News Walthamstow

Walthamstow nursery shut due to ‘mouse infestation’

Emmanuel Community Church Nursery in Walthamstow has been closed since 12th September, reports Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Emmanuel Community Church Nursery, Credit: LDRS

A Walthamstow nursery has been closed for weeks after hygiene inspectors found an “active mouse infestation” and a lack of cleanliness.

Emmanuel Nursery, which is attached to the Emmanuel Community Church on Erskine Road, has been closed since a Waltham Forest Council inspection on 12th September.

A council hygiene notice displayed on the nursery’s window since 12th September says it was closed due to “active mouse infestation, lack of cleanliness at the premises”.

Last week, the council’s environmental health team secured a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order at Thames Magistrates’ Court meaning the nursery must stay closed until it has been made safe.

The council has declined to share photographs from the inspection with the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The council’s cabinet member for community safety Khevyn Limbajee said: “It’s especially important that nurseries and organisations that care for small children are extra vigilant when it comes to keeping their premises clean and free from pests.

“The council’s early years education team will work with any settings where concerns are raised to make sure they are addressed and that students and staff are safe.”

At the court hearing, the nursery was ordered to pay £1,541 in costs to the council.

Following the publication of this article, a spokesperson for the nursery said the “regrettable closure” is a temporary measure to address Waltham Forest Council’s recommendations on hygiene.

They added: “The landlord of the nursery and [the nursery management team] are pleased to announce that they have been monitoring professionally laid traps (for over a week) and no mice have been found.

“The [nursery management team] have already completed over 80% of the recommendations (made by the local authority) and are soon to schedule a revisit for the authorities to see all suggested remedial actions are in place.”

“The nursery management and team at Emmanuel Community Church Nursery hope to reopen their doors soon and welcome children and parents of the local community back to the nursery and the team continue to provide their high levels of service.”

The spokesperson said registered children are having their educational needs addressed while the nursery is closed.

They also pointed out that the nursery had a Food Standards Agency hygiene rating of four out of five last year and is rated “good” by Ofsted.

Earlier this year, mouse droppings and poor cleanliness led to a £225,000 fine for a branch of the UK’s largest nursery group, Busy Bees, in Whipps Cross Road.

The council also prosecuted, McDonald’s in Leytonstone, resulting in a £475,000 fine, after a customer found mouse droppings in her burger in 2021.

The council says parents who are concerned about their child’s place at Emmanuel Nursery should contact: [email protected].

If you have been affected by this story, contact [email protected]

Update (27/09): This story has been updated with a comment from Emmanuel Nursery