URGENT: Expressway Action Group request for letters to be sent to Councillors

The following requests has been published on the Horton cum Studley website and is copied here for your consideration.

From Peter Rutt, EAG

Hello everyone

Following our last general email to you all, lots of members have written emails and letters to MPs and Councillors following the publication of the extraordinary letter sent to Local Councils from the Housing Minister - thanks to everyone who did.

However, a few of the emails we have seen have been rather harsh in tone, and some also strayed off purely Expressway matters and turned to more general criticisms.  While I understand that there are issues out there which upset people, there is a danger that we will antagonise the very people we are trying to persuade, or even people who are already supporting us wholeheartedly - for example our very helpful MPs.  

The people we need to urgently contact and influence re Mr Malthouse’s letter are local Council leaders, Officers and the Councillors - they are the people who have been asked to respond to the Minister’s request for suggestions for ‘new settlements’ (i.e. new towns).  

There is a risk that some of these Councillors or Council officers may actually want large and very large new settlements South and East of Oxford (and the Expressway to go with them) and will say so when they reply to the Government’s request, without asking their residents and constituents. Others may oppose - but with so many people away on holiday and so little time to respond, there’s no chance of a full debate on the issue before the deadline.

We therefore need to lobby as many of them as possible by emails, letters and in meetings if the opportunity arises: 

1.  They should NOT suggest large new settlements in their areas to Government until proper plans have been drawn up and published, and the electorate and residents have been consulted.  Anything less would be wholly undemocratic and beyond their current mandate, and outside proper planning process. 

Our letters should also point out that 

2. We support Government aspirations for better E-W transport, better links between Road & Rail including the East-West Rail project, new affordable homes and more new jobs and new businesses: but  

3. We are very concerned at the risks of placing an Expressway and its New Towns in the London commuter belt south and east of Oxford - homes there would generate extra congestion on M40 and M25 and a loss of local job creation in the  ‘dormitory towns’  springing up along any Southern Expressway route.

4. We oppose any separation of the Expressway from the route of East West Rail, thus losing the chance to shift passenger and freight traffic from road to railway.

5. We strongly oppose any route for the Expressway through the Green Belt, through rare and endangered habitats, wildlife reserves and across flood plains. There should be no new roads or housing on these vulnerable and threatened lands, and instead the road should follow improved / existing major roads. 

We would recommend that as many letters as possible be sent to Council leaders, Councillors and senior Council officers and Chief Executives of Councils as soon as possible, because the deadline for local government submissions to central Government is in less than 6 weeks, and they will have begun working on this already… so every day counts.  

With thanks from everyone...

All best regards

Peter  Rutt / EAG

 

District Council: 

Oxford City

Chief Executive, Gordon Mitchell
gmitchell@oxford.gov.uk

Senior PA to Leader & CE, Emma Mace
Tel: 01865 252354
emace@oxford.gov.uk

South and Vale

Chief Executive, Mark Stone
Tel: 01491 823103
Fax: 01491 823104
mark.stone@southandvale.gov.uk

Personal Assistant, Sharon Lee
sharon.lee@southandvale.gov.uk
01235 422099

West Oxon

Chief Executive, David Neudegg
david.neudegg@westoxon.gov.uk

Guest, Mrs Joanna Neudegg

Personal Assistant, Mandy Smith
Tel: 01993 861613
mandy.smith@westoxon.gov.uk

Details about the chairmen of Oxfordshire's district councils and town mayors. Some selected below … https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/council/about-your-council/government-oxfordshire/mayors-and-chairmen

Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council

Councillor Gill Sanders
Email: chairman@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Personal Assistant, Sara Lenihan
Tel: 07917 092949
Email: sara.lenihan@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Chairman of Cherwell District Council

Councillor Maurice Billington
Email: chairman@cherwell-dc.gov.uk

Personal Assistant to Chairman, Liz Matthews
Tel: 01295 227967
Email: liz.matthews@cherwell-dc.gov.uk

Chairman of South Oxfordshire District Council

Assistant to the Leaders and Chairmen, Karen Dodd
Tel: 01235 422082
Email: karen.dodd@southandvale.gov.uk

Chairman of Vale of White Horse District Council

Councillor Monica Lovatt

Assistant to the Leaders and Chairmen, Karen Dodd
Tel: 01235 422082
Email: karen.dodd@southandvale.gov.uk

Chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council

Councillor Maxine Crossland

Personal Assistant Mandy Smith
Tel: 01993 861613

Email: mandy.smith@westoxon.gov.uk

Lord Mayor of Oxford

Councillor Colin Cook

Executive Assistant to the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Sheriff, Lizzie Spokes
Tel: 01865 252414
Email: civicoffice@oxford.gov.uk

Mayor of Abingdon on Thames

Councillor Margaret Crick

Town Clerk, Mr Nigel Warner
Tel: 01235 468349
Email: nigel.warner@abingdon.gov.uk

Mayor’s Secretary, Louise Brown
Tel: 01235 468341
Email: mayor@abingdon.gov.uk

District:  Vale of White Horse