Dan Peters 20 May 2016

Districts scrap plans for cross-boundary unitary in Oxfordshire

Districts scrap plans for cross-boundary unitary in Oxfordshire image

District councils in Oxfordshire have abandoned plans to create four unitaries that would have spilt out into neighbouring Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.

The reorganisation proposals, which included scrapping Oxfordshire CC, had been backed by Prime Minister David Cameron but their cross-county nature has led to the plans collapsing.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which had been commissioned to undertake a detailed independent analysis of the options, has now provided Cotswold DC with informal feedback that the changes would have been delayed by the need for primary legislation and lack of widespread support.

Current legislation precludes two police force areas spanning one council area, as previously highlighted in The MJ.

Cotswold leader Cllr Lynden Stowe said: 'We are very frustrated that current legislation has not yet caught up with some of the most innovative joint working arrangements in the country.

'This is not the first time - nor will it be the last - where outdated and inflexible legislation is a barrier to public benefit.

In response, Gloucestershire CC leader, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, said: 'We've been clear from the beginning that plans to cut up the county would push up costs for all taxpayers and jeopardise services that people depend on.'

Instead, an Oxfordshire-only solution will be submitted to government in the autumn.

Vale of White Horse DC leader, Cllr Matthew Barber, said: 'Eliminating cross-boundary options now enables PwC's independent study to focus solely on Oxfordshire's residents and engaging with stakeholders in the county.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Device Management Engineer

Essex County Council
£24735.0 - £29432 per annum
Please note these positions are to be offered on a 12-month, fixed term contract Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic loc England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

SEN Provision Support Officer

Essex County Council
£24735.0 - £26800 per annum
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 1.6 million residents, and has England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Legal Officer A/B – Children and Adults Safeguarding

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£33,799 - £41,675
he Safeguarding Children and Adults Team is one of the specialist teams within Legal Services and acts for the Council in connection with a... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Qualified Social Workers - Adult Services Teams

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Interviews will be virtual interviews via video calling (Microsoft Teams)Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoi England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Technician - Structures

Milton Keynes Council
£24,799 - £28,785
We’re looking for talented individuals to be part of our expanding team working on everything from local schemes to... Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Recuriter: Milton Keynes Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue