East Hanney Parish Council

Serving the people of East Hanney

Clerk: Guy Langton
12 Brookside, East Hanney
Wantage, Oxfordshire OX12 OJL

Tel: 01235 867403

East Hanney Parish Council provides your local services. We strive to make East Hanney a better place to live, to work and visit. Our website includes a wealth of information about how we conduct business and what we do. Use the search or browse the site to find whatever you are looking for. If you can't find the information you require then please contact us.

Latest News

Vale Cabinet set to consider options to address parking deficit

Posted: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 07:31 by Guy Langton

Released on 30 July 2020

Cabinet members at Vale of White Horse District Council will next week consider a range of options which could help the council to address the significant annual deficit facing its car parks.

The car parks, in Abingdon, Faringdon and Wantage, collectively cost more than £700,000 a year to run. Once the income from parking fees has been taken into account, there is an average shortfall of over £300,000 a year, which is currently subsidised annually by residents' council tax. More »

In the last nine years the net cost of parking in the district was approximately £2.2 million, which has been financed through council funds, including residents' council tax. A central government grant, based mainly on new homes being built in the district, was first received in 2011 and this has been used, in part, to offset some of the burden on taxpayers. However, this grant is currently being phased out and will not be available to help subsidise the cost of parking from 2023/24.

As part of a review into the council's overall parking policy, officers have put forward a number of options they believe could improve the financial management of its car parks, along with other proposals to make the service more efficient to run and to serve the district as a whole better.

Cabinet will look at these recommendations in detail at its meeting on Friday 7 August. Depending on the decision taken, there may be a public consultation in the Autumn to give people the opportunity to have their say on any proposals that Cabinet take forward.

Councillor Emily Smith, Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, said:

"One of our top priorities is to get the Council's finances back in shape. That makes it hard for us to keep subsidising car parks when COVID-19 has already added to the financial pressure we are under. However, we also know this is a difficult time for many local businesses and residents, so we want to hear their views on the best way to achieve this before we put a firm proposal forward."

"We will take a very honest look at what each option might mean for the council and our district, particularly any potential impact on residents and businesses, before making any decisions. Any options we agree to take forward will require formal consultation, but we would welcome any initial thoughts on all the proposals set out in the paper ahead of 7 August. The paper is available on our website now and you can drop us a line with any thoughts you have to haveyoursay@southandvale.gov.uk."

"Some of the proposals Cabinet will be considering will also help us in meeting our future aspirations for the district. We are currently in the process of developing our new corporate plan, which will set out what we want to achieve for the district over the next four years. While that's in development, we're taking every opportunity to include measures where we can that will contribute to these aspirations – for example, the review of our parking policies was an opportunity for us to include electric vehicle incentives and provide us with the flexibility to actively support zero-emission vehicles. If approved, these changes will support our priorities to address the climate emergency and improve air quality."

"You can still also have your say on our draft corporate plan via our online survey."

Click here to read the full Car Park Fees and Charges Report that Cabinet will consider , including the options that officers have put forward – if you have any feedback please email your thoughts to haveyoursay@southandvale.gov.uk.

CommunicationsSouth Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils01235 422400www.southoxon.gov.uk | @southoxonwww.whitehorsedc.gov.uk | @whitehorsedc » Less

Possible new future for Old Abbey House

Possible new future for Old Abbey House

Posted: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 07:06 by Guy Langton

Released 31 July 2020

Vale of White Horse District Council is looking to work with the Abingdon community to seek a viable future for Old Abbey House.

The district council no longer needs the house in Abbey Close and is looking for a new owner. The council will test the property market to see if there are likely to be any potential buyers and, in parallel, is in discussion with local group Friends of Abingdon Civic Society to see if there are any suitable community uses that could give the building a new lease of life. More »

Over the past few years, the district council has been working with various partners to see if there are ways it can put the building back into full use itself without the need to sell it but it has not been able to find a viable option.

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Cabinet member for development and regeneration, said, "We'd really like Old Abbey House to retain some kind of community use, or to find a use that the people of Abingdon are comfortable with, and so we're hoping to work with Friends of Abingdon and other local people to see if there's anything that can be done. We acknowledge getting the building back up and running is overdue, and we're all hands to the pumps to try and get things moving. It might be that we ultimately have to sell it to get the best value we can for council tax payers."

Hester Hand, of the Friends of Abingdon, said, "Old Abbey House has belonged to Abingdon for almost a hundred years. It's a very fine and much-loved historic building in a wonderful location. It has superb potential to be a community hub, serving a wide range of needs in a post-Covid world. There is no doubt that bringing the building back into use now represents a major challenge. It will need energy, enthusiasm, ideas and resources. We are hopeful that these can be found within our community, and we encourage anyone who thinks they might be able to help to get in touch."

Cllr Helen Pighills, local district councillor, said, "We are as keen as our residents to try and find a good way forward for Old Abbey House – if anybody has any viable ideas we might not have thought of, then please do get in touch with the district council."

The building, which is not listed, was originally built around 1780 by local businessman James Smallbone. Later into the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was home to Edwin Trendell, an ex-Mayor of the town, and afterwards owned by The Rt Revd James Randall, Bishop of Reading. In 1923, it was bought and used by Abingdon Borough Council and was home to Citizens Advice for many years before being vacated in 2014. » Less

District council update – Wednesday 22 July - the New Corporate Plan

Posted: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 09:07 by Guy Langton

We want to know what people think we, as district councils, should focus on over the coming years.

District councillors in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are putting together plans for the future of their respective districts and they want everyone living and working here to have their say.

Maybe we should be working with other organisations to help local businesses get back on their feet after lockdown? Helping people live healthier lives? Tackling the climate emergency? Or all three and more? More »

It's important that we hear from as many people as possible, so please do provide your comments - to have your say visit South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse websites - these will run until Thursday 13 August.

We hope to publish and adopt our final Corporate Plans for both councils in the Autumn.

Public speaking at committee meetings

Members of the public are now able to take part in our virtual committee meetings, including the Planning Committee.

The first meetings to include public speaking will be

For Planning Committees those who have made representations on planning applications must register to address the committee by midday on the last working day before the meeting. For other committees, you must register by 5pm on the last working day before the meeting.

If you register to take part in a meeting, our Democratic Services team will then provide you with further information, including the joining instructions.

We're advising everyone who does register to speak to also submit a written statement by midday on the day before the meeting to ensure their contribution can be included should they experience technical difficulties.

New powers for councils to help contain Covid-19 locally

You will no doubt be aware of the government's announcement on 18 July on new regulations and a framework to help contain a local outbreak of Covid-19. The framework includes an outline of additional powers for local authorities to help protect residents and businesses against the spread of the virus. These powers will sit with officers of the upper-tier authority, which in our case is Oxfordshire County Council.

We are working jointly with the county council and other Oxfordshire authorities and partners on the plans to introduce any measures that are needed in our districts to help to handle a local outbreak should it occur and our staff would form part of a wider county wide effort should there be a need for a larger, combined response under the direction of the Director of Public Health.

You can find out more information on the new powers in the government's local guide here.

Leisure Centres and open swimming pools/splash pad areas

There has understandably been some disappointment around our announcement that our outdoor pools and splash pads will not be opening across the districts this year. It was a very difficult decision to make given how popular these facilities are, and perhaps more so this year with the lock down and travel restrictions, but it simply wasn't going to be possible to open them and protect residents at the same time.

We therefore wanted to share the reasons behind GLL's decision, which we agreed with:

  • Opening the splash pads and pools would require implementing a Track and Trace System. This is not possible on the splash pads as they are unmanned so anyone developing Covid-19 symptoms could not inform others they may have been in contact with on the day.
  • As the splash pads are unmanned, we'd also be unable to control the numbers of people using them and therefore would not be able to ensure social distancing was observed.
  • It would not be possible to clean the facilities regularly enough to comply with the guidelines to keep the area Covid-safe. There's also the added risk that the cleaning products required to tackle the virus, which contain substances like bleach, would end up washed into the river, causing significant harm to the environment and wildlife.
  • The water used in the splash pad isn't chemically treated and therefore heightens the safety risk.
  • The nature of the facilities means water can end up in and out of people's mouths, which heightens the risks around spreading the virus.
  • The pool would need to be limited to lane swimming only and not for family/fun activities.
  • The pool would be limited to how many people can use it at any one time. Only 16 swimmers could use it each hour compared to 80 normally.
  • It takes between two and four weeks to get an outdoor pool ready in a normal season, which runs until early September. With the additional requirements to comply with the government's Covid-19 guidance there would be very little of the season left to justify operating.

Greater support to help people live independently

We have made it easier for people with disabilities, or who are vulnerable, to receive housing assistance grants and loans. This support is to help make their homes safer and more comfortable, to support them to live independently and to reduce hospital admissions.

While we've always provided a grants and loans service for vulnerable people to help their homes better suit their needs, our new Housing Assistance Grants and Loans policy has extended what's on offer.

The maximum grant available has increased from £30,000 to £50,000 and a grant is also now available for people living with dementia. In addition, we are working to improve the service in order to reduce the waiting times for work to be carried out.

The first step for anybody who wants to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant is to contact an Occupational Therapist to see if they're eligible. For more information on applying for grants and loans please see our South and Vale dedicated website page.

South Oxfordshire Local Plan examination update

More than 800 people logged on to watch the first week of the public examination of the emerging South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2034, with over 150 people subscribing to watch the sessions regularly.

The matters discussed in week one included: Housing requirement, Housing trajectory and housing supply, Housing for everyone, and Design and Density.

Week two has so far focussed on Spatial Strategy and the Green Belt. The rest of the agenda for this week is:

  • Thursday 23 July
    • 10am - Matter 7: Infrastructure (strategic);
    • 2pm - Matter 8: Climate change mitigation.

  • Friday 24 July
    • Matter 9: Employment development; Inspector's announcements

You can view the live feed online by visiting the examination hearing's YouTube page.

For further information please visit – southoxon.gov.uk/examination.

Latest update on Civil Parking Enforcement

We have been involved in ongoing discussions on Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) in Oxfordshire –where local authorities take over control of on-street parking enforcement, a responsibility that currently lies with Thames Valley Police in our areas.

A working group of Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and Cherwell district councils agreed to jointly investigate the feasibility of this for our districts.

A feasibility study was carried out by experts in this matter - RTA Associates and the county council is currently seeking views from the Department of Transport before considering any detailed programme for introducing CPE locally.

The county council and each of the districts would then need Cabinet approval to make an application to the government based on the recommendations of the final report. The councils are all aiming to seek the relevant approvals by October 2020.

Assuming all the authorities approve the proposals, CPE could be brought into effect in our area as early as November 2021.

In the meantime, and until CPE is implemented, any on-street enforcement like parking on double yellow lines is the responsibility of Thames Valley Police and should be reported by calling 101.

Reading Transport Strategy 2036

Reading Borough Council is seeking people's views on its draft Transport Strategy 2036. Their consultation is open until 30 August.

CommunicationsSouth Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils01235 422400www.southoxon.gov.uk | @southoxonwww.whitehorsedc.gov.uk | @whitehorsedc » Less