After failing in 2017, the Government, with the support of the Tory-run Oxfordshire County Council, look set to again try and reorganise the City and County Councils. A new Devolution White Paper - to be published in early September 2020 - is widely expected to revive previously rejected 'One Oxfordshire' proposals to create a single unitary authority. This would see Oxford City Council abolished, along with the four neighbouring district councils, and replaced with a new, most-likely Tory-run Countywide Council. Based on current and historical voting, this would most-likely be Tory-run. At the time, Green County Councillor David Williams called the plans 'crazy'.
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 far from 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.
We want to re-ignite our campaign to SAVE OXFORD FROM TORY RULE. 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.61 signaturesWe are opposed to any proposals that will replace local councils with a large distant bureaucracy covering the whole of Oxfordshire, which will not reflect the diversity of the county.
Dick Wolff published Get involved in the City's Local Plan Review in Members blog 2016-07-22 10:04:32 +0100
A process has begun for reviewing Oxford City Council's Local Plan : bringing a number of planning documents (Core Strategy, Sites & Housing Plan, various Area Action Plans etc) into one document. By August next year the responses will have been whittled down to a 'preferred options' document, so the initial open-ended consultation which runs till August 5th is the main opportunity to highlight things that are outdated or not working from the existing policies and insert new ideas. It is hoped that the final policy document will be signed off by the Inspectorate in 2019, and from that point all planning approvals will have to be in accordance with that policy.Read more
Dick Wolff, councillor for St. Mary's
Dick has lived in Oxford since 1995, is 64 years old and has two adult children. His wife is a retired primary school teacher. After a career as a graduate mining engineer and a year as a youth worker in inner-city Liverpool, Dick read theology at Mansfield College and was ordained as a United Reformed Church minister in 1981. For ten years he served as a church 'ambassador' in the world of industry and the local economy, working from Coventry Cathedral; he currrently serves churches in Risinghurst and Cowley. Elected a city councillor in 2010, Dick is a member of the County's Advisory Committee on Religious Education. A keen musician, he leads a local ceilidh band and folk group.