Have your say on HMOs before 24th August!

The City Council is urging residents  to participate in the HMO licensing consultation before it closes this Monday.

From the council website:

‘Oxford City Council is urging the public to submit their views on proposals to extend its licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) for another five years before the consultation closes on Monday 24 August 2015.

The scheme was introduced in 2011 and has led to the licensing of nearly 3,500 properties in the city. Under the scheme, landlords have invested over £3.2 million in HMOs over the past four years to improve standards and provide better housing for residents.

Over the same period the Council has responded to 2,750 requests to deal with cases of poor conditions and management of HMOs. It has also successfully prosecuted 50 landlords and cautioned 39 others for failing to comply with HMO licensing requirements or management standards.

David Edwards, Executive Director for Regeneration and Housing, says: “We estimate that one in five residents lives in an HMO and because of Oxford’s acute housing shortage, this number is likely to continue to increase.

The HMO licensing scheme has helped to improve standards in the private rented sector and we would like to see further improvements to ensure tenants are not left at risk in poor condition houses.

We’re urging tenants, landlords, agents and the general public to take part in the consultation to renew the HMO licensing scheme for another five years.”

To take part in the consultation before it ends on 24 August 2015 please visit the Council’s website:


Drara Summer Fete a great success!

Many thanks to everyone involved for  making the day go so well.

Fete for email (1)


Yet again, the hard work was easier for many hands and laughs too. A special thank you to the Fete organising team of  Clare, Tamasin, Lisa, Deborah, Linda, Jacqui and Amanda AND their understanding partners.
Nearly 300 people came to eat homemade cakes, strawberries and cream, drink Pimms and tea and tuck in to delicious fish and chips.

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2015-06-21 14.55.51The rain stayed away and the pool was, as always, a huge hit for the kids along with plenty of fun and games.2015-06-21 12.34.092015-06-21 12.34.31

We were entertained with music from the East Oxford Youth Choir, the incredibly talented Alexander family with a solo performance from Phoebe Rose, Horns of Plenty  in full jubilant style,


Lucy Gibbons, who sang several favourites, and we were whisked to exotic lands by the belly dancing duo of Ashnah!

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Headington transport proposals: have your say!

Oxfordshire County Council is developing proposals to improve travel in and around the Headington area and is consulting residents for their views

What is this consultation about?

This consultation has been prepared by Oxfordshire County Council to seek the views of residents, workers and visitors to Headington on proposals to improve travel in and around the area.

Existing traffic congestion leads to a number of problems, including delays to bus services and an unwelcoming environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Congestion also affects those visiting the area including missed hospital appointments.

Access to Headington is a £12.5m package of schemes to improve access to major employment, health and education sites in Headington. This is also needed to support new housing and jobs in Headington, and beyond, without attracting more traffic to the area.  The implementation of changes is planned for summer 2016 to spring 2018.

Please follow this link to find out more and have your say. https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/accesstoheadington/consultationHome

Houses of Multiple Occupancy: have your say!

The HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) Licensing Scheme is up for renewal. This scheme affects the rules and processes by which landlords have to apply and comply in order to rent their property to several individuals living in the same property.

The 10 week public consultation has just launched and they are seeking OUR views and ideas for the future of HMOs in Oxford.

Have your say. Go to: www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decCo/Consultation.htm

Also, look out for the HMO roadshow – a series of engagement opportunities for members of the public throughout Oxford over the next two months. More details soon on events near you.


It’s not too late to grow your own produce. And just think of all the benefits of free exercise and free food, the sense of satisfaction and the delicious feeling of pride!

May is the perfect month for sowing seeds and planting plants. Whether they come from a packet or from the garden centre, green food plants like lettuce, broccoli, spinach, rocket and cabbage will flourish in warm moist weather.

If you’re new to vegetable growing, a good place to start plants from seed is on a warm sunny windowsill. This way you can control the temperature and the amount of water they get. But most seeds can be sown outdoors after the end of April so long as you keep a careful eye on them.

You can grow in tubs in the garden, in raised beds and even among the flowers.

If you don’t have a garden, you can grow salads and herbs outside in a window box.

You can take on an allotment if you have time and energy but it’s a good idea to start small. Don’t try to cultivate a large area all at once. Just clear and dig a small space and sow something that is quick growing, like mixed salad leaves.

The internet is full of advice but one of the best websites is this one from the Royal Horticultural Society.


And if you already doing any or all of the above, good luck, work hard and enjoy the benefits.

There’s no pleasure like that of eating your own home-grown food.

The DRARA Environment Action Group aims to support practical ways of reducing energy use and promote environmentally friendly lifestyles.   For suggestions for further Green Flashes or further information about the Environment Action Group, please contact: Anna on annaeden49@hotmail.com

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Play in the Street and Open Gardens Sunday 17 May

The top of Southfield Road will be closed to traffic from 1 to 4 so that children can play safely.

Gardens will open between 2 and 6 pm. Collect your map for the gardens from outside Sinnet Court (Southfield Road). There will be tea and cake for sale in aid of dementia charities at 92 Southfield throughout the afternoon.



The Plain roadworks update 23/3/15

Various sections of The Plain roundabout will be closed for night time resurfacing as follows. Click on the links for maps and details.

Phase 1 – Tuesday 7 April to Saturday 11 April


Phase 2 – Monday 13 April, Friday 17 April


T2604 LAMINATE of additional works to Order

Signage for diversion routes will be maintained throughout via local roads.

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works. Please note that access routes will depend on exactly where the works vehicles are at any time and may need to be negotiated with the gang on site as necessary.

The “No Waiting” restriction means that vehicles will need to be removed from the highway where there are in place yellow “No Waiting” cones.

Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Paul Gannon or Andrew Warren, OCC Highways & Transport on 0845 310 11 11.

Download: T2604-LAMINATE-of-additional-works-to-Order.docx