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Newsletter 16 January 2019

A belated happy New Year. I know that we are strictly non-party political but the lack of action from most of our local politicians is beginning to really annoy me.

 

  1. Older People Health Strategy
    The Consultation by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group on the final draft strategy document is still open until the end of January. Earlier consultations have identified loneliness and isolation as two of the biggest concerns. It is something that older people worry about and there is evidence that loneliness has the ability to shorten people’s lifespan. The strategy identifies being part of a vibrant, safe community with the ability to easily access services as one of the most important solutions, but does not mention the closure of day centres for the elderly at all by our County Council or make any suggestion about re-opening them.
    To give your comments on the strategy, please go to the front page of our website at http://wantageandgrove.org/ and follow the link or phone for a paper copy.
  2. Save Wantage Hospital
    The next meeting of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) takes place on February 7th from 10am and should give an update on any action regarding Wantage Health Centre and Wantage Hospital. We don\'t believe that any action has been taken. We wish we had a say in appointing NHS Trust Leaders, because that would give us the opportunity to tell them what we think of their inaction at the ballet box. The County Elections aren\'t until 2021 but our Lib Dem Councillors don\'t have much power with the current Conservative Majority. No Councillor outside Wantage and Grove seems to care!
  3. New Wantage Leisure Centre
    The District Council agreed to put the development of the new Leisure Centre on hold until there was more definite news about Government Funding, but some of the Developer Contributions need to be spent by the end of 2019 - so what\'s to bet it gets spent in Abingdon not Wantage. As usual, our Councillors don\'t seem to have any power even though they are Conservative. 
  4. Planning Applications
    There are a number of new planning applications to comment on since I last wrote so here goes:
    1. Crab Hill
      P18/V2992/RM This is the application for 174 homes on a patch called \'Centre West\' which is about in the middle of the field, just west of Tom\'s Field and north of the footpath. There are only 18 unallocated spaces but many of the \"Market Homes\" have a garage and two parking spaces (in tandem) so in theory visitors can park on their drive. Unallocated parking remains a priority as this is the area near the primary school, care home and community centre and if residents have to park in the public car parks there won\'t be space for visitors. Comments can be made until 20 January.
      P18/V2227/RM This application for 82 homes just north of the A417 opposite the layby has been approved by the Planning Committee. It only has 11 unallocated parking spaces so I guess we\'ll get people parking on the road and pavements as we do through the rest of Wantage. I don\'t know how some of the Councillors can say that we don\'t need these parking spaces, we\'ve told the Committee many times about the lack of public transport and local employment but they must be both deaf and blind. 
    2. East Challow
      P18/V3003/DIS This is an application to satisfy the condition that additional visitor parking should be added to the design for 88 homes at Park Farm. At the Planning Committee when this was discussed the developer announced that up to 32 additional visitor parking spaces could be added yet this application only adds 12 spaces to the original plans for 5 visitor spaces. This is not sufficient. Please write to the council and let them know what you think.
      P18/V2049/FUL The application to amend this design and add an additional 28 homes on this site has been turned down by the Planning Committee! Yes I know this never happens but the Developers seemed to have upset the Planning Officer to such an extent that he recommended refusal.
  5. St Modwen Properties
    The new Crab Hill forum is later this month so we will see if the new Government Money which we mentioned last month is making any difference.
  6. Grove Post Office
    Grove Post Office has closed because McColls has closed. Unless whoever occupies the premises next is prepared to take on the Post Office or unless another retailer in Grove is prepared to take it on, this will be the end of postal services in Grove. It seems a shame when nearly 3500 homes are being built in Grove but there appears to be nothing we can do. If you know different then please let us know. 
  7. Road works for the next few weeks:
    - There will be stop/go lights on the B4474 (Wantage to Newbury road) near the M4 overpass on 18 January and traffic lights near the Leckhamstead turning until 8 February  
    - There will be minor roadworks on Newbury Street between now and 28 January so possible hold-ups either side of the traffic lights
    - Also minor roadworks on Larkdown and Springfield Road until the beginning of May
    - Mill Street may have traffic lights for the rest of this week (how many times can they dig up this road)?
    - Traffic lights on the A417 near the entrance to the sales office for St Modwen (Crab Hill) on 21 January
    - Traffic lights on the A417 at the Camel Roundabout from 22-25 January for sewage works. 
    - Also traffic lights on the A417 near the Park Farm Development in East Challow until end of May.
    - Naldertown will be closed between Ham Road and Leverton Gardens from 21 January until 2 February and gas works and water works on Hamfield and West Hill at various times between now and July.
    - There will be works on Harcourt Road from 18-22 January
    - Works on Cane Lane and Brereton Road should finish today but works on Mayfield avenue might continue for the rest of this week.
    - Traffic Lights on the A338 near Bellingers should be removed by the weekend, but there may be traffic lights near Oxford Lane in East Hanney for 18-19 January. Then the traffic lights return to near Bellingers from 28 January til 17 March and also outside the Volunteer from 30 January for 2 days
    - Traffic lights remain in School Road, West Hanney for another week until 23 January then move into Winter Lane until 29 January.
    - The A415 Marcham Road from Howard Cornish Road to the A34 will have traffic lights from 7 January - 19 May 2019 (note revised dates) while SGN replace their pipes.
    - Broadway in Uffington will remain closed from Uffington to Dragon Hill Road until 15 February.

That\'s enough of a rant for this year from me. Thanks for reading

Best wishes
Julie Mabberley

Campaign Manager
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
www.wantageandgrove.org


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