Oxfordshire County Council & Cherwell District Council news
Timothy T Hallchurch MBE
FCMI MBA IIHHT MGHT MIOD
Conservative for Otmoor Ward Cherwell DC and Otmoor Division, Oxfordshire CC
FACEBOOK: Oxfordshire Conservatives
Cherwell Chairman's Charity Dinner 13th April 2012
My County Council Division includes:
Horton cum Studley, Fencott, Murcott, Noke, Oddington, Merton, Islip, Charlton on Otmoor all now in Henley constituency and Langford Village Bicester, Ambrosden, Arncott and Piddington in Banbury Constituency .
Members of the Conservative Independent Alliance
Strategic Housing Market Assessment
While the County Council is not responsible for the smaller scale planning carried out by district councils, such as individual houses and developments, we do play a major role in providing the surrounding infrastructure.
The Strategic Housing Market Assessment determines the growth that will happen over the next 20 years, and the required estimate has been raised in every district:
Housing per annum
Vale of White Horse
This will then feed into the Local Development Framework with appropriate sites allocated. The County Council will be assisting in this process to ensure that they are in sustainable locations with the required infrastructure however ultimately where the sites are will be for the District Councils to determine.
River Cherwell at Thrupp during the floods
Thankfully, Otmoor has suffered very little serious flooding partly due to the recently completed defences on the Cherwell north of Banbury that hold back the water in the flood plain. We had the annual closing of Lower Street Islip and some flooding on the Islip – Merton road.
North West Bicester
Willmott Dixon has been named as the main contractor for the “exemplar” phase of this
exciting development. This will see the delivery of the first of almost 400 homes, built to the highest
eco standards, and will eventually include a primary school, business centre and local retail
The masterplan for the second phase of the site will be released for public consultation at the
end of May – don’t miss your chance to have a say!
London Road Bicester
One of the consequences of the increased rail traffic through Bicester is that the level crossing
on London Road will be closed for longer periods. As a first step towards a solution, funding has
been awarded to investigate the construction of a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the line.
Raising the flag for the commonwealth
Gogges Farm rent to the County Council is a basket of apples – the children got at them and left me with just one for the rent
Receiving the SABRE award on behalf of OCC from The Earl of Wessex
Cherwell District Council. Since May 2016 the ward has been expanded to be called Otmoor and Launton and comprises of Shipton & Thrupp, Ambrosden, Wendlebury, Oddington, Bletchington, Islip, Fencott & Murcott, Noke, Horton cum Studley, Launton Hampton Poyle, Hampton Gay, Charlton on Otmoor, Weston on the Green, Piddington and Blackthorn.
I was re-elected as Councillor for Otmoor Ward again in 2016 along with Simon Holland and David Hughes.
I am on the following committees:
· Appeals Panel
· Planning Committee (reserve)
· Standards Committee (Chairman)
· I am also a director of Graven Hill Village Holdings
· Member of the County Blue Plaques Board
· Member of the Otmoor Group
While I have been Chairman of the County Council, I have had to take a back seat as far as CDC committees are concerned but have still been busy dealing with local problems and planning applications.
CDC has again been able to freeze Council Tax due to savings made with sharing resources with South Northamptonshire DC and Stratford upon Avon Council.
Election countdown begins
The countdown has begun for this year’s local and European elections, with one third of Cherwell District Council’s 50 seats up for the vote including Otmoor Ward. I will be standing again and hope to be re-elected again and I hope that I can have your support once again.
On Thursday, 22 May, polling stations will open across the district to enable electors to vote for their preferred party or candidate in the European elections and where being held district, and parish council representative.
A total of 17 seats are up for election at Cherwell District Council with candidate nominations now being accepted until 4pm on 24 April.
Returning officer Sue Smith said: “With less than six weeks to go until election day, preparations are now in full swing to ensure voters have registered, nominations are received and requests for postal or proxy votes have actioned.
“Within the next few days residents will begin to receive their polling cards in the post with details of their polling station and if district and parish elections are taking place in their area. It is important these details are checked and the council is notified of any inaccuracies as soon as possible.”
Residents have until 6 May to ensure they are registered to vote. Voters who will be unable to vote in person due to situations such as holiday have until 5pm on 7 May to apply for a postal vote or 5pm on 14 May to apply for a proxy vote.
Postal votes allow residents to vote themselves and post their ballot whilst a proxy vote enables residents to nominate a specific person to vote on their behalf.
Polling stations will be open from 7am – 10pm on Thursday, 22 May. The results for Cherwell District Council, town and parish elections will be announced the following day on Friday, 23 May. The outcome of the European elections will be announced on Sunday, 25 May in line with other EU countries.
For information on how to stand as a candidate or to apply for a postal or proxy vote, visit www.cherwell.gov.uk or call 01295 227001.
Covert campaign to catch culprits
Dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets are being targeted by undercover enforcement officers as part of an initiative to catch culprits in the act.
Since the beginning of April, Cherwell District Council’s enforcement officers have issued two £50 fixed penalty notices to residents who were seen not clearing up after their dogs.
In a bid to catch more offenders and clean up the district, officers will now carry out covert patrols and undertake early morning and evening surveillance of hotspot areas.
Mark Harmon, environmental enforcement manager said: “The majority of dog owners in Cherwell religiously pick up after their pets but there are those who will try and get away with it if they think nobody is watching. Our message is that we are watching and patrolling at all hours of the day, not just from 9am – 5pm.
“While some of our patrols will involve high-vis clothing to make ourselves noticeable, others will be much more discreet in a bid to catch offenders in the act. So our advice is to always pick up after your pooch as you never know just who is watching - or when. “Officers have previously carried out covert patrols dressed in casual clothing or while posing as fellow dog walkers. On confronting any resident valid identification will always be produced.
Since the start of the financial year two fixed penalty notices have been issued; one in Manstone Close car park in Bicester on 1 April and the second in Milcombe the following day.
Early morning patrols have already been carried out in People’s Park in Banbury from 6am with additional patrols planned for other areas over the course of the summer months.
In a bid to utilise resources effectively, residents are being urged to report incidents where owners have failed to clean up after their pets with as much detail as possible including dates, times, locations and descriptions.
Residents who are caught flouting the law could be fined £50 or have the matter escalated to magistrates' court where the penalty could be increased to £1,000.
Register structures of local importance
Residents are being encouraged to identify monuments and buildings of local importance to include within a Register of Local Heritage Assets.
On Wednesday, 30 April Cherwell District Council’s design and conservation team will host an afternoon and evening workshop inviting residents to learn more about Local Heritage Assets and suggest local structures to accredit with the status.
Items which are designated as Local Heritage Assets are nationally recognised as being of local importance and are subsequently maintained by local authorities and protected from future development.
All councils are required to identify Local Heritage Assets which are of significance to the local community under guidelines set by the National Planning Policy Framework.
The Local Heritage Assets workshops are open to residents, professionals and community groups. Both events will be held at the council’s offices at Bodicote House, Whitepost Road, Bodicote with the first session taking place at 2.30pm and then repeated again at 6.30pm.
Housing benefit outweighs development of village
A planning inspector has upheld an appeal to build up to 45 homes in Ambrosden, concluding the benefits brought from the development would outweigh the urbanisation of the countryside.
Following an appeal hearing in February, The Trustees of the Norman Collission Foundation was given outline consent for the demolition of Ambrosden Court and the erection of up to 45 residential units with access off Merton Road.
An application to develop the site was initially turned down by Cherwell District Council in July 2013 after councillors voiced concerns over highway safety and the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area.
However after debating the repercussions of allowing the development and ordering the implementation of a traffic calming measure on Merton Road, inspector Ian Radcliffe concluded the application should go ahead as the positive benefits outweighed any negatives.
“The appeal site is located within walking distance of the centre of the village and the range of shops, services and facilities that it has to offer,” he said.
“The construction of the proposed development would generate employment. Post completion, the spending of up to an additional 45 households would benefit the economy of the village and the area. In terms of the social aspect of sustainability, the proposed development would make a contribution towards helping address the shortage of housing, including affordable housing, in the district.
“In contrast, in relation to the environment, development of the site would cause a moderate amount of harm to the character and appearance of the countryside and landscape by urbanising a small part of it.”
The development site refers to Ambrosden Court, which includes a large detached house and outbuildings, and a field to the east. In total, the site covers and an area of 1.63 hectares and is equivalent to approximately one-and-a-half football pitches.
As part of the conditions of approval the appellant will need to provide a local play area and make section 106 contributions towards expanding school provision and an additional bus service.
The site had previously received planning consent in 2010 for the demolition of existing outbuildings, alteration of existing access and construction of five new houses.
Cllr Michael Gibbard, lead member for planning, said: “As a council we were not opposed to the development of this site, as demonstrated by our decision four years ago to allow the construction of five new homes. However what we are against is the development of the site to such an extreme that the countryside and character of the village would suffer harm.
“We are disappointed that in considering Ambrosden to be a sustainable location for development, this has come at the expense of the countryside setting which makes the area so attractive to residents who already live there.”
Bicester Village gears up for car park extension
Visitors to Bicester Village will have further room to park after Cherwell district councillors approved plans to provide an additional decked car park.
Members of the council’s planning committee yesterday (Thursday, 3 April), approved plans to alter the existing Rail Land car park to the south of Station Approach and west of Bicester Village and increase the number of spaces from 379 to 593.
Currently the car park provides 379 ground level spaces but this would be reduced to 288 to allow a further 305 spaces to be built on the upper deck level.
Cllr Barry Wood, leader for Cherwell District Council, said: “While we continue to endorse and promote sustainable travel within Bicester, there is no escaping the fact that at peak times, the Bicester Village car park is oversubscribed and visitors do have to wait for a space.
“Bicester Village is a major tourist attraction and offers huge economic benefits to the town so we want to continue to ensure those who want to spend their money here in Bicester can continue to do so. Having reviewed the plans and followed guidelines as set out by the National Planning Policy Framework, we are satisfied this represents sustainable development which will not cause any visual or traffic impediment to the area.”
The application was submitted by Bicester Nominees Limited and Bicester II Nominees Limited with the intention of easing the congestion which often occurs during weekends and at peak times when the car park is over capacity.
Plans submitted for £6.6 million community building
Plans have been submitted to build a £6.6 million community building in
Bicester as part of the final phase of the town centre regeneration project.
Cherwell District Council has submitted plans for the erection of a five storey building comprising community and town centre uses together with servicing and alterations to the vehicle access.
The building is proposed to house a new library, hotel and retail space and will incorporate energy saving measures in keeping with the Bicester One Shared Vision initiative to promote a sustainable town.
Cllr Norman Bolster, lead member for estates and economy, said: "This application represents the final stage of the project to regenerate Bicester town centre and the building will both complete and complement the Pioneer Square development.
"We first showcased this proposal at an exhibition in January and invited feedback from the public. Based on the comments received at the time, we are satisfied this proposal has been finalised to a standard which will satisfy both the requirements of the building's future occupants and also the residents and customers who will utilise its facilities."
The five-storey building has been proposed to be built on the existing Franklins Yard car park and will front on to Bure Place and Wesley Square.
The internal space will total 4,643 square metres comprising a mixture of hotel, office and retail use.
On the ground floor, space has been allocated for a Cherwell District Council Link Point, restaurant and/or retail space.
On the first floor, Oxfordshire County Council will house its new library and incorporate the Bicester Local History Society, with the remaining space being set aside for office use.
There will be further office space on the second floor while the third and fourth floors will be occupied by a 53-bed Travelodge hotel.
In keeping with Bicester One Shared Vision, the building will showcase environmentally sustainable developments including photovoltaic panels, use of combined heat and power and provision for cycle parking.
The building is working towards a BREEAM environmental assessment rating of very good.
The provision of the community building is a fundamental part of the Eco
Bicester programme and will meet the need for high quality cultural facilities
in the town centre to serve the existing residents and expected increased
The application is due to be discussed by councillors in May. If approved, work is due to commence in July and be completed by summer 2015.
A fine punishment for littering
smoker who threw litter onto the pavement despite being less than seven
metres from a rubbish bin has been found guilty of committing a criminal
At Banbury Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, 25 February, Michael Mayhew, 36, of Woodgreen Avenue in Banbury, was found guilty in his absence of one charge of depositing litter.
The court heard on the afternoon of 6 November 2013, two Cherwell District Council employees saw Mayhew drop litter from a cigarette packet while stood in Banbury High Street.
Despite being less than seven metres from a rubbish bin, Mayhew failed to pick the rubbish up from the pavement and walked away, at which point he was confronted by the two council officers.
Mayhew admitted the offence to the officers and was given a fixed penalty notice of £75, which he failed to pay within the 14 day period. On 22 November, a final reminder was hand delivered to Mayhew's address and on 2 December a summons was issued as Mayhew had failed to make any attempt to pay the fine.
In his absence on Tuesday, Mayhew was fined £200, ordered to pay £100 court costs and £20 victim surcharge.
Cllr Nigel Morris, lead member for clean and green, said: "There is never any excuse for littering but in this case what is even more aggravating is the fact Mr Mayhew was stood just a few steps away from the nearest bin. By choosing to ignore it and simply throw rubbish on the floor shows a blatant disregard for the environment and the law.
"Mr Mayhew's actions have proved to be a costly mistake and as well as the £320 he must pay, he will also have a criminal record. This goes to show our officers can be anywhere at any time and they will enforce the law as and when is necessary."
Dr John Howell OBE MP http://www.johnhowellmp.com visits Otmoor
John Howell MP visiting Otmoor RSPB reserve, Tim Hallchurch explaining flood problems, outside the Swan Inn, at the William Buckland Blue Plaque and talking to children at Dr South's School.
THE SPENDING REVIEW letters from ministers to leaders of councils:
I have been elected as Chairman from 18th May 2011.
With the outgoing Chairman Cllr George Parish My Consort for the year Dr Jan Stokes Carter Members of Cherwell DC 18th May 2011
After her initial hopes of being the first British astronaut were dashed, Sue studied Physical Education in Liverpool. Then three years living in West Berlin, employed as a civilian instructor for the U.S. Army.
Sue’s then joined Anglesey Borough Council teaching sport in a non-school environment. She studied for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and also for sporting and leisure qualifications, ending up with a Diploma from the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management and sports coaching qualifications.
Then to Aylesbury Vale Borough Council followed by Wealden District Council as Deputy Manager of a leisure centre. Sue then completed an M.A. in Leisure and Recreation. The next move was to Lichfield as Chief Leisure Officer where she her roles included Head of Leisure Services, Corporate Director for Communications, Culture, Community Regeneration and Partnerships and ultimately Deputy Chief Executive. During her time with Lichfield she obtained a Diploma in Business Excellence and attended a number of development programmes, including the Public Services Leaders Scheme. In 2004 she led a Cabinet Office Review Team in Doncaster.
She was appointed as Chief Executive at Harborough District Council in July 2005.
She has also been a college Governor and a Board member for Constructing Excellence. She continues to be a Director of the Royal Institute of British Architects and is also Chair of the Client Services Panel for RIBA. She is a mentor for the National Graduate Development Programme and a judge for the Local Government Chronicle Awards. She is also a Governor of a local school.
Sue’s hobbies include windsurfing and snowblading, photography and exotic holidays
Cherwell Meetings Web Casting
Full Council, Planning and Executive meetings are web cast. That means that you can watch the meeting live or a recorded version for up to six months after the event. Go to http://www.cherwell.ukcouncil.net/site/.
The collection of waste is the task of the District Council while the disposal of that waste is the responsibility of the County Council. The EU will be imposing large fines on councils of £140 per tonne, who exceed their quota of waste that goes to land fill but has not given councils time or the money to build recycling plants hence the need for industry to pay to provide the service and the councils pay for this service.
The County Council on behalf of the Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (all Oxfordshire councils) has gone out to tender to industry to provide recycling facilities. These services include two In Vessel Composting sites that have been approved at Ardley and Cassington and are in operation. An Energy from Waste site has been approved for Ardley and this will go ahead if the government enquiry gives the go ahead (to be announced in January 2011).
What happens to your food and garden waste?
Your food and garden waste will be taken to a composting facility. It will be shredded and put into special tunnels where air circulation, temperature and moisture can be controlled to break down the food and garden waste into high-quality compost. The process is called in-vessel composting’. The compost produced will be used as a fertiliser on farmers’ fields.
What will are now be able to put in the brown bin:?
Butter, Cheese, Eggs, Egg shells, Meat, Fish, Burgers, Hot dogs, Bones, Shellfish, Peelings, Beans, Chips, Nuts,
Biscuits, Flour, Pasta, Pizza, Puddings, Tea bags, Coffee
Grass cuttings Plants and leaves, Prunings, Cut flowers, Pet straw & sawdust.
No thank you
Glass, Food packaging, Plastic carrier bags or bin liners, Elastic bands, Cling film, Foil, metal or cutlery, China or plates, Cardboard, Cat litter and dog mess.
It is hoped that most households will keep their food waste for the fortnightly brown bin collection. However, in the interests of hygiene it will still be possible to put food waste into the green bin in the alternate week. However by using compostable sealed bags and a supplied caddy, it should be possible to eliminate smells and flies.
What’s the alternative?
If we carry on dumping the same amount of waste as we do now we needlessly damage our environment and council tax payers will have to pay a share of landfill fines.
Cherwell DC continues to be the lead council in SE England with 45% of waste recycled by adding food waste re-cycling, this will take the amount of waster recycled towards 60%.
Ordering additional bins
CDC provide two blue recycling boxes and one brown garden waste bin free of charge.
Blue wheeled bins for your recycling can also be purchased. These cost £20 including delivery, or £15 if picked up from the Thorpe Lane Depot, Thorpe Lane, Banbury, OX16 4UT.
Additional garden waste bins are also available. These cost £20 including delivery, or £15 if picked up from the Thorpe Lane Depot.
Please contact customer service or complete and return the form which you can download from the CDC web site
· cheque (or postal order) can be sent with the order form - no cash accepted
· you can pay by cheque or by debit/credit card at the Thorpe Lane Depot - no cash accepted
· you can pay by cheque, debit/credit card or by cash at one of the One Stop Shops (listed under contacts to the right)
Cherwell was top of the league when it came to the percentage of waste recycled but has been overtaken by other councils following Cherwell's lead. This is due to households no longer caring which bin they put their waste and this has resulted in a rise of waste for landfill. Please ensure that you recycle all waste that can be recycled - it will costs us all less on our Council Tax in the future.
I can be contacted by email email@example.com or call 01865 377099. I try and get to all parish council meetings but with 12 parish councils, I find this impossible, especially when there are four meetings on the second Tuesday of the month (Merton, Islip, Kirtlington and Shipton & Thrupp) and by the time I reach the fourth I am too late. I also have Horton cum Studley, Bletchington, Charlton on Otmoor, Oddington, Fencott & Murcott, Hampton Poyle & Gay, Upper and Lower Heyford and Noke.
You may be interested in the committees that I now attend. Oxfordshire County Council: Full Council (chairman), Group Meeting (2 a month); South East Employers (London), Reserve Forces and Cadets Association;. As Chairman I have to attend meetings and events almost every day hence not being on committees for this year also to avoid compromise with the position of the Chairman being non-political.
Cherwell DC: Standards, Group, Planning (alternate member), Partnership & Scrutiny, Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils; Parish Councils; Piddington, Arncott, Ambrosden, Horton cum Studley, Weston on the Green, Upper Heyford, Lower Heyford, Merton, Islip, Noke, Oddington (last two only once a year) and as the Councillor that includes Bicester South Bicester Town Council.
Others; English Speaking Union for Oxfordshire and Berkshire - Chairman, Victoria County History Trustee, Otmoor Archaeological and Historical Society committee and meetings; Otmoor Group;, Army Ornithological Society, 6 Lodges, Oxfordshire Yeomanry, South Oxfordshire Conservative Association Executive; North Oxfordshire Conservative Association Executive Over 40 meetings so please bear with me if I cannot always attend all your events or meetings.