FIFE Council crèches have been given a temporary reprieve after councillors agreed to defer their closure.

Members of the council's Education and Children's Services Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee agreed to a motion which will allow councillors to re-look at the decision.

As reported by the Press in November, a recommendation to close all council-run crèches – including facilities at Oakley and Kelty – was approved in a bid to save £488,000.

The move would also see schools left to provide breakfast clubs and some after-school clubs shut.

However, a motion from the council's Labour co-leader, Councillor David Ross, was voted through at last week's scrutiny committee meeting which asked that the implementation of the new approach deferred and that further reports be compiled.

Cllr Ross called for more information into the impact of these proposals on children and families and on disadvantaged communities, options for maintaining or expanding services to better meet needs and where possible increase income as well as a full business plan for the future provision of childcare and play practice development.

This motion will now go to Fife Council for consideration.

Cllr Ross welcomed the decision.

"I am pleased that the Council is going to look again at its future plans for childcare and play practice development," he said. "We should be expanding these services and so increasing the income to make them sustainable for the future.

"What we have on the table is simply a cutting of the service based on making budget savings. I believe we need proper business planning for these services so we can expand and improve them rather than accepting a retraction in services."

In November, senior Dunfermline councillor Helen Law hit out at the closure plans, telling the Press that she believed that saving money was being prioritised over struggling families.

She said: "I was furious when colleagues voted to close our local crèches and some after-school clubs.

"There are no alternatives for families in some areas when they close."