County Councillors coming to hear your views
The alliance running County Hall are offering a chance to ask questions and put forward suggestions
A number of the Councillors who oversee Oxfordshire County Council are coming to Banbury to get our views on the big issues that matter to us. A special Let’s Talk Oxfordshire session will be held at the Mill Arts Centre on Monday the 19th of September.
Those that attend will be invited to have their say and ask questions of a panel made up of members of the County Council’s cabinet.
Councillors will share the financial challenges they are facing and hope to get the views of those in the room on what should be their priorities. This will then feed into their budget setting process for next year.
The Banbury event is one of seven taking place across the county.
Councillor Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Oxfordshire Conversations demonstrate our ongoing commitment to playing our part in a vibrant and participatory local democracy by listening to residents in a more active and inclusive way.
“Primarily, we want to talk to residents about the big issues that matter to them and their communities. We also want to check that the priorities we set last year as part of our new strategic plan still align with those of our residents, as part of the process of setting a new budget for next year. We are all facing new and significant financial pressures as a result of the cost of living crisis, and we want to hear from residents about their experiences. We’ll also be sharing what that means for us as a council and the challenge of delivering services under these circumstances.”
Anyone wanting to attend needs to register in advance. Its also requested that anyone hoping to ask a question submits it in advance. The County Council says this will help to ensure a range of topics get heard. There will also be additional opportunities to ask questions on the night.
Those who just wish to listen are also welcome to attend.
Councillor Calum Miller, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, added: “We know that households across our county are facing huge financial challenges this autumn. Rising prices make this a cost of living emergency. The county council is also facing major budget pressures. We are committed to providing support to the most vulnerable people in our communities but, as the cost of doing this rises and our funding fails to keep pace, we face tough choices.
“Significant increases in inflation, the increases in energy, fuel and material costs, staff shortages are driving up costs and a shortfall in government funding are leading to a predicted funding shortfall of over £30 million next year. Other pressures include the growing nationwide costs of supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and the financial impact of implementing the government’s adult social care reforms.
“We are committed to the responsible management of the council’s finances and are planning ahead carefully to meet current and future financial challenges. We are at an early stage of our budget setting process so we are keen to listen to what services local people value most and their priorities, and for these views to help shape our budget proposals. The Oxfordshire Conversations are a great way to start this discussion.”
The County Council is currently controlled by Oxfordshire’s Fair Deal Alliance – a coalition of councillors made up of Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green Party members.
The Banbury Let’s Talk Oxfordshire event starts at 8.30pm. Places can be booked by registering here.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam