Oxfordshire has found its Voice – Now let’s use it

Oxfordshire Voice is fast gaining recognition as the most effective way for people from all walks of business life in the county to come together and build a better business future.
Why? Because OV is a single forum where all sides can meet, discuss and decide the future of business in Oxfordshire.
The organisation was launched in January 2019 to bring together representatives from across the political and business spectrum: local authorities, elected officials, budget holders, business owners and workers of all shapes and sizes. 
“There’s a lot which needs to be done here – right across our county.” says Simon Howson-Green from Oxfordshire Voice. 
“We need a vastly improved transport system and better digital connectivity. We need to build new and vibrant communities to provide affordable homes to a growing workforce and we need to ensure the rest of the world knows Oxfordshire is open for business. 
“Firstly, this requires planning for the long, medium and short term but, more importantly,  all of these plans have to become a reality and need to be seen to be real. A huge part of OV is to go on a mission to explain the challenges the local authorities face so we are all better equipped to come up with workable solutions.”
This was part of the clear message from the latest gathering of OV partners held at the Weston Library. The forum agreed that Oxfordshire businesses needed:
• more transparency from local councils about their plans and why they were implementing them.
• the opportunity to respond to those plans and share their views and feelings about the planning priorities. 
Bev Hindle, Strategic Director for Communities at Oxfordshire County Council,  was a key speaker at the event and praised  OV for: “Bringing us together and getting us to focus on outcomes. (I’m) not aware of any other network getting under the skin of how we all can better engage.”
Oxfordshire faces a huge challenge. It needs effective, workable plans, not only for the next fifty years but for all of those changes which need to be made now. 
Until now, meeting these challenges has been fragmented, mistrusted and often frustrating. OV is determined to change this through collaboration. 
“OV is a potent and effective way to lobby, plan and decide what needs to be done through a carefully crafted structure of monthly forums and published findings in our quarterly Blue Papers” says Richard Rosser – one of the founders of OV. 
Another Oxford businessman, Darren Aston, took to social media to describe the OV forum as an: “Enlightening first experience of Oxfordshire Voice, highly beneficial and engaging for any size business. I can see that being involved with a forum that cares not only improves your feel-good factor, it is also an important part of building trust and understanding of what the future could look like and the support required to help make things happen.” 
Huw Mellor of Carter Jonas, who was on the Weston forum added, “What I was heartened by was the clear, collaborative effort seen between both the public sector and private business parties to make things work in the County. Very encouraging.”
If you would like to join this growing partnership, please register your interest Here

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