The Oxford Bus Company is running a Brand a Bus competition for charities and other good causes to have their name and logo displayed on a bus. Headington Action has entered the competition. To vote, please go to: https://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/competition
Roz has chased the works needed in Latimer Road to reinstate controlled parking zone spaces for residents and visitors.
Parking will be suspended on 1st October to allow for the road to be re-swept ready for lines to be re-painted. Once that work is finished the signs will go up.
Oxford City Council is urging Oxford residents to contact Better Housing Better Health to help get £140 off their electricity bills this winter.
The discount is available under the government’s Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme. This is a one-off discount on electricity bills between September and March. It is available to people with prepayment meters.
There are two ways to qualify for a discount. People who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit will receive a letter from their energy supplier telling them how to get their WHD.
Working age people can qualify for the WHD if they are on a low income, getting means-tested benefits, or have a disability or children under five. Eligibility can vary depending on the energy supplier, and there is a limited amount of help available for people who are not pensioners.
To avoid missing out, the council says that residents should not delay contacting their energy supplier to claim the WHD. People who need support to find out if they qualify or to claim WHD should contact the free Better Housing Better Health service.
Better Housing Better Health gives Oxford residents a single point of contact for services, advice and grants in order to stay warm and well in their homes.
The Better Housing Better Health helpline number is 0800 107 0044, which is open between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays.
Roz has been given the following information by the Highways Department.
Direct Services will be carrying out some minor carriageway/footway remedial works over the next two weeks but the date hasn’t been set as yet for the carriageway resurfacing works – we are still awaiting a date from the surfacing company … Once they get back…with a firm date, we will be sending out residents’ letters before the work starts. I’m hopeful it will be completed by the first week of September at the latest.”
Thank you for coming to our Ward Focus meeting in such numbers! We are sending out a summary of issues raised there in our Focus leaflet this weekend, but here is a flavour.
Hospital Trust news
JR planning application (please see link for press release from the Trust)
- Considered by the city council to be a minor application, this means it will be determined by an officer using delegated powers unless called into committee by councillors
- ED is short for Emergency Department (NHS officially preferred name for A&E) has two floors
- Small change to footprint and some of it is infill
- The outcome will be faster diagnosis, greater efficiency and bigger ambulance parking area – the application includes inter alia mini-operating theatres, an isolation ward, more resuscitation bays, better bereavement/family facilities and the project was prompted by inspection findings by the Care and Quality Commission.
- Financial negotiations are in process
- Time period of build likely to be Nov 18-Nov 19.
- Deliveries will be made outside peak times via Headley Way
Ronald McDonald House
- Build likely to start approx. Nov 2018 and last approx. 12 months then a 3 month refit
- Construction traffic route is down Sandfield Road to Woodlands Road, and back out again to Headley Way via Woodlands Road
- Parking problems not envisaged for hotel users as all the parents of sick children will be given stickers enabling them to use hospital car parking spaces.
- Working hours – no evening/weekend working
There is currently one further build on site (University funded)
- Need for construction and other works-related traffic to observe the 20 MPH limit – can this be written into planning consent?
- Please can deliveries be made at times other than school drop-off and collection too?
- Can signage be put up to show no access to JR in Sandfield Road?
- Main contact for both builds is Jo Lennon firstname.lastname@example.org
- Residents urged to contact councillors if they have any queries or concerns
Access to Headington
- Utilities infrastructure issues have delayed the work
- Work has stopped in one place because a nest was found
- Shops asking for reduction in business rates due to loss of trade
- Works outside the JR will take 6-8 weeks and involve putting in temporary traffic lights
- Banks won’t be lost on the right hand side going downhill so the trees on that side will be retained
- We are pressing to see the design changes at the Headley Way / Woodlands Rd junction which aim to make cycling safer
Other issues raised
Noise nuisance from St Luke’s build at McMaster House
Latimer Road – UNITE coaches
English language schools – ASB and noise from 2 locations, Why don’t they have bus passes?
Lack of presence by police disappointing – updates needed on recent incidents, operations and rough sleeping.
We welcome Jo Lennon to tonight’s Ward Focus meeting. She will tell us more about the extension and improvements planned for the A&E department at the JR Hospital and will let us know when construction is due to start on the Ronald McDonald patient hotel accessible from Woodlands Rd.
The police will also be there to update us on recent incidents and activities.
Refreshments will be available.
Headington Ward Focus Meeting
Tuesday 31st July
All Saints Church House, New High Street
All welcome to drop in or out at any time. JR speaker likely to arrive after 6:30pm
Come and meet your new councillor Stef Garden!
Enlargement of resuscitation area to ground floor front elevation. Formation of ambulance bays. Installation of gantry and flue to roof. Alterations to landscaping. John Radcliffe Hospital Sandfield Road Oxford Oxfordshire OX3 9DU
The neighbourhood expiry date for comments is Bank Holiday Monday 27th August.
For more information please click here
We have spoken to Police Sergeant Andy Poole who assures us this is an isolated incident which appeared to be initially motivated by a dispute over a right of way.
A police officer will attend the next Ward Focus Meeting on 31st July at All Saints Church House, please come and ask any questions you may have.
Headington councillors are asking the Oxford Mail reporter concerned to give evidence for wording in his article that may not be factually correct according to the full police report given to us by our neighbourhood police team. We have been advised by neighbourhood police that the incident is being treated as a serious assault, but not a racist one, but will update this website when we have spoken to the journalist.
The Oxford Mail has provided councillors with information received from Thames Valley Police. We are asking the police for a definitive statement and will post it when we have it.
Here are some reflections by Stef after Monday’s Council meeting.
Wow! It feels almost surreal to have become the latest councillor to represent the ward of Headington. I came to Oxford from South Africa in 2002. I have worked in its hospitals and for the University. I have watched my children grow up in its schools. Now I get to give back to the City that has become my home. To become a councillor is not something I would have anticipated a year ago but I feel amazingly privileged to have been given this opportunity.
The last week has seemed like a whirlwind of activity. In the last few days canvassing, I was able to meet more of Headington’s residents who were new to me, as well as many residents who have become to seem more like old friends. The count was both exciting yet nerve-racking. However to have received such a large endorsement from the residents of Headington was humbling. I promise to return your faith to me by working hard for everyone in the ward – just as you have grown to expect from your Headington councillors Ruth, Roz and Altaf.
There has been little time to relax, with a Council induction session on Friday and a briefing on the Members’ Code of Conduct on Monday. On Monday 23rd July I signed the Declaration of Office and then attended my first Full Council meeting. I couldn’t have been prouder as it’s such an honour to represent the people of Headington.
On Monday night, the Liberal Democrats put forward motions on improved eco-standards in new buildings and on greater support for the homeless (the unconfirmed minutes will be made available shortly on the City Council’s meetings web page). With the current hot, dry summer, it felt appropriate that Oxford City Council should try and ensure that our desperately needed new homes be greener than ever. It was good to have strong support from the Green Party and, once Labour had made some minor amendments this motion was voted through by the Council.
Less successful was our motion to provide more support for the homeless. We tried to offer innovative and radical ideas that have seen success in other areas. We cannot continue to provide homes only by using traditional standard types of housing. New ideas are needed and as a council I feel we must take responsibility for promoting some of the better plans put forward, such as the student architecture designs by Oxford Brookes University made in partnership with the Crisis homeless support charity. At times in the debate it felt like Labour would rather see people going without a home than try something new, seeing these as “a gimmick”. They seem to have a somewhat conservative approach to solving our homelessness and housing crises, as was shown by their wrecking amendments which we could not support. I hope we will successfully challenge their approach in future.
Much more encouraging was the cross-party support for the City of Oxford for a People’s Vote. Clearly this motion was always going to be unreservedly supportive by the Liberal Democrat Group. This was an issue that people brought up time and time again across Headington in the May election as well as during the by-election. Most Labour councillors defied their central Party and should be commended for placing the people of Oxford above Party politics. This vote reflected our City’s attachment to Europe and the knowledge of how bad Brexit will be for us. I do so hope the City-wide support for a People’s Vote is now brought up in Parliament by our two MPs.
As this Council meeting was so close to the by-election, I had no opportunity to submit questions to the executive board members. However it became clear very quickly what a challenge it is to sit on the opposition benches when Labour has such an overwhelming majority. Labour is stuck very much in the past as it continues to attack the Coalition government rather than move with the times. I would like to think that we should all be trying to build an Oxford for the future, for all its citizens, regardless of their background, not trying to score points from the past.
Once again thank you to all of you for your support. I promise to work hard for the future of our City, especially Headington and its residents.