The deputy leader of the county council has said there is “absolutely nothing” the council can do to stop childcare providers moving out of the area.

At Oxfordshire County Council’s full council meeting on Tuesday, councillor Sally Povolotsky asked councillor Liz Brighouse what the council was doing to “increase provision for early years for parents so they work”.

Lib Dem Miss Povolotsky said she is concerned there is a “massive gap” in childcare across the county and particularly in her division of Hendreds and Harwell.

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Miss Povolotsky added with the cost of living crisis “more and more parents are both having to go out to work”.

In response to the question, Ms Brighouse understood “people’s frustration” when they cannot find childcare but said there is “very little a local authority can do” because the council does not run provision itself.

She said: The system is not one where it is totally demand lead and if the demand is not there in terms of some areas, and we do not have the places that are funded, then you end up with providers moving out.

She added: “We have got a whole load of people trying to stimulate more provision, and we realise that we should be doing that, but in terms of getting provision that is not something we as a local authority can actually do. We cannot go and open nurseries.”


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