News Update 128, 12 Jan 2024

Belated Happy New Year!

Stratton House Yard Sale
Thank you to everyone who came to the Stratton House Yard Sale before Christmas for what turned out to be quite a wet weekend. I am sure this affected the attendance but nevertheless, I am pleased to confirm that Stratton Audley Parish Church was given £1000 before Christmas towards the upkeep of the church building.

Church Matters 
The following is from Becky Adams:   

Morning Service – There will be a Morning Service in Stratton Audley Church at 10.45am this Sunday (14th January) – all are welcome, as ever.

‘Fun @ 4’ – Families are especially invited to the next ‘Fun @ 4’ in Stoke Lyne Church the following Sunday (21st January) This runs from 4pm til 5.30pm and, whilst great for children, it is very much open to all. If you enjoyed the Christingle event in Stratton before Christmas then you would be likely to enjoy this as well. There are activities and crafts, prayer and praise, sandwiches and cake.

Plough Sunday Celebration – On Sunday 28th January (11am) we have our annual Plough Sunday Celebration of Rural Life. This was going to be held at the Oakey’s farm in Godington, but unfortunately the wet weather has held up the building work on a new barn so we have had to relocate to Finmere Grounds Farm MK18 4AT. Look out your thermals and come and join in as we ask God to bless those involved in agriculture and the rural economy. There’s plenty of parking and to follow there will be beer (or coffee) and pasties to share.

Please check the Shelswell website for details of services on other Sundays and in other parishes in the benefice

Coffee Morning – The Coffee Morning continues in church on Tuesdays from 11am. If you haven’t been before then why not pop along and say hello?
‘Little Lambs’ baby and toddler group continues in church on Wednesdays, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 11am. If you would like more information about the group, please contact Alice  at

Bicester Foodbank – Thank you for your continuing contributions to the Bicester Foodbank. Just leave things in the box in the church porch; we take them in and drop them off regularly. Note the latest information from their website:






·       RICE

Shelswell News Magazine
Stratton Audley Church is part of the Shelswell Benefice, a group of ten local churches who work together. We produce a monthly magazine called ‘Shelswell News’ which runs to over 50 pages and carries  details of lots of local events and activities as well as useful advertising from local firms providing goods and services. If you would like to a free introductory copy of this month’s magazine then just email Becky on A network of local distributors deliver the magazines through your door for an annual subscription of just £12. Please could regular subscribers remember to pay their subscriptions promptly as this saves our volunteers a lot of extra work chasing people up. Thank you.

Parish Council Matters
This is to confirm that yours truly has stepped down as Chairman of the Parish Council at the last PC meeting and Anthony Flack was unanimously appointed in his place. Anthony deserve a lot of thanks for agreeing to take on this role, albeit though on an interim basis at his suggestion.

I have been asked to remain as a Parish Councillor for a few months in order to facilitate a smooth handover and help address any matters that should arise.

Our newest recruit, Owen-Bowen Jones has agree to take on a number of roles including that of continuing with this Newsletter, which in future will be issued on a monthly basis.

There are still a couple of vacancies so if you want to get involved and do your bit for the community, please come forward.

Whether you are a seasoned local or a recent arrival, as long as you are over 18 and reside in the Parish, not just the village, you are eligible.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, express your interest via email at, providing your contact details.

There will be no PC meeting in February, so the next will be 6th March which I plan to attend, so why not just come along to listen and see what you think?

East West Rail Update
Please be advised that the closure of the road from the Godington junction to Poundon, which  started on Monday 8th, is scheduled to be completed by Friday 26th January 2024. At the moment, EWR do not have any future planned closures in the Stratton Audley area.

Recent Flooding in the Village
A number of residents in the Launton Road have once again been affected by drainage issues within the home (toilets and sinks backing up) and manhole covers full, at risk of potential flooding. The tanker has been on site at the pump station (sporadically) but the station was once again overwhelmed & unable to cope with the volume. Response and reaction once again (3 years on from the last major issues and despite the pressure and subsequent promises) still seem slow and inadequate.

Led by Claire Stalder, a number of residents reported the issues to the emergency number and should we experience further heavy rains, this is a reminder to everyone of the number to phone. The more people that do so, the more Thames Water will take notice and place us further up the ladder of problem villages.

Thames Water Emergency Line for reporting Flooding:  0800 316 9800.

Since the major flooding issues three years ago, Thames Water carried out a camera survey of the sewers and drains in the village and as a result repaired/patched where they found ingress into the system from surface rain water. They have continually insisted in the past that the pumping station is adequate but nevertheless made some adjustments to the running rate, which they thought would help it cope better. However the problem clearly persists and we now know for certain that when heavy rain occurs, the system gets overwhelmed. So we as a community need to pursue this with the intention of getting them to install a more modern pumping system rather than just being fobbed off with emergency pumping tankers.

Tree Works on the Village
I am pleased to report that following Parish Council discussions last summer with OCC’s tree services, work will shortly be undertaken in the Parish which largely involves attention to the trees in Cherry Street and a few others in the village such as the Horse Chestnut outside the church, plus maintenance work to the trees along the road between the A4421 and Stratton Park . Nothing major but here is a link to the planned works :

April Scramble – local residents discount 
Tickets to the next Scramble are on sale now, taking place on Sunday 21 April.

The annual Drive-it Day extravaganza will ensure classics and enthusiast cars descend on Bicester Heritage in their thousands, with gates open from 9am until 4pm. It’s usually the most popular event of the year.

As usual, discounted tickets are allocated for local residents at 50% off, the promo code is: BristolBoxkite

Update on Two Major Planning Matters
There is no further news since the last update in December when we had received the following from the Planning Department at CDC:

Solar Farm
The application is still under consideration. The procurement process for securing landscape consultants has taken longer than expected as we have worked through the Council’s procurement process. We have now selected consultants and I’m working with he procurement team to get the contracts sorted so this work can be completed. 
We were aiming to take this to committee in January, but as the report deadline will be before the Christmas break, this is now looking unlikely as we need the landscape work to be completed. I think it is more realistic that this will be presented to the planning committee in February”.

Bicester Heritage
“This application is also still under consideration. We had asked the applicant to provide some more information to help us to better understand the details of the uses that are proposed. I have another meeting with the agent this week. 
I will also be meeting with our enforcement team so we can better understand the already permitted uses/applications and the activities that they are currently investigating. We are planning to work together as we are aware of the concerns being raised by third parties. 
There are clearly a wide range of activities that the applicant is hoping to capture within this application. Some of them, such as the larger events or noisy uses will have the potential for a greater impact on neighbouring residents. At this stage, I think we need more information so that everyone can better understand the precise nature of the proposal and the frequency of uses that are being sought. 
This application will also need to be referred to the planning committee for determination. Again we are aiming for January committee but this may not be possible”.


And a few previous items that are still relevant:

I am frequently contacted about potholes and other local issues such as flytipping, abandoned cars, debris on roads and temporary signages being put up on waste land and whilst I can pass these on to my contacts, the very best way to report anything that concerns the county council is via their Fixmystreet portal. They tell me that it is checked daily and matters are put straight into the system for investigation.

You can upload photos but you don’t have to and it really isn’t difficult, so please give it a try:

Fresh Fish every Thursday – Still Parking outside the pub!
Despite the pub closing, Jack from Grimsby continues to come to the village on Thursday’s between 6.15-7pm and parks his van outside the Red Lion. He has a wide selection of fresh fish and shellfish. You can just turn up or place orders in advance by text and his mobile number is 07535 935119.

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.
They also have a general number you can call 07809 901761

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 | (