Wiltshire Council’s head of children’s services has defended the decision to cut Devizes Opportunity Centre’s grant without asking for the opinion of elected councillors.

Carolyn Godfrey said it did not need to be referred to committee as it was not a change of policy, adding: “All of the nurseries do a valuable job and that is why we are still funding them at the same level.”

It had not been an option for the council to make up the £10,000 grant loss to each of the county’s four opportunity nurseries after the Government closed its Aiming High For Disabled Children fund, she said.

The council has maintained its annual grant of £73,705 to the Devizes centre, but passed on the loss of £10,000 which means the nursery must itself raise more than £50,000 a year.

Centre chairman Graham Gaiger has thanked the Gazette and all the supporters of the appeal.

You can donate to the Give us a chance appeal through virginmoneygiving.com at http://tinyurl.com/oarw99t