Farewell Frank. The village will miss you
William J (Frank) O’Neill
O’NEILL William J. “Frank” Former Landlord of The Red Lion, Stratton Audley, was born in Tipperary, Ireland. Passed peacefully 31st January 2021 after a short illness, loving father of Caroline and Christine, adored by his grandchildren Rhys and Ava. He will be greatly missed by his brothers John and Finbarr, sisters-in-law Marie, Dillie, Anne and his wonderful nieces and nephews. Beloved by his late brother and sisters Evarist and Marie. All enquiries regarding the service date and link to the livestream, please contact D L Hancock Ltd Funeral Directors on 01869 244200. (Reproduced from the Oxford Mail).
Local COVID-19 Update
The good news is that rates of new infections in Oxfordshire continue to fall.
For those who are interested in more precise information on infections, area by area, the link below is useful:
For full details on the rules and regulations visit:
Flooding and Foul Water
The problems with foul water flooding continues to affect multiple properties in Launton Road and a couple in Mill Road where manhole covers are lifting with the force of the foul water and sewage seeping out. Several houses are unable to carry out basic washing or flush toilets for fear of overflowing waste within the home! The Parish Council working closely with a group of residents, had an on-site meeting with Thames Water on Tuesday to discuss both the short term emergency and longer term consequences and subsequently raised a formal detailed complaint which was forwarded to the CEO (anyone wishing to see the correspondence can request it).
In the short term, whilst tankers will be sent as and when available, Thames Water are going to struggle to reduce the foul water levels in the village as it is a region wide problem and they have insufficient tankers to come and pump out the excess. So affected residents have asked everyone in the village to consciously consider using less water in their bathrooms and kitchens over the next few days as this will help to reduce the pressure on the whole system which they bear the brunt of.
It is also important to note that children and animals should avoid water flows and puddles particularly on the Launton Road as much of this water is foul water.
Anyone who is also experiencing similar issues is encourage to phone the Thames Water line on 0800 316 9800 and register a complaint. It takes time to get through but the more calls they receive, the more seriously they take our problems when they review their logs. Also please let me know if you too are having problems.
A post on the Stratton Audley Facebook page has recently gone up with a short video showing water bubbling out of the manhole cover in Launton Road. Thames Water closely monitor social media and have immediately put a comment onto the site. So it is vital that as many people as possible leave relevant comments about the specific issues of regular flooding every year, contaminated water in the streets, particularly the inability of the pumping station to cope when there is excess ground water and anything else relevant that supports the case for greater action from Thames Water. Please do not confuse with County issues such as road surfaces and ditches as these are being dealt with separately.
East West Rail Local Update
The Bicester Road that leads to Marsh Gibbon from the crossroads at Billy Evans farm remains closed and the latest information is that it will not open until 12 March as the removal of the bridge and other works have been rolled together.
EWR have also issued a new closure notice for the Bicester Road at Launton (the main road from Launton to Bicester) which will now be closed for some two months from 08/02/2021 to 01/04/2021 for bridge replacement works.
Looking further ahead, Station Road from the crossroads at Billy Evans leading to Launton, will be closed for nearly a year from 03 March 2021 to 22 April 2022 to build the new road and bridge.
The safety report on the new junction at Stratton Audley Park Road and the A4421 has not yet been published and EWR are therefore unable to comment at this stage.
EWR have published their winter News update and this can be accessed by clicking on this link: EWR2 Project Newsletter – Winter 2020/2021
Interest in a Village Allotment
Below is a list of those who have expressed an interest in the development of an allotment for the village. If you are interested and supportive and wish your name to be added please let me know.
The Parish Council are duty bound to investigate the feasibility of the idea and discussions will be held with land owners/farmers to see if any suitable land could be gifted or leased. OCC is also being consulted to establish whether there is any public land bordering the village that could be utilised although none is immediately apparent.
Residents who have expressed an interest in taking an allotment so far are:
Charlie Trousdell, Clare Hedgecox, Tony Fox, Rebecca Horne, Pamela Spencelayh, Dickon Leigh-Wood, Jeremy Parkin, Margaret & Stewart Holmes, Tiffany & Gary Daniells, Marcelle Stroud. Others who maybe interested are: Amanda Reynolds, Jim Mathis and Adam Spencer.
A few more residents have confirmed their support for tree planting next to roads leading to and from the village. Inspired by Prince Charles, more information as to how to go about this is being gathered and the idea investigated further. Those registering an interest so far in helping to organise or plant trees (should the idea go ahead) are: Janet James, Dickon Leigh-Wood, Kathryn Walker, Jim Mathis, Rachel Dewhurst, Tony Fox and Sally Anne.
Any further interest out there?
Shelswell Parishes Church Service
There will be the usual 10am service on Sunday morning which will be available on-line. Find it on Facebook Shelswell News Group or YouTube Shelswell Parishes channel. It will actually have been recorded (rather than livestream) to try and get round some of the technical issues they have been having with the signal needed for livestream.
Internal Repairs to the Church
Lock-down has allowed work to proceed unhindered in the church to damp damaged walls which have been re-plastered. The work, funded from an insurance claim, is coming to an end and a deep clean will be carried out in readiness for the church to open again soon.
It is a great time to get out and do a bit of litter picking on the verges of the roads leading to and from the village. As a Parish Council we usually undertake a litter pick in the Spring, but with the vegetation suppressed at the moment a lot of discarded cans, paper and cardboard is visible particularly on the Stoke Lyne and Bicester Roads.
The Parish Council has some litter picking sticks, large waste bags and even some hi-vis jackets for anyone who fancies breaking into their daily walks. Please let me know if you can help and wants some equipment.
Dog Poo Bags
Dog poo bags are supplied and dispensed at three points as a service by the Parish Council. In the process of ordering more, it is the perfect time to once again thank Margaret Holmes in The Limes for her diligence in making sure that the dispensers are regularly refilled, come rain or shine. Thank you.
With snow forecast for this Sunday, don’t forget the three grit bins that are located in the village for use by residents.
Collection Point for Disposal of Ink Jet Cartridges
Please continue to pop your ink jet cartridges into the basket in the Glen Close bus shelter. Please don’t drop larger toner cartridges off as these are not recycled by the RSPB. If you are not sure if your cartridges are suitable for recycling, you can contact Rachel Dewhurst by email at email@example.com
Finally please note that Stratton Audley Parish Council does not endorse the unseemly behaviour of the Handforth PC in Cheshire and would like to reassure the village that it conducts it’s meetings in a less heated manner!