David Cameron's aunt joins his mother in petition against Oxfordshire council cuts

Clare Currie has called her nephew's cuts 'a false economy'

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The Independent Online

If it wasn't bad enough for David Cameron that his own mother has signed a petition against Government cuts to childen's services - now it has emerged that she was persuaded to do so by his aunt.

Clare Currie has said cuts to children's services Oxfordshire are "absolutely wrong".

She also reportedly pursuaded her sister, Mary Cameron, to try and help save the centres from closure under the Conservative-led Oxfordshire county council by signing a petition.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Ms Currie said: "The centres are absolutely essential. All the research shows they make life for children very much better."

"It is a false economy to cut them and absolutely wrong."

The 78-year-old said she intended to protest outside Oxford County Hall when councillors vote on the local authority’s budget.

The petition to save Oxfordshire's children's centres, which now has about 7,000 signatures, calls them a "lifeline to new parents who rely on locally accessible advice and support at a time when it is most needed".

It adds the cuts would "leave families vulnerable and isolated and fail an entire generation of children".

Ms Cameron, an 81-year-old retired magistrate, told the Daily Mirror she had signed the petition, which is to be presented to Oxfordshire councillor for children's services Melinda Tilney.

"My name is on the petition but I don't want to discuss this any further," she said.

Jill Huish, leader of the Save Oxfordshire’s Children’s Centres campaign, said the cuts were harming ordinary people.

“It shows how deep austerity is cutting our most vulnerable when even David Cameron’s mum has had enough," Ms Huish told the Oxford Mail.

Ian Hudspeth, the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council, has previously written a six-page letter addressing "a number of serious issues" with the Prime Minister's misunderstanding of the council's funds.

The pre-election Conservative pledge to cut £12 billion social security spending will require "deep" cuts in disability and other benefits, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Councils, meanwhile, are facing up to 40 per cent cuts to their funding - and must find another £10 billion of "savings" on top of a previous £10 billion in the next two years.