Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

28 OCT 2019

Maintained Nursery Schools

Thank you very much for writing to me about funding for maintained nursery Schools in England.

I agree on the importance of this being properly funded and I know that the funding has not kept pace with announcements on providing more hours. This year's spending review didn't go far enough in terms of making inroads in the funding gap and it failed to make provision for maintained nurseries that face closure from next August. I recognise that, even if future budget is allocated, failure to make longer term funding commitments well in advance is a concern. It is very hard for maintained nurseries to even meet their requirements to produce 3-year budget plans when their funding status remains uncertain. Long-term investment strategy is essential so that providers can plan and deliver the high-quality provision that children and families deserve.

I also believe it is a false economy to allow maintained nursery schools to fail; some estimates suggest that each one that was no longer there would cost other services more than £1.2 million each year, which is a great deal more than the budget of the schools themselves. I can assure you that I will be pushing for appropriate long-term funding commitments for maintained nursery schools.

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