South Northamptonshire residents urged to show support for cost saving partnership

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Residents and businesses in South Northamptonshire are being urged to show support for their district council as the financially stricken Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) threatens a successful cost saving and efficiency partnership.

On Tuesday, 14 March OCC will vote on whether to move forward with plans for a single unitary authority responsible for all service delivery.

The proposals threaten to scrap the county's city and district councils.

Currently Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) have a joint working partnership, with one Chief Executive, one set of directors, managers and council officers.

This has saved millions of pounds for both councils, while protecting frontline services and supressing Council Tax increases.

The new proposals set out by OCC puts those successful arrangements at risk.

Cllr Ian McCord, Leader of SNC, said: "Sharing staff, a Chief Executive and a joint management team has proven to be hugely successful in creating significant cost savings and delivering transformational change across both councils.

"So far, I have not been approached by the Leader, Cllr Ian Huspeth or his team from OCC as to what this would mean for SNC, either for residents or staff, and why they wish to abandon all that has been achieved without any consultation with us.

"It is not possible to pull one council off the see-saw and jettison the other in the air, OCC must come clean and make their plans clear."

The proposals are being opposed by Cherwell District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxford City Council, with all jointly inviting Sajid Javid, MP and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to discuss alternative options.

A petition opposing the proposal which is supported by South Northamptonshire Council has also been launched by Cherwell District Council, raising concerns over finance, service delivery and localism should the plans proceed.

To sign the petition visit Stop plans for a unitary authority in Oxfordshire.