THREE children’s centres in the Henley area look set to stay open.
There had been fears that the two Rainbow Children’s Centres, based at the d:two centre in Henley and Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common, as well as the Chalgrove and Watlington Children’s Centre could be closed because of budget cuts by Oxfordshire County Council.
Today, the council announced its draft budget for 2013/14 in which it said £3 million must be saved from children’s services but that it did not envisage any of the 44 children’s centres across the county closing. Instead, it will focus on achieving efficiencies.
Councillor Melinda Tilley, who chairs a working group to carry out a review, said: “We have looked long and hard at all areas and have identified where savings could conceivably be made – despite the fact that some of these services have already undergone significant funding reductions in recent years.
“Our absolute priority is to keep children safe, to ensure we can continue to fulfil our responsibilities and to provide support for the vulnerable young people who need it most.”
There have been demonstrations against the closure threat in Henley and Oxford by the Save Oxfordshire’s Children’s Centre, led by Henley mothers Emma Taylor and Banny Hay.