Councillor David Williams, leader of the Green Group on Oxfordshire County Council, will be putting a motion to the next County meeting on 1st November to prevent the County's threatened Children's Centres being closed by excessive rents. Councillor Williams emphasises that rent levels will be a crucial factor in determining how long Children's Centres may survive. He explains:
The Green Party is going to call upon the County Council to waive rental fees for Children's Centres 2016-2017. This would act as a major contribution to keeping all centres open beyond the proposed closure dates. Security of accommodation will be a vital factor in bidding for external funding in that it signals continuity of existence and will be the one contribution the County could make to keep the maximum number of Centres open if the future is to be built on external funding for activity-based projects at each centre.
Councillor Williams emphasises:
If the County supports the Green Party proposal, the move to support all the Children's Centres should be widely publicised immediately to stop the rapid erosion of staffing that is now underway. It is worth noting that during 2016-2017 constructive consultations with new local authorities that may emerge from any devolution decision could lead to co-sponsorship of the Children Centres beyond 2017. This could include bodies such as the Health Service, the Police, Parish councils and Charities.