Oxfordshire close to ‘high’ COVID-19 alert level – 22/10/2020
This is a message from our County Councillor, Ian Corkin, which is well worth noting:
“Good afternoon all,
You may have seen some speculation about alert levels for Oxfordshire in the news this week and I wanted to take this opportunity to update you directly on the developing COVID situation across the county.
Over the last few weeks, cases of C19 in Oxfordshire have typically been in younger more resilient age groups, such as university students. However, whilst the number of new cases has not sharply increased this week, we are now starting to see wider community transmission from that younger age group to older more vulnerable residents and hospital admissions have already started to increase.
This spread is very concerning. With half term next week and the inevitable increased mixing of households, all Local Authority Leaders in the county agreed to request a move to Level 2 for the whole of Oxfordshire – this was designed to be a proactive measure to get ahead of the transmission curve and suppress the spread to more vulnerable groups. The request was considered by Gold Command (The government committee in London who decide on such things) yesterday and we were informed last evening it has been decided that Oxfordshire would remain on tier 1 for this week and Gold would review this again next week.
With half term, plus events such as Halloween, bonfire night and Diwali just around the corner, when many families typically come together to socialise, it would be very helpful if you could help emphasise in your communities the need for people to observe the current restrictions, including the rule of 6, as well as the importance of face, space and hands. If we all do our bit, we can collectively turn the tide on transmission.
Finally, I appreciate that not everyone will be in favour of the council seeking a higher alert level. However, the data is clear, the virus has started to spread to more vulnerable groups and if we act early we can suppress it, save lives and hopefully avert the need for the even more restrictive measures seen in some other parts of the UK. As so often in this pandemic, it is a very finely balanced judgement.”
Note: Estimated Covid cases in Cherwell as of Friday this week, are up by 406 from 316 last week to 722.
Clocks go back
As I am sure you know the clocks go by back an hour at 2am this Sunday morning, which means that on Saturday night we all get to have an extra hour in bed! We will then be on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), not British Summer Time (BST).
The change was proposed in England by builder, William Willett who, in 1907, published a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight encouraging people to get out of bed earlier in summer to make the most of “wasted sunlight”. He suggested turning the clocks back by 20 minutes over four Sundays.
The idea of changing the clocks was proposed as part of the 1908 Daylight Saving Bill but there were objections from groups including farmers and scientists. The Germans adopted Willett’s idea of Daylight Saving Time (DST) in 1916, during World War I, to save valuable fuel that was being wasted on artificial lighting, and the UK followed. Willett died in 1915 so didn’t see his plan adopted.
EWR disruption on the Stratton Audley Park Road to Poundon
Please remember that the road from the Godington turn-off to Poundon is closed and is scheduled to remain so, until 6th November.
Additionally, the traffic light system on the A4421 at the turning for Stratton Audley Park also remains in place until 6th November.
Finally, next week, we are officially being notified of the revised plans for the passing points to be installed on the tree lined section of the Park Road which have been reworked in order to avoid the need to de-vegetate any of the trees.
Halloween on the Horizon!
Halloween is just a week away and preparations described below are well underway, so that a safe event outdoors within the rules as laid down currently. Groups of up to six people (adults and children) need to remain within their groups and avoid mixing with other groups. Additionally social distancing rules need to be maintained and if it makes you feel more comfortable although not a legal requirement, wear a mask.
- Kicking off at 5.30pm, there’s going to be a Spooky Pumpkin Trail from around the village visiting a number of designated village points plus outside households that are putting out sweets
- A mobile-friendly map and the link will be available on FB next week.
- There will be no knocking on doors so if you are putting out sweets/treats, please notify Sandra of your address so she can add you to the map
- To make sure there are enough treats for everyone, please message to say how many children/ grandchildren/etc. will be following the trail
- Thanks go to the team of volunteers that have agreed to carve out the Pumpkins which will be collected Friday 30th
- Anyone wishing to donate sweets for the trail, again please message Sandra and she will collect on Friday 30th or alternatively drop in a box that will be placed outside 5 Cavendish Place.
Sandra’s email is email@example.com or phone 07798 844783.
Stratton Audley Church
Last week I passed on information about the very serious situation facing the church in this area, and a number of people responded with kind donations. However no one has come forward yet to offer time to support the PCC team for our church which is also our community centre. This is just a gentle reminder to anyone considering some form of help to contact Alice, the Rector for the Shelswell group of parishes, on 01280 848192 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Stratton Audley Advent Windows Trail
As previously announced the Church has come up with the novel idea of creating an Advent Trail around the village whereby 24 street-facing windows will be decorated with a Christmas Carol Theme.
If you would like to be one of the participating households please get in touch with Becky Adams (277471) or email email@example.com
Coffee Morning in the Red Lion Pub
Coffee morning is now inside the pub with social distancing, four to a table. A register of attendees is being kept as required by law for contact tracing. It continues to be well attended and is every Tuesday at 11.00 in the Red Lion and the cost is £2 per head for coffee and biscuits. All welcome.
The Red Lion
The Pub is open every day except Mondays with last orders at 9.30pm and the best place to find all the latest news is on their Facebook page.
Right now on Facebook they are promoting the Supper evening which returns on the 29th October and tickets are already selling fast! Phone 01869 277225 to book a table – Vegetarian/all dietary requirement can be catered for!
Stratton Audley Barn
The Barn is open each day except for Monday, from 10 am to 4pm. The café operates a table service only and it is advisable to book in advance especially at weekends on 01869 278184. The marquee is also available for table bookings…bring a cushion and rug!
The gift shop is now full of delightful Christmas novelties to bring a bit of early cheer. However if you are feeling a little uncertain in these strange times why not book one of their ‘shopping hours’ on Wednesday’s or Thursday’s from 4th November at 9am, 4pm or 5pm and shop while the Cafe & Shop are closed for general browsing. Available to book online now. Follow the link for more details.
Collection Point for disposal of Ink Jet cartridges
The collection box for used ink-jet cartridges is still located in the bus shelter on the Stoke Lyne Road and any money raised from their bulk return will go to the RSPB.
Van break-in Cherry Street
Sad to report that a van was badly damaged by thieves breaking into a self-employed workman’s van, parked in Cherry Street on Wednesday 21st October. Apparently this type of crime is on the increase, so taking extra precautions like not leaving things on display in your vehicle, makes a lot of sense.
Winter is on its way but the official road sweep isn’t for 6 weeks and will take place on 30th November. It has been earlier in previous years but we have planned it in order to collect the maximum debris from the trees once all the leaves have fallen.