Improving Air Quality In Witney

Air pollution is the single largest environmental risk to human health in the UK, contributing to approximately 34,000 early deaths each year. Come and share ideas on how our own behaviour could protect our children from harmful levels of air pollution.


Dr Suzanne Bartington is a Public Health Registrar and Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, where she leads a team investigating the health impacts of air pollution from before birth to old age. She will discuss the role of interdisciplinary research bridging social, health and environmental sciences in tackling this global health challenge and for informing policy within the UK Clean Air Strategy.

Andrew Prosser is an Environmental Consultant with expertise on carbon emissions, across the built environment, infrastructure and transport sectors. His presentation will examine the air quality issues of relevance to Witney. He will cover the town’s designated Air Quality Management Areas including Bridge Street, in the context of the West Oxfordshire Local Plan. Drawing on case studies in other towns and cities, he will review potential measures and current plans to improve air quality.

Dr. Frances Mortimer is the Medical Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, in Oxford. Formerly an NHS doctor, her goal now is to create a green, efficient health system as part of our transformation to a healthy, just and sustainable society. Frances will facilitate a public discussion including the speakers, representatives of other groups and members of the audience.

Register FREE on Eventbrite


Madder Than Usual Plan

Oxford City Council has resolved to oppose the expressway from Oxford to Cambridge. It declares the government’s plans for a huge road bordered by a million new homes unclear and contradictory.

The claim that the expressway will somehow bring huge benefits to Oxford does not impress even Oxford. Cambridge is yet to express an opinion.

Save Money – Use Volunteers – The Loss Of Libraries

Volunteering has a central role in Tory doctrine. Think David Cameron’s Big Society.

According to the Chartered Institute of Public finance and Accountancy, 130 public libraries closed in Britain last year. Full-time staff fell by 712 and about 3,000 more volunteers were recruited. There are now over 51,000 library volunteers.

Oxfordshire has closed no libraries: it has scrapped its mobile library service instead.

Our libraries are social and business hubs. People without a home computer depend on library facilities, not least for participation in government programmes. Book storage is one of the least important functions of public libraries, yet it is the one volunteers are most prepared to handle. The rest require qualified and experienced librarians rather than willing volunteers. Imagine volunteer electrician, volunteer pilot, volunteer surgeon.

The Missing Crime – Online Fraud

Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee has been trying to make sense of the UK’s crime statistics. It’s tricky because there is a survey source and a police source. And the latter distinguishes between reported crimes and those the police actually record.

The categories of recorded crime could have come straight from a Dixon of Dock Green script. The statistics have almost no concern for what has become one of the most serious crimes of all – online fraud.

“Only a tiny proportion of online fraud cases are ever investigated, and the police response to this form of crime is in desperate need of a fundamental restructure, with investigations undertaken at a national and regional level and local forces focusing on victim support.”

There would seem to have been no online fraud in Witney last year.

Could Do (Much, Much) Better

The National Audit Office has just published its Investigation into the Management of Health Screening. Read it only if you are prepared for a good weep.

So much for all the National Health’s promotion of screening. Only 33% of the bowel screening target was met because most GP surgeries were not linked to the system. NHS IT systems are “not fit for purpose”, not least because data are stored in 83 separate centres.

The NHS could not decide how many older women should be screened for breast cancer, and many were missed. The NHS then decided that “women who were contacted following the incident could be considered to have already had their final screen…. ” That’s OK then.

The NHS proclaims huge public benefit from its screening programmes, but the NAO expects much, much more benefit, and much, much less self-congratulation.


How To Win – Lessons For Green Party Members

South East Green Party’s campaigning expert, Annie Pickering, will lead this interactive, hands-on training session on how to win!

January 22, 2019 at 2pm – 3:30pm

Corner House, Charlbury, Chipping Norton OX7 3QW

Register for FREE here.

Come along and find out how the Green Party has won more councils seats than ever before and how you can get a Green councillor elected where you are.

All members welcome, those with lots – or – no elections experience.

The Second Referendum

It is not often that the Economist concurs with Green Party policy. Its comment on what it calls “this hopeless mess” is:

“… if a deal cannot be struck by March 29th, Britain will fall disastrously out of the EU. Every week in which Mrs May and Parliament fail to come up with a workable Brexit, it becomes clearer that the people themselves must decide—in a second referendum.”

The consequences of a second referendum may, of course, be the same views even more entrenched and the country even more divided. But the consequences of not having one?