Hands off Oxford City
Hands off Oxford City
Why this petition matters
This petition on this page, opposing a new unitary council for Oxfordshire, is now closed, and here’s why.
Oxfordshire County Council elections are on 4 May, which is also the date of the by-election for the vacant seat on Oxford City Council in Barton and Sandhills Ward, following the sad death of Councillor Van Coulter.
There are standard requirements on all councils to avoid publishing or promoting material that may reasonably be perceived as supporting the campaigns of any individuals or parties seeking election.
There is considerable controversy locally over proposals to create a unitary council for the whole of Oxfordshire, combining and replacing the County Council, Oxford City Council, and the other four Oxfordshire District Councils.
The City Council opposes these proposals.
You can also see the report of an Ipsos MORI survey undertaken on the matter here.
Beyond that, the rules on pre-election publicity mean that, until 5 May, we at Oxford City Council will not be able to continue actively promoting the Hands off Oxford City campaign. Members of the public can still say how they feel about the proposals, including making representations to your local MP.
We want to make you aware of a massive threat facing Oxford City.
Oxfordshire County Council has put forward proposals to abolish Oxford City Council, along with all the other councils in Oxfordshire, to create a remote unitary county council covering all of Oxfordshire.
Our concern is that these proposals will mean the voice of the City will be lost; Oxford will no longer have control of decisions over vital services in the City.
Oxfordshire County Council’s track record is that they have closed homeless shelters by cutting grants, they have left communities isolated by cutting bus subsidies, they have devastated families by cutting children’s centres, and they have left our roads riddled with potholes and gridlock.
Oxford City Council is unique in Oxfordshire. We are the only council in Oxfordshire to have kept our 7,800 council homes, we own 19 community centres and five leisure facilities, we have an in-house youth team, we have a team dedicated to tackling climate change and another to improving recycling rates, and we give over £2m of grants to community groups and homelessness charities every year. In 2014 we received the ‘Best Achieving Council’ award.
You may not agree with everything we do, but we are proud of our record. Recent investment has included the £9m Leys Pools and Leisure Centre, the £4m Rose Hill Community Centre, the recently-agreed £5m sports park at Horspath, the £20m refurbishment of Oxford’s tower blocks, £13.5m to improve Oxford’s estates, the £2m Northway and Marston Flood Alleviation Scheme, and £61m in new affordable housing.
The proposals for a unitary county council could put these services and priorities at risk.
Please sign this petition to register your opposition to the unitary county council proposals. Together, we can tell Oxfordshire County Council: Hands off Oxford City.
This is not about what political party you vote for, it is about whether Oxford remains in control of local services for local people.
If you would like to help further, please consider writing to your MP: