Latest News from the Parish Council

Gigaclear Installing Full-Fibre Infrastructure to Weston on the Green. Virtual Info Meeting: 23rd February 2023

Gigaclear intend to completely self-fund installing full-fibre infrastructure into our village. They are currently in Kirtlington and Bletchingdon and will expand their network from there to us. Some of you may have noticed that workmen have already started installing the fibre cabling around the village.

This is completely separate from the Openreach project which stalled last year when Openreach could not secure the funding from the UK Government.

Some important information for residents:

  • You do not have to take up a Gigaclear contract
  • Gigaclear is a single company, has its own infrastructure and service provider, whereas OpenReach was to install the infrastructure for multiple service providers
  • The offer from Gigaclear is currently very competitive but Gigaclear’s prices long-term are unknown
  • Fibre-to-the-premises needs a power supply:
    • Check that a battery-backup is included in the package if/when you apply
  • Fibre does not guarantee coverage within the home:
    • Consider your WIFI coverage
    • Gigaclear will provide a new Linksys router which may be more powerful than your current router
  • This is not an endorsement for Gigaclear by the Parish Council just as we did not endorse any of the providers in the OpenReach plan
    • We will be seeking feedback from users in other villages

A virtualinformation meeting will be held by Gigaclear (via Microsoft Teams) on 23rd February 2023, 19.00-20.00. You can register your interest to be kept updated and to receive the meeting link via gigaclear.com/events

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Rural Cost of Living Survey - Closes 31st March 2023

The Rural Services Network in partnership with the Citizens Advice is running a Rural Cost of Living Household Survey.

How will the results be used?

Results from the survey will build on the Rural Cost of Living research commissioned last year and help them to lobby Government Departments, MPs and other policy makers for a fairer deal for rural communities.

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New Bus Service for Weston on the Green - 13th February 2023

Service 250 which currently runs between Bicester and Oxford through Kirtlington, Bletchingdon and Hampton Poyle is ceasing as from February 11th, therefore Oxfordshire County Council is having to provide a replacement service for these villages.

Wendlebury and Weston on the Green will, as a result, be the beneficiaries of a new Service 24 commencing on Monday 13th February.

Timetable for the new bus Service 24

The service will be operated by Grayline Coaches with one coach running back and forth throughout the day, the contract is initially for two years so Please use it or lose it!

It being a new service there may be some teething problems, so please report any issues to Graham Barnett, Weston’s Parish Transport Representative, on 350707.

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Interested in Becoming a Councillor Information Session? 24th January 2023, 7.00pm

The Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils (OALC) are running an online hour session for anyone interested in becoming a councillor on 24th January 2023 at 7.00pm. The session will comprise a short introduction and open question time covering eligibility, skills, expectations and some basics about life as a councillor.

If you are interested there is no need to book please just follow the following link.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87125012109?pwd=VzZkYzkwajlqTTJSWEdrcmVxTUs2QT09

Meeting ID: 871 2501 2109

Passcode: 386520

There are currently two vacancies on the Council. For further information on becoming a Councillor with Weston on the Green Parish Council please contact Diane Bohm (Chair), Susan Davies (Vice-Chairman) or the Clerk on clerk@westononthegreen-pc.gov.uk

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Notification of Spinney Treeworks - 18th January 2023

The Parish Council would like to advise you that work by a contractor (Bicester Tree Services) to fell trees affected by ash die-back in the spinney will be undertaken on 18th January 2023.

The work is anticipated to take place over the course of one day but if there are any unforeseen circumstances it may overrun to two days. We apologise in advance for any noise disturbance you may experience.

Please note the spinney/mud kitchen area will be closed whilst the works are undertaken.

If there are any issues please contact the clerk or a Councillor.

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Vision for Volunteering Project in Oxfordshire

Community First Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA) are running a project to create a new Vision for Volunteering in Oxfordshire.

Volunteering has changed over the past few years. The pandemic saw people coming forward in unprecedented numbers to support each other. Today, though, charities, mutual aid organisations and community groups are telling us that the pandemic, the cost of living crisis, and other factors are continuing to negatively affect volunteering in our county.

The Vision for Volunteering will aim both to offer concrete action points for supporting volunteering in the county over the next five years and to promote and celebrate the breadth of volunteering action we see in Oxfordshire.

As a first step, a better picture of the patterns of volunteering and unpaid support across Oxfordshire is required. To facilitate that, they are calling on people to tell them about their experience of volunteering and community action in the last twelve months.

Taking part is easy – the survey takes only a few minutes to complete.

They are interested in the full range of voluntary and community action - not only a regular commitment within a formal structure or with a charity, but also

  • Community groups
  • Mutual aid groups
  • Helping neighbours that are struggling
  • Faith groups
  • Lunch clubs
  • Organising a street event
  • Peer support
  • Community sports clubs
  • PTAs
  • Street/local WhatsApp, Facebook, and NextDoor groups
  • Local campaigns
  • Parish councillor roles...

...and many more, all of which are part of the social, volunteering, and unpaid support landscape.

They are particularly keen to hear from groups who they may not know about, those who have previously been overlooked, and those who are operating in new and different ways.

By knowing what groups exist, the difficulties they are facing and the strengths that they have, the final report can advocate for better designed and targeted funding, support, and training; facilitate improved channels of communication between decision-makers, funders, and volunteers; reduce barriers to participation and offer democratic, equitable, access to volunteering opportunities.

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Cherwell District Council - Budget Consultation until 23rd December 2022

CDC’s budget consultation will run until 23 December. The council is proposing a total of £0.5m in savings while also committing to some key investments to support the district.

Many of the long-term financial issues the council currently faces are set to continue in the coming years. They include uncertainty around the government’s plans on resetting business rates and the winding down of the New Homes Bonus.

The council is also facing significant inflationary pressures related to the rising cost of living and a loss of income from car parks. Against this backdrop the budget proposals are focussed on measured back-office savings while seeking to minimise the impact on frontline services.

The council sets its budget for 2023/24 on 27 February 2023. You can find further detail of the budget proposals and have your say before 23 December by visiting letstalk.cherwell.gov.uk/budget-consultation-2023-24

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Cherwell District Council - 12 Weeks of Winter Wellbeing

Would you, or perhaps a friend or relative, benefit for some FREE activity sheets to help inspire and entertain over the winter months? If so, sign up to 12 Weeks of Winter Wellbeing!

You’ll get 12 FREE, beautiful activity sheets sent to your home from December through to February. They contain exercises, recipes, crafts, useful contact numbers and much more.

For further information or to sign up to receive your 12 activity sheets, please contact Cherwell District Councils wellbeing team on 01295 221980.

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Energy Networks - Be Winter Ready

The Energy Networks Association has launched its annual ‘Be Winter Ready’ campaign to help consumers prepare for winter. The campaign highlights the importance of the following:

Prepare – make a plan: know what to do if there is a power cut or smell of gas

Care – check in with people who might need extra help

Share – highlight this information with others so friends and family can make a plan too

https://www.energynetworks.org/be-winter-ready/

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Homes for Ukraine - New Hosts Required

Cherwell residents have welcomed over 300 Ukrainians as guests in their homes under the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. The monthly ‘thank-you payment to hosts has recently been increased to £550. With little prospect of the war ending soon, most hosts have been happy to extend their generosity beyond the initial six month agreement.

Changing circumstances have left a few hosts unable to continue. In these cases CDC tries to find a ‘rematch’ for the guests (a few guests have managed to find private rented accommodation, but high rents and deposits have mostly limited this option to those with well paying jobs).

An ideal ‘rematch’ is not far from the original host, to avoid children’s education and guest’s newly formed social bonds being disrupted. In villages we do not usually have a pool of potential hosts on our books, so good rematches are harder to find. To register interest in being a Homes for Ukraine host go to https://www.gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine

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Cherwell DC Christmas & New Year Rubbish, Recycling, Food & Garden Waste Dates

There will be no changes to your general waste, recycling and food caddy collections over the festive period. Please remember to put your bins out before 7am on your collection day.

There will, however, be some changes to the garden waste collection dates:

In order to facilitate an increase of approximately 50 per cent in recycling and waste collections over the Christmas period, the collection of Garden Waste will be paused from Tuesday 27 December 2022 to Friday 6 January 2023 inclusive.

Garden waste collections will resume from the week commencing 9 January 2023.

Christmas Tree Collections – 10 January 2023 to 20 January 2023 inclusive

You do not need a Garden Waste subscription in order for your Christmas tree to be collected.

Residents leaving large trees out for composting are asked to cut them into pieces that are four feet tall or smaller. This makes it safe to load them into the recycling trucks. The pieces of Christmas tree can then be left next to the blue recycling bin on collection day.

Alternatively, if your Christmas tree is potted and still has its roots, you can care for them in their gardens until next year.

Important

  • Please ensure that all decorations are removed from the trees before putting them out for collection.
  • Broken fairy lights and other small electrical items will be taken away by the crews if placed in a standard-size carrier bag and left on top of any bin on collection day.

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Oxfordshire County Council - Free Food Caddy Liners

Most households in Oxfordshire already recycle their food waste using the weekly collection service provided by the district councils.

To help recycle the extra food waste that is created over the festive period or to help you start recycling your food waste residents can collect a free roll of food waste caddy liners from the following locations during December, while stocks last.

Further information on food and garden waste recycling can be found on Oxfordshire County Council Food & Garden Waste page.

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Age UK - Advice on Checking Benefits Entitlement including Pension Credit & Cost of Living Payments

Age UK highlighted their concerns in September 2022 over the impact of the spiralling cost of living on people as winter approaches, especially for older people and carers, particularly those who are managing on a fixed income and highlighted that 4000+ people across Oxfordshire currently entitled to Pension Credit are not claiming it.

There is now important deadline coming up. Providing people start an application by 18th December, and have been eligible for Pension Credit since September, they will get both their Pension Credit award (which will be ongoing), and the one-off cost of living payment of £324. People can still apply after 18th December, but they’ll miss out on the extra £324 this year (although there may be more payments for people on Pension Credit next year).

What is Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is an income supporting benefit for older people paid by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). It is means tested, so whether people are eligible depends on their financial circumstances.

Who is eligible?

People must be over state pension age, which is 66 for most people. If people live with a partner, they’ll need to apply as a couple, and both must be over state pension age. There is no capital limit, so eligibility is a sliding scale that depends on income and capital. Generally speaking, if someone’s capital is under £10,000 and income for a single person under £182.60 per week or for a couple under £278.70 per week, they may be eligible. Any disability benefits received shouldn’t be included in income because AA, DLA and PIP don’t count towards income for Pension Credit.

How do people find out more / claim?

Age UK have useful links to a benefits calculator and DWP information on their website here - https://www.ageuk.org.uk/oxfordshire/about-us/cost-of-living-campaign/

Claims can be made online via https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim or by calling DWP on 0800 991234.

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Oxfordshire County Council - Budget 2023-24 Consultation

On 14 February 2023, Oxfordshire County Council will meet to agree its budget. In this consultation they are asking residents, businesses and others for their views on their budget proposals for 2023/24, with a specific focus on savings. They also welcome any ideas from you on how they can make savings.

The consultation closes on 19th December 2022.

Households across our county are facing huge financial challenges. Rising prices make this a cost of living emergency. The county council is also facing its most difficult budget pressures for many years.

All local authorities are having to deal with large increases in inflation that are driving up costs and prices for energy, fuel and materials. For 2023/24, there is a significant funding shortfall of at least £44 million. The County Councils budget proposals for 2023/24 include £35 million of savings - leaving a £9m funding gap.

The online survey asks for your feedback in a structured way and enables the council to receive responses quickly. A supporting consultation booklet is also available via the website.

If you need this consultation in a printed or alternative format please contact: budget@oxfordshire.gov.uk / 01865 792422.

You can also send your feedback by email to budget@oxfordshire.gov.uk or write to: Freepost OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL (No further address details are required and no stamp is needed, but please write Budget consultation 2023/24 on the top left corner of the envelope.)

What happens next: The public consultation results, alongside the views of the scrutiny meeting, will be reported to the council’s cabinet on 24 January 2023. The budget, including the council tax level, will be decided at a meeting with all county councillors on 14 February 2023.

The Parish Council develops its own budget which is utilised to establish the precept request from Cherwell District Council. The Parish Council's budget and precept request will be discussed at the 10th January 2023 Parish Council meeting.

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School Admissions Information from Oxfordshire County Council

Entry to primary or Infant School – September 2023. Is your child 3 or 4 years old?

If your child was born on or between 1st September 2018 and 31st August 2019, you need to apply for a primary school place now. You must still apply even if your child already attends a nursery attached to the school.

Sunday 15th January 2023 – closing date for on time applications.

Parents/carers must apply by this date, online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/primaryadmissions

Monday 17th April 2023 – those who applied on-line will receive an email and will be able to view the result of their application online. Letters will be sent where people applied on paper. Letters will also be sent where applicants are eligible to free home-to-school transport and where children have not been offered their first preference school.

For help and information please contact:

Web: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/primaryadmissions

Email: admissions.schools@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Tel: 0345 241 2487

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NHS Stay Well This Winter Leaflet

Some important information from the NHS to help you stay well this winter can be found in this leaflet.

www.nhs.uk

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Food and Toy Bank Village Collection - 3 December 2022

What is the choice for children this Christmas - food or a present?

We are so aware of the daily requests for support for groups like the Bicester Food Bank.

At a time when our money is stretched, it is hard to hear things like:

”RISING NEED, LOWER SUPPLIES”.

It is even harder to hear that working families are reducing their daily meals and dropping into a food bank on the way home from work to get some supplies for their family.

Let’s remember the children and teenagers as we prepare our gifts for the food/toy bank. We want them to feel that someone does care that they have a special gift this festive season.

Could you include a few extra food items and small toys/books on your grocery order and shopping so that the festive season is manageable for struggling families?

Please support the Food & Toy Bank on:

When: Saturday, December 3rd, 2022

Time: 9.00am-12.30 am

Where: Weston on the Green Village Pantry & Post Office

Thank you for your continued support as we try to regularly support the Bicester Food Bank.

Parish Council / St. Mary’s Church Council / Village Hall

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Information from NHS on their ‘Help Us, Help You’ Campaign: Cancer - Earlier Diagnosis

NHS England & NHS Improvement has launched a new phase of the ‘Help Us, Help You’
campaign taking a radically different approach to detecting cancer earlier for patients, when it is easier to treat.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage people who are experiencing potential signs of cancer to come forward to their GP practice to help increase earlier diagnosis and improve outcomes.
The campaign is designed to address the key barriers to people seeking help, the fear around cancer diagnosis and increase awareness of the importance of body vigilance when it comes to bodily changes that could be a sign of cancer. The NHS Long Term Plan committed to increasing the number of cancers detected at an early stage one or two from half to three quarters by 2028.

Don’t carry the worry of cancer with you, if something in your body doesn’t feel right
contact your GP practice.
• To rule out cancer, your GP may refer you for tests. Whatever the result, your NHS is
here for you.
• Tests could put your mind at rest. Until you find out, you can’t rule it out.

• If something in your body doesn’t feel right or you are experiencing symptoms that last
three weeks or more, don’t delay – contact your GP practice.
• It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable.
• Contact your GP practice if you experience any of the below symptoms:
- Tummy trouble, such as discomfort or diarrhoea for three weeks or more;
- Blood in your pee - even just once;
- Unexpected or unexplained bleeding;
- Unexplained pain that lasts three weeks or more;
- An unexplained lump; or
- A cough for three weeks or more (that isn’t COVID-19).
• Not all the symptoms of cancer are easy to spot. Contact your GP practice if you
experience one or more of these symptoms, for three weeks or more:
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Feeling tired and unwell and not sure why;
- Heartburn or indigestion; or
- Unusual, pale or greasy poo.

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Foodbank Drive - 1st October 2022

The next foodbank collection will be held on Saturday 1st October 2022, 9.00am – 12.30pm at The Village Pantry and Post Office.

Useful stove top items include:

  • Instant soup, cup a soup and sachet soup
  • Cooked meat - ham, beef, frankfurters
  • Tinned vegetables, corn, carrots, peas
  • Desserts - rice pudding, Angel Delight, jelly
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Long life drinks

Urgently needed items:

  • Biscuits
  • Tinned fish
  • Rice pudding
  • Instant coffee
  • Jam
  • Juice

Toiletries, Free From food and nappies are also useful products to supply. Bicester Foodbank currently have plenty of pasta and cereal.

Please feel free to contribute fresh food - too many cucumbers/courgettes/tomatoes? We'll take the fresh food to the Bicester Food Bank promptly and the suggestion is that there will be a good uptake.

When shopping, perhaps pop a small toy into your cart and between now and the end of November create a small collection. Our Christmas Drive will include gifts for children.

Many thanks for your ongoing support.

The Parish Council, St. Mary’s Church and the Village Hall

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Information from Oxfordshire County Council

Cost of Living/Energy Information - Better Housing Better Health

The rising cost of energy is causing widespread concern as more residents may become unable to heat their homes. If you know anyone who is struggling to pay their fuel bills, refer them to the Better Housing Better Health service who can provide advice and in some cases access financial support.

In some cases they may be eligible for a home visit to help with heating systems and fuel bill advice. They are well connected to a wide range of local organisations and can make onward
referrals to help residents get the help they need to stay safe and well in their homes.

Telephone 0800 107 0044 or complete the online referral form here https://bit.ly/3KWsPck. To find out more about what the service can do watch this video (1min 15 secs).

More cost of living advice can be found on the County Councils webpage page:
https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/council/help-rising-living-costs

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Road Closure - Akeman Street, Chesterton (near to junction with The Hale), 24 October 2022

A temporary road closure to apply to a length of Akeman Street, whilst essential pole repair works are carried out, will operate on 24 October 2022 between 09:30 and 15:30.

Drawing showing the extent of the closure and also the alternative routes for traffic via Akeman Street, B430, A4095 and The Hale.

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Age UK - Advice on Checking Benefits Entitlement including Pension Credit & Cost of Living Payments

Age UK have highlighted their concerns over the impact of the spiralling cost of living on people as winter approaches, especially for older people and carers, particularly those who are managing on a fixed income.

Age UK have therefore launched an information campaign to ensure that people are aware of and receiving all the support to which they are entitled.

A recent JSNA (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment)bitesize report on Pension Credit has estimated that over 4,000 older people in Oxfordshire are not claiming the Pension Credit to which they are entitled, equating to a staggering £8.2m in unclaimed entitlement locally. Pension Credit also serves as a gateway to other forms of support, which could go a long way in helping some older people meet rising costs.

Information sheets to help point people in the direction of the support available include: Checking your Benefits Entitlement & Cost of Living Payments

More information from Age UK about entitlements can be found here: Benefits and entitlements for pensioners and the elderly | Age UK

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Foodbank Drive - 10th September 2022

Our Food Bank drive in August was very successful. The focus was 'children's lunches' based on the fact that household budgets needed to cover three meals per day, not two. The total weight of our contribution was 88.75 kg - a tremendous effort! Thank you.

I've been worried that people would start to find the Food Bank requests too frequent, that the current crisis would have an effect on our giving. In discussions with some villagers, we've decided to continue the Food Banks but want everyone to know that we understand that everyone is feeling the pinch.

Why again? The beginning of September is costly for families and especially those with multiple children. School uniforms, shoes, supplies add up to a large chunk of the household budget. What is left? Is there enough for a substantial evening meal? Will children have to be satisfied with a hot school lunch and small snacks otherwise?

How can we help? The Trussell Trust has published a list of easily warmed up food - not using an oven as the hob is cheaper to use.

Food that cooks quickly:

  • Instant soup, cup a soup and sachet soup
  • Cooked meat - ham and beef
  • Tinned vegetables, corn, carrots, peas
  • Desserts - rice pudding, Angel Delight
  • Long life drinks

Always needed items:

  • Instant coffee
  • Tinned tomatoes (400g)
  • Tinned meat/fish
  • Jam
  • Toiletries
  • Free From Food
  • Nappies

Please feel free to contribute fresh food - too many cucumbers/courgettes/tomatoes? We'll take the fresh food to the Bicester Food Bank promptly and the suggestion is that there will be a good uptake.

When shopping, perhaps pop a small toy into your cart and between now and the end of November create a small collection. Our Christmas Drive will include gifts for children.

Our September Food Bank Drive is on September 10th at the Village Shop, 9am - 12.20pm - thank you!

Diane Bohm

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NHS: Run out of Regular Medication - Visit NHS 111 Online

Run out of your regular medicine - request a limited emergency supply online at 111.nhs.uk to collect from a pharmacy.

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Oxford University Hospitals - Annual Public Meeting: 22 September 2022, 7.00-8.30pm, Oxford Town Hall, OX1 1BX

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Over 50s Covid 19 booster & Flu Jab this Autumn

The autumn COVID-19 booster and flu vaccination programme was announced by
the UK Health Security Agency on 15th July 2022. All over 50’s will be offered a covid 19 booster and flu jab this autumn.

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Climate Action Oxfordshire - New Website

A new website offering practical advice for Oxfordshire people wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy has gone live.
Climate Action Oxfordshire – www.climateactionoxfordshire.org.uk – lists measures people can take
and rates them according to effort, impact, and cost. It also gives people an idea of what financial
savings they can make and includes tips and links on how to get started.

It is a joint venture set up by Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Cherwell, South
Oxfordshire, West Oxfordshire, and the Vale of White Horse district councils, and OxLEP – the
Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The one stop shop has sections aimed at individuals, communities, and organisations, including
businesses, and advice on transport, lifestyle, shopping, home and biodiversity matters.

The Climate Action Oxfordshire website contains filters so that users can tailor it to their own
circumstances. It will be regularly updated with new information and advice to help the county’s
residents do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.

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Oxfordshire County Council - Travel Research Volunteers Wanted

Volunteers in Oxford, Bicester and Didcot are needed to fill in an app-based travel diary.

Oxfordshire County Council want to understand the ways people currently and could use transport. One of the most effective is to ask those already using the network to fill in travel diaries. It gives a realistic snapshot not only of the journey but also the experience of travel. This insight is invaluable in developing new services and planning long term for communities. They are working with a partner, Tracsis, who supports the collection and analysis of the information you give, to help shape the future of transport in the Oxford, Bicester and Didcot communities.

What you need to do:

For up to seven trips, you’ll need to record how and when you travel and your experiences of doing so. You'll then be eligible for a voucher as a thank you reward.

  1. Download and register the app from Google Play or Apple Store - search for 'MOBYXapp'.
  2. Complete the introductory questionnaire
  3. Complete a travel diary of between four and seven trips on agreed days
  4. Answer another questionnaire based on your results

After registering, you’ll receive messages to help you complete the travel diaries. The voucher reward will be emailed within 28 days of completing the diaries. You can choose which one of the 150 retailers (such as Amazon, Argos, Ikea, Marks and Spencer) the voucher is for.

You will need to actively input information for roughly 30 minutes and consent to being monitored on your travel patterns through the app on your phone.

Read the terms and conditions.

Data Protection: Tracsis will not use your personal information for any purpose other than that of managing the survey and reward voucher.

All other information collected during the survey will be kept by Moby X Software Ltd / Oxfordshire County Council for the purposes laid out in the Harmony app privacy notice

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Electoral Registration Email sent by Cherwell DC

Confirmation that Cherwell District Council has sent an email to confirm your electoral registration details.

In a bid to save thousands of sheets of paper, Cherwell District Council wrote electronically to over 31,000 residents on Thursday 21 July 2022 as part of their annual electoral registration drive.

The email is from cherwelldc@householdresponse.com

Yvonne Rees, Electoral Registration Officer, said: “We check and update people’s electoral registration details every year, and normally this involves writing a letter to every household in the district.

“Where people have already sent us their email address in connection with their electoral registration, we are going to embrace that method and send you an email. It will save the taxpayer money and be better for the planet too.

“We will send a letter to households we don’t have an email for from 8 August, and anyone who doesn’t pick up the initial email will receive a letter to make sure they have the opportunity to respond. Please read your email or letter carefully to find out what steps you need to take next.

“If your details have changed, it’s key that you provide us with an update. It only takes five minutes.”

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Energy Rebate Payment

The government announced in February 2022 an initiative to help households with rising energy costs; this being certain households qualifying for a rebate of £150.

Cherwell DC has made payment to more than 88 per cent of eligible properties to date. For those properties that have not yet applied, if you wish for the £150 to be paid to your bank account please apply by Sunday, 31 July 2022.

Letters have been issued throughout May and June 2022 providing residents with the necessary information to allow for an application to be made.

If an application is not received by 31 July 2022, the £150 payment will automatically be transferred to the Council Tax account for eligible customers. Once the payment has been credited to the Council Tax account, a revised bill will be issued.

If you are eligible for the payment but do not wish to receive the £150, please contact Council.Tax@Cherwell-dc.gov.uk. You will need to quote your Council Tax account number and ‘refusal of energy payment’ in the subject line of the email.

All payments must be completed by end September 2022.

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Garden Waste - Brown Bin Removal

It isn’t too late to sign up to have your garden waste collected. To take out a subscription visit this page.

Since the separation of food and garden waste streams in March Cherwell District Council have collected 4,360 tonnes of garden waste and reduced the amount that goes into the green bins by 732 tonnes.

If you’d rather not have your brown garden waste bin emptied Cherwell District Council will come and collect it.

Send Cherwell DC your request to have it removed by filling in this form, and they will come and get it within 21 days of booking: Brown bin removal

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Go Jaunty App - New digital guide to local walks

Image of a smartphone displaying the app

Try the free, easy to use Go Jauntly app to help you get out and about in your local area.

Cherwell District Council are working in partnership with Go Jauntly to digitise local countryside walks and health routes. Several walks are available now in and around Banbury and more are being added all the time.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, local walks will be easy to find. Simple photo guides help you navigate and the app will tell you about interesting places and what you can see in nature along the way.

Use the green routes feature to find circular nature-filled walking routes – and connect with nature every day using the nature notes feature.

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Better Housing Better Health - Support with Fuel Bills

With the rising cost of living, specifically with fuel bills, Oxfordshire local authorities are keen to make sure residents who are struggling (or at risk of struggling) get the support that’s out there this summer, before winter comes around again.

The Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) service, provides free, local telephone support to help people stay warm and well in their homes (e.g advice, signposting to energy efficiency grants, emergency fuel vouchers etc). In addition, certain residents might be eligible for a home visit (link to an explainer video) for those people where the telephone isn’t as effective in working out what help is available for them.

Last year BHBH helped nearly 750 residents and found a total of £36,000 that people had missed out on. We know homes do not have mains gas: people are more likely to find it harder to heat their homes affordably.

BHBHs contact details for either referrals (with appropriate consent) or calls direct from residents to 0800 107 0044 or https://www.bhbh.org.uk/ or bhbh@nef.org.uk.

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Free Electric Blanket Testing Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards are carrying out free testing of electric blankets during September and October this year and bookings are now open: call 01865 895999 Option 3 or email duty.officer@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Cherwell date is 21st September 2022.

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Heatwave Action - Level 4

The Met Office have now issued a red extreme heat warning for Monday and Tuesday next week, covering parts of Oxfordshire.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/heat-health/?tab=heatHealth&season=normal#?tab=heatHealth

What to expect

  • Population-wide adverse health effects experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to serious illness or danger to life. Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.
  • Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines will be required
  • High risk of failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, potentially leading to localised loss of power and other essential services, such as water or mobile phone services
  • Significantly more people visiting coastal areas, lakes and rivers, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents
  • Delays on roads and road closures, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays

You may find some useful information and links on the Oxfordshire County Council website. This can be found here: Hot weather across England - warnings and advice issued (oxfordshire.gov.uk)

There are also some useful links below for additional advice from the government about staying safe in the heat.

Beat the heat: keep cool at home checklist - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Beat the heat: staying safe in hot weather - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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Cherwell District Council - Cost of Living Support

Cherwell District Council are aware that the cost of living is becoming increasingly hard for many residents and would like to support you in any way they can. Cherwell District Council have a dedicated support page, which is updated as new advice and help becomes available.

Topics currently covered on the support page include:

  • Rebates, discounts and benefits
  • Dealing with high gas and electricity bills
  • Foodbanks
  • Support with rent or mortgage payments
  • Debt and money advice
  • Help and advice

If you are struggling at all please get in touch with Cherwell District Council either via their website or on 01295 227001 and they will do their best to get you the right support.

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Oxford United Football Club Relocation Survey

As many of you may be aware Oxford United Football Club are looking to secure a new home, with their main proposal being Stratfield Brake in Kidlington. The football club have launched a dedicated website about the proposal, as well as a survey to find out views from local residents. To find out more information and to take part in their survey please go to: https://oufcstadium.co.uk/

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Village Baby Bank Collection - 2nd July 2022

The focus of our donations this month will be to the BABY BANK in Bicester. The Food Bank actually sends all of their donations of baby and new mother items to the local Baby Bank.

As we are learning from the press, the need for food and supplies is increasing. Families with babies and young children are struggling to feed the little ones.

We can help.

The Baby Bank accepts nappies (open packets are fine), wipes, toiletries, baby food and formula which have a good use by date on.

The Baby Bank takes donations of good quality baby items such as clothes, bedding, towels, shoes, cots, pushchairs, highchairs, bouncers etc up to the age of 5 years old.

The Baby Bank also collects items for mothers such as sanitary and maternity products that could be used in a hospital bag.

Please bring your donations to the pop-up donation area at the Village Pantry and Post Office on Saturday 2nd Julyfrom 9am – 12.30pm.

If you don’t know what to buy please donate some money and the shopping can be done for you!

www.bicesterbabybank.org.uk

Thank you - St. Mary’s Church, Village Hall and Parish Council

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NHS COVID Vaccinations - 5-11 Year Olds

All children aged 5-11 continue to be offered vaccination against Covid-19 vaccine.

Two doses of the vaccine (at least 12 weeks apart) should give the child long-lasting protection against serious complications of infection and some protection from mild symptoms. To book an appointment, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or call 119.

The NHS wants to support you to make an informed choice with more information available here COVID-19: A guide for parents of children aged 5 to 11 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

If you do not know your child’s NHS number you can get it:

  • by checking your child’s personal health record (the red book given to you when your child was born)
  • by checking any NHS letters, prescriptions or test results you may have received for your child
  • by going to the UK website
  • by asking your GP practice to help you.

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Naming of Playing Field - Event Invitation - Saturday 4th June, 10.30-11.30am at the Playing Field

All villagers are welcome to join members of the Parish Council at the Playing Field for the naming of the field and Jubilee bench unveiling. This event marks the purchase of the playing field from the Duchy of Cornwall and we are delighted to have one of our villagers, John May DL OBE, Secretary General of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award as our honoured guest who will cut the ribbon.

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Swifts Conservation in Cherwell

Swift numbers have gone down so rapidly in the last 25 years that they are now Red-listed as ‘Birds of Conservation Concern’. There are several likely causes of this decline but the loss of nest sites is most significant. Swifts come back to the same place every year and nest in small gaps under eaves and in the walls of buildings. These are easily lost when buildings are repaired.

The Council has supported and promoted the Cherwell Swifts Conservation Project (CSCP) since it began in 2008. The Project receives and uses information from Swift watchers across the district to protect existing nest sites, encourage Swift-friendly building work and enable the provision of new places for them to nest both in old and new buildings.

If you are interested in volunteering to be a be a Swift Watcher or if you see a building with nesting Swifts, or groups of Swifts screaming around over roof tops (a sure sign that they are nesting nearby), please contact the Project coordinator, Chris Mason at candomason@outlook.com

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Annual Parish Meeting - 27th April 2022, 7.30pm

The Annual Parish Meeting is a meeting of all members of the parish. Its purpose is to report the highlights of the year and to give members of the parish the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.

Topics that will be covered will include:

  1. Traffic through the village, speed limits
  2. Playing Field project & official naming event
  3. Technology project
  4. Oak Tree path progress
  5. Review of housing allocation
  6. Social Housing Register
  7. Vandalism

If you have other concerns please email the clerk (clerk@westononthegreen-pc.gov.uk) so we are able to give a fully informed answer.

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Election of Weston on the Green Parish Councillors - April 2022

Notice of an Uncontested Election - the following people have been duly elected Parish Councillors for Weston on the Green Parish Council to commence office on 9th May 2022:

  • Diane Bohm
  • Susan Davis
  • John Miller
  • Neil Mullane
  • Colin Rosser
  • Robin Stafford Allen

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Parish Notice of Elections May 2022

An election will be held on 5th May 2022 to elect Councillors to the Parish Council (if contested) and also Councillors to Cherwell District Council (Launton & Otmoor ward).

Voting to take place in Weston on the Green Village Hall, 7am-10pm.

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North Lane Footpath & Oak Tree

Please find a link to a report commissioned by the Parish Council on the footpath installed at the end of North Lane and its potential impact on the oak tree.

Oak Tree Arboricultural Report - February 2022

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All Stars & Dynamos Cricket Summer Programme

Local cricket clubs across the county run an England Cricket initiative called All Stars Cricket and Dynamos Cricket.

All Stars Cricket provides a fantastic first experience for all children aged 5-8 years old where they’re guaranteed jam-packed fun, activity and skills development. The programme is designed to introduce children to the sport, teaching them new skills, helping them make new friends and have a great time doing so. Each participant that signs up will receive 8 weeks of cricket sessions, personalised All Stars t-shirt, bat, ball and backpack. More information can be found - here

Dynamos Cricket (8-11 years) is an action-packed, fun programme centred around game play with each session including a skill building activity aimed at providing an active warm-up and focusing in on a skill for that week. During the programme, children will play 60-ball countdown cricket each week, with the skill building activity changing week to week. Every child that signs up will receive a personalised New Balance t-shirt. Information can be found here.

All Stars Cricket

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Thames Valley Police: Bicester and Kidlington Rural Neighbourhood Police Team Report 2021-2022

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Bletchingdon Road / Church Lane Roadworks - Commencing 16th March 2022

Oxfordshire County Council have informed the Parish Council that they will be undertaking works to repair the degraded verge along Bletchingdon Road, adjacent to Gallosbrook (where the barrier is currently located).

This work will involve a two way traffic light system for approximately two weeks.

Please note that whilst this work has been scheduled Oxfordshire County Council may change the timings.

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Annual Village Litter Pick - 26th March 2022

Please come along and help with the annual village litter pick on Saturday 26th March 2022.

Please meet at the Village Hall at 09.30am.

All equipment and guidance will be provided.

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NOTICE OF CASUAL VACANCY

Notice is hereby given that there are currently two vacancies among the members of the Parish Council. Any person willing to fill this vacancy should apply to the Clerk in writing via email on or before 28th February 2022.

Necessary skills to be a good councillor include good communication skills, problem solving, analytical thinking, team player, caring about the community and willing to take an active role.

The applicant's name must appear on the current register of the Voters List or the applicant should during the whole of the twelve months preceding the date of this notice resided in or within three miles of the parish or the applicant’s only place of work during the whole of the twelve months preceding the date of this notice is in the parish. The applicant must not be debarred from standing as a Councillor.

PUBLIC elections cannot be held until May 2022 but for the interim period election to the aforesaid Council will be voted for by the present sitting number of Councillors.

A public session will be held during 2nd March 2022 Parish Council meeting where discussion between existing Councillors and potential candidates will be held.

If you wish to find out more information on becoming a councillor and whats involved please do not hesitate to contact one of the Councillors.

Jane Mullane (Parish Clerk)

Notice Date: 16th February 2022

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Playing Field Maintenance & Volunteers

As a village we now own the playing field and the spinney, the Parish Council is arranging for an audit by a professional of the condition of the trees in the spring.

A contractor has trimmed the hedge along the frontage of the playing field which was laid some years ago, and we have identified that the spinney undergrowth needs clearing to make access safer and easier and some wood cleared from around the footpath, where it is overhanging.

To this end we are appealing for volunteers to let Robin Stafford Allen (01869 350464) or the clerk (clerk@westononthegreen-pc.gov.uk) know if they would be keen to help in February or March to work in the spinney for a day, or perhaps two.

All tools and guidance will be provided.