Councillors in Oxfordshire are working on a plan for a new ‘green deal’ to present to the Government.
Leader of Oxfordshire County Council Cllr Liz Leffman told delegates at OxPropFest on September 14, the LibDem, Labour and Green coalition needs to regroup after the demise of the Oxfordshire 2050 plan which was scrapped when the county’s various councils failed to agree on progress.
But Cllr Leffman spelled out a plan to present the county’s new proposals to Government.
She said: “What the county council is considering is something we’ve loosely called a green deal. We want to say to the Government ‘this is Oxfordshire, this is what we are doing here and this is why you need to support us in what we want to do’.”
She said it will involve supporting innovation and a review of road infrastructure projects in the current pipeline which had been put in place by the previous Conservative administration but which will now be reviewed.
“We are thinking about reframing some of those projects because in the previous administration they were really thinking about a car-driven economy and we have to stop thinking about cars as being the absolute centre of what we do when we travel around.”
Cllr Leffman said the council is looking at how to encourage active travel along with more use of buses and trains including a possible new train line.
She said: “We are doing a feasibility study at the moment, looking at whether there’s a possibility of a train link between Carterton, Witney and Oxford as part of the development along the A40 corridor.”
“We, as Oxfordshire County Council, want to be at the very forefront of having these discussions with ministers and we have agreed that we need to start that conversation now.”
Housing, she said, must be provided so that staff can be housed to support businesses coming to Oxfordshire and that young people living and working in the county are encouraged to stay.
She added: “The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 will look different from what perhaps was conceived in 2017 and we will be having that conversation with Government.”
Image (top): South East England, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons.
Image (below): Cllr Liz Leffman by samandstevephotography.com.
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