GREEN councillors have put forward their 'alternative vision' for running Oxfordshire County Council.

When elections are held across the county on May 4, they are hoping to build on the two seats they won previously in 2013.

A key plank of their manifesto involves raising more cash for local services, which they say could help to protect vital services from multi-million pound cuts, and opposing controversial plans for a 'super council'.

The Conservative-run county council has planned almost £380m of savings from 2010 to 2020, which Green group leader David Williams claimed represented a 'declining spiral of services'.

He said the authority needed more legroom to protect children's centres, health and wellbeing centres and social care, by requesting a council tax rise of seven per cent.

This would require a local referendum as it is higher than the five per cent threshold that the Government says is the maximum allowed without consulting voters.

Other parties have claimed the public would be likely to reject a tax rise, but Mr Williams said the Greens believed people would back one if the case was made properly.

He added: "The past four years have seen a series of movements towards reducing services one after another and as the financial plug has been pulled we have had 'reorganisations'.

"They've tried to cut the number of children's centres from 44 to eight, reduce health and wellbeing centres from 22 to eight and this kind of cutback is all our debates have been about.

"That is very sad because if the council really got its act together it could be a very active organisation. Every time the budget has been cut, the Greens have proposed an alternative which would on average have increased council tax by just two per cent more – but the other parties voted against it.

"I am convinced that if you asked the public 'do you want to pay 50p extra a week to save all these vital services?', the majority of people would support it in a referendum. It is the cost of a can of beans."

He also said the Greens were strongly against proposals for a 'super council'. This would replace all of Oxfordshire's six biggest authorities, including the county council.

Mr Williams said: "This would be undemocratic and does not reflect the differing needs and character of Oxford City, the market towns and villages that make up the county."