Decision details

Devolution update

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Following the CEB meeting on 15 December 2016 –


Council is recommended to supports in principle the submission of a devolution bid with a governance model based on the current two-tier structure for local government with a combined authority and elected mayor.




The Assistant Chief Executive submitted a report which updated the Board on the proposals for devolution and sought authorisation for further joint working in support of those proposals.


The Executive Board Member, Corporate Strategy and Economic Development and the Chief Executive presented the report.  The Board acknowledged that the overall objective of devolution was to stimulate the economy, deliver improved services and make savings for the benefit of the residents of Oxfordshire.


The Board noted that:

·         there were sufficient resources to meet the additional budget

·         that the details of the consultation process would be developed as part of this study by the external consultants, and that it would look at best practice models from other local authorities such as Dorset County Council

·         that initial feedback from Government indicated that the City and District Council proposals for devolution needed to be more ambitious and innovative in terms of governance (e.g. elected mayor and fewer tiers)

·         that the terms of reference for the study by the external included the requirement to look at a range of alternative models and options, including cross-boundary arrangements

·         that the proposals would be evaluated on the following criteria:

o   improved and sustainable strong leadership

o   value for money

o   improved service delivery

o   transition costs

o   savings


The City Executive Board resolved to:


1.    Agree to work with the other District Councils and partners to further develop the initial unitary devolution proposals.

2.    Agree that independent consultants should be jointly appointed by the Districts to undertake detailed work and a contribution of up to £50k be made to facilitate those studies.

3.    Recommend Council to allocate the budget of £50k to support the initial study on viability and sustainability and governance; specialist work on collaboration around Children and Adult services; public consultation and involvement; and preparation of a revised Devolution Deal. This will be funded from reserves and balances.


Report author: Caroline Green

Publication date: 26/08/2016

Date of decision: 24/03/2016

Decided at meeting: 24/03/2016 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019)

Effective from: 31/03/2016

Accompanying Documents: