Here we go again …..

I see Adderbury is being threatened with the holding of another Parish Poll.  You may remember the last one, instigated by residents from Horn Hill Road and the surrounding area and which sought to oppose the development of recreation and community facilities at Milton Road but it failed when a majority of villagers voted in support of developing Milton Road.  The cost of holding a Parish Poll falls to the parish which means it comes out of our council tax.  The last one cost all of us £984.80 but cost is clearly not a concern for the instigators who are equally capable of forcing a by-election at a cost of nearly £3,000 when there is a parish council vacancy which could have been filled by co-option and who appear to be less than enthusiastic that the parish council has been able to recover the £6,100 costs in fighting the two failed judicial reviews.

The threatened new parish poll is about traffic calming, a debate which seems to have been started with publication of a totally erroneous statistic claiming a 141% increase in traffic volume on Horn Hill Road.  While there are people who are concerned about traffic speed and volume and across the whole village rather than only the western section, they need to remember that the type of calming measures being promoted by the sponsors of another parish poll will require build-outs, speed bumps, paint on the road and other measures that may prove less than welcome to those living near them.

The parish council environment committee is working hard on the issue of traffic calming across the whole village.  It has been given delegated powers by the parish council to spend the traffic calming budget without the need to refer decisions up to the parish council and this means calming measures can be implemented more quickly.

The threat of another parish poll has been issued by an outfit calling itself WARA (West Adderbury Residents Association).  Here is a link to their web site.  You will see they are pretty anonymous and less than forthcoming about their leading members, their constitution or their manner of conducting business and reaching decisions.

I have to say it comes to something when a dissident minority on a locally elected public body seeks to impose costs on all of us through a parish poll which aims to specify a course of action which a majority on the same locally elected public body has decided against.  So much for democracy!

On the subject of democracy, Adderbury Parish Council will be up for election in May 2020. I see there are 50 electors in Horn Hill Road and twelve places on the parish council. perhaps we shall find ourselves with a new parish council comprised of only residents of Horn Hill Road after 2020!  Now that will be an interesting outturn although not good for representative democracy, I think.



About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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