Despite a strong effort Green Party County Councillors did not succeed in protecting the County's 44 Children's Centres from closure. Councillor David Williams, leader of the Green Group on the County Council, explains:
"It is a tragedy that the vote to keep Oxfordshire's Children's Centres open fell by 33 votes to 30. The County Council has to recognise that closing the County's 44 Children's Centres will be a false economy. There can be little doubt that the impact on families in need of help from the Centres will in all probability result in greater financial pressures on the social services and the local NHS. As individuals, mostly women, will be forced to give up part time employment, as a result of the planned closures, the County Council must also recognise that this policy will not only deeply impact on thousands of families and their children but also
damage the local economy.
"Oxfordshire's Green County Councillors have been disturbed to find that an estimated two thirds of about 2300 Children's Centres in England have already been forced to make cuts. Since one million families are using these Centres to ensure a better life for their family members, such cuts cannot be seen as anything other than persecution of the poor and the vulnerable. Oxfordshire's 44 Centres threatened with closure are part of about 250 Children's Centres already likely to be closed in England. This is despite evidence that the use of such Centres has been growing"