The Government has announced that it will not be making a decision on the proposals for a single unitary council for Oxfordshire for the foreseeable future – and that it “would be wrong” to commit to a timetable to consider them.
The Minister for Local Government provided the update in a letter to the Leaders of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils, which the two councils made public yesterday.
In his letter, Rishi Sunak MP said: “It would be wrong for Government to commit now to any particular timetable for considering the unitary proposal, although we remain open to considering the views of any Oxfordshire council about unitary proposals.”
He cited as reasons for the decision the new partnership arrangements between Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council following the restructuring of local government in Northamptonshire, and the successful joint working between all six of Oxfordshire’s councils with the Growth Board.
Mr Sunak said: “The evidence of the progress all Oxfordshire councils together are making on the Housing and Growth Deal clearly demonstrates that the absence of any announcement on the unitary proposal is no impediment to continued partnership working.”