INDEPENDENT experts should advise where funds from the controversial Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal are spent in the future, according to a county councillor.

Laura Price, a Labour councillor for Witney South and Central, said too many people’s needs were being left unconsidered as part of the major £215m deal.

Agreed in March 2018 by councils and the then housing minister Dominic Raab, the agreement has now been thrown into doubt over worries government demands for new housing across the county might not be met.

Ms Price said she was not opposed to building homes or growth in principle – but that some major problems including inadequate public transport were being left unfixed as millions of pounds are spent elsewhere.

Read more: Oxfordshire's Housing and Growth deal at risk after local elections

She said: “I’m not someone who says 'no' to growth, I think economic development is important, but I’m interested in how we measure what kind of growth it is going to deliver?

“If it’s just about more economic output and people are in inadequate housing and people don’t have access to public transport then… how are we going to make sure it’s going to deliver for people who feel removed from [the Growth Deal]?”

She said an independent panel, including representatives from charities, could help to inform the county’s ‘future approach’.

Ms Price will ask her fellow councillors to back a motion calling for the commission to be established at a council meeting on Tuesday.

At an Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) meeting last month, members admitted ‘benefits of economic growth haven’t been evenly felt by everyone’ and supported a new commission.

They added: “We want to understand why that is and what can be done differently, to ensure that in future, those benefits are more fairly distributed.”

Read more: Growth must to be ‘planned’ – leaders

Ms Price is a director of West Oxfordshire Community Transport, a community benefit society which has reintroduced bus routes in places where others have been cut.

She said it was worrying work paid partly through the Growth Deal would pave the way for a new bus lane on the A40 – but that there are now fewer bus routes for residents to use.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the Housing and Growth Deal during his Budget in November 2017.

At the time, he said £215m allocated to Oxfordshire was a ‘down-payment’ which would be supplemented until the proposed 100,000 homes are all built by the mid-2030s.

But following local elections in May, leaders in Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have said they are unhappy with theirs and they might change.

After the number of proposed houses was reduced in Manchester, the government pulled money from a similar £68m deal.