Oxfordshire considering ‘unitary’ options

Oxfordshire County Council is considering how local government can be reorganised to reduce costs and protect services, including the option to become a unitary authority.

Grant Thornton UK LLP has been appointed to review the possible reorganisation, with a brief to undertake an ‘objective, evidence-led review of all options, including the status quo’.

The release from the Council suggests that a viable option could be the creation of one or more unitary councils responsible for all local government services, instead of the current split between the county and districts.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Grant Thornton impressed us with their knowledge of local government and commitment to conducting an independent study that looked carefully at all the options equally.

I am convinced local government needs to change in Oxfordshire, and it is vital that we make the right decision to protect council services for the future.

The key issue for me is not about structures but more about how we can join up services efficiently to provide the best possible services for the people of Oxfordshire.

Council tax payers will want to know the facts so they can make up their own minds, and that is what this independent review will provide. We will be publishing the findings as soon as we have them so we can involve everyone in that debate. After all, it is about our future.”