Woodstock & Bladon News

A pile of refuse sacks against a hedge with fly tipping notices attached

Residents will be able to report fly-tips more easily thanks to an improved service from West Oxfordshire District Council.

A new online form will allow the user to pinpoint the fly-tip on an interactive map so they don’t have to spend time trying to describe the location or looking up a postcode.

That makes it is easier for the Council team to locate and with previously reported cases visible, it also means less duplication, allowing a quicker investigation and clean-up.

If a resident calls for more information about their report, the customer services team can give more detailed case information on the spot.

Cllr Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Fly-tipping is a crime as well as blight on the environment which we take very seriously.

“This system will help us not only clean up fly-tips but track down offenders and ensure they are fined accordingly.”

To report a fly-tip see: https://community.westoxon.gov.uk/s/fly-tip

Press Release

A large orange pumpkin sits inside a steel wheelbarrow on a gravel path

Residents are being urged not to let their Halloween pumpkins go to waste.

Once the celebrations are over, pumpkins can be cut up and placed them in the food waste bin to be picked up as part of the usual weekly collection.

If the bin is full, leave whole pumpkins beside it and we will take them.

Cllr Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member for the Environment at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “For me one of the scariest parts of Halloween is the thought of all those pumpkins going to waste.

“There are lots of recipes for pumpkin and anything you don’t use can go into the food waste to make organic compost for next year’s crop.”

Last year, with the help of residents, the District Council collected more than 4,000 tonnes of food waste in West Oxfordshire which was taken to the processing plant near Cassington to be recycled into electricity and organic fertiliser.

Cllr MacRae added: “It’s not just your pumpkins that can be recycled either. Any other food leftovers, cooked or raw, can go in your food waste bin.”

If pumpkins are still edible, they can be used for cooking – see the Love Food, Hate Waste website for recipe ideas:

https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/article/save-your-halloween-pumpkins-bin#page-header

For more information about waste and recycling in West Oxfordshire, or to order a free food waste bin and kitchen caddy, see www.westoxon.gov.uk/bins or call 01993 861000.

Press Release

An illustration urging residents to be vigilant and remember to thoroughly wash their hands.

Residents are being advised to be extra vigilant, particularly over half-term, as cases of coronavirus continue to spread across the county.

Evidence shows that, in the past two weeks, the virus has spread to a much wider age range across the county and is no longer confined to younger people. Hospital admissions have begun to increase as a result.

Oxfordshire is currently at the ‘medium’ or tier 1 level in the COVID-19 alert system. This is the national three-tier system, which classifies areas as medium, high or very high based on their numbers of infection and overall risk level.

Discussions have taken place this week with central Government about whether Oxfordshire should move to the ‘high’ alert level, given concerns over the spread of the virus to age groups beyond people in their teens and 20s to potentially more vulnerable groups.

The decision has been taken not to move the county to a high alert level at this stage. However, the situation is being monitored extremely closely and Council Leaders and Oxfordshire’s Director of Public Health are pushing for a move to happen as soon as possible.

Moving to a high alert level would mean that residents could not socialise with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

Leader of Oxfordshire County Council Ian Hudspeth said: “In light of the escalating situation across the county, we are pushing hard for Oxfordshire to be moved to a high alert level. This would be a preventative measure to stem the spread of the virus and protect the county’s most vulnerable residents.

“We must do everything we can to keep residents across the county safe. We know that the majority of transmissions occur when different households mix, so increasing our alert level to high, which prevents households from mixing socially in indoor settings, is one of the best ways we can help our residents at this critical time.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health Ansaf Azhar said: “With half-term approaching, as well as events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali coming up, we all need to do everything we can to keep safe and stop the spread.

“I know that the temptation for families over half-term will be to meet up and socialise. But with the virus spreading rapidly across the county, we need people to act responsibly.

“If you’re planning to meet up with friends and family, think about arrangements in advance – meet outdoors if you can, but if you’re meeting indoors, make sure you keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, and wear a face covering.

“It’s up to all of us to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.”

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