Oxford cops sting 952 people speeding at 20MPH plus

Dr Helen SainsburyA freedom of information (FOI) request to the Thames Valley Police has revealed the cops are taking the twenty miles per hour speed limit very seriously, in Oxford .

The police told Volesoft that in the last year 952 people had had  on the spot fines.

They were issued with penalties, which have to be paid on the spot.

The Thames Valley Police, in its reply said it had no figures relating to people it had warned could have speeded beyond 20 miles per hour.

You can read the Thames Valley Police response here – and of course you can always watch inspector Morse, Lewis and the rest. 

Oxford reveals costs of “blue bin initiative”

YOU KNOW you’ve got to give credit to Oxford City Council. It takes the freedom of information act (FOI) seriously.

We asked, a month ago, about the cost of its rather infamous “Blue Bin Initiative”.

It sent out a very expensive leaflet to us very  long suffering residents of Oxford.

Here’s what it came up with on its FOI request. We have asked for an internal review from the Vale of the White Horse on how it lost votes. Unfortunately, the Vale of the White Horse seems to have lost everything. We asked for an internal review. We are still waiting, us Oxford residents.

Hello Mike,


Further to the acknowledgment below, regarding your FOI request dated 28 September, I am now in a position to respond. Please see below for the answers to your questions.

1. Please break down the costs of this initiative – I and other residents of this street received a colour brochure yesterday – oxford.gov/uk/recycling league – see sub questions:

Oxford City Council received 350k after they were successful in applying for a DCLG grant.
As this is a three year project officially launching on October 5th, a full breakdown is not yet available.

1a How much did the smartphone app cost to develop?

The Smart App is not part of the project, it was already developed. It cost £750 to include the Blue Bin Recycling League pledge form.

1b To how many households were the full colour brochures delivered in Oxford?

All Oxford households, approximately 60,000. 61,000 packs were ordered.

1c Please name the areas represented by the colours at the back of the leaflet.

Oxford has been split into 8 areas which have been given a colour. These areas mirror our collection days and geographically incorporate several different well known Oxford area names

2. Who was responsible for the initiative? Was it council members?

The Recycling Team submitted a bid to the DCLG grant fund to run the incentive scheme. It has had full Councillor support and consultation and is overseen by John Tanner, board member for Cleaner Greener Oxford

I hope this helps,

Best wishes


show quoted sections

Link to this

Just in case you missed this fab House of Fraser photo


I know it’s a bit fruity, but…

Khajuraho…Khajuraho is a world heritage UNESCO site 

Philip Pullman meets the Uke meister in Oxford

Ukeleles in OxfordI WAS proceeding in a westerly direction when I spotted a photo opportunity and a sound bite to boot. Outside a theatre in Oxford, a juxtaposition presented itself.

And as you all know, I cannot resist a juxtaposition, of whatever type it may be.

Yes, it was Philip Pullman (pictured left) with one of the founding members of the band – the Ukulele Orchestra of the UK with  Will Grove-White (pictured, right).  Will was playing at the New Theatre and apparently Philip is a fan of the ukulele and I think asked Will to sign his rather wonderful book about the ukulele for him.

We did overhear Philip say how much Will’s book had helped him in his ukulele playing.

Pure fantasy? I think not. I was there. 

Playing cards of the world: Kathleen Wowk

KATH WOWK worked at Stanley Gibbons in the 1970s and wrote a book, Playing Cards of the World,  a book which is widely regarded but in fact got her expelled from Kenneth Grant’s OTO.

Kenneth Grant regarded the tarot cards as sacred but Kath secularised them, he considered.

Kathleen Wowk

I often wonder what became of the lovely Kath. If anyone knows, please drop me a line.

Jan Magee, Kath, David Hall and yours truly went to the Knebworth Rolling Stones concert in 1976, where Kath distinguished herself by dragging us all to the very front so we could have a good old dekko at the goings on.

This is a picture Kath gave me during the 1970s, showing her in Nottingham, where she was born. She was of Ukranian descent, and contributed a translation of Liber OZ to SOTHiS magazine, way back when. 

The Freedom of Information Act is important

Dr Helen SainsburyALL UK JOURNALISTS ought to be up in arms at the internal panel instituted by the Tory government to review the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation – particularly so because on the panel is a senior civil servant, Jack Straw and Michael Howard and no journalists whatever.

Let me give you by illustration a request I made to Vale of the White Horse Council in what was a marginal seat.  You can find the link here. After two months of incompetence, the folk are still unable to answer the very simple question. I am sure that councils don’t want to be bothered with requests like this.

Now, the thing is that we all know councils are hard pressed, but the fact is the Vale of the White Horse Council seemed to lose some postal votes just before the last general election.  And after several months, it is still unable to answer the basic question – why?