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Minutes from the Blewbury Parish Council meeting held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 14th July 2021.

In attendance:- Cllrs D Mathias (Chairman/DM), M Penington (MP), V Humphries (VH), J Gibson (JG), P Kilroe (PK), M Jacobs (MJ), L Inglis (LI). D Hollick (Lengthman/DH), E Cooper (Clerk/EC). PCSOs G Kirby & T Walcot-Smith.

1.     Apologies for absence

Cllr M Blythe was not in attendance. Apologies received in advance from Cllr M Shayler, County Cllr S. Povolotsky & District Cllr S. Medley & H. Gascoigne.

Clerk’s note:- Cllr P Kilroe submitted his resignation prior to the meeting, noting this as his last meeting. The council wished him well & thanked him for his contribution during his time as a councillor.

2.     Declarations of interests relating to this meeting

None.

3.   County Councillor’s report (see Appendix B Below)

4.   District Councillor’s report (see Appendix C below)

5.   Lengthman’s report (see Appendix A below)

DH to consider adding a jockey wheel to the Clubhouse exterior doors.

Arrangements are being made for the girls football to commence in September, including the marking out of pitches.

Pot holes in the TFF car park have been rectified.

The burning off of weeds on the cemetery paths proved inefficient. An alternative solution is being sought, including a complete refurbishment of the cemetery paths. DH/MS to investigate costs & feedback to council.

MJ to investigate ‘friendlier’ chemical treatments.

The annual inspection of the TFF play space & KAP is due in the coming week. Renovation work is expected to result from this & council agreed that reserve money could be used.

6. Report from the PCSO

PCSO G Kirby confirmed that they are based in Grove & cover an area from Sparsholt in Hampshire, to Blewbury.

Crime in the immediate area is low. Crimes in the process of being committed should be reported via 999, other crimes via 101 or online.

Recent crimes included the vandalism of a cob wall in the village which remains under investigation, & the theft of catalytic converters in the wider area. Also off road damage to gallops & farm land.

Thames Valley Police are dedicating a team to rural crime in the near future.

Community Speed Watch for Blewbury is progressing & should be active in the near future.

7.   Open Forum

No members of the public were present.

8.   To approve previous minutes

Minutes of the BPC meeting held on 9th June 2021 were unanimously agreed as being a true record.

9.  To report on Outstanding Actions from previous meetings and any matters arising

Confirm whether actions are cleared, carried forward or cancelled.

 

No. Actions from July meeting When By
1. DH/MS to look at the cost for re-laying the main paths in the cemetery Sept meet
2. MJ to report back on ‘friendlier’ chemical weedkillers Sept meet
3. LI to engage contractors to carry out full assess of heating operations at Clubhouse in week beginning 19th July & report back to council with comprehensive report. Sept meet
4. LI to obtain details of alternative electrical heating throughout Clubhouse (following action 3 above) Sept meet
5. Clerk to request response from Planning regarding static caravans Actioned
6. PK to pass on details of Planning Jungle to LI & Clerk Actioned
7. LI to pursue conservation area appraisal Sept meet
8. MP to feedback on wedding reception request to originator Sept meet
9. MP to look at BPC leases Actioned
10. Clerk to contact MGM re KAP work Actioned
11. MJ to speak to Oxfordshire Wildlife to arrange a talk with BPC & SB/ Sept meet
12. MB to speak to contact at Beeswax regarding barbed wire fence on Cow Lane footpath (confirm with DH exact site) Sept meet
13 DM to look at obligations of village hall trustees on behalf of PC Sept meet
14. DM, MJ, MP to attend BPC August Planning & Payments Meeting 11.8.21
15. MS to arrange removal of sofas from Clubhouse at earliest opportunity Sept meet

 

10.   To hear the Planning Committee Report & Ratify/Agree Planning Responses

10.1 To agree the council’s response to the following consultations

10.1.1 P21/V1761/HH 6 Whites Orchard, Blewbury

Replacement of conservatory with garden room.

Deadline 17.7.21

BPC no objections.

10.1.2 P21/V1626/FUL Ridgeway, Bessels Way, Blewbury

Demolition of detached bungalow & redevelopment for four detached dwellings with associated landscaping & parking.

Deadline 20.7.21

BPC objected to this consultation.

10.1.3 P21/V1829/HH Winterbrook, Bessels Lea, Blewbury

Single storey extension to the rear of property with a solid tiled Edwardian tiled roof.

Deadline 24.7.21

BPC no objections.

10.2 To ratify any planning response’s made during the month:-

P21/V1068/LDE Certificate of lawful development for static caravans at Blewbury Centre, Bessels Way, Blewbury

BPC no objections, but with narrative response & photographs 24.6.21.

10.3 To note planning permissions received during the month

P20/V3300/FUL Mellieha, Chapel Lane. Permission granted 7.7.21.

11.    To hear an update on Finance & Administration

11.1 To receive any updates on contributions planned expenditure (S106, CIL, CPF, SBRR).

11.1.1 To agree whether to apply for Councillor Priority Funding this year & for what purpose.

Council agreed to apply for CPF for further Cleeve water flow & sustainability improvements.

11.1.2 Any other funding updates

None.

11.2 To hear all other financial & administrative updates

11.2.1 End of month reconciliation sent in advance of the meeting to the Chairman. Agreed & signed by the Chairman.

11.2.2 Lloyds Bank account funds as of 30.6.21 were £145,758.55 (inc. £42,952.80 village hall refurb funds).

11.2.3 Confirmation received of closure of Barclays bank account 26.6.21.

11.2.4 1st quarter scrutiny carried out by MP.

11.2.5 Awaiting Certificate of Payment from Ridge with instructions of final payment to be made to MD Group re VH refurbishment.

11.3 To hear an update on the audit process for 2020/21

11.3.1 Internal audit observations sent to Council 5.7.21

11.3.2 Audit documents sent to Moore Stephens 24.6.21

11.4 To agree authorisers for this month’s payments

JG & LI agreed to authorise this month’s payments.

11.5 To approve payments to be made under the general power of competence and within budgeted amounts.

Payment for clubhouse cleaning confirmed at £240. Council also agreed to addition of invoice for compactor hire from Didcot Plant for £54.68.

 

 

 

PAYEE

Description / Power to spend

Amount

E Cooper /

D Hollick

Clerk & Lengthman’s salary and expenses for June

 

£1966.59
NEST DD Clerk’s pension June £78.67
HMRC PAYE Clerk & Lengthman June £197.84
Biffa Waste Services Ltd DD Waste services June

£119.94

 

BT DD Clubhouse line rental June £37.20
Scottish Power DD Clubhouse electricity

£142.98

 

IAC Internal Audit 20-21 £294.00
OCC Annual Rent Land in grounds of Blewbury School £210.08
PWLB PW505556 Loan repayment £3420.00
Walters Electrical

Clubhouse work

(Disabled toilet alarm, kitchen light)

£102.00
White Horse Horticulture Cut Pound, Play Close & Churchyard, May, June, July £600.00
Alan Clark Kitchen sink tap replacement in Clubhouse £176.03
VHEMC Post Office grant 2nd quarter £300.00
U Grealy Clubhouse cleaning £240.00
Didcot Plant Compactor hire (TFF car park) £54.68
Total £7940.01

 

Major Receipts

Description

Amount

None in June.

Total £

 

 

12.    To receive an update from VHEMC & on the Village Hall Refurbishment Conclusion

12.1 Village Hall update

12.1.1 Parish Council appointees/trustees

DM to look at the obligations of trustees & feedback to council.

12.2 Village hall refurbishment update

12.2.1 Final payment to MD Group

Awaiting confirmation via Ridge.

12.2.2 Remaining work & funds

Final snagging to be carried out on Friday 16th July.

13.    Clubhouse & recreation ground

13.1 To agree that the lease to the CIC can be ended by Mr S Barrett signing form RX4 on behalf of the Parish Council & then file the form at the Land Registry on behalf of the CIC/PC.

Council unanimously agreed. Clerk to action.

13.2 To receive an update from the Clubhouse Working Group

13.2.1 To discuss the use of the Clubhouse as a wedding reception venue

Council agreed to honour a future date for a wedding reception to be held at the clubhouse.

MP to feedback to requestors.

13.2.2 All other clubhouse / recreation ground considerations inc. sofa removal

13.2.2.1 LI reported that contractors were ready to fully investigate the heating system at the clubhouse in the next week. This would take c12-13 hours at a total cost of c£1500. The                   results would be fully assessed & reported back to council. Council unanimously agreed for this work to take place. LI to arrange with contractors.

13.2.2.2 LI also to obtain details of electrical heating alternatives following 13.2.2.1 above.

13.2.2.3 MS to arrange removal of sofas from Clubhouse at earliest opportunity.

14.    TFF & car park

14.1 To receive an update on Tickers Folly Field recreation ground & car park

14.1.1 Skate ramp – full replacement in c4 years. Council to consider reserve fund.

Council agreed to defer this to the Finance meeting in December.

14.1.2 Remedial work to play equipment

To be agreed following receipt of annual inspection report.

14.2 To hear from MP any information from the examination of BPC leases

Clerk to resend leases to MP for examination.

15.    Risk Management & Compliance

15.1 To receive an update on village recreation & play spaces relating to risk

15.1.1 Council confirmed KAP closure from Monday 26th July to Tuesday 6th August

15.2 To hear any other updates on Management of Risk

None.

15.3 To receive an update on Compliance

None.

16.   To receive an update on any issues relating to the Environment

16.1 To receive an update from Sustainable Blewbury

16.1.1 MJ reported that a Blewbury stream survey had been carried out with a view to a faster flow of water. Further actions may be required, together with funding. MJ to advise further.

16.1.2 MJ reported the Garden Market is doing very well.

Eleven people turned out for the litter pick.

MJ to speak to the Oxfordshire Wildlife Organisation regarding giving a talk to the Council & SB.

MJ to speak to MB re permissive use sign that has been removed.

16.2 To receive an update on the OGB from LI

No update this month.

16.3 To hear any other issues relating to the environment

LI to pursue a Conservation Area Appraisal for Blewbury.

17.   To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces

A problem with a collapsed barbed wire fence on Cow Lane was reported. MB to speak to the landowner

(Beeswax) to reinstate the fence.

18.   To receive an update on any outstanding consultations

None.               

19.   To set the date/venue of the next meeting(s) of the Council

19.1 Council to agree attendees for Payments & Planning meeting scheduled for Wednesday 11th August at 7.30pm in the Melland Room.

DM, MJ & MP agreed to attend.

19.2 Next full council meeting Wednesday 8th September at 7.30pm in the Melland Room.

 

The meeting finished at 9.30pm.

 

Appendix A

Lengthman’s Report – June 2021   

Very busy month with grass cutting and strimming.

All footpaths are in good order except for some resident’s areas, where hedges/honeysuckle/ivy are encroaching and causing some obstruction.

Recreation ground is good and being well used by the Cricket Club.

We will be having a new girls football group called the ‘Blewbury Amazons Girls Football Club’ coming to us soon. We have agreed that they can use the Scout Hut for storage and they will rack out a designated area. They seem very organised and have good sponsorship.

Tickers Folly Field is good except for a few bare patches.

TFF Play Area has a few problems with worn and damaged safety matting. Also the A shaped climbing frames have quite a bit of rotten wood, mostly on the ends. This will need replacement of many boards and will be expensive. I have spoken to the inspector who comes every year and he will give us a report in the near future after his annual visit.

KAP Play area equipment is good and awaiting its paint job at the end of July.

I have had a couple of issues with one of the mowers but repairs are all done and all equipment is up to scratch.

Cemetery is looking good.

David

 

Appendix B

OCC news:

Cllr Sally Povolotsky OCC News – I discussed in my first briefing some of the committees I am on, and also I have been added to the Adoption Panel and we have our first locality group meeting in July. I am also assisting the Cabinet member for Climate and Environment on future strategy and several concepts, schemes and priority areas in which I have knowledge and experience. I look forward to sharing this!

Hendreds & Harwell Youth Assembly was inspiring, young people are the key to out recovery in every possible way. I hope to organise another in August, outdoors (hopefully at Chilton or Blewbury) and will publish details accordingly.

News items and newsletters – I have several requests for items for newsletters, and I am hoping we can keep news regular and current, and as a new administration move matters along faster than ever. Being aware of the speed and so things don’t end up ‘old hat’, can I ask that a simple publishing of the below is in each of your publications and you then save vital space for far more exciting community news!

Oxfordshire County Councillor – Councillor Sally Povolotsky (Hendreds & Harwell Division)

Hello Residents, making more changes, in order not to fill up your fantastic newsletters and bulletins with my ramblings, please find everything you need on my channels below. I am always around, approachable and here to listen, just reach out!

Take care and Stay Safe, Sally.

Find Latest News and Information online here – https://hendredsandharwell.mycouncillor.org.uk

Find Daily updates / news and events on Facebook here – @sally4hendredsandharwell

Share your community news on our new GROUP on Facebook – SEARCH – Hendreds & Harwell Community Official – where we can share events / news and ideas together

You can whats app / call me on – 07939 912997

You can email me on – sally.povolotsky@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Councillor Priority Fund now open: Applications to the Councillor Priority Fund are now open. This is a fund of £15,000 to be used over two years on projects in Hendreds & Harwell division. My approach to using this fund will be to encourage applications early and spend the money as soon as possible. I see no point in eking out the fund over two years when it can be doing good in the community now. Sadly this used to be annual, but the previous budget approval has meant a change in priority funding, we hope this will change at the next budget and I have made my thoughts clear about the importance of this for grass roots organisations and groups to the Cabinet Member for Finance.

I am pleased to have awarded EWHCC £1500 towards a youth engagement piece to encourage girls and women into cricket which builds on their All Stars and Dynamos success – please see website for more details.

PUBLIC HEALTH / COVID

Over the past few weeks, we have been keeping a very close eye on increases in new COVID-19 cases, particularly in relation to the Delta variant. In the seven days up to 18 June, there has been a total of 422 confirmed new cases in Oxfordshire, which is an increase of 49 per cent compared with the previous week. This is equivalent to a weekly rate of 61 per 100,000 residents. The sharpest increases continue to be in Oxford City and South Oxfordshire, where the weekly rates currently stand at 78.1 and 71.8 respectively. Across the county, 18 to 29-year-olds account for approximately 50 per cent of all new cases.

To help address this rise in cases and enable people to access vaccination services more easily, we have developed a five-point plan for Oxfordshire, which is being implemented by local authority and health partners with the support of volunteers.

This plan will see us:

  1. Target areas in Oxford City and South Oxfordshire where cases are rising rapidly
  2. Target younger age cohorts, particularly those aged 18 to 24
  3. Use pop-up clinics in key locations to encourage greater levels of uptake
  4. Use our vaccine supply as effectively as we can, for example by moving available vaccine to areas where we know it is needed and by offering a mixture of booked appointments and walk-in slots to maximise usage
  1. Encourage take-up of the vaccine through a concerted communications push.

As part of this action plan, we will be doing the following:

  • Increasing our vaccine supply to local vaccination sites in Didcot
  • Holding ‘Super Saturday’ events at the Leys Health Centre in Oxford, with increased numbers of slots available on Saturday 26 June and Saturday 3 July for those who have booked appointments and for walk-ins
  • Running pop-up vaccination clinics at venues in Oxford Brookes University and Oxford

University, starting from today (23 June)

  • Running pop-up clinics at large employers who have a younger age workforce, starting from 5 July
  • Running mobile vaccination clinics using our Health on the Move van, starting from 5

July – the schedule for which will be confirmed shortly.

We will be working with the local authority outreach teams, the universities and local employers to raise awareness of these additional clinics, and we will be supplementing this with direct messaging via social media, advertising and leaflet drops.

How can you help?

We would be very grateful for your help in continuing to promote the benefits of vaccination and encouraging everyone aged 18 and over to get vaccinated. This includes the importance of people having a second dose to maximise protection from the virus and to stop the spread. The first dose of the vaccine will give some notable protection two weeks after people have had it, while you need two doses for stronger and longer-lasting protection. So please do encourage your constituents to take up their invitation for a second dose.

If you hear of anyone struggling to book an appointment through the national booking service, then please do encourage them to try again. With eligibility for the vaccine now extended to everyone aged 18 and over, we know the booking system is very busy. But more appointments are being made available on a regular basis and so people should keep trying.

Thank you for your continued support with the vaccination programme, which is playing such a critical role in keeping our communities safe.

Highways

  • REMINDER – State of Highways: I have also had allot of emails around the state of our roads and will be promoting Fix My Street as the first point of call, and also for Parishes to really get behind logging issues on the app / desktop page and even looking for ‘Super Users’ – Harwell has just got its first Super User – I encourage all Parishes to find their Super User and start logging the issues.

Parish round up

Not all parishes are covered – below are the main updates I have received / been working

  1. More parishes will be added as I attend meetings next month. Please note on Highways Issues I am operating a RAG list – Red, Amber, Green, with Red being severe risk to life / incident etc.

Rowstock – (EH & HPC)

  • Rowstock Review Study – I have now seen the first draft and phase 1 plans for the

Rowstock review, and will discuss with the EHPC and HPC Chairs accordingly. The Purpose of the study Is to 1. Facilitate the delivery of transport network improvements to enable proposed growth in housing and employment in the Wantage & Grove and Didcot Growth areas. 2. Understand the issues and agree key scheme objectives, and 3. Identify potential solutions and ultimately a preferred scheme. Option Developments have been completed prior to this study. The study is just passing Stage 1 option development and moving into further appraisal and feasibility design. The review does have active travel and public transport at the heart of the solutions. I have had a chat with the officers engaged and made it clear this doesn’t go far enough, and that we also need to talk about surfaces that reduce noise and vibration as well as reducing traffic from the schemes and car ownership from new housing.

  • Rowstock Residents are looking at creating an official residents association.
  • We have also seen sight of a ‘Innovation Village’ proposal for Rowstock. This has been flagged with my upmost concern to VOWH colleagues. Please bare in mind this is an early stages proposal.

Steventon (SPC)

  • We are still pushing the Steventon Hill water issue and I have been in talks with the Director and Assistant Director on Highways around the issue and despite also the email from MP David Johnston, I am still pending a response I feel leads to a solution. My next step is to fully engage the Cabinet member for Highways who is aware but asked me to follow the current process. I have been keeping the SPC chair abreast of updates and correspondence.
  • I received a distraught email from a Causeway resident about a planning case that was overturned (was rejected by VOWH) and I am pleased to say, with some speed, I got her the advice and information needed so she can be assured she can live in her home and enjoy her home without fears of the unknown. OCC officers were very speedy with responses and information.
  • Sadly Truck Festival was cancelled due to Roadmap concerns. I spoke to the organisers and our Public Health / SAG teams around the event and will stay engaged ready for 2022!

Harwell (HPC)

  • Had a good 1:1 with HPC chair and we agreed a priority list to work on.
  • Spoke with our Highways Supervisor who sadly has been on compassionate leave, about Reading Road / Overgrown hedges. The resident is a persistent offender and sadly there is no enforcement back up, which I am now going to look into.
  • Reading Road Crossing needs to be reviewed urgently and I have emailed officers and a provisional discussion has started positively.
  • Am pending information on the Grove Road Consultation
  • We have a Valley Park meeting on 8th July with OCC and DC around the 5 arm roundabout (see below)
  • Discussions about the Far Field on the Rec and a Wildmeadow plan, to which I am going to make priority funds available towards this scheme.

Valley Park Proposal (VP)

  • DC and OCC Meeting – Highways and Planning is due to take place on 8th July and I am pleased to say a key cabinet member has agreed to attend with me so we can ensure the new Alliance mantra on Active Travel is heard and planned for!
  • I have bought up Valley Park with several of my OCC colleagues and cabinet members around the design scheme, active travel, ecology and biodiversity and major concerns that learning from GWP is taken on board, as well as aspirations for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood. The new Alliance is agreed we need to be bold and take risks,

if we want change and a better place to live for our residents.

Upton (UPC)

  • Sustrans Upton Route – I and my District Councillor colleagues received several communications on the Sustrans project, just a reminder the scheme was approved under the previous administration back in March 2021 – details are here – https:// mycouncil.oxfordshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=931&MId=6043 SECTION 8 – further correspondance needs to goto the Ombudsman accordingly.

Chilton (CPC)

  • Please note the Hagbourne Hill concerns are under investigation and details were sent to the clerk accordingly after the meeting. I appreciate the continued information but there is very little that will influence the investigation now, and officers do take on data from the Police / Incidents / Highways and Fix my street data.
  • There was a fatal road traffic collision (RTC) last November followed by a serious RTC a matter of days afterwards in the same area.
  • OCC Highways carried out an immediate quick fix by reinstating the ruts with layered compacted roadstone and Officers in our Asset Management Team are now investigating the possibility of a more permanent solution, localised road widening perhaps.
  • Adoption of Chilton fields – response sent to clerk but the issue sits with Land Registry and the Developer.

East Hendred – No Cases

West Hendred – No Cases

Ardington and Lockinge (ALPC)

  • Investigating TOAD signs for the crossing hot spots with Highways Team
  • I can confirm that OCC Officers have contacted both Milestone and Solagen to request updated quotations for the installation of ‘Wig-Wag’ flashing beacons and associated ‘children’ warning signage on the A417 at Ardington, OCC officers also confirm that upon receipt of said updated quotations they will place orders for the works.

Great Western Park Residents Association (GWPRA)

  • Trying to get a meeting with all stakeholders over the recent travellers incursion and access / reducing opportunity for off road driving / land access. Ongoing – pending reply from developers.
  • Ongoing push for Health Care provision, now raising with the HOSC new chair and fellow backbenchers and will push this as a motion / agenda item for urgent discussion.

As I am sure you can imagine there is much more than this, but no one needs War & Peace! I would ask all Chairs if they would like to contact me for 1:1’s at their convenience and also check that Clerks are receiving my communications as some Parishes are very quiet?

Sally

 

Appendix C

Monday 12th July 2021

Monthly Parish Update

Vale of White Horse District Councillors

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Hello! This month we’d like to highlight the great news that more council-owned leisure facilities are now opening up, including the Abbey Meadow outdoor pool in Abingdon, and plans for the Beacon in Wantage to open in September – more details below. The café at the Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot has also recently opened, with a lovely new menu of tasty bagels and delicious cakes – well worth a visit if you’re out and about in Didcot over the summer.

Although lockdown restrictions are lifting on 19th July, COVID-19 cases are increasing at a significant rate, with Oxford city now one of the top ten COVID-19 hotspots in the whole country. We strongly encourage residents to continue to follow the hands – face – space – fresh air guidance, to protect yourselves and others, in addition to regular testing and getting both vaccine doses.

We will use these monthly updates to keep you updated on our activities, general council news and any COVID-19 developments,. We also post regularly on our councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley – please do not hesitate to get in touch with any issues or concerns, either via Facebook message or email: hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk and sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk.

COVID-19 Support

Community Support Hub – self-isolation support available

With Covid case numbers increasing more people are finding themselves having to self-isolate as a result of a positive diagnosis or close contact with someone who has tested positive. It’s so important to self-isolate in either scenario to help stop the spread, but we know this is difficult for people and it’s tempting to just pop out to get the shopping or run an errand.

That’s where the community hub comes in – we’re continuing to help link residents up to food support, either by signposting to help organising shopping, arranging for a click and collect shopping order to be collected or getting an emergency food parcel out. Residents may even be eligible for financial assistance if they risk losing earnings because they’ve had to self-isolate – click here for more information on financial support.

To contact the Community Support Team:
call: 01235 422 600 Monday to Thursday 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm
email:
communitysupport@southandvale.gov.uk

fill in an online form at: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communityhub

Remember, for the most up-to-date coronavirus information relating to district council support and any changes to services, please take a look at the dedicated Vale webpage for updates: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/covid19

Residents can also contact

  • Citizens Advice – 0808 278 7907
  • Vale Community Impact – 01235 765348

Cases Data

Oxford City’s cases are now firmly in the top ten in the entire country and the highest in the south-east. The City and County councils are calling on all 18-29 year olds in Oxford to take a PCR test at one of the many centres set up around the city. Click here for more information on the COVID-19 situation in Oxford.

Remember that the latest figures are updated on the county council’s interactive dashboard on a daily basis.

Local News

Valley Park Update

We (Hayleigh and Sarah) continue to meet regularly with the Planning officers at the council to stay up-to-date with the progress of Valley Park. It is very clear that the application will not come back to planning committee for further consideration until all of the reasons for deferral back in February have been addressed. One of the main reasons for deferral was the proposed roundabout design, and the issue with it prioritising car users over all other modes of transport. The developers have since issued a new design with traffic light-controlled crossings closer to the junctions of the roundabout, which is a step in the right direction. Our latest meeting with Vale planning officers, county highways officers and our new county councillor Sally Povolotsky was also attended by the county council cabinet members for Highways and the Environment. They are now fully briefed on the situation with the Valley Park roundabout and it is very encouraging that the the senior leadership of the new county council administration are taking an active interest in this key issue for Valley Park.

Another key area to be addressed was the lack of healthcare provision at Valley Park. The good news is that the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group are now engaging with the developers and have requested the following:

  • £2.841m from the Valley Park development is secured towards the proposed GWP healthcare centre; and,
  • Should the GWP healthcare centre not proceed, £3.261m is secured from the Valley Park development which will enable OCCG to secure land elsewhere and build a healthcare centre or extend an existing health centre; or,
  • 25 Ha Land is provided at Valley Park for a new GP health centre at nil cost and £2.841 m capital is provided towards its construction.

This information will be published on the planning application webpage shortly, and a response is awaited from the developers as to whether they will agree to this request.

Abbey Meadow outdoor pool reopened

Great news for families and swimmers in the Vale – the Abbey Meadow outdoor pool in Abingdon reopened on Monday 12 July in plenty of time for the summer holidays. Click here for the full news article about the Abbey Meadow pool opening.

The Beacon to open again to the public

Vale of White Horse District Council is pleased to announce that it plans to open The Beacon arts and community centre in Wantage to the public again from 6 September. Click here for the full news article about the Beacon opening. For more information you can also visit The Beacon website or call the centre on 01235 763456.

Extra funding for Didcot Garden Town

Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils are to receive £405,000 of government funding to help continue work on three garden community projects, including £125,000 for Didcot Garden Town. Click here for the full news article about the garden community projects funding.

The Oxfordshire Rail Corridor Study

Proposals for a new station at Wantage/Grove are included in a new report looking at how the rail network can best support Oxfordshire’s predicted growth in jobs and housing. Click here for a summary of the report on the Network Rail website.

Proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published its initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries and launched an eight-week consultation, which closes on 2 August 2021. People can comment on a range of issues such as where the proposed new boundary lines are to the names of the constituencies. You can view the proposed changes for the south east on the Boundary Commission website. In particular, we would draw your attention to numbers 28 and 41-45 which detail proposals for Oxfordshire. In summary, these include:

  • significantly reconfiguring the Wantage constituency, which would become more compact.  It would also be renamed Didcot and Wantage to reflect its two main population areas.
  • increasing the number of constituencies in Oxfordshire from six to seven
  • making relatively minor changes to the Henley and Oxford East constituencies

Note from Hayleigh and Sarah: these proposals only affect our parliamentary constituency (currently Wantage), in which residents vote for an MP during General Elections. The proposals do not change anything about the current parish, district or county council boundaries.

Council News

Council Meetings

The next Full Council meeting of the Vale of White Horse District council will be on Wednesday 14th July at 7.00pm – click here for the agenda and link to watch the meeting online.

Due to the recent legislation change regarding council meetings, this meeting will be held in person at 135 Milton Park. However, the new hybrid format will still be used, where the meeting is conducted via video conference and broadcast online, and members of the public can choose to attend remotely or in person. Councillors can also attend remotely but are not permitted to vote unless present in person.

The Oxfordshire Growth Board met on Tuesday 8th June – click here for the minutes of the meeting.

Members of the public and ward councillors are able to participate in meetings remotely, as well as in person and via written statement. If you wish to speak at any council meeting (full council, cabinet, committees etc), you just need to register in advance with Democratic Services: email democratic.services@southandvale.gov.uk

New White Horse Community Lottery: win prizes and help good causes

The White Horse Community Lottery has been launched by the Vale of White Horse District council as a fun and creative way for voluntary and community groups to raise much needed funds. Players of the lottery can choose which local good cause(s) they want to support when they purchase tickets and prizes range from free prize draw entries to a weekly £25,000 jackpot. Tickets cost just £1 with 60p from every ticket sold going to support charities and community groups across the Vale of White Horse. For more information on where to buy tickets and how to get involved as a local organisation, click here for the full news article about the lottery.

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee

The latest meeting of our Climate Emergency Advisory Committee (CEAC) took place on 14 June and featured:

  • A review of the progress to develop a new council tree policy
  • An update on Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme projects

Click here to watch a recording of the CEAC meeting. For more information on the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, click here to visit the website.

Taking climate action together

Last month the district council held a town and parish council forum on ‘Climate action – how can we take action together’. The event featured a review our draft Climate Action Plan and a discussion on how we can work together to achieve our major target of becoming a carbon neutral district.The feedback and ideas that towns and parishes provided on the draft plan’s six main themes – transport, energy, natural environment, non-domestic buildings, homes and waste, will be shared and, where appropriate, incorporated into the draft climate action plan. We expect to publish our Climate Action Plan in Autumn 2021 – watch this space for more updates.

Move Together

The Move Together initiative recently launched across Oxfordshire for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and who have been shielding, and any residents whose health has been affected by the lockdowns over the past year. Click here for the full news article about Move Together.

New air quality website for the county – they want your views

The district council has been working with Oxford City Council, the county council and the other districts on a countywide air quality community website to help raise awareness of air pollution. Once developed, the website should provide air quality evidence, information and advice in a simple and accessible manner to all Oxfordshire visitors and residents. This week the city council has launched a consultation asking local people for their views on what they want from the new website. Click here for the consultation – the deadline to submit your comments is 5 September.

Ultra-fast broadband coming to our area

Open Reach has announced that 45,000 homes and businesses in Oxfordshire should benefit from ultra-fast full fibre broadband by 2026. This follows £18m investment in the county with Abingdon, Blewbury, Childrey, Cumnor, Didcot, Marcham, Oxford, Wantage and Warborough set to benefit.  More information Click here for more information from OpenReach.

Councils’ Five year land supply maintained

The council is pleased to confirm that it has maintained a five-year housing land supply, helping to limit the opportunity for speculative development in our communities. Click here for the statement on the five-year housing land supply.

New management structure at district councils to provide stability to residents

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have made their interim senior management team structure permanent to help provide a firm and stable base from which they can deliver their corporate plan priorities and services to residents. Click here for the full news article about the management structure.