Action on Language schools

At our Ward Focus meeting, you raised concerns about language school students in terms of overcrowding at bus stops and slowness of boarding buses. People had also raised related issues about underage drinking and littering in the parks at our Neighbourhood Action Group meeting

Ruth attended a multi-agency meeting at the Town Hall on Monday which discussed these and other related issues. There were representatives from the City Council (Safer Communities team) including a member of the Senior Management Team, the bus companies, Thames Valley Police, the language schools and ward councillors.

We agreed that language schools made a significant contribution to Oxford in terms of its economy, its cultural diversity, and its international reputation.

Four major themes were discussed: crowding, alcohol and litter in parks, noise and low level ASB, and the vulnerability of the students themselves. A press release will follow.

Ruth will update residents at our next Ward Focus meeting .


These regular meetings are proving popular, with what one resident has called their ‘lively and neighbourly atmosphere’. So come along!

6pm, 18th October  JR Hospital, Lecture Room 1

Notes/Action Points from Ward Focus Meeting

64 residents attended as well as City Cllrs Ruth Wilkinson and David Rundle, and County Councillor Altaf Khan and (from 7:15pm) Roy Darke.

The Bursar from Headington School gave a short welcome and presentation on the School’s plans

Reports back from our last meeting:

  • David‘s meeting with the Director of Estates at the JR will be scheduled on the latter’s return  from holiday
  • The permission for the Manor Ground development is nearing completion
  • Altaf has ensured that a county officer makes a site visit to the bus gate on 17 August  to make safety recommendations
  • Ruth has investigated issues relating to bus passes and language school students; she has contacted bus companies, language schools and the City officers and is pooling her list of language school contacts with other agencies. Several residents made informed contributions re the lapsed Language Schools Forum

The new system of Ward Member Budgets was introduced. It was explained that David and Ruth would be pooling their budgets (ie £3,000 in total) to use on improvements in Headington. Residents suggested small projects on which David and Ruth’s ward budget could be spent:

  • Ramp access to All Saints Church Hall
  • DIY traffic calming and speed indication devices
  • Painting of lamp posts in Old Headington (NB this is in hand)
  • More 20 MPH roundels painted on roads
  • Grant towards heating system in All Saints Church
  • Education for cyclists
  • Watering of small trees in London Road
  • Equipment for youth and community groups
  • Grit bin for St Andrew’s Lane in conservation area-friendly colour
  • More bins
  • Road sign for approach road to JR (NB this may be funded from alternative sources)
  • Christmas lights (NB this will be funded by Headington Business Association this year)

David and Ruth invite more suggestions and ideas – it was explained that decisions on what will be proposed will be made at the next Ward Focus meeting on 18 October

Rob Lloyd-Sweet clarified the status of the Old Headington Conservation Area appraisal. Decisions on whether to permit planning applications in the conservation area will be made with reference to this document. It was made clear that any Action Plan developing from the Conservation Area Appraisal could be led by the community but would be best done through partnership working. Continuing concern over Ruskin’s proposals for the Fields was expressed.


  • David: to discuss with Headington School traffic issues including parking on Latimer Rd, the development of buses from Thornhill and the lack of buses on Headley Way
  • Roy: next area forum on public transport should include issues related to cycling
  • Ruth: to check which emergency and non-emergency vehicles are allowed to access the JR via the Osler Road gate with the Transport Manager
  • Ruth, David and Altaf: committed to continue to campaign against the development of Headington Car Park
  • David: to investigate with Building Control the issue of utilities failing to tidy up properly after their works
  • Ruth: to attend a multi-agency meeting between city officers, TV Police, bus companies and language schools in September on behalf of Headington Neighbourhood Action Group
  • Altaf: to continue to pursue the issue of the bus gate at Osler Rd / London Rd
  • Ruth: to clarify at the next Neighbourhood Action Group why PCSOs patrol in pairs

Future Issues: community-led planning ; Old Road Campus (including Park Hospital development)

Date of next Ward Focus meeting: Tuesday 18 October 6.00-8.00 pm (venue to be arranged, discussions on-going with the NOC)

Second Headington Ward Focus Meeting

A big thank you to all who came along to the second Ward Focus Meeting on Tuesday. Despite it being the middle of the summer break and there were several people who we knew could not attend, it was good to see nearly seventy residents present. We were kindly hosted by Headington School, whose bursar briefly described the school’s plans for improving its facilities (without, he emphasised, any plans to increase numbers). We were also pleased to have Rob Lloyd-Sweet, Conservation Officer at Oxford City Council, who talked about the next steps for the now-adopted Old Headington Conservation Appraisal. Plus we reported back on actions Ruth, Altaf and myself have taken on your behalf since the last meeting, as well as having a wide-ranging discussion on new issues that local residents want raised.

One of the key issues discussed was how to use the new ‘Ward Member Budgets’ that are now available — £1.5k per City Councillor, so with Ruth and I pooling together, £3k for Headington Ward. This was a start of a dialogue and we will post shortly more information.

We will also post later this week the action points from the meeting.

The next meeting will be on 18th October. As you know, the plan is to hold these meetings in the months when there is not a North East Area Forum. Those Forums — the informal and infrequent replacement for Area Committees — are supposed to be every three months but the second one has slipped back from September to October. So, if you are wondering why there’s no meeting in September, that’s why! The Area Forum is presently planned for 12th October.

We hope to see you on 18th October but, in the meantime, if you have any issues, please drop us a line!