In dreadful weather on Saturday (6th Feb), Banbury & Bicester Labour Party members and Save Oxfordshire Children’s Centres campaigners collected hundreds of signatures from Bicester residents in support of saving Oxfordshire’s Children’s and Adults Day Centres.
The stall in Sheep Street saw a constant stream of people and over 330 pledges were collected in under two and a half hours before the high winds and rain drove people off the street.
Chris Howells, Vice Chair of Banbury & Bicester Labour Party, said, “With only a few days left (16 Feb) before the County Council makes its decision on £69m of cuts on top of the £292m already planned over the next 4 years, we were overwhelmed with the support of Bicester residents to resist cuts to vital local services.
Many local residents told us that either they or their families relied on the centres or they knew a friend or neighbour who did. People felt that closures would be a disaster for Bicester residents whatever their age, especially as Bicester is growing so rapidly.”
One service user of the Adult Day Centre in Bicester said “For many people living on their own with no family, the centre is a lifeline. It’s the only time in a week when they get to meet and socialise with people and it helps to stop them feeling lonely.”