Welcome to the February 2024 edition of the Town Council’s newsletter.
Brew Monday in The Town Hall
We hope you all had and enjoyable and restful time over the festive season. Christmas and the new year can feel especially difficult for so many of us. The third Monday in January is often referred to as “blue Monday”. The Samaritans have launched a brilliant new campaign called “Brew Monday” which focuses on reminding and encouraging us all to reach out and connect with one another over a cuppa.
We decided that, being the perfect place for a community gathering in the heart of the town ,we would host a Brew Monday in the Town Hall on 15th January. Along with sharing chats, advice, music and games, we started to complete a community jigsaw, a beautiful puzzle of Bliss Mill by photographer Alistair Currill.
The Jigsaw edge is almost complete, and it is now in reception for the community to enjoy when they are visiting Town Hall. We hope that we will get the jigsaw completed by many hands, and if you are just stuck for something to do in town – we would love you to come and pop a couple of pieces into the puzzle.
You can read more about the Brew Monday campaign here:
More to look forward to from the Town Hall
Keep an eye on our Town Hall Facebook Events Listings to know what events, groups and activities you could be a part of that are coming up.
- Friday 2nd February 2024 – FitActive are hosting a Women’s Health Event: Understanding HRT with Dr Isobel Welch. Tickets are £12 with proceeds going to local charity Thrive, and there will be a free glass of wine, and a raffle with some great prizes. Click here for tickets.
- Saturday 3rd February 2024 – The Chippy Larder Community ‘Feast’ with support form Ross and Ross Events are taking over the Town Hall to offer a wonderful feast to the community. For more info contact: email@example.com
- Friday 9th and Saturday 10th February 2024 – Pit Kitchen Take-Over the Town Hall for 2 Supper evenings. Tickets are £35 and you can BYO drinks too – a great event from a local restaurant who you can usually enjoy in the Summer Months offering their fabulous barbecue indoors this winter
- Wednesday 14th February 2024 – West Oxfordshire District Executives on Tour. Join us at Town Hall to hear more about District Council and their plans for the future.
- Thursday 22nd February – Cotswold National Landscaping – Evenlode Catchment Partnership are hosting a community facilitation event to find out what communities want and how they can support Chipping Norton towards river restoration.
If you are looking for new and fun things to do in Chipping Norton we have an array of regular groups using the Town Hall for their sessions:
Age UK offer Fitness for the Elderly on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as The Theater in Chipping Norton offering Dance for the over 50’s and their instructor Sarah Hartley also offering her FitActive dance sessions on Wednesdays. If you like to sing we have 3 groups, the Can Sing and Chippy Singers from the Theater on Thursday evenings and the Chipping Norton Choral Society on Wednesdays, who will be launching their Cotswold Youth Choir in March – so keep you eyes peeled for this great new group! Little Footsteps is a lovely toddler group on Thursday mornings run by the Community Church who also have their regular Sunday service at the Town Hall. Their Monthly community supper dates are well loved in the Town – contact them for more information on how to be a part of their group. Every Friday sees the Town Hall hosting Muslim Friday Prayers from 1 pm – 2 pm.
…and something for the teens… ‘Youth Space’ every Tuesday evening for 15 – 18 year old’s
Learn2Sustain from Transition Chipping Norton have been creating a Youth Space in Town Hall, running great sessions on Tuesday evenings for the young people rocking around town with time on their hands. Whether it’s just for a chat and a hot drink, or taking part in activities such as cooking, watching films, playing board games, it’s been a great place to hang out in the Lower Hall on Tuesdays. Here are some of the lovely things said by the people joining the new Youth Space:
“I was willing the time away all day as I couldn’t wait till I could come here as I knew I would be doing this” (cooking activity)
“There is no way I’d miss a youth club session. If it’s on I’ll be there,”Youth Space Participants
“Even when my son doesn’t come he knows you are there which helps.”
“It has really helped him turn things around and given him a more positive focus.”Youth Space Parents
No joining fee, just rock up to the Lower Hall on a Tuesday from 5 pm – Cara, Kara, and Scott would love to welcome you.
Skate part consultation
The skatepark consultation is still open. Please do take the time to complete it and help inform the design and budget required. The skateboard user group are meeting with Skateboard GB to discuss the next steps of this exciting project for our town.
You can read more here:
Town Council Budget 2024-25
Town Councillors have all been involved in setting our budget for the next financial year, setting spending priorities by Committee and evaluating and agreeing the resulting budget and precept (the portion of Council tax the Town Council receives) for next year. Last year we froze the precept to support residents through the cost-of-living crisis, but this is not sustainable for more than one year due to increasing costs for utilities, labour and materials. Councillors unanimously agreed the proposed increase of £9.67 per annum (8%) for band D households in Chipping Norton.
We will be publishing an annual report in March, detailing what the precept is spent on, and what projects and priorities are being developed and delivered this year and for 2024-25.
Cllr Sandra Coleman – Town Mayor
You can see the minutes of the budget setting meeting, and the agreed budget here:
The Annual Meeting of The Town
Please do come along the the Annual Town Meeting – it is a chance for you to raise and discuss matters affecting the town, and express your views about the year ahead. This year we will be publishing an annual report, which will highlight some of the priorities, projects and plans that the Council have been working though over 2023-24, including what the precept (the portion of the Council tax that the Town Council receive) is spent on.
Local Area Coordination in Chipping Norton
Oxfordshire County Council and partners are excited to be developing something called Local Area Coordination in parts of the county. Chipping Norton will be one of the first places where we will be recruiting a ‘Local Area Coordinator’ dedicated to this area. We need help from local people to do this!
What is a Local Area Coordinator?
The Local Area Coordinator will be a paid worker who will be available to get to know local people and families, including those accessing services like health and social care.
The approach is designed to help people regain and maintain control of their lives, while staying strong, contributing, and connected members of their own communities.
It has been going for many years in other places. You can read more about it at www.lacnetwork.org.
Can you help recruit Chipping Norton’s Local Area Coordinator?
We are looking for local people to help recruit the Local Area Coordinator for Chipping Norton. The job role will be advertised on Monday 29th January, and we will be holding a community recruitment event on Tuesday 5th March at Chipping Norton Town Hall.
This will be a session where the people applying for the job get to meet you and other community members from your local area. You will get several minutes with each candidate to have an informal chat individually. The candidates will be asked to find out about you and what you think about your local area. To read more about this and get involved read more here:
Cycling enthusiasts, both new and returning, have a monthly meet up to look forward to at the Rusty Riders Clinic, launching on 2nd March to be held every first Saturday from 10 am to midday. This unique event, hosted in collaboration with Transition Chipping Norton, is designed to cater to individuals who are either new to cycling or considering a return to the saddle after a hiatus. The Rusty Riders Clinic offers a three-part workshop, combining essential elements to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience for participants.
You can read more about this here:
Keep Chippy Beautiful – Spring Clean Up
Last year, Chipping Norton Town Council launched the ‘Keep Chippy Beautiful’ initiative, to help empower the community to take pride in our town and work together to shape a shared vision of community action that everyone can participate in.
Our next ‘Big Clean-up’ litter pick event will be held on Saturday 23rd March from 10am-Midday. Meeting on the steps of Chipping Norton Town Hall.
If you would like to take part please sign up here:
Flag-flying at the Millennium Garden
We will be flying the Suffragette Flag for International Woman’s Day on Saturday 8th March 2024:
The Commonwealth Flag to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday 11th March 2024
and the Human Rights Flag, on behalf of Chipping Norton Amnesty International, on 24th March to mark the International Day for the Right to Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations & for the Dignity of Victims
An Introduction to Councillor Jo Graves
We will use this space to introduce your new town councillors. This month we asked long standing Cllr Jo Graves to tell us a little bit about herself and her role as local Councillor over the past 29 years.
I have had the honour and privilege of serving our wonderful community of Chipping Norton as a Town Councillor since 1995. As a resident of the town for over 40 years, I was initially drawn to become a Town Councillor to make sure that our wonderful market town was made sustainable, keeping up with an ever changing world, whilst preserving the best of what I so love about Chippy – the sense of neighbourliness and community and of course, a certain vibrancy.
I have served as both Deputy Mayor and Town Mayor during my time on CNTC and I am very pleased to have been in a position to help bring about the first Chipping Norton Town Appraisal, in 2001-2002, which enabled many stakeholders and residents within Chippy to have a say in the direction in which we wanted our town to go, as we faced prospects of large employers (Parker Knoll) leaving the town.Having taught for over 20 years at St Mary’s CE Primary School, where I am still serving as a Governor, my interest has always been to help develop services and activities for young people. I am really pleased that we finally seem to be getting somewhere with the realisation of a Skate Park – an item on my town’s wish list for at least two decades! It is through membership of the Town Council that I learnt about Home-Start, where I serve as a Trustee for Home-Start Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton – a truly amazing and effective charity serving families with pre-school children in need of support.
Another dominating issue within our town is, of course, the traffic and parking issue. I have served on the Traffic Advisory Committee for the extent of my time on the Council. Alongside the late Eve Coles, I was able to help set up the A44A working group to try and sort a solution to our HGV through-traffic problem, by joining up with other Councillors at Woodstock, Enstone and Bourton on the Hill. We encouraged haulage companies to join us and District and County Councillors and a really good forum was established – some progress was made through signing diversions on to the A40 at Oxford, but there is definitely no “silver bullet” solution to this issue for our old town.
Somebody, once said to me that once you come to Chippy, it will get under your skin and you will probably never leave! I have to endorse this statement. There is so much on offer for me – I am a member of the PCC of a vibrant, caring St Mary’s Church, a Trustee of The Theatre and our sports facilities are amazing, for someone like myself who, as an ardent swimmer loves both the Lido and the Leisure Centre.
Where else would I want to be when living in Chippy has given me so much – that’s why I am privileged give back – by serving on Chipping Norton Town Council.
Since moving to Chippy, I have become a member of St Mary’s Church and did a spell as voluntary Debt Centre Manager, for Christians Against Poverty (CAP) helping local residents. I still help where I can with CAP.
I was proud to join the council this year and to become involved with the civic community and to do what I could to improve life in Chippy. My vision encompasses doing all within the Council’s power to improve the environment, reduce traffic, improve local shopping, develop a thriving local market and maintain and improve the community activities of the town.
I know that Chippy has proud traditions, but change is inevitable and so it is better to manage that change to our benefit where we can and minimise the negatives where necessary.
You can contact staff and Councillors here:
Do you have skills or experience that might be useful in our discussions about the ECN development? Or just feel that you would like to contribute? To join the Build Chippy Better group, please contact Katherine on: firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of our work in securing a Local Cycling/Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Chipping Norton, we’re very keen to hear from people with disabilities or mobility difficulties about the areas of the town that are particularly difficult for them to navigate. Again, please contact Katherine on: email@example.com with your views.
Dates for your diary
- Monday 5th Feb 2024, 6:30pm: Finance and Resources meeting, Council Chamber
- Monday 19th Feb 2024, 6:30pm: Full Council meeting, Council Chamber
- Monday 4th March 2024, 7pm: Annual Meeting of the Town, Upper Hall
- Monday 11th March 2024, 6:30pm, Community Committee, Council Chamber
- Monday 18th March 2024, 6:30pm, Strategic Planning Committee, Council Chamber
- Monday 25th March 2024, 6:30pm, Finance and Resources meeting, Council Chamber
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