Major political parties make their pitch for Oxfordshire County Council
Voters will be heading to the polls to vote for Oxford County Council on May 6.
We asked the parties with the most representatives to provide reasons why you should vote for them.
Here are their replies (in alphabetical order).
"Over the past four years the Conservative-led administration at county hall has protected and improved frontline services.
"Oxfordshire County Council is one of the few councils rated 'Good' for both children’s services and adult social care. We have made no cuts to children’s social care teams and have committed an additional £4 million for adult social care, safeguarding care for those most in need.
"We want every child to have the best start in life. We are investing in young people with a £1 million youth community group fund and building more schools including a new SEND school which will open in Bloxham next year.
"We are also looking to the future in respect of the environment. We will convert 59,000 streetlights to LED and roll out electric vehicle charging points in council-owned car parks. Oxfordshire has again topped the national leaderboard for recycling.
"One thing we know residents want is better local roads. We will invest £30 million a year to make roads safer and smoother. Bankside, Sussex Drive and Orchard Way roundabout are next in line for improvements. Long term plans for better cycling and walking networks are also in the pipeline.
"The choice in these elections couldn’t be clearer. A vote for any party other than the Conservatives will result in a chaotic coalition of Greens, Liberal and Labour most of whom will not be from Banbury, or even North Oxfordshire, taking over at county hall. If you want strong, local representation, vote Conservative on 6 May."
"The pandemic has made many things feel like a distant memory, yet climate change and the need for our green spaces has only grown in the minds of voters, with Greens seen leading the way.
"There are Green councillors on every council in Oxfordshire County, including Cherwell, with Greens jointly running South Oxfordshire.
"What voters see are Green councillors who hold themselves to a higher standard of honesty and integrity, and demonstrate this through their hard work and action everyday, whether that is on the doorstep or in the council chamber.
"Our newest, and only councillor, at the county level was elected in 2019, and in that time, Dr Pete Sudbury proposed and worked across party divides to give councils the powers to reduce speed limits to 20mph. Now local communities can decide when and where it is necessary to make their streets safer for children to walk and cycle.
"Whether it’s our Green spaces, climate change, social care, schools or housing, it is this type of tenacity and vision that Green councillors offer to Oxfordshire.
"We will never take voters for granted, we will work hard to earn your trust, we will work for the good of the local community and a thriving Oxfordshire.
"Our environment is where we live, and a Green vote is a vote for local communities with independent and principled local representatives."
"With your vote in the Oxfordshire County Council elections, Labour will transform the legacy of sleaze, infrastructure neglect and financial incompetence of the last decade. We will build an Oxfordshire that provides dignity for society’s most vulnerable, protects our precious and beautiful environment, and creates opportunities for all residents and businesses to thrive.
"The NHS and the Horton Hospital are safe in Labour’s hands. Compare this with the Conservatives who clap for health workers and carers but deprive them of the modest wage increase they deserve.
"Labour will make our crumbling roads, pavements and cycle lanes fit for purpose after decades of neglect, and consult with local people to provide the transport and infrastructure that our communities need.
"Labour will work with groups such as Co-operatives and social enterprises to provide sustainable home care and residential care for older people and adults with disabilities.
"Labour will fund a County Youth Service and develop services to keep children in our care and children with special educational needs within Oxfordshire.
"Labour will create an outstanding education system and support young people to develop their skills and fulfil their potential.
"Labour will ensure services for children, families and the most vulnerable people deliver decency, fairness and compassion, and support a healthy and thriving world for future generations.
"Please vote Labour on Thursday 6th May."
"The Liberal Democrats stand for a fairer, greener, more caring Oxfordshire. Countywide, we have sustainable, sensible priorities for the places we all love. We will tackle the climate emergency locally by creating a cabinet post tasked with embedding climate considerations into council decisions.
"We will decarbonise public transport and invest in walking, cycling, bus and rail infrastructure throughout the local area, ensuring walking and cycling routes are put first when designing highways and will work with local communities here to develop active travel plans in Banbury.
"The Liberal Democrats will invest in Banbury’s young people by providing funding to children’s centres and early years support and by restoring the Oxfordshire Youth Service. We will prioritise children’s and adults’ health and social care and will conduct a mental health services review to ensure the very best support for our local community.
"Above all, we will be transparent, involving residents and community groups in planning services and infrastructure, and will treat residents with respect and will listen to your input and feedback.
"The Conservatives have had years to get things right, but have squandered the opportunity – only recently they wasted £1.6 million on a botched car park tendering process for which they refused to apologise.
"The residents of Oxfordshire deserve better and so we pledge that a vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for the fairer, more caring and more responsible management of Oxfordshire’s public funds."