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Labour Councillors today successfully spoke up for the future of Health and Social Care services in Oxfordshire by passing a motion calling on the Secretary of State for Health to answer crucial questions relating to the Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

Oxfordshire County Council passed with cross-party support a motion proposed by Councillor Glynis Phillips, which read:

“Oxfordshire County Council is deeply concerned about the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). In particular we are concerned about the implications for Adult Social Care in the County, and for our infrastructure as Hospitals close and services are centralised. The Consultation with Oxfordshire has been derisory with the full plan not having been made public during the numerous meetings which have been held. This Council therefore asks the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Health asking him:

(a) How the area was decided? BOB covers 14 Local Authorities with 5 having responsibility for Adult Social Care;

(b) What consideration has been given to the implications of putting increased pressure on the fragile coalitions across this area as plans are delivered?

(c) What evidence is there that this approach to delivering savings of the magnitude required will work? Particularly in relation to reduced activity and the - 6 - need during transformation to run 2 systems. What will happen if it doesn't?

(d) Why the NHS workforce, the public and politicians have not been involved in shaping the plan?

(e) Given that local government, in relation to Adult Social Care has unrivalled insight into how services can be transformed. Why is the process so NHS centric?

Speaking after the meeting, Labour group leader Liz Brighouse said: "The plan, which will impact on everything from access to local GPs to hospital beds, has been prepared without meaningful consultation. In passing this motion and securing cross party support, Labour continue to lead the fight to protect our NHS and Care Services"

Oxford Councillors Challenge Government on NHS

Labour Councillors today successfully spoke up for the future of Health and Social Care services in Oxfordshire by passing a motion calling on the Secretary of State for Health to...


 The skyline of Oxford will be forever changed after councillors agreed to a number of major developments. 

The Labour-run City Council was asked to approve or reject a number of projects at an East Area Planning Committee meeting.

Among the schemes up for decision was a new sports pavilion at Barton and a major new expansion to Oxford Science Park which will attract 477 jobs.

Barton’s new sports pavilion was given the thumbs up by councillors and unanimously approved at the meeting.

Labour's Alex Hollingsworth said: “I have to say I am delighted to see the replacement of the existing facilities that has been inadequate for a while.

“I think this looks like an excellent addition to the facilities and for the residents of Barton and I heartily recommend it.”

Plot 12 at Oxford Science Park, Littlemore, will also be the new home for a new four-storey building and 203 car parking spaces for the centre which already employs 2,400 people.

The science park is host to a number of science and technology companies including Nominet, OxSonics and Oxford BioMedica.

An expansion of a student housing block at Canterbury House was another development given the go ahead by councillors.

It wasn’t all thumbs up for developers at the meeting, however, and a controversial application to site 45 new homes at a disused park at William Morris Close was roundly thrown out by councillors, objecting to the loss of public space.

An application for the demolition of a home at Lime Walk, Headington, in place of a new housing development was withdrawn before the meeting took place.

An edited version of this article first appeared in the Oxford Mail on December 8th

City Council decides on a range of major developments across the city

 The skyline of Oxford will be forever changed after councillors agreed to a number of major developments. 


Nursery schools and children's centres are reaching crisis point in Oxford with their budgets being driven into deficit as Children’s Centre funding is withdrawn.

Conservative proposals for changes to Early Years Funding Formula, which closed for consultation at the end of September, are set to slash nursery school funding, sinking them further into crisis.  The four Maintained Nurseries in the city received an average of £5.90 an hour in 2015-16. But under the government’s Early Years National Funding Formula, this would drop to between £4.02 - £4.30 an hour in 2017-18. This amounts to up to a 32% cut in the hourly rate paid by the state for each child’s education.

In her first speech at Full Council, new Councillor Marie Tidball said: “Tory government plans to drastically change the Early Years National funding formula will sabotage the education opportunities for nursery aged-children: this is selective segregation for the under-fives rather than the under-elevens.

While the Tories publicly obsess about Grammar Schools, May’s government have quietly announced deeply damaging changes to Early Years funding for state-funded nurseries. We should make no mistake about their impact. The government plans to slash funding for three and four year olds’ education, putting in jeopardy Nursery education of our children in Oxford.”

Unlike private businesses, state-funded Nurseries have statutory responsibilities that have not been taken into account in this funding formula. The education they provide is exceptional, with 97% of the 400 Maintained Nurseries in are regarded as excellent or outstanding (Early Education, 2015). Councillor Tidball continued:

“As a child, I started my own education in a Maintained Nursery school in the North of England. They play a powerful role in achieving social mobility by closing the education gap and getting kids – no matter what their background - school ready. That’s why we are calling on our local MPs to stand-up for Oxford’s Maintained Nurseries and oppose these reductions.”

MP for Oxford East Andrew Smith said: “I will fight the government’s short-sighted proposals. The Chancellor splashed £60 million on Grammar Schools in the Autumn Statement, leaving Nurseries out in the cold. With other concerned MPs I had written to Early Years Minister Caroline Dineneage MP urging the government to give more support to nurseries.  Evidence shows that children attending state nurseries make the most progress and continue to accelerate in attainment through primary school.

"The government have only committed in filling the gap left by their Funding Formula for a three-year period. I am working closely with the Shadow Minister for Nursery Schools, Tulip Sidiqq MP and the All-Party Parliamentary Group to win secure funding.”

Research has shown that Nursery schools lead the way with innovations in practice for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and “progress in early years for children from low income backgrounds depends on attendance in the highest quality settings”.

Lucy Powell MP, Chair of The All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools and Nursery Classes has also raised the alarm that the Government’s Early Years National Funding Formula proposals “threatens the future viability of these exceptional institutions”.

Councillor warns of threat to Maintained Nursery Schools in Oxford

Nursery schools and children's centres are reaching crisis point in Oxford with their budgets being driven into deficit as Children’s Centre funding is withdrawn.


House-building in Oxford improved significantly over the past year, rising to 383 new homes completed from 332 in 2014/2015.

This is close to the city’s target of 400 dwellings per year and represents a positive increase in housing completions in comparison to recent years.

With a number of large sites such as Barton Park being developed, the current shortfall in house-building targets is expected to be made up within the next few years when completion rates are forecast to increase.

In 2015/16, up to 164 affordable homes were completed, including 107 units provided through the City Council’s own house-building programme. Over the last 10 years, 1,157 affordable dwellings have been completed.

These homes have mainly been delivered through a combination of developer contributions from qualifying developments (either provision onsite or financial contributions towards off-site provision) and the City Council’s own house-building programme.

The City Council also received £375,619 towards affordable housing provision through s106 agreements in 2015/16. This money will be used to provide affordable homes in Oxford in line with the City Council’s Housing Strategy.

Council policy encourages each of the city’s two universities to have no more than 3,000 full-time students living outside of university provided accommodation in Oxford. This is intended to reduce the pressures from students on the private rental market.

While the University of Oxford had 2,932 students living outside of university provided accommodation in the city in 2015/16, Oxford Brookes University’s numbers increased to 3,747 from 3,451 in the previous year.

However, the City Council has continued to grant planning permissions for additional purpose-built student accommodation, with several major proposals for further student accommodation expected in the next few years. In the 2015/16 monitoring year, 125 units of student accommodation (not just for universities) were completed. Planning permission was also granted for a further 225 units of student accommodation.

Labour Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Board Member for Planning and Regulatory Services, said: “Tackling the housing crisis is one of the City Council’s top priorities. We’re actively working to build as many affordable homes as possible, to unlock a series of major development sites, to work with private landlords to raise standards in rented homes, to retain a significant stock of social housing and to work with neighbouring councils and central Government to meet our housing need.

We’ll continue to work with the city’s universities to stay under the agreed figure of students outside of university accommodation. To avoid worsening the situation, all increases in academic floor-space that would facilitate an increase in student numbers at the two universities should be matched by an equivalent increase in student accommodation. Applications for new or redeveloped academic floor-space will be assessed on this basis.”

An edited version of this article was originally published on the Oxford City Council website

House-building on the rise in Oxford

House-building in Oxford improved significantly over the past year, rising to 383 new homes completed from 332 in 2014/2015.


We will be holding various campaign events around Oxford, with a special guest visitor who will be talking about why the NHS is at the core of our vision for the kind of society we should be.

We will then be going from door to door speaking to residents about their concerns and why Labour is the only party standing up for the NHS. 

Just bring yourselves and say hello to other members and supporters - you won't be able to miss us! If you are a new volunteer who has never done any campaigning before, please come along. We will explain exactly what to do and pair you up with an experienced volunteer who you can shadow for the day. This event is for Labour members and supporters so feel free to bring friends and family!

Please sign up for further details and ways to get in touch if you have any questions or queries.

Sign Up For Our NHS National Campaign Day

We will be holding various campaign events around Oxford, with a special guest visitor who will be talking about why the NHS is at the core of our vision for the kind...

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