Cllr Richard Webber, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Oxfordshire County Council has written to the Oxford Times about the unitary councils debate.
Letter sent to The Oxford Times
In an article of Thursday May 26th, your correspondent writes of the county council's proposals to "scrap the District Council's and become a Unitary Council itself". Such a misunderstanding clouds the whole debate in self-interest. The County Council has no such proposals. The proposal is, however, very simple. All District Councils and the County should disband and a new Unitary system with fewer councils, fewer offices, fewer councilors and fewer sets of staff put in place. We wait to hear from the various studies what each of the various options might save Oxfordshire ratepayers.
If we can remove the self interest and the instinct for self-preservations from the issue, we now have a great opportunity for something far more cost effective for ratepayers. To get a sensible debate going, we need an independent responsible press to help explain the options and the independent evidence.
The leaders of the District Councils together state that, now that their 4 unitary council solution involving the break up of Oxfordshire has been firmly kicked into touch by DCLG, "We will now focus on getting the best solution for our residents".
Well, that's a relief. One wonders on what they were focusing before!
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group
Oxfordshire County Council