Milestone passed in plans for joint Chief Executive for county and Cherwell councils

Oxfordshire county councillors have approved a proposal for a joint chief executive with Cherwell District Council, while retaining separate councillor bodies, budgets and decision-making processes.

A full council meeting of Oxfordshire’s county councillors approved the proposal today. Cherwell District Council’s full council meeting will now make its own decision at its meeting on July 16.

If agreed, Yvonne Rees, the joint Chief Executive of Cherwell and South Northamptonshire council would become the Chief Executive of Cherwell and Oxfordshire councils.

The principle of joint working had already been agreed by the county council’s Cabinet and Cherwell District Council’s executive on Monday 4 June.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to do things differently with opportunities to align our services. There are great opportunities to align housing and social care, public health and leisure and strategic and local planning

“We are keen to work with Cherwell to ensure its residents continue to receive good services. The county council also believes a joint arrangement would help to secure investment in the infrastructure needed to support increases in jobs and homes.

“The well documented problems in Northamptonshire created this unique opportunity for a county-district shared service arrangement. We now await the decision of the full council meeting at Cherwell District Council.”

A local government review in Northamptonshire following the county council’s financial problems led to Cherwell District Council deciding to end their partnership with South Northamptonshire.

Read the Council paper here (PDF).