Minutes of the Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Youth Club, Church End, on 13th December 2022 at 7.30pm
Mr. B. Parnham Chairman
Mrs. A. Knipe
Mrs. J. Macdonald
Mr. D. Jeffcoat
Mr. J. Clements
Mr. D. Bevan Clerk
OCC Cllr Mr. D. Levy, WODC Cllr. Mr. C. Maynard.
Buses/Bus Stop/Shelter – Mr. Jeffcoat said that the bus stop move and the shelter proposals were proceeding in a satisfactory manner. He will give a full report at the next meeting.
The following accounts received were approved: (paid*)
Kaspersky - 2 yr subscription £35.99*
BNBG - bird boxes £100.00*
S'lake V Hall - hire for SNRN £33.00*
Barn Owl Co - box, survey £75.00*
D C Bevan - clerk salary £1544.70*
HMRC - clerk PAYE £367.80*
Dan Levy - County Councillor Report, December 2022
Environment and transport
As you will have seen, the likely cost of the HIF2 A40 scheme is now judged to have exceeded the
funding from Homes England, because of the high level of inflation. The scheme has therefore been
paused to be reviewed.
I spoke at Cabinet a few weeks ago to call for the review to be thorough, and to retain those parts of
the scheme which add most value. It was predicable from the start to everyone apart from the
previous administration that the scheme would cost more than planned and that the benefits are
difficult to be confident about, and my predecessor as your County Councillor, Charles Mathew, and
I were united in our position on the scheme.
It is likely that the review will report back to Cabinet by March 2023.
Oxford traffic filters and Botley Road:
At a rather rowdy Cabinet meeting, the proposals to introduce traffic filters to the city were passed..
As a reminder, there will be nowhere in the city that cannot be reached by car that currently is
accessible to cars. The filters just make the route different, to speed up buses.
A small proportion of those speaking against the scheme actually based their objections on what is
being proposed. Interestingly, nobody called for the removal of the traffic filters which have been in
place for decades, such as the one on the High Street.
Rather more disruptive to people will be the closure of Botley Road by Network Rail, at the railway
bridge. This had been planned by NR last for a year from January, but they have subsequently
decided that they won’t be ready to start in January. We await further information. Buses will
continue to run, up to the west side of the bridge, and pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross
the railway. My expectation is that more people will use the train to get to the city centre, and have
asked Network Rail to assess whether parking provision is adequate at Hanborough, Radley and
Freight strategy. The cabinet member responsible has suggested that the new strategy is being
prepared. I will continue to press for heavy traffic to be routed away from villages and for proper
enforcement – the use of APNR cameras on Newbridge demonstrates their effectiveness. There
clearly is an issue that stopping essential traffic in one place moves it to another, and that is
particularly acute in places where the rivers act as a barrier to alternative routes.
The County Council budget is out for consultation, as is that of WODC. There will have to be cuts,
unless HM Government provides adequate funding in its settlement, which seems very unlikely.
Council Services are already stretched, in key areas including Adult Social Care, Special Education
Needs, and highways maintenance. The County Council has outlined savings of c £35m in an already
severely overstretched budget Please do take part in both consultations.
As expected, the Boundary Commission issued its final report on the new boundaries, which will
come into effect for any general election after June 2023. Standlake will be in the Witney
constituency, whereas Eynsham will be in the new Bicester and Woodstock constituency.
Farringdon, over the river, will be added to Witney constituency. There are no changes as part of
this parliamentary review to the local government boundaries. There is a separate review of County
Council seats underway, and there will be a consultation period for this next year.
As ever, please contact me with comments, queries, and suggestions.
Charlie Maynard – District Councillor Report, December 2022
Cost of Living – please see Dan Levy’s county councillor update for key developments there.
Staying warm - If you are aware of warm public spaces please do publish them on https://www.warmwelcome.uk/ so that residents are aware of what is available.
Terra Development at Marsh Furlong at Aston – at the WODC planning meeting on Monday 5th December, the application for 40 houses was turned down on a number of grounds. The application was turned down unanimously by all councillors on the committee, including by both your district councillors. It’s possible that the developer will appeal. Encouragingly, it looks like the government is finally responding to public pressure to move away from mandatory housing targets.
1. Lidia Arciszewska, Alaric Smith, WODC officers and I have now met Thames Water three times in three months. The more we get into TW’s data, the less sound it is. We’re seeking to come to an understanding of which sewage treatment works are below their capacity requirements and what work will be conducted to upgrade them when.
2. We’ve been working with WODC planning officers to ensure that every development that comes forward now must include key data on the relevant sewage treatment works as part of the standard development “Validation Check List”. This will make it immediately clear whether there is or is not sufficient capacity in the sewage treatment works to accommodate further development.
3. We’re also working with officers to include a standard condition so that a sewage treatment works must have sufficient capacity before new houses are occupied. We’ve been told by Thames Water that a stronger condition where the works must have capacity before construction starts will be struck down by national inspectors.