British Prime Minister David Cameron found an unlikely opponent. His mother Mary Cameron joined a campaign to save Oxfordshire’s Children’s Centres. Since Cameron became the prime minister in 2010, local governments in England slashed funding for authorities by 40 percent.
The County Council plans to close all Oxfordshire’s 44 Children’s Centres and make $16 million (£8 million) in cuts from the children’s early intervention budget. An online petition by “a concerned group of parents with young children, childminders, grandparents and the general public” wants to save the centres.
The 81-year-old retired magistrate joined the movement against the government’s decision to cut funds. In 2015, her son had a conflict with council leader Ian Hudspeth over cuts. Cameron, an MP for Witney, Oxon, was ridiculed by Labour for being the “leader of the anti-austerity movement in Oxfordshire.”
The British PM said he was “disappointed” at the proposed cuts to day centres for the elderly, libraries and museums. Hudspeth said the cuts were caused by Cameron’s appeal to reduce the deficit, one of the major promises he had made during his successful election campaign.
Mrs Cameron is believed to have signed the petition while visiting Oxfordshire. She spoke at her cottage in a Berkshire village.
“My name is on the petition but I don’t want to discuss this any further,” she told the Mirror.
Jill Huish, who is running the campaign against the cuts, believes the involvement of the prime minister’s mother sends a message.
“It shows how deep austerity is cutting our most vulnerable when even David Cameron’s mum has had enough,” she said.
According to the official website, there will be “Love Oxfordshire March” at 11.00 am on February 13. The demonstration will be against the cuts proposed by Oxfordshire County Council in its upcoming budget. The cuts will affect elderly day care centres, homeless support facilities, rural bus services, HIV care and prevention services and services to support carers, it says.