Appeal to create parish council to boost Rose Hill

thisisoxfordshire: Ray James Ray James

ROSE Hill could benefit from a parish council, according to the chairman of the estate’s tenants’ and residents’ association.

Ray James, who lives in Mortimer Road, believes that it would give Rose Hill a bigger voice in Oxford.

Part of the estate voted to leave Littlemore Parish Council in 2004, because they felt they were not represented by it.

Mr James told the Oxford Mail: “There are a number of issues as to why I think a parish council is a good idea.

“It would give us a more formal place in the hierarchy of local bodies for a start.

“We in our council tax have a precept. Part of that goes towards funding a parish council.

“The funding for associations like ours comes out of rent revenue account and not precept account.

“Strangely enough, we can’t vote on how we spend the money, only tenants can.

“There are less council houses being rented on the estate which has reduced our income.”

A parish council is democratically elected once every four years and on average has 12 councillors.

The council can raise a precept, which is collected by the district council as part of the council tax.

Mr James added: “I think it is a good idea both for the recognition and funding.

“Our voice would be more effective.”

In 2004, 222 Rose Hill residents voted to leave Littlemore parish against 169 who voted to stay in.

Only part of the estate was in the parish and the 24 roads affected included part of Ashhurst Way, Asquith Road and part of Desborough Crescent.

Comments received from residents at the time said that they were paying the precept to Littlemore Parish but they did not feel represented.

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Rose Hill councillor Ed Turner said: “This is an interesting idea.

“I am not sure how people will feel paying extra council tax for local facilities.

“If there is enthusiasm for it, it could work well but you would need a good core of volunteers.”

Those who want a new parish council must obtain the support of 10 per cent of the electorate via a petition to trigger a community governance review.

The petition is then handed in to the city council.

It should have a map attached outlining the area of the proposed new parish.

The secretary of state will receive the petition.

There is no time limit on how long it will take before a decision is made.

Comments (1)

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6:01pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Myron Blatz says...

Sour grapes, Mr James? For many years prior to a large chunck of Rose Hill council estate becoming un-parished, the people who lived there not only had good representation under Littlemore Parish Council, but had many memorable Parish Councillors - including no less a person than Bill Buckingham! Nor was 'all of Rose Hill' under Littlemore, with most of the rest of the council estate, Iffley Village and other parts of Rose Hill not on the council estate having been directly under City Council control - which is also what happened to the part that wanted to 'un-parish' from Littlemore. Now, the likes of Mr James (currently only Chair of the less-grand Tenants & Residents Association) want Rose Hill to become a parish in its own right, with the power to spend its annual 'precept' as it wants to, and not to be under the 'heel' of City Council. However, it could also be said that in recent years, the Tenants & Residents Association (TRA) and the Community Association (two different entities) have both found it difficilt to find officers and members from the people who live in the area of benefit they directly serve, and this despite an influx of a broader mix of tenants and residents, and the growth in owner-occupancy since parts of Rose Hill were redeveloped. As for the people of Rose Hill & Iffley Village not already having enough control over what happens and how money is spent, this would seem to ignore the fact that its people already have two City Councillors - including Cllr Turner - and that Cllr Sander is also the elected County Councillor for the Division. All that creating a Parish Council for Rose Hill & Iffley Village would achieve in essence, would be adding a third-tier of beauracracy and administration, probably run by the same people who now try to run the TRA. As for the arguement that Littlemore has its own Parish Council, why not Rose Hill? Well, apart from Littlemore's Parish Council having apparently been established for more than 100 years (long before Rose Hill council estate was built) there is also the question as to whether Rose Hill would ever gain the sort of financial power and control which some apparently seek? There is little or no scope for additional or significant housing to enhance any 'precept' and in most of Ifffley Village there is no council housing stock to speak of. The big supermarket and Oxford Academy are in Littlemore, as is one of the main business parks and centres of employment - the Oxford Science Park. Likewise the sports and leisure centres and Kassam sports stadium and conference centre - all in Littlemore. As for Blackbird Leys and its own Parish Council, think Mr James will find that it actually has a relatively small precept, because most of what goes on - even maintaining the sports fields - is done by Oxford City Council, and much of the day-to-day stuff is also handled by City Council's staff.
Sour grapes, Mr James? For many years prior to a large chunck of Rose Hill council estate becoming un-parished, the people who lived there not only had good representation under Littlemore Parish Council, but had many memorable Parish Councillors - including no less a person than Bill Buckingham! Nor was 'all of Rose Hill' under Littlemore, with most of the rest of the council estate, Iffley Village and other parts of Rose Hill not on the council estate having been directly under City Council control - which is also what happened to the part that wanted to 'un-parish' from Littlemore. Now, the likes of Mr James (currently only Chair of the less-grand Tenants & Residents Association) want Rose Hill to become a parish in its own right, with the power to spend its annual 'precept' as it wants to, and not to be under the 'heel' of City Council. However, it could also be said that in recent years, the Tenants & Residents Association (TRA) and the Community Association (two different entities) have both found it difficilt to find officers and members from the people who live in the area of benefit they directly serve, and this despite an influx of a broader mix of tenants and residents, and the growth in owner-occupancy since parts of Rose Hill were redeveloped. As for the people of Rose Hill & Iffley Village not already having enough control over what happens and how money is spent, this would seem to ignore the fact that its people already have two City Councillors - including Cllr Turner - and that Cllr Sander is also the elected County Councillor for the Division. All that creating a Parish Council for Rose Hill & Iffley Village would achieve in essence, would be adding a third-tier of beauracracy and administration, probably run by the same people who now try to run the TRA. As for the arguement that Littlemore has its own Parish Council, why not Rose Hill? Well, apart from Littlemore's Parish Council having apparently been established for more than 100 years (long before Rose Hill council estate was built) there is also the question as to whether Rose Hill would ever gain the sort of financial power and control which some apparently seek? There is little or no scope for additional or significant housing to enhance any 'precept' and in most of Ifffley Village there is no council housing stock to speak of. The big supermarket and Oxford Academy are in Littlemore, as is one of the main business parks and centres of employment - the Oxford Science Park. Likewise the sports and leisure centres and Kassam sports stadium and conference centre - all in Littlemore. As for Blackbird Leys and its own Parish Council, think Mr James will find that it actually has a relatively small precept, because most of what goes on - even maintaining the sports fields - is done by Oxford City Council, and much of the day-to-day stuff is also handled by City Council's staff. Myron Blatz
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