Rights still a priority despite loss of post

The rights of children in Oxfordshire will continue to be a
priority for authorities despite the end of England’s first local
children’s commissioner post, the county council has

The posts of Oxfordshire’s commissioner, Ianthe Maclagan, and two
support staff ended in the spring after funding problems. The team
had been funded by the council and Save the Children since 1998,
with both investing up to £80,000 a year.

The council reduced its commitment to £40,000 a year from 2004
for three years, which Save the Children said it would match. But
the charity later said a reorganisation meant it was not able to
match-fund the posts, and the organisations were unable to find
other partners willing to provide the necessary funding to keep the
team going.

But Shruti Tanna, assistant programme director in the Midlands for
Save the Children, said the council’s decision to halve its
contribution to the project had also been responsible for its

The council’s social and health care directorate is continuing to
invest £40,000 a year in children’s rights initiatives. Half
is going towards co-ordinating children’s rights champions in other
agencies, and half to multi-agency consultation networks so the
views of children and parents are heard during the development of
children’s services.

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