ANGRY parents have hit out at the decision to close the crèche at Stratford Leisure Centre.
The Stratford District Council owned centre on Bridgefoot, run by operator Everyone Active, allows parents to drop their children into the crèche for up to two hours a day while they use the facilities.
But news the service will be scrapped in July has shocked and angered those who rely on the crèche to allow them time to keep fit and unwind.
Parents have taken to social media to vent their frustration.
One mum said: “It allows us to do something for ourselves which in turn massively helps mental well-being. It was a God-send when I was battling with post natal depression. Being able to have an hour just to be, was wonderful.
“I don’t think the leisure centre fully appreciate what a negative impact this is going to have on so many peoples lives.
“The girls in the crèche are attentive, caring and my kids look forward to seeing their friends there so much.
“It is such a huge shame.”
Some called on fellow parents to boycott the centre, while others said they would no longer be able to use it without the childminding service.
Another resident added: “I feel like this is massive discrimination against women or men who have younger children who want to keep fit – be it for mental or physical reasons.
“I am in utter shock.”
Contract manager Gareth Wagg said a review had determined the crèche was consistently under-used and would be permanently closed from July 20.
He said: “We have recently carried out an extensive review into the usage of facilities at Stratford Leisure Centre. Due to the crèche being consistently underused over a sustained period of time, it was decided that this area of the centre could be put to better use.
“A very small number of customers use the crèche, and the decision to close this facility was taken on the basis that it will cause minimum disruption to the vast majority of customers. We are in direct communication with the members and colleagues who will be affected to discuss their options ahead of the closure in July.
“We are currently looking into ways that we can better utilise the space and will be keeping members informed about possible options.”