Oxford Mail exclusive on the London Road lights

Residents may like to see the Oxford Mail coverage of our endeavours to get the crossing lights repaired in London Road, which was featured in our earlier post.

David and I would like to thank the Oxford Mail for helping us resolve this long-running issue, and also say a big thank you to Len and Audrey and Mrs Cox for assisting with our photo-shoot.

How to report crime in South Headington

As those who attended the Area Committee last night will know, the email address for Headington South Neighbourhood Action Group has been withdrawn due to technical problems and David and I have been pressing for details of the new one.

There is now a new email address for this NAG and it is not yet on the NAG website.  The new address is


Don’t be put off by this address, this NAG covers a huge part of our ward too – all roads on the South side of the London Road including Brookside, Latimer Road, Lime Walk, New High Street, Kennett Road, Windmill Road, Stapleton Road, Bickerton Road, York Road, Rock Edge, St Anne’s Road, Old Road and all the interconnecting roads in between.

Do contact this NAG if you are aware of any antisocial behaviour in the area

Stephen Road — new planning application

Some of you will remember that there is a long history of planning applications for the area around and including 10 and 12 Stephen Road. It seems only a few weeks’ ago that a planning inspector dismissed appeals on two previous applications at this site. Now there is a new application for the same address. It is similar to the previous applications but the developers hope that they have found a way to overcome the concerns of the planning inspector. As there is history on this site, it is only right that this application is heard at a future Area Committee — if, that is, Labour have not abolished the right to have such cases heard locally by then — and I will be interested to hear both sides of the argument at that stage. That’s the point when I’ll make up my own mind. But if you want to form your own view now, do go to the Council’s planning portal and look under the reference number, which is:  08?01961/FUL.

London Road – crossing signal failure

That’s it. We’ve had enough. We are organising a press call and photo shoot with the Oxford Mail regarding the power failure of the crossing lights at the Latimer Rd/Windmill Rd junction

Ruth is calling the Oxford Mail Friday morning to arrange for a photographer to take photos of elderly folk from Latimer Grange who have had extreme difficulty in accessing the shops, church, and the doctor’s surgery, along with David as City Councillor. This is the last chance for the utility company and the County Council to address this issue before it goes to the press

Safety worries at the Windmill Rd/London Rd junction

Following our street surgery in St Anne’s Road, we have reported residents’ concerns about near misses due from the traffic light sequencing to the County’s Safety Officer. Here is his reply:

As you will be aware, the changes to the traffic light phasing here were introduced in late 2007 to help improve traffic flows. We have been monitoring safety here very closely, and although there have been two reported accidents (one resulting in serious injury to an elderly pedestrian, and one resulting in slight injury to a pedal cyclist) neither appear to have been in any way related to the changes. It is nevertheless worrying to hear about the recent incidents; we are now working on the next phase of the London Road project covering the length between Osler Road and Wharton Road, and one objective will be to make the shopping area as friendly a place as possible for pedestrians, and an important part of this will be trying to achieve consistently low speeds on the approach to , and through the junction. We hope to consult on the proposals in the spring 2009, which will be an opportunity for all users to express their views and help shape the scheme.

Tree planting in Headington


We have been in contact with the officer in charge of planting trees within the City, as a diseased tree was taken down in Latimer Road, and residents have asked if a new one could take its place.

We have had a promising response which I post below – maybe there are other locations in Headington suitable for tree planting requests? Please hit the comment button or use the Contact us button on the left hand tool bar if you have any ideas.

I have a number of trees available for planting this winter. I will
ensure an appropriate replacement is reserved for this location. 

London Road power loss – the saga continues…

Right. Where to start?

My latest information is that the controller that makes the crossing lights work was replaced last week and a call was put through to the utilities company to come and turn the power back on.

Unfortunately the utilities company now says it has no record of the call being made. A subsequent call has definitely been logged and the electricity company has indicated that employees will be on site today (or Wednesday at the latest) to sort this out.

Mike Collins, the Project Manager at the County end, is going to make a site visit this afternoon to ensure that work is progressing and to monitor what is going on.

We know that this is causing great inconvenience for everyone, particularly the elderly people living in Latimer Road who are unable to cross the road and get the bus to the doctor’s, the shops and church, and I assure you that David, Gail, Altaf and I are doing all we can to get this resolved as quickly as possible

I’m considering chaining myself to the crossing signal post tomorrow and dragging in the Oxford Mail photographer for a photo shoot if these signals aren’t up and running by the time I finish work, I may call on elderly residents to join me. Watch this space.

More delays – London Road crossing lights

Bad news everyone, this is the latest news relayed to me by the County re crossing signals at London Road/Latimer Road junction

The signal equipment has been repaired but to carry out the repair the
electrical supply had to be isolated (cut off). It is my understanding
that we are awaiting the electrical company to come out and reconnect
the supply. They had indicated that they would be out on Wednesday but
failed to show up.

Your City Councillors and County Councillors are pressing for urgent action to ensure the crossing lights are up and running without further delay

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!

More on the Black Boy

Last month, I wrote about an exciting possibility for one of Old Headington’s pubs. I didn’t mention the names of the potential landlords but I did meet with them to hear their plans and they are now happy to announce that they are hoping to take over the Black Boy at the end of this month. They are Headington residents and are called Abi Rose and Chris Bentham. I’ll let Abi introduce herself in her own words:

We have recently set up a brasserie and bar in Oxford called The High Table but have been looking for our own business for a while now, and this is perfect! We managed to earn our first AA Rosette in the first six months of opening. We are both long term residents of Headington and are aware of a little gap that needs filling. Our plan is to offer the entire Al a Carte under £10.00 whilst supplying freshly made bread, pasties and pork pies (all home-made) to be sold on and off the premises as well. We will also be offering daily specials and a weekly Sunday roast. We also plan to offer Sunday morning cookery classes for children and jazz once a week for the older ones, with a quiz night too.  Aunt Sally will be returning, although I confess my finesse at the game is severely lacking.
For  a brief run down of our history, we are both Raymond Blanc trained but I personally have some public house experience. We have been in catering for over 36 years between us (18 each) which hopefully explains why we are wise enough to not presume we know what our community needs, and the need to ask for advice.
The food range will be centred around modern english food yet incorporating home-made pizza boards as well. A children’s menu will always be running as an ancillary. All our products will be home-made. We will be increasing the bitter offering by two more and very slightly changing the decor until we have the full re-wiring done (at the moment it is running on an incorrect phase for the kichen equipment required.)
What we would love to know and hear, is what advice you could have to offer us to ensure we provide you with a place that is needed rather that one that is decided that you require.We would like you to be proud of your pub.

I know they are keen to hear from local residents — you can leave a comment here and I’ll forward it — and want to add to the local community. I will be liaising with them to help make them feel welcome in their new venture. I hope you join me in wishing them the best of luck!