Headington Headlines #320

Your weekly round-up of local news for 29 May – 4 June.

I know of only one more hustings for Oxford East, and it’s today (Monday) at 6.30pm in the Sheldonian Theatre, organised by Oxford University Students’ Union. It’s open to all and you can register on Eventbrite.

The hustings organised by Churches Together in Headington was on Thursday (1 June). It was well-attended and four of the five candidates were there; only Labour’s Anneliese Dodds was missing due to a prior commitment. She was represented by City Council leader Bob Price. It was a polite affair at least up to the time when I had to leave, though I gather it got a bit livelier once discussion was thrown open to the floor.

Whether or not you’ve been to a hustings, or have been doorstepped or leafleted by any of the parties, and whoever you support please turn out to vote on Thursday.

Turning to other matters, for the record all the heatpipe roadworks are definitely over. Here’s the last road to be cleared, photographed yesterday.

Churchill Drive after the heatpipe work was completed, June 2017
Churchill Drive after the heatpipe work was completed, June 2017

Although Access to Headington work on The Slade is far from finished, the countdown to the next phase, Headley Way, has begun. There’s a public exhibition of the plans for the work today (5 June) at the Northway Community Centre, Dora Carr Close from 2.00 – 6.00 pm. Engineers from the County will be there to answer questions and listen to your comments but it’s not a formal consultation. No further significant changes to this phase of the scheme are likely.

The Headington Festival took place over the weekend. The extra-large Saturday market was busy in the sunshine and so were the stalls and entertainments in Bury Knowle Park on Sunday, even though the sunshine had given way to cloud.

After nearly two decades when private schools have dominated the competition, St Joseph’s Primary School on Headley Way has won the Oxfordshire Under-11 Chess League. They beat Magdalen College School to win the championship.

The disabled spaces at the JR car park No. 2 were closed off this week. A temporary steel structure and a large crane appeared. This is what the Hospital Trust said on their facebook page:

You may have noticed a very large crane – and the temporary closure of some spaces – in Car Park 2 on the John Radcliffe site. This is to allow vital replacement air handling units to be lifted onto the rooftop of the hospital over the next week. We’re sorry for the disruption and inconvenience and ask you to bear with us during this period.

The first phase of work will last until the evening of Monday 5 June. From today (Friday 2 June), the roundabout by the main entrance, as well as part of Car Park 2, will be closed to allow the crane to be brought in.

A second crane will be brought onto the JR site on Saturday 10 June to deliver steelwork and air handling units, which will then be lifted onto the rooftop of the hospital. This will affect the roundabout by the main entrance only.

Crane in JR car park
Crane in JR car park

The Oxford Mail reports that The Grill House, opening where Connell’s estate agents used to be (next to Bury Knowle Park), is run by the same man who owns the Old Mill Coffee Shop in Chipping Norton. A good sign is that The Old Mill has a five-star hygiene rating.

The anger at the way Frontier Estates has been trying to acquire land to build more speculative student accommodation has been growing. Cllr Alex Hollingsworth has become involved, and apparently the draft new Local Plan for the City which will be out for consultation in the next few months includes an intention to curb such developments. The Oxford Mail ran the story, and to follow the local debate you need to go to the e-democracy forum.

My favourite Headington-related tweet:

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

  • Frontier Estates Multiple Site London Road / Barton Road
  • Yellow dust around St Leonard’s Rd
  • Lost dog
  • Lost Keys