About markgrayblog

I have lived in Oxfordshire for most of my life, moving to Wallingford and then Cholsey in 1990. I chair Cholsey Parish Council and am a County Councillor - holding the Cabinet post for communities. I also belong to several local organisations.

News from SODC Planning

The committee has turned down an application for 120 homes on a greenfield site at Benson – Ben 5 and a further 120 homes in Chinnor.

When you add this refusal to that of the East End Farm site from last week and the recent East Hagbourne decision it really does feel as if SODC has gained a greater degree of resolution in the way it responds to unwanted development.


Celsea Place Open Day

You may have seen that the archaeologists at Celsea Place are holding an open day this Friday (28th) from 10am to 3pm.

Many people have contacted me to see if anything can be done about the time that the site is open, as it is such a short period of time, and they have agreed to stay open until 4pm. They have to be off site by then at the latest as the developers lock up at that point.

A second open day will be held in the summer holidays when they reach the end of phase two of the archaeological survey.

If they will allow me to I will take photos of significant finds and post them on here and Facebook.

Good News About the Tips

The County Council is investigating a number of cost effective and innovative changes to the services offered at the county’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) to ensure they all remain open in the medium term.

Last December, the Cabinet agreed all seven of the County Council’s recycling centres will stay open but committed to look at new and innovative ways to deliver cost effective services.

At the Cabinet meeting on November 22, Councillors will be asked to agree proposed changes to the HWRC Waste Acceptance Policy and approve the procurement of the HWRC management contract which expires on 30 September 2017 for five of the seven sites (Alkerton near Banbury, Drayton near Abingdon, Oakley Wood near Wallingford, Redbridge in Oxford and Stanford in the Vale, Faringdon).

Proposed service changes include: shorter opening hours, charges for non-household waste, as well as offering a service for small businesses, and also more re-use and recovery of items for sale, either from the recycling centre or another location. This new approach is designed to increase recycling and minimise the amount of household waste sent to landfill and deliver value for money. Changes will be introduced when the new HWRC management contract comes into effect from 1 October 2017.

The proposed service changes reflect the feedback from the public consultation held last year when people said that service changes would be more acceptable than closing sites.

Strong support for proposed service changes

The public consultation on service changes carried out in summer 2016 showed strong support for all the proposed changes.

  • Extension of charges for non-household waste – Oxfordshire has had a system of charging for DIY waste for about 15 years. Under the proposed changes this waste would be managed and charged for by the contractor. Charges would be made for all the following items: non-household waste such as rubble, bricks and plasterboard, tyres, construction and demolition wood, DIY waste (e.g. kitchen units, doors, windows, baths, toilets).
  • Commercial waste services – Oxfordshire residents who operate small businesses would be able to use HWRCs, giving them access to affordable waste and recycling services. The intention would be to deliver this service at all HWRCs wherever possible.
  • Re-use and selling from site – residents will be able to drop off or separate items for re-use and potentially buy re-use items at HWRCs. This has the potential to involve, for example, charities and social enterprises; and residents can benefit from goods being available for sale at affordable prices.
  • Shorter opening hours – HWRC sites may open later or close earlier during the day or be closed for whole days. However, all sites would remain open at the weekend when they are most busy.

Wallingford Road Cycle Path

I am delighted to say that construction has started on the Wallingford Road  dual use (pedestrians/ cyclists) path. 

The project will take about a month to complete and will involve widening and re-surfacing the existing path. 

The work will run the entire length of the road and is being carried out by Oxford City Works.