David Cameron supports Cotswold Line campaign
Local MP David Cameron has added his support to the campaign from Charlbury residents for improved service on the Cotswold Line - including the commuter blog on this website. He writes:
"As you can imagine my mailbag and inbox have been inundated with complaints and concern over the current level of service on the Cotswold Line. It is simply appalling and I can fully appreciate the high level of frustration felt by you all.
"I am determined that this concern and frustration will not fall on deaf ears.
"To this end I have written to Alison Forster, Managing Director of First Great Western (FGW), and Tom Harris MP, the Rail Minister at the Department for Transport, asking for an urgent meeting to address the problems that are causing such misery to commuters and other passengers.
"As a result, they have agreed to meet with Cotswold Line All-Party Group in Westminster, which we are hopeful will take place next month. It will be a chance for Parliamentarians, including myself, to challenge the DfT and FGW to find a clear and proactive way forward from the present situation.
"I have been collecting together evidence of the difficulties from the correspondence I have received to send to the Minister ahead of the meeting next month. The Commuters’ blog on www.charlbury.info is therefore incredibly useful in demonstrating to the both FGW and the DfT the scale of the problem on the Cotswold Line.
"So please use me and keep your comments coming.
"On a more positive note for the future, I had a very interesting meeting with Network Rail, who are looking at doubling sections of the Cotswold Line. I know this is going to take a long time, but importantly it is on the agenda. Together with my fellow MPs whose constituents use the Cotswold Line, I will keep pushing on this issue.
"I will of course keep in touch about further developments and the outcome of the Cotswold Line All-Party meeting."
Richard Fairhurst · Wed 28 Feb 2007, 11:42 · Link
Free Monthly Green Waste Collection at the Spendlove carpark
CAWAG has now organised a FREE green waste collection on the first Saturday of EVERY month from the Spendlove carpark. Bring your garden waste along between 10am and 12 noon. Next collection is Saturday 3rd March.
Colin Critch · Sun 25 Feb 2007, 23:26 · Link
CLPG says "Cotswold Line has been mugged"
The Cotswold Line Promotion Group is angry that one of Charlbury's busiest trains has been downgraded from a comfortable, 125mph Adelante to a crammed, 90mph Turbo - in order to pacify Oxford commuters.
The smaller, three-carriage train is now used every weekday on the 0645 to Paddington. As the CLPG writes, "The Cotswold Line appears to have been the victim of a mugging by vociferous Oxford to London commuters.
"Having had three weeks getting used to the much more comfortable trains and the availability of refreshments, users are naturally very aggrieved at the loss of their improved service."
The CLPG's suggestion is that the trains should be swapped. "Rather than deprive passengers on the Cotswold Line of an Adelante, which is much more suited to longer distance journeys, it would appear more logical to have used a Turbo stabled overnight at Oxford for the additional 0733 departure."
Full details here.
Richard Fairhurst · Thu 22 Feb 2007, 12:11 · Link
Charlbury Community Centre Public Meeting - 23rd March at 8 o/c
Have you got something to say about the community centre?
Take this opportunity to join an opening discussion
on the future of the Spendlove site, at a Public Meeting of
Thomas Gifford,s Charity on
Friday 23rd March
8.00 pm Charlbury Memorial Hall
russell robson · Tue 20 Feb 2007, 15:51 · Link
Charlbury Garden Society
Important changes to discount schemes:
Members should ignore the notes in the schedule concerning HillTop's termination of the discount scheme. They have in fact decided to continue this scheme for our members. Members should show their receipt (on the back of the schedule) at the checkout to obtain 10% on most items.
The arrangements for Burford Garden centre are now as follows: members should go to the Customer Service Desk the first time they visit the centre where they will, on production of their receipt, receive a laminated card which they may then use in the future for 10% discount on plants and shrubs.
Applegarth garden centre will give 10% discount on production of the receipted schedule.
Anyone wishing to join the Society should contact Sue Smith on 811007. As you can see, the annual membership fee of £2.50 can be recouped fairly quickly.
Geoff Holmberg · Sun 11 Feb 2007, 16:34 · Link
London Marathon - Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Peter Finch, son of Susie & Simon Finch, is running in the London Marathon this year on behalf of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Please can you all sponsor him and help Breakthrough find some cure for this terrible disease. His is running for his granny, Eileen Winmill, who lived in Charlbury for over 20 years, who died from the disease. The link is www.justgiving.com/petefinch
Susie Finch · Thu 8 Feb 2007, 20:41 · Link
Card fraud at Chipping Norton?
The Banbury Guardian reports that "Card users are being warned to stay vigilant after a skimming scam thought to involve Chip and Pin machines was uncovered in Chipping Norton".
Speculation on the ever-lively Chipping Norton website (forum thread here) suggests that it may be connected with the Shell garage at the A3400/A44 roundabout. Charlbury residents who have used the garage recently may be well advised to check their bank statements.
Richard Fairhurst · Wed 7 Feb 2007, 17:04 · Link
Green light for green waste collections to continue
"West Oxfordshire residents are being encouraged to sign up to an eco-friendly scheme to have their garden waste collected and recycled, instead of landfilled" (writes a WODC press release)
"West Oxfordshire District Council is re-launching its Green Waste Scheme in April following its successful introduction last year. Between April and December 2006, 2,750 District householders signed up to have their garden waste collected from their doorsteps. This resulted in 880 tonnes of green waste being recycled into compost and diverted from landfill.
"This year’s Green Waste Scheme will be available for up to 4,000 residents across the District, at a cost of £30 per household for the year. In return for their £30, householders will receive a green-lidded wheelie bin and their waste will be picked up fortnightly until April 2008. All of the waste will then be taken to Agrivert at Radford, near Chipping Norton, and turned into compost.
"As an incentive, each resident who signs up to the scheme before 16 March will be entered into a free prize draw to win one of five £30 garden centre vouchers.
"Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment, explained that is important for people to recycle their green waste because it eases the pressure on landfill sites and cuts the risk of pollution. As green waste decomposes, it forms leachate, a toxic liquid that can pollute water and soil, and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
"Mr Harvey said: 'The launch of the scheme last year has already meant hundreds of tonnes of this waste being diverted from landfill and put to good use, instead of creating a risk of pollution. I hope those residents who took part last year will re-subscribe, and that we can encourage others to do the same. As well as helping the environment, the scheme offers a convenient, easy way for people to get rid of their waste.'
"People can join the scheme and make their payment by logging onto www.westoxon.gov.uk or by direct debit. Alternatively, they can call 01993 861020 to pay by debit or credit card or to request an application form by post, or email firstname.lastname@example.org."
Items that can go into Green Waste bins include: hedge clippings, twigs and small branches, flowers and plants, grass cuttings, leaves, shrub prunings, vegetable waste from the garden (for example, potato tops), bark and wood shavings, hay and straw.
Richard Fairhurst · Wed 7 Feb 2007, 13:18 · Link
Thames Valley Police on underage drinking
The latest update from Thames Valley Police identifies under-age drinking as the major issue in Charlbury, reporting: "Once again under-age drinking is a problem. 108 empty bottles and cans were collected at Nine Acres recreation ground over just one weekend in January." That said, all other local areas mentioned in the update (e.g. Chipping Norton, the Bartons, the Wychwoods) have at least one more serious offence described.
Local police telephone number is 0845 8 505 505 and Charlbury's officer is PC 4500, Colin James.
Richard Fairhurst · Mon 5 Feb 2007, 17:24 · Link