A DUNFERMLINE councillor says saving money is being prioritised over struggling families following a decision to close all council-run crèches.

Cllr Helen Law, along with other Fife Labour group members, have called for scrutiny over the decision taken by the council's education and children's services sub-committee, which will also see breakfast clubs left for schools to provide and some after-school clubs shut in an effort to save cash.

The shift to a more commercial model of childcare services will save £488,000.

In West Fife, the crèche facilities at Oakley and Kelty are on the list for closure as is the creche at the Tryst Centre in Abbeyview.

When officers were given the go-ahead to make the changes, Cllr Law tried unsuccessfully to defer the proposals presented in early November to another committee under the council's anti-poverty agenda.

Now Labour are asking for the decision to be looked at again.

"I was furious when colleagues voted to close our local crèches and some after-school clubs," Cllr Law told the Press.

"I was really disappointed that my proposal to investigate the issues a bit further was not supported.

"Issues around breakfast clubs, crèches and after-school clubs had been on the agenda for some time under the banner of commercialisation.

"If ever there was a time to forget about commercialisation and concentrate on struggling families it is now."

Council crèches have been credited for supporting vulnerable families and offered spare places to local families at an affordable cost.

Particularly in villages, where there may be no other provision, Cllr Law believes the the prospect of losing the local crèche will be a disaster.

The Abbeyview crèche also operated alongside local training courses and this allowed young parents to get new skills.

"There are no alternatives for families in some areas when they close," Cllr Law added.

"I don't think that commercialisation is the way to go forward.

"I noted the report saying that there was not enough demand at these facilities but I know there really is demand to attend in Kelty.

"I am absolutely shocked that colleagues voted this through without even taking more time to look at this but I'm glad that it will now be put under scrutiny."

The report regarding these changes argued that only a small number of families would be affected by the loss of crèches and after-school clubs, and demand for crèches had been hit by the introduction of further nursery hours and the impact of COVID-19.

The education and children's services scrutiny committee will review the decision at their next meeting.