Help shape the future of Oxford

Your views are important to us and help inform our policies. You can see a list of all open consultations below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Your Oxford, Your Say

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Closed Consultations

We Asked, You Said, We Did

See what we've consulted on. See all outcomes

We asked

Firstly, we asked questions about our local council tax reduction scheme design for next year.

We asked how much we should increase the income bands, in line with the large increases in inflation last year. Each income band determines how much support a household can claim towards their council tax charge.

We asked if adult residents within the household should be expected to help pay the council tax charge.

We asked if letters should be moved online, rather than posted out

We also asked if the law had changed and it impacted on a council tax charge whether we should be allowed to backdate an application for council tax reduction by more than a month, which is the current maximum backdate.

Secondly, for existing Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit customers we asked some customer satisfaction questions:

  • How quickly should we process an application for benefit or a change to your circumstances?
  • How do you prefer to contact us?
  • How do you use online services?
  • Do you understand our letters?
  • How satisfied are you with our service?

You said

A majority of respondents, 79%, agreed or strongly agreed with using income bands to decide how much support people should get towards paying their council tax.

A majority of respondents, 72% agreed or strongly agreed that the income bands should be increased by 10.1%, the rate of inflation.

Around half, 56% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with increasing the bands by a lower amount of 5%. Around a third, 29% disagreed and the rest were not sure.

A majority of 60% of respondents agreed that adult household members should contribute towards paying the council tax charge. Just under a third of respondents disagreed, 27%, and the rest were unsure.

There was a much more even spilt when we asked if we should move letters regarding council tax reduction online, rather than send by post 46% agreed, 43% disagreed.

A clear majority, 76% were in favour of us allowing more than a month to backdate an application where a law has changed putting a council tax charge back further than one month.

For those customers who are receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction the results were.

The most popular answer for how long you think a reasonable time to process a new application for Benefit was 1-2 weeks at 34%, with the second most popular being within a month at 30%.

The most popular answer of how long you think is reasonable to process a change in your circumstances was 1-2 weeks at 38%. Within a month received 23% of votes and within one week 22%.

The contact methods were ranked as follows in terms of most popular to least popular:

  1. Email
  2. Letter
  3. Phone
  4. Online
  5. Face to Face
  6. Home Visit
  7. Other

In terms of online services a clear majority do have access to online services at 93%, but a third of respondents prefer to use a different contact method.


A majority, 79% of respondents reported that they could understand the letter that was sent to them, although we did receive a lot of feedback in the comments on improvements to the letters that we are taking on board.

Overall, a majority of people reported positive customer satisfaction, but again we are working through all the comments received.

  • Very Good 33%
  • Good 36%
  • Average 23%
  • Poor 6%
  • Very poor 2%

We did

We have shared your feedback on our council tax reduction scheme proposals with senior managers and our local councillors who will look at the design for next year’s council tax reduction scheme. Your feedback will help to shape this scheme.

We are using the feedback on how quickly you think is reasonable to process a new application and change of circumstances to set our targets. We will work towards these and if we are not meeting them put plans in place to improve.

Your contact preferences will be taken into account when we look at which services are available, opening hours and staffing levels for these services. We will also use it to consider any future changes to these.

Feedback on how you use our online services is useful when we make decisions whether to move more of our contact online. We can see how many customers will need to have an alternative contact method available.

Thank you for your feedback on our letters. We are going to review the letters that we send out to make sure that they are easy to read and to understand the complex information that we need to provide.

Thank you for providing feedback on your overall satisfaction. We report within the council on this. We will listen to all the feedback provided, comments on the service and suggestions made to see where we can improve. Thank you also to those who gave positive feedback on the service that we are providing.

We asked

We asked for views on the outline design plans for the new burial meadow from 3rd – 23rd July 2023 to gain a better understanding of the views of stakeholders, future users, and members of the public to ensure the strongest design and project solutions are developed.

The ‘country park’ style scheme design of the new greenspace and burial meadow provides the public service of new burial space for Oxford within a strong landscape framework appropriate to the character of the site. The scheme includes improvements to tree cover, boundary hedges, and will improve the biodiversity of the site and enhance the public access.

The consultation included the following elements to ensure it was well publicised, and that a range of key groups were notified, and had the opportunity to submit comments.

  • Press release to the media and via social media sites linking to the project page on the Council website
  • An online survey consultation on the outline designs
  • Notifications to the Residents Panel; Locality Managers; Interfaith Forum; older persons and disabled persons organisations; and faith groups.
  • Drop in events at the Town Hall, and Horspath Village Hall

You said

A high number of people provided feedback on the outline design of the burial meadow. Most people fed back through the online survey - 439 in total, with 11 people attending the Horspath Village drop in event, and 4 people attending the Town Hall drop in event.

91% of respondents were in favour of the new greenspace and burial meadow.

While 90% of respondents said their purpose of visiting the site would be for a burial event, 43% said they would use the site for a walk / contemplation, and 28% said they would access wider countryside walks or Shotover Woods from their visit to the site.

In terms of means of transport to the site: 64% of respondents would use a car; 31% would consider using a bike; 20% the bus; 7% a taxi, and 5% a scooter.

Ideas for improvement included the following: hand washing point; timber shelter for use in heavy rain and that can function as gathering space for prayer; access near grave plots; boot brush point; more cycle parking; room for green burials; water point for people to use.

We did

The information from the consultation was taken on board by the design team and used to help shape the next design phase. A planning application has now been submitted and there is another consultation stage as part of the planning process.

We asked

We carried out a follow up to the Preferred Options consultation dedicated specifically to the question of housing need, as the necessary evidence was not immediately available for the first round.  We had commissioned studies to collect evidence on the level of housing need in Oxford, and we invited public comments on the findings of the studies and the methods that were used.

You said

We have prepared a summary of all the comments received and produced a report which is available to view here on our webpages.

We did

We have produced a draft Local Plan for submission to the Government for examination.  This draft plan containing policies that have been informed by the feedback from the Preferred Options Consultations, including policies relating to housing provision and site allocations. 

It is possible to comment on the housing and site allocation policies in the ongoing Local Plan Regulation 19 Consultation, after which the plan will be formally submitted.