First, the good news. Following consultations with constituents up and down the county, Oxfordshire County Council have announced that all 44 Children's Centres are safe from the threat of closure. Leader Ian Hudspeth specifically noted that the strength of public opposition to the proposals was key in securing the Centres' future. It's genuinely positive if the Council have now been made aware of exactly how important the Centres are to people, even if it took desperate circumstances to elicit an outcry.
However, there remains the fact that £3m reportedly needs to be shaved off the Centres' budget, and that can surely only hit the services they provide, probably in terms of both quality and frequency. Investment needs to remain in place to ensure that vulnerable parents receive the support they need and that those who, like ourselves, don't have the safety net of family living locally don't feel isolated.