At last week’s County Council Meeting to set the 2016/17 budget (16/2/16), the Conservative-Independent Alliance was forced to postpone plans to close the majority of Children’s Centres and Adult Day Centres, but despite a promise of extra money from the government and a review of the proposed closures, Banbury & Bicester Labour Party, who forced the Council’s hand and have backed local campaigns, say ‘there is no room for complacency.”
A combination of public protests to the proposals, as expressed in pledges not to vote for any Councillor who voted for closure of Children’s Centres and Adult Day Centres, and the refusal of the Labour opposition to agree these cuts forced a re-think.
Speaking after the vote, Terry Davis, Chair of Banbury & Bicester Labour Party said, “It is clear that these cuts were a step too far. In the end, although the Conservative-Independent Alliance agreed to Labour’s proposals, there are no guarantees that the centres will stay open beyond the next 12 months.
We are concerned that the Conservatives and their Independent Councillor allies will seek to reintroduce these cuts again in 2017. If these centres are to be permanently saved, it’s important the public maintains pressure on the County Council over the next 12 months and beyond. We in the Banbury & Bicester Labour Party will continue to support the Save Oxfordshire Children’s Centres and ‘Enough is Enough’ campaigns and work to keep the centres open”.