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Latest News

Vale of White Horse District Council committee recommends that the council and district aim to become carbon neutral

A new council committee in Vale of White Horse, which aims to help tackle the climate emergency, met for the first time this week and unanimously recommended that the council should aspire to become carbon neutral by 2030 and become a carbon neutral district by 2045.

As a first step, the committee is recommending the council should aim for a 75 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in their own operations by 2025 and a 75 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in the district by 2030. More »

The role of the new Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, which met in public on 15 October in the council's building Milton Park, is to make recommendations to Cabinet on how Vale of White Horse District Council can reduce damage to the global and local environment through its policies and practices.

Among the topics discussed by the committee was the council's response to the climate emergency through its policies and projects and how it runs its day-to-day operations. There was an emphasis on the need for research into feasibility of proposed changes and also partnership working across the county at all levels with Vale of White Horse giving the lead for towns, parishes and residents to make changes.

Cllr David Grant, Chair of the committee, said: "We'd like to thank all those who joined us and spoke at the meeting this week. Our hope is that with the support of residents and our partners we can help make real changes in the Vale.

"While we have set a date for net zero emissions, this is not enough. What is more important is taking action now to set the local area on the path towards it, backed up by sound research. Which is why we are looking at a stepped approach with carbon reduction targets of 75 per cent first. We want to offer residents and local communities and councils aspirational but also achievable targets with the Vale leading the way."

Notes to editors

The committee meets in public to advise the council's Cabinet on matters relating to the climate emergency.

The committee will research ways in which the council can contribute to national and countywide targets on climate and ecological issues and identify sources of external funding relating to the climate emergency.

The council declared a climate emergency at a meeting in April 2019.

This new committee will make recommendations on how the council can set a course for the district to help tackle the global and local environment through its policies and practices. It would also aim to work with and advise and influence partner organisations. » Less

Posted: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:52 by Joanne Myers

Motions agreed at Vale of White Horse District Council meeting

The full council meeting of Vale of White Horse District Council on Wednesday 9 October saw a number of decisions being agreed including these motions put forward by councillors which covered EU citizens' rights, investments in low carbon funds, the A34 and changes to working with regional development organisations.

The council asked officers to prepare a report on what more the council could do to mitigate adverse impacts on the rights of non-UK EU nationals. More »

It was also agreed that the Leader would write to the Home Secretary to ask that the current European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is clarified in the following ways:

  • providing a clear deadline for application to the EUSS in case of no-deal exit from the EU
  • providing physical proof of settled status that can be used to access services
  • confirming that there will be no changes to the current rights of settled non-UK EU citizens - by ratifying the Immigration Bill as primary legislation before the exit day.

The council also requested the Leader writes to the Chair of the Oxfordshire Pensions Committee asking them to consider investing in a passive low carbon fund.

Councillors discussed the impact of A34 diversions on residents in Wantage and Charlton ward when traffic is temporarily and regularly re-routed. The council requested that the scrutiny committee include consideration of drivers' use of satnavs (and the subsequent increased risk of rat runs) in their work programme related to the re-routing arrangements for the A34.

The council agreed that when it came to working with other Oxfordshire authorities, regional colleagues and the Government to deliver growth then strategies and plans to achieve this should now be based on a number of new approaches including:

  1. Planned development should show how it will help our economy move towards its zero-carbon target, including building standards and reducing road traffic
  2. Housing targets should be based on an up-to-date need of a local community

and should include genuinely affordable housing to buy or rent

  1. Increasing biodiversity, protecting landscapes, capturing carbon naturally and increasing access for residents to green spaces
  2. Genuine public consultation on the rate of growth and housing development
  3. Flexibility in plans and strategies to adapt to changing circumstances and public opinion

These criteria will be used with the council's dealings with organisations such as:

  • England's Economic Heartland
  • The Oxford-Cambridge Arc Region
  • The Oxfordshire Growth Board (and associated Oxfordshire 2050 Joint Statutory Spatial Plan)
  • OxLEP (and the Local Industrial Strategy)

Cllr Emily Smith, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: "This was a busy council meeting – we will always aim to find time to include matters which affect our residents and are within our power to help in some way. The motion on the EU settlement scheme was well-supported by all councillors, and there was good debate about what the best new approaches are for planning for sustainable growth across Oxfordshire."

All other items on the council's agenda were agreed as recommended. » Less

Posted: Wed, 16 Oct 2019 12:22 by Joanne Myers

Electric Blanket Testing

Electric Blanket Testing – OCC's Fire & Rescue Service have arranged an Electric Blanket Testing programme. The service will be at Abingdon Fire Station, Ock Street on the 11th October or the Old Mill Hall in Wantage on 25th October.

To book a safety check appointment please ring 01865 895999 or email communityengagement@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Posted: Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:21 by Joanne Myers