CHILDCARE centre Kidz Galore fears being kicked off the Haynes Street Reserve by Vincent council.
Kidz Galore has been on the North Perth site at the corner of Haynes and Sydney Street for 17 years and provides childcare for about 200 families.
In 2016 Kidz Galore offered to buy the block off the council and redevelop one site as a park.
But when council staff looked into the site’s history they found a deed of trust which legally requires Kids Galores’ space to be used for public recreation.
Kidz Galore has a lease until December 2020; the city now says it can’t continue with a long-term commercial lease after that.
Centre owner Sue Turner says in 2012 the council encouraged Kidz Galore to construct another building to meet the high demand for childcare. She says $700,000 has been invested in the facility.
”I believe Kidz Galore has become an integral part of this community and deserves more than we are now being given by the City of Vincent,” Ms Turner said.
“I know my staff and I have made a difference to the education and care of the children in the City of Vincent to date and all we want is a fair opportunity to continue to do so in the future.”
Vincent mayor Emma Cole says Kidz Galore’s lease “can continue beyond December 2020 as we do not have any set plan or date on any changes to the reserve.
“We first need to undertake consultation with our community about their wishes for the long-term future”.
Consultation workshops will happen in November, but Vincent selling the land is unlikely: In May 2019 the council voted 7 to 1 (Cr Josh Topelberg dissenting) to reject Kidz Galore’s offer and to keep the deed in place, saying they had to balance the community’s call for more public open space.
Removing the deed would be tricky as the council would need to convince a court the land is surplus to requirements. According to its open space strategy, Vincent has a big shortfall of public open space.
by DAVID BELL