"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, 17 November 2014

Headington Headlines #189

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 10 - 16 November.

It was announced on Monday that Olympic rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger will succeed Shami Chakrabarti as Chancellor of @oxford_brookes in March 2015. Neither Katherine or Shami seem to be on twitter (under their own names, anyway).

Independent Marston Councillor Mick Haines' long campaign to get lights installed on the cycle path in the Croft Road park finally came to fruition.

The "Shark House" in New High Street has been up for rent several times in the past few years, but this time it's gone wild on twitter and even made The Guardian. Canny marketing by agents @ScottFraserUK.

Furthermore, it seems shark house owner @Bill_Heine plans to move back there himself and is looking for "bubbly and gregarious" lodgers.

The ever sharp-eyed @HeadingtonNews noticed that Pullens Gate in Pullens Lane has been sold by agents @ScottFraserUK. It was on the market at an asking price of £2m. but I bet it went for a touch less. Mansion Tax, anyone?

Oxfordshire County's Cabinet Member, Environment @DNimmosmit1 approved the proposed 50mph speed limit on the A40 northern bypass between the Headington roundabout and the Marston junction as part of the changes associated with the @BartonPark_ development. It won't come into force until the new access junction is built, and there's still no news yet about the Foxwell Drive Town Green application.

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

  • Oxford Hospitals Notice-Boards
  • Headington Festival Weekend 2015
  • no lights
  • Christmas lights in Headington
  • Temple Cowley Pools Public Meeting Mon 17th 6pm

Monday, 10 November 2014

Headington Headlines #188

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 3 - 9 November.

Highfield Residents Association is sponsoring All Quiet on the Western Front – a programme of music and readings to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War - on Friday 14th November at 7.30pm at All Saints Church, Lime Walk.

The Oxford Mail carried a story saying residents in Barton don't want the new Barton Park development to be segregated from the existing community.

Headington Singers commemorated the tercentenary of the death of dr John Radcliffe with a concert in Oxford Town Hall on Saturday. The programme included a new commission.

After finally getting approval, the long-awaited refurbishment of the City's tower blocks should start sometime next year. Foresters Tower in Wood Farm and Plowmans Tower in Northway are the two in this area. The work involves enhancing the exteriors as well as adding insulation, new windows and heating systems. All the towers will have their balconies enclosed, with large glass windows to create a small conservatory space. This BBC report has more details and an artist's impression of howw Evenlode Tower in Blackbird Leys might look.

After deciding not to appear at the Headington Ward focus meeting last week, Frontier Estates organised a public meeting on Friday. They were represented by a consultant. Frontier are the people who want to build student accommodation on the corner of Latimer Road and also have their eye on other land in and around Windmill and Kennett Roads. Here is their Team, presumably too busy to turn out on a Friday night.

Home deliveries of Headington Monthly magazine seem to have stopped, though @Headingtonnews reports that it is available free at the checkout in Tesco.

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week:

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

  • No Help to Buy in Oxford
  • Revised Proposals for the Development of Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry
  • Oxford Hospitals Notice-Boards
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, 3 November 2014

Headington Headlines #187

Here's my weekly round-up of local news for 27 October - 2 November.

Holy Trinity Church in Quarry published revised plans for extending the building to provide a purpose-built toilet for those with disabilities and a small crèche/meeting-room and kitchen. Previous plans were rejected after considerable concerns expressed by parishioners.

Risinghurst's fireworks will be on Saturday 8 November. Gates open at 6.30, tickets £3 for adults, £2 for children over 5 years old. It is the same evening as the big display in South Park.

The developers who want to build student accommodation on the corner of Latimer and London Roads - Frontier Estates - changed their minds about presenting their proposals at the Headington Ward Focus meeting on Tuesday and decided not to attend. The same people have been actively looking for sites in the Windmill Road/Kennett Road area but have not endeared themselves to local residents. There's no indication on their website that they have any experience of delivering student accommodation, and their non-attendance at the meeting last week won't help them win support for their Latimer Road scheme.

Law firm @WithyKing who took over local solicitors Edward Pilling (see Headington Headlines 185) made legal headlines when they took a pro bono case in the Family Court in Swindon. The lack of legal aid led the judge to make a scathing attack on government policy.

A mature Scots pine tree in Bury Knowle Park had to be cut down after developing a dangerous split in last week's high winds. @grnlbs made this video of the job being done.

Two cars, a Mini and a Smart Car, were stolen from a house in Sandfield Road early on Thursday morning. It's thought the thief or thieves entered the house through an unsecured front door and took the keys from the entrance hall.

Oxford City Council has produced a list of buildings throughout the city which will become free wifi hotspots next year under a Government scheme. Barton Neighbourhood Centre, Headington Community Centre, Northway Community Centre, Risinghurst Community Centre, Headington Library, Old Marston Library and Thornhill Park and Ride are all included.

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

  • Marston Park and Ride
  • Risinghurst Fireworks
  • Revised Proposals for the Development of Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry
  • Oxford Fiddle Group Concert - Headington Quarry
  • New coach service from Thornhill to London
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, 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.