Monday, 30 January 2017

The end of Local Goverment with One Oxforshire

I'm sorry, but I'm going to keep banging on about this!!! this is really scary stuff for the People Of Oxford City! Potentially, if the County Council get their way with their proposal for One Super Council, Council Houses could be sold off, less social housing at affordable rents, for people that so desperately need it.
Our Cleansing services Sold off to Biffa, which will mean less Jobs for the people in the City at a decent rate of pay and lining the pockets of the owners of such companies.
Lets face it the County are very good at making Hundreds and hundreds of people redundant and selling off Vital Services, dare I mention Care services for our elderly and vulnerable residents here in the City!!!!
Please get involved find out for your self what their up to, before it's too late and tell the County Council to keep their hands off our Council!!! speak to your local Councillors and tell them what you think, I was born in this city, as were all my family, I care what happens!! |Oxford will be a city just for the elite! but who will work in the shops, because know one will be able to afford to live here if they get their way!!
Please read below!!
Shared services and functions and fewer councillors are just some of the proposals raised by Oxfordshire county councillors at a meeting which revealed the move could save £400,000 a week.
‘One Oxfordshire’ discussed merging services and functions between the six councils and working together across party lines towards a saving target of £100m over five years.
The changing structure will mean a reduction in the number of councillors, with a reduction to 100-125 from 282, leading to £4.7m in savings.
Each councillor would be a single point of contact, and Area Executive boards would have formal decision-making powers to address local priorities, with each area represented on the unitary council’s cabinet.
The re-structure also means community points such as libraries, leisure centres, fire stations and health facilities would have more joined up services.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, County Council conservative leader, said at the meeting on Wednesday last week: “This is a once in a generation chance to improve local government in Oxfordshire and deliver better services to residents, a real fresh start for the county that works for everyone.”
Councillor Richard Webber, of the Liberal Democrat party, said: “This is an all party initiative. There are a number of areas we don’t agree on but with this particular initiative, we are all passionately behind it.
“There are an overwhelming number of positive reasons why a single Oxfordshire council that makes the best possible savings will deliver a simpler council structure, providing better services to residents at much lower cost, and in the end, more local services too.”
Labour councillor Liz Brighouse expressed concern over recent cuts to social care services: “Since I’ve joined local government I have seen the money available for [children and families] services being eroded, particularly in the last few years – and each year virtually sweating blood because you know the difference to families when those services are reduced.
“So I see this as a way to get better services for our communities, a way of joining up our social care benefits so people can get the services they need.”
She added: “We’ve seen the crisis in our National Health Service and very often we hear ‘well actually there’s a real problem in adult social care.’ I think there is nothing worse whenever I go around canvassing – I hear a lot of people and their problems and it’s a lot of ‘well actually you have to go to the county council to sort that,’ or ‘well actually that’s a city council function,’ we need to bring all those city functions together.”
Grant Thornton, an independent accounting and consultancy firm, found that the single authority would be the most cost-effective, and has estimated a further £20m annual saving.
From left, councillors Richard Webber, Ian Hudspeth and Liz Brighouse
The ‘One Oxfordshire’ plan, which would be set in place within 18 months, showcases the concerted efforts between parties in working together towards a unitary authority, but many are against the proposals.
Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “This is the wrong proposal at the wrong time.
“The creation of a single unitary council for the whole of Oxfordshire would be highly disruptive for local services and will take years to create.
“The savings of £20m a year that are claimed is very small against a total budget of over £821m for the new authority, and fails to take account of the high costs of the transition in redundancies and reorganisations.”
He added: “A unitary county council would mean a threat to local communities through a remote planning process that could impose new homes against the wishes of locally elected councillors and communities.”
He said it could also mean “a requirement to equalise council tax across the county, with big increases for many residents” and could also lead to “a reduction in local democracy by placing all significant decision making powers in the hands of a single body and removing the easy access to local councillors”.
Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council said the proposals “are based upon sweeping and inaccurate information”.

Published by Caroline Glendinning



 

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