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Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats Continue to Support Children's Centres

July 13, 2016 6:31 PM
By Cllr. Richard Webber

At the full Council meeting of Oxfordshire County Council on Tuesday 12th July, the Liberal Democrats amended motion on Children's Centres was passed unanimously.

The motion as amended is below:

Council continues to supports the general principle that those in greatest need should have the highest priority. However, Council regrets that it has been compelled to abandon the concept of universal provision offered by our Children's Centres in Oxfordshire as a result of the Government's cuts in Local Authority funding. In the meantime, Council is aware that, as a result of the focus on the most needy children and families in our County, there will be large areas- particularly in the West which now have no Children Centre buildings - the same areas likely to suffer most from rural isolation as the Council removes bus subsidies. Ensuring that there was some compensation for these areas was a key statement agreed by Council in its February budget.

Council therefore believes that it is now essential that the effects of the loss of Children's Centres, in these areas, is compensated for by:

1. Offering active support to the parents, volunteers and Parish Councils taking over or hoping to take over the vacated Centres.

2. Persuading District Councils to join us in giving as much support to these bodies as possible.

3 That the £1m Transition Fund agreed at the February budget should be committed to these areas to achieve the above.

Councillor Richard Webber, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group said:

"It is hard to find much to be pleased about in the current atmosphere of austerity and uncertainty, so it was something of an achievement for the Liberal Democrat Group to have gained the unanimous backing of OCC for using £1m of transition funding to alleviate some of the pain being caused by the cuts to the County's Children's Centres."
Richard Webber
Leader Lib Dem Group OCC