About your council | Oxfordshire County Council
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About your council

map of the county, bus, houses  and teacher

What is local government?

Local government looks after local things such as:

  • roads
  • waste
  • transport
  • housing.
lots of business teams

Local government in Oxfordshire

In Oxfordshire we have:

  • one county council
  • five smaller district councils
  • 317 even smaller town and parish councils.

Each council is responsible for providing different services to the public.

doctor and police officer

Are there other government funded services in Oxfordshire?

Local authorities are only some of the organisations which offer services to the public in Oxfordshire.

There are other government funded services such as:

  • the health service 
  • the police.
firefighter, librarian, gritter and man pushing a person in wheelchair

More about Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council is in charge of providing many important local services. It employs more than 20,000 people to run these services.

They include:

  • social services
  • the fire service
  • roads
  • libraries
  • the museums service
  • waste management.
man pulling wheelie bin, house and swimmer

More about your district councils

Oxfordshire has five district councils. Each district council supports a different area of the county.

They are responsible for things such as:

  • environmental health
  • housing
  • leisure
  • recreation
  • planning
  • waste collections.
town mayor, bus shelter and bench

More about your parish and town councils

Parish and town councillors represent smaller local areas such as:

  • Banbury
  • Chinnor
  • Woodstock.

All parts of the county have a town or parish council except certain areas of Oxford.

They are responsible for things such as:

  • bus shelters
  • public benches
  • footpaths
  • allotments
  • playing fields.

Each town council has a town mayor. We can give you information on all of the town mayors in Oxfordshire.

people shaking hands

Working in partnership

Services in Oxfordshire are provided by lots of organisations.

Oxfordshire County Council works closely with other organisations to provide:

  • better services
  • value for money for local people.
someone writing a plan

Community planning

A community plan sets out how a community wants to develop. It also identifies the actions needed to achieve it.

mps and houses of parliament

What is an MP?

There are six Members of Parliament (MPs) who represent people living in Oxfordshire.

Each MP represents the people living in each area of the county.

You can contact your local MP if you have any concerns.

european parliament

What is an MEP?

There are 10 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) who support the south east area of the country. All 10 represent the people living in Oxfordshire.

You can contact your local MEP if you have any concerns.

councillor and map of county

What is a councillor?

A councillor is elected by local people to make the big decisions on the services the council provides.

They look at how services are run and represent the people in their division. This is the area they are elected to represent.

Councillors also deal with issues brought to them by the people who live in their division.

people in a bus and a councillor

How can I become a councillor and what do I have to do?

To become a councillor, you must stand for and win an election in one of the county's electoral divisions. This is the area where people vote.

We can give you lots of information about becoming a councillor.

lady talking to a councillor

Contacting your councillor

Your county councillor can help if you are worried about our services. They can offer advice or direct you to someone who can help. Some councillors offer one to one meetings in their communities.

the cabinet

What is the Cabinet?

The Cabinet is made up of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Hudspeth and nine other councillors who work with him.

Their job is to:

  • lead the council
  • make all the big decisions
  • recommend how the council spends its money
  • create council policies.

Cabinet meetings are held once a month and are attended by all 10 Cabinet members.

Members of the public can:

  • ask questions or
  • put forward a petition

as long as they give enough notice before the meetings.

We can let you know the dates of all cabinet meetings.

people having formal meeting

Other committees

There are other committees that look at things that the cabinet don’t deal with such as:

  • organisational matters
  • planning
  • pension fund arrangements.

They make decisions passed on to them by Cabinet members.

Committees meet regularly and are generally open to the public.  

people having formal meeting

What is scrutiny?

The role of scrutiny is to look at how well the county council is run. This is important as we are committed to providing excellent services to the local community.

Scrutiny can:

  • question the people who make important decisions and offer new ideas
  • question how we will make improvements
  • support ideas about the best ways to spend our money
  • question the way things are done
  • share ideas and information from local people and service users
  • encourage all of our services to work closely together.
people with their hands up and a voting box

How do I vote?

Voting is an opportunity to choose who represents you and makes decisions for you.

This includes:

  • local councillors
  • MPs for Uk Parliament
  • MEPs for European Parliament

If you want to vote you need to register. This means that you will be on a voting list near to where you live.

You can vote in three ways:

  • By going to a polling station. If you are registered to vote you will get a card telling you where to go.
  • By post. Any voter can decide to vote by post instead of voting at the polling station.
  • In some situations you can get someone to vote for you.
money, firefighter, librarian and roadworks

About your council tax

Council tax is the local tax you pay towards services such as:

  • road maintenance
  • some education services
  • fire and rescue services
  • social services
  • trading standards
  • libraries and museums.

In Oxfordshire your council tax pays for about one third of your local services. Central government pays for the other two thirds.

Your district council can help you with things such as:

  • how to calculate how much council tax you should pay
  • paying your council tax.


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