Concerns over lack of hub pre-school places in Brandon

Concerns have been raised about a lack of pre-school places planned for a new �1.5m community hub in Brandon.

Currently 80 youngsters are catered for at two nurseries in the town but officials plan to replace these with one, located within a newly regenerated building.

Speaking at Monday night’s annual town meeting however, pre-school manager Jenny Cox voiced worries about the plans.

“With the Brandon hub they’ve designated 40 places but we’ve raised objections because it’s not enough,” said Ms Cox, who runs Fledglings Pre-School at Brandon community centre.

“How are you going to support them when we’re already full, there aren’t enough places now.

“There won’t be enough room in there.”

The Brandon Centre would bring together services from across the town including a children’s centre, as well as police, the library and health services in the former Forest School, off Market Hill.

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The scheme would be funded by Suffolk County Council and when complete handed over to be run locally.

Fledglings Pre-School, which caters for 30 children, is now looking for ways to remain open.

Ms Cox however said part of the battle would be to find new premises as the community centre was due to be knocked down.

• Potential traffic congestion as a result of dualling the final stretch of the A11 was also raised at last night’s meeting.

Brandon resident Ian Horner said the decision to dual the final nine-mile stretch between Thetford and the fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills could increase traffic travelling along the Bury Road in Brandon.

“Suffolk County Council has said it will monitor the situation but I want the council to say ‘this is a serious problem which deserves more’,” he said.

“As well as people coming from the south, there will be more Brandon to Bury traffic when the problem of the Elveden traffic lights is removed.

“I’m urging you to think about this not when we’ve got a problem but before.”

While Mr Horner suggested widening Bury Road to cope with the problem, others have mooted the idea of a Brandon bypass for some time in a bid to reduce traffic along the town’s High Street.

Both the pre-school and A11 issues were noted by Brandon Town Council.