SENIOR county councillors backed two plans which will change the shape of the authority for years.

A plan to borrow £120m from its savings to boost infrastructure improvements – part of which could fix potholes across the county – was approved by the council's cabinet. It was backed by opposition councillors.

David Bartholomew, the council's cabinet member for finance, said the infrastructure boost is 'one of the most exciting' plans the council has delivered for 'some time'.

And it was backed by Liberal Democrat councillor, Bob Johnston, who said he was 'delighted' the plan will be implemented.

His party had proposed borrowing £10m in the 2018/19 budget – but that is a fraction of what might be ploughed into the council over years.

Kennington and Radley councillor Mr Johnston said on Tuesday: "My only sadness is that it wasn't two, three years ago but that's water under the bridge."

The money is likely to mean further investment on roads, footpaths, schools and other buildings.

It will be welcome after problems with Carillion, the company responsible for work on council buildings. That collapsed earlier this year.

In a report released ahead of the meeting, Bev Hindle, the council's strategic director of communities, said £10m spent annually on road maintenance and £2.7m spent on property maintenance is 'insufficient to maintain the current level of condition, let alone improve it'.

But Conservative councillor for Eynsham, Charles Mathew, was a lone voice against the plan.

He said he was opposed to borrowing taking place over 30 years when a financial downturn might be imminent.

And Mr Mathew cited a BBC Online article which had placed the council in the 'six riskiest' around the country.

Council leader Ian Hudspeth dismissed the claim and said: "[It was] A mistake, poorly reported by the BBC."

The article has since been amended following complaints from the council.

Another £18m plan to transform the way the council runs was approved ahead of another stage deciding how on a new operating model next month.

The moves could save the council £58m a year and Mr Hudspeth said it could lead to an end of 'salami slicing' frontline services.

The council has said up to 890 jobs could be axed as a result of the changes.

But chief executive Peter Clark said he is hopeful that total will be reached by staff leaving. About 650 people exit the council every year.

Labour councillor Laura Price asked Mr Clark and the cabinet why the council had ploughed on with appointing six new assistant directors ­– despite Fit for the Future set to lead to new, considerable changes.

The new assistant directors will each receive an annual salary of about £90,000.

Mr Clark, who will leave the council next month, said the 'essential' appointments were made to boost staff capacity ahead of major projects.

The council could receive hundreds of millions of pounds in the Housing Infrastructure Fund and has a stake in the £215m Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal.