News and Events

Below is a list of local news and events in a text only format to make it more accessible for keyboard only users. If you have any trouble accessing any information then please let us know. If you would like to view any archived news and information then follow this link to the Archive News Page.

Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Have your say on the future of your area and help create the vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework: PlaceBuilder | Index

Think Before You Dial

Thames Valley Police have launched a campaign to show that you can report many crimes online instead of calling, taking pressure of the emergency call centres. To find out more just follow this link: Think before you dial | Thames Valley Police

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.

Marston Neighbourhood Plan

The Parish Council looking to bring together local people who would be interested in creating a local Neighbourhood plan for Old Marston with a view to influencing future decisions related to planning in Old Marston. The City Council has started to consult on their proposed Oxford Plan 2040 and the County Council are looking at creating the Oxfordshire 2050 plan so there is a great need to have this in place. Download this document for more information.

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

Local Plan 2040

Oxford City Council is embarking on the development a new Local Plan. The Local Plan 2040 will set out the planning strategy for meeting the needs of the city. It will set out where new homes, businesses and community facilities will be built to make Oxford a better place to live, work and visit. It will also look at how we can protect the things that make Oxford special such as open space, ecological habitat and areas of heritage. It will guide how development happens, helping to support the transition towards a zero carbon city, ensuring high quality design, being conscious of health and wellbeing, and addressing inequalities. This is an early opportunity to engage in the development of the Oxford Local Plan 2040 and your opportunity to help shape Oxford’s future. To find out more just go to their website: Oxford Local Plan 2040 | Oxford Local Plan 2040 | 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.

Marsh Lane Traffic Order

Temporary Traffic Order comes into force for two weeks from 6th September 2021 along Marsh Lane and parts of Dents Close and Elms Drive, prohibiting parking and waiting. This is due to drainage survey work.

Oxford Half Marathon

The Oxford Half Marathon will take place this year on Sunday 17th October 2021. For more information go to their website: Oxford Half | Limelight Sports Club

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

Almonds Farm

Plans have now been submitted: ref 21/01217/FUL  – Erection of 80 residential dwellings (use class C3) formed of 13 one-bedroom apartments and 28 two-, 35 three- and 4 four-bedroom houses with associated public open space, access and landscaping. Deadline date for consultation is 11th June. Almonds Farm, Mill Lane, is owned by Oxford City Council. The development have been approved in the Oxford Local Plan.

East West Rail Consultation

There is a consultation just opened looking at the proposal to link Oxford to Cambridge by rail. To find out more and to have your say: Share Your Views – East West Rail Consultation.

Garden Wildlife

The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society have teamed up to create “Wild About Gardens” to celebrate wildlife gardening and to encourage people to use their gardens to take action to help support nature. You can find out more at their website here: homepage | Wild About Gardens


The Oxford Preservation Trust has created a number of walks around Oxford. You can find out more on their website here: Oxford Preservation Trust | Guardians of Oxford since 1927

Old Marston Library

Old Marston Library will reopen for specific services from 19 April.  Although closed for browsing, it will offer click and collectreservations and returns. More information can be found at their website: Old Marston Library | Oxfordshire County Council

Covid-19: The Current Rules

Latest legislation and current rules on what you can and cannot do during the pandemic:

Information about possible Covid-19 Vaccination Scams:

CPZ Amendments Consultation

Oxfordshire County Council is proposing to make amendments to the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). Deadline is 15:00 16th April 2021. Follow this link to the consultation: Consultation Homepage – Marston North Area (Oxford) Administrative Amendments to Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) – Oxfordshire County Council Consultation Portal

Bypass Road Closure in April

Temporary Road Closure and “No Waiting” restriction at Oxford, A4142 Eastern Bypass Junction with A4074/A4142 to junction with Horspath Driftway (southbound only). A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 11 April 2021. The anticipated completion date is 21 April 2021. The works will run overnight from 20:00 to 06:00 for a maximum period of 5 nights within this period. You can download the following information: Notice of Closure, Map one, Map two.

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.

Local Transport and Connectivity Plan

The Local Transport and Connectivity Plan (LTCP) is the County Council’s long term countywide transport strategy. The plan also takes into account the strategy for digital infrastructure and for connecting the whole county. The vision sets the direction for transport in Oxfordshire and outlines a clear long-term ambition for transport to 2050. The policies and transport schemes included in the LTCP document will all be aligned with the Vision. To find out more just click on this link: Consultation Homepage – Local Transport and Connectivity Plan – vision consultation – Oxfordshire County Council Consultation Portal

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:

You can have your say here:

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

Hill View Farm

Plan has now been approved by the City Council Planning Committee. 20/03034/FUL – link to planning application and documents

Marston Paddock

This is a small piece of land off Butt’s Lane next to Buswell Mobile Home Park. It was designated in the Local Plan for future development of 39 dwellings. There will be a public consultation before plans are submitted later this year.

Land North of Bayswater Brook

This is a proposed development of about 750 dwellings on land owned by Christ Church College on land north of Bayswater Brook in the greenbelt. Although outside the parish, it would impact greatly on the parish. The Parish Council is currently having meetings with the PR company representing the developer as a key local stakeholder. This is part of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035

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 – reference 20/03034/FUL – document “Oxfordshire county council – one voice – cyonev” dated 26th March 2021 page 7

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.

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

Climate Action Framework

Oxfordshire County Council are aiming to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 with their Climate Action Framework: 2020 Climate Action Framework (

E-scooter Trial in Marston and Headington

The Department for Transport has licenced in the Oxford area on a trial basis the use on the public highway of e-scooters being used as part of an approved rental scheme. The initial trial area will cover the Headington and Marston areas of Oxford. To find out more and to have your say (deadline 13th August 2021) visit the consultation page: Consultation Homepage – Headington & Marston Area (Oxford) Experimental Traffic Management (E-scooter Trial) – Oxfordshire County Council Consultation Portal

Street Tag

The County Council are promoting Street Tag as a way of encouraging personal fitness. Find our more here:

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