The work was underway to replace the railway bridge at the north of the village. At present the bridge was open for cyclists and pedestrians only. Network Rail would be building a temporary footbridge so the route to Oxford was accessible during the whole project. It would be relatively easy access but narrow so cyclists would have to dismount. The County Council supplied the Clerk with details of a contact name for Birse, the contractors. Following her call the Clerk was contacted by an officer of the County Council Bridges section. He explained some of the technical details of the size and dimensions of the new bridge. It was intended to be wider to allow a shared cycle and pedestrian path. The visibility of on-coming traffic over the bridge would be improved. She had spoken to the contractor, Birse, and they would be supplying the Clerk with notices about the closure for the village notice boards. It was intended to have a monthly meeting with the Parish Council to keep them updated on progress on the replacement bridge. There would be a limited opening for vehicles one way from 10th December to 20th December 2010 to allow access to Oxford for Christmas shopping. The Clerk had asked the County Council via Cllr. Fatemian if there could be a traffic count undertaken to see if there was any noticeable change in the volume of traffic travelling through the village.
Following the successful achievement of Fairtrade Status for the village, it was suggested that the Best Kept Village sign be removed and replaced by one which mentioned both being a Fairtrade Village and winning the competition. There was no approved design so it was suggested that it was as simple as possible. The Clerk would be contacting a number of companies to get a design and costings.
The Parish Council had been contacted by the Vale of White Horse District Council about arrangements for the May elections in 2011. They were consulting about the number of polling stations in the village. The members of the Parish Council agreed with the proposal that there would be only one polling station at the Village Hall. This was because access to St Swithun’s School hall was difficult for people with disabilities. So when the election cards are printed for the three polls, for the Parish Council, District Council and Referendum on the Voting System in May 2011, do not forget to come to the Village Hall to cast your vote.
The Parish Council was informed that the County Council will be taking over the running of the Concessionary Bus Passes from the District Councils starting on 1st April 2011. They were consulting on the proposal that the hours of eligibility would be 9am to 11pm in the week and they would retain companion passes for disabled people who needed help. They were proposing not to offer any alternatives such as the Senior Rail Card or National Travel Tokens. They were also withdrawing the use of the pass on Dial-a-Ride and Door to Door transport schemes. The deadline for any comments to the County Council was 14th December 2010.
The Parish Council would like to have feedback on the new play area from children and their families. Please see the questionnaire in the Chronicle.
Finally the members of the Parish Council and the Clerk would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.