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Local Government

This page contains information and links about all levels of Government and our elected representatives in this area. There are three levels of local councils in this area starting with Parish Councils at the most local level, then the District Council and finally the County Council. The Vale of White Horse District Council has useful brief descriptions on its website of the services it provides and what it doesn’t do (but other local Councils do) which may help point you in the right direction initially.

The Oxfordshire County Council website also includes a useful summary page of local government and other services for your postcode – click on the ‘where I live’ link in the menu at the top of the page.

Current news from all of the local Councils can be found in the ‘Local Council News’ section of the Local News & Issues page.

There are also separate sections on local planning, UK and European Governments and the pro-democracy charity UKCOD.

Click on the section headings below to reveal or hide the detailed information.

 

Parish Councils

Two Parish Councils cover this area, and all Councillors are unpaid volunteers elected every four years (the last election was May 2011). The main areas they deal with are allotments and leisure facilities plus they have a say in planning applications and overall planning, putting forward the views of local residents.

North Hinksey Parish Council covers most of the area including the core of Botley and North Hinksey. Useful pages on their website include Contact details for the Councillors, membership of their committees and Council business. The Parish Clerk is Alan Stone (tel. 01865 861992, e-mail nhpcclerk@msn.com ).

Cumnor Parish Council covers Cumnor Hill and Dean Court (as well as Cumnor and other areas outside of our community). Useful pages on their website include Contact details for the Councillors and membership of their Committees. The Parish Clerk is Tina Brock (tel. 01367 240407, e-mail clerk@cumnorparishcouncil.org.uk ).

 

Vale of White Horse District Council

The whole community falls under the Vale Of White Horse District Council which provides a wide range of services under the categories of Environmental, Housing, Planning, Cultural and Recreational and Transport. Specific areas include Waste Collection and Council Tax & Benefits. They are also responsible for managing Elections in this area. Vale of White Horse District Council are based in Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon OX14 3JE  (tel no. 01235 520202, e-mail  comments@whitehorsedc.gov.uk ). Other useful pages on their website include Contact us, How we work and a Local Services tool to provide you with information relevant to your address such as rubbish collection days and council tax rates.

Again the community currently has two sets of representatives from May 2015 as Cumnor Hill and Dean Court fall under the Cumnor Ward while the remainder of the area falls under the Botley and Sunningwell Ward which adds Sunningwell and South Hinksey Parishes to the previous North Hinksey and Wytham Ward. Both of these Wards have 2 Councillors. See the map on the LGBC website.

The District Councilors who were elected in May 2015 are listed below with links to their pages on the Vale of White Horse website, and where applicable other personal websites on the internet.

Although Oxford City Council doesn’t direct impact on our area their website does contain useful information about facilities and services in Oxford that might be of interest to you.

 

Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council is based in County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND (tel. no. 01865 792422, see also the Contacts page). The services it offers include Roads and Transport, and Education and there is a page on the structure of the Council on their website.

The representative for the North Hinksey Division, which includes the whole of our community area (and is different from the  Botley and Sunningwell Ward – see map), is Janet Godden. County Council elections take place every four years, the last one was in May 2013. Prior to the 2013 election the boundaries were different - detailed maps showing the old and new Divisions can be found on the Oxford County Council and Local Government Boundary Commission websites.

 

Local Planning

The area of planning impacts on all three levels of councils and on all residents in our community so it is worth considering separately in more detail. Planning can refer to a huge range of activities, but in this context the two main areas are individual Planning Applications (either relating to individual buildings or whole sites such as the West Way retail site redevelopment) and larger scale long term plans covering a much wider area such as the whole District or County and a much broader band of topics.

The North Hinksey Parish Council website contains a useful explanatory page on Planning, and there is an overall Planning and Building Control page on the Vale of White Horse website.

Individual Planning Applications can be looked at in detail online. Certain types are decided on by the Oxfordshire County Council, but the majority fall under the Vale Of White Horse District Council (searchable by location on a map). You can also see the list of applications received by VOWHDC in the last 7 days. Handy hint – if you want to make a planning application yourself you can purchase approved maps from the Getmapping website and get a free aerial photograph at the same time.

Major planning issues currently in the pipeline or being built:

  • West Way retail site redevelopment – see our separate Issues page for details.
  • Seacourt retail site redevelopment – this will include the loss of our only local petrol station and other major changes. The former Allied Carpets and Habitat stores have aleady been replaced by 4 smaller stores in 2013-14 and further developments around the current Homebase store will take place over 2015-16 including the removal of the petrol station.
  • 136 residential dwellings off Lime Road (on east side of Upper Louie Memorial Field), see the Planning Application on the VOWHDC website for details. A number of new residents have already moved in on this site.
  • Several hundred new homes are being built in the site around Tilbury Lane, starting on the Cumnor Parish side and work is already well under way.
  • A number of developments, primarily flats, at 98 to 106 West Way. Some flats have aleady been built in this section of West Way, but several more are likely, with a series of planning aplications being put forward.
  • A proposed major redevelopment of the site covering 54 and 56 Hurst Rise Road is also in the pipeline and several planning applications have already been strongly objected to by a large number of neighbours plus the North Hinksey Parish Council.

The most important long term local plans are the Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2011 and its eventual replacement the 2031 Local Plan(which is now likely to be adopted during 2015). There is also an overall Oxfordshire 2030 long term strategic plan for the whole county on the Oxfordshire Partnership website.

 

UK Parliament / Government / our local MP

Our local MP is Nicola Blackwood (personal website) who was elected in 2010. Further details about Nicola Blackwood and Evan Harris (who she replaced following the last election) such as their voting records are included on the mySociety ‘They work for you’ website.

Details about how the whole UK Parliament (both Lords and Commons) operates can be found on the official Parliament website. There are also useful pages on  Overview of the UK system of Government and a vast amount of information about Public Services on the official Gov.UK website. Additionally you can search data from UK Government Departments on the Data Gov website.

 

The European Parliament / local MEPs

Details about the MEPs representing this area can be found on the European Parliament Register of MEPs by simply choosing ‘UK South East’ under the country option and clicking on ‘show result’. These MEPs represent you in the European Parliament. They scrutinise proposed European laws and the budget of the European Union, and provide oversight of its other decision-making bodies. More details about how the European Parliament operates can be found on their At your service page and on Wikipedia pages on MEPs and the European Parliament.

 

UKCOD & mySociety

UK Citizens Online Democracy are a charity who try to help us keep democracy alive and well in the UK, partly by running a number of websites under the mySociety banner which provide details about freedom of information, our representatives in the UK and EU Parliaments and how to communicate with them, and community involvement. Several of these websites are linked to elsewhere on this page.