THE Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane was the guest of honour as a nursery team celebrated its first anniversary.

Councillor Martin Biermann and his mayoress wife Chansopha Biermann paid a visit to Monkey Puzzle Nursery, at Skyline Place, in Alencon Link.

Proprietor Mandy Khaira said: “The mayor and his wife were so impressed. “They said they hadn’t seen a modern, bright nursery like this in Basingstoke. “They were really interested in how I opened the nursery and arranged funding for such a huge project in this economic climate.”

Mandy said business is going well at Monkey Puzzle. She added: “We have around 60 children a day in the nursery and on some days, the baby room and pre-school rooms are full.

“The first year has been a huge learning curve and a testing time given this economic climate, but we work on the basic principle that if we treat our staff well, they come to work happy and do a great job. That works for us and our reputation has developed on this basis.”