Labour Councillors and Trade Unions in Newcastle have exposed and then thwarted a plan by the ruling LibDem group to close 8 of the city's nurseries, which cater for 350 children under 4.
Generating savings of £825,000, the LibDem ruling group hoped to shut the nurseries next year. Managers were sent round to "review" each facility - staff were said to be in tears when they learned of the proposals.
Commenting in the Newcastle Chronicle, mum-of-five Susan Bone, 33, from Elswick, said: "There are not enough places around for the young ones as it is. I would be absolutely devastated if I lost this place. I have five children so I really need it. I don't work so I can't afford private childcare." The plan would have cost 90 jobs, and robbed some of the most deprived communities in Newcastle of a vital service.
Fortunately, the city's Labour Group and Trade Union's exposed the shabby plans, which were being taken forward under the false pretext that they were required by the government. A climb-down swiftly followed.
Here in Darlington, as was the case in Newcastle once, LibDems present themselves as the defenders of local communities and the services they need. A glance 30 miles up the road should serve as a warning as to what can happen when LibDems get a grip on real influence.