In the wake of the London riots Cameron praised the work of Early Intervention Services, but that support seems increasingly hollow as Oxfordshire County Council, in Cameron’s back yard, will decimate children and family services to the tune of £20 million over the next three years.
Two years ago campaigners successfully fought to stop the closure of 13 youth clubs. Now over half of the seven “Super Hubs” (‘single integrated early intervention services’) that replaced them, will close. 700 jobs will go, four hubs shut and 37 out of 43 children centres are earmarked for closure.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Tory Leader of Oxfordshire County Council has been touring major centres to listen to the views of Oxfordshire people. He says on their web site, “We have less money to spend and public services will have to change. We want to hear from residents about the services they value most and which ones they could live without. The county council will have saved £200 million by 2017 as part of a government plan to get the nation’s finances in order. Now we have to find another £60 million over the next four years and these savings will be harder to make. We want a thriving Oxfordshire and pledge to make savings as fairly as possible while protecting services for those in greatest need.”
At the recent ‘Talking Oxfordshire’ event at Banbury Town Hall, Hudspeth revealed, after persistent questioning, that he hadn’t made an official objection to Government about the next round of cuts to Council grants.
The question to Hudspeth and to the Tory Government must be, what strategy do you have in place to manage the detrimental effects of these cuts on children, young adults and families in Oxfordshire?
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