Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council meeting held remotely via an e-conference system on Wednesday 9th December 2020 at 7.30 pm.
1. Apologies for absence
Received in advance from Cllr C Lakeland, Lengthman D Hollick & District Cllrs S Medley & H Gascoigne.
2. Declarations of interests relating to this meeting
3. County Councillor’s report – see Appendix B below
4. District Councillor’s report – see Appendix C below
Cllr MF-D stated that the 20s Plenty campaign covered 30 villages, but there was no funding as yet.
Also that more funding may be made available for road side clearing.
Chilton Road closure – a formal consultation is expected sometime in the New Year.
JG & VH agreed to put the Hand it Back and Westgate Car Park information in the Bulletin & on Facebook respectively.
5. Lengthman’s report – see Appendix A below
6. Open Forum
Representations from members of the public if present.
7. Approval of previous minutes
Minutes of the BPC meeting 11th November 2020
Council unanimously agreed these were a true representation of the meeting, with a minor change to item 14.1.1.
8. Outstanding Actions from previous meetings and any matters arising
Confirm whether actions are cleared, carried forward or cancelled.
|No.||Actions from this meeting||When By|
|1.||CL to confirm any application for Councillor Grant Scheme||Jan meeting|
|2.||Clerk to confirm issue of draft emergency plan to all.||Jan meeting|
|3.||VH to speak to Savages regarding the level of lighting after dark.||Jan meeting|
|4.||PK to speak to PCC re lychgate repairs. To gather information regarding war memorials in village for council.||Jan meeting.|
|5.||LI to chase electrician for work in Clubhouse.||Jan meeting|
|No.||Actions from November meeting||When By|
|3.||DH to check basket swing post at TFF||ASAP|
|10.||PK to investigate the history around the siting of the war memorial.||December|
|No.||Actions from July meeting||When By|
|6.||MJ to write to Hayleigh Gascoigne on the use of pesticides etc.||
|No.||Actions arising from February 2020 Meeting||When|
|13.||CL to explore alternative environmentally friendly electricity suppliers for the Clubhouse/Melland Room and Scout Hut.||C’fwd until further notice|
9. Planning Consultations & Other Planning Matters
9.1 Planning committee report
Issued in advance of meeting & for inclusion in bulletin.
9.2 Agree the council’s response to planning consultations
9.2.1 P19/V3253/FUL Rumseys Barn appeal, deadline 15.12.20
No response from council required.
9.2.2 P20/V2860/HH Thatchers Cottage, Church Road, Blewbury
Demolition of conservatory & garage, proposed single-storey extension & replacement garden store annex.
Council unanimously agree no objections.
9.3 Ratify council responses to planning consultations
9.3.1 P20/V1580/HH 4 Chailey Gardens, Blewbury
Change internal garage to habitable accommodation. Deadline 1.12.20.
BPC no objections – ratified.
9.3.2 P20/V2824/HH 21 Bridus Mead, Blewbury
Garage conversion. Deadline 2.12.20
BPC no objections – ratified.
9.3.3 P20/V2215/HH The Dower House, London Road, Blewbury
Replacement rooflights plus addition of new heritage rooflights within rear roof elevation.
BPC no objections – ratified.
9.3.4 P20/V2216/LB The Dower House, London Road, Blewbury
As 9.3.3 above. Deadline 4.12.20
BPC no objections – ratified.
9.3.5 P20/V2625/FUL Abners, Church Road, Blewbury
Demolition of modern lean to – to western element. Subdivisions of plot to create separate dwelling (conversion of grade 2 listed barn), parking etc.
BPC objected to this application – ratified.
9.3.6 P20/V2630/LB Abners, Church Road, Blewbury
As 9.3.5 above. Ratified.
9.4 Planning permissions received during the month
P20/V2270/HH 3 Chailey Gardens, Blewbury. Permission granted 6.11.20.
P20/V2513/HH The Old Mill, Berry Lane, Blewbury. Permission granted 30.11.20
P20/V2065/FUL Garden House, Westbrook Street. Permission granted 2.12.20
10. Finance & Administration
10.1 Updates on contributions planned expenditure (S106, CIL, CPF, SBRR)
Suggestions for spend included: – electric car charging points and remedial work at the Kids Play Area.
10.2 Agree any application for the Councillor Grant Scheme (deadline 5.2.21 / email 23.11.20 refers)
Deferred to C. Lakeland.
10.2 Approve end of month reconciliations for Lloyds & Barclays banks
Sent in advance of the meeting to the Chairman. To be signed at a later date.
10.3 Approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts.
Description / Power to spend
|E Cooper / D Hollick||
Clerk & Lengthman’s salary and expenses for October
|NEST||Clerk’s pension DD October (LGPSR2013 (SI2013/2356)||£71.33|
|HMRC||PAYE Clerk & Lengthman payment November (LGA1972 s112(2))||£235.83|
|Biffa Waste Services Ltd||Waste services DD November (LGA1972 s137)||£88.13|
|BT||Clubhouse line rental DD November (LGA1972 s137)||£35.04|
|SLCC||CiLCA Referral Fee (LGA 1972 s111)||£10.00|
|T Hale||Velux windows deposit (LGA 1894 s8)||£600.00|
|Complete Tree Services||Tree work (Copper Beech 1127) (LGA 1972 s137)||£390.00|
10.3.1 In addition, council unanimously agreed to include the following payments, which were received just after the agenda was issued:-
- Downside Farm, coffin way repairs £500
- Lister Wilder, parts £83.24 & £17.88
- Moore, external audit £480
- Kit Davis, cob wall repairs £210
- S. White, reimbursement of payment for work carried out on village hall guttering £2092.21
|17.11.20||VHEMC Insurance share||£ 2404.60|
|11.11.20||Lloyds Bank charges refund||£14.30|
Barclays Bank Payments
Ridge and Partners
November contractor valuation breakdown by room area as per client approval dated 11.11.2020.
10.5 To agree any amendments to the following Council documents: –
10.5.1 Emergency Plan
Clerk to confirm issue of draft emergency plan to all.
11. Update on the Village Hall Refurbishment
JG confirmed that the hall remains closed & will do so until at least January and will only open if it is safe to do so. The remaining small works are being carried out by other contractors. A fire inspection has been carried out. The car park has been resurfaced & parking spaces defined. No work had started on the Velux windows or on electrics. LI to chase electrician.
12. Recreation Ground / Clubhouse
12.1 Update from the Clubhouse Working Group
A complaint was made to a local MP regarding the night-time lighting at the Clubhouse. CL responded.
12.2 Update on the Tickers Folly Field recreation ground and car park
No update other than in Lengthman’s report.
13. Risk Management
13.1 Update on village play spaces (TFF / KAP) relating to risk
No update this month.
13.2 Any other updates on Management of Risk
No update this month.
13.3 Update on Compliance
No update this month.
14. Update on any issues relating to the Environment
14.1 Update from Sustainable Blewbury
No update this month.
14.2 Update on the OGB & ONPA
LI had provided information from the ONPA AGM held in November.
14.3 Update on Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme
CL confirmed in an email dated 4.12.20 that a he was putting together a tentative bid for solar panels for both the village hall and clubhouse.
15. Update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces
15.1 Update on Coffin Way / Cycle Path, including temporary repairs
Temporary repairs are complete & an invoice received for the work.
15.2 Update from the Cobb Wall Committee
Repairs carried out & an invoice received for the work. More major repairs would be considered in the New Year.
15.3 Update on any other issues relating to the above
PK confirmed that the Lychgate at the old Blewbury cemetery is the official war memorial & he will speak to the PCC as it is in need of considerable repair. PK will continue to gather information on the war memorials & present to council.
16. Update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport
16.1 Conditions of local roads and any course of action
VH had raised the state of road surface on the Hagbourne to Blewbury road with Cllr MF-D.
VH to raise the level of lighting after dark with Savages.
16.2 Update on the ’20 is plenty’ campaign
Previously covered by Cllr MF-D.
17. Correspondence – To consider items circulated/requiring a reply/consultation
18. Dates of the next meetings of the Council
Financial Committee meeting Thursday 17th December at 6pm via an e-conference system.
Full council meeting Wednesday 13th January at 7.30pm via an e-conference system.
The meeting finished at 8.40pm.
LENGTHMAN’S REPORT – NOVEMBER 2020
Very little to report this month. Last cuts have been done on all areas of grass. I have started on the winter maintenance of the equipment. Play Areas are all good, although a bit muddy at times. Cemetery, TFF and Recreation Ground are all looking OK. Buildings are fine with no problems. Here’s hoping you all have a good and safe Christmas.
REPORT BLEWBURY PARISH COUNCIL DECEMBER 2020
FROM CLLR MIKE FOX-DAVIES
In the 7 days up to 20 November, there has been a total of 671 confirmed new COVID-19 cases in Oxfordshire (equivalent to a weekly rate of 97.0 per 100,000 residents). This is a decrease from 1174 new cases in the previous week (equivalent to a weekly rate of 169.7 per 100,000 residents).
The figures summarised in the table below show the number of new cases and change in the rates for the week up to 20 November compared to the previous week (up to 13 November) across the county and its districts.
Area name Cases in week up to 13/11 Rate / 100K Cases in week to 20/11 Rate / 100K Change
Cherwell 243 161.5 150 99.7 decrease
Oxford 409 268.3 186 122.0 decrease
South Oxfordshire 186 130.9 143 100.7 decrease
Vale of White Horse 196 144.1 103 75.7 decrease
West Oxfordshire 140 126.5 89 80.4 decrease
Oxfordshire 1174 169.7 671 97.0 decrease
Data correct as at 7pm on 24 November
The figures above are based on the nationally reported dataset. It now includes all cases for University of Oxford. To show a consistent picture, the table is based on the nationally available data for the week ending Friday. It is currently updated weekly by Wednesday morning, at which time the data is less subject to change.
The government has confirmed that the whole of Oxfordshire will move into the high COVID-19 alert level (tier 2) from Wednesday 2 December. This means changes to the rules around working, socialising and running a business. Until that date, the national lockdown restrictions remain in place.
From 12.01am on 2 December, the following will apply across the county:
People must not meet socially with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
People must not meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space.
Non-essential shops can reopen, as can personal care businesses such as hairdressers, gyms and the wider leisure sector. All businesses and venues that reopen must ensure that COVID-secure measures are in place.
Hospitality venues will be allowed to stay open until 11pm – with last orders at 10pm.
However, only those that serve substantial meals can operate, and alcohol can only be served with substantial meals.
Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, with restrictions in place.
As part of these new tier restrictions, everyone who can work from home is being asked to continue to do so. Virtual meetings will continue for councillors.
Taking us towards the end of December, the government has also announced restrictions will be eased over Christmas. Up to three households will be able to meet up and form a Christmas social bubble from 23 to 27 December. You will be able to mix in homes, places of worship and outdoor spaces, and travel restrictions will also be eased. All the details can be found on the Gov.uk website.
Winter hardship grant
This week, the government has published details of a new scheme to tackle hardship during the winter for those families and individuals most impacted by the pandemic. The grant is principally aimed at families with children, for support with the costs of food and basic utilities.
There is some additional flexibility to support other needs and for individuals without families.
The county council is working closely and at speed with colleagues in the city and district councils to identify those most in need of support within the rules of the scheme and the most effective ways of getting that support in place as soon as possible.
We know ‘holiday hunger’ remains a serious concern for many families and addressing this will be a significant element of the scheme. More information will be provided in early December.
We continue to work closely with our partners in health, the district councils, police and the universities to issue extended #StopTheSpread communications, including urging people to follow the new restrictions, communicating the symptoms and ensuring understanding and reminding children and young people they must wear face coverings on school transport.
News that possible COVID-19 vaccines could be on the horizon continue to make headlines, including the update on the Oxford vaccine from earlier this week, which is showing an encouraging immune response in older adults. Whilst this continues to bring cause for hope, it remains very early days for all the vaccine trials and we must be patient. All the vaccines need to be reviewed and any potential safety hurdles cleared.
Residents warned against COVID-19 scams
Our trading standards team is continuing to warn residents to be on their guard against criminals and scammers exploiting the pandemic. The team has received numerous reports of scams targeting people by email, text messages, and on the doorstep. More information is in our recent news release about some of the scams the team are aware of. Please do share this important information with residents, groups and organisations in your division.
Oxfordshire wins £2.98 million to transform active travel
This is 25 per cent more than our indicative allocation for tranche 2 and recognises the ambition of our active travel plans. It brings the total amount we have been awarded to £3,283,500.
The scale of this second award reflects the bold proposals we submitted. The five schemes we put forward – three in Oxford, one in Bicester and one in Witney – are designed to have the greatest impact in terms of air quality, physical activity and environmental benefit. They are projects which go to the heart of supporting healthy and vibrant communities and will help enable a sustainable and safe recovery from the pandemic.
In addition to the funding from the DfT, we have been given £1.4m in funding from OxLEP – subject to sign-off by the OxLEP Programme Subgroup next Wednesday – which has been allocated to the schemes in Witney and Bicester. This funding combined with the award from the DfT will enable us to fully fund all five of the tranche 2 active travel schemes.
Read our news story for more.
New speeding taskforce group aims to save lives
Residents will be given more of a say on how to stop drivers speeding in their neighbourhoods, thanks to a new organisation set up to tackle the problem in Oxfordshire.
The speeding taskforce group is a joint initiative involving Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Thames Valley Police and the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner. Announced to coincide with Road Safety Week, its aims include educating drivers about the dangers of breaking the speed limit and helping communities to tackle the issue.
Councillor Liam Walker, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Delivery and Operations, who sits on the taskforce, said “Speeding is rightly one of the top issues that residents in Oxfordshire are concerned about and this is an opportunity for us to all work closer to explore new ways to reduce it. We all have a responsibility as drivers to play our part and through this new taskforce I hope we can work closely with communities to start looking at solutions to reducing speeding on our roads.
“This may involve more enforcement from Thames Valley Police or the county council changing the layout of roads or reducing speed limits in areas, but the key point of this group is to bring us together so we can start to have these conversations and focus on the changes needed so we can save lives.”
Initial virtual meetings have been held to identify how the different organisations can share data about key accident and speeding hotspots. The group wants to focus on more awareness campaigns, alerting drivers to the effects and consequences of speeding and giving the issue as much attention as drink-driving or not wearing a seatbelt.
It also aims to support communities that want to help tackle speeding by ensuring they have the support to set up Community Speedwatch groups in their area to monitor motorists who break the limits.
Pandemic won’t stop Oxfordshire’s roads from being gritted
As temperatures start to dip, the county council’s winter weather response springs into action, becoming one of our key frontline services that keeps almost half of the roads across Oxfordshire free as possible from winter hazards. The pandemic will not stop our efforts – we are ready to go. This year we have trained 15 extra drivers, will have 25 gritter lorries on the road at any one time, and will use approximately 220 tonnes of salt per treatment. For more information about our winter service, please read our news story.
Launch of zero emission zone consultation
Together with Oxford City Council, yesterday (Friday 20 November) we pressed go on our final consultation on proposals for the pilot stage of the Zero Emission Zone for Oxford. This first stage covers an area of central Oxford and is due to be launched in August 2021. It aims to help cut vehicle emissions in the city and improve local air quality. The consultation runs online until 17 January 2021 and can be found here.
Oxford-Cambridge Arc event, recording now available
Earlier this week, the Leaders Group of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc hosted an online event which outlined the economic vision for the Arc, set out the big themes for innovation-led growth in the area and provided an opportunity for public conversation about the Arc’s recently launched economic prospectus. For those councillors unable to attend the live online event or for those wishing to recap on the session, a recording is now available online. This is approximately 80 minutes in length and is introduced by Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council, in his role as Chair of the Arc Leaders Group.
Hand it back campaign
As part of our joint ‘hand it back campaign’ with Oxford Health, Oxford University Hospitals and supplier NRS Healthcare, please encourage residents in your division to return any unused health and social care equipment loaned to them so others can take advantage of it.
Worldwide manufacturing of items including bed rails, pendent alarm equipment/sensors (telecare) and mattresses has slowed because of the pandemic, meaning new ones may be harder to come by.
The pieces of unused equipment being sought are:
chairs, beds, bed rails and mattresses
any electrical items
walking and toilet frames
pendent alarm equipment/sensors (Telecare)
Anybody wanting to give back equipment can arrange a collection by calling NRS Healthcare on 01869 225420 or by sending their details to firstname.lastname@example.org. net
District Councillor Report Blewbury Parish Council Wednesday 9th December 2020
Blewbury Parish Council – Wednesday 9th December 2020
Report from District Councillors
Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley
As this is our final report for 2020, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Blewbury Parish Council for all your hard work throughout the year serving the community. We sincerely hope that you and your families are able to enjoy the festive season and get some much-needed rest and relaxation at the end of a very challenging year. We wish everyone in Blewbury Parish a very happy Christmas, and with the hope of an imminent vaccine rollout, we wish you a bright and promising new year.
Coronavirus Update and Community Support
COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Oxfordshire
This week we received the very welcome news that the first Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK by the MHRA (the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and wanted to give you a quick update on how that’s going to be handled in Oxfordshire over the coming weeks.
The vaccine’s approval is a hugely significant moment in our pandemic response and offers hope at the end of an incredibly difficult year. The strict approval process it has gone through means that the approved vaccine, and any other vaccines approved in the future, will not only be safe, but will also be our best defence against the virus.
Detailed planning for the rollout of the vaccination programme is well underway both locally and nationally. We’re working with our colleagues in the NHS to support this and we’ll provide more information on how this will work as soon as we can through these updates and our usual channels.
The plans will ensure that as many people as possible receive the vaccination in a timely way, and that the vaccination programme does not adversely affect other vital health services.
In Oxfordshire colleagues across the system are working round the clock to put arrangements in place to start delivering the vaccination programme as soon as supplies of the vaccine become available. There will be a phased delivery of the programme, based on the priority groups set out nationally by the independent Joint Committee on
Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The first priority will be those people who are either most at risk or need it because of the work they do. This includes health and care staff, people over the age of 80, and people living and working in care homes.
Over the coming months, the programme will be expanded to broader groups of people as further supplies of the vaccine are made available. Vaccinations will be offered in three main ways:
- Hospital Hubs – NHS sites
- Local Vaccine Centres – GP-led services, which could include using GP practices and community facilities
- Vaccination Centres – large sites, such as sports and conference venues, set up for high volumes of people
From a hands-on perspective we’re currently supporting our health colleagues with the co-ordination and delivery of the local vaccine programme, and we’ll have more information very soon on what this means in our area.
Oxfordshire moves into Tier 2
Since the lockdown ended, Oxfordshire is in tier 2 of the Covid-19 restrictions across England. Council services continue as they have done throughout lockdown. As we come out of lockdown and move into the tier system the government has updated its guidance for those considered to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. There is general advice for all tiers and further guidance on each tier. We have reflected this messaging on our websites.
The tier level for Oxfordshire will be reviewed again on Wednesday 16 December.
Our Community Hub will carry on its work offering support to our vulnerable residents and those in need. During the course of the second lockdown we’ve handled 276 referrals for help across both districts – 146 for South and 131 for the Vale. This is 47 per cent lower than the total recorded over the same period during the first lockdown when we had 525.
To contact the Community Support Team:
call: 01235 422 600 Monday to Thursday 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm
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
Local contact tracing
More than 500 residents have been successfully reached and had their contacts identified by Oxfordshire’s local COVID-19 contact tracing system since it launched in mid-October.
That includes 52 residents across South and Vale that our officers have helped trace. These residents may not have otherwise been contacted, so this work is vital for making sure that we help stop the spread of Covid-19 in our areas.
The scheme is a partnership between the six Oxfordshire councils, Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and Oxford’s two universities.
People urged to support local traders in the Vale and South Oxfordshire as councils confirm free parking days in the run up to Christmas. With many traders affected by the Covid-19 restrictions, we are urging people to use this opportunity to support their local shops and cafes in the run up to Christmas, while maintaining social distancing and face covering requirements. Each year we provide free parking days during December to help encourage people to shop locally for their Christmas presents to help support our high streets. This year motorists can park for free in our car parks, and will not have to display a ticket, on the following days:
- Abingdon – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
- Faringdon – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
- Wantage – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
- Didcot – Mondays (7, 14, 21 December)
- Goring – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
- Henley – Tuesdays (8, 15, 22 December)
- Thame – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
- Wallingford – Thursdays (10, 17, 24 December)
Motorists can also continue to park for free each day outside of the charging period and during the standard free periods offered by both councils, but must they display a ticket during this time. The above arrangements are subject to any change in national or local Covid-19 restrictions.
For more information about parking and district council car parks please visit – whitehorsedc.gov.uk/parking / southoxon.gov.uk/parking
Leisure centres in tier 2
If you want to stay up to date with our leisure centres the Better website has all the details of the opening times and which facilities are available at each centre.
Waste Christmas quiz and additional information on our website
We have a new page on our websites helping people deal with their waste over the Christmas and New Year period – including information on changes to collection days, what to do with extra waste, Christmas trees and some videos on how to reduce waste by reusing and recycling items. We also have a Christmas-themed recycling quiz which tests your knowledge on what to do with festive junk and Christmas leftovers. We can help you deal with all the extra waste at this time of year by helping you to put the right things in the right bin.
See more at www.southoxon.gov.uk/christmaswaste www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/christmaswaste
Flytip caught on camera in Harwell – man prosecuted
A man from Fyfield Wick near Abingdon has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 after Vale of White Horse District Council successfully prosecuted him for flytipping. The crime was caught on camera after the council placed CCTV cameras in the area in Harwell, following a number of cases of flytipping at that spot. On 12 November 2019, on private land on Grove Road, Harwell a tipper truck was caught on camera dumping a load of hardcore and soil on land without permission. For more information on flytipping and how to report it please see our webpage.
What should I do if I see a person rough sleeping in our districts?
During office hours, please call the housing needs team on 01235 422 452. This is a direct line to a Housing Needs Officer. If the person is in immediate danger, call an ambulance or the police on 999. Don’t put yourself in danger or approach someone acting strangely, even to help. Outside office hours, please report to the non-profit homelessness organisation Streetlink which is funded by the Government. You can report someone rough sleeping via its website www.streetlink.org.uk or by calling 0300 5000 914. Streetlink is the national scheme for reporting rough sleeping and connects rough sleepers to local support services. Please be aware that these reports will be dealt with next working day. To contact the Out of Hours Officer, please call 01235 422 410.
What support do residents receive during their time in temporary accommodation?
Some of the residents have complex support needs and we therefore provide a comprehensive support package:
- A Housing Needs Officer assesses residents’ support needs and helps them to secure longer term accommodation quickly
- A Temporary Accommodation Officer, who is the point of contact for residents during their stay, attends a sign up with all new residents. The sign up includes a welcome pack with key information on the local area; a contact number if residents need any assistance; emergency household items if necessary, during their stay (bedding, kitchen utensils etc) and referrals to other support agencies including the Community Hub
- A Floating Support Officer visits residents at least weekly to provide practical and emotional support. The support includes helping with benefits, arranging care support, financial assistance and help with moving into longer term accommodation
The next meeting of Full Council is on Wednesday, 9th December at 7.00pm. The agenda papers and a link to view the meeting online can be found at the following link:
A Town and Parish Forum in the Spring
The Vale is committed to two-way communication between towns and parishes and district councils. To that end we are planning to host an online Town and Parish Forum in the Spring. We will let you know the date and the necessary information about how to take part in the meeting as soon as the details are finalised.
Webinar on low and zero carbon affordable housing
The Oxfordshire Growth Board are hosting a webinar to promote the delivery of low and zero carbon affordable housing. This event brings together expert speakers to showcase exemplar developments, discuss the local and national policy environment and how to meet the challenges for delivery.
The webinar takes place on Wednesday 9 December from 11am to 1pm. For more information, including confirmed speakers, and to register for this free event please click on the link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/oxfordshiregrowth-board-webinar-low-carbon-affordable-housing-tickets-127988008579.
Council cabinets to consider Civil Parking Enforcement proposals
A major change aimed at helping to prevent illegal parking could move a step closer in the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire this week.
At their respective meetings on 3 and 4 December, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils’ cabinets will consider whether to move forward with proposals for Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) which could see responsibility for enforcement transfer from the police to a new team managed by Oxfordshire County Council.
Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils enforce parking in their own off-street car parks.
However, enforcement for on-street parking in both districts is carried out by the police. This can put unnecessary extra pressure on police resources and leave parking problems unresolved as the police focus on more serious crimes.
Local councils can apply to the government to take on powers for Civil Parking Enforcement which allows them to fine motorists who park illegally or drive in bus lanes.
The two councils have been working alongside Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council to investigate the feasibility of implementing CPE arrangements within their three districts. This work has included commissioning a specialist parking consultant to investigate the potential benefits, challenges, and financial requirements of the scheme.
In order to implement CPE, cabinets at all three districts need to agree to move forward with the proposals. The councils would then collectively ask Oxfordshire County Council to submit a joint CPE application to the government for approval.
CPE is already in place in Oxford city centre and in West Oxfordshire. If the application is approved by the government, parking enforcement on-street in South and Vale would then be carried out by a new team managed by Oxfordshire County Council.
Cabinet members at Vale and South Oxfordshire will now decide whether to approve the proposals and therefore ask the county council to move forward and submit the application to the government. They will also confirm the financial contribution that the councils will need to make in order to support the formal application to the Department for Transport to implement Civil Parking Enforcement in their respective districts. If all three districts agree then CPE could be implemented by the end of 2021.
Financial Support for Residents and Businesses
We are helping co-ordinate the distribution of £1.37million of government grant funding for people impacted by Covid-19 in Oxfordshire who need support with food and essentials over the winter period. The county council is administering a family food voucher scheme over the Christmas, February and Easter holidays for those eligible for free school meals (not just those who actively claim them). Headteachers are also working with us to identify families who don’t receive free school meals but could also benefit from this funding. In addition, we are planning local schemes to support families and individuals that are most in need, working closely with the local community and voluntary sector. We’ll have more information on the rest of the groups that could benefit from this funding once the details have been finalised.
Businesses that need help and guidance should continue to visit the South and Vale Business Support website svbs.co.uk.
Local Restrictions support grant for open businesses
Around 3,500 businesses in the Vale and 4,500 in South Oxfordshire may be eligible for further grant funding aimed at helping those affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open Businesses) is a discretionary fund that applies to rate paying businesses in tiers 2 and 3 that have been severely affected by the restrictions but haven’t been forced to close.
Councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria, however we are expected to use the money to support hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.
We are currently finalising the application process and eligibility criteria for this scheme and will confirm more details as soon as everything is in place.
Local Restrictions support grant for closed businesses
So far, in the Vale we’ve received 331 applications and paid 239 businesses a total value of £385,000. This grant is for businesses that pay rates and have been forced to close due to the national lockdown – we estimate we have a total of 677 eligible businesses.
Additional Restrictions Grant
This scheme is for business that aren’t eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant, including those that haven’t been temporarily forced to close, but have been severely impacted by the current restrictions, and those that do not pay any business rates. This is a discretionary fund with £2,000 available to support individual businesses. Deadline for applications was 4 December, however the council will continue to accept applications from any businesses who were notified they incorrectly applied for the Local Restrictions grant. More here svbs.co.uk/