Transform Oxford's Economic Strategy

Oxford City Council held a consultation on Oxford’s Economic Strategy (“OES”) and Delivery Plan

a plan that will fundamentally affect the future shape and wellbeing of our city

The Consultation Closed on 31st January but results will not be released until June 2022. Why the delay?

This plan was made without us!

  • The strategy was put together by the unelected Economic Growth Steering Board (EGSB) which does not have meaningful community representation.

  • The EGSB did not involve Oxford's diverse communities when drafting the plan.

  • Now Oxford City Council are consulting on a plan that most residents are not aware of.

The Consultation Diagram has 3 intersecting ‘themes’:

Global, Inclusive, Zero Carbon

This suggests that they are:

  • being given equal weight

  • they are interconnected

  • considered holistically & will result in balanced outcomes

but instead ...................................

....... the strategy is dominated by massive economic growth and Inclusive & Zero Carbon are secondary

What is missing?

  • addressing inequality

  • a plan for biodiversity

  • factoring in climate resilience

  • the value of our beautiful City and wider Oxfordshire

  • the voice of residents in Oxford and Oxfordshire

The plan puts Global before Inclusive

The plan focuses largely on enabling spin-out companies and tech parks in and around Oxford. Around 25,000 new jobs will attract a highly skilled workforce with fresh housing needs (pushing up house prices further) and pressure on our infrastructure: demands on schools, GP surgeries, roads & sewage with increased air and river pollution. Social housing is not mentioned in the Strategy.

The brownfield sites, which could be regenerated for Oxford's current housing needs, are instead set aside for these new labs and businesses rather than providing truly affordable homes for local residents and key workers.

This map is taken from Oxford's Economic Strategy and shows their plans for massive development in and around Oxford

The plan puts Global before Zero Carbon

All this new development and growth has a high carbon cost in the buildings, construction and running costs, the additional traffic and infrastructure.

The plan assumes that there will be a technofix to cancel the carbon cost. But we can't wait for future solutions. We only have 3 years to prevent climate breakdown and we need to act now to reduce our carbon footprint.

The Plan ignores the Biodiversity Crisis

New development is destroying green spaces in Oxford and Oxfordshire, so valuable for biodiversity, growing food, capturing carbon, holding floodwater and protecting us against climate change.

These green spaces are important for our health & wellbeing and are free for everyone to share. Together with the river, they form part of the rich network of natural places that make Oxford and Oxfordshire great places to live now and for our children.

We need a land management plan which balances all these different roles, rather than just a plan for concreting over land for profit.

There is a better way !

Dougnut Economics from Oxford

Doughnut Economics is a decision making framework fit for the 21st century. It shows how humanity can thrive in a way that meets everyone's needs within the boundaries of our living planet.

It was developed by Kate Raworth, an Oxford economist, and is being used around the world.

Why not in Oxford?

Here is our flyer from March 2022: Please print & share (right-click / save)

Together we can Transform Oxford's Economic Strategy to:

  • Meet the needs of all Oxford’s residents within planetary boundaries

  • Take complex decisions in a holistic way

  • Use a broader collaborative process

Other places are already doing this using Doughnut Economics

Oxford should be leading the way and using a 21st Century approach.