TIDDINGTON WITH ALBURY & MILTON COMMON
# From the Editor
Best wishes to everyone for an enjoyable summer. There doesn’t seem to be too much happening over the next two months but make a special note of the following. On page 2 you will see that the mobile library is changing its visit to Wednesday – perhaps it will be better supported now that it is moving from market day. Note also the first of regular police surgeries at the Village Hall (see page 11)
Milton Common NHW (West Side)
To our residents in the Tiddington half of
In the last month there has been a car
dumped at the top of
On behalf of Oxfordshire Trading Standards:
URGENT - due to the sudden increase in rogue trader incidents, please can you contact Oxfordshire Trading Standards immediately if anyone knocks on your door and offers to sell you goods or services e.g. garden work, driveways or dusters. Also let us know if they want to buy from you e.g. antiques or jewellery. Please take as many details of callers as you can, for example any vehicle registration numbers and descriptions and report it to Trading Standards on 0845 051 0845 selecting (option 2)
NHW Co-ordinator M/C
Parish Council News
Affordable housing, Station Yard – Chairman John Nowell-Smith has written to SODC, giving notice of the Council’s intention to take action to get the Planning Committee’s approval revoked and we await a reply.
– this was discussed at both the April and May meetings.
Closure of the A329/M40 bridge – there was still no definite date for the start of the work to replace
the bridge at the May Council meeting but our
M40 noise abatement - M40CEG have presented a report which showed 70-75 decibels in Milton Common gardens, needing ear defenders, and discrepancies in the costings provided by the Highways Agency. Tom Harris, Minister, has called for a review of costings as noise management could be incorporated with bridge closure, thus reducing costs.
Mr Nowell-Smith and Mr Turner have asked for SODC and OCC to fund the consultation with Charles Parker, a Euro consultant. They have agreed to share the costs.
Commemorative tree – you may have noticed that the tree has recently been planted. It is part of the celebrations of 1000 years of Oxfordshire and also replaces a tree planted to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. We are pursuing the matter of watering of the tree, which should be carried out by OCC.
Concessionary fares – the Council agreed that, following the introduction in April of national bus passes, the Parish will continue to provide £13 of tokens, but for those 70 years old and over and the registered disabled.
Memberships - the Council agreed to renew membership of CPRE and Oxford Green Belt Network.
Annual meeting – John Nowell-Smith was re-elected Chairman and Elaine Horne elected as Vice-Chairman.
From your Council Chairman
During the past year we have continued negotiations with regard to the Pelican Crossing, but have made little progress – the County Council and the Department for Transport passing the buck to each other.
Approval for the scheme to build “affordable” houses in Station Yard was granted by the Planning Committee of SODC. Action to get this revoked has been started but we await a response from SODC.
The bridge over the M40 at junction 7 is to be closed for six months and diversion routes will inevitably mean increased traffic on the A418 and the old A40 at Milton Common.
The memorial tree planted to commemorate the Jubilee of King George V has been replaced but without consultation so we do not know who is supposed to be watering it or what memorial plaque there will be or what ceremony, if any, is to be arranged by the County Council who cut down the original tree.
Better news on noise levels on the M40 at Milton Common. SODC and OCC have agreed to provide funds to initiate a study to investigate the cost of a noise reduction scheme.
Our local MP, Boris Johnson, has announced he will resign, having been elected Mayor of London, but has given no date. Those of us who have been in contact with him have found he has served us well. There is, as yet, no indication of who will be chosen by any of the major parties to fight the seat.
From your District Councillor
The District Council portion of Council Tax as SODC rose by 3.5% this year as we had a less generous grant from central government towards expenditure than for the past three or four years. More will go on providing for free bus travel to the over 60s through bus passes which are proving very popular (especially if you have a convenient bus route). From this year the passes will be useable on ”local” buses (stops less than 15 miles apart) anywhere in the country. NB - doesn’t include the Oxford Tube.
Work is continuing on developing a Local Development Framework and plans which will eventually replace Local Plans. We still don’t know when the site specific allocations of housing land will be examined again. Since the ball started rolling on this a couple of years ago it has been extremely difficult to get land for affordable housing as so many areas now have “hope value”. This is one reason for the pressure to approve the Station Yard scheme.
SODC is soon to introduce a new system, “HOME CHOICE”, for letting affordable (Housing Association) housing. The current points system will be replaced by a simpler priority banding. Most of the vacant housing will be advertised so that those wanting a house will be able to see what is available and can put in a request for anywhere they fancy. The homes will be allocated to the household in greatest need, chosen from those who expressed an interest (more details will be sent to those on the housing register nearer to the start).
The District Council
continues to improve its website www.southoxon.gov.uk
- this received an award this year. It is a good place to look for SODC
Cornerstone, the new Arts Centre in Didcot is progressing and should be completed later this year. Staff are currently being recruited. A caterer, Couture, is to run the café/bar – they “aim to provide high quality food and drink from the local area at reasonable prices”
Waste Management and Recycling
SODC and the Vale of White Horse District Council are jointly going through a tendering process for a new waste management contract which should start next year.
I hope it will include a kerbside collection for glass and a weekly collection of kitchen waste in accordance with the consultation exercise carried out last year. As always, if anyone needs a recycling box, or knows of someone else who might use one, collect from Tiddington Garage. The brown wheelie bin system for collecting garden waste, emptied fortnightly for £30 (still subsidised) is quite popular. There are two sizes of wheeled bin available: 240 litre or 140 litre (recommended for people who do not create much garden waste). Please contact Environmental Services at SODC (telephone 01491 823416) if you would like to know more, or look at the website – if you pay for a garden waste wheelie bin by direct debit, you get a modest discount (£28.50).
The Council rejected an opposition budget amendment to provide a Dial-a-Ride service. This decision seems to have been driven solely by Council Tax considerations, not the benefit such a scheme could provide.
A very brief run through – We keep getting told by Central Government that more powers are being handed down to local government. If this is happening, it isn’t obvious to your local councillors as most things at district level are run by officers of the Council or cabinet members!
Highways Issues-Future Temporary Closure of A329 at Milton Common.
The start date for the closure of the bridge for repairs at Milton Common continues to be a moving target! Just six weeks ago we were led to believe it would be late June /early July, but now I am hearing a closure date of September 2008. The company doing the work have now said it will not be possible to do a partial bridge closure, so when they finally close it we will be in for six months of pain. UK Highways have promised to give village newsletters details of the diversions which will be put in place for the duration of the closure. There is renewed hope that it may still be possible to include noise barriers along the M40 at Milton Common at the same time as the bridge repairs. The local Action group are working very hard to achieve this and we all hope they are successful.
Pedestrian Crossing. We are still awaiting a response from our MP Boris Johnson. I queried the statements made by the County Council which are at variance with that of the Government Minister in her letter to our MP. This is a very unsatisfactory situation where the Parish Council was given information by the County Council and the Government Minister which do not seem to match up as to the reason for not proceeding with the crossing. I hope I can get this information from our MP before the next newsletter.
Older Peoples Homes. The new homes replacing older ones project continues to bring provision up to modern standards. For example, larger rooms and removing the shared room situation which was not liked, in particular, by new residents. The first phase of the Thame one on an expanded Meadowcroft site is due for completion in October 2008 with the second phase following early in 2009.
Youth Service. The Youth Service still provides two “Chill Out” sources of grants for young peoples’ activities. One is for capital items and the other for revenue items. Both funds which have to be bid for total £100k each and grants on a matched funding basis are up to £5k. The major problem in the Youth Service is employing youth officers. This is a nationwide problem, but is particularly acute in the South East because of the high housing costs.
& Ride Expansion. As you may know the County Council recently
consulted on options for expansion of Park & Ride facilities on this side
Please feel free to contact me about County Council issues that concern you. My contact details are as follows:
Address: David Turner, 50 Hardings, Chalgrove,
Home Telephone: 01865 891169
David Turner (18th May 2008)
M40 CEG Progress
On Wednesday, 26 March
2008, Boris Johnson, MP for
The delegation put the case that an opportunity exists, whilst work is carried out on rebuilding the bridges over the M40 at Junction 7 (Milton Common) and Junction 5 (Stokenchurch) during the next two years, to install effective noise barriers at these locations at a fraction of the normal cost, since road traffic management schemes - normally around 60% of project cost - would already be in place.
This would go some way to alleviating the noise pollution for residents at these locations beside the ill-designed old M40.
From the Vicar
In England Augustine
brought Christianity to
Saint of the month
St Columba 9th June
Columba was born in Donegal of the royal Ui Neill
clan, and trained as a monk. He founded the monasteries of
Columba went to Iona and spent the rest of his life
Able, ardent, and sometimes harsh, Columba seems to have mellowed with age.
As well as building his monastery on
Columba had great skill as a scribe, and an example
of this can be seen in the Cathach of Columba, a late 6th century psalter in
is a tiny and beautiful Hebridean island off the west coast of
Here is a prayer of St Columba:
Christ With Us
My dearest Lord,
Be Thou a bright flame before me,
Be Thou a guiding star above me,
Be Thou a smooth path beneath me,
Be Thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
Today and evermore.
NEWS FROM ST HELEN’S
We had our annual general meeting at the end of April, where the PCC and church officers were elected for another year. I am grateful to them all for standing again and for all they do for the life of our church and village. We are very aware that St Helen’s is a cold building and in the near future we would like to do all we can to improve the heating. This will almost certainly mean a new heating system costing a great deal. Once we are able to do this we believe that St Helen’s will be a much more comfortable building to be in, and that it
will also have a significant benefit in helping to preserve our church. In the meantime we will keep in touch with news and hope that you will support our fundraising events as they happen. Other events to look forward to include a visit from the Bishop of Dorchester who is coming to dedicate our altar frontal in October.
With best wishes
St Helen’s Church, Albury
9.30am Morning Prayer
9.30am Holy Communion
9.30am Morning Prayer
9.30am Holy Communion
9.30am Cluster Service Holy Communion
11.00am Annual Team
10.00am Art in Action Dedication Service at Waterperry
Preacher the Bishop of
9.30am Morning Prayer
9.30am Holy Communion
Waterstock & Tiddington W.I.
In April, David Smith’s talk on Country Life of the 1850s to 1950s included interesting pictures of days gone by and also some rural memorabilia of the times. We were pleased to have visitors from Holton and Thame.
We received a warm welcome to Holton Village Hall for our Group Meeting in April. Edwin Rye gave an amusing talk on his experiences entering the BBC Gardener of the Year competition and a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the television programme. He was the winner and now opens his garden in Wendover for the National Gardens Scheme.
At our May meeting we discussed the resolutions going forward to the National AGM and voted on them. Unfortunately the speaker from the Donkey Sanctuary was unable to come, so we had further discussions on the Healthy Lifestyle Challenge competition. Following that, many thanks to Jenny Gray and Christine Canham who volunteered to bring the ideas together and complete our submission.
On 12 June, we will be “Round Cape Horn and Easter Island” with Geoffrey Holden and the competition is for a bloom from your garden.
The talk on 10 July is very topical – “Climate change and you” with Pat Clark. The competition is for a favourite kitchen gadget.
Earlier in the year, in March, we had a visit from a wren in the Hall during our meeting. In May, our discussions were accompanied by a chorus from baby birds in a nest in the Hall loft! Earlier in the day they had attempted to peck their way through the ceiling – could they be woodpeckers?!
The Institute is having an evening boat trip with buffet on the canal near Milton Keynes on Thursday, 26 June. If anyone is interested in joining us, please get in touch with Anne Purnell on 279429.
The County has arranged outings, including a very successful visit to a symphony concert at Birmingham and in the future trips to Portsmouth, the City of London and Compton Verney. In the autumn, at the half-yearly council meeting, the speaker will be Ann Widdecombe.
We look forward to seeing you on the second Thursday of the month for our regular meetings at 7.30pm in Tiddington Village Hall.
The National Year of Reading began on 26 April 2008. According to their website:
“There's a building quite close to you where many murders have been committed. Secret agents have been found there, aliens have invaded, love has conquered, several wars have been fought, rings of power have been hidden, witches have been burned and great lives have been lived.
If you haven't discovered your local library, you're missing out on a whole universe of imagination, adventure and knowledge ... all of which is ABSOLUTELY FREE. … Libraries are really so wonderful that it's quite easy to forget they're there. Join today!"
Obviously we agree completely. On Saturday, 26 April we held a coffee morning in the library. People seemed to enjoy the chance to have a look round and have a coffee and a chat. We plan to hold another on Saturday, 28 June. This is for everyone. You do not have to be a member of the library. Just come and meet the staff and find out what we can offer you.
Thanks to our kind volunteer, Paul, we can now offer help to people who think they might like to use the computers in the library, but are unsure of where to start. Paul helps people on an individual basis according to what they need. If you know nothing at all about computers or you know a little but would like to find out more, he will help you. The feedback we have had so far, has been excellent. If you want to know more please give us a ring. Sessions usually last an hour and are free.
If you have any queries please contact us on 01865 875267, or better still call in and see us.
Great Haseley & District
Garden Visits 2008
NEAR BANBURY, 12 JUNE
A double bill of visits to two wonderful and very different gardens
Walled gardens surround the castle within the moat.
Lovely herbaceous borders, knot garden and roses Beautiful parkland
We will be given coffee and biscuits on arrival.
Broughton Grange 2pm
Formal gardens of terrace, borders, wildflower garden and arboretum. Also an amazing six acre perennial flower garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, in a contemporary style of many grasses, herbaceous and prairie flowers, with wonderful use of colour. Frequently featured in magazines. In a beautiful setting.
We will be shown round by Andrew Woodall, the Head Gardener
Members £9 for the 2 gardens- includes coffee and biscuits
There is a nice pub in the
GHHS SUMMER PARTY
8 July 6pm at Rofford Manor, Little
Join us at beautiful Rofford Manor for a glass of sparkling wine and strawberries. Mrs Hilary Mogford will welcome us and introduce the garden. A lovely garden of vegetable, herb and rose gardens, box garden with raised pool, herbaceous borders, parkland.
Members £3 Guests £5 to include wine and strawberries
Why not join the society as well- only £5 per family and this would cover the difference in cost of entrance!
For further information or to book, contact
Isaac, Brooks Cottage,
Great Haseley OX44 7LA
Tel: 01844 279606
Outings Programme 2008
18 June Cotswold River Cruise: City & Village guided tour. Morning tour and lunch at Cirencester. To Bibury and Lechlade for 2-hour Cream Tea Cruise included in price.
Cost: £18.50 + coach.
16 July Morning
& lunch in
Cost: House & garden £7.30 + coach.
20 August Epping
Cost: £15.50 + coach.
To book Tel: Celia Cope, 01844 279459