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First cabinet meeting under new leader lasts 10 minutes
10:00am Wednesday 23rd May 2012 in News
OXFORDSHIRE County Council’s first cabinet meeting under new leader Ian Hudspeth was over within 10 minutes.
The Conservative member for Woodstock was elected leader of the county council last Tuesday, taking over from Keith Mitchell after more than a decade in power.
His new-look cabinet met yesterday at County Hall for the first time and discussed a short agenda.
One of their tasks was to agree a new rail strategy for Oxfordshire, following a six-week public consultation between February and March.
The key projects outlined in the plan include a new forecourt at Didcot Parkway station and a “masterplan” for the expansion of Oxford station.
County Hall hopes to knock down the Botley Road station to make way for four new through platforms on the same site.
Following the consultation, which saw 89 responses, the council has increased the priority of building a new station in Grove & Wantage.
However, it has scrapped its original plan to build a new station in Kidlington, saying the use of buses, footpaths and cycleways to access Water Eaton Parkway station will “better meet” the rail demand, and also ruled out a rail link to Carterton.
But, it may reconsider the rail link in the future if there is sufficient demand from RAF Brize Norton.
Louise Chapman, cabinet member for children and the voluntary sector, said: “I think the strategy speaks for itself.
“Some of the things we are doing in Oxford are going to improve the experience for people that use that station every day.”
The plan will be ratified by the full council at its next meeting in July before being published.