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Agenda item

Participation of the Public

Any member of the public, who is a registered elector in the District, is eligible to ask one question at the meeting, for up to three minutes, of the Leader of the Council, or any Member of the Executive, on any issue that affects the district or its people.

Notice, together with a written copy of the question, must be provided to Democratic Services, either by email to:

[email protected]

or by post to:

Democratic Services, West Oxfordshire District Council, Woodgreen, Witney OX28 1NB,

Questions are to be received no later than 2.00pm two clear working days before the meeting (e.g. for a Wednesday meeting, the deadline would be 2.00pm on the Friday before).

A response may be provided at the meeting, or within three clear working days of the meeting. If the topic of the question is not within the remit of the Council, advice will be provided on where best to direct the question.

The appropriate Executive Member will either respond verbally at the meeting or provide a written response which will be included in the minutes of the meeting.


The Leader of the Council, Councillor Andy Graham, stated that the Executive had received 4 public questions, submitted to them through Democratic Services in advance of the meeting.

The Executive provided the following answers to the following questions:


Q1 Asked by Mr. Rupert Boulting:

What course of action is the Council going to take, in order to prevent the continual dumping of raw sewage into the River Isis?


A1 Answered by Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Executive Member for the Environment:

Whilst we recognise that at present there are legislation constraints, it does not follow that significant steps through deeper and more expansive partnership actions cannot make a difference. Indeed levers of influence play a part in achieving many of our goals.

We have been actively working with Thames Water over a number of months to not only gain a greater insight into how they run their Sewage Treatment Works, but also to identify areas where capacity isn’t meeting current / future levels of demand, and pushing for investment in these as well as improvements in the overall network in both the short and long term.

We have also been lobbying the Government, writing to the Secretary of State pushing for changes in legislation and legal sanctions on water companies that pollute our rivers and water courses along with asking that the Environment Agency is properly resourced so that they can proactively protect our rivers.


Q2 Asked by Councillor Norman MacRae MBE:

There has been much talk with regard to the state of the maintenance of the play area at the Kilkenny Lane Country Park, and that much of the equipment is unavailable for use. When is the projected date for the play area to be restored to 100% availability?


A2 Answered by Councillor Joy Aitman, Executive Member for Stronger, Healthy Communities:

We are currently working with the Oxfordshire Playing Field Association (OPFA), following a site meeting with local Councillors. The OPFA met with a contractor/supplier on site in the last few days and we are due to receive a costed proposal for the repair works as agreed.

Once we have obtained the costs and ascertained the timeline we will be able to be more specific, however, at this moment in time, we are projecting that the unavailable equipment will be open and ready for use in early Summer.

We will keep local Councillors abreast of any further developments related to Kilkenny Lane Country Park Play Area as and when we know more details for certain.


Q3 Asked by Councillor Norman MacRae MBE:

There appears to be an ever increasing use of the grass verges and land that the Council owns in the housing estates (e.g. Madley Park and Shilton Park) – The result of this being that many of the verges have been turned into very unsightly 'mud baths' when we are spending significant sums on enhancing these verges with the excellent 'wild flowering' initiative. What plans, if any, are in place to ensure that our verges are protected and that the wild flowering scheme can thrive?


A3 Answered by Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Executive Member for the Environment:

The wildflower verges are generally set back from the road due to visibility constraints. We put stakes along some of the verges in Shilton Park last year to stop parking on the wildflower areas. This could be repeated elsewhere where we become aware of issues.


Q4 Asked by Councillor Norman MacRae MBE:

Our In-Cab technology has many built in systems to support and develop our waste collection service. Visiting any part of the District on 'bin day', it is clear to see that many of the bins continue to 'suffer' from lid failures. Is there a facility within the In-Cab system that would enable crews to report the fault online and thus, potentially, enhance the streamline the program for the benefit of our residents; It may be the case that the facility is installed but is not being used; or it may be that we have not purchased this option (obviously should it be available).  What exactly is the answer to these points please?


A4 Answered by Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Executive Member for the Environment:

There is not a facility for recording of lid failures or damaged containers on the In-Cab system. Replacement lids for recycling bins, or replacement food waste caddies can be ordered through the Council website, or reported via Customer Services. As Councillor MacRae knows, the Council is currently undertaking a waste service review, and this will include ensuring residents' needs are at the heart of the review.