The last council-run nursery in the borough is to close following a unanimous and un-debated cabinet decision.

At a cabinet meeting yesterday afternoon, member for children and young people Cllr Grace Williams presented a report calling for Snowberry Nursery’s closure, stating resources were needed elsewhere.

After the report was presented, other cabinet members were asked if there were any questions or comments. They had none and the closure was swiftly approved.

The centre in Snowberry Close in Leytonstone is now set to close by August 30 this year, leaving just over a month for families to find alternative provision.

The site has been running as an early education centre for children aged 0-5 since 1992.

The decision to close the site comes in spite of the centre currently having a ‘good’ rating from education watchdog Ofsted – the second highest ranking.

The nursery provides places for more than 50 children, 52 of whom are entitled to an amount of free early education through government support schemes for less wealthy families.

According to the report presented by Cllr Williams, the nursery is “almost operating at maximum capacity”.

The council said all of the 15 children due to take up places at Snowberry in September have been given alternative provisions.

Some families will now have to travel “marginally” further to travel from their homes to reach these other services, according to the council.

Council documents proposing the nursery’s closure stated: “The council would support a smooth transition to an alternative provider.

“Transition of children would be carefully managed, particularly for children with special educational needs or disability and/or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).”

In May, the council was accused of “repeatedly refusing support” to children with special educational needs or disabilities and a petition was launched that gained more than 1,000 signatures against the council, calling for change.

The council justified its decision stating: “The resources required to oversee the strategic and operational management of the nursery provision would redirect valuable resources from delivering the council’s statutory duties with regards to Early Education and Childcare.”

Cllr Grace Williams, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We work hard to improve the life chances of our residents at every stage of their lives in the face of unprecedented cuts to our budget.

"Snowberry Nursery has not achieved its income target for seven years, meaning it is diverting funding away from other essential services. We must make difficult decisions to safeguard these essential services on which people rely day in, day out.

"Waltham Forest has a vibrant and sustainable early years sector where schools, pre-schools, day nurseries and childminders can provide a more flexible service which is more suitable for the needs of modern parents.

"The opening times of Snowberry Nursery have already been reduced to term-time periods due to lack of demand for year-round places."