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Tots are still waiting for their new nursery
TOTS have been unable to go to nursery for nearly four months because of long delays installing a new building.
The ageing demountable which housed South Green Nursery, in Billericay, was knocked down in the summer to make way for a new and improved building.
The nursery, for children aged three to five years old, was closed during the school holidays in July and August, and was due to re-open last month.
However, parents are still without nursery care for their children after a gas pipe, which needs to be dug up and rerouted, was discovered by builders.
One angry mum, who did not want to be named, said: “Essex County Council do not prioritise a nursery as urgent and we have been left waiting for it to decide when the work can be done.
Some children have now been out of education for more than 14 weeks.
“It has been suggested to parents other establishments will take the children on for their entitled free 15 hours a week, but we feel getting young children settled into a new nursery then having to uproot them again to take them back to South Green is really unfair. While all this is going on, South Green is missing out on vital funding.”
Five units which will make up the new nursery, including a large play area, classroom, and quiet room, were built off site.
Work to connect and clad them was expected to take three to five weeks.
EssexCounty Council revealed work on the gas pipe finally began on Wednesday this week.
Builders are expected to continue with the installation of the building, in the grounds of South Green Infant School, in Ganels Road, from Monday, but a date for the nursery opening has not yet been set.
An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Prior to the delivery of a new permanent nursery building, an unrecorded gas pipe was exposed during excavations which required diverting around this location.
“Essex County Council has worked closely with the utility supplier and utility works are taking place at the site to divert this gas pipe. The timescale for these works was hastened due to the importance of establishing the new building for the children who attend the nursery.
“The installation of the new building is planned to recommence on Monday, October 21.
Essex County Council has kept the school continually involved and informed throughout this process.”
South Green Infant School and Nursery declined to comment.
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