The proposed development at Woodstock East is causing a lot of debate particularly the size of the proposal. It's made me think what Woodstock was like in the past and how much development has occurred over the years. I found the text below on British History Online from the Victoria Museum the link to view the full text is:
From the late 19th century, presumably because of the newly established railway link, the duke of Marlborough considered schemes for suburban development in Hensington, including c. 1913 a proposal to demolish Hensington House and build houses around a central area of croquet lawns and tennis courts. (fn. 35a) Hensington House was demolished in the 1920s but the site was not developed until the 1950s. The chief additions to the town in the late 19th century and early 20th (fn. 36a) were a few houses at the south end of Union Street and along Hensington Road, some of the latter built by the duke and sold to members of the Oxford Co-operative Society under a joint scheme. (fn. 37a) Pullman's glove factory was built c. 1890 on the south side of Hensington Road (fn. 38a) and New Road in Hensington was laid out and partly built up before 1922. A drill hall on its north side was bought by the corporation for a community centre in 1970; (fn. 39a)Crutch's glove factory on its south side was builtc. 1924 and closed in the 1950s.
By the 1930s scarcity of building land obliged the council to acquire sites outside the borough. (fn. 40a) Between the two World Wars building was mostly in Hensington, and included council houses on Bear Close in 1932, and houses at the east end of Hensington, on Banbury Road and Shipton Road; Hill Rise at the north end of Old Woodstock was laid out, and a few houses were built on the Oxford road. A roman Catholic church was built on Hensington Road in 1934. (fn. 41a)A school was built on the site of Marlborough School in 1940 and a primary school on Shipton Road in 1968. (fn. 42a) After the Second World War Hensington continued to be built up; in the 1950 houses were added in the Green Lane area, on the Klondike on Shipton Road, and the Cadogan estate on the site of Hensington house; (fn. 43a) in the 1960s the large Hensington Gate estate was begun. Other areas of expansion included Cockpit Close on the southern edge of the town in the 1950s and Barn Piece Farm estate in Old Woodstock in the 1960s. By 1967 there were 150 council houses and 50 apartments in the builtup area. (fn. 44a) The former union workhouse was demolished in 1969 and the site used later for a home for the aged, Spencer Court, and a fire station, police station, library, and car park. Houses were built on the gas works site in 1972, (fn. 45a) in the Brook Hill area (partly on the corporation meadows) in the 1970s and 1980s, and along Hensington Road in the 1680s.
The central area changed little in the 20th century except for the renewal of shop fronts. Early in the century Lorimer's shop (no. 22 High Street) was built on a long vacant, and in the 1960s Blanford Court in Market Street replaced the former Blandford Arms; a tall block of apartments built in Oxford Street in the 1960s commands the northern approach to the town. The trees lining Oxford Street, planted at the duke of Marlborough's expense in 1885, (fn. 46a)fell victim to road-widening as the street became a major traffic route. From the 1920s until the 1950s the central streets were dominated by overhead electricity cables carried on large pylons. (fn. 47a) In 1975 Woodstock was designated as a conversation area.
Statement Regarding Children's Centres
Published 28 November 2013
As part of our budget setting process, we have just finished
a series of public meetings to inform residents about the need to make substantial savings over the next four years and listen
to their ideas about how this should be done.
Over 1000 people attended the six Talking Oxfordshire events and raised a range of issues about the council’s
budget. We have also had more than 400 responses via the council’s website.
Before the meetings, some members of staff were shown an internal briefing on a ‘worst case scenario’
for saving in the children’s services directorate. The media reported that the Council had firm plans to close a large
number of children’s centres, which was never the case.
Children’s centres were by no means the only issue raised in Talking Oxfordshire but understandably there has
been a lot of concern locally about their future.
I would like to assure people that I am listening carefully
to these views – that was the point of consulting residents in the first place. I would also like to say that the county
council absolutely recognises the important work of children’s centres and their value to many families.
The Cabinet’s budget proposals will be published next Friday, and as we are
still working on them I don’t want to pre-empt that announcement. What I can say is that a cross-party group is looking
at all the options, including greater community involvement in running children’s centres. I don’t think we are
in ‘worst case’ territory either and I am confident that we can maintain our focus on early intervention to help
children and families.
However given the scale of
additional savings required, Oxfordshire County Council cannot guarantee that any council service will be completely unaffected.
We now have to save another £60m in the next four years, on top of the £200m of savings that has been achieved
or planned since 2010.
There can be no red lines or sacred cows. But we are as committed as ever to early intervention and supporting families in need in order to give children who benefit from these services the best start in life.
to the English Riviera
I decided to take the chance to follow the U's on an away trip and to let the train take the strain down to the English Riviera from my local station, Hanborough.
On the way down I started talking to some fans about the start to the season. The conversation drifted onto to ground ownership issues etc. When they realised I was wearing a jacket and tie, not a yellow shirt I explained who I was. This caused one fan to say he recognised me from the newspaper with negative reference to me being a councillor and to the political party to which I belong. There was a bit of an awkward couple of minutes.
However we then we all started to to about the important issue of the day, team selection.
On a day like Saturday, political preference and profession go out of the window. When all is said and done we're all after one thing, for United to get promotion. By 5pm we'd all seen another excellent win and an absolutely superb goal by James Constable. We sit top of the league with a 100% record; long may it continue.
A cycling success story
Published 12 August 2013
Cycling is more and more in the headlines these days thanks to the successes of dedicated athletes
such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froom, Sir Chris Hoy and others.
I always feel that such triumphs resonate slightly more in
Oxford than in other towns and cities simply because there are so many keen cyclists here.
Similarly, when we have some success in creating something new that benefits cyclists, I guess
the information is always that bit more newsworthy here because of the numbers of people who ride bicycles.
It was certainly great to hear about the money won from the Government for improvements that
will benefit both cyclists and pedestrians at The Plain Roundabout in the centre of the city.
The county council will top up the £835,000 of Government cash with £130,000 of
local funding, to remove one of the main barriers to cycling in and out of Oxford city centre.
Cash will be spent to reduce the width of the carriageway approaching and around the roundabout
and improve the Plain Roundabout’s design to unlock access to the city for cyclists of all levels of experience. There’ll
be improved cycle lanes and road markings and wider pavements for pedestrians.
It might not make headlines like the Olympics or the Tour de France, but it’ll be celebrated by many here in Oxford.
Optimism for the economy
Published 09 August 2013
It is hard not to feel optimistic for the British economy given the recent slew of good news
and positive statistics reported in the national news.
We have recently learned that manufacturing in June grew at the strongest pace since the end of 2010, and retail
sales saw their fastest July growth in seven years.
Sunshine and sporting success
Published 08 July 2013
We’ve had warm sunshine for more than a week now and the forecast ahead
predicts the same for much of July.
We’ve just had a weekend in which the Lions have won in Australia and Andy Murray has ended a 77-year wait for a British man to win the Wimbledon men’s title. A few weeks ago Justin Rose became the first Englishman to win a major golf tournament since the mid-1990s
On top of that there’s been quite a bit of decent news relating to the British economy of late and it seems that an acceleration in to recovery from recession and low-growth may be on the horizon.
I am an optimist and a positive person by nature and all of these things give me great cheer. However there are mixed feelings because I know that local government still faces very tough times ahead, as anybody who recently appraised themselves of the Chancellor’s Spending Review will know all too well.
However, just as last year’s Olympics provided a wonderful diversion, so I am determined to take the positives from our current situation as a nation. Let’s make the most of the sunshine and the sporting success while it lasts!
Published 06 June 2013
I’ve been the leader of the council for around 12 months now and undoubtedly one of the most satisfying aspects is when things are planned and delivered that lead to real and tangible benefits in Oxfordshire.
That’s why I was so pleased recently when news came through that we’d been successful in the next stage of the process to amass the required funding to make big changes to create a hamburger style roundabout at Milton Interchange in south Oxfordshire – creating lots more capacity on a very important part of our road network.
We still need Highways Agency approval
but the Government’s announcement of £5m of funding towards the £10.6m project was a huge stride forward.
Apprentices whip up tasty treats for bake-off
Published 14 March 2013
Oxfordshire apprentices cooked up a treat as they battled it out in the bake-off challenge.
This kicked-off with the bake-off at County Hall involving local apprentices, from various sectors, with leader of the county council Ian Hudspeth, food presenter and owner of Lotte's Kitchen in Chinnor, Lotte Duncan and BBC Oxford’s Jo Thoenes judging the contest.
The event was held in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and HIT Training (training providers in the hospitality and catering industry) and is a variation of the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’, with proceeds going to the cancer charity.
Prizes included a cake decorating experience from The Cake Shop and a trophy from The Oxford Engraver as well as shopping vouchers from HIT Training, Oxfordshire County Council and the Thames Valley Regional Network.
|With John Howell MP|
Readathon 20th October 2012
I was delighted to take part in the Readathon at the Central Library on Saturday. The event was orgainised by the charity Assisted Reading for Children, ARCh, which places volunteers in 100 county primary schools to read with children.
The event aimed to encourage more children to read, this links well to the County Council's own major campaign to improve reading skills across the County.
There’s a key moment for the UK this week with an announcement due on Thursday (October 25) about the current performance of the economy.
There are hopes that the country will have re-entered growth, leaving behind the period of recession. It is in all of our interests that this is the case and that the growth is sustained over a long period.
Put in simple terms, growth leads to more revenue for central government, which gives it far more scope in terms of paying down the huge debt that the nation funds itself in.
Of course it is also great news for jobs and future prosperity. I hope that Thursday’s announcement is a positive one for the UK.
I was privileged to attend the annual St Frideswide Service at Christ Church cathedral on Tuesday following on from a longer than usual cabinet meeting at the county council.
Having discussed and debated the Oxford University Hospitals Trust bid to become a Foundation Trust and park and ride charges for longer stay users at Thornhill it was on to Christ Church for the service.
At the event I was privileged to meet Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run the four minute mile and an Oxfordshire resident. I was also delighted to see the Marlborough School Choir from my part of Oxfordshire, Woodstock, performing at the service.
Despite the busy day, sporting matters were never far from my mind given that I am a close follower of the England football team. I returned home from Christ Church to observe the odd happenings in Warsaw with the downpour and the postponement of a match that could have been played under a roof.
All in all, quite an eventful Tuesday, October 16!
There is a lot of news this week about the setting up of the framework for the Scottish independence vote.
After a year in which it has felt wonderful to be British, I personally hope we can put this issue to bed once and for all. I find it very easy to be proud of being both English and British, and the British aspect of that came very much to the fore during the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics.
Did I feel any less proud of the achievements of Chris Hoy and Andy Murray than I did of Jessica Ennis and Victoria Pendleton during London 2012? Of course not.
There’ll be a lot of debating to be done and arguments based on predicted economic outcomes. In the end it is my belief that the majority of Scottish people value being part of Britain as much as I do. The vote will either prove me right or wrong.
I am spending the first part of this week at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the last in the major party conferences that always take place at this time of year.
Regardless of the party to which you belong, this is an opportunity to hear first-hand the national politicians who set the direction and policy of your political party. It is an all too rare chance to meet local councillors from all over the country to discuss and compare the many issues that affect us. It is also a chance to meet party officials and learn more about the party itself.
All political parties have various shades of opinion and it is often interesting to compare more right or left leaning trains of thought as well as listening to younger politicians alongside those who have been in the party for many years.
I am sure those who are actively interested in politics, regardless of their affiliation, would agree that this is one of the more interesting times of the year.
Early Autumn is always the time when Oxfordshire finds out how its young pupils had achieved at Key Stage One (five to seven year olds) and Key Stage Two (seven to 11 year olds).
The picture remains mixed although there has been tangible improvement on the 2011 results. In Key Stage Two in particular there has been a real increase in achievement. Key Stage One has also seen standards rise – though there is still room for improvement, particularly in Oxford. The city is no longer at the foot of league tables but it remains close to the bottom in reading, writing and maths.
My cabinet Colleague Cllr Melinda Tilley and officers in our education team have recently joined forces with the National Literacy Trust and the Oxford Mail newspaper to launch a huge reading campaign across the county, encouraging the people of Oxfordshire to volunteer and help their local school raise standards in reading. I commend that campaign to all and everyone.
We are at the start of a long journey in terms of educational standards in Oxfordshire. September saw us set off on that journey in a very positive way.
Monday morning, October 1, started dark and drizzly – but many people would still have been in the afterglow of Europe’s Ryder Cup success as they made their way to work.
I was one of those who stayed up late to watch the conclusion
to the golf and one of the most amazing comebacks ever seen in the sporting arena. The efforts of the 12 golfers in the European
team were an inspiration to us all.
This year has been one that we will never forget in terms of sporting events. When the BBC holds its annual awards in December, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to choose the Sports Personality of the Year for 2012.
I welcome the Government’s announcement that it is to create a business bank that will have the capacity to lend up to £1bn to small to medium sized businesses from national coffers.
Specific details are to be announced towards the end of 2012 and I look forward to learning more about what is planned.
I believe that people in Oxfordshire and across the UK have the desire and the entrepreneurial spirit to drive the UK’s economy forward. Access to the bank lending to give them the initial kick-start will in many cases be one of the few things stopping them.
This is good news and will contribute to what seems already to be an economic fightback in this country.
I was privileged to attend
the repatriation of Private Thomas Wroe, Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Lance Corporal Duane Groom at RAF Brize Norton this week.
Many other people attended and I see that the Oxford Mail
has printed an article quoting the parents of the soldiers saying that the ceremony and the attendance of local people and
visitors does provide comfort.
I was moved by the passage of
the cortege through the Memorial Garden. People have told me that attending several events never lessens this emotion.
While I know and understand why the Government and other nations have forces in Afghanistan, I equally hope that one day the Memorial Bell at Norton Way can fall silent.
Tuesday this week brought a mixture of feelings as regards a city that is distant from Oxfordshire but one of the
greatest and most famous in the world – New York.
Andy Murray’s triumph in the US Open tennis at Flushing Meadows in New York was significant in that it was
the first major won by a British male for 76 years. It has rightly been celebrated and lauded in the media.
Those who didn’t stay up to watch Murray’s moment of triumph awoke to the news
on September 11 – a date will resonate deep in the memory banks of the human race for decades to come after events in
New York on that day in 2001.
We’re now 11 years on from events that day but I still certainly remember them in great detail, as I do the bombing in London in July 2005.
It is a year ago this week that repatriations came back to
Oxfordshire following their time at RAF Lyneham, with the public paying their respects at Wootton Bassett.
The Wootton Bassett events had become recognised across the country and this time last year people in Oxfordshire were
hoping they could live up to what had happened in Wiltshire
I was honoured to be asked to speak at the start of ‘The Parade for Equality’ on
Sunday morning organised by Oxford Unlimited. The event was held at the Iffley Road sports track that is always linked to
Sir Roger Bannister and the four minute mile.
me of the fantastic achievements of Team GB at the Olympics and now we are experiencing the Paralympics. The success we are
seeing at this event will raise the awareness of disabilities, by changing the way we think about them.I do not see a disabled swimmer, what I see is a fantastic swim by Ellie Simmonds, collecting yet another gold medal.
Likewise in cycling I was not thinking about Sarah Storey’s disability rather her tremendous victory.On Saturday Richard Whitehead not only blew away the opposition in the 200m he blew away any stereotypical thoughts
about disabled people.
We must build upon these games to reduce inequality in society.
There can be little doubt that politicians engender strong opinions - both in terms of their
policies and in terms of their profession as a whole!
However, whether you're interested in politics or not, nobody can deny that a cabinet reshuffle brings drama with only one aim in mind; to have the best team to govern the country. I look forward to seeing what Prime Minister Cameron is about to deliver!
After having written a couple of blogs recently about the economy and the big debate about
how to bring Britain back to growth, I was delighted to see the Chancellor setting out his plans on the Andrew Marr show.
The Paralympics start this week and provide an exciting and inspirational end to a Summer that will be long remembered
by the people of Great Britain.
The nation’s economic troubles
are still with us but the sport has provided a fantastic diversion. I’m looking forward to the Paralympics a great deal
and I’m sure they’ll be every bit as entertaining as the Olympics.
Meanwhile, locally, Oxford United have had three straight wins to start their league season and sit proudly at the top of the league. Let’s hope they can sustain this form throughout the Autumn and Winter. The club's efforts so far have certainly put a smile on the faces of many people in Oxfordshire. They have an exciting fixture this week in the League Cup at Leeds United and I wish them well in that.
The Olympics has filled our lives for the last couple of weeks. That has applied even to those who don’t usually
become pre-occupied with sporting matters.
those of us who enjoy most sports, the sense of loss resulting from the end of the Olympics will be at least partially compensated
by the onset of the football season. Locally, Oxford United kick off their campaign with a League Cup tie against Bournemouth
tonight and then a tough trip to Bristol Rovers to begin the League Two campaign.
While I’m sure all United fans would be delighted with a win against Bournemouth and the chance to have a crack
at one of the Premier league giants, the real focus will be on the league campaign and the drive to get out of League Two.
I remember writing a blog shortly after I became leader
of the county council, which was at roughly the same time as the end of the domestic football season. In it, I said that Oxford
United’s natural place in English football’s pecking order was above the fourth tier and it would be good to see
our county’s only football league club playing above that level for the first time in a decade.
Here’s hoping the year ahead will see Oxford United at the top of the table, culminating in promotion next May. Best wishes also to all of our local non-league sides at the start of the new campaign.
would like to congratulate all the athletes who took part in the games and made it the most successful of modern times for
I would also say that
the organisation and running of the event was fantastic proving that we could host a global event. The feeling in the country
and especially London has been fantastic with everybody smiling and being proud to be British. I for one want to see this
It was only just over a year ago the country
suffered from riots now look where we are. It’s a great shame that the economy of the country will not similarly be
transformed in the next 12 months. We all know we have a massive debt crisis and until we get that under control we cannot
move forward. We simply cannot borrow more and more otherwise we will end up like Greece.
One of the lasting memories of the Games for me will be the volunteers who helped to make them such a success many of them were volunteering for the first time and have had a wonderful experience. Perhaps now is the time for them to see if they are able to help by volunteering in their local community. I certainly find it rewarding.
just been to the Museum of Oxfordshire in Woodstock to get some training to become a regular volunteer.
You may think I’m biased as I live nearby, but I do honestly think that the museum is fantastic.
It is in the enviable position of being right in the centre of Woodstock and just a minute or two away from Blenheim Palace, meaning that it can easily be included in a great day out, where it scores over other museums, is that its focus on Oxfordshire life is second to none. It also has a café serving tasty snacks that can be eaten in the gardens - but beware of the dinosaurs.
In recent years there has been much talk about the Big Society and local people getting more involved in community life. This is something I believe in and so I’ve taken the plunge.
Volunteering isn’t a new thing. Many charities get so much from the passion and commitment of their volunteers and council services too have for many years been enhanced by local people getting involved.
Time will tell how well I do as a volunteer – I hope I fit in and am able to do just as good a job as the others. I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.
In the meantime, why not go along there yourself? It’s free to get in and, at the moment, there’s a fascinating exhibition about hats and shoes from throughout Oxfordshire’s history… here’s a taster of some of the things you will see.
All the build-up, all the conversations, all the anticipation and all the speculation will begin to draw to a close when the opening ceremony of the Olympics takes place.
I recall vividly the day London was awarded the games back in 2005 in a warm summer of mixed emotions when the England cricket team regained the Ashes from the Australians after so many years and we saw the horrors of the July 7 bombings in our capital.
The journey from then to now has been a long one and it is a marvellous feeling for the country to be on the threshold of such a landmark moment in all of our lives.
Quite apart from the sporting highs and lows that lie before us, I hope that the nation as a whole gets a much needed economic boost from the games, specifically the South East of England including Oxfordshire.
Perhaps there'll be a few people who come to our corner of England for the first time as a result of the Olympics and I'm quite sure they'll fall in love with the place as many have before them.
With the sunshine finally out and the school holidays upon us, it finally feels like summer in Oxfordshire.
The other day I took a photograph across the estate at Blenheim. You can't go wrong at Blenheim for photographic opportunities but this photo in particular turned out very well capturing as it did a sunny day and a perfect view.
Its easy to forget as we go about our day to day work how blessed we are in Oxfordshire. We live in a county were wonderful views are never very far away. We have the Cotswolds and the Chilterns and the Vale of White Horse area and of course the city of Oxford itself.
I am very lucky to represent the county council in Woodstock which is as English a settlement as you could possibly imagine.
Now's the time of year to be enjoying what we have on our doorstep and be tourists at home. I'll certainly be endeavouring to do just that.
It was a fantastic start to the week yesterday to hear about the Government’s intentions for improvements to the railways in Oxfordshire.
Some of what was announced had been in the public domain for some time. However some was new, and in particular the planned investment to Oxford Railway Station will be music to the ears of many.
There is little detail as yet as to precisely what is planned and I look forward to hearing about what will be proposed. A lot of people have worked very hard at the county council and its partner organisations over the years to convince Whitehall and the rail industry that Oxford Station should be a priority.
It will be some time before work begins and I am guessing the job itself will be a fairly lengthy one. For the time being we will be working with what we’ve got at Oxford Station. However we now have something tangible and substantial to which to look forward.