Time for that bench meeting? –
A relatively short news update this week.
The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. Full details can be found via this link:
For those who are interested in more precise information on infections, area by area, the link below is useful:
Please Note: As from Monday 8th two people will be allowed to meet and sit together (socially distanced) on a bench and enjoy a nice cuppa. With a limited number of benches around the village and no booking system, it is suggested that you time your visits to the less busy periods during the day. No towels will be allowed to be left on benches in order to reserve places!
And the official version is: Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation from Monday 8th March, which can include “a coffee on a bench”.
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 now remain closed until close of play on Friday 26th March.
Station Road to Launton will be closed from 12th April to 25 March 2022.
The safety audit report from Oxford County Council on the new junction at Stratton Audley Park Road and the A4421 is still awaited.
Stratton Audley Barn
Good news – Stratton Audley Barn is getting ready to open its doors again. Sara Howson comments:
“Following the latest government advice, we are delighted to announce we will be gradually re-opening our doors. From 12th March we will be open for takeaway only Friday to Sunday 10am-4pm. Grab a cuppa and cake and enjoy a walk, cycle or even a long overdue natter on a park bench….! All being well, we’ll then be back with our marquee & outdoor seating area open from 13th April. Your’s and our teams safety remains our No1 priority and we will therefore continue to follow Covid guidelines & practices to keep everyone safe. Hope to see you soon.”
Comet Bus Services
OCC Communities has provided more information regarding a new Comet bus service which they are happy to provide to Stratton Audley. The new minibus service from SA to Bicester, is likely to commence on Tuesday April 12th (depending on Covid-19 restrictions being lifted) and pick up residents in the village at 11am, returning to the village a couple of hours later. It will operate on Tuesday and another similar service on Thursday each week. They are prepared to provide this free of charge for the first six months to test how many people use it. A reminder will be issued closer to time.
In the meantime Comet operate a dial-a-ride service for those that require transport for medical or essential shopping reasons. There is a cost of 75p per mile which works out at under £5 for a round trip into Bicester, which is cheaper than a taxi both ways. The service operates Monday to Friday between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Should anyone require further information or wish to make a booking please contact the Comet team on 01865 323201.
Flooding and Foul Water
We have now received a response from the Thames Water CEO’s office advising that they have completed a CCTV survey to check the condition of the sewers in the village and will be able to provide a report on their findings soon. We have also asked for schematics of the foul water system and this is being addressed.
A fuller response to our other requests and questions was due this week but nothing has been received, so will have to be chased up next week.
Given that there is a sufficient level of interest, the Parish Council resolved to contact land owners to see if a small portion of agricultural land could be made available on a leasehold basis.
Planting trees along verges on roads leading into and out of the village will prove to be difficult because in most cases they are not wide enough and also will interfere with the trimming of hedges. It is therefore felt that the best course of action is to find larger areas of land where groups of trees could be planted. The Parish Council agreed that suitable areas should be identified and discussions held with land owners to explore opportunities of planting trees in corners of fields or other unproductive areas. Grants & funds are available to purchase trees and over a dozen volunteers are prepared to carry out the physical planting. We are targeting planting winter 20201/22
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.
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
All the best
Chairman, Stratton Audley Parish Council
Tel: 01869 278 000
Mob: 07801 816 600
Please visit our regularly updated website: www.strattonaudley.org
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