Update from District Councillors
This year’s annual report from our two local District councillors – Elaine Ware and Simon Howell – is available below:
The following update from our District Councillors is intended for Parish Councils but contains information likely to be of interest to villagers:
The Vale Communications Team continue to provide regular updates to all Town and Parish Councils.
As mentioned previously most Vale staff are working from home and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Obviously working from home doesn’t provide the same support as in the office and it would be appreciated if there is a need to contact officers please do so by Email rather than telephone.
Climate Emergency Advisory Committee – The Committee met on 7 September. The Committee acknowledged that following the restructure of Cabinet roles Cllr Catherine Webber is now the Cabinet Member responsible for Climate and Environment. The Committee agreed to hold public meetings on a quarterly basis rather than monthly but task and finish groups will continue as required. Agendas and minutes for this Committee are available on the Vales website.
Civil Parking Enforcement – A report is due to be presented to Vale Scrutiny in November.
Corporate Plan – This has been considered by the Vale Scrutiny Committee and will be considered by the Cabinet on 2 October it is also an agenda item for the full Council meeting on 7 October.
Council Meeting 7 October – The agenda includes changes to the existing budget 2020/21, an update on Oxfordshire’s Growth Board, a review of the Council’s constitution and a Motion on the Governments Planning proposals.
Yellow Letter – Please remind your residents if changes have taken place to return the completed form asap.
Planning – The Government consultation – Planning for the Future has caused a great deal of controversy. The Vale will be making a formal response and Town and Parish Councils and residents are encouraged to reply. Part 1 of the consultation – Changes to the current planning system closes on 1 October but Parts 2 and 3 on 29 October. Details of the consultation are available on the Vale’s website and the Governments website – www.Gov.uk
In the last few weeks a number of planning applications have been submitted from within the Ward. Three of these have caused concern. Should these applications be recommended for approval by officers Simon and Elaine have requested that they be called-in for the Vale Planning Committee to consider.
Swindon Borough Council- New Eastern Villages – The Southern Connector Road through the NEV to Commonhead roundabout has been agreed and work is expected to commence in spring 2021. These works together with other works affecting the A420 will obviously have a knock on effect to all villages in the Ward. Simon and I work closely with our County Council colleagues and the impact of the NEV on the Vale cannot be underestimated. It is hoped that a steering group will be set up in the near future with Swindon Borough Council, the County Council and Simon and I as District Councillors to ensure that the A420 is recognised as the local road it is and not another trunk road like the A34.
Although we don’t hold surgeries we are always available to deal with any issues.
Simon Howell – 01793 784491 – email@example.com
Elaine Ware – 01793 783026 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a quick update on news around our districts and further afield.
Rising Covid-19 cases
The numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Oxfordshire continues to rise. In the 7 days up to 14 August, there have been 65 confirmed cases in Oxfordshire, which is an increase from 44 cases in the previous week.
The majority of the new cases are in Oxford, where the number has risen from 16 to 28. The increase is predominantly among young people in the 18-30 age bracket. The rise is being seen across the city and is not focused on one particular area. The increase can be partly attributed to people returning from holidays in Europe, where cases of the virus are rising, and partly to lower levels of adherence to social distancing among young people.
Oxfordshire’s Public Health Surveillance Unit has picked this up at an early stage and is not considering any local control measures at this stage. But if the situation does escalate, then local control measures will be considered.
Clear systems are in place through Oxfordshire’s Local Outbreak Plans to manage any local hotspots. However, prevention is by far the best way to manage the situation and we are therefore supporting the county council with its extended and targeted communications in the run-up to the August Bank Holiday weekend to raise awareness of the situation and urge people to continue to follow protective measures to protect themselves, their families and friends.
A reminder that tomorrow (28 August) is the last day for businesses to submit their details if they wish to claim a COVID-19 Small Business Grant or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.
Businesses which are yet to submit their details are urged to do so immediately, otherwise they will miss out – this includes any receiving full rate relief, as they may still be eligible for a grant.
Housing update – ban on evictions
The ban on landlords evicting their tenants in England and Wales has been extended until 20 September taking the total ban to six months. Our housing team continue to work with residents and advise them of their rights in this ever-changing situation.
You can find the full government guidance here
Leisure Centres phased opening plans
We’re opening the district’s leisure centres in phases with our partners at GLL– it’s worth bearing in mind that given the changing national situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, the activities and facilities available at a given leisure centre may need to change, be temporarily closed or have occasional changes to opening hours and/or services.
These changes are made in accordance with the latest guidance from the government, Sport England and Swim. GLL’s “Better” website lists the latest information on opening hours and services. Residents are advised to visit the website and follow GLL on twitter for the latest information.
Opening times will not be different over the bank holiday.
Bank holiday waste collections
As normal following a bank holiday, waste collection days are different next week. The time of day the crews arrive to empty bins might be also different than usual.
We’ve attached the August bank holiday waste collection schedule, which follows the usual pattern of the bins being emptied the day after the normal collection day, with Friday collections next week taking place on the Saturday.
Lockdown Lifestyle Survey
Our Lockdown Lifestyle survey closes two weeks today.
The results from this survey will help the team to focus on activities that residents want to see in the districts, to help support those who have struggled over the last few months and to help families and those who are vulnerable to take those first steps back into the community and keeping healthy. The feedback will also contribute to the future plans for leisure activities in the districts as part of the councils’ Active Communities Strategy.
To take part in the survey please click here
Homes England received 900 comments on its proposals for the redevelopment of the Didcot Gateway site opposite the station.
Homes England is now reviewing the comments and considering any changes, which they will feed back to officers next month. Following this, Homes England will submit a planning application outlining the proposals for Didcot Gateway.
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils
The following is the weekly communication from our local District Councillor, Simon Howell. Some of the issues raised are specific to Parish & Town Councils (eg the planning application process) but we’ve included the full email for completeness.
You can get in touch with Simon on 01793 784491 or email@example.com
There has been progress with the proposed ‘build out’ on the Bishopstone Road, intended to slow traffic coming into the village. Details of the design and the associated consultation process can be accessed from the Oxfordshire County Council website here.
The cost of the project is being met with a generous donation from Pinewood School.
Have you ever wondered which bin to use when disposing of your old socks, unwanted soil and used teabags? If so, help is at hand with the Wheel of Recycling – a handy gizmo from the Vale. Look out for one with the delivery of the Parish magazine over the next couple weeks (when you’re finished with it, it goes in the green bin!).
Also, for more information, try out the Vale’s ‘Bin Zone’ here. And there’s also an app available…
Parishioners are invited to attend the Village Hall AGM on Tuesday 28 May at 7.00 pm in the village hall followed by the Annual Parish Assembly at 7.30 pm. Do come along to hear what has been happening during the past year.
The agenda for the Parish Council Annual Assembly is available on the village website in the parish council section.
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have a range of roles available for those 18+ at the local elections on Thursday 2 May and overnight into Friday 3 May.
The councils are looking for people to work as:
We’ve received notification from Swindon Borough Council (SBC) of an outline planning application relating to 2,500 houses, retail, community and employment facilities, schools and road access at Lotmead – this is part of the Eastern Villages expansion of Swindon.
The notification letter is shown below and details of the application can be viewed on the SBC website here using the reference number S/OUT/19/0582 in the search box. Note that the deadline for sending comments is 14 May – contact details of the SBC Planning Dept are given below.
VWHDC has published the notice for the European election next month – details can be found on the Council’s website here.
In brief, polling is on Thursday 23 May with the results announced on Sunday 26 May. Those who are already registered to vote at their current address do not need to register again. For those not currently registered the deadline for registration is 7 May – visit gov.uk/registertovote.