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Labour councillors are working to find a suitable site for a new medical centre to serve Marston and Northway

A letter written to the Oxford Mail from Labour's councillors is below:

Dear Sir,

Many Marston and Northway residents are currently anxious about the future of their GP services and are raising their concerns with us on the doorstep. As you announced in your paper in November 2016, Marston Medical Centre has merged with Bury Knowle Surgery and its Cherwell Drive surgery will close in July. The original plan to relocate the surgery to Northway has fallen through and an alternative site has not yet been found.

As city and county councillors for the area, we are working with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), responsible for GP provision across Oxford. We are also in discussion with Bury Knowle Surgery and are actively investigating alternative sites in the Marston and Northway area, which are easy to reach. We are particularly conscious of the needs of many elderly patients who may have mobility problems and do not have access to a car.

As soon as we have a clearer idea of possible sites, we will arrange a public meeting. This will enable patients to put their questions to doctors, practice managers and the CCG and ought to give them greater certainty and reassurance.

Yours faithfully

Cllr Mark Lygo, County Councillor for Marston and Northway

Cllr Nigel Chapman, City Councillor for Headington Hill and Northway

Cllr Mary Clarkson, City Councillor for Marston

Councillors working on solution to Marston Medical Centre

Labour councillors are working to find a suitable site for a new medical centre to serve Marston and Northway


The City Council will continue to maintain its support for services that work to prevent homelessness as well as assisting people off the streets and into accommodation. 

A new budget allocation of about £1.4 million was agreed by the Council’s cabinet on 9 March 2017 to maintain funding at the same level for the majority of currently funded organisations. In addition to the pooled budget contribution of £323,400 taken from the 2016/17 funds, the Council will this year spend a total of £1.7 million on homelessness prevention.

A significant amount has been allocated to commission accommodation for rough sleepers and single homeless to preserve some level of provision following Oxfordshire County Council’s cut to housing related support. 

Together with savings and unallocated funds from 2016/17 the funding will allow the Council to:

  • honour commitment to the pooled budget arrangements that will fund supported accommodation for homeless people for 3 years from 1 April 2017
  • fund supported accommodation for city use, in addition to that funded by contribution to the pooled budget, and
  • maintain funding for services across the city

These allocations show the continued strong commitment by the Council to preserve and enhance services for homeless people in the city in very difficult times. 

Councillor Mike Rowley, Board Member for Housing, said: “We are happy that we are able to continue to support homeless organisations this coming year.  From 1 April onwards, we are seeing unprecedented change due to County Council cuts which will result in the de-commissioning of accommodation services for rough sleepers.

“We are very keen to work with our District and County Council partners to make the best of the pooled budget arrangements and the provision this buys. However, it is vital for the city to have enough beds for the city’s rough sleepers and we are therefore investing up to £150,000 extra funds in supported accommodation to fill some of the gap due to the cuts. Our careful management of resources has enabled us to invest this money now when and where it counts.

“We are determined to provide as much stability for service providers as possible this year, and we have therefore decided to maintain funding at the same level for almost all the organisations we support. These are very difficult times for the sector, and we will continue to work with all our partners to determine how to keep the best possible combination of services for the uncertain years ahead."

This article originally appeared on the Oxford City Council website

Oxford City Council commits to homelessness prevention with £1.7 million budget

The City Council will continue to maintain its support for services that work to prevent homelessness as well as assisting people off the streets and into accommodation. 


We are shocked and saddened by the unexpected passing of Councillor Van Coulter. Van dedicated his life to helping people who were less fortunate than others.

He came from an underprivileged background himself which informed his politics.

He was always calm and analytical, but underneath it all there was a burning determination for progressive social change, to help those most in need and to collectively help society.

A passionate advocate for social justice and equalities, he chaired a very successful scrutiny enquiry into the social and economic inequalities across Oxford that delivered a set of practical recommendations for tackling the causes of poverty.

He had established a national reputation as an expert on climate change and how to tackle it and spoke regularly at international meetings on the subject. Van was a hard-working and committed ward councillor for Barton and Sandhills and was closely involved in the planning of the new Barton estate.

His kindness and courtesy were legendary. His death is a real blow to the city and our party.

Tribute to "kind and courteous" Van Coulter

We are shocked and saddened by the unexpected passing of Councillor Van Coulter. Van dedicated his life to helping people who were less fortunate than others.


About 30 people attended the seminar on the party’s national consultation on industrial strategy held at the Wesley Memorial Hall on 11th February. Anneliese Dodds MEP gave an introduction and brought greetings from Andrew Smith MP and Cllr Bob Price.

The proceedings were filmed and can be viewed on Youtube at

http://bit.ly/2lyXgw3 

The speakers were; 

Jennie Formby - Unite South East Regional Secretary. Jennie is also a member of Labour’s NEC, and co-convenor of the Economic Policy Commission of Labour’s National Policy Forum.

Steve Jefferys - Emeritus Professor of European Employment Studies at London Metropolitan University and Director of the Working Lives Research Institute (2002-2015), established to research the ways trade unions and working people across Europe make their voices heard in the face of globalisation and xenophobia.

Özlem Onaran - Professor of Economics at the University of Greenwich and the director of the Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre. Ozlem has worked with trade union and labour movement organisations in the UK, Germany and Austria. She is also on the Policy Advisory Group of the Women's Budget Group. Ozlem spoke in Oxford last year at the meeting in the Town Hall also addressed by John McDonnell. 

There was general support for the policy priorities to which the party is already in the main committed, including;

  • national and regional investment banks, investing in the local economysupport for strategic industries, eg steel

  • borrowing for growth, taking advantage of low interest rates

  • fuller use of the leverage power of public procurement, for example local authorities and other public bodies only dealing with ‘living wage’ employers, with properly-paid apprenticeships and no zero-hour contracts.

There was also agreement on the need to promote our economic policy alternatives in ways which can be put across on the doorsteps and on street stalls in the same way as we feel confident about promoting our policies on for example the NHS.

In this connection there was also agreement that our approach should start not from conventional economic categories such as ‘growth’ or ‘international competitiveness’ but from our values and be subject to a triple test of promoting

  • full employment

  • equality, and

  • ecological sustainability

Shifting investment towards social objectives such as housing, health, greater equality, and sustainability would not ‘crowd out’ private investment but would lead and stimulate it by creating medium and long-term confidence.

The NHS, for example,  could be developed as an ‘economic superpower’ generating innovation and spin-off for the rest of the economy much as the defence industries have done in the past. 

The idea of the ‘green economy’ has begun to win acceptance for the concept that the sustainability agenda is not a net cost to the economy to be ‘afforded’ when the conventional economy has been made able to ‘deliver’ but rather the basis of whole new industries of the future (though of course the lesson is lost on the Tories who are now privatising Labour’s Green Bank). 

So also the idea of ‘purple investment’ in education, health, childcare, nursing homes and tackling the care deficit would have a positive impact on productivity, employment and tax revenue.

Since the seminar Rebecca Long-Bailey has announced that the deadline for submissions to the review was being extended from the 16th to the 23rd February, and Jennie Formby has asked Steve Jefferys and Ozlen Onaran to give evidence to the review along the lines of their contributions.

Several of those present gave their contact details for continuing to be involved in working on ways to popularise Labour’s economic alternatives in formats that can be used on doorsteps and on stalls. 

Report on industrial strategy seminar

About 30 people attended the seminar on the party’s national consultation on industrial strategy held at the Wesley Memorial Hall on 11th February. Anneliese Dodds MEP gave an introduction and...


In response to the proposed reorganisation of local government in Oxfordshire, the Oxford & District Labour Party has adopted the following position:

“Oxford and District Labour Party is aware that there are proposals to abolish district councils in Oxfordshire and replace them with a unitary County Council. We believe that such a reorganisation would be a disaster for Oxford City itself. We are proud of the distinctive nature of our city, and of the progressive values that are able to be pursued by Labour in Oxford - investing in rather than cutting services, stepping up to support the homeless while the County Council has walked away, prioritising support for the vulnerable, support for council housing, and retaining services in-house and selling them to other organisations to generate income, as an alternative to privatisation. We note the stark contrast with the record of Conservative-run Oxfordshire County Council (as a result of its poor leadership, not failings by the County Council's workforce.

We resolve to oppose any attempts to create a unitary county council, and to respond in these terms to the County Council's current consultation on its plans.

For anyone wanting further comment, please email info@oxfordlabour.org.uk

 

Oxford & District Labour Party Statement on Local Government

In response to the proposed reorganisation of local government in Oxfordshire, the Oxford & District Labour Party has adopted the following position:

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