Watlington stands between the Vale of Oxford and the steep slopes of the Chilterns. The town is steeped in history and was first recorded as a Saxon settlement in the 8th Century, but the discoveries of a Bronze Age Axe and Roman Coins suggest an earlier past.
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Important - Consultation on 33 High Street
Oxford County Council, as the body responsible for the Charlotte Coxe Trust (CCT) which owns the library building and the empty house next door (33 High Street) are required by the Charity Commission to consult with the residents of Watlington Parish on the future of 33 High Street. The conditions of the trust charity are that its assets must be managed for the benefit of the residents of Watlington, so before the CCT Charity can sell the freehold of 33 High Street they have to have asked our opinion.
The consultation document is attached here. This is important because we have just managed to establish that although the County are the effective trustees for the Charlotte Coxe, they do need to be guided by the wishes of the residents.
For your information, the Parish Council have decided that our opinion will be in favour of the sale for a number of reasons;
- a leasehold sale under present legislation effectively becomes a freehold sale after two years;
- restoring the property to a condition in which it is fit to let will require significant expenditure which would have to be met from the CCT funds. It would take a long time to recover this cost through a normal rental;
- the sale will generate a significant pot of money in the CCT which would then be available for some future project. The Council is strongly in favour of the CCT money being reserved for capital projects of lasting value rather than being used for small awards that could gradually reduce its value with no clear lasting benefit to the community.
You, of course, are entitled to make your own opinion known without reference to the Parish council's decision. Our interest is that you do respond and demonstrate that the community can provide useful input into the Trusts decisions.
Help our neighbours
The residents of Cuxham have started a Community Benefit Society to raise enough money to buy the Half Moon pub which Brakspear have put up for sale. For more details of how you can get involved in this initiative by visiting their website at www.cuxham-community.org.
Hill Road Car Park
In October the Parish Council made Watlington Parish Ccouncil (Off-street parking places) Order 2014 which will give the council the authority to enforce parking regulations in Hill Road Car Park, including among things, the ability to issue penalty charges on vehicles that overstay the two hour limit in the designated short term parking spaces. For more information see the Parish Council page.
Visit our Neighbourhood Plan website at http://www.watlingtonnp.org.uk/
Support Watlington in Bloom in making our town a winner
Get more out of Watlington and South Oxfordshire by exploring with OXtrails or download the guide to Watlington here