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Agenda item

Receipt of Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chair, Leader of the Council, Executive Members or the Chief Executive.


The Chair of the Council, Councillor Julian Cooper, started by thanking the public for their attendance at their meeting, and also for their anticipated engagement during the meeting. The Chair also welcomed Rohanna Saunders to the public gallery – Miss Saunders was in attendance as a guest of Councillor Ted Fenton, and is a local sixth form student studying politics.


The Chair, in his last Council undertaking the role, paid tribute to all councillors for allowing him the privilege of the Chair. The Chair also put on record his thanks to the Council’s Vice-Chair, Councillor Andrew Coles for his support to the Chair. The Chair also thanked the Council’s staff for their support during the Chair’s time in the role.


The Chair reminded members of the unique challenges faced during the municipal year, such as the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the pending Coronation of His Majesty Charles III. Additional events saw the Chair judging cake, and walking on hot coals to raise money for Charity.


The Chair paid tribute to the Members of the Council that were standing down at the next District Elections in May 2023. Councillors Coul, Eaglestone, Hill, MacRae, Chapple, Ashbourne & Collins. Amongst the Members standing down were former Chairs of the Council, as well as past members of Cabinet. The Chair thanked these Members for their loyal and committed service to West Oxfordshire District Council, and wished them all the best for the future.


The Chair also congratulated Councillor Colin Dingwall for his invitation to the upcoming Royal Garden Party, and stated that his invitation was a full reflection of the outstanding service given to the Council.


Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Executive Member for the Environment, rose to inform Members that the day of the meeting was also World Water Day. Councillor Arciszewska updated Council on the work and discussions undertaken with Thames Water, underpinned by Windrush against Sewage Pollution.

Councillor Arciszewska encouraged Members to sign a parliamentary petition, number 633609, relating to the Environmental information Regulations (EIR) and work carried out by the Angling Trust.

Councillor Andy Goodwin stated that he was also working with the water companies to settle an ongoing two-year problem in Eynsham, and asked Councillor Arciszewska where the talks between WODC and Thames Water had got to. Councillor Arciszewska responded stating that talks had discussed the capacity of Sewage Treatment Works and the key components, such as population and usage of water, that have been used to treat waste water and sewage across the District.

Rising on a point of order during the response, Councillor Norman MacRae MBE queried whether the response given to Councillor Goodwin was related to the question raised. The Chair confirmed that the response was an answer to the question raised, and in order to save time, asked Councillor Arciszewska to write to Councillor Goodwin and share the response with Members.


Councillor Duncan Enright, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Economic Development, was pleased to announce the introduction of an advisory board, working on business support and skills over the coming years. Councillor Enright stated that work would be undertaken on the viability and future of the district’s market towns, such as Carterton. A biodiversity ‘toolkit’ would be available to Town and Parish Councils, as well as other organisations in the district.

Councillor Enright also updated Council on the ongoing projects being undertaken to advance the outlook on Marriott’s Walk in Witney, such as arts and planting, and outdoor trading solutions. This will also help the hospitality sector, increase footfall on Witney Town Centre, and help to support the local economy.