Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Campaign to save children’s centre
12:00pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
SUPPORTERS of the closure threatened Ace Children’s Centre in Chipping Norton have launched a campaign to keep it open.
Oxfordshire County Council could close 37 children’s centres to save about £9 million annually, to help plug a £61 million black hole after a cut in Government funding.
Facebook page Save the Ace has attracted 975 ‘likes’ while a petition to keep all the centres open has attracted more than 1,250 signatures.
Campaigners spoke to Prime Minister David Cameron, MP for Witney, in the town on Saturday.
A spokesman said Mr Cameron was now seeking a meeting with Ian Hudspeth, the leader of the county council, to “discuss the issue in greater detail”.
Georgia Mazower, chairman of governors for the Ace Centre, said the news of possible closure came as a big blow.
“It was a shock announcement,”
she said. “We were completely outraged and very angry. A lot of people are upset.
“People have an impression of what Chipping Norton is like but there are pockets of deprivation.
“If this is rolled out there will be nothing for these families and no place that provides this level of service. It will be a complete travesty.”
The centre, which opened in the late 1990s, has received an ‘outstanding’ report in all categories from Ofsted since it was first inspected in 2006 and provides a range of services for children and families.
Mum-of-two Charlotte Mantell, of Over Norton, said the centre was a lifeline to her when her nine-year-old daughter Flo battled Leukaemia.
“We got so much support from the Ace Centre,” she said. “Flo had two-and-a-half years of chemo and their support was just incredible. I was a single parent at the time. We would have been lost without them.”
A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council said: “No decisions have been taken about exactly how many children’s centres would close or which. The council’s budget proposals will be published in December.
A final decision will be made in February.”
Comments are closed on this article.