For more information about the proposal to form a unitary council with West Oxfordshire District Council. please:
Over the last few years, the successful and close working partnership between Cotswold and West Oxfordshire Councils has delivered many efficiencies, saving millions of pounds for local taxpayers. There is now an opportunity for both authorities to take this partnership another step forward as we explore the option of forming a unitary authority.
This ties in with the proposal by all Oxfordshire district council leaders, to seek government agreement for a plan which would see the creation of several new Local Unitary Councils that would provide additional services currently delivered at the county level. With this in mind, it seems logical to assess the feasibility of creating one Local Unitary Council for West Oxfordshire and Cotswold based on the current boundaries of our two councils.
The CDC and WODC council areas have a lot in common, including our Cotswold landscape and heritage, and the important priorities of our market towns and rural settlements. With a Local Unitary Council, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire residents would simply have one point of contact for all council services, including roads maintenance, waste collections, planning, social work and libraries. In actual fact, many of the same specialists who carry out those functions would be doing the work, but one point of contact would remove the current confusion of who does what at district and county levels.
For Cotswold District Council, we don’t think there would be any change to our current arrangements with the police, NHS and fire and rescue services.
Additionally, the proposal hasno intention of changing historic county boundaries or the traditional civic functions of the counties of Gloucestershire or Oxfordshire.
Both Councils will now be commissioning independent experts to work with us and other stakeholders to produce detailed plans, ensuring that the best and most cost-effective solutions are identified. It is expected that the detailed proposals will be considered by each of the Councils prior to public consultation in the summer. We will continue to provide progress reports.