Police message

[THAMES VALLEY COMMUNITY MESSAGING – Oxford – B_04/03/09]

During the last week there has been a series of burglaries in the
Headington area. Electrical items and jewellery have been taken.
Please remember to make sure your home is secure, particularly when
you leave it unattended.

Delegated planning decisions

Permission has been given for a certificate of lawfulness to erect a telecomms mast on Rock Edge, and permission has been refused for an application to extend property in St Anne’s Road this week ending 27 February.  Please click on Planning decisions on the centre orange menu bar for details

Lime Walk Appeal continues

Many residents in the Lime Walk area will remember the planning application for 91 Lime Walk, demolishing the house and replacing with a set of houses and flats. Many people understandably felt that this was cramming far too much onto the site. It was rejected by the planning committee and the developer took that decision to appeal.

I offered to represent the Council in this case. This morning saw the site visit of the Inspector. The applicant, his consultant, a Council officer, two residents and myself were present. It’s one of the curiosities of the system that you are not allowed to raise issues there, only to point out physical features ot the Inspector. But I made sure that he noted various aspects of the site, and the relationship of the site to Cecil Sharpe Place.

So, no significant news at this point. We should expect a result in a couple of months. We’ll keep you posted!

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.