This week sees the launch of Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British September Clean - the national campaign which encourages more of us to get involved in keeping litter off our streets and out of the environment.The focus is very much on keeping everyone safe whilst out litter picking this year, which is why Keep Britain Tidy is asking would-be ‘litter heroes’ to gather in groups of six or less to clean up in their local community in order to comply with current government guidance.
Local authorities across the country are lending their support by providing black sacks to residents and collecting the bags of litter.
Cllr Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member for the Environment at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: ‘We are delighted to once again support Keep Britain Tidy on their annual campaign to highlight the issue of litter.
“Understandably how we do things this year has to be a little bit different. While residents aren’t able to collect litter picking kits from us just yet, as our offices remain closed, we are ready to supply them with bags and arrange for our contractor to pick up the collected litter.’
He added: ‘Litter is a persistent and unsightly problem across our district. Deliberate littering is not only anti-social but it is harmful to environment and our wildlife and is costly to remove.
“Spending just 15 minutes picking up litter makes a big difference so we would encourage residents to get involved and pledge their support by visiting the Keep Britain Tidy website.”
It is estimated that litter costs local authorities £1bn annually to clear up. Each year the Council collects more than 400 tonnes of street litter and spends in excess of £1m on street cleansing.
The Great British September Clean runs from 11-27 September.
Anyone wanting sacks or to arrange a collection of litter should call 01993 861000 or email: email@example.com
Further details on how to get involved in this year’s Great British September Clean can be found at www.keepbritaintidy.org/user/register
The website also provides Covid-19 guidance so litter picks can take place in the safest way possible.
Oxford’s two universities are working closely with local government and NHS partners on a range of measures to keep students, staff and residents safe as teaching and studying resumes later this month.
Oxford Brookes University and Oxford University are working alongside Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the NHS to make sure arrangements are in place for a safe start to the new academic year – and that students are encouraged to protect themselves and others as Oxfordshire continues to seek to #stopthespread.
The measures include boosting testing capacity– Oxford University is providing its own service, and Oxford Brookes has been working with Oxfordshire County Council to establish an on-site Coronavirus testing facility which is now available via appointment for the local community, as well as Oxford Brookes students and staff.
There will also be additional local contact tracing systems at both universities to track attendance in key areas across campuses. Local outbreak control plans are in place, which have been tested through joint exercises, and all students are being provided with advice and guidance about how to protect themselves and others. Both universities have also published new documents setting out their clear expectations for student behaviour during the ongoing pandemic, , both on and off campus.
Large-scale lectures will not be delivered face-to-face, with the universities instead delivering online learning. Only small scale and individual teaching will take place on campuses. Extensive risk assessments have been carried out in line with Health and Safety Executive guidance.
These initiatives are designed to help keep the virus under control as Oxford looks towards the new university year.
An online event is being organised by Oxford City Council for residents to hear from both universities, the City and County Councils and Thames Valley Police about arrangements for the safe return of students. The event is planned for later this month and will also be an opportunity for residents to put questions to these organisations. More details will be published nearer the time.
Ansaf Azhar, Director of Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council, said:
"It’s important to remember that the virus is as active as ever, so we’ve implemented a range of measures designed to protect incoming students and Oxford residents.
"While it’s easy for students to get carried away amid all the excitement of a new university year, it’s vitally important they remember that the virus still presents a risk and take preventative action and get tested promptly if they show symptoms.
"We’re encouraging students and residents alike to follow those simple measures that help keep us all safe – keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a face covering. If we all do these things, we will avoid having to introduce measures that we’ve seen elsewhere in England."
Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council, said:
"Students are a vital part of our city’s life and our economy, and I would like to warmly welcome them back to Oxford. Our two universities have put in place measures to minimise the risk from the virus to students, university staff and the wider Oxford population. We all, students and permanent residents, need to abide by the health guidelines to keep Oxford’s communities safe.
"Oxford is a beautiful city and we are proud that each year we get to welcome students from around the world who will call Oxford their new home. I would encourage students arriving in our city to help protect their new community and themselves, by following the guidance around stopping the spread of COVID-19."
Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University said:
"The safety of the community is paramount in our preparations for the new academic year. Over the summer we have been working tirelessly to put in place a large number of precautions, in line with government and public health advice, to ensure the safe return of our staff and students. This includes a University test and trace system, enhanced cleaning, social distancing measures and a Covid testing facility at our Headington Campus.
"We know that safety measures on campus will only be effective if they are accompanied by responsible behaviour from our students within the wider community. We have been in regular contact with our new and returning students over the summer and will continue to share videos and other information on acceptable behaviour which complies with the latest government guidance.
"We are immensely proud of our strong community links and will continue to work closely with local councils to ensure the safety of all, whilst providing a rich educational experience for our students."
Jan Royall, joint head of Oxford University's Michaelmas Coordination Group together with Karen O'Brien, said:
"Oxford University and its colleges look forward to welcoming all new and continuing students for Michaelmas term. The health and safety of all who study and work here, and the wider community in Oxford, is our highest priority, and we have been making adjustments to the way we live and work. All students whether they live in colleges or private accommodation, will be required to sign a Student Responsibility Agreement which commits them to following University and local public health guidelines in order to protect our fellow citizens in the City as well as the University and colleges. In order to reinforce messages to our community a health campaign was launched this week.
"The University is putting in place additional safety measures ahead of Michaelmas Term, including a testing service, face coverings, social distancing, careful planning of building access, hand and surface sanitation, ventilation, use of Perspex screens and other measures. Additionally, the University's COVID-19: Early Alert Service (EAS) is also working in conjunction with local public health experts to ensure an effective internal strategy to contain outbreaks."
Both universities have set up coronavirus web pages that include information for residents as well as students and staff
Oxford University: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus
Oxford Brookes University: https://www.brookes.ac.uk/alerts/coronavirus/
URL : http://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/oxford-prepares-for-the-safe-return-of-students/
Residents struggling to pay their council tax are in line to receive further financial support from West Oxfordshire District Council.
The Council has been allocated £474,564 from the Government’s Hardship Fund which it is currently using to offer up to £150 in relief for those in receipt of council tax support (CTS).
Numbers of those receiving CTS in the District have already increased by more than seven per cent to 2,387 between March and June and are expected to rise significantly over coming months as the furlough scheme ends and more residents start claiming Universal Credit.
However, even if the number of CTS claimants rises by 100 per cent, the council estimates there would be a surplus from the grant of more than £150,000.
As a result, councillors have agreed to ring-fence some funding to create a Council Tax Hardship Fund aimed at residents suffering severe hardship whether in receipt of CTS or not along with a local welfare fund.
In December, a review of expenditure will take place with surplus funding awarded to CTS residents who owe more than £150.
Awards of up to £150 will continue to be given to new CTS claimants throughout the remainder of the financial year.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday.
Cllr Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “We are determined to make best use of the Government funding available and it is only right it is given to those who have been hardest hit.
“With the number of benefit claimants rising in the District, we will continue to review the situation and give as much help as possible.”
OCC Highways - Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984Temporary Road Closure at Yelford, Yelford Road, Hardwick - Cancelled
Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Temporary Road Closure at Yelford, Yelford Road, Hardwick
In the interests of public safety it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close the road as detailed above in order to facilitate carriageway reconstruction / surfacing works
A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 28 September 2020 up to and including 30 September 2020. This is a 24 hour road closure.
A Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and restriction and will operate on the days shown above.
Please note that Notices for urgent works can last up to 5 consecutive days only.
Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works and liaison with the works supervisor.
A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and also the alternative routes for traffic is attached.
Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Mo Clark, Oxfordshire County Council on 0345 310 11 11 or email Mo.Clark@Oxfordshire.gov.uk
Voluntary and community organisations such as foodbanks in West Oxfordshire are being encouraged to apply for a special grant to help tackle the effects of Coronavirus on the most vulnerable.
The Covid-19 Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies will provide sums of up to £5,000 to support work that relieves hardship and helps those in need gain access to essential food supplies.
Also eligible are groups providing advice and information to economically disadvantaged residents to help them access benefits and the longer term support they may need.
Applications for grants will remain open until 31 March 2021 but it is anticipated funds will be spent by 31 October.
Cllr Michele Mead, Cabinet Member for Community and Public Health at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We know that even though lockdown is over, many people continue to struggle with finding enough food and cash.
“The Council is here to help support these groups and we encourage them to apply for funding as soon as possible.”
For more information, see www.westoxon.gov.uk/communities-and-leisure/coronavirus-community-support/
For an application form email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01993 861000 referencing the grant.
Brakes more likely to be applied to Oxford’s lockdown emergence as COVID cases rise yet againMeasures that would slam the brakes on Oxford's gradual emergence from lockdown have moved a step closer as a result of another week of uncomfortably high rises in COVID cases in the city.
The number of cases in Oxford in the week ending August 21 was 41 - which is 26.9 cases per 100,000 and sees the city moving ever closer to figures in parts of the country that have been labelled by central Government as areas of concern or that require intervention.
Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council's Director for Public Health, said: "With a Bank Holiday coming up, the need for people to abide by all of the things that we know stop the spread of this virus is greater than ever.
"We can see the number of people contracting COVID is increasing per 100,000 of the population on a day-by-day basis and it is very unsettling. Undoubtedly the 18-29 year age group is driving this rise in cases.
"We were able to leave lockdown and stay out of it because we were suppressing the virus locally by our own actions. We were keeping our distance from each other, sanitising and wearing masks. It feels to me like some people now believe the virus is gone for good. I can assure you that it hasn't.
"My appeal to everyone in Oxford – and 18 to 29 year olds in particular – is to remember what got us out of lockdown. Do we really want to end up with the kind of local control measures we have seen introduced in various parts of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Leicester and Aberdeen?
"At the minute it feels like we are moving in that direction. People need to be aware their behaviour is putting themselves and others at risk. If you're aged 18 to 29 and catch COVID-19, you are absolutely not guaranteed to get away with the mildest symptoms. Even mild symptoms are a struggle, while longer-term symptoms can include chronic fatigue, muscle weakness and memory loss.
"Equally you may well pass this on to older or more vulnerable people. How would you feel if you knew that someone was in hospital in a ventilator with their life under threat because you'd passed COVID-19 on to them?
"Now is the time to act to #stopthespread. I've said it over and over – this whole situation is in our own hands. We all need to act responsibly and follow the very simple advice. If we do that collectively, we will reverse this upward trend that we are seeing in Oxford. If we don't bring the infection rate under control then measures will be introduced of the kind we've seen elsewhere in the country. It's that simple."
Mobile testing unit is being deployed in Oxford from tomorrow (Friday, August 28) until Sunday (August 30), 10am-4.30pm. The MTU will be sited on the car park in Union Street, just off Cowley Road, in Oxford (behind Tesco).
People are able to drive or walk there, but are strongly encouraged to book first by calling 119 or registering online.
URL : http://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/brakes-more-likely-to-be-applied-to-oxfords-lockdown-emergence-as-covid-cases-rise-yet-again/
Cllr James Mills has revealed he is standing down from his role as Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council.
He is also relocating away from West Oxfordshire to Bristol with wife Emma who will be training for ordination at the city’s Trinity College.
Cllr Mills was first elected as a District councillor in 2002 to represent Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt before winning the Witney East seat for the Conservatives in 2006 which he held until 2018 when he won the Bampton and Clanfield seat. In 2016 he became Leader of the Council.
He also served as an Oxfordshire County Councillor for Witney West and Bampton from 2015-17, was on Witney Town Council from 2007-11 and was Mayor of Witney from 2009-11.
Cllr Mills said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Council and would like to thank all my fellow councillors and residents for their support through a variety of challenges, not least of which has been the ongoing Coronavirus.”
Among the highlights of his Leadership, Cllr Mills is particularly proud of the adoption of the Local Plan for the District in 2018 after a nine-year wait.
He has also campaigned successfully to ensure council tax remains the second lowest of all the districts in England and ensured that parking is free in West Oxfordshire.
Outside the Council, Cllr Mills is Vice Chairman of the Oxfordshire Growth Board, Chairman of its Oxfordshire 2050 sub-group, a non-executive director of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and a board member of the District Councils Network and South East England Councils.
Cllr Mills will formally step down at the next full Council meeting on 28 October but will retain his seat at Bampton and Clanfield until the election in May next year.
He said: “In the meantime I will be working to help my successor take over the reins as well as looking for a job in Bristol!
“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council and it represents a fantastic opportunity for the person who takes over. I wish them well.”
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News and information from Aston, Cote, Chimney & Shifford Parish Council.