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Cuckoo Lane/Headington Hill Park spring

A resident reported that there is a small spring which flows over the path opposite the Morrell Halls near a padlocked gate on one side and a recently created tree stump on the other. He suggested that this could be remedied by opening up the ditch so that the water flows down hill into it.

I asked council officers to investigate this and they confirmed that water is running off Headington Hill Park over the path and into Brookes’ site. He agreed with our resident that the simplest way would be to reopen the ditch along the park boundary. He commented:

The upper section seems to have been lost to this point.  It would required the removal of some of the shrubbery behind the iron railings that has grown.

I’ve just had some good news from Parks to let us know that they have been instructed to undertake the ditch extension in Headington Hill Park and hope to be starting in the next couple of weeks.

Result!  Do please keep sending in your ideas for improving  our environment!

Water Watch latest

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David met representatives from Thames Water on Friday to discuss a number of unresolved issues and he has found out more about the source of the clean water discharge down Boundary Brook and where further misconnections may be found

Thames Water representative Huw Thomas will visit one resident to apologise in person, and will look into compensation and get back to us about their policies. He will also investigate how Thames Water has dealt with one particular compensation claim.  He has ensured that incorrect instructions given on the Thames Water website have been corrected.

Help us keep our individual freedoms!

The Liberal Democrats are proposing the Freedom Bill – http://freedom.libdems.org.uk – and here’s a selection of the measures it incorporates:

• Scrap ID cards for everyone.
• Restore the right to protest in Parliament Square.
• Scrap the ContactPoint database of all children in Britain.
• Remove innocent people from the DNA database.
• Reduce the maximum period of pre-charge detention to 14 days.

You can read the full set here

Cuckoo Lane

David has received the following email from the Senior Technician at Oxfordshire County Council

I have spoken to the contractor today who informs me that the footpath should be re-opened by next Wednesday 4/3.

The delays were due to the cold spell and the contractor offers his apologies.

Renewable Energy exhibition

Oxford City Council have teamed up with the Energy Savings Trust (EST) to bring the EST Renewable Energy showcase to Oxford Town Hall on Saturday 28th February 2009.

The event is on between 10.30 am and 3.30pm and includes stalls, advice and information from providers of specific energy saving and renewable technologies demonstrated by industry representatives.

Oxford City Councils Energy Team will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have on specific technologies and grants for installing such technologies.

Old High Street (Waitrose) car park

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David and I have had a meeting with the officer in charge of car parks in the City to discuss the future of the Old High Street car park with the advent of Waitrose. Many people have mentioned that they think there will be a pressure on parking places once the new Waitrose store opens in May

We have flagged up a number of issues which include the need for improved lighting, the provision of a shelter over the ticket machines, the location of recycling bins, access and egress from the car park by motorists and by pedestrians, and the provision of cycling racks.

It became clear that some of these issues relate to phase 2 of the London Road redevelopment, and lighting can also be an issue for consideration by the Crime Prevention team. To this end, David is organising a bigger meeting which will include relevant stakeholders e.g. County transport planners

We should like the main entrance to the car park to be re-modelled at some point, but it looks as though this would require capital funding.  Capital funding has been cut drastically this financial year so prospects of this are not great.

The car parks officer confirmed that blue badge owners will continue to park free for four hours in any 24 hour period.

Attention all bus users

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The next meeting of the Bus Users’ Forum is scheduled to take place at the Town Hall on Wednesday 11 March.  The venue has changed to accommodate a bigger audience.  There will be an opportunity for all bus users to discuss the bus companies’ plans to move bus stops in line with plans to pedestrianise Queen Street.

We would urge residents from Franklin Road, Woodlands Road, Fortnam Close and the top end of Headley Way to attend this meeting so that we can call for buses to be reinstated along Headley Way.  There will also be an opportunity for Headington residents to lobby for a through route from Headington to North Oxford.

We have been told by the bus companies that they have been working on a joint scheme that will be ready in early March – this may be the first time that the public (and maybe also councillors?!) will learn about it.  The meeting will be some time between 17.30 and 20.30, we will post up timings when we have more information

Call for local heroes

People who have served the City with distinction are to be invited to receive a Certificate of Honour at a special presentation ceremony and reception in the Town Hall in May.  As councillors, we are not permitted to propose or second a nomination, but nominations from the public will be considered by a panel comprising the Lord Mayor, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and the Director of Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (or their nominated representative).

The recipients can be of any age, including young people.  They can live anywhere but their service must benefit the people of Oxford. Nominations for this year’s ceremony need to reach Jude Skipp at the Town Hall by noon on 27th March 2008, and David and I have copies of nomination forms.

For more details, contact either David or me in the usual way, or Jude Skipp at the Town Hall by telephone on 01865 252414 or by e-mail at jskipp@oxford.gov and we will send out a form.

Car parks, roads and pavements – got a grumble?

[Ruth writes]

I have lots of meetings lined up for Monday 23 February, and two of the officers I shall be meeting (separately) have responsibility for car parks – including St Leonard’s Rd and Somerfield’s – and for the spending of what is called Section 42 money, which is the money given to the City Council by the County Council for repairs and maintenance to roads and pavements.

If you want me to raise any issues with these officers please let me know either by using the comments box or by emailing me on ruth.wilkinson@oxfordlibdems.org.uk

By election in Headington Hill and Northway

The major political news of the week (apart from the gagging of debate between democratically elected councillors in the Council Chamber by the Labour Mayor on Monday) was that a by election has been called in the Headington Hill and Northway ward.  Names of candidates have to be in by Friday 27 February and the election will be held on Thursday 26 March