• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Oxfordshire County Council cancel meetings after Queen’s death


Sep 14, 2022

OXFORDSHIRE County Council has postponed its first meeting of all councillors since the summer break following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

A council spokesperson confirmed the measure had been taken as a mark of respect after the passing of Her Majesty was announced at 6.30pm on Thursday (August 8).

It was due to take place yesterday (Tuesday, September 13). No new date has been placed on the schedule.

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With the Queen’s funeral now confirmed as taking place on Monday (September 19), which has been declared as a bank holiday, it seems unlikely that council will be able to meet prior to the next public gathering of the county’s cabinet – the ruling group of councillors – on Tuesday, September 20.

Among the matters due to be discussed were the formation of a cross-party group to assist with Oxfordshire’s electoral review – updating council boundaries and the number of councillors required for areas in order to keep them balanced – and the council’s constitution.

There were also motions put forward – declarations brought forward by councillors on specific issues that, if agreed, influence future policy – requesting financial assistance from the government.

Councillor Liz Brighouse, the deputy leader of the council who is in charge of the county’s education and young people’s services, is calling for around £20 million worth of debt, relating to spending on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision, to be written off by the government.

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Councillor Roz Smith wants to declare a cost of living emergency and ask the government to subsidise buses and trains, reduce VAT, restore the £20 Universal Credit uplift that temporarily came in during the covid-19 pandemic and more.

No announcement has been made over Thursday’s scheduled meeting of Oxfordshire’s Health Partnership Board or Friday’s meeting of the Thames Valley Police & Crime Panel — a group of nominated councillors and independent members from across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire that hold to account the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber.

The Police & Crime Panel meeting is due to begin with the appointment of a new chair, a matter on which councillors could not agree on with a deadlocked vote causing the abandonment of the last meeting in June.

West Oxfordshire District Council has postponed all four meetings scheduled for between now and the day of the Queen’s funeral.

Cherwell District Council has cancelled its one meeting due for this week, while the Joint Scrutiny Committee of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils will no longer meet on Monday, September 19.

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Oxford City Council’s cabinet meeting is still listed as scheduled for Wednesday.

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