remaining five open for the time being; I understand that the Council considered the extent of the need for the provision of this service, and the decision was in accordance with the advice which I had given.
Do I now understand that it was the Minister who said that five were to be closed now and, to avoid hardship, another five on 31st March? Is he aware that there will then be no day nurseries at all and, because of the stringent conditions of admission for the children of widows and unmarried mothers, I plead with him to come to Crayford during the Recess to look personally into each case, because there is grave disquiet in Kent and more will be heard about it if that is the final decision.
I have dealt with this matter myself but it is primarily one for the county council. Their proposal was to close 10. I thought that was wrong and I put counter-proposals to them, which they have accepted and which I have outlined today to the hon. Member, but I am quite prepared to look at it again.