Botley and North Hinksey parish councillor Lorna Berrett won the ‘Councillor of the Year’ award at an event at the House of Lords on Wednesday. The ‘Star Council’ awards that recognise local (parish and town) councils’ contributions to their communities across England. The long-running awards are made by the National Association of Local Councillors (NALC) and celebrate local councils, councillors and clerks’ positive impact on their communities.
Lorna Berrett has been a councillor in Botley for eight years. Before that she was a leader of the successful community campaign that prevented the demolition of Botley’s Elms Parade shops and local housing and helped set up the community’s first local website.
As a councillor and now as Chair of the parish council she has worked on hard on projects including new bus shelters, new play equipment, and public art in the West Way centre. She played a leading role during the COVID-19 pandemic, setting up the ‘Botley Responders’ network of volunteers who supported vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods during lockdown. Three years later, the Botley Responders are still going strong with Lorna’s involvement.
For several months before the recent election, she encouraged residents to stand as a councillor. There were 26 candidates for the 14 places on the parish council – Lorna received the largest number of votes.
In Lorna’s capacity as Chair of the Council she is currently organising the annual ‘All in One Room’ event on December 10th, which brings together around 100 local volunteers form all the different community groups in the parish.
Cllr Berrett thanked her fellow councillors and parishioners and NALC for this award and for the recognition of all the hard work that councillors voluntarily do to support their community.
She added “I really enjoy being a Councillor and I try to build on all the amazing work by volunteers and workers across our community. As the first level of government Parish Councils may be small but by working together with the community they can make a bigger impact than many expect focusing on local facilities and ensuring that whatever funds are available used for initiatives that matter to people on the ground.”
All local volunteers are invited to the WI Hall at 4:30pm on Sunday 10th December for mince pies and mulled wine or soft drinks as a thank you for all your community work this year.
We ran this event for the first time in December 2022 with around 100 volunteers attending, from baby and youth groups to pensioners lunch clubs, from sports groups to food banks, and groups supporting our local natural habitat. As well as a recognition of all their various contributions to the community, the event was also a time to pause, connect, meet and to share and discuss common issues and ideas.
We look forward to welcoming even more volunteers to this event this year. Please do come along to the WI Hall, North Hinksey Lane at 4:30pm on Saturday 10th December. RSVP: email@example.com
The annual Remembrance Service at the Commonwealth War Graves, Sunday 12th November and event on 11th November.
The annual Remembrance Service at the Commonwealth War Graves, North Hinksey Lane, will take place on Sunday 12th November from 10:45am to 11:45am. Gates will open at 10:30am.
All members of the Parish are warmly invited to attend. The service will see participation by members of the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces, the Commonwealth, and representatives from other countries whose Service personnel are laid to rest in the Cemetery. Involvement from the Parish includes Scouts, Guides and pupils from Matthew Arnold School alongside local voluntary and community organizations, dignitaries and religious leaders. Following the service there will be tea and cakes served by Botley Women’s Institute in the WI Hall across the road.
If you are attending by car and have a registered disabled badge or are escorting someone with a disability please contact the Clerk to request a parking permit for the cemetery. Other attendees may park in the Minns trading estate and walk across.
In addition to this service, at 11am on Saturday 11th November, a 2 minute’s silence will be observed and a bugler will play the Last Post in the centre of Botley. This will take place in the West Way shopping centre near to the Library and Tesco. All welcome.
Botley and North Hinksey Parish Council are calling for a proper bus shelter on Botley Road where all West Oxfordshire buses now start during the now 18 month closure of the road due to the Oxford railway station works. At the Full Council meeting on Thursday the 19th, the council voted unanimously to push all the relevant organisations including local councils and the bus companies to install a bus shelter for passengers taking the park and ride and other services to Botley.
Councillor Chris Church who proposed the vote said “it is simply not acceptable for people waiting to take these buses to have to stand in the rain all through the coming winter months. We know that there has been talk about an extra shelter – it is time to turn that talk into action. The cost will be a tiny fraction of the whole redevelopment, and we now need the political push to overcome any funding or bureaucratic obstacles. We call on everyone involved to make this happen in the next few weeks.”
We are pleased to introduce new staff joining B&NHPC and wish to thank our Locum Clerk.
Thank you to Julie Flenley, Locum Clerk who has been working with us since April covering for Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) while we recruited for these roles. Julie has seen us through the election and change of council, and her experience has been invaluable in supporting the work of the Council. Thank you Julie.
We are very pleased to announce that we have a new full team of staff who have joined us between July and September.
The photo shows Julie on the left, Emma in the centre, and Alice on the right.
Emma Gordon joined in July as our new Clerk. Emma can be contacted on 07494 054581 or 01865 861992 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office hours to meet parishioners are:
Monday 10am – 12pm (by appointment)
Wednesday 10am – 12pm (by appointment)
Thursday 10am – 12pm (drop in)
Friday 10am – 12pm (drop in)
Alice Handscomb Retallack joined on 1st September as Responsible Finance Officer (RFO). Alice is mostly home-based but you may find her in the office with Emma some days.
Jon Ramsay joined in July as Groundsperson responsible for the Louie Memorial Fields. Jon will be marking lines, checking the play equipment and picking up litter around the Louie Memorial playing fields early on Fridays and Saturday and dropping by mid week to keep the playing fields safe and tidy.
From the morning of Wednesday 26th July for several days the bridleway running from Lime Road behind the Upper Louie Memorial Playing Field will be closed whilst repair works are being carried out by a County Council contractor. It is hoped that the works will be completed by the weekend but they could possibly continue into the next week. Access to the Playing Fields via other entrances will not be affected, however, please be aware that some materials will be transported around the outer edge of the Upper Playing Field to the bridleway so please take care if you are walking there during the times that vehicles are present especially if you are walking a dog. The contractors will be utilising banksmen, signage and barriers to ensure public safety throughout the works.
Skatepark plans are open for consultation until 13th May.
The plans to build a skatepark in the Upper Louie Memorial Field have been submitted and are open to consultation until 13th May. You can find all the plans and put in your comments online on the Vale’s planning website on this link.
Some images to show the visualisations and location, use the link above to see all plans, visuals, landscaping and sustainability documents :