Views sought on Council Tax support changes  

Views sought on Council Tax support changes

Date:  7 October 2019

 West Oxfordshire District Council is calling on residents to give their views on proposed changes to its Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

The Council has launched a consultation which runs until Friday 15 November and is open to all residents in the district, not just those in receipt of support. If agreed, the changes would come into effect in 1 April 2020.

Changes proposed include:

  • Introducing a new income banded scheme to take account of different groups from single occupants to couples and families with children.
  • Introducing an ‘extended period’ of up to eight weeks to support the transition of households whose increased income sees them move into higher banding.
  • Removal of the two child limit to help blended families have more disposable income
  • Introducing an increase to the maximum amount of savings claimants can have, from £6,001 to £10,000.

Cllr Toby Morris, Deputy Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council and Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “Our aim is to ensure that this scheme is as simple and effective as it can be and that we are making sure that people in greatest need are receiving the support they require. This consultation is an important part of that process and only by consulting with our residents can we be sure we’re getting it right.

 

“I would encourage anyone who can to spare two minutes and complete the survey via our website, or pick up a paper copy from one of our reception points.”

Following the consultation, a report will be considered by councillors before a decision is made.

The survey can be found online at www.westoxon.gov.uk/CTRS, while paper copies can be found at: Witney Town Centre Shop, Welch Way, Witney, Woodgreen Council Offices, Elmfield Council Offices and the Guild Hall, Chipping Norton.

 

Update on installation of superfast broadband

Please see below latest communication from Gigaclear:

As you will be aware, the Shipton build was due to commence on 18th July.  Unfortunately due to sick leave, this has been delayed slightly and the build will now commence tomorrow Tuesday 23rd July.  I apologise for the delay.

I also wanted to make you aware that work to install the plinth for the main cabinet will start on Thursday 25th July.

Cotswold Line Promotion Group 2019 Train Excursion

CLPG’s 2019 excursion makes tracks for the Settle & Carlisle Line

The Cotswold Line Promotion Group’s 2019 charter train will take passengers from the Cotswolds to the famous Settle & Carlisle Line through the Yorkshire Dales and the Eden Valley in Cumbria.

The Cotswold-Eden Express will run from Oxford to Appleby, in Cumbria, on the August Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.

Plans to run the train last year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the CLPG, were unsuccessful but a partnership with Pathfinder Railtours has made this year’s trip possible.

The train will be hauled both ways between Oxford and Worcester by a Class 66 diesel locomotive, with the rest of the journey to Appleby and then back to Worcester powered by a pair of vintage Class 50 locomotives (subject to availability).

The train will leave Oxford at 05.30, then call to pick up passengers at station along the line to Worcester, with departure from Ascott-under-Wychwood expected to be at about 06.10 and Kingham at 06.20, with the return train expected to arrive at Kingham at 22.50 and Ascott at 23.00. All timings are approximate and subject to confirmation at this stage.

It will run to Settle station in Yorkshire for a 30-minute stop, to allow time for the unveiling of a memorial plaque for the CLPG’s founding chairman Oliver Lovell, who helped the Friends of the Settle & Carlisle Line to fight British Rail’s plan to close the route in the 1980s.

The train will then continue to Appleby, where there will be a two-hour break during the afternoon, before heading for home via Carlisle and the West Coast Main Line.

There will be four classes of accommodation available on board the train: standard, first class, first class plus and premier dining.

Go to http://www.clpg.org.uk/blog/settle-carlisle-charter-train/ for more information and details of how to book seats on the exception.

CLPG members are entitled to claim a 10 per cent discount on the ticket prices advertised at Pathfinder’s website, where tickets can be booked online, or use the booking form included in the new edition of the Cotswold & Malvern Line News newsletter. There are also discounts for bookings for a group of four people.

  • The photograph shows Class 50 locomotives 50007 and 50049 at Arten Gill viaduct on the Settle & Carlisle Line with Pathfinder Railtours’ Cumbrian Hoovers excursion on April 14 last year. Picture is courtesy of Martin Loader/www.hondawanderer.com

Superfast Broadband in Shipton

Gigaclear comes to Shipton

Gigaclear will be installing superfast broadband in Shipton this summer. Their current aim is to start in May and finish in October.

This will inevitably result in disruption and road closures through the village.

If you have any concerns/questions before the work starts, please contact Louise Appleton, the Community Engagement Manager on:

louise.appleton@gigaclear.com

07790 812873

Once the work has started, please contact the Network Build Care Team on:

networkbuildcare@gigaclear.com

01865 591137

Louise Appleton will be attending the Annual Parish Meeting on 18th April to give a short presentation and answer questions. Details on the meeting to follow.

 

 

Logs from Wild Garden available

Logs Available, ideal for storing for next winter!
We have split logs available from  the recent tree work in the Wild Garden. The logs are mixed wood and have been freshly cut and split. We can deliver locally in the Wychwoods villages. A trailer load contains about 150/200 logs.

Please leave a voice message on 0845 8056804 or send an email to info@wychwoodwildgarden.org.uk giving your name, address and contact number and we will contact you to arrange a delivery or collection.

If you live outside our delivery area, then we can organise a time for you to pick up a load using your own transport.

Suggested donation, £45 a load, all funds to the Wild Garden.

Waste service disruption on 1 February 2019

Due to the snowfall and cold temperatures overnight leading to icy surfaces waste and recycling collections will be suspended.

Why

The road and path conditions make it very difficult, and too dangerous, for the heavy collection vehicles and Collection Crews to access certain parts of the District.

Injuries to collection crews or members of the public by moving collection vehicles are invariably severe or fatal.

West Oxfordshire District Council work in line with our Health and Safety Service Plan and aim to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents affected by the work activities of us or our contractors.

What services will be affected

All services;
 Recycling collections
 Refuse collections
 Garden waste collections
 Food waste collections
 Bulky waste collections
 Clinical waste collections
 Emptying of bring sites
 Trade waste

What should residents do?

Leave their bins at the kerbside to allow for the Collection Crews to catch-up. For more information and the latest update visit: www.westoxon.gov.uk, follow West Oxfordshire District Council on Facebook or Twitter or call 01993 861025.
What Ubico will do?

Weather and road conditions permitting; Friday’s scheduled collections will be collected on Monday. This will have a knock on affect for the rest of the week however we anticipate that Ubico will be able to able to start some of Mondays scheduled collections on Monday.

Ubico will call the bulky waste to rearrange collections.

 

Make-over for Allotments at Shipton

     

 

Is it Time to Grow your Own?

In the next month or two, Shipton allotments on Fiddlers Hill will undergo an extensive clear-up.

To benefit from this work, now is the time to apply for an allotment. We will allocate the cleared ones on a first come first served basis. So if you fancy growing your own this season please contact the clerk for more information.

Allotments cost just £20 per year, or £10 for half a plot. You don’t have to live in Shipton to rent an allotment here.

Know nothing about keeping allotments? Read the beginners guide to allotments, published in the News section of this website. Everyone has to start somewhere!

   

Beginners Guide to Keeping an Allotment

Keeping an Allotment

Keeping an allotment can be a very rewarding pastime. There are many benefits, including physical exercise, mental well being, healthy eating, social interaction and family bonding. But it can also prove hard work and a little demoralising at times if plots are not kept under control.

Keeping an allotment is a commitment.

TV programmes are very good at making it look easy, they usually show loose easily-dug soil in their demonstrations. However, if you’ve just been allocated an allotment the chances are you’ve inherited a disused plot which will require a lot of hard work to clear well-established weeds and to break the ground. If this is the case, it’s important to establish control of your plot as quickly as you can and there’s no shame in seeking help from family and friends to assist with this initial challenge.

 

Whilst it’s not always possible to allocate a lot of your time to your allotment garden, gaining control of your plot quickly will pay dividends in the long run. However, be careful not to fall into the trap that so many new allotmenteers fall into. Having worked so hard to clear your plot, resist the temptation to take a break and leave it a few weeks before returning. Those that do, invariably return to a weed-infested plot and find themselves back at square one. After the initial purge, “little and often” is the key to enjoyable and successful allotment gardening

Essential equipment is a good spade, fork, hoe and rake. The purchase or loan of a garden Rotovator may prove a great help.

If you haven’t inherited a shed you may want to acquire one, and if you do, the addition of some guttering and a water butt could prove very useful.

Many experienced gardeners will argue strenuously that no allotment is complete without a compost bin or heap of some kind. Not only do they give you somewhere to dispose of your weeds, they provide valuable compost free of charge. Some traditionalists say you should always have two compost bins, one to dump the current seasons’ waste and another to draw compost from the previous seasons’ waste. There are several “tricks of the trade” to help produce good quality compost, including covering, watering and turning the heap. Don’t forget worms are very beneficial and will help produce good quality compost. Avoid putting perennial weeds on the heap as they will usually survive and re-grow. Perennial weeds and their roots should be burned or disposed of through other means.

When choosing and planting your crops, consider the size of the mature specimen and pay particular attention to the planting distances recommended on the seed packets, leaflets and guides. It’s very common for new enthusiastic gardeners to plant too closely together and thus deny the crops the space they need to develop properly. Over-crowding also encourages pests and diseases.

Don’t plant the same crop on the same piece of ground year after year. Rotation of crops is an important aspect of allotment management.

Another pitfall to be aware of is the incorrect sowing of seeds. A common mistake with inexperience gardeners is to sow seeds too deeply – effectively burying them rather than sowing them and hence they fail to germinate, much to the dismay of the gardener. Again, follow the advice on the seed packets. As a golden rule, the smaller the seed the closer to the surface it needs to be.

Finally, make sure you’ve got a seat of some kind. Sit back and take the weight off your feet, survey your kingdom, bask in the fruits of your labour, listen to the birds singing, breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun on your skin and experience a wonderful sense of well-being.

Keeping an allotment can be the most rewarding experience. Enjoy!

Scam Awareness Event

SCAM AWARENESS EVENT…
Tuesday 4th December @ 2.30pm – Chipping Norton Town Hall (lower hall)

Sadly scams are on the increase and ANYONE can fall victim to them!  Scammers and fraudsters are incredibly clever!

Representatives from Thames Valley Police, OCC Trading Standards and Age UK Oxfordshire will be talking about how to spot potential scams and prevent fraud.

Please come along and if you know anyone that may not have social media or access to email but that would benefit from coming along too, please let them know about this.  It will be really informative and the advice given will be invaluable.

We look forward to seeing you there.

42036_Scam_Awareness_Event_Poster_Dec_2018 (1)

Bigger wheelie bins for keen recyclers

West Oxfordshire residents wanting to recycle more can now swap to a larger recycling wheelie bin for free.

The current blue-lidded bin for recycling materials is a standard 240 litre size, but the new bin at 360 litres offers 50% more capacity.

To order a bigger recycling bin, or any additional recycling containers, call 01993 861025 or email enquiries@westoxon.gov.uk.