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An update from OCC’s Cllr Carter & Cllr Matelot

The full report can be found by following this link, but highlights are below:

PACE OF GROWTH CONTINUES
Oxfordshire’s relentless pace of growth continues as the County Council has been awarded £218m funding to enable thousands of new houses to be built, including affordable homes, and create new jobs. The funding was announced by the Chancellor in the Spring Statement and is part of the Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) programme from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. A variety of growth measures had previously been identified in the local plans of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils, and the HIF fund is linked with the Government’s ‘Housing and Growth Deal’ which has targeted 100,000 new homes in Oxfordshire by 2031. The infrastructure priorities are initially focused on the Didcot area, with more detail if you follow the link above. The County has also submitted a HIF bid for substantial improvements to the A40. The improvements would be conditional on delivering 4800 new homes, including 2200 affordable. The bid includes:

  • extending the A40 dual carriageway from Witney to the proposed Eynsham park and ride, including better cycling facilities along the route;
  • extending the A40 westbound bus lane from west of Duke’s Cut canal and railway bridges to the proposed Eynsham park and ride;
  • improving the A40 capacity and connectivity at Duke’s Cut canal and railway bridges, along with an eastbound bus route over the A40 Duke’s Cut bridges on the approach to Wolvercote and a link joining the A40 cycle route to National Cycle Network route 5 along the Oxford Canal.

OCC is adopting compulsory purchase powers to enable it to progress a number of schemes.

CALL TO SCRAP EXPRESSWAY
A group of planners have published their concerns about both the so-called Oxford-Cambridge Expressway and the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan. They are calling for the proposed road to be scrapped and for the 2050 Plan to go back to the drawing board. They have issued two short reports, available here: https://www.oxfoe.co.uk/2019/06/04/scrap-expressway-say-oxford-planning-experts/
Their critique of the Oxfordshire 2050 Plan is “Balancing Oxfordshire’s Growth in a Climate Change Emergency”, and their proposals to scrap the Expressway is “Oxford to  Cambridge Corridor – an Alternative Strategy”. Noel Newson, a former chief assistant engineer at Oxford City Council, explains: “The plans for Oxfordshire must take account of the climate crisis. It is folly to be building major new roads which will only add to carbon emissions. Instead, we should be planning to locate new housing where people don’t need to use a car for their every need. And of course, you don’t need HGVs to transport ideas between leading universities.”

ASSISTANCE FOR HIGH STREETS
The County and district councils are being urged to bid for a share of the Future High Streets Fund, the Government’s £675 million pot of money to help local areas modernise their high streets and town centres. The Government is also aiming to cut small retailers’ bills by a third and take 600,000 businesses out of paying business rates altogether, to help local businesses to provide more local jobs in their communities. This total package of £1.5 billion is intended to support high streets, and it builds on an injection of more than £10 billion of business rates support since 2016. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has recently described business rates as a “20th Century tax” which needs a “21st Century replacement”. During the Conservative leadership campaign, he said the business rates system was unfairly skewed against ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses. And meanwhile, the Commons Treasury Committee has also been told that an overhaul of the business rates system is needed to address its disproportionate impact on retail and manufacturing. Addressing the Committee, West Midlands mayor Andy Street called for councils to have the power to grant rates relief to new and expanding businesses, and to create free-trade zones with reduced business rates in town centres to boost business.
That’s a suggestion that we could get behind. On the other hand, the ‘Future High Streets Fund’ might provide a shot in the arm for some areas of Oxfordshire, but do market towns like Thame or villages such as Chinnor need to ‘modernise’ their high streets

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Upcoming Events

Oct
17
Thu
all-day Thame Art Crawl @ Thame
Thame Art Crawl @ Thame
Oct 17 – Oct 19 all-day
Thame Art Crawl @ Thame
It is not long until the start of 2019’s Thame Art Crawl, run alongside Thame Arts and Literature Festival. This year TAL are celebrating their 10th year and Thame Art Crawl will return for its 3rd year, offering an exciting display of artistic talent at 11 locations around Thame town centre. The event runs from 17 – 19 October. Thame Art Crawl aims to celebrate the local art scene in our gorgeous little corner of Oxfordshire. You will be surprised at the amount of talent the area holds. Thame Art Crawl launched in 2017, with the vision of increasing the opportunity for artists to exhibit, and people to enjoy, the visual arts in Thame, and had gone on to run in 2018, and 2019. Thame Art Crawl…

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all-day Thame Arts & Literature Festival... @ Thame
Thame Arts & Literature Festival... @ Thame
Oct 17 – Oct 20 all-day
Thame Arts & Literature Festival (TAL) @ Thame
For more information on the Thame Arts & Literature Ferstival please visit https://talfestival.org  
Oct
18
Fri
9:30 am Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Oct 18 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Lee has spent over 25 years in the sports and fitness industry. Working with a range of different age groups from young groups to the over 50’s, both in groups or 1-2-1 classes. Lee has worked in gyms, fitness centres both for the county council and privately owned. She has also worked with a large franchise group in the past, dealing with people’s fitness and nutrition. Helping people to achieve weight loss, toning, fitness and personal development. Having worked across a number of different exercise disciplines in the past, over the last 10 years her focus has moved to Pilates in order to develop core strength, toning for her clients.   Classes are mat based and tailored to individual needs. Each class has different ability…

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Oct
19
Sat
3:00 pm Thomley CHARITY DAY – Thame Unit... @ ASM Stadium
Thomley CHARITY DAY – Thame Unit... @ ASM Stadium
Oct 19 @ 3:00 pm – 4:45 pm
Thomley CHARITY DAY - Thame United v ST Neots @ ASM Stadium
This isn’t just an ordinary league fixture this Saturday.   As Thame United dedicate the match to the local children’s charity Thomley – 1) Thomley children will be mascot’s for the match. 2) Half Time fun for the children with GK coach Matt Timberlake in the form of a penalty shootout. 3) Bring some change if you would like to donate to Thomley   SPECIAL GUEST –  We also have the pleasure to announce that our local MP John Howell will be visiting the ASM Stadium for the second time in 2019 to offer his support to Thame United and Thomley.   Saturday 19/10/2019 Thame United v St Neotts Kick Off 15:00   Admission Prices  Adults £8 Concession £5 Children £1 *Thomley parents/carers £1  …

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Oct
21
Mon
9:30 am Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Thame(Chinnor) Rugby Club, Kingsey Road, Thame, OX9 3JL
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Thame(Chinnor) Rugby Club, Kingsey Road, Thame, OX9 3JL
Oct 21 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Thame(Chinnor) Rugby Club, Kingsey Road, Thame, OX9 3JL
Lee has spent over 25 years in the sports and fitness industry. Working with a range of different age groups from young groups to the over 50’s, both in groups or 1-2-1 classes. Lee has worked in gyms, fitness centres both for the county council and privately owned. She has also worked with a large franchise group in the past, dealing with people’s fitness and nutrition. Helping people to achieve weight loss, toning, fitness and personal development. Having worked across a number of different exercise disciplines in the past, over the last 10 years her focus has moved to Pilates in order to develop core strength, toning for her clients. Classes are mat based and tailored to individual needs. Each class has different ability levels…

Read More...

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