Lots of interesting topics this month, including hospital-like services in OX12, changes to electoral boundaries, wantage pedestrianisation review, fire services, public toilets in Wantage and the extension to the Health Centre.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago Wantage Communty Hospital is back in the news with Oxford Health Trust leading work to shape potential services in the hospital. The workshops finish this week - but there are still places on the zoom session tomorrow (2-3pm) and the families session on Thursday evening (7-8pm). Please fill in the following form to express your interest: https://forms.office.com/e/nrMYi3PGuS or contact the project team on firstname.lastname@example.org. More importantly there is the Survey at https://bit.ly/3tcr866 - questions are focused on those who have attended appointments at the hospital, but there is a very important question at the end of each section which asks which services should be made available locally which everyone should complete. Options they are looking at are: - Clinic based services (tests, treatment and therapy) for planned care appointments (similar to the services currently provided in the hospital) - Community inpatient beds and the alternatives when care in your own home isn’t possible (like it was before the inpatient beds were temprarily closed in 2016) - If Community hospital beds were provided in the Hospital there would be no space for any outpatient services. - Urgent care (minor injury, illness and mental health) access needs on the same day. We used to have a minor injuries service in the hospisal about 20 years ago. This would probably take up about half of the ground floor of the hospital so would still leave space for some outpatient services. Please note there are no plans to change the maternity services on the first floor of the hospital.
The Electoral Commission are planning changes to the boundaries used for the election of County Councillors. There are currently two County Councillors for Grove and Wantage, with the rest of OX12 being represented by Councillors for the Hendreds and Harwell; Shrivenham (including the Challows); and Kingston and Cumnor (including the Hanneys). The proposals are for individual County Councillors representing Wantage (not including Charlton & Kingsgrove); Grove; Charlton, the Hendreds and Blewbury; Drayton, Sutton Courtnay and Steventon (including the Hanneys); and Shrivenham (including the Challows). It doesn' appear that there are any changes to District Council Councillors (but I'm happy to be proved wrong) but Wantage will have three wards within the Town Council - Charlton, Segsbury and Wantage (with Wantage including the area south of Charlton Road and everything south of Letcombe Brook). To se the details and comment on these proposals please go to https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/oxfordshire. I believe that the Town Councillors are discussing their response.
Market Place Pedestrianisation For those who still read the Herald, you will have seen the article about the Town Council agreeing to reconsider the new proposals to extend the pedestrianised area in Wantage Market place after a meeting with representatives of the local businesses. This should mean that the current plans to extend the area are on hold until this review has taken place.
Fire services. We now have it on good authority (from the Director of Satety and Chief Fire Officer Rob McDougall) that there is no intention to either close or downgrade Wantage Fire Station. The 20 mph may have an impact on the response times to some incidents for the reasons highlighted including the journey times for on-call firefighters but this is balanced by the improvement in road safety by reducing the speed of vehicles.
Public Toilets The toilets in the Beacon Car park are currently being altered to provide a ‘changing places’ toilet. Although the toilets are owned by the District Council this is being paid for by the Town Council. The Kingsgrove (Crab Hill) application for their Central Park includes public toilets. The Section 106 agreement requires the developers to include a composting toilet for the allotments, but the Town Council say that none of the current allotmentsites include a toilet so they don't think this one should either. The developers decided to upgrade to requirement to full public toilets but as these will be on land which will be managed on behalf of the residents, the residents would be required to pay for the maintenance. The Planning Application is likely to be discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on 6 November.
Finally, The new extension at the Health Centre will be open shortly and the Newbury Street Patient Group will hold it's AGM in the new reception area on November 16th at 7.30pm. Come along to see the new Reception Area at the Health Centre and hear from Dr Carrie Ladd about "General Practice is changing - How Newbury Street Practice is changing too"
As you know, you can read previous newsletters at https://wantageandgrove.org/newsletters.php and find a list of many of the sports, cultural and community organisations in OX12 at https://wantageandgrove.org/organisations.php For roadworks see https://one.network/.
Thanks for reading.
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group