Blog & Diary 2015-16


Blog and Diary 2014-15

Blog 2013-14

Blog 2012-13

Blog 2011-12

A new council year stated with Oxfordshire County Council Annual Meeting and Cherwell District Council Meeting on 19th May 2015

I am now represent both Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Councils as councillor for Otmoor Division and Ward.

My other commitments include:

-          Chairman of Oxfordshire & Berkshire branch of the English Speaking Union

-          Director of Graven Hill Village Holdings plc

-          Immediate Past Master of Churchill Lodge No 478

-          Committee of Otmoor Archaeological and Historical Society

-          Member of the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board

-          Trustee of Victoria County History for Oxfordshire

-          Member of South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association representing Oxfordshire

-          Trustee of the Oxfordshire Buildings Trust.

19th May – Oxfordshire County Council


John Sanders becomes Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council

21st May – Charlton PC

24th May – Rifles parade Oxford

26th May – CDC Budget Planning Committee

27th May – Appeals Panel

-          SERFCA meeting RAF Brize Norton


-          Flying in the C130 simulator over Landon

1st June – Churchill Lodge

2nd June – CDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee

                Arncott Parish Council

4th June – Jan’s Birthday

-          OCC Group Meeting

5th June – to London Theatre

9th June – Islip PC

10th June – Oxford Civic Society President’s Reception

St Giles House, St Giles Oxford

11th June – Graven Hill Village Directors meeting

-          Horton cu Studley Parish Council

12th June – Blue Plaque Arthur Preston unveiling

13th June – Visitors staying

15th June – High Sheriff’s Lecture Oxford Brookes

16th June – CDC Group Meeting

17th June – CDC Personnel Committee

18th June – Patrons Club Reception at Little Haseley.

Lord Young explains the life in the House of Lords.

-          Charlton Parish Council

19th June – ESU visit to Rousham Park

ESU members enjoying the 17th Century Rousham House

20th June – Private Party on Thames Boat

Back at The Head Of The River pub after the trip in Salter’s boat.

22 June – Armed Forces Day County Hall/Castle


County Music Service Concert to mark the end of a year’s singing project – Christ Church.


24th June Accounts Audit & Risk Committee Bodicote House

27th June – QOOH Freedom of Banbury parade


29th June – Bicester Members meeting Bicester.

1st July – Cherwell DC Group meeting

                Oxford Preservation Trust AGM – Maison  Francaise

2nd July – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

                Family arrive from Seattle USA

3rd July Henley Regatta

5th July Charlotte Baptism Rousham Church





6th July – Oxford Buildings Trust – Trustees Cogges Farm

                Victoria County History Trustees – Kellogg College

7th July Arncott PC

8th July – Audit & Governance Committee County Hall

                Bicester Locality Meeting

                High Sheriff’s Garden Party

9th July – Education Committee

                Pensions Sub-committee

                OCC Group Meeting

                Horton cum Studley PC

10th July – Veteran’s Forum

                Graven Hill Village – public launch Tally Ho

11th July – Blenheim Proms


14th July – Islip PC

-          CDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee

16th July – Charlton on Otmoor APM

21st July – Piddington PC

23rd July – Islip Traffic Plan meeting

25th July – Supper at Swan at Swinbrook


26th July Family depart for Seattle

28th July – County Youth Orchestra Concert Sheldonian Theatre.



2 August – North Oxfordshire Conservative Association

4th August – Piddington PC

5th August fly to Helsinki on a 10 day holiday with two nights in the city and a week at the Haikki Manor Hotel, Porvoo. Finland


Helsinki Harbour


From our hotel room balcony overlooking the Baltic. A week of glorious weather

14th August back at home

15th August – Weston on the Green airfield to see friends gliding

19th August – Horton cum Studley Parish Council

20th August – Ambrosden PC

22nd August – Visitors for weekend

24th August – Graven Hill Village Board Meeting

26th August – Visit new village hall and school at Bletchington

28th August – Seven Wives for Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park open air theatre


29 – 30th – staying with friends in London

1st September – visit South Central Ambulance Service Bicester with Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC)

                CDC Overview and Scrutiny Committee

2nd September CDC Conservative Group meeting

                Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society Islip

3rd September – OCC Conservative Group meeting

                Charlton on Otmoor PC

4th September – Appeals Panel County Hall

                Oxford Silver Dinner St John’s College

17th Century silver gilt from St John’s College, Oxford

5th September – private dinner party

7th September ISIS Care Home visit with HOSC members

8th September OCC Full Council

9th September – Oxfordshire English Speaking Union AGM & Committee

10th September – RSPB talk

                Re-election of Police Commissioner

11th September – ESU School Leavers Awards


12th September – Open Doors in Oxford organised by Oxford Preservation Trust


Excavating Greyfriars that was under the Westgate car park

County Hall with army, police and Fire Service exhibits

13th September – Soldiers of Oxfordshire reception Woodstock


                OSJ Purcell concert Dorchester Abbey

15th September – OCC CEO  leaving party

The Lord Lieutenant says farewell to Joanna Simons CEO of OCC

16th September – Overview & Scrutiny Committee, OCC County Hall

                Langford Village AGM


Langford Council


17th September – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

18th September – Dr Colin Blogg Memorial Service

20th September Cadet Challenge Bicester Garrison

21st September – Safeguarding Children Board briefing

22nd September DFAS reception

23rd September Appeals Panel

30th September CDC Group Meeting

                Graven Hill Board

                VCH Trustees

                CDC Re-structuring briefing

1st October – Education Committee County Hall

-          Meeting at HQ Bicester Garrison with Chief of Staff

3rd October – guests for weekend

7 October – Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society

-          Blue Plaques Board

-          Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust Dinner Blenheim Palace


8th October  - OCC Group Meeting

                                Horton cum Studley Parish Council

9 – 11th October – Ramsgate staying with friends

`2th October – Oxford Buildings Trust

                Build Programme CDC

13th October – CDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee

14th October – DFAS Magdalen College

Sparrowhawk in our garden trying to catch birds on the feeders


15th October Earth Trust dinner


17th October – National Theatre London “Three Days in the Country”

19th October CDC Full Council

20th October – English Speaking Union Rhodes Scholars reception Oriel College

21st October – Bicester Locality Meeting

22nd October – North Oxfordshire Conservative Association

23rd October – Visit to Exeter College, Ashmolean and Centre for Classics, Oxford University

Centre for Classics


Radcliffe Square from Exeter College Walls and peaceful gardens

Exeter College Chapel ready for Harvest Festival

Private Dinner party

24th October – English Speaking Union Annual Dinner Pembroke College. Speaker Lord Ian Blair


26th October – Fitzroy Lodge Honourable Artillery Company London


First day of trains from Oxford Parkway (Water Eaton Kidlington) to London Marylebone

28th October Graven Hill Directors

29th October – OCC Pensions sub-committee

                OCC Group Meeting

30th October – London Theatre. The Moderate Soprano Hampstead

2nd November – Churchill Lodge

3rd November South East Reserve Forces & Cadets Association awards, Pembroke College



4th November – Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society giving talk on antique furniture

5th November – Graven Hill MD selection committee

                ESU Committee Meeting

7th November – Dinner on Queen Elizabeth at Southampton


8th November – Remembrance Sunday attending Banbury parade AM & Arncott wreath laying PM


10th November - Graven Hill Partnering Board

                Islip Parish Council

11th November – DFAS Magdalen College

                Parish Liaison Meeting Bodicote house

                Graven Hill MD Selection Board

12th November – Oxfordshire CC Chairman’s Reception

13th November – Overview & Scrutiny Committee CDC

14th November – DFAS Magdalen College

13th November – Bicester SE Ring Road consultation

                                Ambrosden PC

15th November – Islip Parish Council

16th November – Meeting at Cherwell DC – Building Listing in Charlton

17th November – Budget Planning Meeting CDC

-          Graven Hill Village – web site review

19th November – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

                Army Benevolent Fund curry lunch

                Ambrosden PC

21st November – private dinner party

22nd November – ESU Thanksgiving lunch Studley Wood Golf Club


20151122_140808 (002)

ESU Member Ann Spokes Symonds (Centre) at the lunch celebrating her 90th Birthday.  Ann is a former Lord Mayor of Oxford and Chairman of Oxfordshire CC. She still plays tennis and golf. Here with Jo Hunt and Oxfordshire ESU Vice Chairman Roger Trafford.

23rd November – Cardiologist for annual check up

-          Graven Hill Village directors

24th November – CDC Overview & Scrutiny committee

25th November ESU Public Speaking Oxfordshire heat – Oxford Spires Academy

                CDC Group meeting

26th November – South Oxfordshire Conservatives Patrons Dinner Henley

28th November – Cherwell DC Chairman’s Dinner Whatley Hall Banbury

29th November – New College Advent Carol Service

1st December CDC Budget Planning

-          Victoria County History committee and Christmas reception

2nd December - Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society Islip

3rd December – ESU Public Speaking Branch Final Oxford Spires Academy

5th December – Christmas party at home with invited friends staying

7th December – Churchill Lodge

                                SERFCA meeting Banbury Army Reserve centre

8th December – Oxfordshire CC Full Council

9th December – DFAS

                                Service and resource Planning briefing County Hall

                                Cherwell DC meeting about devolution

10th December – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

10th December Charlton on Otmoor PC

12Th December – Institute of Directors Dinner Balliol College

13th December – OSJ Concert Ashmolean Museum


18th December – Leader of Oxfordshire CC Christmas drinks

19th – 20th December family visitors for weekend.

21st December fly to Seattle to spend Christmas with Jan’s son Nicholas and family

Nick and Sara’s house in Seattle 2300 lights

Christmas Dinner with Annabelle from Canada, Abigail, Sara and Nick


3rd January return to Oxford flying direct back to LHR with BA.

5th January – fly to Dubai

6th January – fly to Dar es Salam

Stay at Hotel Meditteraneo Dar

8th January fly to Salous. This is our home for five days:


13th January fly to Ruaha reserve

Crested Eagle


17th January – fly to Mafia Island (90 miles south of Zanzibar)


All our flights were in 14 seater Cessna 208 flying mostly into dirt airstrips


Mafia Island snorkelling

27th January – Zanzibar

Visit to the spice farm growing cloves….

……and pepper – red, white and black peppers are all on the same branch.

Stone Town where slaves were once kept

31st January fly home via Dubai

1st February – Churchill Lodge

2ndFebruary – trade in car for newer model

4th February Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

10th February DFAS Magdalen College

11th February – Education Committee County Hall

                                OBT Visit

                                ESU Committee

                                OCC Group Meeting

                                Graven Hill Village reception

12th February – Directors meeting Bodicote House


16th February – OCC Full Council budget setting

18th February – Planning Meeting Bodicote House

-          Ambrosden PC

22 February – Cherwell DCD Full Council

23rd February – visit Ambrosden Children’s Centre

                CDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee

24th February – OCC Audit & Governance Committee

26th February – Home to School Transport appeal panel

1st March – Arncott PC

2nd March – CDC Group Meeting

-          Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society

3rd March - OCC Group Meeting

6th March – Army Benevolent Fund charity lunch Leander Club, Henley

Speaker  Major Heather Stanning MBE – rowing Olympic gold medallist




Heather’s Gold Medal London 2012.

7th March – Churchill Lodge

9th March – DFAS

                Bicester Review, Bicester

10th March – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

11th March – dine with friends at SoJo Oxford

14th March – Visit Endeavour Academy with Education Committee

                Unitary Council Briefing and Discussions County Hall

15th March – Piddington PC

16th March – SERFCA Dinner London

17th March – Ambrosden PC

19th March –ESU Schools Public Speaking competition County Hall

20th March – lunch at friends

21st March – Bicester Town Council

24th – 29th March staying with friends at Winchelsea

30th March – Cherwell DC Group Meting

31st March – OCC Group Meeting

2nd April – Dinner Party at Paddock Cottage

5th April – County Council full council

                NHS Briefing

                CDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee

                Arncott PC

6th April – Locality Steering Group

                Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society

7th April – High Sheriffs Lecture

9th April – Churchill Lodge ladies dinner Oxford Union

10th April take friends to Widdison Manor

12th April Visit UTC Academy Didcot – Education Committee

13th April Blue Plaques Board

14th April

                Charlton on Otmoor PC

                Horton cum Studley PC

15th April – Wheatley Conservative Association Wine Tasting

17th April – Son Philip and family visit

19th April – ESU Lunch at Oxford Union


20th April – Audit & Governance Committee

21st April - Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

22nd April – London to see Funny Girl – fantastic!

23rd April – to East Sussex for dinner party

25th April – Education Committee

26th April – Escort Rhodes Scholars to Houses of Parliament

                Receive Labour election leaflet: -

What rubbish – showing total ignorance of how local government works. Most of their “pledges” are County Council matters and have nothing to do with Cherwell District Council. Cherwell has not increased council tax for seven years while not cutting services but by better administration. Don’t trust ignorant Labour ruin it. The person who wrote this leaflet obviously knows nothing about local government.

Catherine Chester – it was the conservatives that fought against the M40 going over Otmoor especially Douglas Hurd. I fought against the “Eco Town” at Weston – it was my motion in Oxfordshire CC. I never saw you involved anywhere. If she has lived on Otmoor for ten years and the M40 was constructed in more than 20 years ago how can she have “participated” in the campaign.

Read my leaflet and get back to reality –

27th  28th April more leafletting for the local elections on 5th May. I have already walked at least 15 miles putting leaflets though doors.

29th April to London for daughter’s birthday on 30th April

30th April – birthday celebrations in London

30th – 3rd May – Ramsgate seeing friends before the emigrate to NZ

3rd May ESU Committee meting

4th May – Jan and my 10th Anniversary

5th May – Cherwell DC elections – re-elected to Cherwell District Council

5th – 10th May – break in Bavaria Germany with visits to Lichtenstein, Austria and Switzerland.


Villino Hotel Landau, Bavaria

12th May ESU visit to Chalgrove manor

                OCC Group AGM

14th May Arncott – Beating the Retreat at Bicester Garrison


17th May 2016 – end of Council Year


Blog 2016-17