The development of Salt Cross garden village has taken a major step forward with the appointment of a Government inspector to oversee key areas of its planning.
Darren McCreery has been appointed by Secretary of State Robert Jenrick to chair hearings on the Area Action Plan (AAP).
The hearings will officially begin on 28 June and run for two weeks, after which Mr McCreery will decide on whether to give the plan the green light.
Chris Hargraves, Planning Policy Manager at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This is an extremely important part of the process of developing Salt Cross.
“It has taken three years to get to this point but we are delighted to welcome Mr McCreery and look forward to the hearings and receiving his feedback.”
Mr McCreery will be considering a wide range of issues including whether current and future housing needs are being met, transport infrastructure, potential net zero carbon development and policies surrounding the Salt Cross science and technology park.
Once adopted, the AAP will become statutory. It will be used alongside the Local Plan and Eynsham Neighbourhood Plan to determine future proposals at Salt Cross.
Work on the AAP began in 2018 with partners including community representatives, land promoters Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, West Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council involved in meetings, events, consultations and activities to listen to ideas from a wide range of interests.
Expert reports showcasing the concept, vision and proposals for Salt Cross were drawn up and last August, an eight-week public consultation was held.
For more information on Salt Cross, see: www.westoxon.gov.uk/gardenvillage
A future vision for residents and communities of Oxfordshire, including ambitious carbon reduction, physical and mental health, housing and education plans has been approved by the District Council Cabinet today.
The Strategic Vision for Oxfordshire, developed by the Oxfordshire Growth Board, is a major commitment to building a more sustainable, biodiverse, economically prosperous and inclusive county by 2050.
Giles Hughes, Chief Executive of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This plan sets out an exciting vision for the future of communities in Oxfordshire. It’s a picture of a happier population with better physical and mental health.
“Young people need to feel confident, positive and excited about their future and that means providing high quality education and jobs that contribute to a world class economy.
“The plan will be at the centre of all of the council’s decision making, ensuring that everything we do considers the impact on future generations.”
Significantly, consultation on the Vision involved engaging with young people through social media and college-based workshops.
The Oxfordshire Growth Board comprises the six Oxfordshire councils and key strategic partners.
You can find out more about the Oxfordshire Strategic Vision on West Oxfordshire District Council’s website.
Residents in West Oxfordshire will soon see a more efficient and effective waste collection service following a decision by West Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet to invest up to £140k in a new ‘in-cab’ technology system.
The specialist software system will be retro-fitted to the Council’s entire fleet of refuse, recycling, food and garden waste vehicles and will help reduce the number of collections being missed as well reducing the fuel used and cutting vehicle carbon emissions. Greater efficiencies in service delivery will bring projected annual savings of £50,000 per year from the Council’s contract with its waste service delivery partner, Ubico.
A West Oxfordshire District Council spokesperson, said: “We will be working with Ubico to implement the in-cab system across our waste collection fleet, which will go live later this year. The project is just one example of how we are working in partnership to ensure our waste services are fit for the future and how innovation can better the customer experience.
“Crews will be able to record problems as soon as they encounter them and this information will be relayed back in near real time to both Ubico and the Council’s customer services team.
“The waste sector is still recognised as a high risk industry and the in-cab system will make collecting safer too. Locations near to schools where extra precautions must be taken and potential hazards - such as blind corners or low bridges - can be easily added to the collection schedule information, making the working day safer for crews, pedestrians and road users alike.”
Utilising GPS technology, the new system will enable crews to follow a map of their collection routes, reducing the need for local knowledge and allowing drivers unfamiliar with the area to complete the round without unnecessary delays or disruption to the householder.
Issues encountered whilst on the round, including reasons for why a collection has not been able to take place, can be logged directly against individual properties and any special collection requirements flagged in advance of the crews’ arrival.
With 45% of all District Council CO2 emissions generated from vehicle fleet and transportation, the new in-cab system should bring environmental benefits through the better routing of rounds and crews being able to return for missed bins whilst still working in the local vicinity, resulting in less miles needing to be travelled.
The anticipated CO2 savings will contribute to the Council’s declaration to reach a carbon-neutral target by 2030.
OCC’s Climate Action in infographics
WODC - Preparations underway to make sure polling stations are safe for this year’s local elections and deadline approaches for voter registrations
As the local elections approach on Thursday 6 May 2021, West Oxfordshire District Council is preparing to make sure all polling stations available for those who wish to vote in person are safe and Covid secure.
Voting in person will be different this year with polling stations following the Covid secure rules seen across shops and other indoor locations during the pandemic. This will include voters wearing masks, using hand sanitiser, social distancing and making sure items touched in the polling booths are cleaned.
Staff will also be taking the necessary precautions to keep safe and have received additional training to help advise and support voters.
Voters are encouraged to bring their own masks and pen or pencil on the day to reduce wastage on the day, however, for those that need them they will be available.
Some polling stations have had to change due to some usual polling locations being unsuitable during the pandemic and so voters are being urged to check their poll cards to make sure they know where their polling station is.
Residents are also being encouraged to make sure they are registered to vote, and if they want to, have applied for postal or proxy voting ahead of the rapidly approaching deadlines.
Residents can register to vote through the Government website which takes only five minutes to complete.
Residents can apply for postal voting now and have to get their application in before the deadline of 5 pm on 20 April and to be able to vote by proxy, applications must be in by 5 pm on Tuesday 27 April.
Application forms for postal and proxy voting can be downloaded from the Electoral Commission or voters can visit the council website at westoxon.gov.uk/registertovote or contact us on 01993 861410.
Keith Butler, Returning Officer for West Oxfordshire District District said, “We are taking all the steps needed to make sure voters this year are safe at the polling stations and feel comfortable voting in person.
“People will by now be familiar with the precautions we must all take to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and our polling stations will be no different. If people can bring their own masks and pens we would really appreciate it.
“As a final reminder, I would urge everyone wanting to vote to make sure they have registered ahead of the required deadlines so that they have the chance to have their say in this year’s local elections.”
“For anyone interested in voting by post this year they need to make sure we have received their application for their postal vote before 5 pm on the 20 April. We are quickly approaching the deadline and I would encourage people to sign up sooner rather than later.”
It It was with great sadness that the Parish Council learned of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. The Parish Council with the parish extends its heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family.
We remember with immense gratitude the lifetime of service which His Royal Highness devoted to Her Majesty, to our Nation and to the Commonwealth.
online book of condolence | The Royal Family
Residents in Oxfordshire are to be given a warm welcome back to libraries from Monday 12 April onwards.
Oxfordshire County Council is planning a phased approach to the re-opening of libraries and will be maintaining safety measures including track and trace, use of face coverings and social distancing.
Lesli Good, Interim Assistant Director for Cultural Services, said: "Our libraries and registration staff have missed serving the Oxfordshire public in person and being the heartbeat of their communities. It’s a moment we have been anticipating hugely for many weeks and now it is very close.
"Our excitement is being blended with a safety-first approach. Each building is different and they are all being fully assessed to make sure they are as safe as they can be.
"We will keep everyone up to date on our website and through social media whenever a new re-opening is due and also on the safety arrangements that have been put in place."
As a result of the safety precautions required, library opening hours are also temporarily limited. Visitors are advised to check times on the library pages of the county council’s website.
Since the November lockdown, all loans have been extended on a rolling basis. This will end on 10 May, at which point all loans will be due for return or renewal. You can safely return items by dropping them off in the returns boxes at the doors of any library during opening hours.
No library customers will be penalised as a result of having to self-isolate or being unable to travel to return library loans. If there are exceptional circumstances that prevent you from returning or renewing your loans, please contact your nearest open library.
In addition, the Oxfordshire History Centre will be re-opening to visitors on 13 April. All visits must be booked online in advance via Eventbrite. The centre has also now re-started its remote enquiry service.
Dates for libraries
The following libraries will reopen on the week beginning 12 April:
The following libraries are closed until further notice:
For further details of library opening hours, re-openings and safety measures for visitors, please visit the county council’s libraries’ webpage.
URL : http://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/libraries-to-reopen/
News and information from Aston, Cote, Chimney & Shifford Parish Council.