Oxford City Council launches petition against unitary county council

The logo for the Hands off Oxford City campaign Published: Monday, 13th February 2017

Oxford City Council has today launched a Change.org petition against Oxfordshire County Council’s proposals to create a new unitary county council.

The petition, under the tagline “Hands off Oxford city”, is a rallying cry to oppose the county council’s proposals and protect the City’s assets and services, which are at risk.

The petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/oxfordshire-county-council-hands-off-oxford-city-49f3a5e6-a32e-4ced-a8ff-5c04f0cc94d6.

The petition raises two primary concerns about the unitary county council proposals:

  • A loss of vital services, such as council housing, investment in estates, improving the city’s economic growth, investment in communities, protection of the environment and support for the voluntary, community and arts groups
  • The dilution of local democracy, and a voice for local residents being lost

Oxfordshire County Council has a history of cuts. Recent examples include cutting grants to homelessness charities, cutting bus subsidies and cutting children’s centres.

By contrast, Oxford City Council has a proud track record of investing in:

  • 7,800 council homes – the only ones not sold off in the county
  • £61m of investment in building new affordable housing
  • £13.5m of investment to improve Oxford’s estates
  • 19 community centres and five leisure facilities
  • An in-house youth team that provides clubs, support and grants for Oxford’s young people
  • Teams dedicated to tackling climate change and improving recycling rates
  • Over £2m of grants to community groups and homelessness charities every year

Recent investment in our communities has included:

  • £9m Leys Pools and Leisure Centre
  • £4m Rose Hill Community Centre
  • £5m sports park at Horspath
  • £20m refurbishment of Oxford’s tower blocks
  • £4m regeneration of Barton centre
  • £2m Northway and Marston Flood Alleviation Scheme

Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “Our concern is that the proposals for a county council unitary will mean the voice of the City will be lost, and the vital services that Oxford City Council protects could be put at risk.

“Please sign our petition to register your opposition to the unitary county council proposals.”

Oxford City Council is calling on residents concerned about the unitary county council proposals to sign its petition by visiting: https://www.change.org/p/oxfordshire-county-council-hands-off-oxford-city-49f3a5e6-a32e-4ced-a8ff-5c04f0cc94d6.