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Cllr Ian Hudspeth-Leader Oxfordshire County Council-October 2018 report   ()

Shipton Road

The £315,000 carriageway maintenance project on Shipton Road will start on 15th October, taking up to 2 weeks this is subject to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances. The first week will be preparation work with traffic lights with the main work taking place the following week which will involve a road closure which has been programmed to take place during half term. This scheme was originally in the capital programme for the year 2019-2020 but has come forward into this year as part of the additional in year £10 million highways programme following the decision by cabinet in the summer to invest an additional £120 million in infrastructure over the next 10 years. 

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

I have been consistent that the road that causes the most traffic issues for Oxfordshire is the A34 as it’s a mixture of local and national traffic. If the 2 parts could be separated to allow the ring road to function as a local road£ then there would be an improvement for the majority of Oxfordshire’s residents. The A34 impacts on all 5 Districts and all 6 constituencies so there are few residents not affected. We only have to remember the traffic chaos caused on Oxfordshire's roads due to an accident on the A34 on Thursday 6th September, action needs to be taken.

 

On page 17 of the strategic stage 3 study 

( https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/571353/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway-strategic-study-stage-3-report.pdf )  paragraphs 3.4.5 & 3.4.6, it is clear that this proposal will provide a local solution.

 

Whatever corridor and, ultimately, route chosen there will be local impact with local opposition however we have to consider the bigger picture to improve the A34, which is why I support the overall road proposal. 

 

I welcome the decision to exclude Otmoor from the scoping however it’s disappointing that there are still 2 corridor options around Oxford as that will create uncertainly for those communities involved. Highways England have determined that they need to do more work on the environmental impact which should be concluded by the autumn of 2019.

 

 I am not suggesting a preferred corridor as I want to wait to see the evidence that Highways England will provide. Once the final route is chosen by Highways England I will work with affected communities to reduce the impact on them. 

 

 

Hanborough Platform extension

 

The good news for Hanborough station is that the platform will be extended to enable more doors to be opened on our ten carriage trains, making it easier for customers to get on and off the new trains and helping to improve reliability.

 

Full details of the work planned and impact on services during the work are on a dedicated page on GWR website https://www.gwr.com/travel-updates/planned-engineering/cotswolds2018

 

 

CABINET APPROVES PROPOSAL TO MAKE THE COUNCIL ‘FIT FOR THE FUTURE’ 

 

OCC will get a complete overhaul to ensure it is ‘fit for the future’ and continues to meet rising demand for services. The changes are crucial to enabling the county council to deliver its vision of ‘thriving communities for everyone’. The Cabinet has accepted the business case for a new ‘operating model’ and will consider how it will be implemented at the October Cabinet meeting. 

The transformation plan would protect and improve frontline services for residents, while cutting red tape and reducing the costs of ‘back office’ administration. The proposed redesign of the county council could save between £34m-58m a year and ensure a continued balanced budget, with the possibility of reinvesting in services in the future. The detailed business case for implementing the new operating model currently estimates a potential reduction of approximately 600-890 full time equivalent posts at the council over a two to three-year period. The council’s annual staff turnover is about 650 posts so the number of compulsory redundancies is likely to be much fewer. Customer service, supported by new technology, would be at the heart of the proposed new ‘operating model’ to make the council much more efficient. Residents contacting the council would see improved customer service with use of digital technology freeing up time for specialist staff to provide personalised services where needed.

 

IMPROVEMENTS FOR DELAYED TRANSFER OF CARE FROM HOSPITAL 

 

The latest snapshot of delayed transfer of care figures on September 13 showed there were 79 delayed patients in Oxfordshire – a 31% fall on the same period last year. The previous week there 77 representing a sustained and significant fall from 2017 when the highest local recorded weekly figure was 202. Based on the latest NHS published data, Oxfordshire is the 11th most improved system in the country, with a reduction of 58% in the number of bed days lost – more than twice the national average of 25%. This turnaround is attributed to a revitalised joined-up approach between NHS teams and the County Council ensuring that patients leave hospital as soon as they are medically fit to do so. 

 

 

Cllr Ian Hudspeth

07956270 318

Ian.hudspeth@oxfordshire.gov.uk