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District Councillor Report for Sparsholt and Childrey December 2023

on Thu, 21/12/2023 - 6:00pm

District Councillor Report for Sparsholt and Childrey website December 2023


Community bus

The new 68 service started on Monday November 27th. I used it mid-morning on Wednesday 29th from East Challow to Wantage. There were 9 people on the bus, some from Childrey and Sparsholt but also Fernham and Faringdon. I will use it for the full journey in the next couple of weeks to try and see where most passengers join the bus. The bus may be hailed. Bizarrely the bus is a Blenheim Palace shuttle bus. Please use it where you can. If we don’t use it we will surely lose it!


Flooding on the A417 at Mellor’s

The heavy rain that we have had has led to atrocious flooding on the A417, causing disruption to the X35 bus service and economic losses to several businesses including Mellor’s (Steve Henry there has been exceedingly worried about his losses). In desperation I have contacted everyone to try and get some short-term relief but I am told that, weather permitting, work to resolve this issue will commence this week (working week commencing Dec 18th). The diversion through Childrey is also causing huge disruption there.

I am trying to start a dialogue with OCC about the percentage of our council tax money that “should” go into road and drain maintenance and how far some maintenance work should be the sole responsibility of OCC. I remember Yvonne, our county councillor, mentioning to me that OCC are looking for parishes to do more and maybe we should think about this. For example, once drainage grips have been cut they are easily opened up. Serious work (like the culverts under the A417) must of necessity be done by OCC but I think that this is a dialogue worth having and I am trying to arrange asking a question to this end to OCC to get some clarification on what is expected – although this might change with time.


Hedge planting

You will have also seen that 160 m of mixed species hedge has been planted along Silver Lane (Whitelands Road) in West Challow. We will be planting again on January 13th and February 4th.



The county health scrutiny committee met on November 23rd. Much of the discussion was about child and adolescent mental health. This is an increasing problem in Oxfordshire exacerbated by Lockdown. Rather than wait until symptoms require referral to the CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) which deal with all cases, including those who require hospitalisation, the BOB ICB (Integrated Care Board), Director of Place in Oxfordshire and the county council are putting in place a plan to catch cases early by liaising more closely with schools, parents and with a new App which the youngsters are very keen on!


By the time you read this we may have heard the offer, regarding Wantage Hospital, from The BOB ICB and Oxford Health. I will update when I can and if I can.


Local speed limits

I had a meeting recently with Mark Francis about the possibility of lowering the speed limit on the B4507 from the 30mph sign into Wantage to just beyond the turning for West Challow, down Silver Lane and on the A417 between the 30mph sign and 100m west of the West Challow turn. He is very supportive and suggests that we propose this to Highways.


Thanks for your support in 20023 and I will continue to work for you in 2024. As always if you have any problems or issues locally you can contact me at [email protected] or on 07557 953862. You can follow my work on Facebook


Cllr Dr Paul Barrow

Ridgeway Ward

Vale of White Horse District Council

December 14th 2023