Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Parents revive creches campaign

Young  creche protester
Campaigners have protested against previous creche centre cuts

More than 200 parents have resurrected a campaign to save the four remaining Edinburgh Leisure-run creches from closure.

Edinburgh Leisure officials have decided to close the creches by March 2010.

The council-funded body said the decision would go ahead unless an alternative service provider was found within months.

The recession has been blamed for the move.

Edinburgh Leisure operates creches at Ainslie Park Leisure Centre, Drumbrae Leisure Centre, Portobello Swim Centre and Gracemount Leisure Centre.

Parents campaigned over creche closures last year.

They are now planning a series of demonstrations as part of their revived campaign.

Shairron Murray, 37, a mother-of-two from Davidson's Mains, said: "We are devastated by the news of all the creche closures with Edinburgh Leisure.

"We will have nobody to look after the children during the day which will halt all exercise for me.

"I will have to stop both children's swimming lessons as I need to be able to put one child in the creche while I take the second one to their lesson.

"The decision to close the creches is an extremely selfish and short-sighted one."

'Wonderful creche'

Vikki Wall, 32, also from Davidson's Mains, said: "I have used the Ainslie Park creche now for over four years, starting when my first son was 11 months old.

"A friend suggested the gym at Ainslie Park as it had this wonderful creche.

"I have to say that that was the best thing I have ever done.

"It got me out of the house a couple of mornings a week and got me socialising."

Gillian Munro, 36, a mother-of-two from Leith, said: "We moved to Edinburgh when my daughter was a little less than one, and quite shortly after I started to leave her in the creche at Portobello while I swam or went to a class.

"It was her first experience of being away from me, and it did us both the world of good, and in fact probably gave me the confidence to think of going back to work and moving on with life."

Edinburgh Leisure said it was no longer affordable to pay the £12 subsidy per visit for each child to its creches.

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