William Eichler 07 February 2017

Oxfordshire single unitary will ‘wreak devastation’ on residents

Oxfordshire single unitary will ‘wreak devastation’ on residents image

Plans to create a single unitary authority for Oxfordshire will ‘wreak devastation’ on residents, district council leader warns.

The plans, proposed by Oxfordshire County Council, would replace the current two-tier structure comprising county and district councils with a single authority responsible for delivering all services.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils yesterday announced they supported the proposals. However, the leader of Cherwell District Council said he ‘refused to be pressurised’ into supporting this local government transformation.

‘When the county council’s proposals for a single unitary authority were first unveiled, Cherwell stood united in opposition with Oxford City and the county’s other district councils – including South and Vale,’ said Cllr Barry Wood.

‘The fact that these two fickle councils have now defected to support the county’s proposals does not alter my position or opinion that these plans would wreak devastation on the very people I am elected to protect.’

Cllr Wood accused Oxfordshire CC of being ‘inept’ at managing its budget and responsibilities.

‘Its council tax has gone up year on year but service provision has gone down,’ he said.

‘Cuts were made to children’s centres, highway maintenance and bus routes, when the only thing that really needed to be cut – and wasn’t – was the grass.’

The Cherwell leader characterised the proposed unitary council as a “one-size-fits all” approach and said power should not be taken away from local communities and given to an authority - Oxfordshire CC - which ‘cannot manage the services it has now.’

‘By proposing a single point of contact, Oxfordshire County Council – with the support of South and Vale - is merely proposing a single point of failure and it is our residents who will suffer the consequences,’ he said.

Cllr Wood highlighted the fact Cherwell’s council tax precept has remained frozen for the past seven years without any impact on service provision. If a single unitary council were to be introduced, he warned, council tax precepts would have to go up.

Harnessing the best of the West image

Harnessing the best of the West

Ann McGauran reports on the launch of Metro Dynamics’ report making the case for the creation of the UK’s next wealth generator – the Great Western Powerhouse
Highways jobs

Senior Benefits Officer

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 6 - Starting at £25,599 per annum and rising to £28,221
The Benefits Service is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced person to support the Assessment Team Leaders in the management and monitoring ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Experienced Social Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Telford & Wrekin is seeking an experienced social worker to join adult safeguarding Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Qualified Social Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£31,371 - £33,799 per annum
Telford & Wreking is seeking a Qualified Social Worker for Adult Safeguarding Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Team Leader - Leaving Care

Telford & Wrekin Council
£44,632 - £47,534 per annum
We are recruiting a very special person to the Leaving Care Team Leader role to Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Corporate Director of Children’s Services

Trafford Council
£125,000
Trafford is a thriving, diverse, prosperous and culturally vibrant borough sitting at the heart of Greater Manchester. Trafford, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Trafford Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine