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New twist in York nursery closure row
THE estranged husband of a York day nursery owner who closed her business without warning says he has not benefited financially from the collapsed company.
The Press reported yesterday how furious parents were down hundreds of pounds each after Smartypants Nursery in Castlegate took fees for September, only to close its doors and make staff redundant days later.
Now Jonathan Lane, a director of Smartypants, who is currently going through a divorce from nursery owner and manager Helen Lane, has distanced himself from the company.
He said: “I have never been involved in the running of the company. None of the money from the business has come my way for two years.
“I have had no contact with her (Mrs Lane) other than through solicitors for the past two years.”
Mr Lane, who runs his own separate business, put the closure of Smartypants down to “cash flow problems” and said he felt upset that parents’ money had been taken just two days before being notified of the closure.
“I was only aware of this myself on Friday,” he said.
One parent, who asked not to be named, said nearly £600, had been taken from his bank account shortly before letters were sent out informing families of the closure.
He said: “If we can’t find alternative child care we run the risk of my partner not being able to work.”
The nursery closed without warning on Friday, sending letters to parents the same day, explaining the business had to close with immediate effect and acknowledging the situation may have caused “some inconvenience” to parents.
The letter said Mrs Lane had no other option than to close the company. The business is now understood to be in the hands of Leeds-based insolvency company RMS Tenon.
Repeated calls to Mrs Lane, from The Press, went unanswered today.