News Update no 108, January 20th, 2023

Tree Down on Stoke Lyne Road.
A few days ago a tree came down on the Stoke Lyne Road near the junction with the A4421.Village resident Zoe Timmers was close by at the time and alerted yours-truly, who together with Stewart Hopkins were on the scene quickly to remove outer branches and allow traffic to pass by. Fortunately David Taylor also happened to be passing the site and within 15 minutes was on site with a tractor to remove the whole of the tree. The Districted Council, who had been alerted, were grateful for the immediate response of the Parish Council and no emergency response services were required.

Apart form the usual news updates, I draw your attention to the altered date for the Parish Council meeting which is being held this coming Wednesday in the Red Lion.

News From the Red Lion
The Following is from Dillie:
“Apologies to all who have been disappointed at the lack of Sunday roast last Sunday – our lovely Lorraine has been very unwell.  Many thanks to Chris Torley for riding to the rescue this coming Sunday, he does an excellent roast.
Fish and chips will be as usual Friday nights!

Burns Night on 25th (next Wednesday) is getting booked up, I’m delighted to say.  Please call us on 01869 277225 to book.  £27.50 for three courses – Home made Cockaleekie soup, Haggis Neeps and Tatties followed by Cranachan.  Plus a tot of whisky, of course.

Quiz Night Thursday 26th with the new quizmaster who proved very popular last time.  Wednesday coffee morning as usual followed by lunch.

Roll on February and the first stirrings of spring – it’s been an awfully long winter”.

Stratton Audley Church

The Following is from Beckie Adams:
The next service in Stratton Audley Church will be a service of Holy Communion at 9.15am this coming Sunday 22nd January – all are welcome, as ever.
Please check the Shelswell website for details of services on other Sundays and in other parishes in the benefice

‘Little Lambs’ baby and toddler group continues on Wednesdays in term time in Stratton Audley Church, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 11am. Just turn up or for more information contact Alice  at

Stratton Audley Barn

The following is from Richard, Sara and the team:
“Beat those January blues here at the barn! Pop in and enjoy a bowl of warming soup and browse some beautiful new pieces in the shop while you catch up with your nearest and dearest!

Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm serving lunches 12-2pm, booking is recommended for the lunch time period. We hope to see you soon“.

Postponed PC meeting – this coming Wednesday
The postponed January 4th Parish Council meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday 25th January, at 7pm. It is being held in the Red Lion in the large room at the bottom of the corridor in the annex. This is a normal Parish Council meeting but amongst matters for discussion will be the formal planning application for the Padbury Brook Solar Farm. The meeting is open to all residents and anyone interested is asked to come along at the beginning of the meeting to express their views.

Padbury Brook Solar Farm Planning Application
The formal application has now been submitted to CDC and can be accessed by clicking on this link:

It is now important that everyone over the next few weeks make their views known to Cherwell District Council as it will be the last opportunity to do so.
Viewing the site today it is interesting to see that there are only five public comments so far. All are supportive and all from people outside the parish of Stratton  Audley. The first two use the same copy as do the following three. Rather obvious and will surely get noticed!

In addition, for those of you who have not yet responded to Ronan Goss’ independent questionnaire on the subject, the link is still active until the end of the month and only takes a few minutes to complete:

The Parish Council will be making a decision as to whether to support or oppose the development but as previously reported, has been in discussion with the developer over the proposed Community Fund of £150,000 which would be set up regardless of the final position of the Parish Council. We feel this figure is low in comparison to the figure of £50,000 offered to Godington and have asked the developer to reconsider. It is felt that JBM are failing to recognise the impact the development will have on the lives of residents in the village and throughout the parish, not just during the construction period but for years to come through loss of amenity and the effect on the local landscape. There is also the concern that such a development will make it a less desirable area for future generations.
JBM may be confident that they will gain approval, but the Parish Council position is that most people in the community whether they are in favour, opposed or neutral will wish to see a fair and equitable financial settlement for Stratton Audley to mitigate the effects of such a large development.

As a result all residents are encouraged to take this on board when responding to the plans, regardless of whether it is to support, opposed or take a neutral position. So please do take the time to respond to the planning application and Ronan’s survey.

Foodbank Donation in Church Porch!
“Thank you very much to all those who have dropped donations into the box in the church porch to support ‘Help For the Hunry’ – Please keep them coming! Urgently needed are tinned tomatoes, tinned fish, rice pudding, tinned meat, tinned fruit, and juice/squash. Additionally dried goods & plus toiletries (They have plenty of cereal and pasta). Likewise if you are in need please help yourself to any of the goods and note that the Rector, Alice Goodall is now a ‘Local Referrer’ and can refer refer anyone who in need to the Bicester Foodbank. Contact: Alice Goodall, The Rectory, Finmere   01280 848192 “.

Walking in Oxfordshire
Time to get walking again?
With Spring on its way we start to think about getting out to walk in the beautiful English Countryside again, but where to find new and interesting walks?
Walking in Oxfordshire has loads of walks to download and print, free, it also has books of walks, details of all the walking groups in the county and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group all the information is there in one place.
John Harris (who maintains the website) said ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Oxfordshire (part of the Walking in England website) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.
With walks from half a mile to twelve miles plus long, and a note of suitability for pushchairs and wheelchairs, everyone can find a walk to enjoy.
So home or away, check out the websites and get walking!

New Vehicle Speed Awareness Signs
The new speed signs on Mill Road and Launton Road have been removed due to a fault in the panels and will be replaced in the near future.

Bicester Heritage April Scramble
Sale of tickets for the April 8th Scramble are now live and once again, local residents can buy discounted tickets at 50% off. The promo code is: BristolBoxkite

And a few previous items that are still relevant:

Thames Water Pumping Station
You may have observed a tanker recently situated from time to time at the sewage pumping station in Launton Road and wondered if there had been some local flooding. Thames Water have advised that they did this as a precautionary measure due to the high volumes of rainfall over the Christmas period, which continue to infiltrate into the sewers. We have asked for a report on the improvements and repairs that have been carried out in the village over the last 18 months since the last serious problem in 2020/21.

20 mph Consultation
As previously mentioned, Stratton Audley has been selected to be amongst the first group of villages to be converted to a 20mph zone.
In December the County started a consultation process and are asking for your views on the proposal to replace the existing 30mph speed limit in its entirety.
Details of the proposed plans can be viewed on the Councils consultation portal at the address below:
Any objections or other representations on the proposal should be submitted by Friday 20th January 2023.
With regard to the speed limit on the approach roads to the village, for the timing being there are no plans to reduce these from the national speed limit of 60mph, but this is something that has been raised on number of occasions and will be pursued given sufficient interest.

Children’s Safety Posters
The children’s road safety posters were taken down before Christmas and any that were still intact have be placed in the bus shelter on the Stoke Lyne Road. Original artists are welcome to collect their own work-of-art before they are disposed of.

Fish & Chips Van in the village on Saturdays
For those new in the community, a Howe’s Fish and Chip van comes to the village every Saturday lunchtime from 1.30pm to 2pm. You will hear a bell (like a school bell) and his first stop is in Cherry Street. He then drives along Cavendish Place and stops again at the junction with Mill Road.

Garden Waste Subscription 
I have received the following communication from Cherwell District Council and I daresay other have received similar letters:
“The subscription to this service is due to expire on 28th February 2023. Please renew before 28th February 2023 to continue your garden waste collections. If you renew after this date we will be unable to collect your garden waste until you have a valid subscription.
The charge for each garden waste subscription for 1st March 2023 to 29th February 2024 is shown below:

  • Subscribe between 1st December 2022 and 28th February 2023 and the first subscription costs £39, and additional subscriptions cost £33 each
  • Subscribe after 1st March 2023 and the first subscription costs £43, and additional subscriptions cost £33 each.

The easiest way to renew your garden waste subscription is by visiting our website:
Alternatively, if you can’t renew online, please call our Customer Service Team on 01295 227003. If you are calling us to renew your subscription, please ensure that you have read our Terms and Conditions before calling us”.

Village Improvement Ideas 
An enquiry was made recently as to whether there was anything left in the village improvement fund that was created out of the Street Festivals in 2016 and 2018. When the last analysis was made available in 2019 there was some £1600 remaining, although this figure was depleted further and as a result the Parish Council agreed to allocate a further £5000 to this fund. Please see the latest PC Minutes for further information.
At every Annual Meeting of the Parish, people are reminded to come forward with ideas, hopefully ones that they can help implement, whether it is for something physical to improve the look of the village, organising an event  or the setting up of a service for residents. All you have to do is attend a Parish Council meeting and put forward your idea.

Historical Village Information on Display in the Church
The following information has been kindly provided by Dorothy Howarth:
“The Shelswell History Festival in July took as its theme Trade and Transport and, although this seemed to have little to do with this village, the Local History Group produced information about the blacksmiths which were in Cherry Street (named after the blacksmith’s family) the start of the postal service in this area (which was down to the Stevens family) and the existence of 33 lacemakers in the village in 1851, at a time when there were “12 Paupers receiving Parish Relief” – which is probably not unrelated.
In terms of “Transport”, Stratton Audley is somewhat unique in being shown on a map of England of around 1690, amidst mainly large towns and cities, and it is believed that this may have been due to the existence of the Manor House where there could have been accommodation.   This map is the first of the whole country and is based on the strip-maps of John Ogilby and, without a map such as this, it would be difficult to think in terms of “transport”, hence a tenuous link to the festival’s theme.
More information on these topics and the amazing life of John Ogilby are to be seen on the display boards which were used for the Festival and are still on display in the Church.   It had been intended to take them down and put them into storage but the Church Warden is of the opinion that many people have taken an interest in them and suggested that they should be left on display for a little longer.   If you know of someone who would be interested please let them know before they are put back into storage.”

Local Police Bicester and Kidlington Rural Team News
To report a crime or contact the police there are now three options:
·       Call 999 if you see a crime being committed or in an emergency
·       Call 101 to report anything else to the police – or go online to do so
·       And now police are partnering with CrimeStoppers to remind everyone of ‘The 3rd Number – 0800 555 111’ that enables you to report your information totally anonymously if you prefer.
Finally for the latest crime statistics there is a useful national site into which you can put your post code. Click on this link  Bicester Rural | (