Hot Topics

  • Telecommunications  
    Last updated 2 months ago.

    Telecommunications

    Christopher Prentice, Chair of Ashbury Parish Council
    stated:
    A. the need to address some telecommunications and broadband issues from the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) plan and implementation process as they relate to Ashbury Parish residents, and
    B. that Pauline Smith as Chair of the Ashbury Neighbourhood Plan group would be organising the brief and monitoring of the work required.
    The brief to address will inform you all of what has been happening so far in parts of the parish and provide details of current possibilities and plans for the future.

    The activity will focus on the following:

    1. Providing information to you all about the OCC funded contract awarded to Airband to install Broadband Services to some households in Kingstone Winslow.
    2. Provide details of the possibilities for certain households in Ashbury and Idstone to have installed Airband Broadband Services.
    3. Update residents on the 5G services and any mast installation.
    4. Provide details of the national ending of ‘landline’ services and what actions may be necessary for Ashbury parish households to take.
    5. I (Graham Turner) have been asked to lead the investigations in this area.

    Here is my update so far:

    Items 1 and 2: Airband and Broadband

    Currently OpenReach (part of BT) provides fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and depending on how close houses are to their respective cabinets they can typically get a service ranging from 20 to 75Mbps. Many different companies, not just BT, offer a broadband service using this infrastructure and householder contracts are with those companies, not OpenReach. These services will continue to be available, so if what
    you have meets your needs you do not need to make any changes.

    Recently Airband were contracted by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), as part of the Rural Broadband initiative, to provide a fibre to the premises (FTTP) service to a number of homes in Kingstone Winslow. You may have noticed the new telegraph poles that have appeared at various places in connection with this. FTTP can deliver very high speeds, typically 100 or 250Mbps, sometimes even 1Gbps.

    As well as covering Kingstone Winslow, Airband have installed a fibre “backbone” in parts of Ashbury, and they may be able to provide an FTTP service to some houses in Ashbury. If they decide to proceed with an Ashbury deployment, then they would be looking for groups of people who are interested in signing up to their service so that they can claim the government funded vouchers* to pay for extending the network to these houses. (See below for how to proceed if you are interested)

    The situation with Idstone is a bit more complicated, in that either a larger number of homes would need to take up the service to justify the costs of extending the fibre network, or Airband may offer a wireless solution.

    Details of Airband’s service can be found  at AirBand with pricing for different speed options on the All Packages page.

    How to proceed if you are interested in an Airband Broadband Service

    The starting point for both Ashbury and Idstone is to get an idea of how many people would be interested in taking up the Airband service.
    I am happy to act as a central point for people to contact and to let me know if they are interested in the Airband service, so that we can see whether there may be enough people, and thus vouchers*, in each area of Ashbury to potentially meet the costs for the infrastructure installations. It is important to note that Airband have said that any decision on whether to offer service will be taken on an individual house
    by house basis. Therefore, any actual order to take the service would need to be arranged directly between individual householders and Airband.

    *NOTE: It is ONLY the Broadband Service provider, and in this part of Oxfordshire, currently only Airband as the OCC contracted supplier, which can claim the nationally provided and allocated ‘vouchers’. These vouchers are used to fund the infrastructure installation works required for the Broadband Service provision.

    Item 3: 5G service and mast installations

    At present there are no further planning applications submitted for the installation of a 5G mast in Ashbury Parish.
    We shall continue to look at any plans for 5G mobile telephony in this area and we will provide more information as it becomes available.

    Item 4: Telephones

    At the moment, telephone use in Ashbury is mainly a mixture of BT landlines and mobile phones, although some residents may be using their broadband connections for internet telephony, known as VoIP (Voice over IP). As was mentioned last month, the existing landline network is in the process of being turned off, and the current expectation is that Ashbury will have it turned off during
    2024.

    It is very important to stress that Ofcom have worked with BT to ensure that no one will be left without a “landline” telephone service.
    If you only have a landline telephone service, and no broadband connection, then BT have to provide an equivalent service. To do this they will bring a broadband connection to your house (but you will not be charged extra for it) and install a unit that will allow your existing telephone to be plugged into it just as if it was connecting to the old service.

    If you already have a broadband service, then BT will provide the conversion unit so that your existing landline telephone can continue to be used. In the near future we will be providing more information on this transition. For example, if you are classed as a ‘vulnerable user’ then there will be an opportunity to advise BT of that fact when they arrange to instal the new equipment. They will then
    provide some additional equipment, so that your telephone will continue to operate even if there is a power failure.

    If your landline is used for other services, such as fax or emergency signalling then these are likely to be affected by the change from the current telephone network. For emergency signalling you will need to contact your service provider to check that the equipment will still operate correctly. However, there is no need to panic, the changeover in Ashbury is expected to be during 2024, and the wrinkles will have been ironed out in the areas that transitioned before Ashbury.

    Resources

    I am in the process of creating an on-line repository of useful documents which can be accessed for reading at https://1drv.ms/u/s!AouskWXrMPcgfk8NaauvkZTQ6Rr_A?e=kHnrU7

    As time goes on more and more information will be available here.

    To make it easier to access the repository I will:
    • put a post on the Ashbury (UK) Community News and Events Facebook page a clickable link, and
    • send the details of the link in an email to be circulated via the Ashbury email managed by Margaret Smith.

    Contact

    If you want to contact me to raise any queries, to indicate potential interest in the Airband service or discuss progress on what is happening, then you can email me at graham@mltgnt.com or drop a note through my letter box at Claremont (opposite the village school). Graham Turner, February 2022

  • Platinum Jubilee – Party on the Green  
    Last updated 2 months ago.

    Platinum Jubilee – Party on the Green

    Ashbury celebration of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Party on the Green 5 June 2022

    Volunteers needed
    Thank you to everyone who has come forward to offer their help on 5 June at our Jubilee Party on the Green. The event will start at 12.00 noon and go on during the afternoon. We still need people willing to take on the following:
    1. Children’s games: Two more people each willing to help for at least one hour on 5 June; and to meet once in advance to plan and at 11.45 am on the day for a briefing.
    2. Tug of War: One person to plan and deliver a tug of war competition, based on teams from areas of the parish, formed in advance; and other pick-up teams formed on the day.
    3. Fun Run:
    (1) One person to plan a Fun Run from White Horse Hill to the Village Green and organise a team of marshals on the day.
    (2) Six marshals to help the organiser for one hour on 5 June.
    4. Set-Up: A team to help set-up on the Green on the morning of 5 June from 9.30-11.30 am.
    5. Jubilee Beacon: Jubilee beacons will be lit across the whole country on the evening of Thursday 2 June. A volunteer is needed to organise an Ashbury Beacon. For more information, see the following website: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/60bb599c70faee6f7ef0835c/t/621e93d4e8ce8f7baf889f87/1646171126633/Guide_To_Taking_Part_Online.pdf
    6. Tea and cakes: An organiser and a team to run the tea stall. We already have quite a few offers of home baked cakes but need an organiser and helpers to work for an hour during the afternoon
    7. Bar: We have organisers for this but need some helpers offering an hour during the afternoon

    Donations needed
    We hope our Jubilee Party on the Green can be truly inclusive for everyone in the village to enjoy. We would like the food at the party (a hog roast and pizza waggon are our current ideas), and the ice creams, tea, cakes etc to be free for all on the day or available at minimum cost. To achieve that we need to raise substantial funds in advance, c. £5,000. There will be a cash bar on the day, which will raise some money, but that is not going to be enough to cover the food and other costs (various entertainments).

    If you feel able to help to subsidise the food for everyone at the party, including of course yourselves, there are two ways to donate. Please either contribute by BACS to Ashbury Village Hall’s special Jubilee account at Lloyds Bank, 30 13 35 a/c 76694868; or pop your donation into an envelope addressed to Ashbury Village Hall Jubilee Fund and post it through Jo Cholmeley’s door at Icklestone Cottage, High Street, Ashbury (Jo is our Ashbury Village Hall treasurer). Your gift will allow us to subsidise the food at the party, even if we don’t get enough to cover the costs in full.

    Thank you on behalf of the whole parish for anything you can give.

    Christopher Prentice – cnrprentice@gmail.com
    Maggie Simons – maggiemsimons@outlook.com

  • Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukrainian Refugees  
    Last updated 2 months ago.

    Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukrainian Refugees

    With the Ukraine crisis worsening daily, Ashbury Parish Council are encouraging residents to take part in hosting/sponsoring refugees from Ukraine. Details of the scheme and how to register are listed below.

    Key points of new scheme:

    • Accommodation offered to refugees needs to be available for at least six months.
    • Applications to host refugees will be made online and both hosts and refugees will be vetted. Home Office to check whether people offering up accommodation are in a position to provide that support.
    • No cap on refugee numbers admitted through this scheme
    • Sponsored Ukrainian refugees will have three years leave to remain in the UK and will be able to work, claim benefits and access public services during this period
    • Hosts will be paid £350 a month as a ‘thank you’
    • Local authority will be given £10,000 per refugee although £10,500 is also mentioned
    • Additional payments to support school age children will be available.

    How this works

    This bespoke scheme will offer a route to those who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home. It will enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for Ukrainians, and their immediate family members, forced to escape their homeland.

    Sponsors should provide accommodation for as long as they are able, but we have a minimum expectation of 6 months.

    Someone is eligible for the scheme if they are a Ukrainian national or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, and were resident in Ukraine prior to 1 January 2022.

    We will welcome as many arrivals as possible, based on the number of sponsors.

    People arriving under this scheme will be able to:
    • Live and work in the UK for up to three years
    • Access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education, and English language tuition

    I’m interested how do I register?

    If you have a named person who you wish to sponsor you should get in contact with them directly and prepare to fill in a visa application with all their details and yours. The visa application will go live on Friday 18 March.

    If you don’t know anyone who you wish to sponsor you may wish to get in touch with charities, faith groups or local community organisations who are starting to make connections between individuals.

    https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/

    Volunteers Needed

    Ashbury Parish Council are looking for volunteers, if you are interested in any of the three volunteer roles below, please contact the Clerk via email on clerk@ashbury.org.uk

Upcoming Events

Jun 19

Walking Club

June 19 @ 14:00 - 17:00

Parish Newsletter

Download the latest newsletter:

Newsletter May 2022

Planning
Parish Council

Parish Council

Parish Council Meetings

The Parish Council meets every two months and the meetings are open to all.  Next meeting is 6.00pm on Monday 11th Jan 2021 via Zoom.  Please find the agenda and the latest set of minutes from the most recent meeting:  Agenda January 20210111         Draft Minutes November 20201109

 

The dates for the remaining Parish Council Meetings can be viewed here: Dates of council meetings for the coming Dates of council meetingsDates of council meetings