Unitary authority could save £33m a year

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council
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Creating a single council for Oxfordshire would save up to £33m a year, according to a report.

The report comes as the cabinet recommends a budget to Oxfordshire County Council for 2015/16 which requires more than £20m of savings, on top of the £265m either made or already planned by 2017/18.

The saving could be made by combining the county, four districts and city council into a single unitary local authority.

The report concluded that a single council could reduce the number of councillors from the current 309 at county and district council levels, to under 100 under one council.

The report also says that a single council could reduce council tax for 80% of residents in the county, to the current lowest level of £82 per year.

Council leader Ian Hudspeth (above), who wrote the report said: “This is now the start of a debate.

“I am sure all options in this report will be considered and examined in detail.

“I welcome the opportunity to discuss any other options that are proposed.”