It is startling to hear that Oxfordshire County Council wants to abolish Oxford City Council. Most of us didn't realize it had the power to do that.
One of the nicest and most peaceful, altruistic people I know called Oxford City Council "ruffians". Local residents find time after time that unpopular schemes such as the Northway link road are just pushed through, all opposition is ignored and mysterious inexplicable Labour majorities continue to put the same people back in power. Facilities such as the much-loved and much-needed Temple Cowley swimming pool are closed. Money is lavished on a few pet voters. Assets such as community centres are sold off. The system of having local planning meetings for residents was just abruptly closed down. Time after time Oxford has been designated as a poor-value City Council.
Citizens right across the political spectrum have long regarded Oxford City Council as lamentable. Not long ago the Greens were circulating leaflets full of vehement protests about it and the way that is it run by what seems to be a tight little gang.
But is Oxfordshire County Council any better? I can think of a string of perverse decisions they have made. Banning buses from the city centre - selling off schools despite the fact that demand for school places is steeply rising. And when it comes to matters such as the hospital heat-pipe scheme, where a firm guiding hand is needed, nobody at all seems to be in charge. The hospitals just went ahead with a plan that disrupted the entire neighbourhood for months on end, a law unto themselves.
The new scheme is supported by Ian Hudspeth, and anything advocated by Ian Hudspeth is suspect. The ideal thing would appear to be both the City and the County Councils abolishing each other, but is there any hope of that?