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September 2017

Grants to make a big difference for smaller community projects - apply now!

If you're a group looking to fund a smaller community projects you may be able to apply for a grant from your district councillor, who has their own £5,000 budget to help fund work in their local areas.  

Councillors have a pot of funding to aware for various schemes, such as minor improvements to community facilities, defibrillators, play equipment renovations or towards a community website. 

Local not-for-profit organisations (including parish councils) whose work benefits local residents can apply for funding between £500 and £5,000.  Applications are being considered as they come in, so it is important that you apply to your district councillor as soon as possible. The grants scheme closes on 19 December.

For more information, including how to apply and details of where funding has been allocated so far, see the council website.

Local Plan final draft 

The final draft of our Local Plan, setting out how the district should be shaped until 2033, will be published on 11 October.

Between that date and 22 November for you to have a say before the plan is submitted to the government for consideration by a planning inspector.

We would like to thank all of you who have already taken part in previous consultations - your feedback has been taken into consideration and has helped to shape the Local Plan through the various stages to get us to the point that we are at now.

It is important to note that the planning inspector will be giving more weight to comments on the technical soundness of the plan – this means the comments need to relate to the legality of the plan. From 11 October, please look out for a factsheet and short video on our website to help explains what this means.

We are organising events for you to find out more and submit comments:
  • 14 October: 10am-2pm Wallingford St Mary’s Church
  • 19 October: 4pm-8pm Culham Primary School
  • 21 October: 10am-2pm Henley Town Hall - Council Chamber
  • 31 October: 3pm-7pm Didcot Cornerstone
  • 7 November: 3pm-7pm Berinsfield Church Hall
  • 9 November: 3pm-7pm Wheatley, The Merry Bells Village Hall
  • 13 November: 3pm-7pm Thame Town Hall
  • 17 November: 3pm-7pm Chalgrove Village Hall TBC
If you are unable to attend one of these events, you will also be able to view the final draft of the Local Plan and submit comments via the council website.
We hope to submit the final plan to government by the end of 2017 and expect public examination of the plan, including comments and evidence gathered, to take place early next year. 

Government proposals for changes to planning policy

The government is currently consulting on a number of changes to planning policy and legislation, which includes a proposed approach to calculating housing need.

We are required to work on the existing housing needs figures until any government guidelines are finalised and published, and also need to consider economic growth, affordable housing and the need for new infrastructure.  We will work to ensure the inspector considering our Local Plan will take any changes to guidance into account during the examination process.

Meeting the challenge of delivering new homes

We're inviting you to have your say on our draft Joint Housing Delivering Strategy 2018-28, which sets out proposals on how to meet the significant challenge of delivering thousands of new homes over the next decade and beyond.

The strategy, if adopted, will work alongside the two councils's adopted and forthcoming Local Plans (as detailed above) to guide how new homes are delivered and will help to ensure that the types of homes provided meet the various needs of our communities.

You can view and comment on the draft strategy via the council website.  The deadline for submitting comments is 23 October 2017.

Didcot Garden Town - feedback thanks

Thank you to all of you who took part in the Didcot Garden Town Proposed Delivery Plan consultation in the summer. We received some good responses and are making constructive changes to the plan from the suggestions received.

This includes increasing the number of public toilets and ensuring new buildings have the correct access and facilities for people with disabilities.  Young people will be given more consideration when planning new community buildings, and environmental areas not identified in the plans, such as Hakka's Brook in East Hagbourne, will be included to increase biodiversity and access to the area.

We will be publishing the Delivery Plan by the end of the year. Please see the council website  for further information and updates.

Didcot's Northern Perimeter Road - significant funding boost

We received good news from the government last month of a £6.2 million funding towards this vital piece of local infrastructure.

The road is a critical transport link to support housing growth in Didcot and will be key to the success of Didcot Garden Town. It will also help to relieve pressure on other local transport networks.

The remainder of the funding required for the road will come from contributions secured from developers of nearby housing developments, and additional business rates income from Didcot's enterprise zones. 

For more information see the council website.

Neighbourhood Plans update

Referendums have been held in Chinnor, Long Wittenham and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and communities in each village voted in favour of adopting their neighbourhood plan. This means that they are now part of the council's Development Plan and will be used to help determine planning applications.

To keep track of all neighbourhood plans through the district, see the council website.

Wallingford Conservation Area Appraisal

Defining its special architectural and historic interest and proposals for changes to some of the Conservation Area's boundaries are all part of the Wallingford Conservation Area Appraisal. 

We will be consulting on the Appraisal from 11 October and you will be able to find out more on the council website from the this date. We are also holding a drop-in session for you to get further information on:
  • 8 November, 12 midday-7pm, Centre 70 Community Centre in Kinecroft

£1 million in rural funding

Funding of £1 million is available to support projects that create jobs, bring visitors or provide essential community services in rural Oxfordshire.

Farmers, foresters, businesses and communities in rural areas can apply for up to £100,000 in grant funding under the Oxfordshire LEADER programme to support projects which create jobs, bring visitors to the area or provide essential community services in the district.  Under exceptional circumstances projects may even qualify for greater funding.

If you want to learn more, come along to:
  • Standlake Village Hall (OX29 7SB), Tuesday 10 October, 2-4pm 
You can also find out more on the Oxfordshire LEADER website or call 01235 422245.
Waste and recycling
REMINDER! If you are a garden waste customer, you can put out extra garden waste (equivalent to one extra brown-bin's worth) in bin liners on your collection day in the week commencing 23 October. See the council website for more information.

New trucks and changes to the way your waste and recycling is collected

The first of the district's new fleet of waste and recycling trucks are now out and about collecting your rubbish.  Our contractor Biffa is awaiting delivery of the rest of the vehicles and we are expecting these to be on the road within the next few weeks.

The new fleet includes two different types of trucks - one larger vehicle, which will be used for recycling and household waste, and a smaller vehicle for food waste recycling.

What this means for you

At the moment, all of your waste or recycling and food waste is collected in different compartments of the same lorry. With the introduction of the new fleet, this will change - your waste or recycling (depending on which collection week it is) will be collected separately to your food waste by the different vehicles.

This means that the different types of bins may be emptied at different times of the day. However, there will be no change to your collection day, or the way you put your bins out.

We would like to apologise once again and thank you for your patience during disruption to some collections in recent months caused by maintenance issues and old vehicles breaking down. The new vehicle fleet will help Biffa to provide the high standard of service you expect and deserve.

Don't forget! You can now use plastic bags to line your food waste caddy

You can now use any thin plastic bag, such as carrier bags, to line your food waste caddies, along with compostable liners or newspaper. Alternatively, simply put your food waste into straight into your bins.

Put your pumpkins to good use after Halloween!

Once the trick-or-treating of Halloween is done, make sure your pumpkins go to good use. If you can't put them to use in the kitchen or composter, please recycle them with your food waste.

Simply cut them up and pop into your food waste bin or leave them out whole on your normal collection day. 

All food waste goes to a local processing plant to be turned into electricity and nutrient-rich fertiliser for local farmland.

Find out more about food waste recycling.
Other news

Leisure investment

Improvements are on the way for two of our leisure centres as we continue with a significant programme of investment in facilities:
  • Didcot Wave - £100,000 towards refurbishment to the poolside shower area and changing areas, roof repair work and improvements to lighting in the pool hall and pool air handling unit.
  • Henley Leisure Centre - a major upgrade to the pool changing areas, with new changing cubicles, lockers and vanity units. Energy efficient LED lighting will also be installed.
Work on both projects is due to start before the end of the year.
Have you responded to your Yellow Letter? 

You should have had your Register of Election letter by now. You couldn't miss it - it was printed on bright yellow paper!

If you haven't already, it's important that you respond, even if your details have not changed so that you are registered to vote. It is also a legal requirement.

It's quick and simple to do this online using the reference number in your letter.
Make sure your electric blanket is safe 

If you have an electric blanket, you can get it tested to check that it is still safe at FREE sessions being held:
  • 5 October: St Mary Le More Church, Wallingford
  • 19 October: Thame Town Hall 
To book your free place, simply call 01865 898642 or email Oxfordshire County Council. Places are limited, so book now!

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue is organising the sessions with support from the county council's Trading Standards and our council.

Support for new businesses

If you run business that is less than 12 months old or growing, you could be able to apply to Oxfordshire Business Support's (OBS) Elevate grant scheme, providing match funding of between £1,000-£8,000.

The funding can be used towards things like coaching, website development, marketing and business planning. For more details, see the OBS website.
FREE parking at council-owned car parks in the district for Christmas up until 24 December on the following days:

Didcot - every Friday from 2 December
Goring - every Tuesday and Saturday from 28 November
Henley - every Tuesday from 2 December
Thame - every Saturday from 2 December
Wallingford - every Thursday from 30 November
Look out...

... for your next copy of our Outlook residents' newsletter being delivered to homes in late November/early December.

What's on at Cornerstone

There's a whole host of activities and events happening at the Cornerstone. To find out more, visit the Cornerstone website

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South Oxfordshire District Council · 135 Eastern Avenue · Milton Park · Milton, Oxfordshire OX14 4SB · United Kingdom

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