Oxfordshire Residents thanked for COVID caution and encouraged to keep getting tested

People across Oxfordshire are being thanked for their continued willingness to abide by the national roadmap rules that have allowed a gradual easing of restrictions during March and early April.

This is reflected in the number of new cases in Oxfordshire, which although showing slight variations over the past fortnight, has now dropped to 33.1 per 100,000 of the population.

Alongside following the rules and the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing forms an essential part of the government’s roadmap plan. From 9 April, everyone in England will be able to access free, rapid lateral flow device (LFD) tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week. This paves the way for businesses and society reopening.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “We’ve reached a new stage of navigating our way out of lockdown by being cautious and careful to keep the virus under control. However, the rules are only as good as people abiding by them. In the large majority of cases, that has happened, and we thank people for their efforts.

“Schools are now open, people are able to meet outdoors and on 12 April non-essential retail, beer gardens and libraries are to open. That’s real progress which has been achieved by individuals, families and friends taking responsibility for their own actions. You only need to think back to December and January to understand how much effort we’ve put in to getting this far.

“We would ask everyone to continue to take great care and abide by the rules as they change. The virus is still circulating and still presents a danger. We’ve all seen what happens when the virus is given opportunities – we had the rise in cases last autumn followed by the even larger rises in the winter. With more and more people being vaccinated we are consolidating our position against the virus every day – but it is a gradual process, not an overnight event.

“Alongside following the rules and the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions as it will help us quickly suppress the spread of variants. I would encourage everyone to get tested on a regular basis, even if you’ve had the vaccine.”

One in three people with COVID-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus without knowing. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately and help stop the spread.

The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

  • Workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
  • Secondary school and college testing on-site or through home test kits provided
  • Community testing at symptom-free sites
  • Collection of home test kits from any local testing site (symptom (PCR) sites and symptom-free sites)
  • A home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home.

A new ‘pharmacy collect’ service is also launching, which will provide an additional route to regular testing. Testing through all these routes is free.

For further information about the options available, visit NHS.UK/get-tested.

If testing at home, individuals need to register their results online or by calling 119.

Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate immediately and book asecond PCR test. A self-isolation information pack is available to provide advice and support.

If you test negative, you must continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wear a mask in public and regularly wash your hands.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should book a test online or by calling 119.

What are the rule changes on 12 April?

  • More businesses will open, but indoor settings should be visited alone, or with household groups. Outside, six people or two households can meet.
  • All shops will be allowed to open
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services can open
  • Restaurants and pubs will be allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
  • Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
  • Funerals can be attended by up to 30 people.
  • Children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity
  • Care home visitors will increase to two per resident.

A44-Closure / No-Waiting Notice – April

Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Temporary Road Closure and “No Waiting” restriction at Enstone, A44 Oxford Road

In the interests of public safety, it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close the road and impose a ‘No Waiting’ restriction as detailed above to facilitate carriageway surface dressing works.

A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 26 April 2021.

The anticipated completion date is 28 April 2021, times of the closure are 05:00 to 07:30, 09:30 to 15:30 and 18:00 to 20:00

A Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and restriction and will operate on the days shown above.

Please note that Notices for urgent works can last up to 5 consecutive days only.

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works and liaison with the works supervisor.

For a copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and restriction and also the alternative route for traffic click here – Road No-Waiting Notice, Enstone, A44.

Use of Recycling Centres over Easter

Residents urged to avoid recycling centres over busy Easter period

  • Temporary traffic management being brought in for four sites
  • Centres could close early if queues affect nearby roads
  • Late-night Thursday opening coming in from 1 April

Read the story on the Oxfordshire County Council website here or below:

Residents are being urged not to use Oxfordshire’s household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) over the traditionally busy Easter holiday period if they can avoid doing so.

Alkerton, near Banbury will not have any additional measures nor will, Oakley Wood, near Wallingford; Dix Pit, and Stanton Harcourt, because these sites either have long lead-in roads which can sustain queueing and/or are not immediately adjacent to a main highway. However, all of these sites are still expected to be busy and may still close for short periods or early to allow the queues and sites to clear.

From Friday, 26 March, traffic control measures will be introduced at four of the county’s seven HWRCs for a three-week period, and centres will be closed early or for short periods in the day if queues start affecting surrounding roads. Late-night opening on Thursdays is also being reintroduced from 1 April, with centres staying open until 8pm to help the situation.

The HWRCs have been open for essential journeys only during lockdown but are operating at 50 per cent car parking capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing.

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Easter is traditionally a busy time for our household waste and recycling centres, but this year we are asking people to defer their visits until after Easter if they possibly can. If you are certain your visit is absolutely essential then you must be aware that you run the risk of facing long queues and the possibility that the centre might be closed early if these queues start to affect nearby highways.”

The traffic control measures are being brought in at the following sites and dates:

Drayton, near Abingdon: There will be no right turn into the site other than for golf club members. Traffic will then be directed and stacked through the Drayton Golf Club car park. Marshalls will be on hand to offer guidance.

These restrictions will operate on the following dates (inclusive):

  • Friday 26 March to Monday 29 March
  • Friday 2 April to Monday 5 April
  • Friday 9 April to Monday 12 April

The site will operate normally Tuesday to Thursday, and at present it is intended to return to normal from 13 April.

Redbridge, Oxford: There will be no direct public access to the site off Old Abingdon Road. Traffic will be directed through the park-and-ride, following the road around the edge of the site and then being held and controlled at the exit which will be single file for the site (right-hand lane will be right turn only for the park-and-ride vehicles). Marshalls will be on hand at the exit of the park-and-ride and on Old Abingdon Road to offer guidance and direction.

These restrictions will operate on the following dates (inclusive):

  • Friday 26 March to Monday 29 March
  • Friday 2 April to Monday 5 April
  • Friday 9 April to Sunday 11 April

The site will operate normally Tuesday to Thursday, and at present it is intended to return to normal from Monday, 12 April, when access to the park-and-ride will not be possible.

Stanford in the Vale, near Faringdon, and Ardley, near Bicester: Restrictions will be in place preventing vehicles turning right into the site. It is intended the signs and restrictions will be in place from Friday, 26 March, until at least 12 April. Residents need to take this into account and only enter both sites from the right-hand carriageway turning left into the site.

Although these are temporary measures, the main message remains that people should only visit the HWRCs for essential journeys and should defer visits until after Easter if they can.

People who judge their journeys to be essential are urged to be patient and considerate to the HWRC staff and other users. Abuse of our site teams or marshalls will not be tolerated and may lead to refusal of entry and even banning orders. Please wear a mask on site if possible, keep your distance and, most importantly, stay safe.

Late night opening until 8pm on Thursdays are traditionally quieter periods and good way to avoid some of the queues. During the week, 8.30am until 10am and 12 noon – 1pm can also be quieter periods, although this cannot be guaranteed.

Householders are urged to maximise their kerbside collections rather than visit HWRCs. Residents can place additional recycling securely at the side of their bins, small electrical items – up to the size of a toaster – can also be put out separately with recycling collections.

HWRC users are asked to note the current site rules to ensure social distancing. These include:

  • One person allowed out the vehicle (two people if you have a heavy item).
  • We will only accept contactless payments for chargeable waste.
  • Site team members are currently not available to offer assistance, if you need assistance with items please bring someone else with you.

More information can be found here: Oxfordshire County Council’s FAQS: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wastereopenquestions

Charlbury Medical Centre – vaccinations at Carterton

The Practice is awaiting confirmation of delivery of vaccine for the planned clinics at Carterton in the next couple of weeks.  When they know the schedule they will try contacting you by phone twice, and if they do not get through, they will write to you. As you know, everyone will be contacted, so please do not phone in.
For the moment we understand the clinics will be as follows, but again, we are awaiting confirmation and will let you know as soon as possible:

  • Saturday 3rd April for over 85’s who had first immunisation on 16/1/21 , for second immunisation at Carterton Health Centre with Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
  • Tuesday 6th April for over 80’s and remaining over 85’s who had first immunisation on 19/1/21, for second immunisation at Carterton Health Centre with Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
  • You will need your vaccination card and a further form to be filled in, available from outside CMC or by printing it off.

    If you need help with transport to Carterton please contact ATIC as before.

    A plea to all patients to avoid phoning at 8 am unless you really need to have a consultation that day.

    Please phone at other times during the day for future appointments, medication issues or test results. This will avoid the situation on Monday when hard pressed staff had to deal with over 120 backed up calls when the system was down because of the power cuts, and the back up system also failed.

    Thank you for your understanding. 

Local Council Elections 6th May

Notice of Election – District and County Councils

Click on this link for wards and application information

Registering to Vote

Anyone who wishes to vote must be registered on the electoral register. The deadline for those who are not registered to make an application is Monday 19 April. For more information and to register see: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Postal voting

For anyone interested in voting by post this year they just need to make sure they apply before 20 April 2021. They can request a postal vote application form by visiting www.westoxon.gov.uk/register-to-vote
We would encourage people to sign up to do this sooner rather than later.

Proxy voting

If a resident is unable to make it to the polling station, then they can nominate someone to be their proxy and cast their vote for them. The proxy needs to be a registered voter and able to attend the voter’s own polling station. Applications for proxy voting need to be sent to the District Council by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 27 April.

More information around the local elections for 2021 can be found at our website: www.westoxon.gov.uk/current-and-future-elections/

Police Alert – Suspicious Activity

Thames Valley Police Alert

From PCSO Moulding,

We have recently been made aware from concerned residents and other social media postings, that a number of properties in the Wychwoods area have seemingly been marked.

The properties have been marked with differing coloured elastic bands, either around the gatepost or wheelie bins.
It is believed the properties have been marked due to there being pedigree dogs at the locations.

Clearly this is of concern to all dog owners, and we ask that that you all remain vigilant and where possible to report this either online via the TVP website or on the 101 number.

General advice is to change your routine, go out walking at differing times, where appropriate make sure your dog is on a short lead.
We would further advise that if your dog stays in the house, then move its location to a harder to reach area and less visible to the outside.

Lastly, do not post anything on social media with respect to your dog, or any potential litters.

Thank you

Darryn Moulding (Police, PCSO, West Oxfordshire LPA)