Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is Keith secretly in favour of a unitary Oxford?

For those beyond the confines of this city and its hinterland, Keith is Oxfordshire's Tory county councillor. Cllr Mitchell is single-handedly running County Hall (with a little help from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). But he doesn't, as I've explained before, get any help from the city, where 'Conservative' is a term rarely seen beyond the caption to an exhibit in the Natural History Museum, in the display cabinet just beyond the dodo.

Many see a logic to having a unitary council for Oxford. But up to now, Keith has shook his gory locks and suggested the gravediggers would be burying him before that happened. So, who is this appearing on the comments section of the Oxford Times website, where there are complaints about the fact that the Tory county council wants an above-inflation increase in the unfair council tax? A certain 'Keith' berates the people of Oxford for not electing Tory councillors (apparently that would help keep down our council tax -- go figure). And Keith also boldly announces his earnest hope that 'as soon as Oxford City Council becomes a unitary authority the better'. Apparently, we in the city are bloodsuckers, leeches on the wholesome countryside dwellers (forcing them to come to hospitals in the city and to gain employment in the county's capital; we're nasty like that). Might it be that Keith Mitchell has had a belated conversion to the cause of unitaries? As a fan of the Iron Mrs, one would assume that Mr Mitchell is not for turning. But, with a high-tax Tory Council, profligate with our money, perhaps we should revise all preconceptions. As they say, will the true Tory Keith stand up.

1 comment:

Jock Coats said...

To be fair, the last time it was looked at, I am told by the then leader of the Labour group on the county council who were also in favour back then, that when they looked at the numbers they did find that schools in the city in particular were "overfunded" at the expense of rural schools and they couldn't find a formula that would keep up that level of funding if the city came out of the county.

Would that there had been a city councillor present at the Oxford East LDP Exec tonight, but you will hear more about their thoughts on unitary status anon, I believe...:)