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!

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!

City Council Lib Dems welcome news of new recycling plant

Lib Dems on Oxford City Council have welcomed the decision by Oxfordshire
County Council to approve a plan for a new recycling facility in North
Oxford. This will mean that much of the domestic and commercial waste
collected in Oxford will only have to be taken a few miles up the road,
instead of being transported to Milton Keynes for sorting and processing,
as happens at present. Savings in transport costs, and savings in carbon
emissions, will make a big difference to Oxford’s recycling revolution.

See the County Lib Dem website for information

Website latest

Thank you to all who regularly visit this website, we hope you find it useful.  During August, the website notched up 4,322 hits which exceeded our expectations!

If you have any suggestions or comments on how we can improve our website, please contact us.  We’d love to hear from you!  Don’t forget to hit the Comments button on a post if you want to see the comments sent in by other residents.  There are two comments attached to our item on postal services and collections

Calling OCH tenants and residents!

Last Wednesday and Friday mornings, I took the opportunity to work shadow our local estates manager, Adrian Stone, accompany him on a walkabout in the ward, and go with him on a series of visits to Oxford City Homes tenants and leaseholders.

He showed me how he runs off reports from his database to produce visit lists – the software automatically prioritises the frequency of visits needed to different tenants, and produces a list of the next 60 properties for him to visit. It’s important to make these visits as the information kept about tenants and leaseholders, like mobile phone nos. etc and personal circumstances, can change frequently, and it’s also a good opportunity for residents to tell him what needs repairing or updating in the property. If an elderly person is living on his/her own, then s/he will be allocated a higher priority for visits.

Councillors deal with similar types of issues so Adrian and I learned a lot from each other, things like liaising with Oxford City Works and the Crime and Nuisance Action Team. Adrian’s job includes notifying surveyors of work that needs doing like insulation and arranging for visits and quotes to be made, and ensuring that repairs are done.

David and I will be going on another walkabout in the ward at 2 p.m. on 18 September and are keen to identify areas near Oxford City Homes properties that require ‘sprucing up’ – we shall be accompanied by the officer with the appropriate budget for this. One area I’d like him to look at is an area in Mattocks Close where we’d like to have shrubs planted, and there is a stretch of uneven pavement there that needs attention. If you are an OCH tenant or leaseholder, and know of similar situations, please let us know and we’ll make sure we ‘walk about’ in a useful direction! If you see us about, stop and say hello!

A Hindu Temple for Oxford?

You may have read in the local press recently about a new project looking at providing a Hindu Temple for the county’s Hindu community, possibly in Oxford and possibly in the Headington area. I met last week two of the organisers of this new project to learn from them what their community wants and to see how we can work together in future.

It should be said that this project is at a very early stage, at the moment gathering support in the Hindu community across the county. In the first instance, the intention is to hold regular prayer meetings at an accessible location — the first occasion is in Kennington on 14th September where I hope to be to watch and learn about the ceremonies. In the longer term, there will be a fund-raising campaign looking to support a building and a priest. At that stage, they will be looking for a suitable site, which is in large part dependent on the location of those wanting to attend.

The Headington area, in its widest sense, already serves a range of faith groups, with a variety of Christain churches and, in Marston, the Sikh community represented. I am on record praising the cosmopolitan and open nature of Oxford and I would see a Hindu Temple as a further addition to that positive tradition. Equally, the help I’m giving to the project does not mean I want to tie them solely to my part of the city; I appreciate that there may well be other locations better suited to them than our area of Headington. My hope is that, in the fullness of time, they will find a site, in or near the city, best suited to them. I hope you join me in wishing them good fortune in their endeavours.

Consultation on Oxford 20mph proposals


A series of public meetings will take place in Oxford for people to attend and register their point of view with the county council. Please see the County Council’s website for details of public meetings on this issue, and how to send in your views and comments electronically.

Local organisations will be contacted for their comments by the County. If you wish to air your views on this issue, then please come to the next North east Area Committee meeting on Tuesday 16 September at St. Andrew’s Primary School at 6 p.m.