First Views Of The “Marina”?


I am told by my friends at the Oxfordshire Guardian that this is the plan for the marina that may take the place of the proposed gravel pit next to the Thames.
The 352 boat marina will be right next to the bypass bridge.
I don’t propose to do anything about this “plan” at the moment as I feel it is pre-emptive and comes from cloud cuckoo land. Let’s face it, the County Council hasn’t even managed to come up with a plan that sets an amount of gravel that can be extracted.

Referendum Support in Wallingford

Good news for those of us who support a referendum on the level of Council Tax. At last night’s Wallingford consultation meeting more than 90% of those who voted supported a referendum.

Some people were unhappy with the £800,000 that a referendum will cost, but this- if successful -will elicit £38,000,000 in extra council tax.

It is worth noting that the £800,000 will include the cost of sending out the Council Tax bills, the referendum itself AND dispatching a second bill if the vote is lost. Government insists that this is how the process is carried out.

Consulting On Cuts

You will have read on my blog yesterday that the County Council is investigating the possibility of holding a referendum on increasing the Council Tax.

If you would like to be better informed about where the cuts will fall you can visit the County Council website and look at consultations.

There is also the opportunity to attend a “Talking Oxfordshire” event in the Regal, Wallingford, this Thursday 5th November at 7.30. You will need to book to attend, again on the OCC website under consultations.

You can take the opportunity to challenge Ian Hudspeth (Leader OCC) about the impact of the loss of the services and to push him (if you wish) about why he is not even contemplating setting a realistic budget so that people at least have the choice to vote to protect services …  Ian’s stock line is that you can only save one service at the expense of another, so where would you cut instead?  My response to that is that we need to save them all.  I couldn’t begin to make a choice between the buses people rely on and the Children’s or Older Peoples Health and Wellbeing centres they use the buses to visit.  You may want to tell him what you think!

A Referendum For Oxfordshire

The County Council has this afternoon, unanimously, decided to take a survey on whether (or not) to hold a referendum into raising the council tax by more than 2%.
The decision was taken with cross party support as there is such concern within the council at the level of cuts forced on the county by central government.
The reason for a survey is that a full referendum will cost up to £800,0000. In effect this is OCC dipping a toe in the water to see how people feel.
I will be very interested to see how people feel.


Have You Heard About The Marina?

You may have seen reports that the landowner of a site adjoining the River Thames, next to the by-pass bridge, is proposing a gravel pit the size of 25 football pitches (to be converted into a marina once extraction has finished).


CAGE recently joined with many other campaign groups in the county to object to the County Council’s redrafted plans for more gravel pits. It did so because it demonstrated that the council’s plans were based on flawed arguments: the government recommends using a 10-year average of past sales to calculate future requirements and on this basis there is no need for new pits in the county. The county council’s draft plan still has to go before a government inspector.


The “scoping” application made by the owner of the land adjoining the Thames is premature: it should be rejected until the county council’s plans have been passed by the government inspector. If the inspector finds that there is no need for new pits, then that will be the end of the matter. If the landowner wishes to put in an application for a marina (on land that floods annually) then that application should go to South Oxfordshire District Council to be judged on its merits and not be used as bait for a gravel pit application before OCC’s Minerals & Waste Plan has been approved.

Goring Gap Gantry Gathering

It seems that Network Rail are starting to listen to concerns over the ugly gantrys that they are starting to erect over their railway lines.

If you would like to add your voice to the growing numbers of people who are opposing these ugly installations Network Rail are holding a drop-in event TODAY at South Stoke village hall from 12 noon to 8pm.

Network Rail have suggested there is scope for replacing the gantries with more sympathetic designs, but only if the consultation shows people care.

You can also sign a petition at

SODC scam

I’ve just heard that people are getting letters, purporting to come from SODC, offering a council tax refund.
Needless to say, there is a fee associated with this “service” – £70.
So if you hear of anyone who has received this letter please let them know it is a scam.