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Stop plans for a unitary authority in Oxfordshire

This petition had 2,270 supporters

We are asking for your support to stop Oxfordshire County Council’s plans to abolish Cherwell District Council and replace it with a single unitary authority for the whole of the county.

Cherwell District Council is a strong and financially sound council which has protected all frontline services without increasing the cost to you. We are local. We listen. And we prioritise the needs of Cherwell above anywhere else.

Plans for a unitary authority would mean your local voice would be lost; decisions affecting the district would be made by people at a county level who would prioritise the needs of Oxfordshire over those of Cherwell.

At Cherwell we are investing. We have spent millions supporting the development of Pioneer Square in Bicester and Spiceball and Woodgreen Leisure Centres in Banbury.

This year we will invest further; 2017 will see the start of work to bring a new multi-screen cinema and restaurants to Banbury through the CQ2 project, new sports facilities at North Oxfordshire Academy and a new roof for the Cooper School hall in Bicester.

Other factors to consider are:

· Oxfordshire County Council has increased its council tax by 4.99% this year, while Cherwell District Council has frozen its council tax for the eighth consecutive year, equating to a 0% increase to residents

· Oxfordshire County Council plans to spend £16 million implementing a unitary council and your council tax will go up to pay for it

· Cherwell households pay just £45.02 a year for their bin collections; less than £1 a week

· Cherwell has saved £8 million since 2011 through initiatives such as joint working, has not cut any front line services and is generating its own income through the Graven Hill self build and Build! housing projects

· We have supported the economic growth of our district; Cherwell’s unemployment figures are the lowest on record (less than 300) and we collect the highest business rates total in Oxfordshire

· Local issues such as protecting the Horton General Hospital, will be diluted amongst the county’s wider issues

Proposals for a Unitary County Council would put our services and priorities at risk. You may not agree with everything we do but even Oxfordshire County Council has recognised Cherwell as an example of a “successful” council; we do not fail.

This is not about what political party you vote for, it is about whether Cherwell District Council remains in control of local services for local people. A single point of contact is a single point of failure.

Please sign this petition to register your opposition to the Unitary County Council proposals.  Together, we can tell Oxfordshire County Council there is a better way; a local way.

If you would like to help further, please consider writing to your MP:

· Victoria Prentis MP, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire

· John Howell MP, Member of Parliament for Henley

· Nicola Blackwood MP, Oxford West and Abingdon

Today: Cherwell District is counting on you

Cherwell District Council needs your help with “Stop plans for a unitary authority in Oxfordshire”. Join Cherwell District and 2,269 supporters today.