Headington Headlines #104

Here’s my weekly round-up of local news for 18 – 24 March.

Several crime stories this week.

A £500 reward has been offered for information leading to the return of a stolen laptop. The burglary happened on Wednesday the week before last (13 March) in Trinity Road, Quarry.

Later in the week police issued a general warning about a spate of burglaries and thefts from cars in and around Headington.

They also released a CCTV picture of a man they want to talk to about the early-morning robbery at Greggs on 7 March.

Another robbery, this one at BetFred bookmakers in The Slade on Sunday 17 March. One of the culprits had what may have been a handgun. Police are asking for any information.

In other news, the County Council approved plans to expand Windmill Primary School (@WindmillOxford) to three-form entry.

Blockbusters finally closed its doors. Roll on Morrisons!

The Department of Health has put plans to sell Warneford Meadow on hold while Oxford Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust decides whether or not to buy the land itself. The Trust has pledged that if the purchase goes ahead it would honour a deal that allows the Friends of Warneford Meadow to maintain the 18-acre meadow.

West Barton developers @BartonOxford took to twitter to clarify that the planned Community Hub in the new development will not have a doctors’ surgery so shouldn’t mean the closure of the existing surgery at Underhill Circus. Provision of services for West Barton is not yet decided.

The Headington Neighbourhood Forum met formally for the first time on Tuesday. See my note and the draft notes of the meeting.

The local news media were lured into reporting a marketing puff by commercial vehicle tracking company @RAMtracking who claimed that The Slade and the London Road in Headington were among the top 20 (not top 10 as some reported) “most congested non-motorway roads in the UK”. The calculations behind this claim can’t be found on their website, but seem to be based on a comparison of either average or lowest speeds of an unkown number of commercial vehicles using their equipment between 8 and 9 am, compared in some unexplained way to speeds between 11 and 12 am. A good example of nonsense dressed up as statistical analysis. @Cyclox got in on the act with a filmed interview on @BBCOxford.

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

  • Bedroom Tax Demonstration – Saturday 16th 1pm – Bonn Square Oxford
  • Thornhill Park and Ride Expansion Plans.
  • Should Windmill School grow to over 600 pupils?
  • Headington has 2 of the country’s most congested roads
  • Is pollution in Headington increasing?
I try to 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.