City condemned over refusal to back rail link

thisisoxfordshire: Arash Fatemian Arash Fatemian

A MOTION condemning Oxford City Council’s decision not to financially support a rail link between Oxford and Cambridge has been passed.

Oxfordshire County Council voted on Tuesday to back a motion calling on officers to write to the city council expressing the county’s disappointment with the decision.

It comes after the city council announced it would not pay £4.7m considered to be its share of the £500m project cost.

At the meeting, motion proposer Arash Fatemian, county cabinet member for finance, said he was disappointed at the news.

The East West rail scheme will link Oxford’s rail network to Milton Keynes, Bedford and on towards East Anglia and is due to open by December 2017.

Most of the £500m funding will come from Government, but councils in the Thames Valley have been asked to put in £50m between them.

The county council agreed last month to spend £11m on the scheme, while Cherwell, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Central Bedfordshire and Bedford councils will put in the rest.

County council deputy leader Rodney Rose, said: “The city council has completely run away from this because they would rather build houses on Grenoble Road.”

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But Labour councillors Susanna Pressel and John Tanner, both of whom are also members of the city council, defended the decision.

Ms Pressel said the city council had never agreed to the funding, and added that the area had missed out on infrastructure cash cancelled by the Government.

Mr Tanner added: “We will not be bamboozled into parting with money we do not have.”

Comments (3)

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6:08am Thu 12 Dec 13

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Mmm let's see houses for people to live in (should go to local families first) or build a train track that nobody can afford to use anyway ? For once the right decision was made, no train track to Cambridge.
Mmm let's see houses for people to live in (should go to local families first) or build a train track that nobody can afford to use anyway ? For once the right decision was made, no train track to Cambridge. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe

9:42am Thu 12 Dec 13

Gunslinger says...

Rodney Rose, said: “The city council has completely run away from this because they would rather build houses on Grenoble Road.”

And this is a criticism?

Perhaps some of Mr Rose's council tax payers (and voters) across the wider county area would rather see adult care and other services maintained, too. Perhaps he sees himself as too big and important to represent them rather than play with his big boys train set.
Rodney Rose, said: “The city council has completely run away from this because they would rather build houses on Grenoble Road.” And this is a criticism? Perhaps some of Mr Rose's council tax payers (and voters) across the wider county area would rather see adult care and other services maintained, too. Perhaps he sees himself as too big and important to represent them rather than play with his big boys train set. Gunslinger

10:24am Thu 12 Dec 13

phonoplug says...

Did the country council really pass a motion, and have a vote, just to decide whether someone should write a letter??
Did the country council really pass a motion, and have a vote, just to decide whether someone should write a letter?? phonoplug

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