PLANS for an Oxfordshire ‘super council’ could be kicked further into the long grass if a general election is held this summer.

Senior Conservative councillors yesterday said they had not expected movement on the controversial issue until after May 4’s local elections at the earliest. But Theresa May’s call for a national poll on June 8 was likely to mean a longer wait, they said.

The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, is currently considering the proposal for a new Oxfordshire unitary authority, suggested by Oxfordshire County Council.

This would replace the six biggest existing councils and merge them into one county-wide organisation.

But one Tory source said the bid was already ‘low down the pecking order’, adding: “If there is a change of government or a different minister then quite possibly there could be [a delay].”

However, others said it was possible it could be addressed in a ‘decision clear out’ before polling day.

The super council bid was officially submitted to the Government on March 23, after being approved by the county council’s cabinet.

It is also supported by Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils. West Oxfordshire and Cherwell district councils, as well as Oxford City Council, are opposed.

Mr Javid is expected to review the bid and then make a recommendation, which could then be subject to a public consultation.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has said it will ‘carefully consider’ all proposals put forward. It did not comment yesterday on how long that would take.