Want advice on planning?

Planning Aid provides free, independent and professional town planning
advice and support to communities and individuals who cannot afford to
pay planning consultant fees. It complements the work of local
planning authorities, but is wholly independent of them. 

Planning Aid can help people to:

Understand and use the planning system
Participate in preparing plans
Prepare their own plans for the future of their community
Comment on planning applications
Apply for planning permission or appeal against refusal of permission
Represent themselves at public inquiries.
Planning Aid helps to meet one of the key aims of the government’s
planning reform agenda, which is to place community engagement at the
heart of the planning system.

The up and coming Planning Aid South information evening will offer an
opportunity for the public to come and meet staff and volunteers to
find out what planning help they can give members of the public and residents’ associations

It’s on Wed 11 February at 6 p.m.
Planning Aid South, 3 Woodins Way, Paradise Street, Oxford OX1 1HD

Click here to see their website

Headington Christmas Experience




Congratulations to Jill Cummings and all involved in organising the very successful Headington Christmas Experience over the last three days!

This is a picture of the Leiden brass band entertaining us in London Road this lunchtime. County Cllr Altaf Khan and I enjoyed meeting business owners and thanking them for their support for the community by providing promotions and contributing to the “Odd one out” competition. All the residents we spoke to said they had thoroughly enjoyed the events of the last week, and the children out and about today thought the balloon modeller was cool!

It was a really ‘feel good’ experience on a really ‘feel cold’ day! A big Thank You to all concerned!

Headington Farmers’ Market: Happy First Birthday!

Today is the first anniversary of the establishment of Headington’s Farmers’ Market. I visited it this morning and it was, once again, a bustling occasion, with a range of excellent stalls in the autumn sun, and many local residents enjoying the event. It’s having an excellent first birthday party.

I am delighted it’s working so well: it is some time ago now that I mooted the idea of a Farmers’ Market to the good people of Headington Action. There was real support for the idea but it would have remained a twinkling in our eyes if it hadn’t been for the dedication of one man: Charles Young. He’s liaised with the various farmers and other stall-holders and turned a thought into a reality. We owe all of Headington Action a debt of gratitude, but in particular to Charles.

Birthdays are also a time to look ahead so here are some wishes I have for the second successful year of this venture:

  1. That the stall-holders stop offering plastic bags to customers (it happened to me twice today).
  2. That we can add some community activities to the day — in particular, having a ‘bike doctor’ there, or a recycling point. These are ideas close to the hearts of those involved in Low-Carbon Headington.
  3. That the Market continues to get in profile and, with it, help convince investors that Headington is a district centre they need to be, so that we can have a range of shops of which we all can be proud.

I’ll be off later to gut the fish I bought, and to look forward to the succulent venison steaks that were on sale. What a great initiative: thank you, Headington Action, and thank you, Charles Young. And: happy birthday, Headington Farmers’ Market!

Street Surgery in Old Headington

Many thanks to all who came to our street surgery in Old High Street on Tuesday evening, we learned a great deal about the issues that concern the residents in that area, including cycle routes, concerns about poorly maintained properties, gardens, hedges and trees, interest in a new Friends of Bury Knowle Park group, the need for a noticeboard at the entrance to The Croft, speeding, the no. 10 bus route and traffic hold-ups in Osler Road, the need to re-design the entrance/exit at Somerfields, and the licencing conditions of local public houses.

The nights are beginning to draw in now, so an excellent suggestion has been made to hold a forthcoming street surgery in a local hostelry.  Watch this space for details!

Getting to grips with York Road issues


Pictured L – R: County Cllr Roz Smith with Ruth and David

As you can see from the state of our clothes in the photo, the weather was not very kind to us when we made a site visit to York Road but we received a warm welcome from residents. We are now taking action on a number of issues including assessment of pavement surfaces, rubbish collection, illegal parking, the cutting back of foliage and fly tipping. Other issues that we hope to to tackle but can’t be solved immediately are the use of the road by learner drivers and commercial vehicles, a review of resident parking zone timings and the possible introduction of a 20 mph speed limit. Interestingly, a number of residents were observed tidying up the areas in front of their houses and tidying away rubbish from off the street after we sent round a note saying that we would take photos of environmental problems in our impending visit. We’ll be back, and next time we won’t tell you when!