THE forthcoming year promises to be a pivotal one both for the UK as a whole and local government in
THE forthcoming year promises to be a pivotal one both for the UK as a whole and local government in particular.
The result of the general election in May will lead to key decisions on levels of funding and powers for councils up and down the country for the following four or five years. One thing is for sure, with the nation £1.4 trillion in debt, funding will be going down yet more.
Here at Oxfordshire County Council, we will have saved close to £300 million by 2018. Early summer will no doubt see the Chancellor hold a budget that will see more cuts coming the way of local government.
How do we cope with this funding issue while demand for children’s and adult social care services continues to rise? That is the billion dollar question that will be on the minds of all in local government throughout 2015 and beyond.
We at the county council believe part of the answer lies in devolution from central government to local government and we recently signed an alliance with our neighbours at Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire County Councils to further that cause. You’ll be hearing more about that in 2015.
Despite all the pessimism, the local economy is doing very well and we at the county council want that to continue. Oxfordshire’s prosperous economy continues to be one of the driving forces behind the UK’s wider recovery.
Henley is a key component of that success and we at the county council join colleagues at South Oxfordshire District Council, Henley Town Council and residents of the town as a whole in wishing that to continue.