Council leader joins Banbury MP to speak with parents at children’s centre

Victoria Prentis MP with Councillor Ian Hudspeth at Heyford Park Children's Centre. NNL-160802-172649001
Victoria Prentis MP with Councillor Ian Hudspeth at Heyford Park Children's Centre. NNL-160802-172649001

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis visited Heyford Park Children’s Centre on Friday morning with Leader of Oxfordshire County Council Ian Hudspeth.

The meeting gave Mr Hudspeth the opportunity to speak with staff and parents about the centre and the resource it is to the community. It was also an opportunity to look at what the centre may be able to do to continue its operations if council cuts come forward.

After the visit, Mrs Prentis said: “I think it is important that we look at what services we offer in our community, and see if there may be ways we can improve how they are operating. There are some areas, for example, where we see service duplication.

“Heyford Park Children’s Centre does a great deal of outreach work in the villages in this area, and is a great asset to our communities. I remain committed to doing what I can to ensure those services can continue.”

The proposals by Oxfordshire County Council follow the findings of a cross party review which recommended that a network of Children and Family Resource centres for 0-19-year-olds be developed, targeted to those areas of greatest need, with a good geographical spread of centres.

The council’s preferred option would see eight Family and Resource Centres at various locations developed with the full focus on the most vulnerable and the council ceasing to provide/commission universal services, such as stay and play or open access youth sessions.

Suggested locations would be Banbury, Bicester, Witney, Abingdon and Didcot with three centres in Oxford at Barton/Sandhills, Blackbird Leys and Rose Hill/Littlemore areas.