Your View - Bin plan 'not thought through'. Do shoppers avoid the town centre because of costly parking? Banbury Guardian letters
WASTE. Bin plan a load of rubbish. It was with much regret that I read of Cherwell Distict Council’s decision to start charging for collection of brown bin garden rubbish.
To then go on and read that the brown bins would now only be for garden waste and that it was introducing a (previously apparently not feasible) weekly collection of my household waste food “caddy” was even more disappointing.
It wants to charge for disposal of garden waste which it is easily able to compost and recycle back into use – thus getting two financial bites of the cherry. It then thinks I should be pleased at its offer of a free weekly collection of a bin the size of a petrol can. I am assuming that it is expecting food waste to be kept in the small brown caddy we were all issued with years ago and have probably got lost in many households. A normal size family, two adults and two children would overfill that every week. Could someone advise what to do with excess food waste?
Additionally, what does the council think is going to happen to garden waste? Many people will object to having to pay for a service that they have already paid for via council tax. Garden rubbish will end up in the green bins, or be fly tipped in the fields and hedges around Banbury.
And finally, what is going to happen to all the unused brown bins, cluttering up the streets and other public spaces? It would appear that this really has not been thought through.
Shop woes not unforeseen
In 2018 I had a letter published in the Banbury Guardian predicting that CDC’s purchase of Castle Quay may not be a sound investment. Roseanne Edwards’ article in last week’s Banbury Guardian sums up the present situation very well. Up and down the high streets throughout the UK shops were closing because of online shopping and tenants could no longer service the high rates and rents. Investment companies only part with their assets when they can see such portfolios do not have a sound future and they must have been on cloud nine when CDC stepped in and bought them out for £63 million. Councillors must have had their heads buried in sand to not see the risks they were taking and only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. If they had only stood back and waited they could likely have purchased the Quay for around £30m at today’s estimated value. It would then have been possible to reduce the rents and rates and thereby keep the Quay fully occupied.
Now we are being told that Covid-19 has caused the current problems but this is only a smokescreen. Covid may have influenced shop closures but it is hopefully only a short term blip in our economy providing we all act sensibly! I have not visited the town centre since before lockdown but I hope that the new Castle Quay 2 development does not result in the loss of parking spaces. We are told that parking charges are to be increased so is it any wonder that many shoppers prefer to visit the out of town retail outlets where parking is easy and free? Thankfully we are no longer living under the constraints of the EU and our Covid vaccinations are way ahead of our European neighbours. Our economy should therefore start to recover more quickly but it will be a very long haul before it returns to its former relatively sound state.
SHOPS AND BINS
Who will come to town now?
There are probably many local people who agreed with Cllr Middleton (Banbury Guardian, February 25) regarding the purchase of Castle Quay by Cherwell District Council in 2017. If it was such a profitable scheme, why would Asset Management want to sell their 85 per cent stake in the first place? Now, I understand, our lovely brown garden waste bins are to incur a charge as well as increased car parking fees. Who will be coming to Banbury with no department store, few places to buy good quality underwear let alone an extra special outfit, once weddings and celebrations are allowed? With regards to Lock 29, it is not a very exciting venue, although admittedly it is lockdown. Who picked the uninviting colour scheme? Maybe the council can
stretch to a repaint job to attract more customers, funds permitting.
Name supplied, Banbury
NHS AND TAX
Evidence of 'Tory failures'
At the last council meeting on February 22 the Tories put forward a motion in support of the Horton Hospital and praised Victoria Prentis’ contribution. In her email to me on February 21 she recognised the strength of feeling about provisions to protect the NHS in clause 17 and amendment 11 in the Lords but didn’t support them. She stated that no future trade deal would be allowed to undermine the guiding principle of the NHS: it is universal and free at the point of need. In reply I wrote: “That being the case you and the Tory party should have no objection to enshrining that undertaking in law to assuage the concerns of those of us demanding protection for the NHS.” The amendments were defeated, as were rises for NHS staff. I agree with Prue Plumridge’s letter last week warning of privatisation and fragmentation of our NHS and fears of descending into a US-type system. I recommend “Dismembered” by Polly Toynbee and David Walker: that describes in detail the assault on our NHS.
The council approved a rise in council tax. Cherwell bought the remaining 85% of Castle Quays in 2017, since when stores have closed and it has halved in value. They also took on the plan for Castle Quay 2. We already had Gateway Shopping Centre and more shopping is going online. Tory policy has caused a shortfall. I support tax rises to fund good services but not to rescue Tory failures.
The final motion by Green Councillor Middleton for improved flood responses was passed unanimously. Tories could hardly risk objecting!.
Put Banbury on the map
Last winter while watching the BBC Breakfast programme, I started to notice that Banbury no longer appears on the BBC South regional weather map.
North Oxfordshire is definitely part of the BBC South area and does not appear on any other region’s map.
After several emails to BBC South, it finally re-appeared, both on the South map several times, and even the National one once, but it has since vanished again. I feel ‘Banburyshire’ should have its ‘county town’ map status as part of the region. Does anyone agree?
It does, incidently, appear on the map of the ITV equivalent, Meridian. Maybe we could jointly restart a restoration campaign?
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