City Government 1974–present
The 1972 Local Government Act came into force throughout the country in 1974. Oxford became a district authority in the county of Oxfordshire, which now included a large part of the former Berkshire.
University representation on the council ceased, and the post of Alderman was abolished.
Section 37 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 established the date of local elections as the first Thursday in May (with statutory instruments allowing variation of this: for example, the election in 2004 is postponed to June to coincide with the European Parliament election).
In 1990 Labour had 30 seats, Conservative 10, and the Liberal Democrats 5 seats on the city council. By the end of that year, 19 out of the 45 city councillors were female.
In October 2001 council committees were abolished and a new all-powerful “cabinet” came into being. Ward boundaries were redrawn, and since May 2002 each of these new wards has been represented by two councillors. The wards were grouped together into Area Committees, at which many decisions were made at a truly local level:
- “The end of our Town Hall as we know it?” (Oxford Mail, 8 October 2001)
Area Committees were abolished in May 2011.