London: British Prime Minister David Cameron’s 81-year-old mother has lost her job after a children’s centre closed as a result of massive government cuts.
Mary Cameron and her sister Clare Currie had last month signed a petition protesting against the Cameron-led government’s plans to close 44 children’s centres in Oxfordshire, including some in the Prime Minister’s own constituency of Witney.
Mary, a retired magistrate, said she was “very sad” after West Berkshire Council confirmed it would shut the Chieveley and Area Children’s Centre where she works as a volunteer on March 24.
“The closure of the children’s centre where Mary worked is a bitter blow in her battle to stop her heartless son’s Tory cronies axing the vital free services,” The Mirror reported.
“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,” she was quoted as saying.
“I don’t really know what can be done really as I’ve just heard about it,” she said.
Asked if she has spoken to her son about the closures, she replied: “No, because I don’t interfere. If you can do anything to help it would be great.”
The centre Mary works at for a few hours a week will close for good as part of West Berkshire council’s 300,000- pound cost saving measures.
West Berkshire Council confirmed free services will be replaced by paid-for ones.
Centre manager Paula Craven said: “There will most likely be some redundancies and hopefully some relocations for certain staff.”
There are currently 3,000 children’s centres in England which are used by more than one million families.
Local authorities in England have had their government funding slashed by 40 per cent since Cameron entered Downing Street in 2010.
At least 631 centres have been shut since the Conservative Party led by Cameron took office in 2010, the report said.
Backed by a campaign group and signed by some 10,000 people online and in person, it 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.”