This morning at 11am the Witney Branch of the Royal British Legion laid a wreath at Witney War Memorial on Church Green to mark the 75th Anniversary of the D Day Landings.
We have had a report that the cabinet that houses the controls for the Splash Park was broken into overnight. Because this is a free to use facility there is no attendant on duty over the Bank Holiday weekend, our works team have been down and checked that the controls are all set as they should be and things are working normally before we finish for the day. Hope the weather is good enough to make use of it.
Former Witney Town Mayor, Brenda Churchill has raised just over £2500 for her charity fund. In a break from tradition, rather than choosing to support one or two local charities, Brenda created a charity pot from which some of the town’s smaller charities and organisations were able to apply for small grants to benefit people in the town.
During her term of office, Mrs Churchill raised the money at various events including a quiz night with fish and chips, a charity fashion show hosted by M&Co, collections made at her carol service at St Mary’s Church and a photography exhibition by the talented members of Witney Photo Group. She also raised money from ticket sales to her Civic dinner.
Her charity fund was given a big boost by students of West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts who raised an incredible £1222.10p by making and selling cakes and charging a small fee for their Easter end of term performances (usually free to attend).
Brenda has expressed her delight with the amount raised for her fund and is thankful for the efforts of all those who helped raise money by putting on events or attending her own events.
Among those that have benefitted from the pot of money are:
Brenda Churchill formally handed over the Mayoral chain to Cllr Duncan Enright at the Town Council’s annual meeting on May 15th. Cllr Enright, as new Mayor, is expected to announce his chosen charities in the next week or so.
Here are some photos from the Annual Council meeting last night. This is the first meeting of the new 4 Year term for Witney Town Council. Cllrs Duncan Enright and Joy Aitman were elected as Mayor (Chairman) and Deputy Mayor respectively and Cllrs Rosa Bolger and Luci Asbourne as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council. Committee chairs were also selected.
A calendar of all future meetings is available on the town council’s website and a full press release will be issued shortly.
OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 – Section 14(1)
Notice of Temporary Traffic Order
Witney, Corn Street
Footway Closure and Parking Suspensions
Date of Order: 19 November 2018
Came into force: 28 November 2018
End date: 25 June 2019
This Order is being introduced because of building development works which was planned to be completed by 6 months – with work time from 07:30 hrs to 17:30 hrs including weekends.
But due to bad weather condition the work needs an extension of 4 weeks. Now the anticipated completion date of the work will be 25th June 2019.
The effect of the Order is to close temporarily the footway and suspend some parking in Corn Street, on the north side of the road east of Corn Bar for approximately 250 metres.
The bus stops will be relocated during the period of work time to the eastern end of the works.
Exemptions are included for emergency services and for the works and for pedestrian access to premises which are only accessible from the closed section of footpath.
Appropriate signs will be displayed to indicate when the measures are in force.
Traffic Regulations Team (Ref T5977/MR) for the Director for Infrastructure Delivery, County Hall, Oxford OX1 1ND. 0345 310 1111.
You will notice that the Union flag is flying at half mast today. This is to mark the Repatriation of Guardsman Mathew Talbot of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
The aircraft will land at approx 1.30pm. It is estimated that the cortege will pass the Memorial Garden at approximately 3.30pm, reaching the John Radcliffe Hospital approximately 4.30pm
Norton Way will be closed from approx. 2.30pm, whilst Station Road, Brize Norton, will be closed for approximately 10 minutes once the cortege leaves Britannia Gate at RAF Brize Norton.
There will be road closures in place at the Marston Ferry Road / Cherwell Drive Junction, Marston Road / Cherwell Drive Junction, and at the entrance to the John Radcliffe Hospital. Please expect severe delays in this area whilst the road closures are in operation.
Please note that times are subject to change at short notice and we advise that you check again by visiting www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/repatriations or call 01865 816345.
Each year part of the budget setting process undertaken by Witney Town Council entails reviewing expenditure from previous years and calculating an expected cost for the year ahead.
Predicting the cost of vandalism and associated anti-social behaviour is very difficult since it fluctuates so much, year on year.
The figures for the municipal year 2018/19, so far, record 21 incidents of damage or theft costing in total, just over £4,000. Twelve of these occurred in play and sports areas, four in bus shelters, three in our cemeteries and a further one each at the Lake and Country Park and Lakeside allotments.
Newland bus shelter has been targeted 3 times with panels being burned, resulting in the need to replace both the Perspex and the community art work displayed. More recently, the inside of the shelter has been subjected to graffiti. This has added £480 to the cost of the original refurbishment of the shelter and installation of the art work.
The implementation of risk management measures by Witney Town Council helps to reduce the impact and cost associated with vandalism to some extent, but repairing and replacing damaged equipment still takes money away from other areas where it could be usefully spent.
It is easy to dismiss vandalism as a minor offence, but actually it has a big impact on communities and distorts the perception of a cared for and safe environment for both residents and visitors to the town.
A spokesperson for Witney Town Council said,
“Witney has a great community spirit. However, there is a small but determined minority who choose to ruin things for others. The council cannot afford to continue endlessly replacing and repairing at the expense of the council taxpayer. We would far rather spend money on enhancing our town’s existing facilities and investing in future projects to meet the needs of our growing town. “
Although the Town Council operates a policy of regular inspection and is quick to repair, remove or prevent access to damaged equipment, the repeated destruction is disheartening when hardworking community groups within the town are fundraising to provide new play areas where they live.
The chair of the Community Services Committee commented,
“At each Community Services Committee meeting we receive a number of reports and sadly the vandalism report is one that isn’t getting any shorter. That being said our works team are quick to respond and will always prioritise making areas safe to use. “
In the latest incident the dry stone wall separating Tower Hill Cemetery and Fieldmere Play area has an extensive hole where the wall has been kicked down over the Easter Weekend. This will cost around £1000 to repair. A good deal of this cost will be offset as the town council’s own works team are skilled in dry stone walling.
The Town Council reports all incidences of vandalism to the Police. If anyone has witnessed any acts of vandalism or has information about those responsible they are asked to contact Witney Town Council on 01993 704379 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800-555111. If you witness vandalism actually taking place please call 101 to report it.