Wiltshire Council’s head of children’s services has defended the decision to cut the grant to Stepping Stones, the Trowbridge special needs nursery, without asking elected councillors for their opinion.

Carolyn Godfrey said: “This matter did not need to be referred to committee as it was not a change of policy.

“All of the nurseries do a valuable job and that is why we are still funding them at the same level.”

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

The council has maintained its annual grant of £74,110 to the Trowbridge centre but passed on the loss of £10,000 rather than finding it from other budgets. It means the nursery must itself raise more than £50,000 a year.