Superfast Broadband Update

Superfast broadband is being rolled out across the county with funding from the government, county and district councils. Large swathes of the county will have superfast access within the next two to three years.
I have learned today that the government has pledged to match the money committed by the district councils. The council’s contractor -BT- has also saved £400,000 by rolling out the service quicker than they had expected. This will give more than ten million pounds extra to bring broadband to rural communities.
However, a slight fly in the ointment is that the extra money will mean the rollout will be slightly delayed as the schedule will have to be re-jigged to make best use of the extra money.
The service will come primarily to towns and larger villages, so I am pressing the project manager at OCC to hold a meeting with the very rural parish councils to discuss how they will be affected by the proposed rollout.
For more information,  please visit betterbroadbandoxfordshire.org.uk.

200+ New Books at Cholsey Community Library

The Community Library has just taken delivery of its second selection of books from the County Library Service.

The books are by a wide range of authors and enable us to offer a larger and more varied selection than is available in our own collection. Included in the recent delivery are a number of large print books.

In addition we have a dozen new audiobooks, again from a wide range of authors including Kate Atkinson and Julian Barnes.

The library is open 2 to 4.30 pm weekdays 6to 8.30pm Friday and 9.30am to 12.30 pm Saturday.

A Tiny Planning Breakthrough

At tonights Planning Meeting at SODC Paul Jenkins (Cholsey PC planning spokesperson) and I had a minor breakthrough.

We spoke strongly against a potential development at Cross Road – a developer wants to cram a bungalow into a tiny space – and have succeeded in persuading the committee to undertake a site visit in the next few weeks. This was against a background of the committee being unable to do anything except follow the advice of the officers, who were recommending approval, with most of those attending not having visited the site.

I believe SODC should be bolder about the planning decisions it takes and be prepared to go to appeals when a developer wants to challenge those decisions taken in support of local communities.

Winterbrook In Peril

Wallingford Town Council are trying to get SODC to class Winterbrook as part of the town rather than to remain in the Parish of Cholsey, as has historically been the case.

I am very keen to see things remain as they are now as I believe this is the best way for Winterbrook to retain its individual character. This is one of the reasons that the Parish Council and I were prepared to put so much time, energy and money into the Save Winterbrook! campaign.

There are many other reasons including the historical imperative; the Parish has existed, untouched for hundreds of years and the fact that Wallingford has come out to meet us should not alter that.

If you would like to support our efforts to fend off the Town Council, please e-mail me me at limasheepdog@yahoo.com and I will pass your thoughts on to the District Council.

Lollipop Person Required – Cholsey

Cholsey Primary School are in the enviable position of having persuaded the County Council to fund a “Street Crossing Officer” for the area in the centre of the village.

The successful applicant would need to cover morning and afternoon shifts and the head teacher tells me that they will be given all the protective clothing required – in addition to the iconic lollipop.

If you might be interested in this post, please contact Mrs Haigh on 651862.

New speeding indicator for Wallingford Road

The device has been provided by the County Council at the instigation of Cholsey Parish Council and it is hoped that it will help to slow cars entering the village. The speed limit at this (and all) entrances is 30 mph.

The device is a permanent replacement for the temporary sign that was originally placed on the opposite side of the road. Power is provided by a solar panel placed above the display.