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District Councillor Paul Burrows October 2023 Report

on Mon, 16/10/2023 - 7:00pm

District Councillor Report for Childrey Parish Council October 16th 2023

Community bus service
An e-survey has just been sent out to the Parish websites/newsletters etc. to gauge opinion,
likely use and preferred destinations. OCC are also now exploring a reinstatement of a limited
service of the old 57 route covering our villages west of Wantage and this has been put out
to tender and an offer accepted although this has not yet been publicised. The service will run
until the middle of 2015. I will keep you updated as soon as we hear officially but at least
there is some good news for the restoration of a community bust service for 18 months at
least.


Wantage Hospital
I have updated you on the continuing discussions about the future of Wantage Hospital. There
is now an opportunity for the public to have a discussion with the NHS (Oxford Health NHS
Trust and The BOB [West Berks, Oxfordshire and Bucks] ICS [Integrated Care System]). There
will be a further public engagement event at The Beacon on Tuesday 17th October 15.00-
16.30. Please attend if you want to have an input.


Roads, drains and weeds!
We are expecting a visit from Andrew Gant, the county councillor with responsibility for
highways, to this ward in the next few weeks. Apart from the state of the roads generally and
several roads specifically, I am anxious to talk to hm about (i) the road drainage in several
villages, and (ii) the gradual encroachment of weeds along the roadsides and pavements in
most of our villages. It will be important to speak to Andrew Gant because Highways have
responded to me about the encroachment of weeds on the highways (Including the
pavement) with the advice “Please put it on FixMyStreet”!!!!!!
There is also considerable interest in reducing the speed limit along the B4507, from the 30
mph limit near Wantage to the West Challow turning, and on the A417 from near the West
Challow turn to Haynes. This is being discussed with East and West Challow and Letcombe
Regis parish councils.


Plans for Abingdon reservoir continue despite local objections (from VOWHDC
Communications)

Plans for an expanded controversial reservoir near Abingdon have again been criticised by
local communities, with Vale of White Horse District Council urging water providers to
consider alternative solutions.
The council has reaffirmed its objections to the reservoir in a formal letter to Thames
Water following submission of their revised Draft Water Resources Management Plan
(WRMP) to government. The alliance of the six water companies in the Southeast (Water
Resources Southeast or WRSE) also submitted its revised draft Water Resources South East
regional plan to government at the same time.
The draft WRMP not only progresses plans for the reservoir, known as the South East
Strategic Reservoir Option (SESRO), but proposed to increase the capacity by 50% from
100Mm3
to 150Mm3

!!! Meanwhile, the proposed Severn to Thames Water transfer has been downgraded as an option.

The council argues that the plans fail to consider fully the long-term impacts to the local
community and the environment, both during a decade of construction and the irreparable
damage to the countryside.
A reservoir would also come at the expense of significant carbon emissions which the council
argues would impact the district’s ability to become carbon neutral by 2045.
Clearly. The Vale and County Council continue their objections.
The revised draft Water Resources Management Plan will now be reviewed by Government
and, if endorsed, will be finalised and published in 2024.
Thames Water will continue with the development of their SESRO project, focusing on
environmental data collection and ground investigation surveys over the coming months,
with engagement and updates to stakeholders to be held in Autumn this year.


Childrey Way/Bridleway
We now know that the stretch of Childrey Way/Bridleway between Cornhill Farm and Silver
Lane/Whitelands Rd., West Challow will be repaired during the week of October 23rd and
should make walking to Childrey, with or without and dog or children, cycling or hacking much
easier.

Cllr Dr Paul Barrow
Ridgeway Ward
Vale of White Horse District Council
October 15th 2023