COUNCILLORS have formally agreed to reduce the planned increase in nursery fees from £4-an-hour to £3-an-hour.

The move was agreed at the Glasgow City Council administration committee following months of protests from Fight the Hike, a parent-led campaign.

Instead of a planned 57 per cent rise it will be 18 per cent compared to the current fee of £2.54-an-hour.

The fees would have risen to £4 in August and then £5 next year.

The SNP voted it through with Greens support – but Labour and the Conservatives backed an amendment to keep it at £2.54.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, education convener and Garscadden/Scotstounhill councillor, said: “Are campaigners entitled to take credit? Absolutely. Can opposition parties take credit for raising the issue? We acknowledge that.

“But, it is this city government that listened to campaigners and came forward with a meaningful and significant mitigated proposal.”

Parents argued they would have to fork out hundreds of pounds extra if the price had risen to £5-an-hour as eventually planned.

It was claimed that this would result in parents having to quit work to look after their children and suffer a lowering of household income.

Councillor Kim Long of the Greens told how she “regretted” backing the SNP budget in March that agreed the hike.

An amendment was moved by Labour Councillor Soryia Siddique to keep the fee at £2.54-an-hour but was outvoted by the SNP and Greens.

Labour group leader Frank McAveety said: “The SNP administration seems to think its okay to increase nursery charge at six times the rate of inflation, affecting thousands of families. And, they still have the cheek to say they have listened to parents.”

There were clashes at the meeting as opposition councillors demanded to know where the 18 per cent figure came from.

The SNP said it was from engaging with parents and councillors over recent months that they arrived at the number.

Conservatives councillor Euan Blockley gave North Lanarkshire Council as an example of the second-highest raiser of nursery fees, at just three per cent.

However, Mr Cunningham said: “My understanding that three per cent increase means it will be £3.75-an-hour, so you may want to reflect on whether you want to put North Lanarkshire up as a beacon of affordability compared to our £3-an-hour in the coming term.”