Archive News & Information

On this page will be news and information items that are no longer current, that were featured on the home page.

Old Marston Parish Council

Oxfordshire’s Bus Improvement Plan

  • In March 2021, the Government published a new National Bus Strategy (External link) which sets out a framework for how bus services can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and a vision for future improvements across England. To meet this challenge, Oxfordshire County Council is working with the bus companies in our area to create a Bus Service Improvement Plan. This will involve developing bold plans for improving Oxfordshire’s bus services and encouraging more people to use them. To have your say just follow this link: Oxfordshire’s Bus Improvement Plan | Let’s Talk Oxfordshire.

Swan School Headteacher Article January 2021

  • As I write this, it is almost exactly two years to the day that I moved back to Oxford and started work on The Swan School – Oxford’s first brand-new secondary school for over 50 years.  At that time, sitting on my own in the offices of the River Learning Trust with just a piece of paper to start planning, it was hard to imagine what the school would be like when it finally opened. Indeed, I think it is fair to say that I would have had to have supernatural powers in order to predict quite how everything has unfolded for the school over the intervening months and years!  Yet, despite the challenges, The Swan has made such a strong start and I am so grateful for the hard work that all of our staff, students, and families have put into making our school a success that all of our community can be proud of.

    There has been so much to celebrate since September 2019 when our first group of ‘cygnets’ first walked through the gates of our temporary site. Right from the start, student attitudes to learning were exemplary and they demonstrated their determination to achieve ‘more than they ever believed possible’.  Everyone in our school community got involved in choosing the names of our four houses – Yousefzai, Berners-Lee, Bannister, and Hawking – named in honour of individuals with a connection to our city who have embodied our school values. We enjoyed getting to know each other more informally through our ‘elective’ programme of enrichment activities and educational visits, celebrating student success as part of inter-house (and inter-school) competitions and our first Christmas Carol Concert (held at Trinity College chapel).

    Then, just as we were getting into the swing of things, the first national lockdown was announced and, having been open for only just over half an academic year, The Swan was forced to close its doors to the majority of our students.  Since then it has been a year like no other as we have successfully got to grips with teaching remotely, welcoming children back safely during a global pandemic, and setting up a Covid mass-testing system.  Amidst all of this, we have also moved into our new home in Marston and kept calm while operating a school on a building site due to inevitable virus-related delays!  We have even managed to launch our fantastic new sixth form, despite not being allowed to have any visitors onto site!

    Despite all of these difficulties, however, we remain resolutely optimistic.  Now, as we look forward to lockdown restrictions starting to ease over the coming months, we are excited about the opportunity to embed our school at the heart of our community.  As soon as we can, we will invite our neighbours into our new buildings to showcase both the new facilities our young people are already enjoying and the parts of the site that are available for community use, ranging from the excellent sports facilities to the drama studio and beyond. We are also looking forward to our students getting out into the community to help make it better in whatever way they can. We hope this will include working with Marston Community Gardening group, joining litter picks, forging links with the elderly in our community and working with local businesses. If you have other suggestions for community action we would love to hear from you. We are immensely proud of what we have managed to achieve so far, and hope to become a school that the whole community can be proud of.

    Kay Wood

    Headteacher

Street Tag

  • The County Council are promoting Street Tag as a way of encouraging personal fitness. Find our more here: https://streettag.co.uk/

E-scooter Trial in Marston and Headington

Climate Action Framework

Oxford City Swift Group

  • “Help reverse the serious decline in swift numbers. Oxford Swift City Group is recruiting volunteers to survey swift nest sites in Oxford City this summer. Just one hour twice a month during May, June and July. Training will be provided. Contact [email protected] if interested.” Thanking you in anticipation, Colm Ó Caomhánaigh. Joint Coordinator, Oxford Swift City Group

Petition to Prioritise Brownfield Development

  • Enshrine in law all brown field sites to be fully developed within a 25 mile radius of green belt or farmland before any development is allowed on non-brownfield land. Ensure in law the democratic wishes of local residents and local authorities as a precedent and limit ministerial powers to suit. Find out information on Parliament website here.

Covid-19: The Current Rules

Statement of Community Involvement

  • The City Council is updating its Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). This document sets out how and when they will involve different groups, organisations and our communities in the planning process. The document must be used when they prepare and consult on their planning policy documents including the Local Plan, and it explains how they will involve people when they assess and decide on planning applications for new development.

    You can view the draft SCI here: https://www.oxford.gov.uk/sci

    You can have your say here: https://consultation.oxford.gov.uk/planning-services/sci-consultation

    The public consultation will run for six weeks, ending at 23:59 on (6th May 2021).

Local Transport and Connectivity Plan

Zero Emission Zone

  • Oxford’s proposed Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot has today been formally approved by the county council’s Cabinet for launch in August. The scheme can proceed after it was approved by City Council’s Cabinet last week as the joint partner in the scheme. https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/zezpilot-approved-by-cabinet/

CPZ Amendments Consultation

East West Rail Consultation

Walks

Back Lane Development

  • The County Council are proposing to develop back lane should the developments at Hill View Farm and Almonds Farm be approved. Scheme ambition: Retain a green infrastructure corridor and provide a wide, traffic free route for walkers, riders, cyclists, scooters and skateboarders.
    Work required: vegetation clearance to facilitate machinery access, drainage including the creation and digging out of current ditch network, excavation of path tray and sub base surfacing. Installation of KBI Flexipave or similar free draining resin-bound
    surface suitable for all users. You can find out more at https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20066/planning_applications/328/view_and_comment_on_planning_applications – reference 20/03034/FUL – document “Oxfordshire county council – one voice – cyonev” dated 26th March 2021 page 7

Grass Verges

The city council has decided to allow some grass verges to remain uncut for most of the year in the interests of bio-diversity. There has been a mixed response to this policyt. The streets in Old Marston affected are:

Cherwell Drive

Marston Ferry Road

Lonsdale / Marston Ferry Track

Marston Road All

Old Marston Road/ Oxford Road

Marsh lane.

You can find out more by going to their website:

Grass cutting initiative aims to increase the Oxford’s biodiversity | Oxford City Council

 

Rural Network Coverage Survey

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is conducting a survey about mobile phone coverage in rural areas. To find out more or to take part just follow this link.

Summer Reading Challenge

Oxfordshire libraries announce children’s Summer Reading Challenge – go to page to find out more: Oxfordshire libraries announce children’s Summer Reading Challenge

CPZ Consultation

An official consultation regarding the implementation of a controlled parking zone in Old Marston village has begun. To have your say just click on this link. The deadline is 6th August 2021.

Oxford Zero Emission Zone

Oxford Zero Emission Zone Pilot Formal Consultation: Oxfordshire County Council, with support from Oxford City Council, is formally consulting on final proposals to introduce a Zero Emission Zone Pilot deadline 17/01/21 Consultation Homepage – Oxford Zero Emission Zone Pilot Formal Consultation – Oxfordshire County Council Consultation Portal

Creating a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

In February 2021, the government published a policy paper that set out how we intend to develop a Spatial Framework to help us realise our ambition to support sustainable economic growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. To find out more and to have your say: Creating a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Local Nature Recovery Strategies

Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a new, England-wide system of spatial strategies that will establish priorities and map proposals for specific actions to drive nature’s recovery and provide wider environmental benefits. The requirement for there to be Local Nature Recovery Strategies, what they are and how they should generally work will be established by the Environment Bill once it completes its current passage through Parliament. Find out more and have your say: Local Nature Recovery Strategies: how to prepare and what to include – Defra – Citizen Space

Street Lights

Solar powered street lights have been installed in School Lane, Mortimer Hall Recreational Ground and Boults Lane Recreational Ground. We were denied a request to have street lights installed along Elsfield Road by Oxfordshire County Council’s Chief Engineer. However as an alternative we have been offered the option to have solar powered studs installed into the path itself to mark out the path and improve the safety of pedestrians. We are currently waiting for the County Council’s legal team to draw up an agreement that will allow us to install the lights. As soon as this is done then they will be installed.

Cyber Security

Thames Valley Police have started a campaign to encourage better cyber security. To find out more just follow this link: https://rlsd.co/p/QF1kKQ

Covid Winter Grant Scheme

Covid Winter Grant Scheme – Department for Work & Pensions On Sunday 8 November 2020, the government announced a package of extra targeted financial support for those in need over the winter period. This includes the £170 million COVID Winter Grant Scheme, which will be made available in early December 2020 and covers the period until the end of March 2021. DWP will provide the grant scheme funding to county councils and unitary authorities who will administer the scheme and provide direct assistance to support families with children, other vulnerable households and individuals. The grant will be used to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy and water bills and other associated costs.

COVID Winter Grant Scheme: guidance for local councils – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Lost Paths

The Ramblers Association searched all of England and Wales and found over 49,000 miles of paths that could be lost forever. Identifying them is just the start of a long process to put them back on the map, and they need to prioritise, research and apply for the paths to be restored before 2026. To find out more and to get involved vist their website: Don’t Lose Your Way (ramblers.org.uk)

OxClean Postponed

The planned annunal OxClean litterpick planned for  13th March has been postponed until later this year. The Oxford Civic Society who co-ordinate the city-wide event are awating government guidelines before going ahead with the event.

Orchard Triangle

The footpath between the kissing gate and the main field of the Orchard Triangle has been over-grown for many years. We have found out that the legal footpath actually runs parallel to the fence on the same side as the cycle track. However we have been keen to clear the footpath on our side of the fence to improve access into the Orchard Triangle. A team of volunteers from Marston Community Garden and from Good Gym have cleared the footpath and planted some wild flower and shrubs. We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers. Also we would like to thank Marston Community Garden Group for the donation of a bench to the orchard.

Hill View Farm

Draft plans are being drawn up with a view to develop the land at Hill View Farm in line with the Oxford Local Plan 2020-2036. The City Council are in discussions with the architect regarding the proposed development. We have reviewed the plans and are very concerned. There are two developments next to each other at the end of Mill Lane – the main one for 157 dwellings. The second development is next to it on land owned by Oxford City Council. We had to make further enquires requiring this proposed development and have been told that the council that they have survey this land with the potential to build about 50 houses. Access to the site will only be via Mill Lane as the County Highways have said that there can be no access to the bypass. We are hoping a public consultation will be held, but in accordance with current guidelines in relation to pandemic. In addition some local residents have told us that they have not been informed about this development by the developer or planning department. Although the plans have not yet been officially submitted, we have already passed on our concerns to the architect, especially in relation to the access to the site, and will continue to raise concerns. We will publish any information that we receive. You can view all the documents by following this link.

Share Your Warmth

This campaign is asking those who receive a winter fuel allowance that they feel they do not need, whether they would like to donate some or all of it towards helping support the elderly and vulnerable during the winter: Share Your Warmth – JustGiving

COVID-19 Drugs Trial

We have been contacted by the National Institute of Health Research who are looking for volunteers to take part in clinical trials for drugs to be used in the treatment of Corvid-19. We do not officially endorse this but encourage interested persons to make thier own enquiries. They have requested that we post this text: “People aged 50 and over are being sought to take part in a trial into treating COVID-19. Over 50s with specific underlying health conditions and all over 65s with suspected COVID-19 can apply to take part in the University of Oxford study at participating GP practices or www.principletrial.org. Participants are randomly allocated to receive usual care or usual care and an existing medication. It is hoped the trial can help people get better quickly and stop them needing to go to hospital. The study is funded by UK Research and Innovation and the National Institute for Health Research. Contact the study team at [email protected] / 0800 138 0880.”

Orchard Triangle

The footpath between the kissing gate and the main field of the Orchard Triangle has been over-grown for many years. We have found out that the legal footpath actually runs parallel to the fence on the same side as the cycle track. However we have been keen to clear the footpath on our side of the fence to improve access into the Orchard Triangle. A team of volunteers from Marston Community Garden and from Good Gym have cleared the footpath and planted some wild flower and shrubs. We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers. Also we would like to thank Marston Community Garden Group for the donation of a bench to the orchard.

Property Licensing Consultation

Oxford City Council is currently consulting on two licensing schemes aimed at improving conditions in the private rented sector. The council is seeking views on its intention to renew  the current ‘additional’ licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). It also wants to introduce a new ‘selective licensing’ scheme that means all private rented homes will need to be licensed – not just HMOs.

To find out more and take part, visit www.oxford.gov.uk/propertylicensing

Deadline is 31st December 2020

Free Parking at Park and Rides

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council are providing free parking at Oxford’s five park and ride sites from Saturday 5 December until Sunday 27 December, to support businesses and help reduce congestion. The councils are also asking people who plan to use the service to travel outside peak times if possible.

Planning Committee Meeting 30th December 2020

The Planning Committee will be meetint at 18:00 on Wednesday 30th December 2020 to specifically look the the planning application for Hill View Farm.  The agenda of the meeting can be downloaded here. To view the application and have your say just go to the planning portal at City Council. The deadline date is 15th January 2021! The planning reference is 20/03034/FUL20/03034/FUL | Demolition of Existing Buildings and construction of 159 dwellings, associated roads and infrastructure, drainage and landscaping | Hill View Farm Mill Lane Marston Oxford Oxfordshire OX3 0QG

Parking: Police Response

The parking in Oxford Road and around the parish needs urgent attention. We reported this to the police. This was their response:
This matter has been highlighted previously by local residents in the area but there are no road markings preventing motorists from parking along the Oxford Road. The police have limited powers with regards parking offences, as these powers where handed to civil parking enforcement some years ago.
I would suggest that this would need to be addressed to Highways to consider double yellow lines in the area or residential parking permit zones in the area.
This is something the local councillors could address under their next reviews.

Planning Whitepaper

The government has published the whitepaper on the proposed changes to the planning system. There will be a period of consultation that ends on 29th October 2020. To find out more and to have your say just follow this link.

The Town and Country Planning Association say ‘the proposals will undermine local democracy and fail to achieve the kind of high-quality places that the government is committed to delivering’. Oxford City Council
agrees.

“The basis for the proposed ‘reforms’ is the claim that the planning system holds up development; this is demonstrably false. More than one million homes with planning permission have not been built, and more than 90% of planning applications are approved.

Thames Bathing Water Status

Carriageway Patching at Cherwell Drive

ODS Group, working on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council, are programmed to begin carriageway patching on Cherwell Drive from Ewin close bus stop to No# 98 Cherwell Drive on 23/11/2020. The work is expected to take 2 days.

Traffic Lights

There will be 2 way traffic lights to manage the flow of traffic through the works.

Parking and Bus Stop Suspension

A suspension of the parking bays and bus stops has been agreed with Oxfordshire County Council, any cars remaining during this time will be towed away at the cost of the owner. Signs will be on display to confirm.

Planning Whitepaper

The government has published the whitepaper on the proposed changes to the planning system. There will be a period of consultation that ends on 29th October 2020. To find out more and to have your say just follow this link.

The Town and Country Planning Association say ‘the proposals will undermine local democracy and fail to achieve the kind of high-quality places that the government is committed to delivering’. Oxford City Council
agrees.

“The basis for the proposed ‘reforms’ is the claim that the planning system holds up development; this is demonstrably false. More than one million homes with planning permission have not been built, and more than 90% of planning applications are approved.

Air Quality Action Plan

The Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) has been produced as part of the City Councils statutory duties required by the Local Air Quality Management framework. It outlines the actions we will take to improve air quality in Oxford City from 2021 to 2025. Closes 1 Nov 2020 at 23:59.

Follow this link to have your say: https://consultation.oxford.gov.uk/consult.ti/AQAP/consultationHome

All Souls Memorial Service

There will be a Memorial Service at 16:00 on 1st November for people to remember loved ones who have died. The service will be held outside in the Memorial Garden and because of the current situation we will have to give priority for attendance to those who have had funerals in the last two years. However, we will pray by name for all those whose names we are given. There will be an opportunity during the service to light a candle for those who have died and also place a tag with the person’s name on a special “tree”. The tree will remain in place for a few days after the service so people can add tags to it.

Please could you pass this on to your Pastoral Group and ask anyone who wishes to attend to contact me (Eileen) (everyone should book). We may have space for some people who aren’t in the priority group or they may be able to spread into the next section of the Memorial Garden. I will explain the situation to them. [email protected]

Local Police

We have been informed that our local police team are: PCSO Connor Davies and PC Simon Collins who hold responsibility for Marston & Northway.

Wasp Attack

Some children were attacked by a swarm of wasps in the Orchard Triangle on Wednesday 7th October. Pest control incorrectly identified them as bees. One child needed emergency treatment. The nest has now been located and Total Pest Control have attended the site to deal with the wasp nest.

Croft Road Rec Attack

A man was visciously attacked in the early hours of Friday 4th September in Croft Road Rec. Please contact police if you have any information.

Update: Two men have been arrested with regards to the assault: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18703027.men-arrested-violent-attack-playground-marston/

More information here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18698109.man-fighting-life-attack-oxford-play-park/?ref=ar

Box Tree Moth

Box Tree Moth Invasion:

A local resident has informed us that they have an infestation of the Box Tree Moth caterpillars, which is an invasive and very destructive species. The RHS considers to be one of the worst garden pests in the UK. For more information: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=760

On-line Shopping

On-line Shopping

We have received these guidelines from the local police:

Have you bought anything online recently?…

Almost 34% of all retail sales during May 2020 were carried out online, and new research suggests that only 16% of UK consumers intend to return to their old shopping habits post-lockdown.

Online shopping fraud during lockdown

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, received over 16,000 reports relating to online shopping and auction fraud during the lockdown, with losses totalling over £16m. Members of the public have reported buying mobile phones (19%), vehicles (22%), electronics (10%) such as games consoles, AirPods and MacBooks , and footwear (4%) on sites such as eBay (18%), Facebook (18%), Gumtree (10%) and Depop (6%), only to have the items never arrive. 

Top tips for shopping online securely:

Choosing where to shop:
If you’re making a purchase from a company or seller you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first. For example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was.

Email accounts:
Use a strong, separate password for your email account. Criminals can use 
your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.

Scam messages:
Some of the emails or texts you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. Not all links are bad, but if you’re unsure don’t use the link, go separately to the website. And remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

Payment method:
If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

What to do if you’ve fallen victim to online shopping fraud

We all make mistakes and these days the scams can be incredibly convincing.

If you think you’ve visited, or made a purchase on, a bogus website, you should first, take a note of the website’s address, then close down your internet browser. You should then report the details to Action Fraud and contact your bank to seek advice.

Whether you’ve been a victim of fraud will depend on how much information you’ve provided to the website, so keep an eye on your bank transactions, if you can. Contact your bank immediately about anything that you don’t recognise, even small amounts.

For more information about how to stay safe online, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/cybercrime

Oxford University Letter

Oxford University

The university have produced a letter outlining their responce to Covid-19 and how they will be managing it in the coming term. They have asked us to publish it and make it available. You can download the letter here.

Underpass Incident

A local resident called us to inform us of an incident in the underpass. Late on Friday evening a man was observed injecting himself in the groin in the underpass. The police have been informed. Please be aware and if you observe an such incident then please inform the police.

CPZ: Consultation

A consultation has been opened for the Marston North Area (Oxford) Proposed Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). The deadline is 18th September. To have your say just follow this link: https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/MarstonNorthCPZ/consultationHome

Student Accommodation

Plans for student accommodation at the junction of Jack Straws Lane and Marston Road have been dropped. More about this: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18689089.plans-153-student-rooms-headington-oxford-withdrawn/?ref=twtrec and https://jsla.weebly.com/1900779ful-jsl-and-marston-rd.html#

Marston Ferry Road

The speed limit on the Marston Ferry Road has now been reduced to 30mph – this replaces the previous 40mph introduced in 1972. This has been made under Sections 82 & 84 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

Highway Code Consultation

There is an open consultation to review The Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders. To find out more and to have your say just follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders

The deadline is 27th October.

Pavement Parking Consultation

The Government are planning to introduce legislation to restrict parking on pavements. You can have your say by going to the consultation on the Government’s website. The deadline is 22nd November 2020

Contact Us

Tim Cann

Clerk

Old Marston Parish Council

Marston

OX3 0RN

Email: clerk

Tel: 01865 203 139

Main Business

Allotments

Cemetery

Recreational Grounds

Pavilion

About Us

What We Do

About Us

Your local Parish Council at the heart of the community of Old Marston in Oxford.