Council Leader announces he is standing down
Cllr James Mills has revealed he is standing down from his role as Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council.
He is also relocating away from West Oxfordshire to Bristol with wife Emma who will be training for ordination at the city’s Trinity College.
Cllr Mills was first elected as a District councillor in 2002 to represent Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt before winning the Witney East seat for the Conservatives in 2006 which he held until 2018 when he won the Bampton and Clanfield seat. In 2016 he became Leader of the Council.
He also served as an Oxfordshire County Councillor for Witney West and Bampton from 2015-17, was on Witney Town Council from 2007-11 and was Mayor of Witney from 2009-11.
Cllr Mills said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Council and would like to thank all my fellow councillors and residents for their support through a variety of challenges, not least of which has been the ongoing Coronavirus.”
Among the highlights of his Leadership, Cllr Mills is particularly proud of the adoption of the Local Plan for the District in 2018 after a nine-year wait.
He has also campaigned successfully to ensure council tax remains the second lowest of all the districts in England and ensured that parking is free in West Oxfordshire.
Outside the Council, Cllr Mills is Vice Chairman of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, Chairman of its Oxfordshire 2050 sub-group, a non-executive director of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and a board member of the District Councils Network and South East England Councils.
Cllr Mills will formally step down at the next full Council meeting on 28 October but will retain his seat at Bampton and Clanfield until early March next year before it is contested in the May elections.
He said: “In the meantime I will be working to help my successor take over the reins as well as looking for a job in Bristol!
“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council and it represents a fantastic opportunity for the person who takes over. I wish them well.”