Union refuses to rule out strike over cutbacks

Herald Series: . .

INDUSTRIAL action has not been ruled out over proposed cuts to children’s services in Oxfordshire, trade union UNITE’s branch secretary has said.

David Ricketts said a strike was ‘still on the table’ despite the fact Oxfordshire County Council has said it will protect children’s centres and early intervention hubs from closure.

He added: “We will await what happens with the scrutiny review next week. Our concern is the removal of open access that the early intervention service offers to young people.”

Cabinet member for children, education and families Melinda Tilley said: “The present position, as UNITE will be aware, is that there will be a review of children’s centres, early intervention services and other services for children and families.

“The council does not envisage closures for any children’s centres or early intervention facilities. The aim is to find innovative ways to save money while maintaining frontline services.

“For that reason industrial action which seeks to affect these services would be regrettable.”

The county’s performance scrutiny committee will discuss the budget plans, which include cuts of £64m over the next four years, on Monday.

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