More than 1,000 people have shown their support for Cherwell District Council by signing a petition opposing plans for a single unitary authority in Oxfordshire.
On Thursday, 23 February, Cherwell launched the petition against Oxfordshire County Council's plans to disband the area's city and district councils and replace them with a single authority.
Over the past 13 days 1,012 people have added their names to the campaign, citing concerns over localism, financial stability and economic growth.
Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, said: "Nobody will be more affected by these proposals than the residents of Oxfordshire who will see the biggest overhaul of local government in recent history. Cherwell has made its position clear, alongside West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxford City Council, in opposing these plans but it's important the people who will bear the biggest brunt of any changes also have the chance to make their voice heard.
"To have collected more than 1,000 signatures in just 13 days demonstrates the strength of feeling there is to these plans and the lack of consensus towards a unitary model. It's vital that any major changes to local government structures are made with the full backing of those it will serve and all options should continue to be explored until that happens."
Oxfordshire County Council will discuss its plans for a unitary authority later this month (March) before deciding upon whether to proceed with submitting the proposals to Government for consideration.
Last month (February) the leaders of Cherwell District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxford City Council invited Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to meet with them before making a decision.
Cherwell has previously raised concerns about the proposals, citing a loss of localism, increased council tax and threats to service provision as reasons for its opposition. Much of this has been echoed by residents who have signed the petition, which will be used to demonstrate a lack of support for a unitary model.
The petition is still available to sign online at https://www.change.org/p/stop-plans-for-a-unitary-authority-in-oxfordshire
Alternatively hard copies of petition can be found at the council's Bodicote House headquarters and Link Points in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington.