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Newsletter Sept 2022

Welcome to our September edition of Chipping Norton Town Council’s Newsletter.

Cost of Living Crisis

The cost of living crisis is the number one consideration for most households at present, and Councillors have been visiting residents over the summer to discuss their concerns and to find out how we as a Town Council can help. The Town Council already supports the Chippy Larder and the Food Bank, and will be discussing other ways in which we can help people in our town who are struggling with soaring bills and costs. We welcome any suggestions for action we can take to help alleviate the situation for our residents.

West Oxfordshire District Council are running a discretionary scheme to support households impacted by the cost of living crisis who were not eligible for the Government’s £150 council tax rebate. Applications opened for six weeks from 15th August, and you can find out more about how to apply here.

Information on support from Oxfordshire County Council can be accessed here:

20mph Scheme for Towns

Chipping Norton Town Council have applied to be considered in Oxfordshire County Council’s 20mph scheme for towns. It’s very important to us to hear views on this from people who live in and travel to Chipping Norton .

The general idea of the scheme is to convert 30mph zones in residential and pedestrian-heavy areas to 20mph zones. What are your thoughts on this? Would you like to see a blanket 20mph limit applied across the whole town, or are there particular roads you feel should be included or excluded if the initiative were to proceed? Please complete the survey by selecting the button ’20mph Speed Limit Consultation’ below. Or, if you would prefer to complete a paper survey, copies are available on request from The Guildhall – please do pop in or contact us and we can post one out to you.

This consultation will close on the 14th September. The Council will publish the results of the survey once they have been analysed.

Town Council Grants

The Chipping Norton Town Council’s Grants to Voluntary Bodies Scheme is open to organisations that serve the Chipping Norton area. The scheme aims to fund projects that address the needs, aspirations, and issues of the people in our community. The Town Council invites local charitable and community organisations who are working for the benefit of the people of Chipping Norton to apply for funding to support projects.

The Town Council has budgeted £26,000 per year to fund this scheme, with funded grants usually ranging between £500-£2000. Please click on the link below for more information and how to apply.

Applications for the Grants to Voluntary Bodies Scheme must be submitted by the deadline of the 25th September 2022.

Memorial Safety Testing

Chipping Norton Town Council is currently undertaking routine memorial safety and topple testing at Worcester Road Cemetery and the closed churchyard at St Mary the Virgin Church. This involves inspecting memorial masonry for damage and structural instability. Over time, memorials deteriorate and can become unsafe, with the potential to fall causing injury to staff and visitors, with children being at particular risk.

Burial authorities have a legal duty to test headstones and make safe any that fail to meet minimum safety standards. Once a memorial has failed an inspection, it will be marked with a notice and the Council office will write to the last known address we have on record for a living owner of the plot. It is therefore very important that grave owners keep their details up to date with the Council office and let us know when their details change.

Due to the layout of the cemetery and closed churchyard the risk of injury is relatively low, so will be made safe with the application of signs to warn owners and the public of unsafe memorials. Any memorial in a high-risk area, namely within the first two rows adjacent to a pathway, will be staked. The laying down of a memorial will only be undertaken in the most serious cases.

For further details and the full Memorial Safety Policy please see:

New Street/West Street Junction

We were devastated to hear of another accident at this junction in August, in which someone was injured. We had already held further meetings with representatives from Oxfordshire County Council in July to push for action to implement safe crossings on both New Street and West Street, and have been promised a traffic survey in the autumn, which is the first step in a formal assessment. In the wake of the recent accident, the Mayor Councillor Coleman was in contact with people from the group who were involved, and she has written to County Councillors again to impress on them the need for urgent action.

We will not be letting up on our campaign for safe crossing routes at this junction.

Flying the RAF Ensign

On the 21st August 2022, there was a memorial service held at the War Memorial and a flag-raising at the Millennium Garden to commemorate the air crash that took place over Chipping Norton on 21st August 1942. The crash involved two RAF planes that were on training flights, and tragically all the crew were killed. One of the planes crashed into what is now Heather Cottage on Church Street, but miraculously there were no civilian casualties.

Councillor Steve Akers attended the service as an official representative of the Town Council, and we would like to thank everyone else who paid their respects.

Flags at the Millennium Garden will be hoisted to mark memorable days throughout the year. If you have any suggestions for flags that you would like to see included, please contact Katherine at deputyclerk@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk.

Town Council Surgeries

On Saturday 30th July, Town Councillors Natasha Whitmill and Ruth Fisher hosted our second Town Council Surgery at the Lower Town Hall. They were joined by Chippy’s District and County Councillors. Councillor surgeries run from 10am -12pm on the last Saturday of every month (except August and December), and they’re an opportunity for anyone to drop in and say hello, find out who we are, or share any problems, concerns or suggestions they may have. There is also coffee and cake! Do pop in to our next one (September 24th). Our Town Councillors will be delighted to meet you for a chat.

Chippy Phone Box

Our lovely Chippy Phone Box has already been used to publicise many different community groups, to showcase events such as the Platinum Jubilee, and to display temporary art exhibits! It’s free for Chipping Norton residents to use – please contact Katherine to book a slot at deputyclerk@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk

An introduction to the new Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rachel Foakes

photo of Cllr Rachel Foakes

Rachel Foakes joined the Town Council in May 2021, and was elected as Deputy Mayor earlier this year. So far her main priorities have been working on the campaign to make the Town Council pesticide-free and on plans for a more pedestrian-friendly town.

Beyond the Town Council, she is a freelance editor and writer of educational books (under a different name!) and so has also been involved in developing the Council’s communications.

Rachel moved to Chipping Norton in 2016 with her teacher husband, her three children, and the family dog. She helped to organise a support scheme for neighbours on The Leys at the start of the pandemic and enjoyed doing something proactive in the local community , so decided to take the plunge and stand for the Town Council .

She’s enjoying working with such a dynamic, passionate group of people who all care about making Chippy the best place it can possibly be!

We’re hiring!

Vacancy: Facilities and Events Officer
Salary: LC2 SCP J8 24-28; £29,174-£32,798 (£23,655-£26,593 pro -rata)
Part time post 30 hours per week to include some evening and weekend working.

Are you brilliant at organising events and a dynamic project manager? Are you looking for a varied role, where no two days are the same? If so, you could be our new Facilities and Events Officer. Closing date for applications is Monday 12th September 2022.   For an informal chat to discuss your suitability for the role please contact Luci Ashbourne, Town Clerk on 01608 697142 or email townclerk@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk

Get involved

Please join us for our annual Cemetery Clean-up Day on Saturday 15th October 9am-12pm. This is a great opportunity to make our cemetery spick and span, and to get out in the fresh autumn air at the same time!

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: deputyclerk@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk

As part of our work in securing an LCWIP for Chippy, 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: deputyclerk@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk with your views.

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1 September 2022
Last Updated
12 October 2023