Oxford City, Cherwell and West Oxfordshire Districts have combined to draw up alternative proposals for the future structure of local government in Oxfordshire. They oppose the single unitary organisation favoured by the County, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District. Instead, the counter-proposals put a case for a Combined Authority, with the four districts, the City and the Oxfordshire LEP working through a strengthened Oxfordshire Growth Board.
Oxford Civic Society will be commenting fully in the near future. Meanwhile, our Chairman Ian Green was interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford on Monday 26 June in connection with our recent report comparing Oxford and Cambridge. Speaking about the differences in collaboration in the two cities and their regions, Ian said:
In Oxfordshire we have no agreement on the way in which the whole county will be governed. We have three of our six local authorities putting in a proposal to central government, and now in the last few days the three other local authorities putting in another proposal. In our view both of those proposals should really be withdrawn, and then a discussion with everybody, with all the stakeholders, to try to achieve a consensus on what the governance arrangements should be. And then let’s get together with a devolution proposal which will enable us to get the funding – the heavy duty funding – needed for the infrastructure for transport and health.