Tag Archives: oxford mail

Oxford’s Old Power Station to get poshed up

A missive from the egregious Said Business School (SBS)is holding a “consultation” on the future of the Old Power Station, on the Thames, just a slingshot away from Mill Street.

The message, in a bottle, is reproduced below.

But there are things the SBS doesn’t say, as well as things it does say, with implications for the original inhabitants of Old Osney Island, that’s us folk on Arthur Street, Mill Street and the rest.

The towering edifice was used in times of yore to test Concorde engines and then to host exhibits from the Ruskin.  Then there was a health scare because it seemed to hold rare chemicals and stuff stored away.

Then a possibly dangerous harpoon was found, it seems. And squatters were evicted.

The SBS didn’t really respond to FOI requests, I think you’ll find.

Anyway, the document issued for the consultation, below, said SBS is pushing ahead with a proposal offering “bespoke conferencing facilities. It doesn’t say what the impact on the area will be, how many bricks will go, and how the poor people on Arthur Street will feel about huge lorries making a right turn from there past Kite 2.0, also known as the Porterhouse now and the effect it will have on both Mill Street and the Botley Road.

Hey, I guess we residents will have the chance to forewarn the planners ahead of the “conference”. It’s all about the regeneration of West Oxford, you know.   

Gibbs Crescent, Oxford – it’s the nightmare on Mill Street!

Blossom in Oxford in Spring

On the 14th of February this year, at 4:45 PM, a  huge explosion hit West Oxford.

I was in the wazzeria at the time, but the explosion was so great my windows bowed and I almost evacuated myself. I didn’t. I finished my wee and checked things out.

It seems some crazy greezer had blown up a house in Gibbs Crescent. He killed himself with the explosion – luckily no one else – and we’re waiting for the inquest to give us some rhyme or reason. And have been waiting for some time now. For the inquest.

I have some friends down in Gibbs Crescent, so have been following this closely.  Susanna Pressel and Colin Cook, the local Labour councillors, have involved themselves and got their faces in the Oxford Mail.

But, although I am by nature an anarcho-syndicalist – read trade unionist and NUJ member for that, I thought I’d drop a line to our newly elected LibDem MP – that Layla Moran – who seems to have pursued this story in an exemplary way. I draw your attention, for example, to the almost complete lack of social housing she highlights, and to the big big question.

When A2Dominion “rehouses” the Gibb Crescent residents, where are they going to go? ♥

Ms Moran wrote to me on Friday:

“Dear Mike

“Further to our previous correspondence, and particularly focusing on Gibbs Crescent, I have now received responses from Dawn Wightman, Director of Housing for A2Dominion, and Patsy Dell, Head of Planning Services at Oxford City Council.

“Ms Wightman confirms that any plans to redevelop Gibbs Crescent would include 50% affordable housing, consisting mostly of 1 and 2 bed apartments with some 3 bed properties.  She has not indicated what proportion of these affordable properties would have social rents.  The properties are described as being significantly larger than those currently at Gibbs Crescent, but A2Dominion do not confirm how many of the new homes would be 1 bed.

“A2Dominion have also outlined a number of the benefits that they feel the redevelopment of Gibbs Crescent could bring, though have not indicated what assurances they intend to provide existing tenants.

“Ms Dell confirms that Oxford City Council has not yet had any detailed preapplication discussions with A2Dominion regarding proposals to redevelop Gibbs Crescent.  I understand that officers at the Council held a meeting with A2Dominion, in which they discussed the need for public consultation on any proposals, but that by early December the Council had not had any follow up to this meeting.

“One of the issues Gibbs Crescent residents have raised with me is the serious shortage of social housing available in Oxford.  In light of this, I asked Ms Dell to confirm how many social properties are currently available for let.  She has replied that out of 7746 Oxford City Council properties and 3753 housing association properties, there are only 14 currently advertised as being available to let, with 2858 households currently on the housing register.

“I share the concern expressed by many Gibbs Crescent residents that these proposals would reduce the stock of social housing available in Oxford, rather than increasing it as is needed, and appreciate the impact that redeveloping Gibbs Crescent could have on existing tenants, including those who have lived there for many years.

“I hope that this information is useful.  I will continue to pursue these issues with the Council and A2Dominion, and will share any updates I receive with you.

“Kind regards,
Layla”

Layla Moran MP
Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon
Layla Moran
Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon

Crime wave hits Banburyshire

A WAVE OF CRIME is sweeping across a place called Banbury and it’s affecting Oxford and Bicester too.

As you can see from this story in the  Oxford Mail, criminals are receiving tough love from the authorities in what’s obviously a major crackdown at the home of the Banbury Cake.

We’re not entirely sure why Banbury residents Emma Ashburn and Marie Biston got fined more than two other folk in Bicester and in Oxford.  But, rest assured, Google, sorry BBC vans, are watching you. ♥

Mill Street, the Wall and Cherwell College

I AM NOT entirely sure the venerable Oxford Mail got the whole story about this, but hey, WTF. We only live here. ♥

Oxford City Council. Shock horror – pollution

SO THIS IS A letter sent to allotment holders in Cripley Allotments.  Er….

cripley_allotments

The ballad of Roger Dudman Way

Where there’s a will, there is a lay.
So starts this wee tale of Roger Dudman Way.

Mick's Cafe, the Botley Road
Head west from Domino’s, through the tunnel of love,
Be shaken, if not stirred by rattling freight trains above,
And, flanked by Mick’s Café and the YHA
See the new glory that’s called the Roger Dudman’s Way.
Mick’s Café has shut, I am sorry to say.
‘Twas the jewel in the crown of Roger Dudman’s Way.

As you beat your way towards pastures new,
You’ll see Oxford Station and, this is certainly true,
You’ll see five storeys hove into view.

This is the Great Wall of Roger Dudman’s Way,
Blocking Port Meadow, or that is what they say.
The structure’s for students, and not really for geese;
They will have to soar high to stay in one piece.

Roger Dudman, the man who inspired the route
Was Lord Mayor of Oxford, and a leftie, to boot.
Of Dudman’s life we know little, it’s true,
But he held a grand post so was one of the few
To wear the great chain, and preceded by mace
Trouped through the town with consummate grace.

The latest Lord Mayor fell flat on his face,
For saying the word “sexy” that’s quite a disgrace.

And so we conclude this Dudman paeon,
To celebrate the daze of the Dudman aeon,
With hymns and raptures day by every day
To celebrate Mr Dudman  and his now famous Way!