Oxford Sustainable Future Symposium
30 October 2015
The city of Oxford, and indeed many parts of our county, are faced with a wide range of challenges that constrain our ability to provide a world class environment for our people. In June, three strategic organisations joined together for the Oxford Sustainable Future Symposium, which explored a route to addressing many of these issues.
The Symposium was attended by 85 people, representing all six local councils, the boards of the Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) and the Oxford Strategic Partnership (OSP), both universities (Oxford and Oxford Brookes), local colleges and a wide range of businesses, as well as various community interest groups.
We set out to gain a deeper, shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face our community; to establish a collective will to find and deliver realistic solutions; and to reach some agreement on how we can best work together to create a sustainable future in a timely and resourceful way.
We were challenged by our speaker, Lord Drayson, to focus on creating a single voice to which Government can respond more effectively with appropriate levels of support and investment. Many of you will know Paul Drayson from his days as a local businessman. He is well aware of both the conflicts that exist in our local government structure and the attitudes that are held in Whitehall.
We recognised that maintaining the status quo is not an option if we are to benefit from Government support. We also recognised that there is some urgency to act. We need a unified voice and effective leadership for the city and county. We also need to create suitable mechanisms for developing a shared sense of place and for delivering sustainable planned-for growth.