We have been advised that supporters do not need to receive and agree the CAGE rebuttal document by email because they have already indicated their support by completing the canvassing form and registering on the website. We shall email the CAGE document in the latter part of the week (12/14th July), and certainly before the OCC deadline of noon on Monday 16th July. If you know of people who support the CAGE position and who have still not registered their support then please ask them to enter their details directly on the website in the box on the right-hand side of the home page.”
The Wallingford and Cholsey Train ride was a hugely successful event. A big thank you to all who attended.
We have/will receive coverage in The Wallingford Herald, Oxford Mail and Meridian News. “Keep an eye out” and show it around.
This video was shown on Meridian TV on Sunday evening 1st July. Click on the link and scroll down to the video.
YOUR family’s chance to make a stand!
Date: Sunday 1st July
Location: Wallingford Railway Station and Cholsey’s Jubilee Field (by school back gates) – and wherever you choose to safely make a stand along the pathway between the two
Time: from 11.30am CAGE is organising a one-off event to enable the community to come together to make a stand against Oxfordshire’s proposed plans for gravel extraction.
The Cholsey and Wallingford railway will be running a special, unscheduled service to coincide with this event – this will be free, although donations would be welcome.
Media have been invited so we need as many people in the key locations at the same time as possible, gathering from 11.30, ready to all wave banners and shout messages of opposition together at 12pm noon.
Please mark the date in your diaries and help get the message out to friends and relatives. Feel free to come dressed up in Christie-themed clothes, or anything respectably attention grabbing!
Refreshments will be available in Wallingford station and Cholsey’s Laurence Hall (School Road) as will bucket-holders to receive collections. CAGE needs up to £30,000 to pay for the barrister and other experts – donations are coming in but more is needed.
For further information about the gravel pit campaign go to www.cagegravel.org.uk – you can register here to receive updates and more.
To volunteer to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org
8th June – We need as many as possible to attend either of the forthcoming public meetings and we also need as many people as possible to sign up on the website contact form.
Please Sign up Now and encourage friends and neighbours to do so as well!
The complaints proceedure is complicated and legal council has advised that we should have as many email addresses as possible so that we can advise everyone once an detailed rebuttal is developed.
Please make some time – just being there on the big day would be a big help!
25th May – Oxfordshire County Coucil submit their proposal
Oxfordshire County Council have now published their proposal and there are now seven weeks in which to respond. It is imperative that all responses are appropriate as only objections based on “Legality” and/or “Soundness” will we considered by the Inspector.
CAGE has appointed a Barrister who has advised on areas that can be considered as valid complaints.
Rather than waste your complaint, please ensure that you have registered your interest on the form on the HOME page. As soon as the Barrister has produced a detailed and valid rebuttal we will then contact you for your help and would urge you to hold fire until then. If you are not able to wait, please email CAGE at the address on the “Contact Us” page.
3rd April 2012 – VOTE BY OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL – CHOLSEY AS PREFERRED SITE
Today, 3rd April 2012, Oxfordshire County Council rode roughshod over the people of Cholsey and Wallingford by voting by 40 to 22 in favour of a site specific Minerals Strategy Plan naming Cholsey as the only option for sand and gravel extraction in South Oxfordshire.
Despite the points listed below and correspondence being received from two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty suggesting that they had strong concerns and that the Cholsey site should not be chosen, the Conservative Council managed to steamroller their case through, riding roughshod over all concerns raised from any body or organisation.
The next step is for the policy to go before the Government Inspector, when yet again we will make our case. A case that we believe to be very strong (if heard by sensible rational people!)
There were five invited speakers who argued that the plan was illogical on a number of grounds.
- Bernard Stone argued that Wallingford is a market town of huge historical importance and that this would have a significant detrimental impact on the local economy, increasingly so in light of the planned 550 house development.
- Henry Pavlovich tried to argue that the whole process was biased due to Councillor Lindsay-Gale’s (Chair of the Growth and Infrastructure Committee) previous association with PAGE (Parishes against Gravel Extraction) but was not allowed to complete his speech.
- Arnold Grayson of the CPRE argued that the quantities allowed for in the plan are excessive and unneeded and the “miles to market” argument put forward in the plan was seriously flawed.
- Jonny Allen, speaking on behalf of Mark Gray chair of Cholsey Parish Council – who was not allowed to speak due to County Council protocol, argued that the policy was flawed in its original premise. It also failed to take into account that the extraction companies have stated that they do not want a site-specific plan. He also argued that the North Wessex Downs AONB and the Chilterns AONB have significant objections which had not been taken into consideration and made the point that CAGE and Cholsey Parish Council were in favour of the amended wording as proposed in Councillor John Tanner’s amendment.
- Vincent Goodstadt, who has drawn up Mineral Strategy Plans in the past, argued that the recent changes by the Government to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) meant that the policy was flawed at the outset and outlined a number of the reasons.
Councillor John Tanner put forward two amendments:
- That the amount of Sand and Gravel be reduced from 1.05m Tons to 700,000 tons p.a and
- That the wording of the policy be amended from “Cholsey” and be replaced with “South Oxfordshire”.
Several other Councillors spoke in favour of one or other of the amendments and against the motion.
Both amendments were voted down.
With a couple of exceptions, the voting was split down party lines with Conservatives voting for the motion and Labour, Greens and some Liberal Democrats voting against.
Councillor Lindsay-Gale asserted strongly that she has an open mind. It is surely just coincidence that her name, at today’s date, still features in the logo on the PAGE website (http://www.pagecampaign.org/press-releases.html) just to the right of the “i” in Oxfordshire!
This is not the end: THE FIGHT GOES ON!
VOTE BY OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL CABINET 13th March 2012
On 13th March 2012, the Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet ignored our representations and voted (with one abstention) to adopt the Minerals and Waste Strategy. Everyone who spoke reminded the Council that they are playing a dangerous game by putting forward just one option for gravel extraction in the South of the county.
We knew this would be the case, but for the decision to have finally been made has left us all feeling a little crestfallen.
We had speeches and representations from Adrian Hatt and Mark Gray along with Patrick Greene and Lynda Atkins as County Councillors.
About thirty “demonstrators” appeared from Cholsey and we were afforded good press coverage from The Herald, Oxfordshire Guardian and BBC Radio Oxford.
This is not the end of the line and we will have to re-double our efforts for the Examination in Public in front of a Government Inspector. This is likely to take place towards the end of this year.