Headington Headlines #363

Your weekly round-up of local news for 26 March – 1 April.

Southern Health NHS Trust has been fined £2m for its failings over the deaths of Connor Sparrowhawk and Teresa Colvin.

Buses on routes 13/X13 and U5 had to be diverted to avoid overnight roadworks on Marston Road. The road closure seemed to take people by surprise, although yellow warning signs had been on show for some time.

The planning application for 95 student bedrooms at Ruskin College (see HH337) and the separate application for a further 12 beds at Stoke House go to east Area Planning Committee on Wednesday with recommendations for approval.

@clumpytree reported another failure by Oxfordshire CC to have cyclists in mind when they work on the roads. The subsequent thread got picked up and reported quite widely, prompting a promise from the county that it would be fixed ‘soon’. Original tweet here.

In other roadworks news, the London Road crossing that is being built at the end of Osler Road has been criticised for not having lights or any kind of pedestrian priority. @RuthWilk reports the explanation given at the last Headington Ward focus meeting. Without knowing a lot more about the technical work behind the decision it’s not possible to know whether ‘Health & Safety’ and the interests of the bus companies have been given priority over pedestrian safety and convenience. In a local shopping and commercial centre movement on foot ought to be safe, quick and simple; road traffic should be controlled accordingly.

A court has ruled that the charges Oxford City planned to levy on residents of the city’s five tower blocks woud be ‘excessive’, and has reduced the amounts drastically. For Plowman Tower in Northway the council was going to charge each property £48,766.75; the reduced figure is £2,640.85. In Foresters Tower in Wood Farm the charge has dropped from £49,116.62 to £2,642.77.

Marston Saints Football Club has had to abandon one of their pitches because of damage by moles, dog fouling and dogs digging in the soil. The pitch is off Horseman Close, Old Marston.

St Andrew’s School @sasastandrews1 has been awarded £2000 from the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ scheme. The money will go on new curtains for the hall.

No local news is complete without a toilet story (who remembers “Clochemerle”)? The e-democracy forum has a thread which started as a complaint about closed facilities at the Bury Knowle Park toilets and then morphed into a series of exchanges on the Labour-controlled city council’s record in providing sport and leisure facilities. The good news is that the toilets are being repaired.

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

  • Bury knowle park, stealth closure/reduction of facilities

Headington Headlines #362

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

In a rather bizarre fashion the Oxfordshire Growth Board revealed the projects to be carried out in the first year of the Growth and Housing Deal recently signed by the Oxford/shire councils. The Oxford Mail had the story before there was anything on the Growth Board’s website, and before Councillors or County officers were informed. The Board has not actually met to approve the spending – they do that this week. It all seems a bit topsy-turvy.

However, the good news (OK, some people may disagree) is that the Headley Way Access to Headington money has been more than covered, and work will start on the full scheme soon after Easter. It will run until about Christmas. The additional funding means that the crossing on the London Road by the bus gate at the end of Osler Road has been reinstated to the programme, although as plans stand at the moment it will amount to little more than a central refuge – no zebra or light controls for pedestrians. The County’s Access to Headington web page has a little more information.

Elsewhere, the County has opened a consultation on its proposal to introduce double yellow lines for the entire length of The Slade on both sides of the road, with exemptions for loading and access to properties. Cyclists will hope this will help stop people parking on the nice new segregated cycle paths. The consultation page tells you how you can comment.

Another theft of an upmarket car; this time a Mercedes stolen in Burchester Avenue, Barton, by a thief or thieves hooking the keys through a catflap.

The two bus companies are having to adjust their services and reduce some frequencies to cope with traffic congestion in the city. The 8 and 9 services are among those affected. The changes come into effect from Sunday 8 April.

A ‘fit trail’ was opened in Barton on Wednesday. Has anyone tried it yet?

Once again Headington features in the shortlist for RIBA’s South Region Awards. This year the Big Data Institute on the Old Road Campus is among five Oxford buildings shortlisted. It was designed by @MakeArchitects Make Architects.

The Big Data Institute
The Big Data Institute
Picture © Make Architects

Builders Hill, they of @Mosaics_Oxford at Barton Park, have been awarded 5-star status in the ‘coveted’ Home Builders Federation annual customer satisfaction survey.

The flats on the site of the old snooker club at the top of Windmill Road are being marketed by Keble Homes. It looks like they are only interested in selling to people who work at, or aspire for their children to go to, private schools in the area.

The eagerly anticipated new magazine Headington Occasional (see last week’s HH) has launched a crowdfunder.

There were no new posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week.

Headington Headlines #361

Your weekly round-up of local news for 12 – 18 March.

A burglar stole an Audi from outside a house in Wharton Road by hooking the keys through the letterbox. It happened in the early hours of Saturday morning last week.

If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, here are a couple of photos of the sculpture ‘Assembly’ by Saad Qureshi in the quad of Oxford Brookes’ new Clerici Building.

"Assembly" by Saad Qureshi
“Assembly” by Saad Qureshi
"Assembly" by Saad Qureshi
“Assembly” by Saad Qureshi

A new printed publication appearing soon in Headington, the Headington Occasional, has published its prospectus.

Sandhills Primary School was given an ‘inadequate’ rating in a recent Ofsted inspection, although they did note some improvements since the current Head was appointed last year.

Back in January I reported that the Local Government Boundary Commission is carrying out a review of the Ward boundaries in Oxford. A cross-party proposal for ward boundary changes is going to the City’s Executive Board on Tuesday this week (20 March). Here are some of the main changes in the Headington area:

  • staff accommodation in the grounds of the JR to transfer from Headington to Headington Hill and Northway
  • the area between Bury Knowle Park and Barton Road to transfer from Barton and Sandhills into Headington
  • the new development of Barton Park to be included in Barton. Barton and Sandhills renamed Barton
  • streets between Barton Road and the bypass moved from Barton and Sandhills to Quarry and Risinghurst

There’s more details in the papers going to the Executive Board: a map of the proposed boundaries, and a commentary on all the proposed changes across the city.

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

  • Abandoned Bikes in Headington