Green Party leader on the County Council, David Williams, has condemned the prospect of early Children's Centre closures in Oxfordshire, allegedly due to staffing issues. He is putting forward a motion to the next County Council meeting to avert this problem. He comments:
Vulnerable people in situations which are far from ideal, many of them children, need Children's Centres for support. If early closures of such centres take place before March 2017, the various problems the centres deal with will not go away. Instead, they will find their way into GP's surgeries, Accident and Emergency wards in our hospitals and to the thin and shrinking last line of defence for some people: charities that specialise in helping children and families in the most extreme need.
David Williams adds:
Our motion to the County Council urges the County to keep Children's Centres open beyond March 2017. This means making funds available from other parts of the County budget to serve households with a variety of serious problems. We are a rich country but our Government insists on impoverishing local government. This is not about efficiency or economy. This is about moving the problems dealt with by Children's Centres on to a threadbare patchwork of other services which, for example, lack sufficient specialist social workers to deal with the challenges presented by displaced former clients of the Centres. No one can pretend this will not cost money; no one can pretend this is acceptable in one of the richest industrialised countries in the world.