There were 75 attendees at this year’s Annual Town Meeting, just beating the 73 that came along in 2003 to discuss the burning issue of the future of Marriotts Close (the old Witney FC ground) and certainly outstripping the 2 that showed up in 1984 to discuss the provision of Arts in the town and cycle racks across Langel Common.
It’s gratifying that so many people took the opportunity to come along talk to their elected representatives and to ask questions.
Representatives from the Police Inspector Matt Fishwick and Sergeant Kerry O’Leary opened the proceedings. Inspector Fishwick gave an overview of policing and crime figures in Witney. There has been restructuring due to budget cuts, but neighbourhood policing has not been affected.
Reports from each of the Standing Committees detailing updates of the council’s project and work were delivered by the Committee Chairmen. The Town Council’s 2016 Corporate Plan survey was highlighted and residents encouraged to respond to this. It’s available online through links on the Town Council Website and Facebook Pages and hard copies can be obtained from the Town Hall on request. Closing date is 30th April, so there is still plenty of time to have your say.
The Town Council’s new app, available on Google Play and the App Store was launched and some of the features presented as a slideshow.
Questions from members of the public covered improvements for other parks in the town and the possibility of CCTV being installed at The Leys. There were also questions about the progress of the Corn Exchange.
The question of communication and how the Town Council communicates with its residents is still an issue for many. The Town Council has been working hard on improving communications including the intended delivery of a newsletter to every household.
The subject of hedge clearance at Thorney Leys was also discussed. Some residents were anxious to know how soon replanting would be taking place.
Problems with footpaths, road surfacing and HGV traffic were discussed along with the Corporate Plan and the possibility of this feeding in to a Neighbourhood Plan.
Parking issues featured largely in discussions. Along with the problems of pavement parking some residents were experiencing parking difficulties. Residents in Corn Street and Church Green have an on street parking time limit of 2 hours, meaning that cars have to be moved. The main request from residents was for a resident’s permit system for parking outside their homes.
Other matters raised by the general public included, the lack of lighting outside the Methodist Church (particularly in the shopping area that joins the Witan Way car park to High Street).
Threatened cuts to local Bus services proved to be an issue of serious concern for many residents.
Displays at the back of the room offered the opportunity to suggest changes to the format of the Annual Town meeting, asking residents what they would like to see more, or less of. There were hard copies of the survey, newsletter and all the publications the Town Council issues.
All of these publications are also available on our website. The full minutes from the Annual Town meeting will be available there shortly for those who would like to see them or from the Town Hall on request.
Sharon Groth, Town Clerk said;
“The Annual Town Meeting is just once a year, but your councillors are happy to hear from you at any time. Please continue to feedback to us or raise questions at other times.”