Lib Dems and Fair Deal Alliance Take Charge in Oxfordshire
After huge gains in May 2021 local elections, the Liberal Democrats have taken charge of Oxfordshire County Council, with Liz Leffman, our Councillor for Charlbury and the Wychwoods, voted in as Leader. Toppling the Conservative majority for the first time in 16 years, the Lib Dems have formed the 'Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance' with Labour and the Greens as partners. Together, the alliance has set out ambitious goals for the next four years.
Our newly elected Councillors
Across West Oxfordshire, Lib Dem councillors are working hard for their local communities, making sure that new houses imposed by Tory-led councils have enough infrastructure and services to support them, and opposing out-of-control development. We favour public transport, active travel, walking, cycling and doing everything we can locally to ease the climate crisis.
From West Oxfordshire, Liz is joined on Oxfordshire County Council by Andy Graham (newly elected Councillor for Woodstock) and Dan Levy (newly elected councillor for Eynsham). In West Oxfordshire District Council, where Tories retain a slender majority, Liberal Democrats Elizabeth Poskitt and Liz Leffman were returned while Andy Goodwin (Eynsham) and Mathew Parkinson (Stonesfield & Tackley) joined for the first time.
You can see a complete list of our councillors for West Oxfordshire at: www.oxonlibdems.uk/west-oxfordshire-councillors
Dan Levy, Liz Leffman and Andy Graham now represent West Oxfordshire on Oxfordshire County Council
The challenges that lie ahead
If you live in West Oxfordshire and drive or take the bus, you're likely to have been stuck in traffic. If you live near the Windrush, you may have had sewage in your basement or garden. Thanks to Tory decision-making at the national and local level, 10,000 new houses are coming to our district, so these problems are only going to get worse.
Our councillors will put infrastructure before housing, re-examine developments that don't make sense, and will put in place plans for a long-term solution to transport problems. Here's a list of some of the issues we're focused on, including bold solutions for traffic problems in West Oxfordshire.
Infrastructure Before Housing
Both the Tory County Council and Tory West Oxfordshire District Council have decided that the Eynsham, Standlake, Hanborough, Hailey/North Witney and Woodstock areas should take a high proportion of the new housing they insist on building.
In order to get just a small amount of affordable housing, property developers have been let loose on our fields. Remarkably, the Conservatives have proposed that the developers of new sites, like the Garden Village, will not contribute to the Community Infrastructure Levy designed to provide the necessary infrastructure when developments are built.
Developer greed is putting extra strain on our roads, on our water systems, and on our schools. The Liberal Democrats insist on building infrastructure first. Here’s some short clips showing what our councillors have to say about the housing developments in Eynsham and Woodstock, where the plan is to increase the number of houses by one third.
Here are some of the initiatives we're pushing for:
To make it easier to get around West Oxfordshire:
Restoring the Oxford-Eynsham-Witney-Carterton Railway Line - this will make a huge difference to so many of us in the district who suffer from terrible traffic and reduce pressure on towns like Hanborough.
Dualling the Cotswold Line - we oppose plans that leave a ten mile gap of single track line around Charlbury and Finstock, resulting in only one train per hour in those towns and villages.
Funding the Eynsham to Botley Community Path - providing Eynsham with a safe Active Travel route into Oxford. Many of us take the car because there's no other choice. Here's councillor and candidate Dan Levy explaining the current situation for anyone who wants to get around West Oxfordshire by bike, and what could be improved.
In Woodstock the LibDems are demanding improvements to infrastructure before further major housing developments add another 600 houses over the next ten years. Here's what our councillors are proposing.
Eynsham is set to see an additional 3000 houses built. Here's our response.
Whether its flooding or sewage, we need to deal with West Oxfordshire's water problem. Here's our view on the current sewage situation, with data about which of West Oxfordshire's villages have been worst hit.
Tackling Covid Together
During these difficult times it has been amazing to see how communities have come together to help each other out across the District. Supporting and empowering communities is a key part of Liberal Democrat philosophy, and your local Liberal Democrat councillors have played our part.
We have contacted vulnerable residents to give advice, support and to listen to their concerns. And we have helped support local resident groups. In the background we have also been actively working with the District Council to support the homeless and those most at risk and ensure the continuation of vital services.
We have also been involved with the Councilʼs local strategy for economic recovery, encouraging investment in the green economy to bring more job opportunities. For example, here's how we're helping the self-employed and small businesses at this difficult time.
As always, our LibDem councillors are working hard for local residents and our towns and villages
Lib Dem Policy Groups
Would you like to help shape the future of West Oxfordshire with the Liberal Democrats? We are welcoming all members to get involved in putting together our manifesto for next year and to join our policy groups. There are separate groups on the following:
- Environment & Climate Change
- Education & Young People
- Housing & Planning
- Health & Social Care
- Unitary Councils
- Employment, Leisure & Tourism
If you're interested in joining, please email [email protected]