How Oberursel plans to increase childcare costs

Oberursel's town hallTwo weeks ago I sat in on a meeting of the town council where the charges for Kindergarten places were discussed at length.  Now the town administration has come up with new proposals that will be put to the next town council meeting for approval.

It is worth taking a moment to look at the demands that parents had made a few months ago when the topic first arose.  Many of them have been fulfilled, such as keeping the Siblingbonus in place and not reducing the quality or number of places available in the town.

They also wanted the increase to take place in several steps, which is what will now happen.  The increases will take effect on 1st August 2012, 1st February 2012 and 1st August 2013.  However they insisted that the increase should be “moderate”.  The question is: what is moderate?

At the town council meeting some parties were more direct, and announced the highest percentage that they considered to be reasonable.

In the end, however, some people will end up with a larger increase than many wanted. [Read more…]

Oberursel’s Station Grand Re-opening: The Bahnhofsfest

This Whitsun weekend will be one that many people in Oberursel remember for a long time to come, because it was this weekend that the station building re-opening with what may be the first “Bahnhofsfest” that it has even seen.

“May be” because no-one knows whether they held one when the building was originally opened in 1901.

The day started at 11am when a large crowd gathered in front a stage that had been set up partially on the U-Bahn platform.  Dr. Justus Förschner of SEWO, the organisation responsible for the renovation work, opened the proceedings with the Mayor Hans-Georg Brum.

Dr. Justus Förschner presenting to key to the new tenants of the station building

Dr. Justus Förschner presenting to key to the new tenants of the station building

After a brief look back at the history of the building, how the dual railway connected had benefited the development of the town, and not forgetting the fact that it had taken over 20 years to find a solution to the “station” problem (the building had been run down, with ticket sales only at peak hours), the key was officially handed over to the new tenants.

[Read more…]

How much should parents pay towards Kindergarten costs?

Last night I went to my first ever Stadtverordnetenversammlung at Oberursel’s town hall.  Roughly speaking that’s probably best translated as “town council”, and the mixture of things being discussed reflects that.  Things like bus shelters, roads, budgets and planning permission.  In fact, it was the planning permission part that I was most interested in, as the Frankfurt International School and Mountain Lodge plans were on the Agenda.

Oberursel's town hallIn the end, there was little discussion about either of them.  Instead, over half of the time allowed was spent discussing the level of Kindergarten fees.

It was obviously a popular topic as well, as over half of the local residents who were watching from the public seating were still there when the debate started – and they were still there when time was called on the sitting at 11pm. [Read more…]

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