"To every complex problem there is a simple solution, startling in its simplicity, piercing in its clarity, and hopelessly and completely wrong" - Gore Vidal.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Local solicitors Withy King in high-profile pro bono case

Law firm @WithyKing, who recently took over the Headington firm Edward Pilling solicitors (reported in Headington Headlines 185) deserve credit for taking a pro bono case in the Family Court in Swindon recently. They represented a couple - both with learning difficulties - who had been threatened with their child being taken from them. Under rules introduced by Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling the couple had been denied legal aid. The judge in the case, Sir James Munby P, who is President of the Family Division, railed in the strongest terms against the Ministry of Justice's "unprincipled and unconscionable" policy. The Guardian has a fuller account of the story and its significance. Those interested can read the full judgement here.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Headington Headlines #186

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 20 - 26 October.

The Area Forums organised by Oxford City Council have been problematic for some time. The North East one last Wednesday was supported by 9 Councillors from across the area, 7 officers from the City Council, and one resident. The meeting had not been widely publicised beforehand.

A motorcyclist who was taken to hospital after a collision involving a black Vauxhall Zafira on Marsh Lane near the slip road for the A40 at approximately 11.55am on Friday 26 September has died from his injuries. Police are appealing for any information and witnesses.

Nascent cycling club @QuarryVelo, which appears to be based at @TheMasonsArmsHQ, held their inaugural ride on Wednesday.

Having been closed last week, it seems the Pullen's Lane gate is going to be closed once a quarter "because of increased traffic" (via @headingtonnews). Readers will remember that a private road needs to be closed at least once a year to prevent claims that it has become a public right of way.

A further addition to Oxford University's Old Road Campus, or the Churchill Hospital site, was announced during the week. A prestigious new medical facilty, the Precision Cancer Medicine Institute, is planned for a 2017 or 2018 opening. It will study drug, surgery and radiation therapy and will be aided by Churchill patients with hard-to-treat early stage diseases like lung and esophageal cancer.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Transport and the social divide
  • Northway Town Green application and Barton Park
  • Northway Town Green
  • Proposed student accommodation in Latimer Road/London Road
  • Marston Park and Ride
  • Risinghurst Fireworks
I cover news from the OX3 postcode in Headington and out as far as Barton, Sandhills and Risinghurst (see map). To feed into next week's summary you can comment on this article, or tweet either with the hashtag #ox3 or @mentioning @TonyOX3.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Headington Headlines #185

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 13 - 19 October.

The roadworks on the London Road, Headington roundabout and the A40 started last Monday causing even more delays to traffic on the Ring Road and the approaches to Oxford, and triggering the inevitable outcry of complaints. This time the delays were so long and the complaints so loud that the County Council decided to defer the reconstruction of The Plain - due to start today - until after Christmas.

Delays on the Eastern by-pass were exacerbated on Friday morning when a car and a cyclist collided at the junction with Kiln Lane, causing the road to be closed for a time.

The Maggie's Centre @Maggiesoxford at the Churchill was formally opened on Monday.

A developer wants to build student accommodation and some private housing on the corner of Latimer Road and London Road, on the west side of Latimer opposite Dorset House. There is an exhibition about it in the foyer of the old entrance to Brookes on Gipsy Lane on Tuesday. More information here.

Local solicitors Edward Pilling & Co., whose offices are on the London Road, has been acquired by the law firm Withy King, who have offices in Oxford, Abingdon & Thame. All Pilling's staff will transfer to Withy King.

A new book club is starting in Headington. The Headington Pageturners are holding their inaugural meeting in @TheWhiteHartH on 12 November. The first book for discussion is Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird".

Also at The White Hart a wine club starts on Wednesday this week. For £20 you get to taste 8 wines - Spanish this week - nibble some cheese and biscuits, and take a bottle home. Phone them for details and booking 01865 761737 or tweet @TheWhiteHartH.

A blue plaque to author Elizabeth Bowen was unveiled in The Croft, Headington on Sunday.

An article about @CocoNoirOxford celebrates five years of trading, but fails to notice that Café Noir has closed. Also 'Belgium' chocolate?

What colour should Quarry Village Hall be painted? @RosalindRogers would like your suggestions.

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week:

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Parking at the JR
  • Quarry Gate pub
  • Parking on pavement
  • London Road "Improvement" Scheme
  • FYI: London Oct 23 Event - Social media and local political representation: a game changer or all hype?
  • Transport and the social divide
I cover news from the OX3 postcode in Headington and out as far as Barton, Sandhills and Risinghurst (see map). To feed into next week's summary you can comment on this article, or tweet either with the hashtag #ox3 or @mentioning @TonyOX3.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Latimer Road development proposal

An as yet unidentified developer is putting forward plans for new student and private residential accommodation on land on the western corner of Latimer Road and the London Road. I have heard that the developer has bought a number of houses on the corner of Latimer Road opposite Dorset House, and is proposing a 194 student development on the site, along with some smaller private housing. By comparison, Dorset House can accommodate 310 students.

The developer is putting on an exhibition of the proposals on Tuesday 21 October from 4 - 8pm in the foyer of the old entrance to Brookes off Gipsy Lane, not the new John Henry Brookes Building. There is a copy of the invitation here. If you are interested, go along and have a look.

Oxford Brookes are providing space for the exhibition purely as part of their normal commercial paactices. They have no other connection with the developer and have taken no view on the merits or otherwise of the proposals. There is as yet no planning application registered for the site and no public plans other than whatever is on display next Tuesday.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Headington Headlines #184

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 6 - 12 October.

The White Hart in Old Headington is on twitter @ThewhiteHartH. I've listed all the pubs in OX3 with twitter accounts here.

Wood Farm Primary School in Titup Hall Drive has won an award from the British Council for its work in fostering international awareness among pupils, including its twinning arrangement with a school in South Africa and celebrating the many different cultures represented in the school.

The A40 Northern by-pass was closed for a time on Wednesday as police investigated a possible "conceern for welfare" incident on the Marston flyover. A woman was later detained under the Mental Health Act.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Londis
  • Silver Joggers
  • Northway Town Green application and Barton Park
  • Smoking at JR Hospital
  • Headington Live Advent Calendar 2014
  • London Road "Improvement" Scheme
  • Be aware of phone scammers
I cover news from the OX3 postcode in Headington and out as far as Barton, Sandhills and Risinghurst (see map). To feed into next week's summary you can comment on this article, or tweet either with the hashtag #ox3 or @mentioning @TonyOX3.