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From the County Councillor - November 2017

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This has been a busy month for me in many ways.

I have been supporting the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Action Group in their advocacy for protecting our Green Belt. My own view is that we should improve the A34, but the solution to the A34 is not building a brand new expressway through precious Green Belt. The A34 is being used as a justifying reason by some in the press for the OxCam Expressway taking a southern route. I do not support this rationale. I am against building new roads, and would prefer money be put into improving existing road corridors, enhancing and upgrading rail networks and providing good bus services.

Speaking of bus services, I had a meeting with Mr Martin Sutton, CEO of Stagecoach Oxford, and Mr David Taylor, OCC Senior Transport Officer, about improving our bus services in the county. This is in preparation for my motion to Full Council on November 7th which calls for bus subsidies to be reinstated. Good bus services help those otherwise stuck at home, improve our air quality and lead to less congestion on our roads with getting people out of cars and onto buses.

I am on the Corporate Parenting Committee at OCC. All county councillors are responsible for the children in the county's care. This committee oversees children's homes and fostering and adoption services. There is a rise of children being taken into care nationally, as well as locally, which is concerning. Safeguarding children is our priority.

I have had site visits in Stanton St John and in Cuddesdon recently with roads officers looking at local concerns. I have also been supporting Community Fund Grant applications, and am pleased that Holton has received money for undertaking speed surveys as part of reducing speed in the village to 20mph; the Maple Tree Children's Centre in Wheatley has received funds for starting staffed Saturday sessions; and Horspath has received money for trialling a Friday mini-bus taxi service into Oxford.

There are still Community Fund grant monies available for other parishes to apply for in the Wheatley Division. These monies are earmarked for services which OCC used to provide but no longer funds.

Dr. Kirsten Johnson, County Councillor
Wheatley Division, 07341271344