A deputy headteacher has slammed county council plans to increase parking costs for school staff during a heated budget meeting.

The authority's Workplace Parking Levies came under fire during a gruelling five hour budget meeting on Tuesday at County Hall.

One speaker read out a letter from the St Frideswide Primary School deputy headteacher criticising the annual charge to businesses for staff parking at council-owned premises.

The tax would result in a monthly fee for staff parking spaces under a set of conditions.

The letter read out during the meeting said: "This is outrageous.

"These are financial penalties to staff.

"We will not have enough teachers."

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Herald Series: Liz Leffman.Liz Leffman. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council.)

David Henwood, who is a councillor candidate for the newly formed Independent Oxford Alliance Party, added: "Key workers often live outside the city boundary due to the cost of housing in Oxford.

Herald Series: David Henwood.David Henwood.

"Has the council risk assessed the impact of the proposed levy?"

Highways boss Andrew Gant later urged councillors to resist saying the proposed levy would impact schools.

"Please don't say that," he told the meeting.

Herald Series: Andrew Gant.Andrew Gant. (Image: Oxfordshire County Council.)

"Those decisions have not yet been taken." 

Labour councillor Liz Brighouse said: "Councillor Gant I can assure you that with every breath of my body I will stop you from implementing Workplace Parking Levies."

Herald Series: Liz Brighouse.Liz Brighouse. (Image: OCC)

The county council's Liberal Democrat and Green administration said it was focusing on "reducing traffic and encouraging sustainable travel" and highlighted a pledge to "make our county a greener, fairer and healthier place for people to live".

Council leader Liz Leffman said the budget would increase support for the "most vulnerable members of our community".

She stated: "We've increased our budget for adult services in real terms by 6.9 per cent this year."

During the meeting, Conservative opposition leader Eddie Reeves criticised aspects of the administration's allocated spending for climate change initiatives.

He presented the Conservative amendment to the budget and suggested not enough attention had been paid to road maintenance measures.

The Banbury Calthorpe division councillor said: "I hope the ensuing debate is a good and amicable one."

He continued: "Roads and drains might appear mundane to those on the left but they affect people's lives.

Herald Series: Eddie Reeves.Eddie Reeves. (Image: Eddie Reeves)

"It's time to get away from high-minded nonsense and refocus on our core functions.

"No more money should be wasted on ideological tokenism."

Some councillors such as the now independent Damian Haywood said he would consider supporting the Labour amendment which also included additional funding to fill potholes and fix pavements. 

The council has adjourned and this article will be updated when a final decision is made on the budget.

UPDATE: The budget was agreed upon after the Liberal Democrat Green Alliance group accepted the Labour group's amendment, with 37 councillors in favour and 18 abstaining.