Anneliese Dodds MP and Leader Cllr Susan Brown with Labour candidates for the City Council elections on Thursday 2 May
Anneliese Dodds MP and Leader Cllr Susan Brown with Labour candidates for the City Council elections on Thursday 2 May

Oxford Labour – Working with you to make Oxford a great place to live

Over the last four years Labour has kept its promises to residents in Oxford. Labour built more than 620 council homes, introduced licensing of all privately rented homes to drive up standards, decarbonised all our pools and made good progress to being a Zero Carbon Council by 2030, rebuilt Bullingdon Community Centre and are rebuilding East Oxford and Blackbird Leys community centres. Labour continues to support local businesses and our local economy, but also our least well-off citizens through grants, the Oxford Living Wage and supporting advice centres.

Labour in Oxford has always been ambitious for our city. We are known around the world for our famous universities, parks, research and innovation, our buildings and as the home of the MINI. We have been delighted to help secure a long-term future for BMW MINI and to support their multi million investment in the future of the electric MINI at Oxford. Labour are working hard to make the economic growth that our city is leading a fair one, providing new jobs and skills for local people as  together we build a healthier, greener city, providing the homes that we need, with homes fit for the future and as we lead the way in tackling climate change and ensure that the appropriate infrastructure to support local communities is in place.

The pandemic on top of Tory austerity has exposed the serious health as well as economic inequalities in our city. Labour is working with our local NHS and other anchor institutions to design a local economy that will help local people thrive. We will work with other public sector organisations to use our collective buying power to prioritise local businesses. We want to see public money invested into local jobs and skills, creating incomes for people to spend locally.

Labour are proud to promote and pay Oxford’s Living Wage – 95% of the London Living Wage, £12.49 an hour from 1 April 2024. Over the last four years Labour have worked to increase the number of employers paying the Oxford Living Wage to over 120 companies and organisations.

Labour’s vision for the City of Oxford is underpinned by our values of fairness and equality and our campaign to tackle climate change. We are making good progress towards the aim of getting the city council to zero carbon by 2030, and the city by 2040.

Labour also listens to what YOU want for the future of Oxford. We know because we asked you, that you want more affordable housing, healthy neighbourhoods with more trees and access to accessible green spaces. You want us to continue to press the county council to tackle congestion, air pollution and to support better bus services as well as better provision for cyclists. You want us to work with others to tackle climate change and to make Oxford a Zero Carbon city and you want us to build on our work to bring Oxford together, to value our diversity and to tackle inequality.

Labour’s Oxford Model of sound finances and keeping jobs and money in our city to benefit local residents has allowed us to finance grants, community centres and leisure services. We support those most in need with a council tax reduction scheme and advice services. Oxford City Labour have kept our council housing and have built more, while neighbouring councils have paid lip service to ‘affordable housing’. We work to tackle inequality. This is the Oxford Labour differencechoose Labour.

Councillor Susan Brown

Labour Leader of Oxford City Council

1 Housing – delivering affordable homes for Oxford

National housing policy under the last 13 years under Tory and Lib Dem central government has consistently failed Oxford’s residents. Home ownership is impossible for most and renting privately does not offer an affordable or stable option for many. Homelessness and overcrowding are too high. For many families, social housing is the only affordable way to get a home and there are over 3,000 families currently on the council’s housing list hoping for a new home. We need more secure and better-quality homes, and more council housing in our city. Too many people are in precarious housing. Many homes are poorly insulated and expensive to heat. We want to tackle high energy bills and meet climate targets.

Private rented homes – around half of Oxford’s citizens live in rented housing. Under Labour the City Council has introduced the country’s first whole city licensing scheme for all private rented homes to support and protect tenants and make sure homes are safe and well managed. Over 11,000 homes are now registered, protecting all tenants and improving standards. Your Labour council also commissions housing advice to help people know their rights and keep their homes. Labour also campaigns for more powers to regulate the shocking loss of family housing in our city to the short term lets market and second homes.

Council housing and more homes for local people – we are proud that Labour has made sure that we have kept our council housing in Oxford – the only council in Oxfordshire to do so – and we are once again building new Council houses. We have one of the most demanding policies in the country to require social housing from new developments and we also encourage land-owning local employers to build homes for their workforce. Labour Oxford City Council set up wholly owned companies to build more homes – and to support Council services. OXPlace will build 2,000 new homes over the next decade under Labour. Labour will improve council housing to meet our climate obligations and to reduce fuel bills for tenants and maintain high satisfaction levels. We will work with partners like Low Carbon Oxford and through the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership to encourage homeowners and landlords to support cleaner, cheaper energy.

Homelessness – in spite of huge cuts from Tory central government, Labour locally has INCREASED our provision of homelessness services as numbers have risen. Labour in Oxford are committed to finding people their own homes and resisting the loss of homes to holiday lets and second homes.

Labour will

  • Improve insulation in council housing and reduce energy bills for tenants
  • Build 850 more homes for social rent over the next 4 years, out of a further 1,600 affordable homes including shared ownership to give people a foot on the property ladder
  • Drive up standards for tenants in rented housing through our licensing scheme
  • Campaign for powers to control rents to affordable levels in the private rented sector
  • Make more of our city’s housing carbon neutral, saving residents’ energy costs on heating
  • Aim for a ‘Housing First’ approach to homelessness so no-one has to sleep rough
  • Continue to fund and provide free housing and debt advice services
  • Campaign against unfair Section 21 evictions and in favour of stable tenancies
  • Charge double council tax on second homes and clamp down on inappropriate holiday lets
  • Set expectations that housing associations respond to tenants’ concerns promptly

2 A healthier, greener city – leading the way to a zero carbon Oxford

The Labour City Council in Oxford has won numerous national awards for the work to tackle climate change and are ranked third in the country for this work. In 2019 Labour set up a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change where a representative group of local citizens were asked to decide the Council’s work programme. Labour have worked to clean up our city’s air. Under Labour the City Council created Oxford’s Charter for Cleaner Air and is introducing a city-wide smoke control area. Labour played a major role in bringing Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub to Oxford. The Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership that we set up works with the biggest businesses and institutions across the city to get Oxford to net zero by 2040. Together with businesses and other institutions we have supported pioneering research into battery storage of energy and have developed innovative ways of charging electric vehicles on city streets.

Labour in Oxford also wants our city to be healthier. Poor air quality has a disproportionate health effect on poorer and minority households and fuel bills are a major cause of poverty. Net zero is about reducing energy costs too. We are working with local people in Rose Hill leading a heat pump trial to research new ways of providing cheaper, cleaner energy and better insulated homes as a first step to expansion across the city. Labour support poorer households to access leisure services cheaply in our city and provide free swimming for under 16s, improving access to healthier lifestyles and tackling childhood obesity.

To make Oxford a healthy and zero carbon city, we need to tackle pollution from traffic, which is the biggest contributor to poor air quality in the city. Oxford Labour supports efforts to reduce traffic congestion and help people safely and cost-effectively shift to public transport, cycling and walking. We are proud to have supported the bid to make all Oxford’s buses electric, reducing air pollution. We support efforts to improve bus speeds, create new routes and keep the prices of public transport affordable and more attractive than driving and to improve air quality. And we want to see a full network of safe, secure and segregated cycle lanes and cycle storage across the whole city and beyond as well as supporting the county council’s Vision Zero approach to designing out danger for cyclists on our roads. A higher percentage of people in Oxford rely on buses than in any other city and we will fight to keep, expand and improve bus services to all parts of our city and beyond.

Labour will

  • Campaign for and support the building of the Cowley Branch Line
  • Make Oxford a Zero Carbon Council by 2030 at the latest and work with the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership to get Oxford to Zero Carbon by 2040
  • Install infrastructure for electric vehicle charging to help residents and businesses .
  • We want the County Council, which is Oxford’s transport authority, to reduce congestion, improve road safety and air quality, increase bus routes and make buses cheaper
  • Encourage the county to provide a comprehensive network of dedicated cycle tracks and build more secure cycle parking, including for e-bikes and cargo bikes
  • Work with all of our communities, continuing to consult people with disabilities and older people to ensure their needs are taken into account in the county’s transport planning

3 A fairer city – making Oxford’s thriving local economy work for all

The Labour City Council set up the Oxford Living Wage in recognition of the high cost of living in Oxford. There are now over 120 local employers who pay it – triple the number we had four years ago. Labour requires City Council staff and direct contractors to be paid at least the Oxford Living Wage.

Conservative government policies have had a terrible impact on the cost of living for us all. Labour in Oxford have continued to support our least well-off citizens through our Council Tax Reduction Scheme, grant aid to local advice agencies in Oxford to provide free financial, housing and immigration advice to those who need it, subsidised swimming and gym membership for people entitled to benefits and through grant support for many community and voluntary organisations.

We are working with other agencies to support learning and skills training for those who are furthest from work. We have set up a partnership across Oxfordshire to encourage local employers to support local people into good jobs, expand apprenticeships, tackle inequalities and raise levels of learning and skills.

Oxford’s local economy is doing well – we are tenth in the country for new businesses setting up and one of the fastest growing economies in the UK. Oxford has huge strengths in innovation and research, particularly in medicine; our role in developing the COVID-19 vaccine means we are a world centre for scientific investment. International tourists are coming back, supporting local jobs and benefiting our city. Labour is working to ensure that the benefits of this economic success are widely spread across our community.

Labour will:

  • Support small and medium size local businesses and use the Council’s buying power to support local businesses, encouraging other organisations to do the same.
  • Support neighbourhood shops to be attractive, accessible and welcoming
  • Promote the Oxford Living Wage locally and require the council’s suppliers to pay it
  • Support, celebrate and promote local independent businesses, as we have done for businesses in the City Centre, the Covered Market and on the Botley and Cowley roads
  • Invest in our City Centre Action Plan and our historic Covered Market
  • Continue to work in partnership with our trade unions and local employers to make Oxford’s workplaces fairer
  • Make tackling poverty and inequality a bedrock of all Council policies
  • Use empty retail or business space for start-ups, small businesses and social enterprises
  • Encourage more local employers to take on apprentices. Encourage the development of skills and jobs in the ‘green economy’ including in the Council
  • Encourage more social enterprises and co-operatives in the city and support start-ups
  • Continue to invest in the work of the City Council’s two wholly owned companies, ODS and OxPlace which help fund public services as well as delivering excellent services
  • Continue to promote the principles of inclusive employment across the county, recognising the barriers that some people face in gaining job opportunities
  • Encourage sustainable tourism and longer stays to benefit the local economy

4 An Oxford fit for the future – making Oxford a great place for everyone

Labour is proud of our beautiful city and Oxford’s international reputation as a welcoming city, a city of asylum, a city with a diverse and international population and with many international links to Europe and beyond.

We are proud to be working together with you to keep Oxford a great place to live. The 2050 vision for Oxford that was drawn up by local residents is a city where people can enjoy their streets, neighbourhoods, the parks and playgrounds, where their work, home and leisure and cultural activities are local, and where the air is clean, and people can lead healthy and happy lives. This is the vision from the people of Oxford that Labour seeks to deliver with the people of Oxford.

Oxford’s rich diversity means that there are enormous cultural opportunities in our city. Labour wants to make sure that everyone can access them. The Labour City Council has secured the future of our leisure centres, swimming pools and ice rink at a time when many other councils are cutting back on their leisure provision. Labour has also secured access to city council leisure facilities for the least well off and those in receipt of disability benefits, and continues to provides free swimming for Oxford’s children. We provide generous grant support for voluntary and community organisations around the city for their work to support community activities, cohesion, advice services, access to culture, and to tackle loneliness.

The Labour-led council was proud to get the Wolvercote Bathing Place designated for bathing water status but dismayed that Thames Water continue to pollute our rivers with sewage. Labour will continue to campaign to make our rivers genuinely fit for bathing.

Labour will

  • Increase funding for street cleaning and verge cutting to improve our streets and crack down on littering and fly-tipping
  • Support healthy activities in our wonderful parks, playgrounds and community and leisure centres and provide green space and meeting space accessible for all our local communities.
  • Rebuild East Oxford and Blackbird Leys community centres as we did at Bullingdon Community Centre
  • Support residents at risk of flooding through encouraging a speedy delivery of the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS), and greater climate resilience measures
  • Continue investment to further reduce the carbon footprint of our leisure facilities
  • Fund the City’s Youth Ambition scheme supporting young people living on our estates
  • Support community festivals and events such as the Christmas Lights Festival, May Morning as well as working with Cowley Works to revive the Cowley Road Carnival
  • Continue to support residents through tackling anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse in our communities, allowing people to live peacefully in their homes without fear
  • Continue to work with Thames Valley Police to tackle drug dealing, domestic abuse, “county lines” and child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and crime and disorder
  • Create greater biodiversity, plant more trees, and create better wildlife habitats
  • Continue to campaign for bathing water in Oxford’s rivers to be safe for those that use them, and to promote the use of our waterways for recreation and exercise
Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search