County Councillor Report Feb 2023

February 2032: Report to Shipton Parish Council

OCC budget: At the meeting on Tuesday, OCC approved the new budget for 2023/24. Although we have had to make significant savings we are able to make some investments and these include:

£2.3 million cost of living grants to vulnerable households

£1 million for improvements to pavements and cycle paths

£2.3 million additional funding for road maintenance

£1.2 million investment in community transport – this will benefit the 210 bus that runs from the Wychwood to Witney

£3 million for tree planting as a measure to combat climate change and provide shade.

£0.6 million additional spend on flood alleviation and drainage.

£1.2 million in two new children’s homes – this will unlock  a grant from government of £5.4 million and will allow children who currently have to live out of county to be nearer their families

All of these are issues that I know are important to Shipton residents and to the parish council.

Sustainable warmth grants: Home energy efficiency grants can be applied for online (Deadline: March 2023). OCC secured funding from the government’s Sustainable Warmth Fund. Homes connected to the mains gas grid can apply for up to £10,000 and homes not connected can apply for up to £25,000 (means tested)

Call for hosts – Homes for Ukraine: A campaign encouraging people to come forward who are willing to accommodate families from Ukraine has been launched. While the government is reducing payments from the current £550 to £350 in April, or £500 for those hosting beyond 12 months, OCC has committed to maintaining the current rate of £550.

Active travel: OCC has secured over £0.5M from the government’s Active Travel Capability Fund to invest in improving access to active travel. The county is also developing a plan for a ‘Strategic Active Travel Network’ that will link towns and villages. While only a plan at this stage, the data collected and planning done puts OCC in a good position to bid for government money when it arises.

Potholes: Freeze thaw conditions over the past couple of months has seen a large number of potholes emerge. OCC are dealing with the backlog but will take some time. Please continue to report potholes using fix my street (reporting each pothole separately).

Coronation: Apply for up to £10,000 funding from the national lottery. See also the government’s guide on street parties.

Electric buses: First vehicles in a fleet of 159 electric buses set to arrive in September.

Verges: Revised policy to go to Cabinet in February, with a call for trial sites from parishes

Shipton Under Wychwood Parish Council