Children's centre left without water

Kate ScotterStaff and parents at a Norwich children's centre have hit out at a water firm after they were suddenly left without a drop to drink.Kate Scotter

Staff and parents at a Norwich children's centre have hit out at a water firm after they were suddenly left without a drop to drink.

Treehouse Children's and Family Centre in Chatham Street, off Sussex Street in Norwich's Golden Triangle, claims to have lost out on �1,000 after Anglian Water cut off their water supply twice in one year.

The centre was only informed about the latest water works at 4.45pm on Friday and was forced to close on Tuesday morning.

The short notice left staff very little time to inform parents and families of 34 children without childcare provision.

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Sally Avery, centre manager, said: 'We were left high and dry quite literally and it's caused a lot of unnecessary angst and upset for a lot of working and training parents.

'It could have all been resolved if we were given more notice but instead I had about 15 working hours' notice. They have done it twice now in one year. It was planned work, not emergency, so it didn't have to be like this.'

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The centre is open Monday to Friday and runs a nursery in the mornings for children aged two to four and sessions in the afternoons for four to 14-year-olds.

It has been running since 1986 and has only closed on three occasions - twice because of Anglian Water and once because of the hurricanes in 1987.

The last time the water was cut off at short notice was in May last year. On that occasion, the centre lost out on about �700 and this week lost about �200-�300.

Anglian Water engineers had to replace a fire hydrant. Cards informing people living in the area were put through the doors on Friday.

Sara Rowland, an Anglian Water spokesman, said: 'We have to give a minimum of 24 hours, which we did, but I would like to apologise to Sally as she tried to call on Friday and no one got back to her. We should've got back to her and helped her to sort something out so she didn't have to close the centre."

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