Unitary & devolution: Latest news
Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse council have developed a proposal for a single unitary council for Oxfordshire and, following public consultation, they have submitted the proposal to government.
West Oxfordshire, Cherwell and Oxford City Councils also carried out their own consultations and petitions and this included an independent Ipsos MORI poll that found out:
- 67% of Oxfordshire residents feel local services should continue to be decided at the district/city level, rather than at the county level
- 82% of residents had little or no understanding of the unitary county council proposals
- 68% said they did not have sufficient information about how the unitary county council proposals would impact them and their area
- 73% would like to be informed about the all proposed options and to have a say in the future structure of local government in Oxfordshire
- 84% said they wanted to know how their household’s council tax would be affected before they agreed or disagreed with the proposals
On top of this, 4,367 people took part in West Oxfordshire District Council online poll of residents’ opinions. Of those who responded, 97% (4,238 people) wanted to see more options to improve and safeguard local services.
Because of the above, West Oxfordshire, Cherwell and Oxford City have also made a case to government stating that people want to retain services at a local district level, there is opposition to the unitary proposal and that the single unitary proposal does not have a level of broad support.
It is expected that the government will make a decision on the proposal later this year.