Councillors’ concerns on impact of split on finances
Cherwell District and Oxfordshire County councils are to end their partnership arrangement
Councillors at last night’s Budget Planning Meeting at Cherwell District Council raised their concerns over what impact there would be on finances following the announcement of the ending of the partnership agreement between Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell.
Labour Councillor Andrew Beere addressed the meeting chair, Councillor Nicholas Mawer, saying: “I think in view of recent events (and I’m not talking about at Whitehall but our county town and our district), can I suggest that you talk to the Cabinet / Executive about ‘unscrambling eggs’ – I mean the end of joint working and whether money be put in reserve to cope with that.”
Conservative Councillor John Donaldson raised a similar point saying: “Where we’ve already got in plan some joint services which are already funded, or ear marked for funding, whether those will still go ahead and what the impacts will be in the longer term as we separate. How much additional extra costs are going to be involved in that.”
Officers responded saying that if there were any separation costs it was too early to say what they would be and it was important the Council had adequate reserves available to cover any eventuality.
They added that currently it was unknown what the future relationship would be and so they were carrying on as they are for now. In the future there could continue to be some sort of shared relationship, one council could procure services from the other, or they may both go their own way completely.
Just last week it was announced that the partnership agreement between the two councils would be ending.
The agreement sees a number of functions shared between Cherwell District Council and Oxfordshire County Council, including the role of chief executive, undertaken by Yvonne Rees. It has already been announced that Ms Rees will be returning to her role as CEO for Cherwell District Council alone.
Its understood that discussions between the two Councils are underway as to the other functions and roles that are shared across both organisations.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam