David Cameron's mother signs petition rallying against government cuts to children's services

Mary Cameron said: 'My name is on the petition but I don’t want to discuss this any further'

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Indy Politics

David Cameron’s mother has reportedly signed a petition rallying against government cuts to children’s services that are due to be enforced by her local Conservative-run county council.

Mary Cameron, a retired magistrate, confirmed to the Daily Mirror that her name appears on the petition condemning a decision by Oxfordshire county council to close 44 children’s centres in the Prime Minister’s own constituency. 

Mrs Cameron said: “My name is on the petition but I don’t want to discuss this any further.”

The 81-year-old’s name reportedly appears among the 10,000 people who have signed the petition online and in person, which aims to protect the “lifeline” of children’s centres in Oxfordshire and “maintain universal access to their vital services”. 

The petition adds: “Cutting these essential services would leave families vulnerable and isolated, and fail an entire generation of children.

“If current proposals go ahead, most of this support would either disappear entirely or only be available to families who are already in difficulties. An end to universal provision of support for families of under-fives will only increase the stigma associated with seeking out help, and may put people off using these essential services at a time when they feel vulnerable and isolated.”

Jill Huish, who runs the campaign that Mrs Cameron backed, said: “It shows how deep austerity is cutting our most vulnerable when even David Cameron ’s mum has had enough.”

Labour has previously mocked the Prime Minister as the “leader of the anti-austerity movement in Oxfordshire” after leaked documents revealed Mr Cameron wrote to his local council protesting against cuts in his area. The letter, which was sent to the council leader Ian Hudspeth, hit out at the cuts to libraries, early day centres and museums. 

In his letter, Mr Cameron wrote: “I was disappointed at the long list of suggestions floated to make significant cuts to frontline services… I would have hoped that Oxfordshire would instead be following the best practice of Conservative councils from across the country in making back-office savings and protecting the frontline.”

But in the exchange, which was obtained by the Oxford Mail, the council leader describes how the council had already cut back-office functions, disposed of property and reduced staff numbers by the thousands – after Oxfordshire County Council’s grant funding was slashed from £122m in 2011 to £62m in 2015.