Parking Consultation

Saturday’s consultation on the proposed parking restrictions in the village went well, with more than a hundred arrendees.
All the comments will go off to County Highways to be reviewed and will go towards producing the final scheme.  Once the scheme has been ‘worked up’ there will be a statutory consultation from County.
If you would like to comment on the scheme,  the maps are available in the Parish Office in tne Pavilion.

Gravel Pit Response – What Should I Say?

Many people in the village and around have been asked to comment on the new County Council Minerals and Waste Core Strategy.

The reason for this is that you responded to the old Core Strategy consultation and that has been abandoned by OCC.

The news is very good now as Cholsey has been removed as an area that can easily be come a gravel pit and most of the sites that will supply gravel for the next fifteen years have been identified. Please welcome the decision by the County to have a change of heart.

I would encourage you to respond – by e-mail this time, making the following points:

1. OCC makes much of their “miles to market” strategy, encouraging developers to buy their gravel as close to the point of use as possible. However, developers and mine operators are choosing to bring in minerals from Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Hampshire as it is cheaper for them to do so. Consequently Oxfordshire pits have been “mothballed”. The County has little real control over where developers choose to access their gravel.

2. The County should tighten the criteria they use when identifying sites. It is unfair to site a pit next to an existing town or large community.

3. Any potential gravel pit near Cholsey will have a negative effect on the Bunk Line and The Agatha Christie Trail. Both of these well used tourist attractions are key players in the tourism strategy of South Oxfordshire District Council.

4. The southernmost tip of the South Oxfordshire area is sandwiched between two AONBs and bounded on one side by the River Thames.

Further information can be found on the CAGE website and I really would encourage you to respond.

100000 New Homes For Oxfordshire

Before Christmas councillors were briefed that the government was going to ask the county to take some extra housing. These new homes were to be above and beyond the thousands already agreed in our Local Plan.
Well, yesterday the true horror of the extent of these plans was revealed. 100,000 new homes for our county in the next seventeen years. And I am told that there is nothing we can do about this, just decide where they will go. So much for local democracy. Seemingly what Central Government wants, Central Government gets.
South Oxfordshire looks set to get around 17,000 of these homes, an average of 775 a year.
I believe these homes must not be ‘bolted on’ to existing communities as in many cases the existing infrastructure just cannot cope. I will be calling on the District Council to resist the imposition of these homes, but if all else fails they should go in a new settlement near Oxford.

Fix My Street

We must all be aware of the state of the roads and the havoc that has been wrought by the recent rain and floods. We are fortunate that temperatures have been mild, otherwise the situation might be much worse.

The County has a whole team of engineers who constantly monitor and repair the roads, but they aren’t able to see all roads all the time.

This is where we can help. If you spot a pothole or other damage near to you, please log in to the Fix My Street site and report your concerns. The site will ask you for a postcode and some details, including how to contact you, You can even add a photo of the damage.

I should warn you that a pothole needs to be as deep as a 400g can of beans before it can be repaired – if it is shallower the tarmac will just pop out.

When you identify the area of the damage on Fix My Street you will be able to see if your site has already been reported by someone else. I would still continue to report the pothole as it will add to the pressure on the repairers to mend the damage.

Big Delay to Fulscot Bridge

I have just heard that the Fulscot Bridge will be closed for a further six months.

Apparently Network Rail have discovered that there are issues with the structure of the bridge.

Initially, when they came up with the short delay that they put down to the weather, I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doudt. However, now I think they should have surveyed the bridge properly in the first place.

I will push for the bridge to be open as soon as possible, but Network rail are a law unto themselves. It is very obvious that the diversion road through North Moreton is not coping well with all the extra traffic.

Charity Trek in Cambodia by Angela Rowlands

My friend, fellow parish councillor and former Youth Club chair, Angela Rowlands, is aiming to raise a massive £3,500 for research into cancer. Angela has had two friends diagnosed with Lymphoma and has had what she describes as “a bit of health scare” herself.

In November she plans to undertake a 10 day trek in the Cambodian jungle. Angela will be trekking up to 8 hours a day and the challenge is graded as ‘tough’ due to basic living conditions, the extreme heat, humidity and having to carry kit.

Angela says “Those of you who know me well, will know that after some training I will be able to achieve the trekking, but the real challenge to me will be the camping! I have never camped, even in this country; Ihave a weakness for 5 star hotels with room service and cannot even go to the toilet if there isn’t a lock on the door! Besides, where do you plug in hair straighteners in the jungle?!”

If you would like to sponsor Angela you can do so by:
Donating securely via her PayPal account http://www.paypal.co.uk (Send money to angela@supanet.com) or
through her “Just Giving” site at http://www.justgiving.com/angelarowlands

I have offered to take Angela camping in the UK and the use of my solar powered hair straighteners!