WE HAD an urgent message from Oxford City Council after we filed an FOI request to them yesterday about tomorrow’s general election. The reply to our questions are detailed below. I’ll address an ROI to the Vale of White Horse council. ♥
From: THOMAS Jeremy J.
Oxford City Council
6 May 2015
Dear Mr. Magee,
Given the substance of your request, I will respond immediately and personally. I am the Returning Officer (RO) for the Oxford East constituency.
I am not the RO for the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency. The RO for that constituency is David Buckle who is the Chief Executive of the Vale of White Horse Council. The issuing of postal votes for that constituency was undertaken by that Council and the issuing of postal votes was not therefore ‘ outsourced’ by me to them. It was and is their responsibility.
What has happened in the last few days is that I have agreed to assist them by re-issuing postal votes on their behalf from the Town Hall in Oxford. As I write this, I can tell you that we re-issued approximately 150 on their behalf. Replacement packs may be requested up to 5pm tomorrow and completed packs should be returned to the RO at the Vale ( or any polling station in the constituency) by close of poll at 10pm tomorrow.
I hope that assists. If you have a complaint then you need to direct that to the RO at the Vale.
Jeremy Thomas | Head of Law and Governance | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance |
St. Aldate’s Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | DX 4309 OXFORD 1 | Email: [email address] | 01865 252224
WE’RE HELPING Francis Delaney on his way to a charity bike ride from Oxford to Paris – you can see details of that ride on tourdeframbo.com
Francis set off on his 221 mile journey last Saturday – but needed a postal vote for the general election which happens this Thursday, the 7th of May.
The postal vote hadn’t arrived by Thursday last week but with the help of local Lib Dem candidate Layla Moran, we managed to get one to him in the nick of time. His constituency is a key marginal – West Oxford and Abingdon. Only 176 votes separated the winner, Tory Nicola Blackwood, and the Lib Dem runner up in 2010.
Layla turned up to wave Francis and the other four cyclists off last Saturday, and chatting to her it became obvious that this wasn’t just a problem confined to him.
She said that a number of postal votes couldn’t be delivered on time.
Today we made a request to Oxford City Council – below. We’ll keep you updated on what we hear. ♦
Dear Oxford City Council,
I understand that Oxford City Council outsourced a number of postal votes to sister council Vale of the White Horse in the sunup to the General Election to be held on the 7th of May.
I also understand that a number of people in the West Oxford and Abingdon constituency failed to get their postal votes in time.
Can your authority confirm:
1) That you did outsource this work to the Vale
2) Provide the number of people/votes affected by the delay
3) Give the reason for the delay
4) Provide a reason for outsourcing the work.
The Said Business School (SBS) has revealed details about its plans for the Old Power Station in Arthur Street and it seems that chief planning officer Murray Hancock, Bob Price leader of Oxford City Council and Roger Harmsworth all seem agreed that it is a “good thing”.
(See Said Business School makes bid for Old Power Station and Old Power Station seems to have a use.)
There is a public meeting about the SBS plans on the 13th of May.
SBS wants to turn the Old Power Station into a place that will provide short term residential accommodation for 160 students and other stuff. The students will be business suits and not undergraduates.
“Consultation” with local residents will precede several months of architectural planning with planning permission folllowing in mid 2016 and then a couple of years building the wing. The frontage of the building is Grade II listed.
Knocking bits down and building this wing will be an interesting logistical exercise given that access to the proposed site will be a bit net.
These screen shots from Google Earth show the area. The wine glass represents the Kite pub, on the corner of Mill Street and Russell Street. The Old Power Station is next to the river with the white roof. in the first screen shot, below.
An eighteen months to two year build will considerably disrupt the people who live round here. ♠