This is an editorial opinion piece from the leader of Oxford City Council, Susan Brown, who writes about the economy of Oxford.

Oxford is fortunate to have a strong economy. One that continues to grow despite the national trend.

In fact, Oxfordshire is one of only three regions that contributes a surplus to the UK economy. But not everybody in our city, and more widely in the county, is feeling the benefit of that strong economy and so we’re working to ensure that our thriving economy benefits everyone.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Susan Brown, leader of Oxford City CouncilCouncillor Susan Brown, leader of Oxford City Council (Image: Oxford City Council)

Oxford City Council’s Economic Strategy, which had its first anniversary this summer, outlines several ways that we help to share the wealth of our city with those who need it most.

A few examples are:

- In 2008, we created and started paying at least the Oxford Living Wage, set at 95% of the London Living Wage. We’re pleased that 120 employers have now signed up to our Oxford Living Wage accreditation scheme, meaning more local people are being paid fairly.

- In the past couple of years, we’ve updated our own procurement process to formally include ‘social value’ as a critical factor for consideration. This means that suppliers interested in working with us must show commitment to doing good locally. This can include offering opportunities or apprenticeships to local people, giving to local charities or working to tackle the climate emergency.

- As part of Owned by Oxford — a community programme that aims to distribute wealth more fairly across the city— we have helped to support eight grassroots-led community organisations to develop their trading operations and engaged with many more to understand and reduce the barriers for them in setting up local businesses.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Susan Brown presents Oxford University with Oxford Living Wage accreditation.Councillor Susan Brown presents Oxford University with Oxford Living Wage accreditation. (Image: Oxford City Council)

Obviously, the city council cannot make the local economy fairer on our own. Collaboration is fundamental and that's where partnerships, like The Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership (OIEP), come in.

Through the OIEP, we bring together a variety of organisations in Oxfordshire that are working together to create a more equal region and create opportunities and benefits for everyone.

Earlier this year, the partnership developed and published The Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Charter as a way for employers to show their commitment and support to making the county a fairer and more inclusive place to live and work.

In July this year, Oxford City Council signed up to the charter and made 13 pledges that reinforce our commitment to a fairer economy in the city.

I would encourage other businesses and organisations to follow suit, sign up to the charter, and commit their own pledges to help make Oxford a fairer city.

Find out more about the charter on The Oxfordshire Inclusive Economy Partnership webpage.