I know there has been much in the local media about the £61 million of cuts that the County Council is being forced to make, but I want to be completely sure that people are aware that these cuts are forced on OCC by Centrtal Government.
The County has already cut £277 million to help the Government pay off the deficit and I am told that the extent of this latest round of cuts has come as something of a shock.
One problem the Council has is that the lions share of the services we provide are statutory, so that leaves a much smaller pot of discretionary services that the cuts can be made from; this is why the cuts to the Children’s Centres appear to be so savage.
I believe and hope that the cuts to the Children’s Centres will be less extreme than initially planned, there is much work at County Hall being undertaken to look at different models of provision. We are also hearing at the “Talking Oxfordshire” meetings that most users of the centres would be happy to contribute towards the cost of the service.
I want to encourage as many people as possible to go and talk to local MPs at their surgeries about the impact these cuts will have on OUR county. Cuts that are imposed by Whitehall and over which the MPs have some control.
Ed Vaizey’s next surgery is on Friday 15th November at 5.30 in the Town Hall, Wallingford. Please go along.