Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

City launches petition against unitary as MPs speak out

  • Comment

Oxford City Council has launched a petition against the county council’s proposal to form a single unitary as four of the area’s six MPs have spoken out against the plans.

Oxfordshire CC’s proposal was backed earlier this month by the leaders of Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire DCs, who argued it was the best model to create efficiencies.

But the county’s three other districts – Oxfordshire City Council, and Cherwell and West Oxfordshire DCs – hit back against the proposal, insisting it removed the ability of councils to respond to distinct local needs.

Oxford has today launched an online petition against the county’s proposal entitled ’Hands off Oxford City’ and presented it as a “rallying cry” to protect the city’s assets.

It says a single unitary would result in the loss of “vital services” such as council housing and efforts to improve economic growth while diluting democracy.

It follows a joint statement released last week by MP for Henley John Howell (Con), MP for North Oxfordshire Victoria Prentis (Con), Witney MP Robert Courts (Con), and MP for Oxford East Andrew Smith (Lab). Ed Vaizey (Con), MP for Didcot and Wantage, has declared his support for the proposal. Nicola Blackwood (Con), MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has not yet outlined her position on the proposals.

The MPs’ statment said the single unitary proposal did not have the support of the majority of the county’s MPs and failed the “criteria for consensus” required by the Department for Communities & Local Government.

The statement added: “It is essential that the distinct identities of the different areas in Oxfordshire are respected, with council arrangements which are sufficiently close and meaningful that they are in touch with and accountable to local residents and their needs.”

The leaders of the three main political parties on the county council launched the single unitary proposal last month.

Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire had previously joined the three other districts in supporting a three-unitary model and more recently had been working on a combined authority devolution bid.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.