Oxfordshire County Council

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Oxfordshire County Council
Type
Type
Leadership
Leader
Ian Hudspeth
Chairman
Don Seale
Structure
31 / 63
15 / 63
11 / 63
4 / 63
2 / 63
Elections
First past the post
Last election
2 May 2013
Next election
2017
Motto
Sapere aude (Dare to be wise)[1]
Meeting place
New County Hall, New Road, Oxford
Website
oxfordshire.gov.uk

Oxfordshire County Council, established in 1889, is the county council, or upper-tier local authority, for the non-metropolitan county of Oxfordshire, in the South East of England, an elected body responsible for the most strategic local government services in the county.

History[edit]

County Councils were first introduced in England and Wales with full powers from 22 September 1889 as a result of the Local Government Act 1888, taking over administrative functions until then carried out by the unelected Quarter Sessions.[2] The areas they covered were termed administrative counties and were not in all cases identical to the traditional shire counties, but in Oxfordshire the whole 'ceremonial county' came under the authority of the new council. The new system of local democracy was a significant development and reflected the increasing range of functions carried out by local government in late Victorian Britain.

The first elections to the new county council were held in January 1889. At the first meeting, several aldermen were elected.

Schools (both primary and secondary) were added to the County Council's responsibilities in 1902, and until the 1990s it was also responsible for operating Colleges of Further Education.

Oxfordshire County Council has seen a changing pattern of lower-tier authorities existing alongside it within its area, responsible for more local services, such as housing and waste collection. Until 1974, the county had a large number of urban district and rural district councils. In 1974, local government was reorganized in England and Wales generally, and Oxfordshire was enlarged to take in areas previously in Berkshire. Within its new area dozens of former urban and rural districts were amalgamated into one city council, Oxford, and four district councils: Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, the Vale of White Horse, and West Oxfordshire.

Functions[edit]

Oxfordshire County Council provides a wide range of services, including education (schools, libraries and youth services), social services, highway maintenance, waste disposal, emergency planning, consumer protection and town and country planning for matters to do with minerals, waste, highways and education.[3] This makes it one of the largest employers in Oxfordshire, with an annual budget of over £800 million.[4][5]

Elections[edit]

Since 1889, members have been elected for a term of office, with elections held all together (initially every three years, later every four years) on the "first past the post" system. Until the 1970s, the elected members chose aldermen, whose term of office was for six years, and who once appointed were also voting members of the council. This form of membership was ended by the Local Government Act 1972, so that after 1974 only honorary (that is, non-voting) aldermen could be appointed.[6]

Composition[edit]

The council currently consists of sixty-three county councillors and is controlled by the Conservative Party, which has thirty-one members, with fifteen Labour, eleven Liberal Democrats, four Independents and two Greens.[7]

Oxfordshire County Council election, 2013[7]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 31 -21 49.21%
  Labour 15 +6 23.81%
  Liberal Democrat 11 +1 17.46%
  Independent 4 +3 6.35%
  Green 2 0 3.17%

History of political control[edit]

Year Control
1973 Conservative
1977 Conservative
1981 Conservative
1985 No overall control
1989 No overall control
1993 No overall control
1997 No overall control
2001 No overall control
2005 Conservative
2009 Conservative
2013 No overall control

List of notable members[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Camelot International, Britain's heritage and history". Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Edwards, John (1955). 'County' in Chambers's Encyclopedia. LONDON: George Newnes. pp. 189–191. 
  3. ^ Council services at oxfordshire.gov.uk, accessed 30 November 2011
  4. ^ Council spending in Oxfordshire at oxfordshire.gov.uk, accessed 30 November 2011
  5. ^ County Council Oxfordshire County Council at oxfordshire.gov.uk, accessed 2 December 2011
  6. ^ Colin Frank Padfield, British constitution made simple (London: W. H. Allen, 1975), p. 291
  7. ^ a b "Election 2013 results". Oxfordshire County Council. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  8. ^ 'MACCLESFIELD, 7th Earl of', in Who Was Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 30 November 2011
  9. ^ 'BRADSHAW, Baron cr 1999 (Life Peer), of Wallingford in the county of Oxfordshire', in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 30 November 2011
  10. ^ 'BUTLER, Peter', in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 30 November 2011
  11. ^ 'BILLINGHAM, Baroness', in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 1 December 2011
  12. ^ 'CAMOYS, 6th Baron' in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 1 December 2011
  13. ^ 'DROWN, Julia Kate' in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 1 December 2011
  14. ^ 'HOWELL, John Michael' in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, accessed 1 December 2011

External links[edit]