Overhanging trees and hedges – how to report them

At yesterday’s Ward Focus Meeting, you asked us who to contact about overhanging vegetation from private property onto footpaths. Here is the procedure, and please do copy us into emails as we want to track how big a problem this is!

The County Council are responsible for taking enforcement action associated with overgrown trees, bushes and general vegetation on the public highway in accordance with the following process:-

  • Contact the County Council via 0845 3101111 or highwayenquiries@oxfordshire.gov.uk to report the specific location
  • The Local Highway Representative (LHR) in the City, will visit and inspect the location and if he agrees that the overgrown vegetation is causing a problem he will make contact with the resident and deliver a copy of the leaflet Your hedge Your responsibility
  • The LHR will monitor the location to ensure that action has been taken in accordance with the advice issued on the first visit.
  • If action isn’t taken within the required timescale the County Council can undertake the work to rectify the situation and charge the resident/land owner for the costs incurred.
  • If the resident fails to comply the LHR will issue an enforcement notice detailing the specific timescale
  • Invest in a light timer switch this winter

    If no light is on in your home, curtains are not drawn, and no car is in the drive, it’s an obvious sign to an opportunist burglar that no-one is in. At this time of the year more than any other it pays to secure your home.
    There are a number of simple and free ways to do this, all of which will help reduce the chance of your home becoming the next target.

    • Visit a local retailer to pick up a 24 hour segment timer for under £5. The timer can be used with a lamp, radio or TV to give the impression that someone’s home. Remember to use an energy efficient light bulb 
    • Register your valuables on www.immobilise.com its free and takes just a few minutes and if your valuables are stolen, will allow you to tell the police, your insurer, and the second-hand trade to assist in recovering your property and catch the thief 
    • Keep valuables out of sight 
    • Lock your doors and windows, if you have a UPVC door make sure you have double locked it 

    Beware cold callers in Headington

    A company called Direct Response Home Security has been cold calling elderly
    residents in the London Road area and visiting them with a view to installing
    new alarm systems. This company has been featured on the BBC Watchdog programme
    in the past. They have no connection with Thames Valley Police. They appear to be 
    pressurising those they visit into making speedy decisions on purchasing their
    systems (by 6pm the same day). Ruth has contacted the police regarding one such
    visit to a lady who is very distressed. Please advise elderly friends and
    neighbours not to let strangers into their homes if it makes them feel
    uncomfortable. Please phone the 101 police non-emergency line if you or your
    neighbours have had such a visit. If this company is still in the Headington
    area, please let your councillors know.

    Thefts from cars on the increase

    The number of thefts of property from cars in Headington  is on the increase as you can see from the following list.

    1st July – Osler Road, Headington occurred between 12 and 4.40pm. Window smashed and an iPod was stolen.

    1stJuly – JR Hospital car park. Window smashed and a Sat Nav was stolen.

    3rdJuly – Burdell Avenue, Headington between 8pm and 6am. Vehicle left insecure, personal documents, work clothing/shoes, a Laptop and an iPod were stolen.

    6thJuly – Cheney Lane, Headington between 4 and 6.30pm. Window smashed and a Laptop, an iPod and clothing were stolen.

    6thJuly – Cheney Lane, Headington between 5.30 and 6.45pm forced with an instrument and a satchel was stolen.

    7thJuly – Sandfield Road, Headington between 11am and 3pm.Window smashed a Sat Nav and cash were stolen.

    7thJuly – Stapleton Road, Headington between 12pm and 8.30am. Window smashed and a Sat Nav was stolen.

    8thJuly – Osler Road,Headington between 6.45pm and 11am.Window smashed and a Sat  Nav was stolen.

    If you see or hear anything suspicious which could assist the Police with their investigation please contact the Non Emergency number 101 and leave a message for the Oxford Autocrime team.
    In an Emergency please call the Police on 999.

    How to report ASB (antisocial behaviour)

    There have been a number of posts on the Headington and Marston Forum about how to report concerns about anti-social behaviour, often referred to as ASB.

    There are a number of agencies dealing with ASB, and it is sometimes difficult to work out which agency to complain to.

    Anti-social behaviour is behaviour or behaviours likely to cause nuisance, annoyance, alarm, harassment or distress to one or more people not of the same household as the perpetrator.

    If you want to find out whether an incident would be classed as ASB, take a look at this City Council web page This page explains how quickly you can expect a City Council response to complaints about different types of ASB.

    The City Council’s Community Wardens can provide a same day response to incidents of anti-social behaviour reported by local residents. They have a CCTV-enabled vehicle which enables wardens to video ongoing incidents. You can report an incident online here or ring the Oxford City Council customer services number on 01865 249811.

    Noise nuisance

    If you have a noise complaint, report it to Oxford City Council using the form on the website or by telephoning Oxford City Council on 01865 249811

    Thames Valley Police

    TVP has a web page that gives the answers to frequently asked questions about ASB, you can find it here.

    They hold Have Your Say and Coffee with Cops meetings, at which you can discuss any concerns you may have about ASB in the Headington area from the Green Road roundabout down to Gipsy Lane and Divinity Road. The details of the next meeting is as follows:

    Type: Have Your Say Meeting
    Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2012
    Time: 11:00 – 12:00
    Venue: Gipsy Lane Reception, Gipsy Lane, Oxford Brookes

    The Headington Neighbourhood Police website can be found here.  It shows photos and gives the names of our local neighbourhood team.

    The TVP site gives information on what you can do to stop anti-social behaviour here.

    In trying to collate all this information, it has become evident that there is some blurring of responsibilities over tackling ASB and also some confusion about how to report it. Ruth is contacting the Safer Communities Manager at the City Council for clarity on this. If you have reported ASB in the Headington Ward and have not received a response from the agency you contacted, please contact David or Ruth and we shall follow it up for you.

    Adult social care emergency service

    The Crisis Response Service aims to help people who are in urgent need of care and support in a crisis or when something has gone wrong.  If you think that a person you are dealing with is experiencing a crisis and needs immediate help from Adult Social Care, you can contact Oxfordshire County Council on:

    0845 050 7666 – daytime weekdays

    0800 833 408 – evenings, weekends and bank holidays

    The team that receives your call will ask for more information about the person’s situation, including what the problem is and how we can gain access to the home. The team will decide whether the person is eligible to receive the Crisis Response Service.  Subject to eligibility, the Service Provider will attend the person’s home within four hours of the referrer’s first contact with the Council.

    Keeping warm in winter

    The Home Heat Helpline has been around for about six years, but many people aren’t aware that it exists.  With current concern about energy bills now is a good time to contact the Home Heat Helpline.  It helps people save money whilst also being good for the wallet and the environment.

     The Home Heat Helpline is a free, not-for-profit phone line to help people who are struggling to pay their energy bills and keep warm.  It can be contacted on 0800 33 66 99 or via their website