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Posted on 27 September 2012 at 16:41 GMT

Leicester HMRC Nursery protest, 27.9.12, photo Karl Cross

Leicester HMRC Nursery protest, 27.9.12, photo Karl Cross   (Click to enlarge)

Day of Action to save HMRC nurseries

Around 30 parents and children who use the nursery at the HMRC site in Nottingham protested this morning against its proposed closure.

Wearing colourful t-shirts, blowing whistles and waving flags and banners made it a very lively and noisy protest.

This was part of a national day of action to save the nurseries at several sites across the country. PCS members are angry about the closure as they feel that the sites will be sold off to or rented by a private company for their own use. However, they are not being told by HMRC why it is being closed.

Parents on the protest told the Socialist how beneficial it is to have a nursery at work so that they can bring their children there and manage their working hours to be able to take their children home at a reasonable time.

If they need to find alternative childcare, it will cause massive disruption to their and their children's lives. And that's if they can find a place elsewhere!

There was much support from other workers at the site and from people walking and driving past. PCS will be discussing the next steps in this campaign to save the nurseries.

Becci Heagney, Nottingham Socialist Party
Leicester HMRC Nursery protest, 27.9.12, photo Karl Cross

Leicester HMRC Nursery protest, 27.9.12, photo Karl Cross   (Click to enlarge)

.

Leeds

Leeds HMRC PCS workers protest proposals to close nurseries, photo by Iain Dalton

Leeds HMRC PCS workers protest proposals to close nurseries, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Around 30 PCS reps and activists protested outside Peter Bennett House in West Park, Leeds today against the proposals to close eight workplace nurseries in HMRC, including at that site.

Parents have been given only 12 weeks' notice of these changes whilst most other nurseries have six month waiting lists and are likely to be more expensive.

These closures will cost nursery workers their jobs as well as affecting some HMRC staff who will be forced to either reduce their hours or give up work because of the lack of childcare facilities.

Leeds HMRC PCS workers protest against proposals to close nurseries, photo by Iain Dalton

Leeds HMRC PCS workers protest against proposals to close nurseries, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Many reps were angry that HMRC calls itself a family-friendly employer but can't even provide something as basic as childcare. The campaign is ongoing, demanding that all the nurseries are kept open.

A petition can be signed at bit.ly/OftEwo and letters of complaint can be sent to david.gauke@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk

Iain Dalton, Leeds North West Socialist Party

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 27 September 2012 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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