To all readers of the Campaign to Save Adderbury

The following is the contents of a leaflet pinned up around Adderbury.  I cannot provide the original but this is a faithful reproduction.

Congratulations to the author for their wit and integrity!

To all readers of the Campaign to Save Adderbury

Having followed this website for the last year or so, I was wondering if there was any interest in my fellow readers getting together to discuss the major issues and hold some workshops.

I would like to suggest that the following items be considered for inclusion:

  • What is the best “tin foil” to use when making hats to prevent Diane Bratt exercising her mind control over us?  Also, what is the best design to use eg is a beanie better than a Peter Pan design?
  • How much help can we give the editor of the web site in proving that the Adderbury Parish Council was complicit in the assassination of JFK and that the moon landings were faked?
  • How to convince most of the village that putting anything as common as Football near Horn Hill Road residents is utter madness?  Think of those poor councillors residents of Horn Hill and how they would suffer.

Please post our views and ideas on http://www.saveadderbury.co.uk to make us all help make Adderbury a better place.

 

 

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Adderbury to win literary recognition?

There is exciting news for at least one individual with literary ambitions in Adderbury.  There are rumours circulating that a certain Adderbury web site is to be listed for the Man Booker Prize.  This is a prestigious international award for outstanding works of fiction.  The winner receives a prize of £50,000 and runners-up receive £2,500 each.

Yes – you guessed it – the potential recipient has to be Save Adderbury for a work of fiction so outrageous and ridiculous as to be quite unbelievable if it were not in print here in North Oxfordshire.  One problem for the author might be his unwillingness to admit who he is but I guess the prospect of a £50,000 prize might persuade him to come from behind his veil of anonymity!

Of course, there could be a further problem because it does seem quite clear that he has several co-authors and he may well have to share the rewards of his prize with several close neighbours on the other side of the village.  If so, you can bet there will be quite a party in Horn Hill Road although the invitation list may be rather selective!

However, there may also be other good news for our Save Adderbury author.  A further rumour says that several scandal mags are keen to offer him a contract.   The Sun, The MirrorDaily Mail and Express are always keen to attract writers able to create scandalous headlines with no connection to reality providing they can increase circulation so our anonymous web site author from Lester Close may well be looking at a profitable future.

Before our lawyer in Berry Hill Road starts sharpening his quill pen, let me make it quite clear that I blog as an individual and not as a member of Adderbury Parish Council.  He is the author of five complaints to Cherwell District Council, one of which ran to 668 pages and must make him an author with the tenacity of JK Rowling whose Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ran to a similar length although I doubt it has quite the literary merit of Rowling or the gripping intensity!

 

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Our Brexit negotiator

I bet some Americans are wishing they were under the British Crown again rather than Twittering Trump!

If our Queen was 20 years younger, I would be pressing for her to manage the Brexit negotiations.  She is wiser and older than any of May’s team and would do a grand job for our country.  However, in her nineties, I think it would be asking too much.

Now, if Corby was threatening to become the Prime Minister, I really would worry.  I do not have a current passport because I am waiting until I can hold a proper blue British passport from her Britannic Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs.  If Corbyn became PM, I would not want to remain in a country doomed to economic failure so it would be apply for a passport at speed and work out where would be closest to what used to be GB or press for a non-constitutional monarchy with HM Queen running the country.  She would be a lot safer pair of hands than the dreaded Marxist Corbyn.

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Oh joy – humour in Adderbury!

I understand the poster below has been pinned in strategic positions round the village.  I am delighted to discover we have a villager with a lovely sense of humour and who is brave enough to face the wrath of a few Horn Hill Road residents and the legal quill of our lawyer in Berry Hill Road.  As the recipient of two judicial reviews and four complaints from this lawyer, I welcome this contribution to village debate.  However, I will not be parking our Smart car in Horn Hill Road – certainly not smart enough for this area!

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Time for a confession …..

I think it is time for a confession.  I did not vote on Thursday and I ought to explain why.  I moved to Nell Bridge House in Adderbury in February 1984 and got involved in Conservative Party activities almost immediately.  Tony Baldry had been elected MP for Banbury in the previous year and served for 32 years.  He became a good friend as well as my MP.  In 2015, I served on the selection committee to find his successor.  We went through several iterations and finally sent four women to the full constituency meeting for final selection.  I thought two of them were eminently qualified to succeed Tony but Victoria Prentis was not one of them.  However, at the final constituency selection meeting, Victoria Prentis won the local vote.  At the selection meeting, I saw a good few people I had never seen before and have not seen since and she was elected as the local candidate.  Her father was Tim Boswell, MP for the neighbouring Daventry Constituency.  He was a lovely man and a good constituency MP.  His daughter is no Tony Baldry and I do not think she is right for the Banbury Constituency so have withdrawn from active involvement in the constituency.   This was my first problem on Thursday and I did not feel willing to place a cross against her name.  I was secure in the knowledge that my absence would make not a scrap of difference to her result.  If I had, I might have held my nose and placed my cross but it was not necessary.

Tussling with my conscience and my loyalty to the Party I have supported for most of my adult life, I thought I might justify voting locally as support for Theresa May, Leader of the Party and Prime Minister charged with getting us speedily out of the European Union.  However, as the campaign progressed and particularly as the manifesto was launched I began to feel we had lost the Conservative principles of Margaret Thatcher.  The social care policy was brave but badly timed and poorly explained.  There was worse.  Threats of higher taxes.  A higher minimum wage.  Retention of much of the restrictive employment laws we have gained from Europe and much else that did not sound like Thatcherite conservatism.  Then came her TV coverage during the campaign and the comparison with Corbyn.  Corbyn’s policies were appalling and would bankrupt GB but he spoke to them with a style and enthusiasm that TM simply could not match.  No wonder he won over young voters with no experience of the real world and welcoming unaffordable promises about tuition fees, NHS funding and school funding.

So there we are.  I gave the polling station a miss on Thursday and am saddened but not altogether surprised at the outcome of the General Election.  I am afraid we got what we deserved and our failure is down to TM and her small team of advisers.  That she remains in Number Ten is a function of the impossibility of replacing her with the start of Brexit looming and a lack of obvious talent that the Party would accept.  So, she remains as a caretaker and let’s hope she makes a good fist of getting us swiftly and cleanly out of the EU.  I do not doubt her competence;  I see her as a technocrat but she is no communicator and she is certainly no Margaret Thatcher as Victoria Prentis is no Tony Baldry.

 

 

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Adderbury says YES

Tonight’s Parish Poll voted YES to including football in any plans for use of the land given to the parish council on the north side of Milton Road.  The non-question posed by opponents to development of the Milton Road land was: Do you support the plans for football pitches and a clubhouse on the land north of Milton Road?  It was never the intention of the parish council to use this site exclusively for football or for a football clubhouse so the question was flawed from the start and deliberately so by those seeking to prevent development of this land.  The voting was:

YES:  479 and NO: 339 so a solid margin for including football in our planning for use of this gifted land.  The turnout was 821 voters or 36% so I say thank you to all who bothered to vote whether it was for YES or NO.

I am afraid this is only the start of the battle.  We have a lawyer in the village who is aggressively pursuing a Judicial Review against the parish council and who is clearly seeking to make life as difficult as he can with intimidating use of legal process for those parish councillors who are only motivated by their desire to improve the village’s facilities.  The parish council is therefore likely to be mired in arguments about our response to this judicial review with the instigating lawyer doing his best to tie our hands.  Given he has published his business on the web, I invite you to meet our local lawyer.  To take a liberty with Percy Bysshe Shelley in his epic poem one might be inclined to think “My name is Nigel Davies, lawyer of lawyers, look on my works and despair” but some of us are made of stronger stuff.  Do your worst Mr Davies, Adderbury voted YES.

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Oxfordshire bucking the trend

Following the news immediately after the local council elections was interesting, in part, to observe the lack of any reference to Oxfordshire.  The headlines were full of “Conservative victory”, “Labour disaster”, “UKIP wipe-out” and “Liberal failure” not to forget Lady Macbeth (AKA Nicola Sturgeon) finding the Scottish Conservatives are now her principal and principled opposition and flying the flag for the Union.  However, there was no Conservative victory in Oxfordshire; in fact, the failure to regain control of the council was, in my view, a signal failure.

I will repeat the statistics I cited in my earlier blog:

=======Cons   Lab    Lib    Grn    Ind

Before          31       15       11        2       4

After             31       14       13       0       5

Change          0        -1      +2      -2     +1

There was no Labour rout in Oxfordshire.  They consolidated their position in Oxford City but it worsened in their other bastion – Banbury.  The Liberals did better in Oxford City  than in the rest of the country, taking 2 Divisions from Conservatives.  Interestingly, the Greens lost both of their Divisions to Labour.  I find this particularly interesting given that one might have expected the Greens to capitalise on the Corbyn factor.  Whether there were  local issues in play, I do not know but would be interested to learn.

I suppose there are three factors behind this bucking of the national trend.  One is Oxford City, the second is Abingdon & West Constituency and the third is Liberal campaigning skills.

When I was recently in Oxford City, I remember meeting an ex-Vice-Chancellor close to tears over the Brexit vote who regarded it as the end of the world for academic funding.  Oxford is full of academics and health professionals who see the public sector as their source of comfortable living.  Before they choke on their lobster thermidor, you need to have attended high table in an Oxford College or a dons’ reception to understand how well the academics live in their cloistered world and their dependence on public funding.  As for senior health professionals, you  need to take a look at their restrictive practices and remuneration processes to understand their dependence on state funding not to mention the continuing financial pressure on the NHS.  Because of the predominance of the public sector in Oxford City, I suppose it is no surprise that Labour did as well as they did.

Banbury was different and I suspect this reflects the majority vote for leave in Cherwell.  Although it was marginal, I would not mind betting that there was a bigger Leave majority in Banbury counter-balanced by Remainers in Kidlington with its closeness to Oxford City.

Turning to Oxford West and Abingdon Parliamentary Constituency, this was always one of the strongest Liberal constituencies in the country so it is little surprise that they managed to tip out Sandy Lovatt who was a past chairman of our weakest constituency in Oxfordshire.

Slightly more surprising was the loss of the Charlbury & Wychwood Division to the Liberals in West Oxfordshire.  Of course, West Oxfordshire showed a strong Remain vote in the referendum while Rodney Rose never hid his wish to Leave and whether this was part of the problem we may never know.  It was certainly a resounding Conservative defeat and I think the voting numbers are instructive:

============ Con       Lib    UKIP      Lab       Grn

2013     votes        1,199      900      461       267      220

2013        %             39%      30%     15%        9%       7%

2017     votes        1,579    2,105                    210       132

2013        %             39%      52%                      5%       3%

These figures are quite telling, I think and a lesson to all local politicians.  While Rodney Rose’s share of the vote remained constant, the Liberal share shot up from 30% to 52% while the turnout soared from 38% in 2013 to 50% in 2017.  I suspect the Liberals targeted this Division, poured in their troops and turned out the vote.  I suspect most of the UKIP votes went to Rodney Rose but he failed to turn out his supporters in anything like the hordes that the Liberals managed.

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