The members of the Parish Council discussed again the topic of whether or not to install oak posts in the verges in The Avenue nearest St Swithun’s Primary School. They had hoped to be able to use volunteer labour to keep the cost down but that is impossible because anyone working on the highway has to be licensed by the County Council. Two options are now seriously being considered and the members would like your views before their budget setting meeting in January. The first is to have the posts installed professionally at a cost of about £75 per post. As there needs to be at least 100 posts the cost would be about £7,500. This is equivalent to £4.35 on the Parish Council Tax. It would be a one-off cost. The other alterative is to allow the logs that have been put on the verge to remain and to plant up the verges with shrubs such as Rosa Rugosa and Pyracantha. Eventually once they are established then the logs can be removed. The costs of this option have not been calculated as there would need to be an annual maintenance cost to trim the scrubs. Please let the Clerk know your views.
The problem of bonfires has been raised by a resident and the Clerk has written an article included in this edition of alternatives to burning garden waste. The Chairman of the Parish Council would welcome anyone wishing to remain anonymous to report any problems to him directly on 01235 854780. He is also keen to hear of issues that could be raised at the Police Neighbourhood Action Group. Ideally if an email can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, it makes passing on the problem easier.
The Clerk has had a visit to the Oxfordshire Highways’ Drayton Depot. It was very informative and the message that is very clear is that the funds for pothole repair and foot and roadway repair are very limited. All the roads in the County are assessed at least once a year. Some areas are recommended for further research and then are ranked by their condition and matched to the budget available. It is still important to report problems and the Clerk has written an article on how to make this more effective. She met one of the team of officers who has just completed surveying all the trees in the village on highway land. It is likely that one or two trees are in poor condition and will be cut down. She is trying to get more details to alert the neighbours.
Following the inspection of the trees on the Paddock amenity land next to the Memorial Field, a few trees will have to be removed because they will interfere with the overhead power lines. Also the planting was very dense and to give the oaks space to mature some thinning is needed. This will happen over the winter.