Voting in Adderbury Referendum on Thursday 21-Jun – Why Bother?

All Adderbury electors should have received a Polling Card for them to vote in a Referendum on the Adderbury Neighbourhood Plan.  It is on Thursday 21-Jun-18 from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm at the Methodist Church Hall.  This is a relatively new idea, intended to strengthen local democracy and to enable local communities to influence planning policies and decisions.

A huge amount of work has been put into developing the Adderbury Neighbourhood Plan and it has successfully been pulled, pushed and hauled through all of the bureaucratic hoops except this final one which is down to Adderbury voters. It is important for the Referendum to be well supported and, I am clear it needs to give clear and resounding support to the Adderbury Neighbourhood Plan.

The Plan will not prevent all development in Adderbury but it will strengthen the case for development that maintains the quality of Adderbury’s architecture and respects the environment.  The Plan includes a number of areas where development should be refused and we should surely all welcome this?

There does seem to be a movement from a few to reject the Plan for the sole reason that they hope it will prevent development at Milton Road.  This is surely the wrong reason for voting against a Plan that will protect all of the village, resist undesirable development and protect key sites within the village?  It feels like the House of Lords seeking to prevent Brexit despite the will of the people and, more locally, like a re-run of last year’s Parish Poll in in which the village voted decisively to support development of a community facility and sports pitches at Milton Road.  The Referendum is an opportunity to reaffirm that decision but it is much more than that, providing Adderbury with some positive planning guidelines and seeking to protect the village from future blots on the landscape.

If you want to learn more about the Neighbourhood Plan before voting on Thursday, here are two links that might help:

A short statement about the Plan

A link to the Plan on Cherwell District Council web site.

The Referendum asks the following question:

‘Do you want Cherwell District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Adderbury to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’

I hope you will take the time to go to the Polling station and to vote YES.

Before any lawyers start sharpening their quill pens and framing legal actions, I should state that my blog is written solely as an individual parishioner and does not seek to represent the views of any Adderbury body or institution.

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Channel Four the Propaganda Channel

We generally watch the BBC national news at 6:00 pm and the Oxford news at 6:30 pm.  Increasingly politically correct, I fear and clearly pro-EU and anti-Brexit but, otherwise, fairly reliable for balance and objectivity.

The same cannot be said of Channel Four which follows.  I am afraid, this is the only alternative to the dreadful One Show which seems to feature badly dressed and, often, badly spoken nonentities from the worlds of drama, music and sport.  However, I would challenge Channel Four’s designation as a news programme.  It is not.  It is left-wing political propaganda where the questions are fed to mainly left-wingers to elicit the pro-Corby answer Channel Four wants people to hear.  We have had the Windrush issue for three nights running now as if nothing else had happened in the world.

It is time Channel Four News was re-classified as a party political broadcast for the Labour Party because that is all it is.  At least we would be limited to a maximum of 4 minutes 40 seconds!

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Two views on Facebook

My first view on Facebook is that of a good friend who lives in Bloxham:

Facebook for seniors.  To others of my generation who still do not and cannot comprehend why Facebook even exists, maybe try the following, as I am doing.  Here’s what I am doing to gain better understanding.   I am trying to make new friends without using Facebook but while applying the same principles.  Every day, I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom.  I give them pictures of my family, my dead dog and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage or fixing things, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.  I also listen to their conversations, then give them the “Thumbs Up” and tell them I like them and it works!  I already have four people following me: Two police officers, a private investigator and a psychiatrist!

My second view on Facebook is my own experience:

I opened a Facebook account because it seemed the thing to do and provided the usual personal details.  After that, I logged on from time to time but never felt comfortable with the Facebook format.  I suspect I am slightly on the autistic spectrum.  I am very organised and highly structured in how I work and look at things.  I like everything in its place and tidy.  Facebook was always the reverse to me.  Highly unstructured and very untidy so I never really took to it.  It was also like LinkedIn where one is constantly badgered to join people’s networks.  I soon deleted LinkedIn because it simply became a total nuisance and I soon realised that many of the people asking me to join their LinkedIn network had absolutely no idea that LinkedIn had asked me to do this on their behalf.

More recently and after the Facebook scandal had surfaced I started to receive huge numbers of requests to be friends on Facebook from people I had never met.  I therefore decided to delete my Facebook account but even this proved quite difficult.  However, perseverance won through and I think I am now completely out of it and have no regrets.

 

 

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Beyond belief

Forgive me if I have got this wrong and relied too heavily on media reporting but it seems a 78-year old pensioner, Richard Osborn-Brooks, found his home invaded by two thugs both more than half his age and, I would guess, twice his strength who were burglars.  One of them had apparently armed himself with a screwdriver and forced the 78-year old at screwdriver point to the kitchen while the other thug went upstairs in search of loot.

Much to the surprise of the armed thug, I would suspect, Richard Osborn-Brooks took on the villain and apparently disarmed him.  In whatever struggle took place, it seems the armed thug received a wound to the upper body which subsequently proved fatal.  The second thug, a true mate of the armed one, fled the scene.

On arrival at the scene of an attempted armed robbery, the police apparently arrested Richard Osborn-Brooks upon suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and subsequently changed the potential charge to murder.

In my view, Mr Richard Osborn-Brooks deserves a medal and not arrest.  He found two thugs in his own home, uninvited and apparently intending burglary.  One of them was armed with a lethal weapon.  Mr Osborn-Brooks at the age of 78 took on the armed robber and in the course of a struggle, the robber suffered a fatal wound.  In my view he got precisely what he deserved and risked when he decided to enter a private home with apparent intent to steal and to threaten.

Mr Osborn-Brooks has suffered five traumatic incidents in rapid succession:

  • finding his home invaded by burglars, one of them armed;
  • being manhandled by the armed robber and forced to go to his kitchen while the other villain went upstairs and Mrs Osborn-Brooks was apparently also in the house;
  • managing to disarm the armed robber and finding him wounded as a result, one must assume, of Mr Osborn-Brooks attempts to free himself;
  • suffering arrest by the police under suspicion of serious  crimes and
  • being release on bail, surely an indignity too far?

There is something wrong with our police and criminal law if a householder, finding armed robbers in his home, cannot take all reasonable action to frustrate their violent intentions.  The thug with the screwdriver is, in my view, entirely responsible for his own death.  Mr Osborn-Brooks deserves immediate and total freedom and a medal for his public spirited defence of his wife, home and liberty and for his sheer courage in taking on an armed thug half his age.

We have a serious problem in this country where rules have completely superseded common sense.  I have heard police excuses that arrest of Mr Osborn-Brooks was a necessary step in investigating the matter.  Yet again, what we have is police ticking the necessary boxes without a vestige of thought about the reality of this situation and the common sense solution.  It isn’t just the police although I think there are serious questions about the way in which they set their priorities.  The whole of our establishment seems to have become rules-dominated, risk averse and wholly unable to apply a little bit of gut instinct and common sense to a situation.

I hope Mr Osborn-Brooks is soon exonerated, able to enjoy life in his home again and I wait to see him in the next Honours List for bravery and services to criminal  justice.

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A resident’s response to SaveAdderbury

I am happy to post a response from an Adderbury resident to a SaveAdderbury web site comment that the anonymous author of that site refused to publish.

“Oh really.  Everything I wrote is in the public arena and therefore cannot be defamatory.

“Mr Gill was found to have verbally abused the clerk and had to make a public apology. Cost to us £2,800

“Mr Burrows did stand against Mr Mitchell and a few months later stepped back from his ACAG commitments due to ill health. Cost of election poll £2,300

“The parish poll did occur after the TAP survey and the result from a very biased question was for football to move to north Milton Road.   I think that poll should replace your TAP survey results. Parish poll cost £2,600.

“Saveadderbury has never expressed any concern over that use of Residents’ money.   It’s a lot more than the cost of defending the judicial reviews.

“I also said that both factions of the council have not been whiter than white but there is one councillor whose views and opinions are always balanced and fair.  I am sure you agree that he does serve the best pint in Adderbury as I have seen you drinking in there with your colleagues many times.  Are you saying that my view that Chris serves the best beer is defamatory?

“It seems to me that, when presented with facts that you are unable to spin, you do not want to publish them.  I remember once Mr N  Woods said publicly that Saveadderbury was there to tell the truth to the village.  You have proved to me that you are no better than those you criticise.

“At least Mr Mitchell’s blog allows dissenting views to be posted.

“I am copying Mr Mitchell in on this email as I have mentioned him.  I cannot find Mr Shallis’s e-mail address so I would appreciate if Mr Mitchell could pass it on to him for me. I would copy Mr Gill and Mr Burrows but I am sure you will forward this to them for me.”

Dianne Hunter

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West Adderbury saga continues …..

Following my recent blog West is best or west is worst, I have received a request to post a statement alleged to be from the WARA Team. I do not comply with requests that are anonymous. When the WARA Team emerge from behind their cloak of anonymity, I may change my mind but, until then, they must rely on their own web site and I think many residents will have a view on the veracity of its content.

It is disappointing that Save Adderbury continues to pump out a lot of nonsense but the author does not have the courage/decency/integrity to identify themselves.  Many of us believe the author to be Mr Nigel Wood who seems to live at Lester Close although he is not listed on the electoral roll. His willingness to attend parish council meetings, insist on recording them and then apparently penning critical blogs on Save Adderbury is fascinating given he seems to have denied himself the right to stand for election himself or even to vote in a parish election.

The people behind formation of a West Adderbury Residents Association are similarly reluctant to enter the local limelight. Given the designation of “West Adderbury” as “West of the Sor Brook”, it excludes Mr Wood but could well include several residents of Horn Hill Road who happen to be parish councillors. This may explain their shyness? If this is correct and it is only conjecture, it is regrettable that people comprising one third of the parish council may have abrogated any sense of corporate responsibility by criticising the body to which they have been elected. It is unusual for parish councils to have an opposition bench!

If a West Adderbury Residents Association is formed, I would support its formal recognition when I have seen its adopted constitution, a list of its officers and its members. Until then, I find little I can take seriously in their current antics.

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West is best or west is worst?

It seems some villagers are floating the idea of forming a West Adderbury Residents Association. You can see part of a leaflet that is being circulated to selected areas of the village and that suggests West Adderbury has been poorly served by Adderbury Parish Council.

Interestingly, nowhere is there a definition of “West Adderbury”.

Does it include all properties to the west of the main road?  I doubt it!

Does it include the new development next to St Mary’s Road where there is already a flourishing residents association that is tackling some difficult issue?  Residents here might worry that their own issues could be demoted by whatever is worrying the authors of the attached flyer.

Perhaps it really includes Horn Hill Road and Berry Hill Road and not much else?

Will there be a minimum council tax band for admission?  Perhaps F and higher?  Or open to owners of BMWs and Range Rovers and upwards?

It is all conjecture, of course, and the idea may fizzle out like a firework on a damp Guy Fawkes Night!

However, it is worth looking at the composition of Adderbury Parish Council if it has represented the views of West Adderbury residents as badly as is claimed.

In Horn Hill Road, we have four parish councillors, Colin Astley, Penny Clarke, Tony Gill and Sue Jelfs.  Three of them live next door to one another and the fourth just a few doors down the road.  Just a stone’s throw away, we have Ann Lyons in Dog Close, Chris Shallis in the Bell Inn and Sheila August (newly arrived) in Green Farm.  That makes 7 of the 12 parish councillors living on the west side of the Oxford Road.

In the Twyford part of Adderbury  we have Steven Cox and Martin Rye.  Incidentally, I am so sorry to see this part of our village being called “Twyford, Banbury” thanks to the machinations of the post office.  We are one village – Adderbury – and I suspect the name adds quite a few £000s to house prices!

Finally, on the east side of the Oxford  Road, there is Diane Bratt, Rod Head and me.  I think East Adderbury was where the plague houses were located in the middle ages and some seem to imagine nothing has changed!

If we do find ourselves with a West Adderbury Residents Association, I look forward to their publishing their constitution, their elected officers, their membership criteria and their membership list.  When we have all of these in the public domain, I would be supportive of the Parish Council recognising the Association and listening to their views.  However, I am not holding my breath.  We never had any of this information for the Adderbury Conservation Action Group and I rather suspect the same will be true of the West Adderbury Residents Association.  Perhaps they are hoping the next parish council will comprise 12 elected members all from Horn Hill Road and Berry Hill Road?

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