Skip to main content

Agenda item

Receipt of Announcements

To receive any announcements from The Chairman, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or the Head of Paid Service.


The Chairman advised that the motion originally listed as Agenda Item 9 had been withdrawn by the proposer.  A strengthened motion would be resubmitted for consideration at the Council meeting on 23 February 2022. 


Leslie Roy Cooper


Councillor Postan advised the meeting that Leslie Roy Cooper had passed away suddenly on Friday 17 December 2021.  Roy was the beloved husband of former Councillor and Woodstock Town Clerk, Ann Cooper and father to District Councillor Julian Cooper.  A celebration of his life took place on 14 January 2022 and he would be remembered for his hard work and dedication to the residents of Woodstock.


Councillor Postan then handed over to Roy’s son, Councillor Julian Cooper.  He explained that his family connections were deeply set in West Oxfordshire, originating from Great Rollright.  His father had been the Chairman of the Housing Committee in 1973 before leaving the Council in 1979.  In 1988, Roy had joined Woodstock Town Council where he had served the residents for a further 16 years.  Councillor Cooper took the opportunity to thank all officers and Councillors for their support during this time.


Tony Walker


The Chair advised that Tony had been Chairman of the Council between 1998 and 2002 and Cabinet Member for Tourism.  He was instrumental in the twinning between Burford and Potenza Picena and a former resident of Chadlington.  The Chairman handed over to Councillor Cotterill who described the work that Mr Walker had been involved in during his time as Chairman including the twinning with Potenza Picena.  Whilst Covid had put paid to many twinning activities it was hoped that school exchange trips would be able to take place in the future.  He described Mr Walker as the ‘suntanned Chairman’ following his two trips to the beaches of the Adriatic to establish the twinning connection.


The Council stood to hold a minute’s silence in respect of the two gentleman.


Thames Water Surgeries

Councillor MacRae addressed the meeting and advised that, at the request of Thames Water and through the Leader of OCC, the Council had agreed to facilitate a series of ‘surgeries’ for the benefit of Parish Councillors, Parish Clerks and, of course District Councillors.  These would be multi-agency events and would encourage dialogue between fellow Councillors and Thames Water.  Officers were finalising details and the aim was for the surgeries to be held in April or May and details would follow in due course.  Councillor MacRae emphasised that these surgeries for Councillors and Parish Clerks were intended to be educational and informative, rather than adversarial.


Water Days

Councillor MacRae announced that as instigated by Councillor Harvey, he was aiming to hold a Water Day at the Council offices now that Covid restrictions were beginning to ease.  These events included presentations from Thames Water, the Environment Agency, WASP and others, followed by frank and robust discussions.  This format had proven successful and popular in the past and officers had been asked to start working on a target date of October for the event. 


Section 19 – Flood Report

Councillor MacRae advised that the long awaited report from the December 2020 flooding would soon be completed and it was hoped this could be published by the end of the day.  Officers were awaiting official sign-off from the County’s legal department and once published, this would be submitted to the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee for detailed consideration.


Community Grants

Councillor Doughty was pleased to announce that a number of Community Activity Grants had been awarded, each of £500, covering many parts of the District and a variety of activities.  Councillor Doughty went on to outline three recipients of the grants including the Long Meadow Foundation and Nature Recovery Network of Eynsham, the Burford Environmental Action Group and the 2120 (Witney) Squadron RAF Air Cadets. 


Housing First Project

Councillor Davies was pleased to update Members on the continued success of the Housing First Project, which helped under 35 year olds who had been dealing with prolonged homelessness.  Other partners working with the Council were Cottsway Housing and Spire.


Energy Efficiency Standards

Councillor Harvey advised that a scheme was in progress with a cross cutting theme across Environment and Housing.  This was aimed at rented properties and ways that landlords could improve their energy ratings.  Funding would be available via grants to landlords to ensure rentals were brought up to the Energy Efficiency Standards.


Hedgehog Highways

Councillor Harvey was delighted to announce the start of a Hedgehog Highway project across the District.  Residents would be encouraged to cut a hole in their garden fences to enable the hedgehogs to roam more freely, forage and travel throughout the night.  Households could submit a photograph of their ‘highway hole’ and could be rewarded with a Hedgehog Highway sign for their efforts.


Councillor Coles welcomed the initiative and asked if the Council could lead by example and create these highways on the Woodgreen site initially.


Business Grants

Councillor Coul provided an update on the Business Grants which had been awarded to 1712 independents and 5263 awards being made overall.  These brought the total to £48,370,387 of grants being given to businesses over the past two years, along with £30 million in Rate Relief.  In addition, 2416 business were signed up to the Business Matters emails which provided them with instant updates and Councillor Coul asked Members to encourage all businesses in the District to sign up.

Welcome Back Funds

Councillor Mead advised that a number of Welcome Back Funds had been distributed to town centres with a view to improving the street scene and encourage residents and visitors back to the towns.  The grants had been used on a variety of items including maps, notice boards, signage, benches and hanging baskets.