PARENTS of children who attend out-of-school care services in the area say they are “disheartened angry and stressed” due to the proposed closures they found out about via social media.

The services at Lennox and Linnvale primaries and at Barnes Street in Whitecrook were approved to be cut this year as part of management adjustments and the plans were never put in front of the council or the public.

Parents have claimed that West Dunbartonshire Council have “left them in the dark” regarding the issue after they only found out about the closures when Councillor Douglas McAllister’s column in the Post was shared on Facebook.

Robert Elliot and his wife have two daughters, Anna and Maya, who attend the Linnvale service and are worried at what will happen when the service closes next year.

He told the Post: “We are very angry that the council has made no attempt to inform parents of this proposal, let alone consult with us on the matter. It just feels like they are trying to push this through under the radar before anyone finds out about it.

“There is very little choice in the terms of childcare in this area. The girls are heartbroken as they both absolutely love it and have made such good friends.”

Another parent, who asked not to be named, said: “It speaks volumes about the lack of respect they have for the users of this service. These are the people that pay tax and work hard to set an example to their children. It seems that, despite headlines saying that they want to encourage people to work, they actually just do not care.”

Meanwhile, May Ross, a full-time working single parent whose daughter Rebecca attends Linnvale out-of-school care, described the service as “critical” for her.

She said: “Surely the council should be considering providing an alternative for example a central service with transport to and from the relevant schools. Rebecca has been attending since primary two and she is very upset.”

Another parent, Jennifer Gardiner, added: “The effect this will have on a lot of working parents is shocking.

“People need these facilities and rely on them a lot. To take it away is a total loss, and will leave many in a difficult situation.”

In Cllr McAllister’s column on November 9, he wrote: “The SNP council at West Dunbartonshire have yet again let down the most vulnerable in our town with their announcement to close out of school care services.

“This marks a betrayal by the SNP of parents, carers, children and staff from each of these centres.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “A review of Linnvale after school care highlighted extremely low uptake, with some sessions provided for just two children. This unfortunately means the service will close.

“Parents were informed of the decision and after feedback, officers agreed to continue the service until the end of the school session in June next year. This gives parents and carers eight months to organise alternative childcare arrangements.”

Councillor Gail Casey said: “In my view this service should be maintained for the community whether it’s five children or 25 children. The figures this year could be doubled by next year with the summer holidays being the prime time for working parents. When a service is cut it is extremely difficult to get it back and I believe it should be maintained.”