Exciting unitary proposal to be explored
Release date: 25 February 2016
An exciting proposal to simplify local government in Oxfordshire, which could bring benefits and opportunities for Cotswold District, has been announced today.
The five Oxfordshire district council leaders are asking government to agree their plan for the creation of new Local Unitary Councils and to support an ambitious Devolution Deal.
The Districts are evaluating the options for either three or four new Local Unitary Councils. In view of the successful partnerships and close working relationships that already exist in north and west Oxfordshire, the District Leaders have agreed to explore a Unitary Option that includes Cotswold District Council.
Cllr Lynden Stowe, Leader of Cotswold District Council said:
“For several years Cotswold and West Oxfordshire councils have shared a Chief Executive and management team. We’ve joined up departments and saved millions of pounds.
“It seems logical to extend this by looking at the feasibility of creating one Local Unitary Council based on the current boundaries of our two councils.
“The two council areas have a lot in common - our Cotswold landscape and heritage and the important priorities of our market towns and rural settlements.
“With a Local Unitary Council, Cotswold residents would simply have one point of contact for all council services.”
The Councils will now be commissioning independent experts to work with them and other stakeholders to produce detailed, costed plans that will ensure the best and most cost-effective solutions are identified. Detailed proposals will be considered by each of the Councils prior to public consultation in the summer.