Joint statement from Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire’s district/city councils

Joint statement from Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Cherwell District Council, Vale of White Horse District, South Oxfordshire District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council

Statement from:

Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council

John Cotton, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council

Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council

James Mills, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council

Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council

Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council

With a new Prime Minister and new Secretary of State now in place and a number of pressing economic and policy issues to work through at national level , we recognise that it is sensible to take the time to understand how the government intends to take forward devolution and local government reorganisation in Oxfordshire and other areas before presenting further proposals for reforming public services and changes to council structures in the county.

Following discussions with civil servants last week all the Oxfordshire councils have agreed to work together to discuss areas of common ground, assess potential options and establish whether we can agree a way forward building on the work we have both done to date. We have agreed to postpone publication of both the Grant Thornton and PwC studies, and pause plans for consultation until these plans have been jointly developed.

Our aim has always been to seek investment in housing and transport infrastructure; to improve skills training and develop the local economy. This investment is needed if we are to reach our potential, and therefore agreeing a way forward with government is a high priority for all of us.