Call for decisive action on Covid 19 Tier 2 status for Oxfordshire
West Oxfordshire Green Party calls on the Government to listen to local councils and Public Health experts and take decisive action in the face of increasing COVID-19 cases in rural Oxfordshire
West Oxfordshire Green Party has joined the calls on Department of Health and Social Care to move Oxfordshire to Tier 2 restrictions as cases of COVID-19 in rural areas increase alarmingly. Along with other council leaders and the county’s Director of Public Health, the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council supports a move to Tier 2. However, Conservative MPs including Witney MP Robert Courts have argued against such a move and seem to have been influenced by numbers in Oxford city rather than in the wider county. (Even though, numbers in the city are actually reducing, whereas figures today from the Covid Symptom Study[i] research show numbers in West Oxfordshire are increasing!)
West Oxfordshire Green Party believes that rather than placing more faith in an increasingly poorly performing National Test and Trace system, we should be taking decisive action now. Extending our local track and trace services while moving to Tier 2, may be the best way to avoid eventually moving to Tier 3.
Witney Town Councillor Andrew Prosser and Charlbury Town Councillor Liz Reason made a joint statement saying: “We should do everything we can to avoid ending up in tier 3 with its severe restrictions on businesses and Oxfordshire’s residents. Time is of the essence, moving to Tier 2 now may be the only way we can prevent the rapid spread of this disease and avoid businesses and citizens struggling in Tier 3. The longer this Government sets itself against local Government leaders the more our citizens and businesses will suffer.”[Read more]
Investing in green jobs/ green recovery: Green Homes Grant scheme – a step in the right direction
Investing in green jobs/ green recovery: Green Homes Grant scheme
A step in the right direction, but there are no Oxfordshire based accredited suppliers!
Green Councillor calls for local councils and enterprise partnerships to create a fast-track route for local suppliers to become TrustMark accredited
Witney Green Party Town Councillor Andrew Prosser has welcomed the new national Green Homes Grant scheme as a crucial step in upgrading the energy efficiency of homes and a step towards tackling the climate emergency. Grants worth up to £5000 are currently available to help homeowners take measures to make their homes more energy efficient and warmer. Part of the cost of energy-saving “primary” measures, such as installing low-carbon heating or insulation of cavity walls and lofts, and “secondary” measures, including draught proofing and double glazing, would be covered. Some low-income households may be eligible for grants up to £10,000, with 100% of the cost covered.
However, work eligible for grant support under the scheme can only be undertaken by tradespersons and suppliers with appropriate TrustMark accreditation and listed on the official Simple Energy Advice (SEA) website. Unfortunately, it seems that there is a risk of the scheme failing in its objectives due to a shortage of accredited local suppliers. At a time of increased unemployment as a result of the COVID pandemic it is concerning that the opportunity to invest in green skills training and suitable apprenticeship schemes has not been grasped. Cllr Prosser has called for local councils and enterprise partnerships to address this and create a fast-track route for local suppliers to become TrustMark accredited.
Cherwell's Conservatives vote to back the badger cull in Oxfordshire
At the full council meeting on 19th October, Cherwell District Council considered a motion brought by Green Councillor Ian Middleton to oppose the expansion of the national badger cull into Oxfordshire, potentially including areas in Cherwell.
The motion, seconded by Liberal Democrat Councillor Conrad Copeland, called on leader, Barry Wood, to write to DEFRA opposing the cull and for the council to confirm that it would not allow the killing of badgers on any land owned or controlled by them now or in the future.[Read more]
During this period of social distancing, we want to keep in touch with our valued volunteers and supporters more than ever. That's why we're continuing to hold our monthly socials online and we'd love to welcome you to our next one on Friday 30 October from 8pm.
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This month we are using Congregate Live, an online platform where you join a table and start a video chat with others on the same table. Here is a video explaining how it works.