Headington Headlines #326

Your weekly round-up of local news for 10 – 16 July.

The Planning Review Committee approved the application by @TheSpiritofToad to add a café to their South Park distillery.

A cat called Blue made the mainstream news. He was found up a tree in Hawthorn Avenue with his leg caught in a rat trap; his leg had to be amputated.

Now here’s a strange thing. The first houses being built in @BartonPark_ are being marketed under the name “Mosaics Oxford”. The marketing campaign has emerged on twitter as @Mosaics_Oxford and they have a website which was first registered in April last year — mosaicsoxford.co.uk.  The copyright tag on the website shows that Mosaics is another face of the builders of Phase 1, Hill. Mosaics Oxford is, they claim, a “vibrant new community”, “nestled next to Oxford’s bustling city centre”. Devoted readers will recall that an important selling point of Barton Park was how the new development would integrate with existing Barton to their mutual benefit. Strange then that the word ‘Barton’ (with or without the ‘Park’) doesn’t appear anywhere in Mosaics’ sales pitch. The street address of the marketing office (or ‘suite’, as they prefer to style it) is just a postcode which places it in St Aldates.

A consultation has opened on a proposal for a 20mph speed limit along the whole length of Windmill Road as part of the Access to Headington scheme. Various documents, none of them going into any detail or presenting any evidence about what the effect might be, are here on the County’s website, from where you can also submit your comments. The consultation closes on 11 August.

Electric Aids has moved out of their Windmill Road shop. A notice in the window says they will continue trading, but doesn’t say where.

The Bullingdon Community Centre in Peat Moors was closed abruptly by the council after the structure was found to have deteriorated.

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

  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road
  • Northern Bypass near Barton Park: What a silly place to put a sign
  • 20mph Consultation for Windmill Road opens
  • Overhanging vegetation in Headington Hill cycle path
  • Local Plan 2036

Headley Way work postponed to 2018

After initially being delayed by a month the Access to Headington work in Headley Way and Cherwell Drive has been put back to start in the new year. As the County explains this is because of major sewer works to be carried out in St Clements.

The County will consider whether some other part of Access to Headington can be brought forward instead.

Headington Headlines #325

Your weekly round-up of local news for 3 – 9 July.

Thames Water starts sewer replacement works in St Clements today, lasting for several weeks. There will be long delays. You have been warned.

Councillors and The Oxford Mail are reporting that because of the work in St Clements, the Headley Way stage of Access to Headington, recently rescheduled to start on 24 July, has now been put back to the new year. This has yet to be confirmed on the County’s website, but it seems highly probable. This potentially pushes the work into conflict with building work on the JR site. Update, 1500 10/07/17 The County has now confirmed the postponement.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information about a suspected arson in Weyland Road last Sunday (2 July).

As predicted by the Huffington Post and reported in HH323, Oxford East MP Anneliese ‘One of Nine to Shine’ Dodds has been made a front-bench Treasury spokeswoman for Labour.

With the closure of the Marston Medical Centre patients have been re-allocated to other practices. Some will go to a unit based at the Marston Pharmacy, others have been allocated to a new unit being set up in the grounds of the JR at Arthur Sanctuary House (ASH, the building opposite the Women’s Centre). Patients have been told there will be no extra parking at ASH so anyone arriving by car will need to join the queues of drivers trying to get into the JR pay-for-parking car parks. Coming from Marston, the JR is served by the 13, X13, 14, and 700 bus services, which would be a sensible alternative for those who can use them.

The planning application by @TheSpiritofToad for a café at their new South Park distillery was called in by councillors after a close vote at the West Area Planning Committee. It will be decided at the Planning review Committee meeting this Wednesday (12 July).

@HeadingtonNews has sifted through all the site allocations in the City Council’s Preferred Options local plan document and produced a list of all the sites in the Headington area. Do try and find time to look at the consultation and make your views known.

Street names for the @BartonPark_ development have been released. The main spine road is to be Barton Fields Road (why not Barton Park Road?). Other names commemorate well-known Barton people, including Barry Holden, former Vice President of the Barton Community Association, and Elizabeth Maud Smith, a resident of Barton for 57 years.

Oxford Health NHS Trust @OxfordHealthNHS, who run the Warneford Hospital, showed their masterplan for how they want to develop the site into a world-leading treatment and research centre. Oxford University is collaborating to help them raise funds, but nothing’s likely to happen for a while yet. Exhibitions of the masterplan will be arranged over the summer months.

Model of the Warneford Masterplan site layout
Model of the Warneford Masterplan site layout (Warneford Lane at the top)

Travellers are back on the Marston Ferry Road cycle path. They were able to access the path due to a bollard failure.

It’s been a long time, but 29 Old High Street (the derelict place on the right near the car park) is back! Planning application ref 17/01686/FUL is for “Partial demolition of existing house and demolition of existing garages and outbuildings. Erection of two storey side and rear extension. Provision of new access, car parking and turning area. Rebuilding of stone boundary wall fronting Old High Street.” The application is open for comments until 3 August.

Ruskin College has been criticised for abandoning its roots and its foundation by closing its international labour and trade union studies department.

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

  • Ramsey Road Allotments
  • Local Plan 2036
  • Ramsey Road Allotments
  • Charity event to celebrate Adult Volunteers in Oxfordshire
  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road

Who are Hedena Health?

It was @HeadingtonNews who first spotted that Bury Knowle Health Centre and three other local practices had taken on a new identity – Hedena Health.

It was picked up and reported on the local e-democracy forum.

In the current climate of creeping (some might say galloping) privatisation of NHS services this rang alarm bells. What was  going on? I  thought I’d try to find out.

A quick search found that Hedena Health is not a registered company, nor a registered charity, and the name is not a registered trademark. Google only seems to know about it as being linked to Silicon Practice, who are credited as the builders of the website.

This ties in with the Hedena Health website itself being registered in May this year by a Dr Steve Treadwell who has an address in Swindon. Dr Treadwell is a director of Silicon Practice. The only other Director (and Company Secretary) is a Jane Oddy.

The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning group (CCG) publishes a list of practices in Oxford City (see App 2 on p.12). This was last updated in February this year. It shows the practices as “Bury Knowle Health Centre, incl Wood Farm & Marston”. In an email the CCG explained that the new name is recent (June 2017), and they have not yet updated the list. There are some other changes in the pipeline so it will probably be updated in September.

The final part of the picture comes from Bury Knowle Health Centre itself. They tell me that:

We currently have four sites (Bury Knowle, Marston/JR, Barton, and Wood Farm) each of whom until recently had their own telephone number and website. This was causing confusion for patients and staff, and patients were having problem getting through by phone, as our old telephone system was out dated and couldn’t cope with the call volumes. We therefore decided to switch to a single number and website back in June, and to use a unified name for all the sites: Hedena Health. I would like to reassure you though that we remain the same people at the same places, hopefully just providing better access to our patients. There has been no change to the ownership or the management of the Practice and Silicon Practice Ltd are just the company that have provided our website. [quoted with permission.]

It seems then that Hedena Health is an umbrella name that the practices have adopted along with the new software for accessing their services, and no other changes are involved. Someone must have done their research though, for as the Headington website records in its brief history of Headington, “The name “Hedena’s dun” (a dun being a hill) was first used in Saxon times”.

Headington Headlines #324

Your weekly round-up of local news for 26 June – 2 July.

Despite earlier reassurances, Oxford City Council has found after tests that they will have to replace the exterior cladding on the Evenlode and Windrush Towers in Blackbird Leys. The towers will not be evacuated as other fire precautions, including sprinklers, have been included in the Council’s refurbishment. The two towers in OX3 – Foresters in Wood Farm and Plowman in Northway have not yet had cladding installed so are not affected.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has released this statement about it.

The last thing anyone wanted was for a fire to break out in one of the tower blocks. This is just what happened in Plowman Tower, Northway on Wednesday. Fire crews attended and the fire turned out to be small and in a ground floor storage area. It was quickly dealt with.

Still on the subject of fire safety in communal buildings, Headington LibDems asked @Oxford_Brookes and Unite (the company that manages Dorset House and will manage Beech House) for statements on their respective fire safety. The replies are here on the LibDem website.

Four local surgeries/health centres are now run by Hedena Health; Bury Knowle, Barton, Marston and Wood Farm. Who or what Hedena Health is, is to say the least opaque but I’ve done some digging. This post explains what’s going on.

All Saints’ Church has joined twitter. Welcome and follow @AllSaintsOX3!

Oxford City has opened the public consultation on the ‘Preferred Options’ stage of the City’s developing Local Plan covering the period up to 2036. The consultation runs until 25 August. Every household will be getting a leaflet and questionnaire, but for starters try the Council’s Local Plan web page and @OxCivicSoc‘s short article.

Local LibDems and Greens were quick to pounce on newly-elected @AnnelieseDodds‘ failure to back an amendment in the Commons that would have required the UK to stay in the Single Market. This despite her election campaign statements that ‘extreme Brexit’ would be a disaster. Anneliese has explained that she backed a different amendment which she believed was stronger. A full account of this story here.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

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

  • Four local medical practices now come under Hedena Health
  • Edgeway Rd cycle apologies
  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road

Anneliese Dodds and Brexit

This post was updated at 1153 on 3 July to correct the voting record and figures for Anneliese Dodds and Layla Moran. My apologies for getting the figures wrong in my original version.

In the final debate on the Queens’ Speech in the House of Commons on Wednesday 29 June MPs had a chance to test Theresa May’s fragile majority as Labour tried to frustrate the Tories’ hard-line Brexit plans.

The House considered two particular amendments. The first, put forward on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell included these words:

regret that [the Queen’s Speech] fails to … recognise that no deal on Brexit is the very worst outcome and therefore call on the Government to negotiate an outcome that prioritises jobs and the economy, delivers the exact same benefits the UK has as a member of the Single Market and the Customs Union, ensures that there is no weakening of cooperation in security and policing, and maintains the existing rights of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU.

Anneliese voted in favour of this amendment but it was defeated 323 – 297, a majority of 26.

The second, proposed by Chuka Umunna said:

regret that [the Queen’s Speech] does not rule out withdrawal from the EU without a deal, guarantee a Parliamentary vote on any final outcome to negotiations, set out transitional arrangements to maintain jobs, trade and certainty for business, set out proposals to remain within the Customs Union and Single Market, set out clear measures to respect the competencies of the devolved administrations, and include clear protections for EU nationals living in the UK now, including retaining their right to remain in the UK, and reciprocal rights for UK citizens.

Anneliese abstained on this amendment, which was defeated 322 – 101, a majority of  221.

Once these amendments had failed the final vote on the Queen’s Speech was carried 323 –  309, a majority of 14. Anneliese voted against the motion.

We can also note that Oxford West & Abingdon’s new LibDem MP Layla Moran abstained on the first of these amendments, voted for the second and against the final motion.

Local LibDems and Greens were quick to jump on Anneliese’s record. Anneliese campaigned vigorously for Remain in the Euro referendum. In her general election campaign she said she accepted the referendum result and would not oppose Brexit, but she would fight hard for it to be the best it could be, with as little adverse impact on jobs, the status of EU citizens etc. as possible. Here’s a sample from twitter:

In an email Anneliese said she voted for the Labour (first) amendment, because it unambiguously said that the worst possible outcome from the Brexit negotiations would be ‘no deal’; it held the government to account for its claim that it could deliver the ‘exact same benefits’ as single market membership and the customs union without being in the single market; and required the government to protect the rights of EU citizens living in Britain, and British people living in the rest of the EU. She also felt it had a better chance of being passed than the Umunna amendment, which turned out to be the case even though both amendments failed.

She said “Bizarrely, some have interpreted my voting for the Labour amendment as being in favour of ‘hard Brexit’, when it was quite the opposite and no-one reading the amendment could have come to that conclusion. I think this may be because the contents of the Labour amendment relating to Brexit have not received as much publicity as Chuka’s amendment.”

Readers will make up their own minds, but it’s perhaps a warning that twitter is not the most reliable medium if you want to really understand a story!

Source of data – Hansard Online. Labour amendment – Division 2; Umunna amendment – Division 3; final vote – Division 4.

Headington Headlines #323

Your weekly round-up of local news for 19 – 25 June.

As predicted last week, the start of the Access to Headington work on Headley Way which was due today has been postponed to 24 July to allow Thames Water to carry out sewer replacement work in St Clements first. The St Clements work means traffic lights and closures for two months.

Judy Webb, naturalist, conservationist and leading light of the Friends of Lye Valley @FriendLyeValley received an Oxford City Certificate of Honour “for 16 years of service as a volunteer promoting nature conservation within Oxford”. She was presented with her certificate by Oxfordshire Deputy Lieutenant Lady Helen Baker.

Judy Webb receiving her Certificate of Honour
Judy Webb receiving her Certificate of Honour

Oxford City’s Executive Board ‘made’ (i.e. approved) the Headington Plan. To complete the process it still needs confirmation by the full City Council, which will happen next month.

The Oxford Mail reports that the OU Hospitals Trust is considering installing number plate recognition controls at the hospital car parks.

The day before the new parliament started, Oxford East’s new MP @anneliesedodds was tipped by the Huffington Post as one of ‘nine MPs tipped to shine‘ in the new parliament. They predict a significant role in Labour’s Brexit team.

I was one of a group of 14 locals who enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Energy Project at the JR Hospital on Thursday. After a short presentation giving an overview of the project we were shown the new boilers and the 4.5MW CHP engine. They’ve managed to fit some impressive equipment and miles of pipes into the existing hospital structure without losing any of the hospital’s working time.

The man who pleaded guilty to the murder in Windmill Road in February (see HH319 and HH305) was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years 10 months. Egidio Da Silva Alves murdered his brother-in-law Domingos Ramalho in a family feud.

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

  • Strimmer found