Parish Round up
Bus Turning S7 Market Square
Issues related to the S7 opting to use High St/Market Square and Market Square as a diversion/turning point from its original route has roused issues of pedestrian safety and congestion/obstruction issues. I have met with residents/business and have recommended offices contact stagecoach to revert back to the original route. Site visit has been arranged and the cabinet highways member at OCC has been contacted to consider imposing restrictions.
A new chief executive Martin Reeves has been appointed at OCC and he will be visiting Woodstock in April so he can visit the area and the museum/library and I see the issues needing resolution.
Wootton by Woodstock
Issues related to the closure of the primary school and transport issues for children now being schooled in Tackley are being progressed.
Catchment area study has begun to investigate land drainage issues related to flooding. This will advance potential flooding mitigation measures.
Railway crossing meetings with network Rail are continuing although a breakthrough is still awaited that will meet the needs of the equestrian and pedestrian safety needs that have to be addressed.
30 mph to 20 mph scheme is scheduled to being put to the cabinet highways member in the Autumn and then will be scheduled for works
Pedestrian highways safety measures have been drawn up by SAFER (Parish Council working group in the village) and will be considered once finalised and agreed by the Parish Council.
Home to Schools Transport Policy Review
The policy review has made 10 recommendations at its meeting last week (March 30th) including split site schools now being considered as a whole for assessment for free school transport, reassessment or routes will be undertaken more regularly and residents to contact local councillors to alert route reassessments, more accessible appeals process, spare seats will continue and OCC officers to support parents and schools where lack of capacity is an issue.
Whilst the home to schools transport review does not respond to every aspect of the policy it is a step forward to addressing some of the concerns in the context of £25 million pound scheme where 9,000 children across the county receive free transport and over 1000 use the spare seat scheme where extra capacity exists.
Suite of cost of living measures agreed for 23/24: A range of measures, totalling £9.5m, to support residents with the cost of living was agreed by cabinet for 2023/2024. The measures are funded mostly through national grants, but with £2.3m contribution from OCC. National government funding does not cover the full range of measures that councils are encouraged to take. The measures include, council tax support, practical support for those leaving hospital, and significant funding for children in receipt of free school meals during schools holidays. A new Local Crisis Fund (administered by district councils) has also been established, which will support people during periods of financial crisis.
Freight strategy engagement: The county council is engaging with parish and town councils as it develops its freight strategy further. Parishes have been invited to input via LetsTalk. This is not a public consultation, but rather an opportunity for key stakeholders to input early, local knowledge on areas that would benefit from area weight restrictions and identify areas challenged by HGVs. The strategy seeks to keep HGV movements off inappropriate roads and keep them on the strategic road network (e.g. M40). Responses should be sent by 10th April
Boundary review: OCC has submitted to the boundary commission its suggestions for new county division boundaries (passed unanimously at Full Council). The Commission’s consultation will close 9 May. The Commission will then develop its recommendations and consult on draft proposals 1 Aug- 9 Oct
Further updates will be available at my attendance at parish council meetings.
County Councillor Andy Graham