County council leader says it's time for debate about having just one council for Oxfordshire

County council leader says it's time for debate about having just one council for Oxfordshire

Fossil fuel protesters outside County Hall

Ian Hudspeth

First published in News

THE leader of Oxfordshire County Council has called for a debate on establishing a single council to run Oxfordshire.

Speaking at full council yesterday, Ian Hudspeth said the county could benefit from being governed by a unitary authority.

At the moment some services are run by the county council and others by one of the five district councils.

Oxford has made a previous attempt to become a unitary authority in 2003 and earlier this year city council leader Bob Price said the Adonis Report produced by Lord Adonis for the Labour Party would bring about local government reorganisation after next year’s general election – if the party wins.

But Mr Hudspeth has disputed Mr Price’s claims Oxford should run itself and said it would make more sense for Oxfordshire to become a completely self-governing entity.

He said: “Rather than the fiddling around with boundaries, I understand Lord Adonis is suggesting something similar to Lord Heseltine’s No Stone Unturned report that local government should be on viable economic areas similar to the local enterprise partnerships.

“In Oxfordshire’s case this would be co-terminus with the county’s boundaries and also those of the clinical commissioning group.

“If there were to be a reorganisation of local government then we have to remember this county council delivers 75 per cent of local government services within Oxfordshire.

“That means we have one social services department, one highways department, one library service, one children’s service, one trading standards service, one fire service, one registration service – the list goes on.

“If we were to have one unitary authority then we would only require one of each department.

“I’m sure if I knocked on the doors of the residents of Oxfordshire and told them I had a plan to get rid of five chief executive officers and over 200 councillors, that would save them around £2m every year along with other savings that could be better used to protect and provide the services they value, they would tell me to get on with the job.

“Perhaps what we need to do is establish all the costs then have a debate.”

But Mr Hudspeth said the government is not approving local government reorganisations in this Parliament, so no action can be taken before the General Election next year.

Oxfordshire’s current political set-up dates back to 1972, when the so-called “two-tier” system was established. Before then, Oxford and Oxfordshire ran themselves independently of each other.

Under the two-tier system, the county’s five district councils are responsible for planning, licensing, housing and waste collection while the county council is responsible for transport, children’s services, education and social care.

In 2003, Oxford City Council submitted an unsuccessful bid to the Government to be granted unitary status.

Mr Price said: “The current Government is not interested in local government re-organisation; it is not on the agenda at the moment.

“It would be very odd to go down the track of a county unitary when the districts themselves are operating outside the county.

“And certainly speaking from a city point of view, we are completely different to the rest of the county and we feel it would have a negative impact on the city.

“There certainly is a political issue, but the city as a community would lose out dramatically.”

PROTESTERS gathered outside County Hall yesterday to press the case for stopping investment in fossil fuels for ethical reasons.

The group was asking for Oxfordshire County Council to divest its financial input into fossil fuel companies.

According to information released under the Freedom of Information Act, the Oxfordshire Pension Fund – which is administered by the county council and is worth £1.6 billion – invests £27.9m in fossil fuel companies including £15m in Royal Dutch Shell, £2.2m in BP and £1.7m in PetroChina. Demonstrator Al Chisholm, of East Oxford, said: “We are at a point where systemic change is needed to tackle this issue. This is a way of telling the county council that it needs to change its business model and be part of the green energy revolution.”

Green county councillor David Williams said: “There is no doubt whatsoever in the scientific community that unless we do something about carbon emissions society is going to suffer dreadfully in the next 50 years.”

The issue was also debated at full council yesterday, but a motion calling on the council to stop its investments was defeated.

County councillor Stewart Lilly, chairman of the council’s pension fund committee, said: “We cannot impose our own social, environmental and ethical views when making decisions on behalf of the pension fund.”

He said the fund has a legal duty to invest in the best financial interest of pension fund employers and beneficiaries.

TRAMS or even a monorail could be used to transport people between Witney and Oxford, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council has said.

Ian Hudpseth spoke as he prepares to visit Witney next week for a public meeting on his Connecting Oxfordshire vision.

The Conservative councillor said he hopes to form a consensus about the best way to tackle the problem of the A40.

He said: “The A40 has been very much in the spotlight recently and there is an ongoing and very healthy debate about what might be done to improve it over and above what is already planned.

“Away from the subject of the A40 I have been delighted to see people thinking out of the box and talking about trams, monorails or railway links between Witney and Oxford.

“With so much development planned in West Oxfordshire, particularly around Carterton, we’ve got to start looking at the period beyond 2020 and being imaginative about what transport network solutions there may be.

“I certainly want to see the debate continue about whether a tram or monorail or railway link between Oxford and West Oxfordshire would be popular.

“I know that there is still to this day a lot of sadness about the closure of the Oxford to Witney railway in the 1960s. How can we rejuvenate that public transport link and what variety of transport system would be most viable and popular?”

According to a report commissioned by Oxfordshire’s councils, West Oxfordshire needs 13,200 extra homes by 2031 while 80,000 jobs are expected to come to the county by that year.

And Mr Hudspeth said he is interested in hearing how transport problems across West Oxfordshire can be tackled, not just the issue of the A40.

Opened in 1861, the railway line between Witney and Oxford was closed to passenger traffic in 1962 as part of the Beeching cuts.

A campaign group called Witney Oxford Transport has recently been set up to encourage the council to carry out a feasibility study into reopening the line.

Mr Hudspeth will be holding a public meeting on his plans at Henry Box School on Monday at 7.30pm.

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Comments (20)

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9:35am Wed 2 Jul 14

Gunslinger says...

Quite right.

The main reason it doesn't happen is the one off cost of changes to IT systems, staff redundancies etc etc. which take years to pay off out of any savings achieved.

However it is much cheaper to abolish the districts and replace with the county, than the other way around. As has been found in Wiltshire, where Salisbury which is every bit as distinctive and 'different' as Oxford City, manages without having a separate district council.
Quite right. The main reason it doesn't happen is the one off cost of changes to IT systems, staff redundancies etc etc. which take years to pay off out of any savings achieved. However it is much cheaper to abolish the districts and replace with the county, than the other way around. As has been found in Wiltshire, where Salisbury which is every bit as distinctive and 'different' as Oxford City, manages without having a separate district council. Gunslinger
  • Score: 4

9:40am Wed 2 Jul 14

EMBOX2 says...

YES, YES AND YES!!!

How long have I been banging on about this? We are a TINY county in a TINY country - we do not need so many layers of bureaucracy. Why does each council have a separate contract for waste collections, social care, housing, the list goes on and on and on.

Then we can sell the Vale, Cherwell & SODC's expensive offices off which will raise a fair few million (meaning we don't have to raise council tax) and use it to plug the budget gaps.

DO IT, AND DO IT NOW!!
YES, YES AND YES!!! How long have I been banging on about this? We are a TINY county in a TINY country - we do not need so many layers of bureaucracy. Why does each council have a separate contract for waste collections, social care, housing, the list goes on and on and on. Then we can sell the Vale, Cherwell & SODC's expensive offices off which will raise a fair few million (meaning we don't have to raise council tax) and use it to plug the budget gaps. DO IT, AND DO IT NOW!! EMBOX2
  • Score: 2

10:14am Wed 2 Jul 14

the wizard says...

If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results.
In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end.

Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters.
If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results. In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end. Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters. the wizard
  • Score: 2

10:25am Wed 2 Jul 14

docs says...

Much as I despise the City's Labour administration and all its works, having a permanently Tory County run the city's services wouldn't seem entirely just either. As long as we have a major political divide between the city and the rest of the county, I can't see a unitary scheme getting support.
Much as I despise the City's Labour administration and all its works, having a permanently Tory County run the city's services wouldn't seem entirely just either. As long as we have a major political divide between the city and the rest of the county, I can't see a unitary scheme getting support. docs
  • Score: 12

10:27am Wed 2 Jul 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

YES PLEASE!!

Too many layers of government in this county.

County Council
District Council
City Council (Oxford)
Parish Council (Waste of time and typically out of touch with the communities they "serve")

Abolish them all and save a lot of money on your council tax! In reality Oxford City Should be a Unitary authority and One body, Oxfordshire County Council should run the rest of the county, abolish Parish and District councils - they just confuse people (who do you contact to get something resolved??) and add to bureaucracy and expenses claims..
YES PLEASE!! Too many layers of government in this county. County Council District Council City Council (Oxford) Parish Council (Waste of time and typically out of touch with the communities they "serve") Abolish them all and save a lot of money on your council tax! In reality Oxford City Should be a Unitary authority and One body, Oxfordshire County Council should run the rest of the county, abolish Parish and District councils - they just confuse people (who do you contact to get something resolved??) and add to bureaucracy and expenses claims.. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 2

11:34am Wed 2 Jul 14

Whitto says...

Gunslinger wrote:
Quite right.

The main reason it doesn't happen is the one off cost of changes to IT systems, staff redundancies etc etc. which take years to pay off out of any savings achieved.

However it is much cheaper to abolish the districts and replace with the county, than the other way around. As has been found in Wiltshire, where Salisbury which is every bit as distinctive and 'different' as Oxford City, manages without having a separate district council.
Erm you may want to ask the people of Salisbury about that - I'm originally from Salisbury and they hate the fact that are run from Trowbridge and feel left out of any decision making. A lot of people there would rather look to the south and merge with Winchester or even Southampton.

Oh and Mr Hudspath there already is only one of the services you quoted ("That means we have one social services department, one highways department, one library service, one children’s service, one trading standards service, one fire service, one registration service – the list goes on.") and you run them all, maybe you should know what services the council you lead offer before commenting on them.
[quote][p][bold]Gunslinger[/bold] wrote: Quite right. The main reason it doesn't happen is the one off cost of changes to IT systems, staff redundancies etc etc. which take years to pay off out of any savings achieved. However it is much cheaper to abolish the districts and replace with the county, than the other way around. As has been found in Wiltshire, where Salisbury which is every bit as distinctive and 'different' as Oxford City, manages without having a separate district council.[/p][/quote]Erm you may want to ask the people of Salisbury about that - I'm originally from Salisbury and they hate the fact that are run from Trowbridge and feel left out of any decision making. A lot of people there would rather look to the south and merge with Winchester or even Southampton. Oh and Mr Hudspath there already is only one of the services you quoted ("That means we have one social services department, one highways department, one library service, one children’s service, one trading standards service, one fire service, one registration service – the list goes on.") and you run them all, maybe you should know what services the council you lead offer before commenting on them. Whitto
  • Score: 4

12:20pm Wed 2 Jul 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election.

There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well.

At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted!
Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election. There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well. At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted! yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 1

1:36pm Wed 2 Jul 14

blundelo says...

the wizard wrote:
If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results.
In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end.

Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters.
The problem with your proposal is that all government, national or local, needs both elected officials, to pursue the policies on which they have been elected, and unelected civil servants, who are not directly beholden to the electorate, to implement those policies in as fair, equitable and efficient a way as possible so that there is no temptation to gerrymander, or provide better services to those marginal wards that influence the outcome of the election.
[quote][p][bold]the wizard[/bold] wrote: If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results. In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end. Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters.[/p][/quote]The problem with your proposal is that all government, national or local, needs both elected officials, to pursue the policies on which they have been elected, and unelected civil servants, who are not directly beholden to the electorate, to implement those policies in as fair, equitable and efficient a way as possible so that there is no temptation to gerrymander, or provide better services to those marginal wards that influence the outcome of the election. blundelo
  • Score: 2

1:48pm Wed 2 Jul 14

blundelo says...

Under no circumstances must Oxford City Council be subsumed into Oxfordshire County Council. The people of Oxford have rejected Conservative policies at every election since 1980, with control of the city council switching back and forth between Labour and NOC ever since.

Now Ian Hudspeth wants to try and impose Tory rule on the city by the back door, by imposing a unitary authority on the whole county and abolishing the city council, knowing that the Tories are likely to remain the largest single party, even when they have no overall control. I do not want to see my liberal/left-leaning adopted home city forced to accept a Conservative local government - this would be a betrayal of local democracy.
Under no circumstances must Oxford City Council be subsumed into Oxfordshire County Council. The people of Oxford have rejected Conservative policies at every election since 1980, with control of the city council switching back and forth between Labour and NOC ever since. Now Ian Hudspeth wants to try and impose Tory rule on the city by the back door, by imposing a unitary authority on the whole county and abolishing the city council, knowing that the Tories are likely to remain the largest single party, even when they have no overall control. I do not want to see my liberal/left-leaning adopted home city forced to accept a Conservative local government - this would be a betrayal of local democracy. blundelo
  • Score: 5

2:00pm Wed 2 Jul 14

mytaxes says...

blundelo wrote:
Under no circumstances must Oxford City Council be subsumed into Oxfordshire County Council. The people of Oxford have rejected Conservative policies at every election since 1980, with control of the city council switching back and forth between Labour and NOC ever since.

Now Ian Hudspeth wants to try and impose Tory rule on the city by the back door, by imposing a unitary authority on the whole county and abolishing the city council, knowing that the Tories are likely to remain the largest single party, even when they have no overall control. I do not want to see my liberal/left-leaning adopted home city forced to accept a Conservative local government - this would be a betrayal of local democracy.
Let's hope Ian Hudspeth wins on this issue. I have never understood why city taxpayers vote for a wasteful high spending lot year on year. Labour wanted a huge increase in council tax again this year but they were not prepared to hold a referendum as they knew the taxpayer would vote against it. Many councils are again freezing council tax and some are even lowering it. I suppose those who vote for Labour here are either very rich or do nor pay council tax.
[quote][p][bold]blundelo[/bold] wrote: Under no circumstances must Oxford City Council be subsumed into Oxfordshire County Council. The people of Oxford have rejected Conservative policies at every election since 1980, with control of the city council switching back and forth between Labour and NOC ever since. Now Ian Hudspeth wants to try and impose Tory rule on the city by the back door, by imposing a unitary authority on the whole county and abolishing the city council, knowing that the Tories are likely to remain the largest single party, even when they have no overall control. I do not want to see my liberal/left-leaning adopted home city forced to accept a Conservative local government - this would be a betrayal of local democracy.[/p][/quote]Let's hope Ian Hudspeth wins on this issue. I have never understood why city taxpayers vote for a wasteful high spending lot year on year. Labour wanted a huge increase in council tax again this year but they were not prepared to hold a referendum as they knew the taxpayer would vote against it. Many councils are again freezing council tax and some are even lowering it. I suppose those who vote for Labour here are either very rich or do nor pay council tax. mytaxes
  • Score: -3

2:22pm Wed 2 Jul 14

xenarthra says...

Whitto wrote:
Gunslinger wrote:
Quite right.

The main reason it doesn't happen is the one off cost of changes to IT systems, staff redundancies etc etc. which take years to pay off out of any savings achieved.

However it is much cheaper to abolish the districts and replace with the county, than the other way around. As has been found in Wiltshire, where Salisbury which is every bit as distinctive and 'different' as Oxford City, manages without having a separate district council.
Erm you may want to ask the people of Salisbury about that - I'm originally from Salisbury and they hate the fact that are run from Trowbridge and feel left out of any decision making. A lot of people there would rather look to the south and merge with Winchester or even Southampton.

Oh and Mr Hudspath there already is only one of the services you quoted ("That means we have one social services department, one highways department, one library service, one children’s service, one trading standards service, one fire service, one registration service – the list goes on.") and you run them all, maybe you should know what services the council you lead offer before commenting on them.
I'm sure Mr Hudspath knows what services he runs. He was presumably still responding to Mr Price’s claims that Oxford should run itself, and was contrasting having one of each of these services (as at present) with the duplication that would required if Oxford City were to go it completely alone.
[quote][p][bold]Whitto[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gunslinger[/bold] wrote: Quite right. The main reason it doesn't happen is the one off cost of changes to IT systems, staff redundancies etc etc. which take years to pay off out of any savings achieved. However it is much cheaper to abolish the districts and replace with the county, than the other way around. As has been found in Wiltshire, where Salisbury which is every bit as distinctive and 'different' as Oxford City, manages without having a separate district council.[/p][/quote]Erm you may want to ask the people of Salisbury about that - I'm originally from Salisbury and they hate the fact that are run from Trowbridge and feel left out of any decision making. A lot of people there would rather look to the south and merge with Winchester or even Southampton. Oh and Mr Hudspath there already is only one of the services you quoted ("That means we have one social services department, one highways department, one library service, one children’s service, one trading standards service, one fire service, one registration service – the list goes on.") and you run them all, maybe you should know what services the council you lead offer before commenting on them.[/p][/quote]I'm sure Mr Hudspath knows what services he runs. He was presumably still responding to Mr Price’s claims that Oxford should run itself, and was contrasting having one of each of these services (as at present) with the duplication that would required if Oxford City were to go it completely alone. xenarthra
  • Score: 2

3:43pm Wed 2 Jul 14

norton manor says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election.

There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well.

At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted!
so are Parish Councils
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election. There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well. At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted![/p][/quote]so are Parish Councils norton manor
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Wed 2 Jul 14

downsview says...

Cllr Hudspeth correct to say we need a simplification Easy - 3 unitary authorities City South & Vale and Cherwell & WODC.
Cllr Hudspeth correct to say we need a simplification Easy - 3 unitary authorities City South & Vale and Cherwell & WODC. downsview
  • Score: 3

4:27pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Bure Park Resident says...

Ian Hudspeth is desperate to find some economies of scale. Oxfordshire County Council is a bloated monolith of unreformed and uneconomical bureaucracy, so he is not exactly preaching from a position of authority here. I reckon it is much more likely that after the election, Oxfordshire County Council will be abolished, and the groupings that the Districts have put together will be a more sustainable, nimble and lean organisation than the County. You will therefore have SODS and the Vale; West, Cotswold, Cheltenham and Forest of Dean; and Cherwell, South Northants and Stratford. Oxford City - well it can become the Socialist republic of Oxford, a car free and nuclear free zone and nobody to blame but themselves for the mess they make of a once proud city.
Ian Hudspeth is desperate to find some economies of scale. Oxfordshire County Council is a bloated monolith of unreformed and uneconomical bureaucracy, so he is not exactly preaching from a position of authority here. I reckon it is much more likely that after the election, Oxfordshire County Council will be abolished, and the groupings that the Districts have put together will be a more sustainable, nimble and lean organisation than the County. You will therefore have SODS and the Vale; West, Cotswold, Cheltenham and Forest of Dean; and Cherwell, South Northants and Stratford. Oxford City - well it can become the Socialist republic of Oxford, a car free and nuclear free zone and nobody to blame but themselves for the mess they make of a once proud city. Bure Park Resident
  • Score: 3

5:52pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Mrs Arcanum says...

It would be horrendous for OCC to take on everything. As it stands there are a couple of strong departments that fight for their funding whilst weaker ones like roads and infrastructure can go hang. At least staff on District councils can spend most of their time doing their job rather than half the time justifying their role.
It would be horrendous for OCC to take on everything. As it stands there are a couple of strong departments that fight for their funding whilst weaker ones like roads and infrastructure can go hang. At least staff on District councils can spend most of their time doing their job rather than half the time justifying their role. Mrs Arcanum
  • Score: 3

12:25am Thu 3 Jul 14

the wizard says...

blundelo wrote:
the wizard wrote:
If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results.
In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end.

Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters.
The problem with your proposal is that all government, national or local, needs both elected officials, to pursue the policies on which they have been elected, and unelected civil servants, who are not directly beholden to the electorate, to implement those policies in as fair, equitable and efficient a way as possible so that there is no temptation to gerrymander, or provide better services to those marginal wards that influence the outcome of the election.
I did omit to say that council voting needs to be reformed also. The days of local councils being run by political parties is old hat and centuries out of date. What we need is councils who are not politically led. Yes they get funding etc from Whitehall, but they need to be made up of persons who are there to do a job in serving the public rather than a political cause. For far to long the whole country including Oxon has been held back and bogged down by political dogma. If we are to embrace change then we need total change. Do away with all this party political nonsense at local level and have a list of positions held by people who are best qualified to carry out the challenges that position demands, then we will start to get results and value for money. Break down the tiers of local civil servants, and its about time the numbers and their perks were scythed down to a realistic level, the same as the rest of us has had to suffer over the last few years. Salaries for some of these positions are not reflective of the responsibilities and civil servants have for far too long got away with far too much. Its time for councils to man their offices at weekends and bank holidays the same as all the other services for the public do. Try getting hold of somebody to sort a problem at the weekend and they don't want to know. Time they were far more accountable to the rate paying public.

If we are going to have change then lets go the whole hog and have people who work for us the public and are accountable to us the public and are voted in and out by us the public, and do away with the likes of secret meetings like they are proposing in Witney. Time for this can of worms to be put to the sword by the voters, we deserve better.
[quote][p][bold]blundelo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wizard[/bold] wrote: If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results. In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end. Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters.[/p][/quote]The problem with your proposal is that all government, national or local, needs both elected officials, to pursue the policies on which they have been elected, and unelected civil servants, who are not directly beholden to the electorate, to implement those policies in as fair, equitable and efficient a way as possible so that there is no temptation to gerrymander, or provide better services to those marginal wards that influence the outcome of the election.[/p][/quote]I did omit to say that council voting needs to be reformed also. The days of local councils being run by political parties is old hat and centuries out of date. What we need is councils who are not politically led. Yes they get funding etc from Whitehall, but they need to be made up of persons who are there to do a job in serving the public rather than a political cause. For far to long the whole country including Oxon has been held back and bogged down by political dogma. If we are to embrace change then we need total change. Do away with all this party political nonsense at local level and have a list of positions held by people who are best qualified to carry out the challenges that position demands, then we will start to get results and value for money. Break down the tiers of local civil servants, and its about time the numbers and their perks were scythed down to a realistic level, the same as the rest of us has had to suffer over the last few years. Salaries for some of these positions are not reflective of the responsibilities and civil servants have for far too long got away with far too much. Its time for councils to man their offices at weekends and bank holidays the same as all the other services for the public do. Try getting hold of somebody to sort a problem at the weekend and they don't want to know. Time they were far more accountable to the rate paying public. If we are going to have change then lets go the whole hog and have people who work for us the public and are accountable to us the public and are voted in and out by us the public, and do away with the likes of secret meetings like they are proposing in Witney. Time for this can of worms to be put to the sword by the voters, we deserve better. the wizard
  • Score: 0

7:47am Thu 3 Jul 14

CupHalfFull says...

Ooh yes Wizard, and perhaps they should be voted in by whether the elector drops a white pebble in a pot or a black one. Get real.
Ooh yes Wizard, and perhaps they should be voted in by whether the elector drops a white pebble in a pot or a black one. Get real. CupHalfFull
  • Score: 0

10:49am Thu 3 Jul 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

norton manor wrote:
yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election.

There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well.

At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted!
so are Parish Councils
YEah the same lot!
[quote][p][bold]norton manor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election. There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well. At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted![/p][/quote]so are Parish Councils[/p][/quote]YEah the same lot! yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 0

9:05am Mon 7 Jul 14

the wizard says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
norton manor wrote:
yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election.

There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well.

At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted!
so are Parish Councils
YEah the same lot!
Its views like that which hold back progress and stop the country moving forward. The system we have is out dated and run and administered by people who are equally out dated and spend more time and money covering up what is wrong rather than moving things forward.
It is only those who are afraid of change that cling on to what we have as they know no better. It is clearly time to stop playing party politics at local level and progress the country forward. We have moved very little in the last century in the way this country is run at local level and in many ways we are a backward nation. If you cannot withstand the heat in the kitchen then get out now and let progress happen and change for the better take place. Time for change, bring it on.
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]norton manor[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: Parish councils are so unrepresentative of their constituents that its unbelievable, I know of at least one that operates a old boys club where the chair rotates between 3 people each year, and they work to vote their friends onto the council through the use of "co-opting" while keeping it quiet to the electorate that it is well within the rights of the electorate to call for an election. There has also been occurrences of someone getting "co-opted" onto the Parish council so they could ensure that something they had a vested interest in got done as well. At least County councils are elected every 4 years for definate rather than Co-opted![/p][/quote]so are Parish Councils[/p][/quote]YEah the same lot![/p][/quote]Its views like that which hold back progress and stop the country moving forward. The system we have is out dated and run and administered by people who are equally out dated and spend more time and money covering up what is wrong rather than moving things forward. It is only those who are afraid of change that cling on to what we have as they know no better. It is clearly time to stop playing party politics at local level and progress the country forward. We have moved very little in the last century in the way this country is run at local level and in many ways we are a backward nation. If you cannot withstand the heat in the kitchen then get out now and let progress happen and change for the better take place. Time for change, bring it on. the wizard
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Mon 7 Jul 14

The New Private Eye says...

the wizard wrote:
blundelo wrote:
the wizard wrote:
If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results.
In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end.

Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters.
The problem with your proposal is that all government, national or local, needs both elected officials, to pursue the policies on which they have been elected, and unelected civil servants, who are not directly beholden to the electorate, to implement those policies in as fair, equitable and efficient a way as possible so that there is no temptation to gerrymander, or provide better services to those marginal wards that influence the outcome of the election.
I did omit to say that council voting needs to be reformed also. The days of local councils being run by political parties is old hat and centuries out of date. What we need is councils who are not politically led. Yes they get funding etc from Whitehall, but they need to be made up of persons who are there to do a job in serving the public rather than a political cause. For far to long the whole country including Oxon has been held back and bogged down by political dogma. If we are to embrace change then we need total change. Do away with all this party political nonsense at local level and have a list of positions held by people who are best qualified to carry out the challenges that position demands, then we will start to get results and value for money. Break down the tiers of local civil servants, and its about time the numbers and their perks were scythed down to a realistic level, the same as the rest of us has had to suffer over the last few years. Salaries for some of these positions are not reflective of the responsibilities and civil servants have for far too long got away with far too much. Its time for councils to man their offices at weekends and bank holidays the same as all the other services for the public do. Try getting hold of somebody to sort a problem at the weekend and they don't want to know. Time they were far more accountable to the rate paying public.

If we are going to have change then lets go the whole hog and have people who work for us the public and are accountable to us the public and are voted in and out by us the public, and do away with the likes of secret meetings like they are proposing in Witney. Time for this can of worms to be put to the sword by the voters, we deserve better.
Yes Billy Wizz man, how about us voting for OUFC, you want to give your nose a rest mate.
[quote][p][bold]the wizard[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]blundelo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the wizard[/bold] wrote: If we are going to do this then the top people should be appointed by public vote, not their buddies on a cheek kissing committee. With a review every 3 years it will stop top people from being complacent and will keep them focused on the issues at hand and making solutions happen in a timely manner. They will be view and judged by the public that pay their wages, so will be judged on results. In large companies these days this is common place where every three years you basically have to re apply for your position, I don't see why these public positions should be any different, and the days of them being appointed internally should be brought to an end. Judged, paid and voted for by the public that pays in for the wages and pension. No good in having somebody who is word smart in front of the camera and doesn't deliver, no good having a good old boy at the top if he evades making decisions, no good having the old boys brigade looking after each other at the risk of the public being short changed. If the public are to have change then let make that change work for us. Too many factors in Oxfordshire have been ignored by various council bodies for far too long. Transport infra structure being one, waste disposal and re cycling needs to be uniform and to work. Educations appears to be a mish mash, and care of the elderly is far too hit and miss. We need people to deliver in all of these areas for starters.[/p][/quote]The problem with your proposal is that all government, national or local, needs both elected officials, to pursue the policies on which they have been elected, and unelected civil servants, who are not directly beholden to the electorate, to implement those policies in as fair, equitable and efficient a way as possible so that there is no temptation to gerrymander, or provide better services to those marginal wards that influence the outcome of the election.[/p][/quote]I did omit to say that council voting needs to be reformed also. The days of local councils being run by political parties is old hat and centuries out of date. What we need is councils who are not politically led. Yes they get funding etc from Whitehall, but they need to be made up of persons who are there to do a job in serving the public rather than a political cause. For far to long the whole country including Oxon has been held back and bogged down by political dogma. If we are to embrace change then we need total change. Do away with all this party political nonsense at local level and have a list of positions held by people who are best qualified to carry out the challenges that position demands, then we will start to get results and value for money. Break down the tiers of local civil servants, and its about time the numbers and their perks were scythed down to a realistic level, the same as the rest of us has had to suffer over the last few years. Salaries for some of these positions are not reflective of the responsibilities and civil servants have for far too long got away with far too much. Its time for councils to man their offices at weekends and bank holidays the same as all the other services for the public do. Try getting hold of somebody to sort a problem at the weekend and they don't want to know. Time they were far more accountable to the rate paying public. If we are going to have change then lets go the whole hog and have people who work for us the public and are accountable to us the public and are voted in and out by us the public, and do away with the likes of secret meetings like they are proposing in Witney. Time for this can of worms to be put to the sword by the voters, we deserve better.[/p][/quote]Yes Billy Wizz man, how about us voting for OUFC, you want to give your nose a rest mate. The New Private Eye
  • Score: 0

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