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David Cameron's mother 'very sad' at Tory council's closure of children's centre

Published 10/03/2016

David Cameron plans to carry on as a backbench MP after he stands down as Prime Minister, he said
David Cameron plans to carry on as a backbench MP after he stands down as Prime Minister, he said

David Cameron's mother has said she is "very sad" at a Conservative council's decision to close a children's centre where she does voluntary work.

Mary Cameron's comment comes shortly after she signed a petition against the closure of children's centres in Oxfordshire, including some in the Prime Minister's own Witney constituency.

Mr Cameron has said he intends to stand for re-election as MP for Witney in the general election scheduled for 2020, despite saying he will step down as Conservative leader at the poll.

Following George Osborne's spending review in November, councils in England are facing the loss of 24% of their core funding from central government by 2020, after inflation is taken into account, on top of a 40% cut between 2010 and 2015. Many are responding by cutting services such as children's centres.

The Daily Mirror reported that West Berkshire Council has now decided that Chieveley and Area Children's Centre, where the Prime Minister's mother volunteers, will shut at the end of March.

Mrs Cameron told the paper: " I am very sad that it is being closed down but if there's not enough money to pay for it things have to go.

"I enjoy it very much and have been going there for a year and drive families around occasionally.

"I don't really know what can be done really as I've just heard about it. If it closes down then I shan't be volunteering because there will be no one to volunteer for.

"If it keeps going at all I will obviously go on helping if I can."

Asked if she has spoken to Mr Cameron about the closures, she replied: "No, because I don't interfere."

A council spokesman told the Mirror: " We will stop using four children's centres, but our services will still be available in community locations.

"This means services will be available in local communities and some families will have less distance to travel.

"However, for others the services may be at a different location, which may be less convenient for them."

Mr Cameron announced last year that this will be his final term in No 10 and he will not be premier after the next general election in 2020.

But speaking on BBC Oxford, he confirmed that he would be standing again as MP for Witney.

"That is very much my intention," he said.

"I love being MP for Witney and am very keen to continue. I draw huge strength from being a Member of Parliament in Oxfordshire."

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