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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

Aug
23
Fri
9:30 am Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Aug 23 @ 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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Aug
25
Sun
11:00 am Thame Skate Jam @ Thame Skate Park
Thame Skate Jam @ Thame Skate Park
Aug 25 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thame Skate Jam @ Thame Skate Park
Thame Skatepark will be hosting a Skate Jam on Sunday 25th August between 11am and 5pm. Head down to enjoy a live DJ, food van, giveaways and competitions throughout the day – including best trick and best line! Skate, bmx, blade, scooter or spectate – everyone is welcome. Stay up to date via the Thame Skatepark Group on Facebook here
12:00 pm Towersey Fringe 2019 @ Towersey Playing Fields
Towersey Fringe 2019 @ Towersey Playing Fields
Aug 25 @ 12:00 pm – 11:59 am
Towersey Fringe 2019 @ Towersey Playing Fields
Beers, Bands & Comedy   Comedians: Mark Simmonds Andrew Lawrence Alice Brine Scott Capurro Otiz Canneloni Robert White Bands: Get Loose Kiera Gabrielle Paul E Dirty Bizzness Samara Chan Thank Frank The 2 Strokes
Aug
26
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
Aug 26 @ 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…

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11:00 am Lee Caulfield Paracise Class @ The New Thame Cricket Club
Lee Caulfield Paracise Class @ The New Thame Cricket Club
Aug 26 @ 11:00 am – 11:45 am
Lee Caulfield Paracise Class @ The New Thame Cricket Club
A New No Floor Exercise Class 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. A brand new innovative exercise class designed to enhance and enrich your life. A gentle but effective workout that flows smoothly through movements designed to improve mobility, flexibility and balance. Paracise is proven to help combat a variety of different conditions. Paracise…

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