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Hurry - get your Jazz Lunch tickets now!!

Tickets for the Jazz Lunch are now on sale - so hurry and get yours before they all go! There are only 60 to be had. The Jazz Lunch will take place in the Memorial Hall (and outside if the weather permits) before the Open Gardens, on Sunday 7th June, with Nick Parker and friends supplying the music. Bar opens at 12.00pm with the lunch served at 12.30pm.

We shall be selling tickets for the lunch on the Saturdays running up to Open Gardens, outside the Corner House on 30th May and 6th June, however you can also get tickets directly from Vic Allison (vic.allison@btinternet.com). Lunch ticket prices are the same as last year at £8.50 each.

All proceeds will go towards Street Fair.

Susie Finch · Sun 31 May 2009, 18:37 · Link


Local businesses oppose Chancellors' application to turn their office into a house

Charlbury Business Community decided last week to oppose Chancellors' application for a change of use for its former office in Market Street, from office to residential. Here is the text of the letter CBC has sent to the planning officer in charge, Miss Dawn Brodie (dawn.brodie@westoxon.gov.uk).

The building in question has been used as an office, but is in fact designed as a shop. Estate agents prefer to adapt a shop for office use, for obvious reasons, but few businesses with an office function would wish to locate in such premises. As explained below this building has been a shop for almost all its 103 year life.

To our knowledge at least two retailers have enquired about renting the premises as a shop, to be told it is not to let, while a third tells me he is interested but has heard that other people have been put off. We assume that WODC would look favourably on a proposal to convert to retail.

The site is a prime retail location in Charlbury, uniquely visible to anyone walking or driving though the town centre.

The applicant's claim that "the proposals do not include any external changes to the building and will therefore preserve the character and appearance of the area" is true only in the sense that it is an outline application. If accepted, it would have to be followed by a detailed plans for conversion, which would inevitably and radically alter the appearance of the building. We regard all claims as to "no external changes" as spurious.

The applicant claims that the proposal "would not cause demonstrable harm to any interest of acknowledged importance." We believe that the presence of shops and other businesses in the town centre is of vital and acknowledged importance. The fact that one or two other business premises in the town remain unlet or unsold has more to do with unrealistic asking prices and/or special conditions in the lease than with a lack of applicants or enquirers. As we know, at least three people are seriously interested in the Chancellors 'office' as a lock-up shop. Also, flats of the type above the premises are always in demand, to buy or to let.

Another claim is that the change of use "would restore the original use of the building." In fact the premises were built as a shop within the construction of a new public house (the present Rose and Crown) after a pub fire in 1905. Photographs in the possession of local people, the Charlbury Museum and visible on the town website show that there has been a shop there ever since: the earliest dated postcard is from 1906, and among its uses the shop has even been the town post office. There is nothing whatever 'original' about a residential use for the ground floor. The present building has been a retail shop for almost all its life, until Chancellors turned it into an office. Indeed we agree with the applicant that the premises should revert to their 'original use': that is, retail.

The applicant implies that his proposal will improve the parking situation through direct access to the rear yard. We need to clarify that the access to the yard is purely pedestrian: there is no vehicular right of access.

Charlbury Business Community believes this application should be referred to the planning committee, and should be refused on grounds of damage to the local economy and adverse effects on a conservation area.

Jon Carpenter · Tue 26 May 2009, 16:10 · Link


Train Services this Summer from Charlbury

I submitted an article for the Charlbury Chronicle on its copy date, 1st May. It now appears that things have moved on and parts of it need clarification.

18th July to 1st September:
Work ends at 5am on 1st September, so trains should run normally on that day.
During the period 3rd to 23rd August, buses will replace trains only between Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham (not Worcester as stated).

Mondays to Thursdays from September to December:
The times in FGW's current pocket timetable are shown as "provisional". It appears from the timetable poster at the station (produced somewhat later) that a normal train service will operate during this period. It is now understood that overnight work will start in January 2010.

Monday to Friday 26th to 30th October:
It transpires that the engineering work which will affect train services during this period is between Oxford and Wolvercot Junction. This will prevent trains running between Oxford and at least Hanborough. No details are yet available of where buses will replace trains during this period.

Further details will be posted here when known. If in doubt, please check with National Rail Enquiries 08457 484950 or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Sat 23 May 2009, 13:04 · Link


Sign up for garden waste collections

News release from WODC:

Get your garden waste collected for the equivalent of just £3 per month.

All you need to do is sign up to our Garden Waste Scheme. You will be provided with a wheeled bin similar to your refuse bin and collections will be carried out fortnightly from outside your home.

The Scheme runs from May 2009 to the end of September 2010 and you can join anytime. If you start in June it will cost £48 for 16 months service.

Garden waste such as grass cuttings and tree prunings can be collected, along with vegetable waste, fallen leaves, hay/straw and bark/wood shavings. All waste will be composted, helping to ease the pressure on landfill sites. This is particularly important as, if sent to landfill, green waste can produce harmful methane gases.

The scheme has proved extremely popular in the past and we would encourage anyone interested to get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. You can find out more and apply online via the Garden Waste Scheme pages, by emailing green.waste@westoxon.gov.uk or by calling 01993 861020.

Thu 21 May 2009, 08:25 · Link


Worth's buses

Paul Worth, of Worth's buses, has said that, following the new bus timetables instituted earlier this year for Charlbury, he would be interested to have any feedback about timetabling, or other issues you may have about their service. He can be e.mailed on worths.coaches@ukonline.co.uk or phoned on 01608 677322.

Helen Bessemer-Clark, Parish Transport Rep.

Mon 18 May 2009, 17:43 · Link


John Bolton

It is with great sadness that the news of the death last month of John Bolton is reported.

John Bolton managed hardware shop, on the corner of Church St, (now occupied by Fairfax estate agents) for many years, living in the adjacent flat with his wife Pat. Pat and John retired to live nearer to their son Robert and his family Hampshire. I am sure many long time Charlbury residents will have good memories of this quiet and gentle man.

Helen Wilkinson

Mon 18 May 2009, 08:46 · Link


Annual Plant sale Charlbury garden Society

A reminder of a change of date:

The very popular Annual Plant Sale is a week earlier than originally planned and will take place at 9.30 in the memorial Hall this Saturday 16th May not as advertised in the Schedule.

Come early and queue as by 10.00 we are mostly sold out!

Thu 14 May 2009, 18:00 · Link


Churchyard plans: latest

The planning application 09/0252/P/FP at St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Charlbury was heard at the Uplands Area Sub-Committee on the 27th April 2009.

The Committee Members decided to defer the decision until a site visit has been undertaken by the Members. There were many letters of objection to the proposed new path and wall in the churchyard. Therefore, this application will be heard at the 1st June 2009 Committee Meeting when a decision will be made.

The full application, and accompanying documents, can be seen by clicking here.

Wed 13 May 2009, 11:49 · Link


License holder needed for 19th May

Sustainable Charlbury is urgently looking for a license holder to help run a bar after the Question Time debate on 19th May in the Memorial Hall (from about 7.30pm - 9.00pm). If you can help please email kathcochrane@yahoo.co.uk.

Wed 13 May 2009, 10:01 · Link


Volunteer Centre Opens its Doors

Residents of Chipping Norton and Charlbury are to set to benefit from a new Volunteer Centre, thanks to a funding boost from Oxfordshire County Council.

Following on from its success in the Witney area, Volunteer Link Up, the Volunteer Centre for West Oxfordshire, is extending its provision to include Chipping Norton, Charbury and the surrounding villages.

Established in 1983, Volunteer Link Up recruits volunteers for over 90 local organisations, as well as for its own ‘in-house’ projects, which include community transport and befriending.

In the last year alone, more than 600 people have been helped by the Centre.
Pat Chirgwin, Manager of Volunteer Link Up, said:
“We are delighted to have received additional funding to extend our services into the Chipping Norton area. Our research has shown that there are potential volunteers willing to provide their time, but with no idea how to offer their services. There are also a number of charitable organisations who are desperate to recruit volunteers.”
Commenting on the venture, the Mayor of Chipping Norton, Cllr Martin Jarrett, added:

“I am very pleased to see the establishment of a new Volunteer Centre in Chipping Norton, following the loss of Volunteer Connection.”

Volunteer Link Up plans to kick off its recruitment drive during Volunteers Week, a national celebration of volunteers and volunteering, which takes place from 1st to 7th June each year. On Wednesday 3rd June, the Centre will have a stand at Chipping Norton market, where local people can find out more about volunteering.

Potential volunteers can also call Liz Williamson, Volunteer Co-ordinator on 07545 923327 or pop into Volunteer Link Up’s office at the Highlands Day Centre, 73 Burford Road, Chipping Norton between 10:30am and 12:30pm on Thursdays for an informal chat (from 4th June 2009).

Tue 12 May 2009, 13:52 · Link


Ever thought you could make a change? Want to help maintain Charlbury's unique character?

The Thomas Gifford trust is looking for a new trustee.
We are looking for a replacement trustee to join us and help us with our twin tasks of maintaining the Playing Close and developing the Spendlove site. You don't require any specific skills other than enthusiasm and commitment to acheiving the redevelopment of the Spendlove site, for the benefit of Charlbury . The trustees meet monthly, and there are occasional commitments to work on specific projects like fund raising, talking with the community and supporting the trustee at events such as the Street Fair and the AGM
If this sort of thing interests you contact the Secretary, Helen Wright , on 01608 811485 or helen@micklemore.plus.com ,
or Trevor Jones on 01608 810644 or trevor.jones@ophiopogon.com

russell robson · Sat 9 May 2009, 19:51 · Link


County Council election - candidates announced

Nominations have closed for the Oxfordshire County Council elections on 4th June.

The four candidates in the Charlbury Division (which also includes villages such as Stonesfield, Chadlington, Kingham, and Finstock) are:

  • Conservative: Terence Owen (Frog Lane, Milton-under-Wychwood)
  • Green: Clarissa Hornblow (Jefferson Piece, Charlbury)
  • Labour: Gina Burrows (New Street, Chipping Norton)
  • Liberal Democrat: Rosalind Scott (Church Lane, Charlbury)

Of the four, the Green and Liberal Democrat candidates are the only ones to live in the division.

The Conservative candidate is also the West Oxfordshire district councillor for Chadlington & Churchill. The Labour candidate is a Chipping Norton town councillor. The Green and Liberal Democrat candidates are not councillors elsewhere.

The seat is currently held by Sue Haffenden (Conservative, of Chadlington) who is not standing again. Prior to 2005 it was held by Brian Hodgson (Labour, of Stonesfield) for 12 years. The District Council seats for the Charlbury and Finstock ward are currently held by Liberal Democrats Glena Chadwick (of Charlbury) and Mike Breakell (of Finstock).

Fri 8 May 2009, 14:24 · Link


Chancellors looks to sell up

A planning application pinned outside Chancellors estate agents, in Market Street, is seeking permission for change of use to residential. The application is made in the name of Justcrest Ltd, a company connected with Chancellors.

The office has been unmanned since last year and all sales have been handled through the company's Chipping Norton branch. If the closure goes through - bearing in mind that West Oxfordshire District Council last year refused a similar application for News & Things - then it would leave Charlbury with just one estate agent, Fairfax & Co, down from three a few years ago. However, in their application, Justcrest point out that WODC is only seeking to protect shops and post offices, and that the Chancellors office falls under a different category (financial & professional services).

The application says that the change would "restore the original use of the building; it is not particularly suited to office use due to its domestic form and layout". Explaining the reasons for the closure, it continues: "The nature of an Estate Agent business is evolving, with increased access to the internet [sic] and there is therefore less demand for smaller agency offices such as that the subject of this application."

If the application is approved, the flat above the office would be combined with the ground floor to create one single residence.

Full details are on the WODC planning website.

Richard Fairhurst · Mon 4 May 2009, 17:43 · Link


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