New Year Greetings

Gordon Rogers, Chairman of the Parish Council writes …

The Parish Council extends greetings for the New Year to all villagers.  2020 was a year of some progress for the council but made stressful by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many traditional village events were cancelled and the council has had to conduct its meetings by Zoom.  Although not an ideal medium, it allows us to continue with business and appears not to be a deterrent to public participation, which included a man from Australia, a former village resident.

New equipment was purchased for the play area at Westfield and our thanks go to Cllr Sally Duff, the main project organiser, who helped secure finance from the FCC Communities Foundation.  The council put in £7,240 and Wittenham Warriors added nearly £500.

Next Spring, we expect to see the start of the Vanderbilt development of thirty-six homes off Fieldside.  Cllr Liz Yuille has been instrumental in obtaining financial help from our County Councillor towards planting trees along a section of Fieldside which will add to the landscape and deter overflow parking from the development.

Another major project which the council continues to progress is the revision of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP).  It is hoped that the archaeological issues on the Community Hub site will be resolved in the early part of next year so that the village will be able to hold a public referendum in the Summer.  The NDP has proved to be a labour of love for Cllr Peter Rose who has been working on the project for nearly five years and to whom the council is deeply indebted.

Speed-deterring measures have been put in along Little Wittenham Road with white gates and signs, and additional signage in Saxons Heath.  Cllr Steve Brown has been the driving force behind the installation of these road safety measures.  The council is backing the call for 20mph limits in all built-up areas across the county.

A project is in its early stages to create a new cycle/pedestrian path linking the village with the Barley Mow car park.  The County Council is supportive but it will be expensive, and the project team, made up of representatives from the village and Clifton Hampden is exploring areas of finance from various sources.

The New Year promises to be no less demanding than 2020 and the council is keen to recruit two more members to make up our full complement of seven councillors.  We encourage people to step forward and help shape the future of Long Wittenham.

The most important message of all in these difficult times is Stay Safe.

Gordon Rogers – gordon.rogers@longwittenham.com

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