Labour welcomes the publication of two reports on local government reform (by Grant Thornton and Price Waterhouse Coopers, 2016), which confirm Labour’s view that the option which will deliver the greatest saving is a single unitary authority for Oxfordshire.
Both reports argue that the current status quo will not deliver the best services or value for money for people in Oxfordshire. With this Government’s continued austerity agenda, Labour Councillors believe that change is needed if we are to protect our most vulnerable residents and the services on which so many rely.
Labour County Councillor John Christie said, “Any other arrangement (other than a single unitary authority) will perpetuate the confusing two tier system. It will require a new combined authority in addition to multiple unitary authorities. This will be less directly democratically accountable and will continue the unsatisfactory and weak joint decision-making that we have recently seen on countywide housing.
John Christie added, “The County and District Councils have spent £200,000 on these two studies. There is now an obligation for all councils to unite on the unitary single county option which will best reduce duplication and produce the most savings to enable real investment in the housing, care services, children’s service and highway provision that our county so desperately needs.”