Oxfordshire Communists reject the One Oxfordshire proposals cobbled together by three Tory-led Oxfordshire councils.
As Communists, we believe the only good reasons to reorganise local government are to improve public services and extend local democracy. The current One Oxfordshire proposals do neither. We believe effective service delivery and democratic accountability are best maintained by retaining the current multi-layer structures which involve:
- Parish and town councils
- District councils and the City Council; and
- The county council.
Communists reject all the proposals for so-called unitary authorities in Oxfordshire that have been put forward to date:
- the City unitary
- the three-unitary model
- the Vale and South unitary
- the Cherwell and South Northants unitary
- the West Oxfordshire and Cotswold unitary.
The One Oxfordshire proposals create a much more remote form of local government in which all major decisions in Oxfordshire would be taken by one small clique at County Hall.
The attitude to democracy of the Tories behind the proposals is well demonstrated by their aim to have their reorganisation imposed on the people of Oxfordshire by Theresa May’s right-wing Tory government – having failed to get the other three Oxfordshire councils to endorse their plan.
The track record of the three Tory councils behind the proposals is a long history of privatising and slashing public services with disastrous consequences for those who rely on public services and those who deliver them – and the many thousands who do both.
The advocates of One Oxfordshire pretend it is a way of delivering Oxfordshire’s public services for far less than the current cost when it is only really a way of cutting public services with less risk of public opposition forcing councillors to block the plans.
Oxfordshire’s Communists call for the proposals to go no further until they have been put to a vote of the people of Oxfordshire.
The only real answer to the financial crisis facing local government is to reverse the cuts in local government funding.
We demand a different future based on increasing local democracy and extending public services. We call on people to unite behind national campaigns like the People’s Assembly that advocate an end to austerity and a complete change of direction.
A leaflet in PDF format has been produced by the Oxfordshire branch as part of their campaign.