THE Green Party has come out in support of Oxford becoming a unitary authority.

The party has announced its support of the proposals after Oxford City Council leader Bob Price revealed that his authority could become unitary if Labour wins the next General Election in 2015.

It would be part of a review of local authority structures as part of the review being drawn up by former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis.

This would be the second time Oxford City Council has attempted to become a unitary authority – which would mean it is responsible for delivering all services locally – with a previous attempt in 2006 unsuccessful.

The Oxford Times: Councillor Craig Simmons

Craig Simmons, leader of the Green group

City councillor Craig Simmons, the leader of the Green group on the city council, said: “Although the exact sums will have to be worked out, when the last bid was made in 2007, it was estimated that more than £4m could be saved from devolving services down to local authorities across the county. This is a significant sum that could go some way towards providing much needed affordable housing in Oxford and the area.”

At the moment services in Oxford such as education and transport are overseen by Oxfordshire County Council.