Archive for September, 2011

TGiF – Meanwhile, 285 Miles Away…

September 30th, 2011

Cycling for Everyone

September 25th, 2011

Cycling For Everyone from Dutch Cycling Embassy on Vimeo.

TGiF – Ich Lerne Deutsch :o)

September 23rd, 2011

Home is where the inquiry is – eventually

September 22nd, 2011

The Cogges Link Road public inquiry opened on Tuesday… and was adjourned just five minutes later. The chosen venue, the Lindsay Room at Eynsham Hall, proved to be much too small to accommodate all the members of the public who turned up.

The Sustainable Witney blog outlined other problems with the venue weeks ago: we pointed out that it is much harder to get to by public transport than by car, which could easily discourage non-drivers (especially those with disabilities) from attending.

Despite this barrier to attendance, over 150 people turned up on the first day; great news for democracy but not such good news for the smooth running of the inquiry in a room whose seated capacity is just 55. But this wasn’t the only problem.

» Read more: Home is where the inquiry is – eventually

Minerals Plan Consultation – Stanton Harcourt

September 17th, 2011

Public Meeting, Wed 28th September 2011 7.30 pm Stanton Harcourt Village Hall to discuss the consultation policy document.


Oxfordshire County Council is holding the final consultation for the Minerals and Waste Core Strategy Policy up to 2030, which can be reviewed on

The proposed policy affects the Lower Evenlode and Lower Windrush Valley in that some 80 per cent plus of the presumed need for gravel- 20.2 million tonnes of sharp sand and gravel over the period- will be south of the Thames at such as Didcot, Grove and Harwell while more than 85 per cent of the excavation is planned north of the Thames in this area. With Newbridge being closed to HGVs with a carrying capacity of more than 18 Tonnes, it might be thought it was more appropriate to dig the majority of the gravel needed, near to where it is to be used. If one adds to the traffic problems, which currently exist on the A40 today, the onus of 700,000 additional movements in the period (transporting gravel), access to our area may become very difficult indeed.

The recent announcement of a new Science Park at Harwell accentuates the sanity of digging much more in the South, especially as this area has been allocated extra infrastructure grants of some £6.5million for a new southern ring road.

A meeting is being held to discuss this final consultation policy on Wednesday September 28th 7.30pm at Stanton Harcourt Village Hall, where your views will be welcomed.

Charles Mathew

Ian Hudspeth

TGiF – Darkness Is Moving In

September 16th, 2011

Mike Edel “Turn the Lights on Bright” from Jordan Clarke on Vimeo.

The Sun Sets On Solar Hot Water

September 13th, 2011

I wasn’t surprised when the salesmen kept feeding us the same old line, “Forget solar hot water, just cover the roof with Solar PV”. By not mounting a solar thermal collector for hot water we can fit an extra couple of Solar PV panels on the roof equating to roughly 400kWh*, or 400 units, of additional electricity generated per year. In monetary terms that’s about £170 in Feed in Tariff alone.

Financially it’s a no-brainer. The FiT means you would need to be using an awful lot of hot water to achieve that kind of financial saving from a solar hot water system. And the payback period on Solar Water is far longer than with FiT boosted Solar PV.

What really bugged me though, when I said we’re not only in this for the money but to reduce our overall energy consumption, was the insistence by some salesmen that fitting Solar PV in place of a Solar Hot Water system results in a lower carbon footprint overall.

» Read more: The Sun Sets On Solar Hot Water

TGiF – Let Your Hair Down

September 9th, 2011

How the county made its choice

September 6th, 2011

Yesterday we posted about the Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to hold a public inquiry in a venue that’s hard to get to without a car. But why did the council choose Eynsham Hall and not a venue that’s actually in Witney?

» Read more: How the county made its choice

No car? No say!

September 5th, 2011

There will soon be a public inquiry on an issue affecting everybody who lives in Witney: 20th September is the start date for a two-week inquiry into the controversial Cogges Link Road.

Man with mouth covered in tapeYou would assume that an inquiry about the compulsory purchase of Witney land should take place in Witney, in a public place where people can easily walk in and have their say. But Oxfordshire County Council doesn’t see it that way. They’ve picked Eynsham Hall in North Leigh as the location for the inquiry. It’s a beautiful venue, nestled in stunning countryside… but it happens to be several miles away from Witney.  A nice choice for a wedding, but a disastrous choice for a public inquiry about a serious Witney issue.

» Read more: No car? No say!

TGiF – Legoland

September 2nd, 2011

City Of Joy from daniel fiantok on Vimeo.