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.
Lois Muddiman is following this site, wanting to find out more about the Oxfordshire Green Party.