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

Monday, 23 March 2015

Headington Headlines #206

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 16 - 22 March.

A collision involving a car and a motorbike closed the London Road near the Lime Walk junction for a time on Monday afternoon. On Thursday a bus and a car collided outside the Churchill Hospital and a man was taken to hospital for treatment.

The Barton Road / London Road junction is closed until Tuesday 31 March. There's no access in or out at that end.

Headington Festival's @HeadingtonFest new website went live with details of this year's fun and frolics. Saturday and Sunday 30 and 31 May - put the dates in your diary!

@RyeStAntony School launched their new website.

Planning permission has been given for the change of use of Kennett House offices (above Iceland) to residential. This was given under the new permitted development rules introduced by the coalition government.

Friends of Quarry are publicly looking for partners who can help them bid to buy the Stansfeld Outdoor Centre, which they registered as an Asset of Community Value. The back story is in these HH articles, and my brief "what happens next" is here.

A muntjac deer got jammed upside down between two walls in Stephen Road on Monday and had to be released by the Fire & Rescue Service and the RSPCA. It was relatively unharmed and was released in "nearby woods".

Olympic rowing gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger CBE was inaugurated as the new Chancellor of @Oxford_Brookes University on Friday. The ceremony was followed by the formal 'opening' of the John Henry Brookes Building.

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week:

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

  • City Council looks to residents for Barton Park street name ideas
  • drains
  • Solar panels in Bury Knowle Park
  • School Places
  • St. George's day in Headington
  • Could installing a cable car commuter system be the answer to Oxford's congestion?
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, 16 March 2015

Headington Headlines #205

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 9 - 15 March.

The mystery noticeboard which appeared last week on the corner of Headington Road and Headley Way acquired its first notices on Monday - posters for performances at the Oxford Playhouse and the New Theatre.

The fire in Colemans Hill, which was breaking news as last week's Headington Headlines went to press, is being treated as arson. Three people were taken to hospital for treatment.

Police released an image of a man they want to question in connection with an assault that happened in The White Horse on Sunday 1 March.

Lovers of the 29 Old High Street saga will be both delighted and dismayed, even angry, to learn that Martin Young will not be prosecuted for failing to bring his property up to standard because the Council has run out of time for the legal process. Local taxpayers will now have to pick up the bill of at least £16,000, including Mr Young's costs.

The decision to remove the solar panels from the roofs of the new houses facing Bury Knowle Park (see HH204 or this Oxford Times article) has triggered one of the biggest local outcries since the suggestion of building on the Waitrose car park. Posts on the e-democracy forum queried the need to remove the panels, saying the need for renewable energy outweighed and visual impact. You can even sign a petition calling on the Council not to remove them. However, Friends of Old Headington and Friends of Bury Knowle Park take the opposing view, while Cllr Roy Darke has said on the forum that he believes the panels will now stay.

The City Council, which is responsible for naming new streets, is asking Barton & Northway residents for suggestions for the names of over 30 new streets in the Barton Park development. The Barton Community website says you can tweet your suggestions to @oxcitycommunity with the hashtag #BartonSNN. There are also links for email, facebook, and even a good old-fashioned drop-in box.

Two sheds in Risinghurst (aka Headington, according to the Oxford Mail) caught fire late on Saturday night. Arson is suspected.

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

  • Solar panels in Bury Knowle Park
  • Local transport plan consultation (including controversial new route to Churchill)
  • School Places
  • Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender
  • 29 Old High Street (again)
  • Headington Post Office
  • City Council looks to residents for Barton Park street name ideas
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, 9 March 2015

Headington Headlines #204

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 2 - 8 March.

The Sunday Times forgot to mention the amazing coverage of local issues enjoyed by residents of Headington as one of the factors that makes Headington one of the top 50 places in the UK to live. The list was in alphabetical order, so being number 44 doesn't mean anything. Thanks to @headingtonnews for sending me the cutting. I had to look up 'Tiger Parents'.

The much-delayed zebra crossing on Margaret Road, near @WindmillOxford school was finally completed and fully operational last Monday morning.

And the work to upgrade the Risinghurst - Quarry crossing at Kiln Lane to a toucan (that's bikes as well as people on foot) was completed four days ahead of schedule.

Children at @WindmillOxford celebrated World Book Day on Thursday by dressing up as their favourite book characters.

Headington public library has free wifi.

A new noticeboard has appeared on the corner of Headington Road and Headley Way. As of Saturday mid-day it was still empty (and graffiti-free).

Fire services were called to a house fire on Colemans Hill (off Pitts Road) on Sunday evening. @philmercer broke the story.

The City Council is consulting on the plans for a pavilion in the Margaret Road recreation ground. There will be a public event to show the plans on 31 March at 6.30pm in @TheMasonsArmsHQ.

Oxford LibDems announced that their PPC for Oxford East, Mark Mann, has stood down for family reasons. The new parliamentary candidate is Alasdair Murray @alasdairjmurray. He lives on Hill Top Road, which is almost in OX3.

The Albany Care Home on London Road was once again criticised in a CQC inspection report. After two earlier critical reports (see HH193) a surprise inspection was carried out in January this year. In the latest report leadership at the home was rated "inadequate" and safety, care and responsiveness of care "require improvement".

Medical services for @BartonPark_ will be provided by expanding the existing Barton Surgery in Underhill Circus.

Jolie Kirby, the Headteacher of Cheney School, threw down the gauntlet in front of some of the local competition when she declared parents should not "waste their money" on private education.

This hubris was followed by its nemesis when police were called to the same school last Monday after a report that a 16 year old pupil had been attacked in the school grounds. It seems no-one is prepared to give any more information about the incident.

Birmingham City Council has put the Stansfeld Centre off Quarry Road on the market. Friends of Quarry have had it designated an Asset of Community Value. I wrote this short note on what happens next.

Following complaints from the public, including @HeadingtonHeritage, about their visual impact solar panels on the roof of the new buildings facing Bury Knowle Park will be removed. It seems the proper planning procedures were not followed.

A woman gave birth to a baby boy in a taxi outside Leaders in Windmill Road on Wednesday morning. A paramedic attended and mother and baby were said to both be well. Reporters at @TheOxfordMail who had worked a 16 hour day the day before getting their 13-page coverage of the Bullfinch report ready were in a more relaxed mood as this story broke.

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week:

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

  • Quarry Gate pub
  • Craft Fair at Townsend House
  • St Andrew's Church, Headington
  • Serious Case Review Damns Oxford's Police and Social Services
  • Margaret Road zebra crossing work
  • Parking on pavement
  • Railings damaged on corner of BartonLane/Road
  • Revised Proposals for the Development of Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry
  • Stansfeld Centre now up for sale
  • Nice sunny weather for Craft Fair in Headington
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.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Stansfeld Outdoor Centre on the market

Birmingham City Council has put the Stansfeld Centre off Quarry Road on the market. They are selling a 250 year lease in a two stage process, inviting bids from which they will draw up a shortlist for final negotiations. As the site has been registered as an Asset of Community Value (see the registration details here) the registrants, the Friends of Quarry Residents' Association, have six months to try and buy the site. In practice it's more likely that they will try to find a developer with whom they can partner so they can have control over the woodland area and the developer can build houses on the area covered by the existing buildings. This doesn't rule out the possibility of Oxford City Council being such a partner, or being a joint partner with a specialist developer or builder. Details of the sale procedure and much more detail about the development possibilities of the site are here on Birmingham City's website.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Headington Headlines #203

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 23 February - 1 March.

The owners of the closed Quarry Gate pub have submitted a plannning application to find out if they need prior approval for their chosen method of demolishing it. Basically they want to knock it down with mechanical equipment. They intend demolition to start on 1 April (no joke).

The @Oxonbike scheme is to get three more locations: Oxford Busiiness Park, the Warneford Hospital, and Littlemore Mental Health Centre.

The planning application to build two houses next to C.S.Lewis's house in Windmill Road (see HH 195) has been withdrawn.

Oxford Civic Society's OxClean initiative launched next weekend's Spring Clean (6 - 8 March) at @WindmillOxford School on Friday afternooon.

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week:

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

  • Cyclists on Pavements
  • Marston Tesco?
  • Quarry Gate pub
  • Number 10 bus
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.