Proposal published to merge six Oxfordshire councils

A proposal has been published calling for Oxfordshire six councils to be abolished and replaced by one county-wide local authority.

Oxfordshire County Council has said two independent studies indicated that having one organisation to run the region’s services could save £100 million over five years. However, the plan has been opposed by the county's five district councils, arguing in favour of three councils instead.

Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: "We cannot continue to make savings without further cuts to local services.

"One council for Oxfordshire would be more efficient and simpler for residents, with one phone number, one website and one point of contact."

However, James Mills, leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, countered: "A mayor gives a strong voice to Oxford, single point of contact to government and accountable to the people of Oxfordshire.

"We have been working together as councils on a devolution bid to get more money from government.

"It's about moving decisions from London to Oxfordshire."

Residents have been requested to provide their views before the final proposal is considered by the county council's cabinet on 14 March.