The Oxford East Conservative Association (OECA) welcomes an announcement from Oxfordshire County Council that children’s centres in Oxford will stay open until March of next year.
OECA Deputy Chairman Mark Bhagwandin said: Oxford East Conservatives have campaigned for several years to keep these centres open and not to deviate from the current successfully model. We urge all parties at the County Council to cooperate and find a way to ensure they stay open permanently.
We urge all parties to desist from making this issue into a political football. Oxford East Conservatives have never supported the closure of these services and have lobbied strongly for them to stay open. It is in this regard that we welcome the additional Government funding which followed the Prime Minister’s call for the centres to stay open. Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors who all voted for the county council budget in February, should understand that they all have a moral obligation to ensure those funds are used to ensure the centres stay open.
The Conservative Party believes strongly in facilitating aspiration and achievement through targeted and strategic interventions to bring people out of poverty and enable them to progress. The valuable and vital work being done by children centres to empower people out of poverty are in sync with Conservative policy. Their closure would represent a false economy because the myriad services they currently provide would have to be picked up by other related services. Such an ad-hoc approach to addressing the many family related issues dealt with by children centres can never be as effective as the comprehensive way in which they are dealt with currently.”