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Working for Our Communities in Oxfordshire

County Council Liberal Democrat GroupThis is the website of Oxfordshire County Council Liberal Democrat Group. There are 11 Liberal Democrat Councillors on Oxfordshire County Council.

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We hope this site is a useful resource for local people to find out more about the Oxfordshire Liberal Democrat Group and what we are doing on the Council. However, we would like the site to be more than this. Online you can:

Recent updates

  • Article: Jul 22, 2016
    By Cllr. John Howson
    The Education Secretary, Justine Greening, has announced that the new National Funding Formula for schools won't now come into force next year, but in 2018-19 at the earliest. It will be introduced then only after a consultation sometime in the autumn.
    This is bad news for Oxfordshire schools that might have expected to be winners out of any new formula. The government shouldn't have raised hopes by starting a consultation process this spring that they couldn't finish within the announced time scale.
    Cllr. John Howson, Spokesperson for Education says "Raising hopes only to see them dashed won't win the Tories many votes, especially as the announcement was slipped out at the end of term in a written answer. Lib Dems believe that our schools in Oxfordshire need proper funding"
    Cllr. John Howson
    Lib Dem spokesperson on Education
    Oxfordshire County Council
  • Article: Jul 18, 2016
    By Cllr. Jean Fooks in The Oxford Times

    At the County Council meeting on April 1st 2014, Cllr Jean Fooks proposed a motion asking the Council to make reducing pollution by traffic a priority . It was supported by all Liberal Democrats, Labour, Green and Independent councillors - though most Conservatives just sat on their hands! Public Health officers were very pleased to have Council approval for working on this issue and the latest version of the Local Transport Plan (LTP4) has a new chapter detailing the work to be done to reduce the risk to health. In September 2015 at the full council meeting, Cllr. Jean Fooks' amendment was finally accepted and resulted in this separate chapter to the new plan. This recent version of LTP4 was voted through unanimously by all councillors at the full council meeting in July.

  • Article: Jul 13, 2016
    By Cllr. Richard Webber

    At the full Council meeting of Oxfordshire County Council on Tuesday 12th July, the Liberal Democrats amended motion on Children's Centres was passed unanimously.

    The motion as amended is below:

    Council continues to supports the general principle that those in greatest need should have the highest priority. However, Council regrets that it has been compelled to abandon the concept of universal provision offered by our Children's Centres in Oxfordshire as a result of the Government's cuts in Local Authority funding. In the meantime, Council is aware that, as a result of the focus on the most needy children and families in our County, there will be large areas- particularly in the West which now have no Children Centre buildings - the same areas likely to suffer most from rural isolation as the Council removes bus subsidies. Ensuring that there was some compensation for these areas was a key statement agreed by Council in its February budget.

  • Article: Jul 11, 2016
    By Cllr John Howson
    According to a report published in 'Schools Week', the Country's only European-branded state school is at risk of not being able to offer its flagship qualification following an administrative foul-up. The Europa School UK (ESUK), is based in Culham in Oxfordshire. Go to the link: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/free-school-waits-for-morgan-to-approve-its-european-exam/
    County Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education Cllr John Howson said, "This issue needs to be sorted out and quickly. Although I am not a fan of free schools, this is a particular and unique school serving a specific purpose and important to attracting staff to work in the science community in Oxfordshire from across Europe. Any issue with the International Baccalaureate should be sorted out quickly to avoid uncertainty for parents and students".
  • Article: Jul 11, 2016
    By Cllr John Howson
    Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats are concerned that the removal of the fixed grant paid to small primary schools that provide free lunches to pupils in the infant classes will make rural schools financially unviable. The County Council has no powers to help schools with financial problems and the loss of grant may make some schools struggle with their budgets.
  • Article: Jun 28, 2016
    By Cllr Zoe Patrick in Speech at County Council Cabinet

    SPEECH TO LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN 4 - CABINET MEETING 28 JUNE 2016 - Cllr. Zoé Patrick (County Councillor for Grove & Wantage)

    I have come here today to speak as Local Member to this plan. Firstly, to say that I was pleased to have spent the first 2 years of this council term working hard on the cross-party working group which first put this together, and have been happy to see much of that work still remains intact as we move forward.

  • Article: Jun 15, 2016
    By Cllr Richard Webber in Website and Media

    A Response to the recently released District and City Proposals for Unitary Government in Oxfordshire

    The Liberal Democrats are determined to push for a careful consideration of the reports on Unitary Government in Oxfordshire which will be available in the next two months. The Tory controlled Districts and the Labour controlled City should not be trying to skew the results before we have the evidence of the reports. If the Districts and City have already decided their position, why are they spending large sums of public money on an "independent" report and ignoring the views of Oxfordshire residents. What sort of democracy is this? Let's get the evidence, then have an adult conversation with all the ratepayers we serve before we form any conclusions.

  • Article: May 31, 2016
    By Cllr Richard Webber in The Oxford Times Letters

    Letter sent to The Oxford Times

    Dear Sir,

    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 theCounty 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.

  • Article: May 31, 2016
    By Cllr Janet Godden in Consultation on Childrens' Centres

    [Response of the County Council Lib Dem group to the consultation on children's centres, summer 2015]

    • We believe that the implication in the Cabinet report of 15 September 2015 that the options for the children's centres contained in the report were 'recommended by the cross-party group' is misleading. That report did not have the agreement of the Liberal Democrat Group, and the budget for 2015/16 that contained the cut of £6m was not supported by this Group.
  • Article: Feb 17, 2016
    By Cllr Richard Webber

    Oxfordshire County Council Liberal Democrats budget proposal for a County Unitary Authority was accepted yesterday by a cross-party agreement to put forward the best deal for Oxfordshire residents.

    It was agreed to accept the Labour budget amendment proposals which offered more time to find a long-term solution to OCC's woes, but it is no more than a short term fix. We all know that, unless there is a dramatic shift in Government thinking, we will all be back at the table managing the Council's finances and services further downwards inside twelve months.

    Recent history suggests that arguing with Westminster and our MPs is not going to persuade them that Local Government is seriously under-funded. Oxfordshire desperately needs its own solution - no-one else will provide one. The new, firm commitment (59 for, 3 against) of the Council "to consult Oxfordshire residents on Unitary Government for Oxfordshire with the clear intention to deliver as soon as possible" is, in the view of the Liberal Democrat Group, the only idea which could fix the problems long term and save many, if not all of the services currently under threat. That is why we insisted it should be part of the budget proposals, and that is why the Council voted for it.

    Cllr. Richard Webber, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group said "This year was one of the worst on record for trying to find a solution to the cuts imposed on Oxfordshire County Council year on year. We decided that it was in the public interest to ask the residents of Oxfordshire if they want to move forward with a Unitary Council for the whole county. This will deliver at least £33M of savings which will help to provide front-line services in the long term which matter most to them."