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Help set the ‘Way Ahead’ for South Oxfordshire

Delivering new council owned homes and increasing the amount of land protected for nature are just two of the ideas being discussed as a potential way ahead for South Oxfordshire.   

South Oxfordshire District Council is setting a new council plan for the next four years and is encouraging everyone within the district to join in the conversation ‘The Way Ahead’- starting today (Tuesday 16 April 2024).

The district council is opening up a four-week discussion around creating a fairer, more inclusive South Oxfordshire where all residents can thrive both now and in the future.

The Council has set out its initial ideas on what direction to take and the aim is now to open up a two-way conversation and find out what residents, businesses, community groups and organisations think. The feedback will contribute to the development of a new draft council plan for 2024-2028.

To find out more and take part, visit:  

The conversation runs until Tuesday 14 May.

Alternative formats (for example large print, Braille, audio, email, Easy Read and alternative languages) are available on request by emailing or call 01235 422425.

There will be a drop-in event this Thursday (18 April) where people can come along to find out more:

  • Thursday 18 April – Didcot Civic Hall, 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

Information will also be available at a number of other locations, including at local libraries in the district, at Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot and at the council offices in Abbey House, Abingdon. There is also a virtual exhibition available here.

‘The Way Ahead’ outlines five key themes steering the council’s existing and aspirational plans within South Oxfordshire, covering:

  • Action on climate change and nature recovery;
  • Inclusion, accessibility and accountability;
  • Thriving and healthy communities;
  • Homes and infrastructure that meet local need;
  • Financial stability and innovative transformation.

Watch the Way Ahead video with local people talking about what matters to them.

Cllr David Rouane, South Oxfordshire District Council’s Leader, said: “We are preparing a new plan to set our direction for the next four years and it’s very important to us that it reflects the priorities and aspirations of the communities we serve. We want to make sure we understand what you value and what areas you want us to focus on.

“We’ve set the conversation rolling with ideas on what we think is a good ‘Way Ahead’ – now, crucially, we need to hear from you. Do our ideas and examples reflect your concerns and priorities, or have we missed anything out?

“We are asking for ideas about how our priorities can take shape and be delivered in our communities; we are setting the big picture and overall direction of travel – but we’d like to hear from individuals and organisations with ideas for specific projects.  We’re looking for local knowledge and insight to enrich the strategic framework set out in ‘The Way Ahead’.

“Over 900 people took part in the last corporate plan consultation four years ago – I’d like to thank them all and ask them to speak with us again. I encourage you to take part in our conversation before 14 May. You can join in online, drop-in on our event in Didcot on 18 April or speak with one of your local ward councillors.”

At the end of the four-week conversation period, the council will use the feedback received to work a draft ‘The Way Ahead’: Our Council priorities for 2024-2028, which will be shared in the autumn. The draft council plan would be subject to usual democratic and scrutiny process before adoption of the final plan by Full Council in October 2024.

A council plan (sometimes called a strategic or corporate plan) seeks to establish a vision, ambitions and priorities for the council. It sets a ‘golden thread’ that runs throughout everything the council delivers.

South Oxfordshire District Council currently has a corporate plan 2020 -2024 that was adopted at full council in 2020. As this is the current corporate plan’s final year, the council now needs to set a direction for the next 4 years.

The council also recently completed a six-week Joint Local Plan (JLP) Preferred Options consultation with Vale of White Horse District Council. The JLP covers new planning policies that help address the climate emergency, protect and restore nature, and meet the needs of our residents. The JLP forms a part of how we will deliver on our council plan priorities.