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

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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.

Cor, Strategy!

Planning, particularly strategic planning, can be mind-numbing at times. I’m not sure the little attempt to make the City Council’s Core Strategy interesting will entice many to read it, but it is an important document, defining aims for Oxford in terms of house-building and the facilities to support them.

It is not yet adopted as policy, but it’s nearly there. It’s been through several stages of drafting and consulting and is now out to final consultation for a 6-week consultation period, running from Friday 5th September – Friday 17th October.  This is the final stage of consultation before it is submitted to the Secretary of State towards the end of November.  An examination is likely to take place in March 2009.

In case you’re still reading: at this stage, it starts to have weight in relation to decisions on particular planning applications, but it is limited until it’s actually been formally submitted it to the Secretary of State.

This document does matter, so do go onto the City Council’s website by clicking on the link above and look at it.

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

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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!

Your chance to comment on Oxford’s future!

Public consultation on Oxford’s CORE STRATEGY (2026)

The City Council is now inviting residents to make comments on its Core Strategy which outlines the pattern of development it would like to see across the City, and sets out revised planning policy.  This includes the development of housing, retail, leisure, transport and other areas of interest.

The consultation will run from Friday 5 September to Friday 17 September

Please click on the link if you would like to read through the strategy and/or send in comments as part of the consultation.  David and I would encourage as many residents as possible to make your views known – this is your last chance to influence the most important long term planning policy document that we have for Oxford, please take it!!

Desperately seeking…..Wooldridge Court

confused-streets.jpg   Where or what is Wooldridge Court?

This was the question asked by residents at our street surgery yet the answer was close by.  Wooldridge Court is a fairly new development situated on the left hand side of Margaret Road as you enter it from Windmill Road.  The reason no-one knew it by name was that ….. it has no street sign!  This must be very confusing for postal workers, couriers and pizza deliverers!

David and I have chased this up, and we have had a reply from the relevant officer:

I checked first  as to whether there is a reason why the developer should not be expected to put up a street name plate, as is normal.  She says the developer was told he has to, so I have emailed him reminding him of his obligations, with an offer to discuss the
specification and siting of signs.

Watch this space…….we’re on the case!