Oxfordshire Conservatives have launched their manifesto for the County Council elections. The council have found £40 million of efficiency savings since 2005 which have allowed the rate of Council Tax increase to slow. But it has not been enough to deliver Council Tax cuts because of pressures of spending such as the increasing number of old people living in Oxfordshire. They have signed up to a Council Tax freeze under a Conservative Government.
Other points that caught my eye include:
- Welcoming military personnel returning home to Oxfordshire from abroad.
- Increasing the apprenticeships programme.
- Opening academies replacing two schools. The new academies are "already transforming the life chances of the children attending and their are plans for a third."
- There has been significant reductions in the offending and reoffending rates of young people in the county.
- Concern that extra admin caused by the "national implementation of the Government's Integrated Children System has led to our social workers being seriously hampered in doing the front line work we need them to do."
- Bus use has been encouraged by offering free parking at the Council's Park and Ride car parks.
- The Council has signed up to an 18% reduction in its carbon footprint.
- A pilot Rent a Bike scheme has been started.
David Cameron attended the launch in his home county where local Conservatives launched their manifesto in the Malmaison hotel in Oxford which used to be a prison, “Forty Conservative politicians in a prison – this is Jacqui Smith’s dream come true,” Cameron told the audience.