Latest News from the Parish Council
Last updated 4th March 2021
Census 2021 - Sunday 21st March 2021
Census day is 21st March 2021. All households are required by law to complete the census or you could be fined up to £1000.
The census gathers vital information to help plan services such as healthcare, education and transport.
To find out more, request a paper form or if you need help to fill in your census form please visit www.census.gov.uk or call 0800 141 2021.
Local Census Support Centres will be available while the census is happening. They can help if you're not confident online, you do not have a computer or you need help completing on paper. Phone 0800 141 2021 to find your nearest centre.
Witney Town Council Recruiting
Applications are invited for the posts of:
- Town Clerk PA & HR Administrator (P/T – 25 hrs per week)
- Finance Officer/RFO & HR Officer (P/T – 30 hrs per week)
- Democratic & Legal Services Officer (F/T – 37 hrs per week)
- Administration Support Assistants x 3 (1x F/T & 2x P/T - 25 hrs per week)
For job descriptions, an application form, and further information, please visit their website: www.witney-tc.gov.uk Closing date for applications: 5pm, Wednesday 10th March 2021
Interview dates: 15th - 17th March 2021
Witney Town Council prides itself on being an equal opportunities employer and encourages and welcomes applications from people regardless of age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
Elections May 2021 - Call for Support
Elections will take place in Cherwell on 6 May 2021. Cherwell District Council need extra staff to work at polling stations and at the count. Information about rates of pay and how to apply is available on the CDC website: Elections Staffing
Commencement of Great Wolf Appeal - Tuesday 9th February 2021
The virtual public inquiry in to the Great Wolf application at Chesterton will be live streamed on the Planning Inspectorate YouTube Channel using the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQqDetL1R5aRgbNm8PDViNw
A timetable for the planning appeal is available to download: Great Wolf Appeal Inquiry Timetable
It is suggested to regularly tune into the live stream to help show how important this is to the local community. The Inquiry is expected to last for 12 days. A decision is expected two to three months after the inquiry ends and the appeal decision will be published on the Planning Inspectorates website: https://www.gov.uk/planning-inspectorate
Members of the public (around 25) are being co-ordinated to speak on different topics at the Inquiry on 11th February (5.30pm to 8pm). All Proofs of Evidence are now available on Cherwell’s Planning Portal: https://planningregister.cherwell.gov.uk/Search/Advanced (Ref: 20/00030/REF)
To date 34 parishes have joined the Parishes Against Wolf group.
For all the latest information and advice please visit the following websites:
Government website: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Cherwell District Council: https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/homepage/133/coronavirus-covid-19
Oxfordshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Oxfordshire County Council
Please use the following link to see: Useful Contacts during Coronavirus Pandemic
If you are aware of anyone who may need some help or if you require support please do not hesitate to contact the Clerk (Jane Mullane) on: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/text her on 01869 350282 / 07775 994198.
Oxfordshire County Council - Winter Support Grants available to help people hit financially by pandemic
Financial help is still available for people struggling to feed their families or heat their homes this winter as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oxfordshire County Council, in partnership with the county’s district councils and Citizens Advice services, is offering support to vulnerable residents through a Winter Support Grant. Oxfordshire was awarded £400,000 by the government in December to fund the cost of food, electricity, heating and other essential items, and the financial help is available for households to claim by 31 March, 2021.
What help is available:
Households with children can claim up to £350, while those without children can receive up to £175. The support teams provide the funding through supermarket vouchers, cover costs for pre-payment meters, or make sure that a heating or water bill is paid.
If a resident has received a food voucher from a previous scheme, they may also be eligible to have one from the Winter Support Grant.
How to apply from theCherwell District Councilarea visit:www.cherwell.gov.uk/wintergrant
The teams will then carry out the appropriate checks to see if you are eligible for financial help. Grants are available until the end of March.
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The pandemic and the lockdown are continuing to affect so many people, not least financially, in an unprecedented way. That is why these Winter Support Grants are so vital. No-one likes asking for help, but please, if you are struggling to pay for the essentials, then get in touch with your local authority and see if you are eligible for some financial help. We’re here to help you.”
Covid Vaccination Programme - Oxfordshire
The vaccination programme is being rolled out progressively across Oxfordshire. The NHS is asking people to be patient and not to contact their GP. Here is their advice:
- Please do not contact your GP or another NHS service to seek a vaccine - the NHS will contact you.
- When the NHS does contact you, please attend your booked appointments.
- Please continue to follow all the public health guidance to control the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
Prioritisation is based on people who are most at risk or need it because of the work they do. This includes people over the age of 80 and people living and working in care homes. The prioritisation has been set nationally by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
To qualify for this grant, businesses must have been:
Businesses are also eligible if they have had to adapt their business model to provide a reduced service, such as takeaways or click and collect. If the main part of the business (before government restrictions) is to provide takeaways or click and collect services, then the business is not eligible.
The application form is available online.
Sources of advice for business
The government’s business support webpages set out the COVID-19 support available to businesses such as loan schemes designed to support UK businesses that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the pandemic.
THE WOLF IS BACK! Great Wolf Resorts Appeal Lodged
Great Wolf have appealed. After spending months lining up their arguments, we are left with a very short time to prepare our defence.
The proposed private complex poses a dramatic and real threat to our countryside and the way of life we currently enjoy; the final decision will be made by an appeals inspector in February 2021. But we only have until 27 November 2020 to object in writing. So, time is of the essence.
Cherwell planners unanimously rejected this plan in March 2020 as being completely unsuitable for its location. But the Wolf is back and they have just lodged a last-minute appeal.
We are now working with Cherwell planners to defend our villages, countryside and wildlife.
This is our last chance - so to give ourselves the best chance we have lined up a crack legal and professional team who are offering their services at reasonable rates.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
WRITE: Please show your support by writing your own letter to the appeal case officer Alison Dyer emphasising your personal objections. We have included some shocking facts you might want to use. PLEASE WRITE EVEN IF YOU WROTE A LETTER TO THE APPLICATION. WE MUST PROVE THE OBJECTION STILL HAS SUPPORT.
The deadline for this is 27 November 2020.
Be sure to include the appeal reference: APP/C3105/W/20/3259189
Post: Alison Dyson, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3J, Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN or E-mail: Alison.email@example.com
DONATE: Any donation will really help: https://gf.me./u/y7fsr7
This is very important.We need to raise upwards of £50,000 to pay for our defence. Every donation counts, no matter how small OR how large!! If 50 people in the village gave £50 we would as a village contribute £2,500.
PUT UP A POSTER: Please download a Great Wolf Poster to put up in your window, car, or anywhere people will see it!
SIGN THE PETITION: This is a link to Change.org. http://chng.it/kFSSMr44
Why not do ALL of the above? Each action will help either inform the inspector or support the team putting this together.
These facts might help you when you write to object
- The proposed development is not in accordance with the Cherwell Local Plan. It was considered that the proposal would not comply with Policy SLE3 of the CLPP1 which requires new tourism development to be located in sustainable locations.
- This will NOT be a public amenity – the water park complex is designed for people who book an overnight stay. Local day passes are likely to be scarce and expensive (and not available during school holidays or weekends).
- 500,000 visitors a year, meaning 1,800 additional car trips a day on our local roads, which are already stretched to capacity. This includes local country lanes, the accident hot-spot A34, plus the A41, A4095, B430 and A4030.
- The hotel - one of the largest outside London - will be four-storeys high, and a total capacity of around 2,000 visitors.
- A huge, unsightly complex dominating the landscape. This will be 60% larger than Bicester Village or the equivalent of two Tesco Extra superstores.
- A permanently floodlit 900 space car park (around the same capacity as Oxford’s Westgate Centre) – this will look like an airport long-stay car park.
- An 84ft high water tower building (potentially the tallest building in Cherwell - taller than Buckingham Palace!)
- It will cause a substantial increase in air/noise pollution and destruction of wildlife habitat.
- You could add that a complex this size is the opposite of what we should be doing to combat climate change – vast amounts of chemicals and water will be used in an area where water supply is a concern.
LOCAL RESIDENTS WILL BEAR THE BRUNT OF THIS WITH VIRTUALLY NO BENEFITS TO US
We would really appreciate as many of you to send a letter of opposition as possible. Wouldn’t it be great to send 100 from one village alone!!
Finally, thank you so much for considering this URGENT request.
Please email a copy of your letter to Diane Bohm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NHS Covid-19 App - Available to download now
The NHS COVID-19 App is part of the large scale coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and contact tracing programme and will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus – helping to keep us all safer. The NHS COVID-19 App alerts people at risk of coronavirus, asking them to isolate before they potentially pass the virus on to others as well as providing local area alerts and QR venue check-in. The app will help the NHS understand if the virus is spreading in a particular area, and so local authorities can respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives. The app does this while protecting a user’s anonymity. Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is.
Further information can be found on NHS website.
Weston on the Green Airfield - Noise Complaints Update
Weston on the Green RAF Airfield held a meeting with all relevant Weston on the Green and Brize Norton pilots (and air safety personnel) on 7th September 2020, to discuss the noise complaints and what they could do to reduce them.
One of the main problems was a badger issue at the end of the East/West runway which couldn't be dealt with before now because they were in ‘mating’ season. By displacing the threshold of the runway, they are now able to use that runway again; however, that will always be dependent on winds and ac flying requirements. Many conversations were had and map locations and flight lines discussed. All pilots are now keenly aware that they should try to avoid the village and they have stated they will do all in their power to do so – obviously without compromising safety or military requirement.
How to make a flying complaint: Members of the public can submit a flying complaint to RAF Brize Norton by either calling the Duty Operations Controller on 01993 896500 (which is available 365 days a year, 24/7) or by emailing BZN-OpsWg-FlyingComplaints@mod.gov.uk which is monitored during normal working hours. The Communications Officer has 20 working days to respond. It is advised to send the following information: name, full address and postocde, telephone number, date, time and location of the problem, type of aircraft (if known) and a brief description of the complaint.
If the flying complaint is outside RAF Brize Norton Military Air Traffic Zone the complaint will be passed onto the UK Low Flying Complaints and Enquiries Unit (based at RAF Wittering) which can be contacted either via email: SWK-LowFlying@mod.gov.uk or telephone: 01780 417558.
Further information on flying programmes for Weston on the Green airfield can be found on their public facing website - https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-brize-norton/flying-info/
Planning for Cherwell to 2040 - Public Consultation Period to 14th September 2020
Cherwell District Council has begun work on a new Local Plan for the District called the Cherwell Local Plan 2040.
Cherwell District Council have prepared a Community Involvement Paper which begins to identify the issues the new Local Plan may need to address. The paper does not contain any proposals or policy options, but highlights needs and issues to stimulate discussion and debate, which they are looking for the public to contribute to. You may have a view to share on the long term impacts of COVID-19, housing, employment and the economy, climate change, the future of our town centres, green spaces, recreation, community facilities, biodiversity and the natural environment, our built heritage and many other issues.
The consultation documents are available online at: www.cherwell.gov.uk/PlanningPolicyConsultation
Please submit your comments to: PlanningPolicyConsultation@cherwell-dc.gov.uk
or by post to: Planning Policy Team, Planning Policy, Conservation and Design, Cherwell District Council, Bodicote House, Bodicote, Banbury, OX15 4AA
If anyone has difficulty accessing the documents online, please contact the Planning Policy Team for assistance on 01295 227985 or email email@example.com
The closing date for comments is 14th September 2020.
How to Apply to go on Cherwell Housing Register - August 2020
The housing register is the waiting list managed by Cherwell District Council to allocate available social housing in Cherwell district. Social housing is designed to be affordable accommodation for households who do not have the resources to buy their own homes or rent privately, or who have specialist housing needs, for example a disability or high support need.
Social housing in Cherwell is owned mainly by Registered Providers, (who used to be called Housing Associations), they work in partnership with Cherwell to let the majority of their homes through the one waiting list.
There is an agreed Allocations Scheme (PDF)to make sure that the same rules are used to assess all applications and having one waiting list makes sure that everyone gets an equal chance to apply for the houses that are available.
Only people with a connection to Cherwell qualify to be on the housing register. If you have not lived in Cherwell 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years, you need to provide details of how you meet the criteria.
Further information can be found on the Cherwell District Council website: https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/info/78/finding-a-home-in-cherwell/225/apply-to-join-the-housing-register
You will need your National Insurance number to complete the registration form. There is a checklist to help you understand what supporting documents you need to provide for the application to be assessed.
If you are unable to access the internet, there are self-service computers sited at all the district offices listed below, to enable you to complete your form on-line. An appointment can then be made if necessary, to upload your supporting documents.
If you require additional support to submit your application please contact 01295 227004.
- Bodicote House, Bodicote, Banbury, OX15 4AA
- Exeter Hall, Kidlington, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB
- Franklin House, Bicester, Wesley Lane, OX26 6JU
- The Town Centre Office, 43 Castle Quay, Banbury, OX16 5UW
All applications must be fully completed and submitted with all of the required supporting documents.
Weston on the Green Neighbourhood Plan Update - GREAT NEWS!
This is the news we have been waiting for!! The Neighbourhood Plan has passed the Examination with some modifications which we have agreed to without excessive compromise. Importantly Cherwell District Council's Executive Committee has agreed to accept the document as part of the planning policies considered for planning purposes and approvals. Elections and referenda are all postponed until after May 2021 so we do have a bit of a wait until each villager will have the opportunity to accept or decline this document. However, Central Government has stated that all Neighbourhood Plans which reach this stage must be given 'serious consideration' when planning applications are being considered.
It has been a long road for the Neighbourhood Plan team and the Parish Council. Great thanks is due the core team and advisors. We've also had a great deal of support from Cherwell. For those of you new to our process, our Neighbourhood Plan has had two different examiners because the Parish Council and Cherwell District Council did not support the first examination in two major modifications. We then had to choose a new examiner and go through the process again. He requested new written responses to insightful questions and then requested a virtual hearing where he really drilled down into the core issues of the Plan. Ultimately his report was supportive of the Plan with one exception which we anticipated and so discussed with WF2, the group which specifically was brought together to protect the schoolfield. Thanks to their excellent research and professional knowledge, we gathered together the basis of the argument which saw one of our policies protected.
So, while A levels and GCSEs were cancelled and many were reading interesting books and having fun Zoom meetings, a few of us were grilled under examination and prepared as for a dreaded examination. Thank goodness it is over for now!
The statement by Cherwell District Council and the Neighbourhood Plan 2018-2031 (with tracked changes) can be found on the Neighbourhood Plan website: https://wotgneighbourhoodplan.co.uk
Once the final copy of the Plan is completed we will print a few hard copies and also post it for your personal use when preparing a planning application for modifications to an existing home or plan for new builds in the parish.
Please don't hesitate to contact the Parish Council or me personally with any questions you may have.
Weston on the Green Playground Re-opening - 4th July 2020
The playground was re-opened on 4th July 2020. Please follow Government guidelines as detailed below and on the entrances to the playground; a full risk assessment was undertaken prior to re-opening.
Please follow existing Government Covid-19 Guidance - if you feel unwell please go home.
- You are advised to clean playground equipment before and after use.
- Please wash hands or use hand sanitiser before and after using the play area.
- Please stay at least 2 metres from another person who is not part of your household. If this is not possible 1 metre apart plus risk mitigations.
- Please cough or sneeze into a tissue or arm. Avoid touching your face, putting your hands in your mouth and putting your mouth on the equipment.
- Please dispose of litter in the bins provided or please take your litter home with you.
- Advise maximum 10 children in playground at one time and if busy please limit to 1 adult/child.
- Consumption of food or drink in the playground area is not advised.
The Council would like to highlight the need for patience and consideration of all children and adults using the playground during this time. Please report any concerns to the clerk on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01869 350282
Track and Trace Scam Information
This is a new scam that tries to convince people that they have been in contact with someone who has been tested positive, pretending to be NHS Track and Trace. They then either ask for money to send them a test, or try to get hold of their personal details.
Real contact tracers will:
- Call you from 0300 013 5000
- Send you text messages from ‘NHS’
- Ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
Real contact tracers will never:
- Ask you to dial a premium rate number (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
- Ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
- Ask for any details about your bank account
- Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
Message from Oxfordshire County Council Requesting No Bonfires During Coronavirus Pandemic
Please do not light garden fires during the current coronavirus pandemic. The Household Waste Recycling Centres are closed for the time being and we need you to hold material for now.
As well as the danger of the fire spreading uncontrollably, there are people in the community living with serious respiratory problems, which could be made much worse if the sufferer is exposed to smoke from bonfires.
Instead please compost your garden waste where possible, and stack or bag up rubbish for disposal when the current emergency is over.
Parish Council Noticeboards
If you would like to place a poster in either the new planter noticeboards or on the traditional noticeboard on Church Road please contact the clerk on: email@example.com
The new planter noticeboards will be used to advertise village meetings and events or general village messages eg. Neighbourhood Watch, Great Wolf Resorts. All members of the village are very welcome to use them, please check with the clerk prior to posting anything up - they fit a waterproof A1 poster, which you would be required to provide.
Burglary in the Village - 4th November 2019
Unfortunately there has been a burglary on a house in Weston on the Green on 4th November 2019. The Police have been informed and they reported it appears the burglars were interested in Audi cars and jewellery.
There was also a burglary in Banbury on 30th October 2019, in the middle of the day, where a large amount of jewellery was stolen. At about this time a male was knocking on doors of surrounding neighbours offering to clean drive ways and handing out leaflets. Whilst this may be unrelated the Police are keen to talk to door to door tradespeople who were in the area at that time.
There is a poster (PDF) from Oxfordshire Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police which you can place in your window to help prevent cold callers.
Please be vigilant and if you wish to report a crime or have any concerns that do not require an emergency response please contact the Police's non emergency number on 101.
If you don't want to speak directly to the Police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 08000 555 111.
If it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress or when someone suspected of a crime is nearby, please call 999 for immediate assistance.
For more advice on how to keep your home safe please visit the Thames Valley Police website: www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary
Further information can also be found Thames Valley Police's 'Home Security Guide (PDF)'.
Kidlington and District Community Forum
The Kidlington & District Community Forum work with the police to raise issues of concern, develop local community projects, give advice and raise awareness through sharing information.
If you are interested in joining the forum please email the group at: KidlingtonNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.ukor go to:
Weston-on-the-Green seeks new Parish Councillors
The Parish Council is looking for two new councillors. This is a great opportunity to get involved and help us make the right decisions for the Parish and have some fun at the same time. It is not all hard work and minutes, even though that makes up the core of the responsibilities. We also embrace a glass of wine at the Annual meeting, regularly provide coffee and biscuits at the PC meetings (thanks to Diane's generosity) and have a few laughs doing some of the more practical jobs.
We are all committed to ensuring Weston has a bright future and to fend off threats where they arise.
If you are interested to stand, please come and talk to one of us - we are also keen to get some of the younger or newer residents involved. The Council should have broad representation from the village.
You can email the Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Chair (email@example.com) or the Vice-Chair (Sdaenke@gmail.com) or come along and talk to us at the next Parish Council meeting on 4th September, 7.30pm in the village hall.
Oxfordshire Plan 2050
The Oxfordshire Plan 2050 is one of the commitments made by the six Oxfordshire authorities as part of the £215m Housing & Growth Deal, which will help deliver greatly needed new homes, including affordable and social housing, and infrastructure to the county.
The Plan will ask residents about what is important to them for the future. It will then examine the different levels of aspiration in order to achieve some, lots or all of these things, and the housing and infrastructure needed for each scenario.
By having all six authorities involved, the Plan will be able to collectively consider the needs of the county and align its strategies so that future housing and infrastructure is more joined up.
The Plan will not allocate sites for housing or employment. Instead, it will identify key areas for sustainable growth with associated housing / employment numbers. Districts will then use this to produce future Local Plans which will provide a detailed view of how housing and infrastructure will be delivered.
For more details please visit: www.oxfordshireplan.org
Keeping roads and paths clear in cold weather
As the eagle eyed residents of the village will have now noticed, there is a new salt bin at the end of Westlands Avenue. This brings our total of salt bins in the village to three.
They have been placed at key locations where there is a volume of traffic that intersects at a busy junction, often with poor visibility.
The bins are there for residents to use to make the roads and pathways near their homes clear of snow and ice. Please use them!
If you feel your salt bin needs refilling, please contact the Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org