In a letter sent this week to the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid MP, NNGO has raised its concerns about the lack of adequate public consultation on the Better Oxfordshire Unitary bid and to the growth strategy on which it is based.
The Better Oxfordshire Unitary Bid was submitted to the Secretary of State from Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council, on 3 March 2017.
The submission gives the impression that the Unitary bid was the subject of widespread consultation and a high degree of public approval – this was not the case.
Rather, it was the result of a narrow consultation with ‘stakeholders’ – ie local businesses and the unelected Growth Board, not with the general public. As such, it has not been endorsed by the people of Oxfordshire.
We believe the bid should have been subject to proper public consultation and Public Inquiry before being submitted to the government.
It is self-evident reading the proposal that is primary purpose is to save money on delivering services and on ‘maintaining and maximising economic growth’. (Our emphasis)
We believe there will be little benefit to the general public and much for them to lose from this emphasis on growth – not least our rural environment.
We believe the people of Oxfordshire should be given the opportunity to give their views on whether and/or to what extent, growth should be permitted at the expense of the environment.
Read the Better Oxfordshire Unitary Bid.