Use it or lose it
I enjoyed a very nice cup of coffee and a hot dog in Banbury’s relocated market the other day, and I have to say that the shrinkage it has suffered is all too obvious, and rather depressing.
The newly-available car park was all but empty and, whilst I was watching, a lady drove her car into the market area, parked it outside the Nationwide and then proceeded to do her shopping – on the market. It seems to me people will do all they can to avoid Cherwell’s car parking charges, however accessible any available car parking may be, and that opening up part of the Market Square to car parking may just produce a large, empty, unused space.
I now think it is incumbent upon us all to use our market, so I would like to propose that, every time we go through the market, we should buy something – anything!
There are stalls selling marvellous vegetables and fruit, as well as bread, cards and the aforementioned coffee and hot dogs.
It really now is a case of use or lose it – so I would urge anyone shopping in Banbury to use our market, and I do hope that this paper can also get behind such a campaign. If we do this, the benefit given to the local economy may well attract a wider range of stall holders and help increase the size of our market again.
I would be very interested to know the views of other readers; can we all help support our market?
Councillor Steve Kilsby,
Leader of the Opposition Banbury Town Council
‘Vote for change’
Banbury Civic Society’s call for the public to fight Oxfordshire County Council’s transport plan for dealing with the increased traffic through Banbury (Banbury Guardian, March 5) has already been done!
When plans for Longford Park were first proposed a group of concerned residents formed CHHAG, and one of the main worries put forward was the traffic that this development, along with others being proposed, would create. Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) stated that any increased traffic would not be a significant problem. It would appear OCC’s transport department is as sadly lacking as its social services department, and obviously neither is fit for purpose.
The Conservative Party, when in opposition, had opposed this planned development but as soon as they regained control of Cherwell, no doubt with votes gained from their stance against the plans, voted in favour of it – and when a change in the planning framework allowed, dumped over 50,000 democratic objections and then brought the same plan back as the preferred option.
Two councillors who backed CHHAG in its endeavours before the U-turn have since gone on to achieve higher positions, one at a local level and the other at a county level. This still leaves a sour taste in the mouths of those led on by people we trusted.
Is it any wonder large members of the public are turning to parties such as Ukip, this being perfectly illustrated by results from the recent EU MEP elections which showed what can be achieved when disenchanted people back groups that are speaking what many are thinking, not only in Banbury but all over the country.
Think long and hard on May 7 and remember, if you want change, vote for it.
Retail park fall
Can I say a huge thank you to the young man and his family who helped me up off the floor, where I had fallen with my walking stick flying off from me. It happened in the car park of Banbury Retail Park last month. As I have several joint replacements I was unable to get up myself, so thank you all for your help.
With reference to the Banbury Guardian on February 26 and on March 5; there are rumours that the B1 and B2 buses will disappear on Sundays and the S4 bus route will be altered.
Transport subsidies from Oxford County Council will be cut and it appears this will affect the bus services.
There are a variety of reasons where people choose to live and one of them is the availability of a local bus.
There are those who have moved or are in the process of moving to Banbury from the surrounding rural areas to benefit from more facilities such as shops, a hospital and more frequent bus services. The B1 and B2 buses are used by those on Sunday to visit friends and family in the Horton Hospital, to attend their church of choice, to shop in Banbury town centre and enables Sunday workers to get to work.
By altering the bus services it is isolating the lonely, vulnerable, disadvantaged and those that need to work on Sundays, as well as encouraging more cars on the road. The Green Party does not wish to ban the use of cars but support the need for more public transport, so giving an alternative means of getting to places and also being better for the environment. We need to ensure buses continue to run everyday including Sundays.
Banbury and Cherwell Green Party
Food not bricks
Remember when land was used to grow food? Research from a national farmers’ union suggests that UK self sufficiency is in a 30-year spiral, with only 60 per cent of foods needed provided by uk farms. Farming provides jobs for 3.5 million people .The prospect of the UK becoming less than 50 per cent self sufficient is alarming.
When you next drive near, or walk your dogs across, the fields of Bankside, Adderbury, Bloxham and other surrounding villages that Cherwell District Council and others have agreed to developed into more bricks and cement, think ‘where is your food going to be grown?’
Sex assault trial
I was horrified to read in the Banbury Guardian (March 12) about the sexual abuse offences committed by the young men named in the paper. However, I was even more sickened to read the front page headline the paper gave to the story and found it endorsed in the editorial with “I’m confident no one would disagree”.
No one deserves to be so utterly condemned by others. These young men have been found guilty in court and are awaiting their sentences. They do not need to be judged again by readers of the Banbury Guardian.
On the government website (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-prison-service/about) it says prisoners are helped to lead law-abiding and useful lives, both while they are in prison and after they are released.
In a re-offending policy statement it states we need a tough but intelligent criminal justice system that punishes people properly when they break the law, but also supports them so they don’t commit crime in the future. Thus these young men, if they do go to prison, will be punished and rehabilitated into leading law abiding and useful lives.
Sexual abuse is a complex issue. Many abusers have themselves been abused. We need to be able to detect and break this cycle of abuse.
To condemn these young men as hardly worthy of acceptance into the human race is to see them maybe as they saw the girls they were abusing; without mercy, without rights and worthy of abuse. In our opinion, to condemn them in this way is to perpetuate that cycle of abuse.
Veronica and Chris Jones
Bloxham Road Banbury