And so the big weekend is upon us and whilst it has got to be good news, a word of caution.
Although we may be fed up with lock-down and it is important to get the economy on the move, the virus is still as infectious and deadly as when it first appeared in China over six months ago. The risk for outdoor gatherings is far less and providing we observe social distancing advice, places like the Red Lion, Stratton Audley Barn, the Church and the Playground will be welcoming visitors and are to be congratulated for being amongst the first to re-open their doors.
The advice seems to be to take it slowly, try and stay outside and don’t get caught in an indoor setting with large numbers of people. The next three months are critical as the chance of further spikes is highly likely and we must all do our bit to guard against this.
This weekly email will now come out less frequently, probably fortnightly or as and when necessary. Don’t forget that news is also posted on the notice board in the village, on the parish website www.strattonaudley.org and on the village pages on Facebook.
Apologies in advance that this email is quite long but there is some really good stuff in it, so it’s worth sitting down with a cuppa when you have time.
Reopening The Red Lion
As expected the Pub has confirmed that they will be opening their doors tomorrow and asked for this message to be passed on:
“The pub has finished the renovation and will be open from 1pm on Saturday. A lot of hard work has been put in by locals to restore it for everyone to enjoy, which we greatly appreciate. Frank will now be stepping aside and hopefully will be seen frequently on the other side of the bar. We thank him for his years of service here during both the ups and downs with many stories to tell over the 15 years with him at the helm. We hope the Red Lion will become the hub of the village and so we would like to invite all the villagers to come between 12.30 and 2 before the pub opens on Sunday to see the hard work that has been carried out by all the volunteers and join us for a drink. We look forward to welcoming you into the Red Lion.
Opening hours thereafter:
Wednesday to Saturday 2pm till 11pm
Sunday 12pm till 9pm
All COVID precautions have been put in place to ensure the safest possible environment for you to enjoy.”
Stratton Audley Barn Update
As you know Stratton Audley Barn is now open at weekends from Friday through to Sunday. They are serving takeaway coffee, cake and ice cream from 10am to 4pm and new from Saturday, savoury panini’s from 10-2.30pm only. It is going well and they are offering Villagers and OAPs half price take-away coffee or ice cream on a Friday morning between 10-11am.
From this Saturday the 4th July, the gift shop will be back in action together with the online shop. The good news is there will also be an enclosed seating area in the paddock with tables, parasols and a few Bell tents to enjoy your refreshments in comfort. Please be aware that they are operating in compliance with the government safety guidelines.
Reopening the Playground
Delighted to announce that the playground in Cherry Street will be reopened this Saturday morning, 4th July.
The Parish Council has carried out a risk assessment in compliance with Government guidelines and this is accessible on the parish council website. We have also produced a few non statutory guidance notes for parents, guardians and carers and these are detailed on the website and displayed prominently in the playground.
Managing any potential risk is the responsibility of each and every one of us, therefore all responsible adults are requested to follow these guidelines and to cooperate with each other to ensure maximum safety from the spread of infection whilst accessing the playground. If you become aware of these rules being ignored, please report it ASAP to the Parish Council.
The Parish Council is under no obligation to keep the playground open and will close it, temporarily, should it become clear that the level of acceptable risk of the spread of Coronavirus is too great.
A sanitising spray dispenser has been placed near the entrance, but we cannot guarantee this will always be full. Therefore adults are asked to bring their own hand sanitiser gel or wipes to clean their children’s hands particularly at the beginning and end of play and where possible to clean touch points on equipment before and after use.
It has had a spring clean and is looking better than ever before. Mike has done a great job caring for the grass and ground cover whilst closed and used the time to safely remove all the ivy from the wooden fences. Then the Dewhurst family volunteered to repaint the wooden fence mural which Rachel originally created over twenty years ago. In the process they took the opportunity to paint the blank far end fence as well with fun images, including a rainbow to reflect the sign of the times. They have done a brilliant job and a big thank goes to Emma, Hannah, Zoe and of course Rachel from the village.
A reminder that the church is now open for private prayer and for anyone who wishes to sit peacefully by themselves.
Additionally the church is taking feedback on the type of services and activities that people would like to see in the future, because during lockdown they have been using some new internet based services. If you would like to participate in a questionnaire about future services please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Neighbour information from the County Council
The attached ‘Good neighbour, safe neighbour’ leaflet has been developed by Oxfordshire’s County and District Councils and follow Government guidance. The aim is to provide advice on how individual residents can check in on their neighbours safely and how to contact the council if they are concerned. Please share this with your neighbours
Most of us will be aware that we are regularly at the mercy of short power cuts which are extremely disruptive particularly at this time when many of us are having to work from home. Even a 10 second power cut knocks out the router so kills the internet which is a pain to say the least!
Recently Charlie Trousdell in Cherry Street has taken the matter up with them directly. He has been told that the most recent interruptions were due to lightning strikes causing damage to the overhead cable network.
The Parish Council regularly raises the matter with SSE and has just received the following response as a result of our latest enquiries:
“We have carried out work on your circuit to improve the supply reliability, however there is further work to be done.
We identified that 323 affected spans required tree cutting and have completed works on the majority, of which 44 are remaining. Three Planned Supply Interruptions (PSI’s) have been completed the most recent being on the 25/06 and there are a further 3 outages which will complete approximately 30 of the remaining sites. The remaining sites left after the outages are then delayed due to Network Rail sites, landowner requests and a small amount of refusals.
In addition we are investing over £200 000 in upgrading the network which will include replacing assets. These works have been agreed because it has been recognised that the supply reliability in your area needs improvement. It is expected that once these works are completed, there will be an improvement.
Although our network complies with the standards set by our regulator Ofgem, it is not always possible for Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to guarantee a continual supply of electricity. Whilst we carry out regular maintenance to help safeguard against instances of unplanned interruptions to the supply, faults do occur in situations which are out of our control. This is recognised by the industry regulator and under the appropriate act which governs the electricity industry”.
I know we have heard this sort of thing before but it is encouraging news. However keeping on their case is paramount and the more residents register complaints directly (and not just to the Parish Council) the better.
The customer complaints email address is email@example.com
Thames Water Surface Drain Cleaning
Following the recent heavy thunderstorms, a number of the surface drains caused isolated and temporary flooding on a few roads. This matter was reported to the County and I am pleased to say that within days contractors were sent to clear debris from the blocked-up drains in the centre of the village.
Local Mobile Hairdresser
Hairdressers are allowed back to work from this weekend. I have been contacted by a resident who is a mobile hairdresser living in the parish. She has been a hairdresser for over 20 years and is fully compliant with all Government Covid 19 requirements on PPE.
Since it is still early days and some people may feel a bit nervous about going into a busy salon, a haircut at home, even in your garden, weather permitting, could be preferable for some people who opt to remain housebound.
Her name is Liz Clarke and she can be contacted on 07545 579037.
Matters that I have been made aware of during the last week:
Regrettably an opportunistic theft of power tools took place from a builders van parked outside Moat House in Launton Road on Monday. No tools were on display but a passing van stopped and it obviously all happened in a flash.
If you have anything you feel that the community should be aware of and would make a difference, or have something else you want to raise with the Parish Council, we are always open to ideas and in listening mode.
All the best and continue to stay alert.
Chairman, Stratton Audley Parish Council