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City Council statement following the autumn statement

We have received this statement from Corporate Communications at the City Council.

The Oxfordshire Growth Board has announced that the Oxfordshire councils and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) have reached an agreement with the Government for an additional investment of £215 million over the next five years to build infrastructure, deliver new homes and boost economic productivity across the county.

For the City council the deal offers the potential to increase investment in building homes for affordable and social rent and in infrastructure to support our key development projects. 

The funding will not only frame Oxfordshire’s development, it is set to have a direct effect on the way that planning, finance and other services in each of the county’s six councils will operate.     

The Growth Board, working with the Homes and Communities Agency, the Highways Agency and other partners, will oversee the investment with the aim of cementing a partnership with the Government to deliver properly planned growth and economic development. It will also help Oxfordshire councils achieve the ambition of 100,000 new homes across the county over the period 2011-2031, as identified through the 2014 countywide Strategic Housing Market Assessment and Local Plans.

Oxfordshire’s knowledge-based economy

The Government recognises the importance of Oxfordshire’s knowledge-intensive economy, with its two universities and research institutions. It will work with OxLEP to develop a Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) to back Oxfordshire’s world-class science and innovation assets and grow new sectors. Support will also be provided to high-growth companies, to address skills needs and attract further investment and expansion of the Science Vale and Didcot Enterprise Zones.

The Government will provide Oxfordshire’s councils with £60 million for affordable housing and £150 million for infrastructure. Oxfordshire councils are already committing over £340 million for infrastructure and housing investment over the period. The Government will also provide £5 million in capacity funding to help take the programme forward. This will include a Joint Strategic Spatial Plan to provide a county-wide planning framework to guide growth.

Separate bids to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), to support the development of the Didcot Garden Town, and West Oxfordshire and North of Oxford Garden Villages, are still being considered by the Government with decisions expected in the new year.

Last week the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) published its report on the Oxford-Cambridge arc. It advised on long-term funding for new transport infrastructure to harness the region’s economic potential, to benefit local people and boost UK plc post-Brexit.

Next steps

The Growth Board will now work up a delivery plan with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Final agreement on the deal will be subject to agreement by all six councils and OxLEP.

The Government has committed to provide greater freedom and flexibility for Oxfordshire councils to help prevent speculative development. The HCA will help to ensure that land needed for development across the county is brought forward and will work with the councils on longer-term solutions to make sure sites are built out.

Growth Board members will continue to seek further Government funding and private investment alongside local authority funds to support infrastructure and housing development.

County statement on pavement widening in the High

Thanks to a colleague for forwarding this response to an FOI request.

Thank you for your request of 29 October 2017 in which you asked for the following information:

1. The cost to the taxpayer of the recent pavement widening in Oxford High Street, including officer time planning the change, contracting with suppliers and all other associated costs.

2. What assessment of the impact on traffic flows was done.

3. What assessment of the impact on cyclist safety was done.

The footway widening to which you are referring was undertaken as part of a series of transport improvement measures in relation to the proposed prohibition of vehicles using Queen Street and the knock-on effect that would have on the surrounding city road network, including bus routeing. Due to the cost savings from undertaking these works as part of a wider piece of work, the apportionment of costs is hard to quantify in detail however the works were approximately £40k.

This widening was also implemented with pedestrians in mind to improve their and bus passenger experience in an area where the narrow footway was a source of complaints. This widening enables the provision of bus shelters to further improve infrastructure for bus passengers.

Due to the small size and nature of the works it is not necessary to undertake an informed assessment of the impact on traffic flows, beyond the acknowledgement that there is likely to be a small detrimental impact which is considered acceptable in the context of the wider benefits to other user groups.

The implemented works are now being closely monitored which has, only last week, resulted in the relocation of bus stop L2 to alleviate the blockages and delays that had materialised since its introduction. Further minor changes to traffic regulation orders in the vicinity may be forthcoming in the future if considered necessary.

Cyclists, as well as other vulnerable road users’ safety are a priority for the county council and the design was informed using national standards and guidance.

Up and coming events in Oxford

  • Thursday 23 November. Oxford International Links Mulled Wine Stall, Bonn Square, 4 pm to 9.30 pm. Celebrating the festive season and raising funds to maintain the links with Oxford’s twin cities.
  • Saturday 25 November. Oxford University vs Cambridge University IIs-IVs Varsity Match, Shotover Country Park, 12.30 pm to 4 pm. Five cross country races with approximately 150 competitors. This is the Oxford University vs Cambridge University Varsity race for the second to fourth teams.
  • Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December. Oxford Art and Craft Market, Broad Street, 9 am to 5.30 pm (Sat) and 10 am to 4.30 pm (Sun). The annual Art Market is a partnership event between Boffy Arts Market and Oxford City Council and features approximately 30 traditional market stalls. All of the work sold is handmade and selected for quality and all stalls are run by the artists or makers of the goods.
  • Thursday 7 to Sunday 17 December. Oxford Christmas Market, Broad Street, 10 am to 7 or 8 pm. Annual Christmas Market with a variety of traders, offering Christmas gifts and seasonal food and drink, a carousel and choirs singing.
  • Thursday 7 to  Wednesday 20 December, Chanukah Menorah, Broad Street. Lighting of the Menorah at 5 pm every day to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah – Festival of Lights.
  • Sunday 10 December, Santas on the Run, city centre, 9 am to 11.30 am. Annual charity fun run to raise money for Helen & Douglas House.

Please help find missing girl

Appeal to find missing girl – Oxford

Published on:
21 Nov 2017, 3:56 p.m.
Published by:
Missing person

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information to find a missing girl from Oxford.

Alex Willoughby , aged 17, who is from Cowley, was last seen in Verbena Way, Oxford, at about 9pm on Tuesday 14 November.

Alex is a white girl, 5ft 7ins, slim with blonde wavy hair and blue eyes.

Investigating officer, Inspector Mark Brock said: “We are becoming increasingly concerned for Alex Willoughby’s welfare and therefore we are publishing an appeal and asking anyone with information to please make contact with police.

“Alex is from Oxford but also has links to Kent. It is possible that Alex has used public transport in the last week so I would ask anyone travelling on buses or trains to be vigilant and keep an eye out for her.

“If anyone has any information about Alex’s whereabouts please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 and quote reference number 43170339604.

“If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Latest planning decisions in Headington Ward

Applications withdrawn

  1. 17/02343/FUL WITHDRAWN

    Erection of a 1×1-bed dwelling with parking.

    142 Headley Way Oxford

  2. 17/02344/FUL WITHDRAWN

Erection of 1 x 2-bed dwelling with parking provision and access.

142 Headley Way Oxford


Applications granted consent


  1. 17/02351/FUL PERMITTED

    Formation of 1no. dormer window to rear elevation. (Amended plans)

    117 Headley Way Oxford


  2. 17/02350/FUL PERMITTED

    Erection of two modular units outside the minor injuries entrance to provide as assessment facility to reduce waiting times.
    John Radcliffe Hospital Headley Way

Venue for Ward Focus Meeting confirmed – Manor Hospital, Beech Road 28 November


The next public meeting for residents who live in Headington Ward will be on

Tuesday 28th November

Manor Hospital, Beech Road, Headington OX3 7RP

from 6:00-7:30 pm

Guest speaker: Dr Paul Robinson on energy plans for Headington 

Ward Focus meetings are run on a drop in and out basis and are free of charge. There is an open session where residents can raise issues of concern. There’s no need to book.

If you would like to contact your Lib Dem city councillors for advice on any issue please contact

Kennett Road may re-open this afternoon

No obvious leakage has been found by workmen digging into the hole as far as the pipes.  Apparently the ground is quite sandy once the road surface is broken into.
There is no obvious reason for this hole to have appeared, so the issue is considered to be resolved. The sub-soil has been replaced and the road has been reconstructed with two layers of tarmac.
Today they will top surface it, and then a curing period will be needed before anyone can drive over it.
The network supervisor is hoping that the road may be re-opened this afternoon and certainly by the peak period for traffic.

UPDATE: Kennett Road now open again