Latest Public Sector News

18.05.17

Oxfordshire unitary advocate remains head of county council

Plans for a unitary authority in Oxfordshire look set to remain on the table as Ian Hudspeth, a major advocate of the proposals, has retained his place as leader of the Oxfordshire County Council.

At a vote on Tuesday, Hudspeth allegedly struck a deal with two independent councillors to win a majority in the council by 33 votes for and 15 against, with 15 abstentions. This allowed him to select his cabinet.

Prior to the county council elections, Oxfordshire, alongside two district authorities, submitted controversial plans for a unitary bid which divided councils in the area.

Leader of the council Hudspeth said: “Following the recent elections the cabinet takes on a fresh look with experienced county councillors in the shape of Yvonne Constance and David Bartholomew joining the team and working alongside colleagues who have served previously on the cabinet.”

It was also announced that Cllr Mark Gray will be the county council’s new cabinet member for local communities. This will include overseeing the council’s links with local communities, parish councils and others.

Hudspeth added: “Cllr Gray’s role is an exciting one seeking to build on work the council has been undertaking for some time now to strengthen its links with Oxfordshire’s localities. It is a role to which he is well suited and for which he is very enthusiastic.”

Unitary bid

Proposals to bring the Oxfordshire’s six councils together into one unitary authority were submitted to the DCLG in March, and were supported by Oxfordshire CC, Vale of White Horse District and South Oxfordshire District, but opposed by three others – Oxford City, Cherwell District and West Oxfordshire.

In the past, councillors for Oxford City have argued that the unitary bid was made in an attempt to block plans for devolution in the area.

Cllr Bob Price from Oxford City had previously said that a unitary authority would lead to the voice of the city being lost and vital services in Oxford being put at risk.

And Cherwell’s Barry Wood had also stated: “If a county-wide unitary model were adopted the specific needs of each district would be ignored in favour of the needs of the county, with a sterile uniformity and local voices would be lost in the distance.”

Top Image: Cllr Ian Hudspeth (middle) with Vale of White Horse District Cllr Matthew Barber (Right) and South Oxfordshire Cllr John Cotton (left)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Helping reduce energy costs

16/08/2017Helping reduce energy costs

Joseph Ernst-Herman, director of utilities and fuels at the Crown Commercia... more >
Leading in the challenging times ahead

16/08/2017Leading in the challenging times ahead

Following the Brexit vote, Cllr Philip Atkins OBE, County Councils Network ... more >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Bus... more >

most read

the raven's daily blog

Delivering social value in public sector procurement

07/08/2017Delivering social value in public sector procurement

Theresa Grant, CEO of Trafford Council, explains how local authorities in the Greater Manchester area are making every penny of public spend provide that little bit more value f... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides a fascinating analysis of the campaign, and assesses the aftermath of the election on pages 26-28. It is a must-read article.  During the... read more >