Welcome to the Oxford Civic Society

Oxford Civic Society is dedicated to striving for the continuous improvement of Oxford as a wonderful city in which to live, work and relax. Appreciating our past, enjoying the present and pursuing a vision for the future are the fundamentals of our effort, which we have been working on for over 45 years.

We promote sustainable, well-balanced communities, and a physical infrastructure which serves their needs, now and into the future:

  • we champion issues to decision-makers and opinion-formers in local and national government, business and the media
  • we organise, support and encourage individuals and communities to take action to improve the quality of their environment
  • we provide opportunities for our members to participate in our activities, whilst contributing to the objectives of the Society

We have nearly 1,000 members. We are a registered charity and are actively contributing ideas and finance to Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement.

For more information, see the latest issue of our regular newsletter "Visions", also visit About Us and Annual Review. If you are interested in protecting Oxford’s heritage, knowing more about the city and helping us make a difference you could volunteer to join one of our working groups or better still join us and help shape the city’s future.

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Planning and transport must be integrated

This letter was published in The Oxford Times on 27 August 2015

To the Editor, Oxford Times:

Dear Sir

At least four articles and six letters in your issue of 20th August relate to concerns about development and transport issues in the region. There are anti-development protest groups across the county and the Green Belt is progressively nibbled at the edges, with major roads, railways, car and lorry parks, solar farms, railway stations and industrial operations all regarded as legitimate  and permissible Green Belt ‘non-development’ . 

Jean Fooks refers to the disjointed and piecemeal approach to planning which leaves the way of life of all of us under threat. Responsibility for this chaos of course lies with the six Local Authorities concerned, whose understanding of the legal duty for ‘cooperation’ seems to amount to no more than meeting and disagreeing. 

Oxford Civic Society published the ‘Oxford Futures’ report (see www.oxfordfutures.org.uk)

Read more: Planning and transport must be integrated

Community Involvement Consultation

Oxford City Council Statement of Community Involvement 

The City Council has been consulting on ‘Community Involvement’ in planning matters. That means, among other things, getting ordinary citizens involved in helping avoid any re-run of the Castle Mill debacle. 

Oxford’s draft Statement of Community Involvement is not action-oriented. It fails to take the opportunity to contribute right now to the debates and formulation of solutions to current major planning issues. It fails to address the relationship between Oxford and neighbouring district councils, or the issues of acute housing shortage, new housing locations, urban extensions into the green belt, major city centre development and very poorly linked transport and spatial planning across the city region. And it fails to deal with the existing obstacles to ordinary people getting involved.

Read more: Community Involvement Consultation


We seek to foster a greater sense of belonging, responsibility, well-being and civic pride amongst local communities – and to empower people by the dissemination of information and ‘know-how’


We aim to ensure that Oxford is ‘a good place to be’ – a clean, green and well-maintained environment for people to enjoy. We actively encourage appreciation of the distinctive beauty and heritage of our city.

Buildings & Public Spaces

We promote best practice in terms of the sustainable development and management of new and evolving buildings and spaces whilst preserving the best of what we have inherited from the past

Travel & Transport

We focus on maintaining and developing a sustainable physical infrastructure that functions well for all modes of movement – walking, cycling, motoring, using public transport and sojourning.

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