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Leader’s report to council – October 2022

Report to the council by Leader Cllr David Rouane on 13 October 2022.

Cost of Living

At our last meeting councillors passed a motion which called on the council to organise a summit to discuss our response to the Cost of Living emergency. Following a discussion with the leader of the county council it was agreed that the county council should take the lead in organising this in order to share best practice across the county.

The Cost of Living Roundtable took place on 6 October with speakers from each council and various other organisations providing support. I was able to highlight our concerns, primarily on being able to support those with housing need and how best to provide information about support which is available in a form accessible to all.

Best practice and good ideas were exchanged for dealing with out major concerns which our officers will take forward.


We have about 300 Ukrainian households currently in the district and I would like to thank the hosts and local communities who are providing support and welcome. Many of these are now coming towards the end of the initial six month period and our community hub and housing teams are working hard to ensure that these households can either stay with their existing host or move on to alternative accommodation where this is available.

Oxplan 2050

Councillors will have heard that work on Oxplan 2050 has come to an end by mutual agreement. The councils were simply not able to reach a collective agreement on the approach to arriving at the housing need and I don’t intend to add to what has been said on this.

What it does not mean is that the work of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership (FOP) will end. Evidence has been gathered and agreements reached on various aspects which will be available to be used by councils in developing their own Local Plans, and in particular in our Joint Local Plan with the Vale.  Crucially, the Oxfordshire Strategic Vison has been approved by all Councils, and this includes principles for ‘good growth’.

This joint working will continue through, for example, the Environment, Infrastructure, Housing, and Planning advisory groups. In particular, the Environment and Planning Advisory Groups are looking to do some work on the distribution of solar farms which is an issue across the whole county.

Local Nature Partnership

Another example of our continued joint working is the Local Nature Partnership (LNP) where I am the FOP representative on the Board. This week the LNP held their initial Forum, a meeting of interested groups and individuals looking at the strategy of the partnership going forward. One issue raised with me at this meeting was how input from the LNP around nature recovery networks will be fed into Local Plans and I will be taking this up with the appropriate cabinet member and officers.