• New Community Building Consultation

    New Community Building Consultation

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Latest News

£240,000 for newt conservation

South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils have helped raise more than £240,000 for great crested newt habitats.

The funds have been raised over three years through an ongoing, innovative conservation scheme to protect the newts, which are a European protected species.

The councils have a Natural England licence allowing them to authorise developers to undertake work that may impact the newts. In return, the developer invests in habitat creation and maintenance, providing the newts with new places to thrive. More »

So far 13 developments have been authorised (five in South Oxfordshire and eight in the Vale). These have resulted in 23 high quality great crested newt ponds being created as well as 116 hectares of terrestrial habitat. Funds are also secured to ensure management and monitoring of this habitat for at least the next 25 years.

Cllr Anne-Marie Simpson, South Cabinet Member for Planning, said: "One of our corporate priorities is protecting and restoring our natural world. Our great crested newt populations are an important part of our natural world and the rich ecology and biodiversity of our district. I am so pleased that this project allows us to not only mitigate for any habitat lost from essential building work but provides better ponds and areas where newts and other species can thrive."

Cllr Catherine Webber, Vale cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Environment, said: "We're proud of our wildlife habitats across the Vale of White Horse district. To help protect and enhance them we've included developing a

Biodiversity Net Gain targeting strategy in our Corporate Plan. This project is an example of Biodiversity Net Gain, providing well managed habitats for great crested newts and other species. It means the biodiversity of the district is in a better state after developments have been built than it was before."

  1. NatureSpace is the council's delivery partner for district licencing. The Newt Conservation Partnership's latest monitoring report was released this week and can be read here.
  1. District councils have a statutory duty to conserve biodiversity and ensure compliance with relevant environmental and wildlife legislation.
CommunicationsSouth Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils01235 422400www.southoxon.gov.uk | @southoxonwww.whitehorsedc.gov.uk | @whitehorsedc » Less

Posted: Tue, 23 Feb 2021 19:43 by Joanne Myers

Consultation launched on Oxfordshire’s draft transport blueprint

Consultation launched on Oxfordshire’s draft transport blueprint

Residents and organisations across Oxfordshire are being offered the chance to help shape the transformation of transport and digital connectivity across the county in a new consultation from 15 February to 28 March on a draft blueprint for the future.

With the need for climate action, helping create healthy communities and addressing air quality at the heart of council thinking, the new local transport and connectivity plan (LTCP) sets out a vision for Oxfordshire that will contribute to developing a zero-carbon economy for the county and transform the health and wellbeing of residents. More »

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "The future of our transport matters not just because we need to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality; the options we propose in LTCP are aimed at fundamentally improving the quality of our lives. Oxfordshire is a great success story, but its ongoing performance must address how we travel in a way that can reduce congestion, improve our health and help develop active, connected communities. We need and will value your input about how we can best do this, working together, so please take time to review the consultation and offer your views."

The LTCP vision is the first step in developing a long-term transport and digital connectivity plan for Oxfordshire. The goal of developing a transport vision is to set out the overarching policy direction and ambition for transport and specific schemes in the county.

The vision has been developed following analysis of engagement work with many organisations and through an analysis of transport data and evidence from a survey in March 2020.

This consultation will offer residents a chance to give feedback on the content of the plan.

The areas of focus for the new plan are:

  • Commitments to de-carbonise the transport system by 2050
  • Reducing the need to travel
  • Discouraging unnecessary individual private vehicle use by promoting use of public transport and active travel such as walking and cycling
  • A push towards quality digital gigabit and/or full fibre connectivity for all
  • Enabling the economy to develop, supporting the Oxfordshire local industrial strategy agreed in July 2019
  • Public transport operations and network changes amid the impacts of COVID-19.

By focusing on these areas, the LTCP vision seeks to protect Oxfordshire's rich and varied natural and historic environment as well as improving resident's health and wellbeing, social inclusivity and education access. A second consultation due later this year will cover the development of the full LTCP including an updated vision and goals.

Residents can have their say by visiting the county council's consultation site.

URL : http://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consultation-ltcp/

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Posted: Mon, 22 Feb 2021 15:29 by Joanne Myers

Press release: The Beacon in Wantage becomes location for COVID-19symptom-free testing programme

From tomorrow (23rd February) The Beacon in Wantage will become a Covid-19 testing site for public-facing workers and volunteers who are not displaying symptoms.

People in these roles who cannot work from home and do not have access to workplace testing will be able to book a weekly test at the centre. Tests take only 15 minutes with results available within an hour.

South and Vale district councils have worked closely with partners across Oxfordshire to help set up this rapid symptom-free testing site to help stop the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and vital social care services, and ultimately to save lives. More »

Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 have no symptoms but can still pass it on and so regular testing of public-facing workers will help to stop the spread of the virus.

Oxfordshire County Council is working with Public Health England to run three sites across the county with support from the district councils. Employees from Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue were the first to be tested at the centre, followed by early years workers and council staff in key public-facing roles.

Cllr Helen Pighills, Vale of White Horse District Council Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities, said: "We're really pleased to have been able to put forward The Beacon, along with over a dozen staff from the South and Vale district councils, to help with this vital part of the local response to the pandemic. I'm also delighted that the programme has been expanded to include all public-facing workers much earlier than originally anticipated.

"I strongly encourage all those who leave home to work or volunteer to get a test as soon as you can. There is financial support available for workers who test positive and therefore have to self-isolate. Our Community Hub is also on hand for anyone struggling to access food or facing financial hardship."

The 15-minute test being used is a lateral flow test which involves taking a swab of the back of the throat and inside the nose. The swab is then given to trained staff at the test centre who process the test on-site. Results are given within an hour by text message or by email. Anybody who tests positive is provided with detailed information of how to self-isolate, along with advice on the support that is available for them through their isolation period.

The Beacon is an arts and community centre in Wantage which is run by the district council but has been closed to the public during the pandemic. It will be used as a symptom-free test centre for as long as is required to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

A positive result will trigger the legal duty to self-isolate and to follow the national guidance. A self-isolation information pack www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/self-isolation-pack / www.southoxon.gov.uk/self-isolation-pack has been prepared to help provide individuals with advice and sources of support.

Call our Community Hub on 01235 422600 if you need support or complete the vale online form or south online form

The Community Support team is available from:

  • 8.30am-5pm Monday to Thursday
  • 8.30am-4.30pm on Fridays
CommunicationsSouth Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils01235 422400www.southoxon.gov.uk | @southoxonwww.whitehorsedc.gov.uk | @whitehorsedc » Less

Posted: Mon, 22 Feb 2021 14:01 by Joanne Myers