WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Newsletter 16 November 2023

Dear [Forename]

As I mentioned last month, the new extension at the Health Centre has been completed and the entrance to the building for both receptions is now at the front again. The road will continue to be one-way so please keep going round if you want to park in the Church Street parking.
Dr Carrie Ladd will be expaining how "General Practice is changing - How Newbury Street Practice is changing too" in the new reception area this evening November 16th at 7.30pm, before the Newbury Street Patient Group holds its AGM.

Periodic Mably Way Newletters are produced jointly by both Newbury Street and Church Street Patient Groups and the latest version is attached. Physical copies are available from Libraries, the Beacon, the surgeries and many other places around the area.

Thames Water has been holding a couple of "drop-in" events recently as part of their charm offensive for the reservoir. Unfortunately they are are still not doing any analysis about the impact of possible flooding, or of property damage and loss of life in a Dam Breach accident. The Reservoir fails to conform to key DEFRA guidelines about the siting of high risk reservoirs but is still being recommended. To read more see the GARD newsheet attached.

The District Council has announced that Swimming pools across South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse have been awarded a total of £441,542 by Sport England as part of part of the government’s Phase 1: Swimming Pool Support Fund. Apparently this is in addition to the developer contributions and carbon grant money already announced. The only problem seems to be getting the money spent. We have heard that this is waiting for the new Leisure Strategy but that too seems to be disappearing into the future. It is strange that money can be spent on Faringdon and Abingdon Leisure centres but not on Wantage. So if you happen to see one of our many District Councillors you might want to ask him/or her why this is so.

The saga of the public toilets on Kingsgrove continues. The planning meeting at which this was to be discussed was cancelled so I assume that discussions continue between the Town Council, the District Council, the developers and Kingsgrove residents about what will be built and who will maintain them. We await further news.

The recent bouts of heavy rain have turned many roads into streams and caused the cancellation of several fireworks displays, it might be nice if some of these become Christmas or New Year's Eve events but I guess we're dependent on the weather.

Talking of the weather, winter can be tough at any age, but it’s particularly challenging for older people who face additional health risks, and increased feelings of loneliness and isolation. In addition, the cost-of-living crisis with rises in food and energy prices, is causing many local older people to worry about staying healthy and keeping their homes warm. Age UK have brought together some useful information and resources in the form of an online Winter Hub - please share this resource with both older people and those supporting them this winter. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/oxfordshire/about-us/winter-hub/. They also have a paper version which can be obtained by phoning 0345 450 1276.

For those much younger, Kerry Lemon (an artist commissioned by St Modwen) is partnering with Make Space For Girls (https://www.makespaceforgirls.co.uk/) to explore what 16-19 yr olds would like to see in the new Community Growing Space on Kingsgrove. On the 8th Dec 23, 11-3pm she will be running a FREE creative workshop (with lots of pizza!) at Abingdon & Witney College and I am looking for 16-19yr olds who self identify as female/ neither to take part (ALL WELCOME BUT PRIORITY IS GIVEN TO KINGSGROVE RESIDENTS). Contact her by email kerry@kerrylemon.co.uk for more details.

As I mentioned last month 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 don't know what the Town Council have decided to put in their response but we will ask them to make it public.

As you know, we no longer have a column in the Herald every week as the Editor decided that they needed more space for local news and so asked all three volunteers to stop writing. We are looking at options for the new year but are currently taking a well earned break after writing for 398 consecutive weeks. Most of those columns are available at https://wantageandgrove.org/columns.php and previous newsletters are at https://wantageandgrove.org/newsletters.php.

To find a list of many of the sports, cultural and community organisations in OX12 see https://wantageandgrove.org/organisations.php

For roadworks see https://one.network/.

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes

Julie Mabberley
Campaign Manager

Wantage and Grove Campaign Group


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