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County Council elections, 4 May

Thursday, 27 April 2017 10:49

With elections for the County Council taking place across Oxfordshire on Thursday 4 May, we've written to candidates asking for their support for the countryside.

We are calling on all parties to develop better policies so we can:

Make sure the right houses are built in the right places: housing policies should protect the countryside from unnecessary and damaging development and prioritise the needs of local communities.

This includes protection of the Oxford Green Belt, which performs a vital role in safeguarding both the surrounding countryside and also the historic character of Oxford City itself. Despite the Government’s stated policy in favour of Green Belt protection, we fear that changes to policy proposed in the Housing White Paper would seriously undermine its permanence. A County wide opinion survey in 2015 showed that whilst everyone understood the need for more housing, 75% of electors believed that the Green Belt should not be built on. Will candidates respect the wishes of their electorate?

Improve transport policy: we need more sustainable decisions on transport infrastructure, moving away from a focus on damaging and ineffective new roads.

In particular, we are concerned about proposals to disenfranchise local people by putting decisions on the so-called Oxford-Cambridge corridor entirely in the hands of the unelected National Infrastructure Commission (See the current NIC consultation on governance here). This includes plans for an Expressway which could wreak havoc on our countryside. If elected, will candidates ensure such critical decisions stay in their control?

Protect dark skies: the tranquillity of our countryside should be protected from unnecessary and damaging light pollution.

Treasure the countryside: the countryside should be valued for the vital contributions it makes to society; support should be given to the local sourcing of food, as well as local action against littering.

 

You can find a full list of candidates on the County Council website.

And you can download CPRE Oxfordshire's letter in full below.

 

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