The Parish Council held a “virtual” meeting on Tuesday 1st September with 8 Councillors, Mike Fox-Davies, Oxfordshire County Council Councillor, Matthew Barber Vale of White Horse District Council and 3 members of the public signing in.
Further to the fire on the grass area adjacent to the Copse off the Bridleway from Stocks Lane going up Steventon Hill where a SARINC pile of wood debris caught fire in August. The fire engine was detained at the Stocks Lane railway crossing until 3 trains had passed, a waiting time of 8 minutes. We have received a reply from the Director of Community Safety and Chief Fire Officer:
“ Thank you for raising this to our attention as we obviously want to avoid any delay to an incident whenever possible.
I am aware that this issue has been raised by yourself on previous occasions. Protocols are still in place for the crews to contact Network Rail direct or through our Thames Valley Fire Control Service to slow trains should being held at the crossing give them significant concerns. They are also aware of the secondary access via a bridle path and will use a dual approach should the first appliance be held up.
It is unclear why the firefighters gave the local resident the impressions that they were unaware of these protocols and this is an obvious concern. The local Community Risk and Response Manager has communicated with all the teams from both Abingdon and Didcot and asked them to remind themselves of the local protocols for the level crossings and the local area and have given me reassurances that anyone who wasn’t aware previously is certainly aware now. We will also ensure that this continues to be part of their local training programme so that any change in personnel do not lead to a lessening of knowledge.”
Mathew Barber (Deputy Police Commissioner, Thames Valley Police) confirmed that similar protocols are in place for Thames Valley Police.
The Parish Council are arranging a meeting with representatives from the Emergency Services and Network Rail to provide assurances that indeed this type of incident does not occur again.
The Parish Council new website https://steventonoxon.org.uk has now gone live.
It beggars belief that yet again mindless vandalism has been done on the allotments with a potential prize winning pumpkin being damaged with a stake being pushed through it. Allotment holders put in an enormous amount of time and effort to grow their produce and it is saddening when such damage is done.
At this time of year with falling leaves and “putting gardens to bed for the winter” please refrain from putting debris in the Ginge Brook and ditches. Restricted flow and blocked culverts has the potential to cause severe flooding.
The next virtual Parish Council meeting is on Tuesday 6th October 2020 at 7pm. If you want to take part in Public participation please contact the Parish clerk who will send you an invite.
Dr Chris Wilding – Chair