David Cameron's mother signs petition against cuts to children's services

Running Children

David Cameron’s mother signed a petition against cuts to children’s services due to be made by the prime minister’s own county council, according to reports.

Mary Cameron, who is 81 and served for years as a magistrate, confirmed to the Daily Mirror that she had signed a petition battling to save children’s centres designated for closure by the Conservative-run Oxfordshire county council.

The petition, signed by about 10,000 people, says: “Our children’s centres are a lifeline to new parents who rely on locally accessible advice and support at a time when it is most needed.

“Cutting these essential services would leave families vulnerable and isolated and fail an entire generation of children.”

Cameron told the Mirror: “My name is on the petition but I don’t want to discuss this any further.”

The prime minister himself has drawn accusations of hypocrisy for writing to Oxfordshire council to protest against cuts in his area.

A leaked letter in November showed Cameron chastising Ian Hudspeth, the council leader, for considering cuts to elderly day centres, libraries and museums.

At the time, the prime minister said the proposals for possible cuts were disappointing and suggested the Conservative-run council should look at back-office savings and shared services between the emergency services instead.

But the exchange, obtained by the Oxford Mail, shows Hudspeth taking issue with Cameron’s argument point by point.

The reply described how the council had already cut back-office functions and looked at shared services as far back as 2006, reduced staff numbers by thousands, and disposed of property.

The council chief also noted new functions that have transferred to the council, including public health and social care, while central government funding has dropped.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rowena Mason, for theguardian.com on Monday 8th February 2016 23.40 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010