Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire County Council
Chair of the council
Cllr Les Sibley
since May 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Conservative
since April 2012
since 10 July 2018
Length of term
|First past the post|
|4 May 2017|
|6 May 2021|
|Sapere aude (Dare to be wise)|
|County Hall, New Road, Oxford|
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.
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. 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, that of Oxford, and four district councils: Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, the Vale of White Horse, and West Oxfordshire.
Oxfordshire County Council provides a wide range of services, including education (schools, libraries and youth services), social services, public health ,highway maintenance, waste disposal, emergency planning, consumer protection and town and country planning for matters to do with minerals, waste, highways and education. This makes it one of the largest employers in Oxfordshire, with an annual budget of £899 million in 2013–14.
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.
As of May 2020, the council composition is as follows:
|Independent Conservative Alliance||3|
The Conservative Party on 30 seats is short of an overall majority on the Council of 63, as 32 seats are required for a majority. Three of the five independent councillors have formed an Alliance with the Conservatives to give them a working majority. The other two independent councillors sit in opposition to the Conservatives alongside the Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green councillors.
The council currently consists of sixty-three county councillors and no party has overall control. The Conservative Party has thirty-one members, with fourteen Labour, thirteen Liberal Democrats, four Independents and one Henley Residents Group member.
|Party||Seats||Gains||Losses||Net gain/loss||Seats %||Votes %||Votes||+/−|
|Henley Residents Group||1||1||0||+1||6.4||0.9||1,747||+1.1|
The next election will be held on 6 May 2021.
History of political control
- Catherine Fulljames (2005-2006)
- Lesley Legge (2006-2007)
- Don Seale (2012–2013)
- Anne Purse (2014-2015)
- John Sanders (2015–2016)
- Michael Waine (2016-2017)
- Zoe Patrick (2017-2018)
- Gill Sanders (2018-2019)
- Les Sibley (2019-2020)
List of notable members
- Sir Jervoise Athelstane Baines , member 1917–22, later Indian Civil Service administrator
- Jonathan Baume, member 1974–77, trade unionist
- Catherine Bearder MEP, member
- Angela Billingham, member 1993–94, later Baroness Billingham
- William Bradshaw, Baron Bradshaw, member 1993–2008
- Peter Butler, member 1985–89, later Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes North East
- Sherman Stonor, 6th Baron Camoys, member
- Julia Drown, member 1989–96, later Member of Parliament for Swindon South
- Michael Patrick Fogarty, member 1981–89, academic
- Olive Gibbs, chairman 1974–1975 and 1981–1982
- Simon Hoare MP, member
- John Howell, member 2004–09, later Member of Parliament
- Caroline Lucas, member 1993–97, later Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion
- Valerie Miles, wife of Andrew Smith MP
- George Parker, 7th Earl of Macclesfield, chairman 1937–70
- James Plaskitt, member 1985–97, later Member of Parliament
- Geoffrey Somerset, 6th Baron Raglan, member 1988–1993.
- John Redwood, member 1973–77, later Member of Parliament for Wokingham
- Larry Sanders, member 2005–13, Green Party Spokesperson for Health
- David Williams, third-place candidate in the 2016 Green Party of England and Wales leadership election
- "Camelot International, Britain's heritage and history". Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- Edwards, John, ed. (1955). "County". Chambers' Encyclopedia. London: George Newnes. pp. 189–191.
- "Council services". Oxfordshire County Council. Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Statement of Accounts 2013/2014 (PDF). Oxfordshire County Council. 24 September 2014. p. 8. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- Padfield, Colin Frank (1975). British constitution made simple. London: W. H. Allen. p. 291.
- "Election 2017 results". Oxfordshire County Council. Archived from the original on 3 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- "Election 2017 live results". Oxfordshire County Council. Archived from the original on 3 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
- "A mother of three who used to teach maths in south Oxfordshire becomes Chairman". Oxford Mail. 13 April 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Sixteen years as County Councillor after career in military". BBC.
- "Former Councillor Don Seale". 1 December 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Cowley's John Sanders elected as Oxfordshire County Council chairman". Oxford Mail. 19 May 2015.
- "Oxfordshire County Council presents its annual rose bush rent to the Earth Trust". Oxford Mail.
- Busy Evening. Bicester Advertiser. 1 December 1972.
- The youngest chairman. Bicester Advertiser. 1972.
- "Hundreds of youngsters enjoy evening of sports in the high street". Thame Gazette.
- "Chairman or chairwoman?' row breaks out at council". Oxford Mail. 14 February 2018.
- "New Chair Elected". 15 May 2018.
- "New chair of county council relishing ceremonial role". Oxford Mail. 16 May 2018.
- "Jericho house where Chinese author Chiang Yee given refuge gets blue plaque". Oxford Times.
- "Oxfordshire County Council independents agree 'Alliance' with Conservatives". BBC News. 11 May 2013.
- "Party 'dumps' town Stalwart". Oxford Mail. 13 April 2013.
- "New Bicester Village station set to bring influx of shoppers and visitors to town". Bournemouth Echo. 27 October 2015.
- 'BILLINGHAM, Baroness', in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 1 December 2011
- '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
- 'BUTLER, Peter', in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 30 November 2011
- '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
- '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
- 'HOWELL, John Michael' in Who's Who (London: A. & C. Black); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, accessed 1 December 2011
- "Obituary - Val Smith". Oxford Mail. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- '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
- Lo, Joe (22 July 2016). "Analysis: Who should lead the Green Party?".