Sad day for local democracy

Tuesday was a very sad day. Oxfordshire County Council voted 39 to 16 in favour of accepting Robert Jenrick’s invitation to remove powers from South Oxfordshire District Council and to give these powers to them.

If this invitation is forthcoming, decisions to influence the Local Plan (including building on green belt land) will no longer be in the hands of our elected local representatives.

A Better South Oxfordshire put up a good fight, with over 30 protesters outside, a giant banner, placards and two powerful speeches made in the chamber.

We may have lost this battle but we are determined to KEEP ON FIGHTING!

To do this, we need your help.

Below is a list of County Councillors who voted to accept Jenrick’s invitation 

Please write to them expressing your dismay / anger / outrage / sadness / disappointment at their decision.

Alternatively, you could write to Mr Jenrick’s office urging him not to extend the invitation to the County Council (although this seems pretty inevitable)

Please retweet our updates @bettersouthoxon and include Robert Jenrick’s handle @RobertJenrick. There is a video blog by Cllr Tim Bearder (Lib Dem) that is particularly powerful.

Please sign up to volunteer for A Better South Oxfordshire by filling in our volunteer form.

As we are considering organising a march through oxford to protest at this decision, we would particularly welcome volunteers who have experience of organising marches.

We are looking into the feasibility of launching a Judicial Review and will keep you updated.

Local elections are happening this year and we are also considering how we might get involved in those. Any thoughts are most welcome.

Tuesday was a dark day for local democracy but the fight is not over.

The following councillors voted for the motion to accept the Secretary of State’s invitation to prepare or revise the South Oxfordshire Local Plan: