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The official website of the

West Oxfordshire branch

of the

Green Party of England and Wales.

 

 

Serving members, supporters and citizens in the towns and villages around West Oxfordshire, including the following wards:

 

  • Alvescot and Filkins
  • Ascott and Shipton
  • Bampton and Clanfield
  • Brize Norton and Shilton
  • Burford
  • Carterton North West
  • Carterton South  
  • Chadlington and Churchill
  • Charlbury and Finstock
  • Chipping Norton
  • Ducklington
  • Eynsham and Cassington
  • Freeland and Hanborough
  • Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield
  • Kingham, Rollright and Enstone
  • Milton under Wychwood
  • North Leigh
  • Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt
  • Stonesfield and Tackley
  • The Bartons
  • Witney Central
  • Witney East
  • Witney North
  • Witney South
  • Witney West
  • Woodstock and Bladon

 

 

 

 

 

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www.westoxon-greens.uk Logo

 Witney Councillor Andrew Prosser calls on Oxfordshire County Council to sort out safer crossings to new Supermarket  supermarket 

Lots of people used to cycle and walk to the old Lidl supermarket in Witney, next to McDonalds off the Ducklington Lane, but now the bigger store has moved across the A40 to the Ducklington roundabout, where there’s also a new hotel. The new Lidl store and hotel on Ducklington roundabout are welcome additions to the area, but the County Council and District planners have not made it easy for pedestrians, cyclists, and mobility scooter users to get there safely.

Cllr Andrew Prosser

Pathways and cycle lanes have been put in place but these cross slip-roads onto and off the A40, as well as the road coming off the A415 Ducklington roundabout. There are no traffic light-controlled or zebra crossings to the supermarket, so pedestrians and cyclists have to dart across the road between the fast-moving traffic. The route is also poorly signposted.

 

The County Council has taken steps to slow the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph for traffic on the A415 either side of and including the roundabout.[1]

 

Witney Town Councillor, Andrew Prosser says that this is not sufficient, and is calling for better signposting, light-controlled crossings, and physical traffic calming measures to make it safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and mobility scooter users to cross the busy roads.

 

Green Party Councillor Andrew Prosser said:

 

“The first time I walked to the new store, close to rush-hour time, I didn’t feel safe crossing the roads at all, as cars and lights zipped by in the dusk. It is better in the daylight, but I really do worry about the safety of those who can’t cross quickly, such as anyone with a pushchair or has limited mobility.

 

If we want to reduce congestion, improve air quality, and make it safer and easier for people to get about, then we need better than this.  I’m calling on Oxfordshire County Council to complete the work properly and put in place safe crossings to the new store and hotel.”

 

[1] https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/A415NewCloseLaneSpeedParking/consultationHome

 

25th Feb 2021

 Witney Town Parks and Open Spaces Survey 
 
The Witney Town Council is preparing a Parks and Open Spaces Strategy and has launched a survey to let residents contribute to the discussion.  In the survey the Town Council is seeking the opinion of residents on quality of their present services and what they would like to see in the future. 
 
Witney Town Council, Sports and Play Committee member, Cllr. Andrew Prosser said " this is an oportunity  for Witney Residents to tell us what they want to see in the Town Council's strategy for the future of our parks and open spaces
Witney Town Council Open Spaces and Parks Survey

16th Feb 2021

 County Council - New Consultation 

Local Transport and Connectivity Plan - Vision

On Valentines day the County Council announced its consultation on its “Local Transport and Connectivity Plan”.

 

Between now and the end of March[i] it is hoping to get support for its vision. This is your opportunity to have your input. 

 

It is important that as many of you as possible take the time to respond because it will form the basis of a statutory process leading to a final plan by the end of the year.

 

Before filling in their questionnaire however, we strongly recommend that you read some if not all of the nine supporting documents.  https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/localtransportconnectivity/consultationHome

 

If you would like to contribute to our reponse to the consultation please let us know by emailing contact@westoxon-greens.uk with the subject LTCP or use our contact form

 

[i] midnight 29th March 2021

6th Feb 2021

CALLING ALL WITNEY PEDESTRIANS AND CYCLISTS!! - WITNEY ACTIVE TRAVEL CONSULTATION IS NOW CLOSED 

 

Oxfordshire County Council has just closed a consultation on a collection of measures to improve cycling and walking in Witney between Madley Park and Tower Hill. 

 

Check out the detailed assessment of the proposed scheme by the Windrush Bike Project   http://windrushbikeproject.uk/blog

 

 
Although the consultation is now closed, if you would like to hear more about the active travel corridor and more of the work of the Windrush Bike Project, have a listen to Kath Cochrane from the project when she spoke to Witney Radio "Community Matters" on 10th Feb.

 

14th November 2020

 

Active travel funding:

Andrew Prosser, Witney Town Councillor, welcomes award of money for east-west safer travel corridor in Witney, but calls for urgent action at pollution hotspot

The east-west corridor scheme to encourage safer walking and cycle access in Witney is set to benefit from Oxfordshire’s £2.98m funding allocation from the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.

 

The funding for junction and pathway changes along the east-west scheme will improve connections across a central corridor in Witney and allow safer pedestrian, mobility scooter, and cycle journeys. Complementary measures to slow road traffic and prioritise cyclist and pedestrian safety will include traffic filters at the Fiveways roundabout, one-way streets and speed limit reductions such as in Corn Street.

 

Witney Town Councillor Cllr Andrew Prosser, who has been working with other councillors to promote better and more joined-up active travel provision, welcomed the funding to improve connectivity along an east-west transport corridor through the town.

 

However, he warned that serious action was still needed to tackle air pollution in the Bridge Street Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). Witney has been waiting fifteen years for a management plan to be developed and implemented. 

 

 

Air Pollution from Vehicles at the Witan Way Junction, Witney

Cllr. Prosser, stated: “This is very welcome funding to encourage active travel and to redress some of the poor route connectivity through the town. There is still a lot to do in terms of changing perceptions and priorities on development and infrastructure, but this is an important step in reducing congestion and promoting healthier ways of getting around town.”.

*****

Notes to Editor

For more information about this Press Release please contact:

Councillor Andrew Prosser

Email: approsser@hotmail.com Tel: 07765 025378

 

About West Oxfordshire Green Party

The Branch was formally established in 2016/2017 but had been active for many years before that, originally the Witney Green Party before being renamed as the West Oxfordshire Green Party.

 

West Oxon Green Party is a subsidiary branch of the Oxfordshire Green Party and the Green Party of England and Wales. The membership include all Green Party Members in the Witney Parliamentary Constituency/ West Oxfordshire District Council.

 

Contact for enquiries or additional information about the Branch:

Further information is available on the West Oxfordshire Green Party website at www.westoxon-greens.uk

or by contacting:

Barry Wheatley Branch Chair

Email: bwheatley@westoxon-greens.uk  Tel: 07889412915

23rd October 2020

West Oxfordshire Green Party 

Calls on the Government to Listen to Local Councils and Public Health Experts and take Decisive Action in the face of increasing COVID-19 cases in Rural Oxfordshire

                                                                                                                                       

West Oxfordshire Green Party has joined the calls on Department of Health and Social Care  to move Oxfordshire to Tier 2 restrictions as cases of COVID-19 in rural areas increase alarmingly. Along with other council leaders and the county’s Director of Public Health, the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council supports a move to Tier 2. However, Conservative MPs including Witney MP Robert Courts have argued against such a move and seem to have been influenced by numbers in Oxford city rather than in the wider county. (Even though, numbers in the city are actually reducing, whereas figures today from the Covid Symptom Study[i]  research show numbers in West Oxfordshire are increasing!)

 

West Oxfordshire Green Party believes that rather than placing more faith in an increasingly poorly performing National Test and Trace system, we should be taking decisive action now.  Extending our local track and trace services while moving to Tier 2, may be the best way to avoid eventually moving to Tier 3. 

 

Witney Town Councillor Andrew Prosser and Charlbury Town Councillor Liz Reason made a joint statement saying:

We should do everything we can to avoid ending up in tier 3 with its severe restrictions on businesses and Oxfordshire’s residents. Time is of the essence, moving to Tier 2 now may be the only way we can prevent the rapid spread of this disease and avoid businesses and citizens struggling in Tier 3.  The longer this Government sets itself against local Government leaders the more our citizens and businesses will suffer.

 

 

[i]The COVID Symptom Study App was developed and is managed by health technology company ZOE, with the research using data from the app being undertaken by academics at King's College London. The app has now been downloaded by over 3.5 million people in the UK and has recruited over 800,000 citizen scientists to its Vaccine and Trial Registry.     https://covid.joinzoe.com/

21st Ocotber 2020

Investing in Green Jobs/ Green Recovery: 

Green Homes Grant Scheme – a step in the right direction - but not far enough

Lost Insulation for Green Homes & Cllr Andrew Prosser

Witney Green Party Town Councillor Andrew Prosser has welcomed the new national Green Homes Grant scheme[1] as a crucial step in upgrading the energy efficiency of homes and a step towards tackling the climate emergency.

 

Grants worth up to £5000 are currently available to help homeowners take measures to make their homes more energy efficient and warmer.

 

Part of the cost of energy-saving “primary” measures, such as installing low-carbon heating or insulation of cavity walls and lofts, and “secondary” measures, including draught proofing and double glazing, would be covered. Some low-income households may be eligible for grants up to £10,000, with 100% of the cost covered.

 

Work eligible for grant support under the scheme can only be undertaken by tradespersons and suppliers with appropriate TrustMark accreditation and listed on the official Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website.[2] 

Unfortunately, it seems that there is a risk of the scheme failing in its objectives due to a shortage of accredited local suppliers. At a time of increased unemployment as a result of the COVID pandemic it is concerning that the opportunity to invest in green skills training and suitable apprenticeship schemes has not been grasped. Cllr Prosser has called for local councils and enterprise partnerships to address this and create a fast-track route for local suppliers to become TrustMark accredited.

 

Currently two-thirds of UK homes do not meet the target for energy efficiency.[3] As a result, homeowners face higher energy bills and more CO2 is released into the atmosphere. As well as ensuring that new-build homes meet energy efficiency standards there is a need to retrofit homes that currently do not meet these standards. Without a major effort to expand retrofitting activities the chance of the UK meeting its 2050 net zero carbon target appears unrealistic.

 

The government Green Homes Grant scheme is a small step in the right direction but a failure to ensure that suitably qualified suppliers would be available prior to launching the scheme risks the initiative failing. The scheme is scheduled to close on March 31st 2021 although the National Insulation Association (NIA) has written to the Chancellor pointing out the inadequate time allowed to deliver the objectives and asking for the scheme to be extended.[4]

 

Cllr Prosser has identified Cosy Homes Oxfordshire[5] as a useful source of help with planning and managing the retrofitting work and hopes that the scheme may yet benefit local homeowners, boost local employment and contribute to tackling the climate emergency.

 

As Andrew says:

Insulating existing homes is something that many businesses can do, helping to generate local jobs, so I was really concerned when I couldn't find any approved (TrustMark) suppliers in Oxfordshire. This is something local business support in Oxfordshire should have picked up and prioritised earlier, and if we don't get awareness up quickly, Oxfordshire companies and the local workforce will miss out on this opportunity.

 

I've been in contact with the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and they mentioned Cosy Homes and highlighted an investment of around £2.5m with Abingdon & Witney College for the development of a Green Construction Skills Centre. This is a great initiative in its own-right, but still some time off before this centre is up and running.”

 

 

[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-green-homes-grant-scheme

 

[2] https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk

 

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50573338

 

[4] https://www.nia-uk.org/news/national-insulation-association-calls-for-green-homes-grant-scheme-to-be-extended/

 

[5] https://cosyhomesoxfordshire.org

 

Polluted Rivers in West Oxfordshire - action needed now!

Raw Sewage has been discharged regularly into our local watercourses following heavy rainfall,  with sewage fungus recorded in Colwell Brook and Queen Emma’s Dyke. 

 

Residents have been advised not to enter the water or allow  their pets to do so.

Warnings are not enough, more needs to be done!

 

Following a motion proposed by Green Councillor Andrew Prosser, Witney Town Council wrote to Thames Water and the Environment Agency pushing for a commitment to end this pollution. We will continue working alongside the Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP) group to protect our aquatic habitats.

Cllr Andrew Prosser inspecting polluted river in Witney

In January 2020 Cllr Andrew Prosser said, “I am seriously concerned about the potential impacts on residents, their pets, and aquatic life in the river itself. Thames Water and the Environment Agency need to take urgent steps to clear things up now, and to detail what actions they are planning to take to prevent sewage pollution of our rivers and watercourses in the future.” 

 

Nine months on and the Oxfordshire County Council has now (September 8), debated how to end sewage pollution in rivers in the county. They have called on our MPs to put pressure on the Government to introduce a clean river policy’ throughout the UK, in a similar way to the existing EU clean beach policy.

 

In the Green Party we want to see a "joined up" water policy that ensures that all surface waters (rivers, lakes, and coastal waters) meet water standards at least as good as the rest of Europe. 

 

Water is life. It is a precondition for human, animal and plant life as well as an indispensable resource for the economy. Water also plays a fundamental role in the climate regulation cycle.  Protection of water resources, of fresh and salt water ecosystems and of the water we drink and bathe in and use to grow and process our food is therefore one of the cornerstones of environmental protection.

 
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