Last year, the City Council received just under a thousand complaints through its out of hours service or online. Add to this several hundred enquiries made by telephone, face to face or as part of general nuisance or anti-social behaviour complaints, and it’s not surprising that noise is the number one cause of complaint.
It has several teams who act on noise complaints:
- the Business Regulation and Miscellaneous Licensing team deals with commercial pollution, including noise
- the Private Sector Safety and HMO Enforcement teams deal with serious housing-related nuisance
- the Community Response Team deals with domestic noise and low level anti-social behaviour
- the Anti-Social Behaviour Investigation Team deals with more serious levels of anti-social behaviour.
Outside normal working hours a rota of officers from these teams provides the out of hours noise service.
There are no fixed limits for what noise levels are considered acceptable, meaning the teams need a good understanding of the legal framework around noise nuisance and the ability to make accurate sound measurements.
The County Council tells us that…
We are very proactive in our enforcement of disabled parking bays in Oxford. In 2017 we issued 2,267 Penalty Charge notices for drivers misusing these bays.
Roz was so impressed, she queried the figures to see if this was for the whole county or just Oxford City. It was for Oxford City only.
We have just been advised by County that..
For awareness, the forecast has been updated this morning for heavy rain overnight so tonight’s closure/works is being cancelled.
Following noise complaints last year, one resident has been informed by the City Council:
With regards to monitoring points, we aim to take more measurementsfrom locations that appeared to be particularly affected by low frequency noise from the festival last year which included the Headington area. In terms of the equipment, if I or one of my colleagues could visit you on the Friday evening prior to the start of the festival to install the equipment that would be much appreciated. It will take no more than 15mins or so at the most to set it up and it does not require any interaction at all during the festival as it will be pre-set to log the data we require. We would aim to pick the equipment up on Sunday evening if that is convenient?
Please let us know if you experienced a volume of noise you considered unacceptably high last year and would like monitoring equipment too, and we shall contact the appropriate officer.
Signs have gone up to say that London Road closed for 3 nights 20:00 – 05:00 starting 9/5/18 between Headington traffic lights and the petrol station. Here is our latest information from the County’s Access to Headington team.
Stephen Road access will be maintained but from the Windmill Road direction only.
Windmill Road/London Road will be gated and manned for local access.
Access to the petrol garage will be maintained until 11pm.
Blue lighters aware inc. SCAS and JR – signed via bypass
Eastbound London Road: Diverted via Headley Way
Westbound London Road: Diverted via bypass
Lime Walk: Access via Old Road (or other local road)
New High Street: We’ve cancelled the one way so will be accessed from Bateman Street
Osler Road: Access via St Andrew’s Road
Kennet Road: Access via London Road as normal (through gated closure)
Stephen Road: Access via London Road as normal (through gated closure)
Following up enquiries and complaints from residents, the Lib Dem opposition group asked the following questions in Full Council and we include the responses from the City Executive Board member responsible.
Can the Board Member advise how many dockless bikes are now standing on the streets of Oxford, and whether any more are to be licensed?
There is no upper limit in the Oxford Code of Conduct. Is one being introduced?
Local authorities have no powers to license schemes, or to set enforceable upper limitsthrough such schemes. However all the operators in Oxford have adhered to the voluntary Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is under constant review, including whether an upper limit should be introduced. As the schemes expand their geographic coverage, more bikes will be required, but will be spread over a much larger area. Each time one of the three firms currently operating in Oxford has wanted to increase the number of bikes in their scheme they have consulted with the City Council as part of the ongoing dialogue between the companies, the City Council and the County Council.
Brilliantly coloured dockless bikes are becoming an eyesore on the streets of Oxford. What progress is being made in finding cycling stations where they can be stored?
The point of dockless bikes is that that they do not have docking stations. The companies use incentives within their apps to encourage their customers to leave bikes parked appropriately. Several private landowners have agreements with the operators for bikes to be placed on their land.
Dockless bikes are accessed by an app which requires credit card details. They are equipped with satnavs which permanently record bike trips. How is this information used? How is it monetised? Are people aware of how their information can be used e.g. passed on to marketing companies?
Data collected by private companies is subject to appropriate laws. The City Council is not privy to the contractual relationship between the companies running these schemes and their customers, in the same way that it is not privy to the contractual relationship between Oxford’s bus operators and their customers.
Many residents are asking us questions about dockless bikes and objecting to seeing these ‘dumped’ in hedges, on open green space and in residential roads. Here is some information that may help.
Who has responsibility for removing them?
The bike companies – click on the code of conduct agreed by the bike companies and the Council to learn more.
Do companies patrol the area of Old Road?
I don’t believe any patrols take place outside of the city centre. Each bike has a GPS tracker and can be identified in that way, everyday each company go and collect the bikes picked up on their computer systems.
If so, how regularly and what is the time frame for collection?
The majority of bikes are moved within 24 hours, this can take longer if bikes are taken outside of the city boundary.
Should residents of Highfield be moving bikes to Old Road for collection, or leave them in our road?
Leave bikes anywhere (as long as not causing a nuisance) and the companies will find them via the GPS.
Do Direct Services have any other advice for residents?
There are contact details for each company on our website, I would encourage issues to be reported, either direct to the companies, or to City Highways at Highways@oxford.gov.uk.
Ruth, Altaf and Roz are pictured above after the votes were counted for Headington Ward last night, we’re not sure who was the most exhausted after Election Day!
Altaf was re-elected with a huge majority, and later in the evening Roz learned that she had won a seat from Labour in Quarry and Risinghurst. (photo below courtesy of the Oxford Mail). This means Roz is now both the County Councillor for Headington and Quarry, and the City Councillor for Quarry and Risinghurst.
There was another very encouraging result for the Lib Dems in Headington Hill and Northway where our new candidate Guy Garden beat off the Conservatives to gain a creditable second place.
Altaf says, “I am deeply grateful to the people of Headington for their support and I will do my best to represent them and take action on their concerns.”
Please click on the link to see the results of the local elections held yesterday. The Green Party retained only two seats of the four they had previously held so Labour’s majority has increased by one overall.