Tory-run Oxfordshire County Council have published proposals which would see Oxford City Council abolished, along with the four neighbouring district councils, and replaced with a new Countywide Council. The 'One Oxfordshire' (see www.oneoxfordshire.org) proposals, labelled as 'crazy' by Green County Councillor David Williams, are also backed by Labour and LibDem County Councillors who seem to have fallen in line with the Tories.
No one can say for certain what changes a Tory-run Council would make to the City. However, historically the County Conservatives have not supported a number of policies which have been backed by the people of Oxford and its councillors, for example, policies on affordable housing, homelessness, the Oxford Living Wage and climate change.
They have also taken a very different approach to how the council provide services. Whereas Oxford has continued to operate its own services and held on to its assets, the County Conservatives have chosen to privatise services and sell-off assets. This means that as Government funding has reduced Oxford has not suffered any serious service cuts or redundancies in recent years.
Of course, Oxford City Council is not perfect but it is far more accountable and far more reflective of the electorate it serves than the Conservative majority that pervades the rest of the County.
Luckily there is still time to oppose One Oxfordshire as the proposals are out for consultation* (until end February 2017). Sign our petition and let the Tories, Labour and LibDem Councillors on Oxfordshire County Council know that you do not want to see Oxford City Council abolished and Oxford ruled by Tories.
*You can also respond directly to the online consultation here - www.oneoxfordshire.org/get-involved38 signaturesWe are opposed to the One Oxfordshire proposal that will replace local councils with a large distant bureaucracy covering the whole of Oxfordshire, which will not reflect the diversity of the county.
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The Labour-run City Council is planning to seize direct control of East Oxford Community Centre (on the Cowley Road) and rush through a redevelopment funded by selling off the East Oxford Games Hall and Film Oxford sites.
The Centre is currently run by the East Oxford Community Association. EOCA has a chequered history but the current management committee have proven themselves to be effective managers of the Centre. The Centre is home to many local groups (including Fusion Arts & Oxford Action Resource Centre) and most nights all available rooms are
booked out. Both the Games Hall and Film Oxford are also well used, the latter includes a well-loved community garden.
Says local Green Councillor Elise Benjamin:
“There is already mistrust in the community because of Temple Cowley Pools and the old Cowley Community Centre and now East Oxford residents are being hit again by a Labour council that seems more interested in selling the community to the highest bidder. These plans make a mockery of council claims they will consult the community about the future use of the East Oxford Community Centre. Users of East Oxford Games Hall and Film Oxford weren't even aware of the plans to close them.”129 signatures
Green Councillors are calling on the Labour-run City Council to ‘think again’ about its decision to seize direct control of East Oxford Community Centre from the Community Association and rush through a redevelopment funded by selling off the East Oxford Games Hall and Film Oxford sites.
We are calling for:
- A Centre run for the community by the community
- Improvements to the East Oxford Community Centre not to be made dependent on the closure of the Games Hall and Film Oxford.
- Proper public consultation on the future of community provision in East Oxford
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Sarah Wood wants to volunteer 2014-12-18 15:29:49 +0000
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Larry Sanders with Shahrah Ali, Green Party Deputy Leader, at the Green Fair.
Larry Sanders is the Green Party candidate for Summertown in the Oxford City Council election on 5 May 2016.
Who is Larry?
I have been working for people with disabilities and their carers for the past 20 years based on my training in Law and Social Work. I have been:
- Chair and Legal Advisor to Oxfordshire Community Care Rights
- Lecturer in Health and Social Care Law at the Open University and Oxford Brookes
- Director of Oxfordshire Carers’ Forum
- Non-Executive Director of Oxfordshire Mental Trust
- Oxfordshire County Councillor and Member Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee
- Chair Healthwatch Oxfordshire
- Member Advisory Group on Unsafe Discharges for Healthwatch England
- Co-Chair Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public
i am now the Green Party spokeperson on health.
Why am I standing?
The UK has had 30 years of governments shifting resources from the vast majority to the richest 1%. As a result we have an NHS becoming unable to provide decent care for most people; millions of people unable to afford decent housing; an economy unable to make the shift to renewable energy; a rich country with hundreds of thousands of people short of food and heating. This is all unnecessary and only the Green Party has the determination and policies to make the difference we need.
I am very proud to have been endorsed by the National Health Action Party. Our two parties are the only parties active in England which are campaigning for the end of privatisation in the NHS and in support of the Junior Doctors. It is true that Jeremy Corbyn agrees with us but the vast majority of the Labour Party 'establishment', (MPs. Councillors and party officials) do not.
What Larry will do when elected
My priorities will be to support legislation:
- To reverse the privatisation of the NHS and to fund it properly
- To build hundreds of thousands of good quality Council Houses for rent and a similar number of Community Land Trust homes for sale with the land kept in community ownership (which will cut their price in half)
- To make sure the richest individuals and corporations pay their full taxes
- To require all employers pay a minimum wage of £10 an hour, ending the scandal of millions of workers in poverty
- To severely reduce the unemployment and under-employment of 5 million people ready and willing to work by a program to renew and improve our infrastructure.
This is a rich, skilled and decent country. We can do much better.
Here is Larry talking about Oxford and the world when interviewed in 2013.28 signatures
I call on the government to reverse the privatisation of the NHS and to fund it properly.
Oxford is now the most unaffordable place to live in the UK. Houses cost more than 11 times average wages. The country and Oxford's council have a housing crisis on their hands.
Too often, people paying rent get poor service from rogue agencies and landlords. Greens want to take action to drive up standards in rented housing and to tackle the burden of rent.
We believe that access to housing is a human right—the council must do more to meet the housing needs of people in Oxford. Greens support increasing the number of council and social homes available to those who need them.
No council houses have been completed in the last year in Oxford. So when suitable houses become available on the local market, Oxford City Council should purchase them to increase the council housing stock.31 signatures
We demand that Oxford City Council use some of the £10m it has set aside to buy properties for use as Council housing to purchase the Crown House Club on the corner of Crown Street and St Mary’s Road in East Oxford. The Council could then provide 4 flats for immediate rent and a potential additional 5 flats for rent once the non-residential parts of the building are converted for residential use.
We believe the £1m price tag for the Crown House Club, and the potential to create up to 9 Council housing units in an area of housing need, presents excellent value for money for the City Council. With a constant decline in social housing available in the city, it would be a travesty to pass on such a good opportunity to increase the Council's housing stock.
Sarah Wood is following this site, wanting to find out more about the Oxfordshire Green Party.