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Improvement in the pedestrian environment in Watlington
Social distancing has highlighted the deficiencies in the roadside footpaths in central Watlington. There is little that can be done in Couching Street and Shirburn Street to provide safer sidewalks because of the narrowness of the road and the volume of traffic they carry. High Street is however different. The issues here are:
We want to reclaim High Street for residents and visitors to the town and to make it an even more attractive place to visit. Several more or less ambitious schemes have been considered but we are starting at the less ambitious end of the scale, with the hope that we can get this in place quickly. Whether we then build on that in the future will depend on the response to it.
The changes we are proposing are:
Traffic cones in the road (with indicative marks on the road to specify their position) will be used to provide additional footpath space on the northern side of the road in front of the shops where queuing is most frequent and the width of the road permits. At no point will this additional footpath reduce the carriageway width below 3.2 metres. (The carriageway at the Barley Mow pinch point is about this width, while it is over 4.5m near the shops.)
The three short term parking bays on the south side outside the butchers shop will designated as “Loading bays – Delivery and collection only”.
The restriction of the road to access use only will be signposted by simple A-frame type signs at the two eastern entrances to the road. Suggested wording is “Pedestrians on Road - Deliveries and Access Only”.
All the changes will be introduced as a single TTO.
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Become a Local Councillor: Make a difference
Watlington Parish Council provides, maintains or contributes to the following services: Allotments, leisure facilities, car parks, Youth Club, Children's Centre, recreation grounds and open spaces, public conveniences, street cleaning in the centre of the town, looks at traffic calming measures and more!
The Council also works with our principal authorities Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) to ensure the effective delivery of services to the local community. It is your local Councillors, helped by the Clerk, who identify local needs and ensure delivery.
Vacancies - April 2020
There are currently vacancies for two councillors following resignations. If you would like to make a difference and be involved in shaping the future of the local community, why not talk to us to find out what it involves?
At this time when the community has come together to show mutual support for each other and for our local businesses, the Parish Council has been working hard in the background to provide the facilities to strengthen this mutual support. Would you like to join us as we start to prepare for the recovery that will certainly come as COVID-19 releases us from isolation.
If you would like to chat about joining Watlington Parish Council or need any help feel free to contact Kristina Tynan, Parish Clerk, or any Councillor.
Business as usual
Well not quite as usual but the Parish Office is staffed and open during the normal hours of 9:30am to 1pm. You will be able to talk to our clerks through the enquiries window but we ask that you respect their need for protection from COVID-19. Your phone calls will still be answered but you might find you are diverted to another number to accommodate the needs of our clerks.
You will notice that there will be less effort going into keeping our town clean and tidy, and we ask that if you find streetside bins are full you either look for an empty bin, or better, that you take your litter home with you. Similarly you might find the dog waste bins have not been emptied. Please do not try to balance yet another bag on the top, take it home with you and put it in your general waste bin (brown).
The childrens play areas in the paddock and at the rec have been closed and we ask that you respect this to limitation. You are welcome to visit the Rec, Paddock or Sports Fields or to give your children the opportunity to run around for a while, but again we ask that you respect social distancing and keep you and yours at a save 2 metres from others. Throwing a ball between friends may seem to be a good way to allow interaction but remember that the ball could be carrying infection between them.
Some committee meetings are taking place as virtual meetings to allow essential decisions to be made. These meetings will be advertised in advance and if you wish to sit in on them you will be told how you can do this. You will not be able to participate in the meeting unless you notify the clerk well in advance of the meeting, and even then it will be up to the Clerk and the Chairman of the meeting to decide whether you will be able. Minutes of meetings will be published as usual after they have been approved by Full Council, although to provide an efficient way of operating we have set up a small Executive Committee to take decisions on behalf of Full Council as needed. This Executive Committee consists of four councillors and the Clerk.
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have made it even easier for residents to check which bin their waste items go in by using the councils’ new recycling wheels.
The councils have produced the wheels to help increase recycling rates by promoting the kerbside recycling collections and making sure residents are putting the right things in the right bins.
The wheels are the latest of the councils’ recycling promotions - they also have a smartphone app called Binzone, which tells users which bin is due for collection that week and includes a waste item search function to find out which bin to throw their rubbish into.
The new wheels are recyclable and are available in libraries across the districts. They will also be offered to community groups to give to residents and to schools as an educational tool.
Cllr Caroline Newton, cabinet member for Housing and Environment with South Oxfordshire District Council said: “Around 80 per cent of household waste can be recycled and while the councils have very good recycling rates, there is always room for improvement. These are designed as an easy-to-use reminder for people to keep at home when they are sorting out their waste.”
Cllr Elaine Ware, cabinet member for Housing and Environment with Vale of White Horse District Council said: “By helping residents recognise which items go in which bins, the councils aim to increase recycling rates and at the same time reduce the amount of recycling which is contaminated if the wrong thing is accidentally dropped in.”
How do they work?
SODC have just introduced a new cooking oil recycling service for residents as part of food waste collections.
After cooking and once it has cooled, any leftover oil can be poured into a plastic bottle no bigger than one litre in size. The bottle and its contents can then be placed into the kerbside food waste caddy, along with other food waste, and put out for the weekly collection. For those who don't want to use a plastic bottle, oil can also be poured straight into the caddy along with other food waste.
One litre of cooking oil can generate enough electricity to make 240 cups of tea!
If a resident needs to report a missed bin they should contact Biffa:
Crews will only return to collect a missed bin if it was originally put out before 7am on the scheduled collection day.
There are some occasions when crews can't collect a bin – for example, if the bin was not put out in time. If a resident has put the wrong items in their recycling, or the bin was too heavy or overflowing, then the crew will place a tag on the bin to explain why it wasn’t collected and will attempt to collect it on the next scheduled collection.
If there are repeat problems at a property or a specific area, Biffa will investigate. If a collection is missed at the same property on a number of occasions, and the issue is not resolved by Biffa, residents should email firstname.lastname@example.org and SODC will investigate.
If you need to get in touch with Thames Valley Police to find out about, or assist with, ongoing cases, or to contact an officer or department directly, you can now do so online by using their new contact form. If you want to speak to someone by phone then please call 101.
To report a crime or missing person you should use this report form.
All types of weather can affect you, those around you, and your property. Make sure you're prepared by checking the Met Office's WeatherReady tips and advice. Find the latest articles and advice on travel, your home and health and wellbeing.
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Visit https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/barometer/advice to access a wealth of information.