Skip directly to content

Cllr Dr.Paul Barrow - Report for Parishes - October 2021

on Sun, 17/10/2021 - 3:27pm


Broadband speeds in most parts of most of the villages are pretty good (generally around 20-30 Mbps) or much better than they used to be but they could be even better and anyone running a business from home or even working from home may like to see this higher. Sparsholt and Westcot also have very good provision, by and large. The problem with most villages arises from the fact that we have optic fibre to the village box but copper wire from there to individual houses. OCC plan to provide full fibre to property (with speeds of <1000 Mbps) by April 2025, starting in April 2022 which should cover all of our parishes. Some of the hard-to-reach properties in the Ridgeway ward have a separate pot of money provided by central government for this purpose but as far as I can see the main villages will not need this. We are in fairly frequent contact with Craig Bower (Digital Infrastructure) at OCC about this and I will provide updates as and when anything occurs of relevance. 


We had the first HOSC (County Health Overview Scrutiny Committee) meeting on Sept 23rd under the new county leadership. I have mentioned before that we remain concerned about the county community health strategy, particularly regarding local community hospitals. The review of health strategy is powering ahead but with no scrutiny at all so far. I sometimes think that we caused Oxford Health so many problems over the roll out of community health in OX12 that they are trying to avoid scrutiny. That’s not a good idea! And I hope I can report a bit more positively next time.

East Challow Neighbourhood Plan

East Challow is in the final stages of developing their neighbourhood plan to manage further development. The first full draft is complete and it will soon enter the public consultation phase. A neighbourhood plan seems to be increasingly important, particularly since in the call for new development sites in May 2021, the parish has 11 sites identified! (in comparison with 9 distributed across the 6 other parishes). Public consultation is intended to begin on November 1st but it might be a little later. The plan will be available on the village website for anyone interested.

Cllr Dr Paul Barrow

[email protected]
District Councillor for Ridgeway Ward