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News – September 2023

Our new Parish Councillors are getting their teeth into Parish issues, a quick summary below:

Community Transport Improvement Grants 2023-24

Deadline 13 October 2023!

This is a grant to help bridge the gap in rural transport,  and may be helpful to address the needs of our non-drivers.  There is very little time to get an application in but I wanted to share in case there is someone that has the time and energy and bright ideas how this can help our Somerton non-drivers. more info here


Aston View – Google Maps  We continue to work towards solving the google issue of traffic being directed along Aston View to get to the Heyford Park businesses, this is not only a problem to Aston View but it is bringing some unnecessary traffic through Somerton.  We have contacted Google numerous times to get this corrected, it seems the lights are on but no-one is home! We have also reached out to Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and Cherwell District Council (CDC).  UPDATE: – 25 Sept. OCC have fitted a new sign that may at least help the traffic find Heyford Park without exploring Aston View.

We still need to fix this on Google, so If there are any techies out there that may be able to help then please do get in touch with Cllr Deborah Critchley who is leading this task.


Parish Councillors met with OCC officers In August, firstly to try to find solutions to the drainage issues in Somerton, especially in Water Street.  There will be an overhaul of the drains in Somerton, hopefully this financial year.  The Parish Council will keep pushing with OCC for this to happen. Please continue to report any issues on Fixmystreet which will keep the pressure on!

Traffic Measures: – Positive news on the Section 106 front as OCC have released some funds for traffic measures in Somerton. £15,697available now and more funding to follow later.  Funds are held with OCC and are released for approved initiatives.  A Somerton Traffic Group is being formed to drive the process forward, Draft plans are in the pipeline with OCC, and we look forward to sharing these with the village in the near future.  If you would like to be involved, please contact Cllr Alison Smith.

Mirror – You may have noticed, the PC recently replaced the mirror at the junction of Water Street and Ardley Road, after the old one was no longer functioning.  Many thanks to Cllr Tony Callow for making this happen and fitting the new Mirror.

Grass Verges  We are looking at producing verge management policy on grass cutting in our village,  we are currently looking at all the evidence and best practice, we will be consulting parishioners about it later in the year and hope to have a policy for next year.  Cllr Deborah Critchley and Cllr Kay Bishop are leading this initiative. Watch this space for more info.

Road resurfacing & repairs:  We continue to push OCC for a new road resurfacing which has been postponed and put back for the last few years, please continue to report any issues on Fixmystreet, the App is really very simple to use.  There is also the option of registering as a Somerton Fixmystreet Superuser, this requires some initial training but would increase the level of priority to reports. Cllr Tony Callow is signing up for this, If you are interested in getting involved please get in touch with Cllr Tony Callow

Clean Road Signs, Chicanes etc.  We have been chasing OCC for a  “works gang” for a general tidy up & repairs in our village.  Funds are tight with OCC and this may prove to be difficult but it has been promised.  Perhaps, if we wish to get some cleaning done this year,  a team of volunteers could be rallied to clean signs and tidy up the chicanes on Heyford Road and Ardley Road.  Many thanks to Cllr Tony Callow for making a start with this on the Heyford Road.  if you would like to help, with our own Somerton “Works Gang” please contact Cllr Tony Callow who will be coordinating a team of volunteers.


The Story So Far SARA [Somerton Allotments & Recreation Association] are in the final stages of securing just over 1 acre of land from Jersey Manor Farm. It is situated between Heyford Road and Aston View. It will also be planted with wildflower grass, spring bulbs, mixed hedging, an orchard and trees to create a bio-diverse area, a place to unwind, a place to relax, but most importantly a place to grow your own produce.

If you would like further information or would like to get involved in any way then please contact Richard Thompson.

Village Website:

The Parish Council are working to keep the Website up to date and relevant.  You can find a local business, check which colour refuse bin to put out, find a link to FixMyStreet, check the latest news and much more.

We aim to keep the calendar up to date with village events so please send anything to Cllr Callow for inserting into the calender if you have any content or suggestions, or indeed have expertise in this area and would like to get involved,  please get it touch via our Clerk, Cathy Fleet,   we’d love to hear from you!

Mid Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan MCNP

– Community Engagement

The Mid Cherwell Neighbourhood plan is currently under review to ensure that it is up to date and continues to reflect the priorities of our parishes.  Existing Policies are being updated and new policies on the environment are being introduced. There will be a community engagement event on the draft revised plan:

Wednesday 22 November Somerton Village Hall


Save the Date!

As well as MCNP’s consultation, Cherwell District Council are consulting on their revised Local Plan. (See item below) -but also shared in a previous Somerton News Email.

Many of its policies work well alongside the Neighbourhood Plan, although there are some controversial ideas for expanding Heyford Park, which the MCNP forum will have to look at in more detail. We therefore urge you to get involved and have your say on both sets of Plans.

Read a more in depth report  on the Neighbourhood plan in the October Valley News Page 7

Neighbourhood Plans were introduced in 2011 with the Localism Act 2011 you can read more about Neighbourhood plans here

Cherwell Local Plan Review 2040

Consultation Draft (Reg 18) – Notification of Public Consultation

The public consultation will commence on Friday 22 September 2023

for a period of 6 weeks. The consultation will close on 3 November 2023.

A fully accessible version of the draft plan is available Here

(see Chapter 7 for the Heyford Park Area Strategy)

Local plans are prepared by the Local Planning Authority (LPA),in our case Cherwell District Council, you can read more about Local plans Here

Play Area

We are currently raising funds to replace and repair equipment that has sadly become unsafe. Without local support we run the risk of losing this wonderful space.  If you would like to join the playground committee or help in anyway please contact

Cllr Bryony Afferson Day  We need funds but we also need a few rolled up sleeves.

If you would like to make a donation please make a payment to:

Somerton Parish Council

Sort: 60 83 01

Account: 20402031

Please reference: “Play Area Fund”

Every little helps!

Remembrance Sunday

The Parish Council will be purchasing the Wreath to lay on remembrance Sunday, If you would like to make a donation to the Royal British legion you can do so here

Cllr Tony Callow is our Poppy coordinator in Somerton, you can buy your poppy from the Village Hall and the Church.  Tony will also be doing the rounds, If you would like to help please get in touch with Tony

If you’re still here, thank you for reading to the end!  For more detail of Somerton Parish Council current issues,  you can view minutes on our website, or come and meet us in person at our next meeting!

Tuesday 28 November 7:30 pm in the Village Hall.

Kind Regards

Alison Smith

Chair Somerton PC

On behalf of the Somerton Parish Council

Alison Smith, Neil Clare, Bryony Afferson Day, Deborah Critchley, Kay Bishop, Tony Callow

PS. For general enquiries to Somerton Parish council please email our Clerk:

Cathy Fleet: e: 07989 398838


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