Parents’ fury as time is called on singing teacher

MOTHERS in Haringey have branded the council out of touch after it announced plans to axe a popular singing teacher

Charlotte Newton

MOTHERS in Haringey have branded the council "out of touch" after it announced plans to axe a popular singing teacher.

Rochelle Meriba, 41, has sung nursery rhymes with pre-school children and their parents in Crouch End, Highgate, Stroud Green and Alexandra Park libraries for four years.

But this week, parents received the devastating news that Haringey Council is planning to scrap her lessons, leaving librarians to take the group.

Crouch End resident Sasha Mann attends Ms Meriba's singing lessons with her one-year-old son, Louis.

Mrs Mann, 35, said: "Rochelle is an amazing person and she brings so much happiness to people through her singing lessons.

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"There's always a queue of buggies to get into the library.

"We all feel the council is slightly out of touch by changing the classes because it's a really sociable event."

Ms Meriba, who comes from the Netherlands, said: "The government says it wants children to be interested in the arts.

"But if this is the case, then the council should be investing in its infants.

"If people want teenagers to be interested in reading when they are older, then we have to get children to visit the library.

"I know that the toddlers love my lessons because up to 100 people come to each class.

"My singing lessons also prepare children for nursery because they learn nursery rhymes and make friends.

"This is a community service which allows children of different nationalities to mix. If it stops, the Polish community will withdraw into itself and the Somali community will just stick together."

Haringey Council refused to explain why the council was scrapping Ms Meriba's singing lessons.

A spokesman said: "There are no plans to stop children's singing sessions in libraries.

"We cannot comment on individual staffing issues."