Blewbury Post Office Re-opens

Blewbury Post Office is back open again on Monday to Friday mornings, 8.30am until 12noon, closed on August Bank Holiday Monday. The days post is collected between 11.00am and 12noon, so urgent mail needs to be in by then. Pretty stamps are available to buy but stick on at home.
We are still working on the ‘one in, one waiting in the corner, everyone else outside’ system, face coverings are appreciated, but not really needed, as we are behind our glass screen and everyone can keep more than 2m apart. We are taking a short break at around 10.30am, so don’t worry if no one is there at that time.

Planned Improvements for Local Cycling

Residents of all ages can look forward to a step-change in cycling infrastructure aimed at making this green form of transport safer and more attractive for a range of journeys across Oxfordshire.

A series of bold plans by Oxfordshire County Council, combined with a £2.9m two-stage Government grant, will transform residents’ experience of cycling as part of a move to support active and healthy travel combined with a firm commitment to cutting carbon emissions and air pollution.

The popularity of cycling has soared since lockdown began in March. The council is determined to build on this trend and to ensure that the related reduction in air pollution (which is down by as much as 64% in some parts of the county) is sustained in the future.

The active travel fund will allow Oxfordshire to address some of the key factors that deter people from cycling and encourage more journeys by bike. Current measures include prioritising road space for bikes to improve road safety; improving signage and road markings for cycle lanes; and creating more cycle parking in all market towns and Oxford. The next stage of the funding will include more 20mph zones to improve road safety where residents want them.

The first phase of the funding is being concentrated over an eight-week period. The steps taken include:

More purpose-built cycle parking areas, particularly in market town squares, close to rural bus stops, and at park and rides

More priority given to cycles, from changes to traffic light timings to prioritise people travelling by bike to adapting the road network to allow more space for bikes

An upgraded maintenance scheme for cycle paths and cycle routes, with improved signage and route markings

The County Council is also working on an exciting programme of structural improvements to support cycling and walking well beyond the active travel fund. As part of the Local Transport and Connectivity Plan, the county is working with the district and city councils on a series of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). Didcot, Bicester and Oxford will be the first locations in the county to benefit from them.

The LCWIPs will mean a cycle network for each town, with numbered cycle routes, including links to villages and towns within easy cycling distance. They will also include measures to improve pedestrian access to the main shopping centres.

Work on the Icknield Greenway, the cycle route linking Wantage to Harwell business park, started on 26 May and is due to be completed on 16 October. The route is one of six key corridors linking Harwell Campus, Milton Park and Culham Science Centre with Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage, and is part of the Science Vale Cycle Network Project. This major scheme is designed to provide improved facilities for journeys by bike and on foot and to encourage sustainable travel across the area.


Temporary Working Practices at Woodlands Medical Centre to cope with COVID-19

Co-existing with Covid-19: The new normal
The Woodlands practice has had an increase in the number of patients going to the practice to book appointments. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS.
• Only go to the practice if you have an appointment booked. This helps protect vulnerable patients
• To book an appointment please call the Practice or use the NHS app
• For non-urgent enquires please use the online consultation facility (e-consult) on the practice website.
The new normal:
Rather than waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to end, it looks increasingly likely that it is something we will need to live alongside in the long-term. Below are some changes that we need to make to how our services function, and ways in which patients can help us to provide effective services.
We need to achieve three things:
• Assess and treat people with possible symptoms of Covid-19 in a safe way for them, our staff, and other patients.
• Continue to provide a broad range of primary care services to our overall population.
• Ensure that people who would be at high risk from Covid-19 can access services safely.
To achieve this, we are adopting the following measures:
• Patients with potential symptoms of Covid-19 are seen separately from other patients.
‘CALM’ clinics (Coronavirus Assessment Liaison and Monitoring) have been established across Oxfordshire. Woodlands hosts the Didcot clinic. Patients park in separate parking bays, use a separate entrance, and are seen in a separate part of the building from other patients. The clinicians seeing those patients stay in that clinic for the duration of that session, wear PPE, and change out of the clothes worn at the end of their clinic before coming back into the rest of the building. This should provide effective segregation of people with symptoms and those without. The number and locations of these clinics may vary over the coming months as we see peaks and troughs of symptoms of possible coronavirus.
• All staff in the practice have weekly screening for coronavirus.
We are fortunate to have had this service provided by a local private laboratory prior to NHS testing being available, and this helps us to monitor the health of our staff and ensure that the people treating patients are not infected with coronavirus without having symptoms.
• The waiting room chairs are spaced 2 metres apart.
People can have coronavirus with no symptoms, or very few symptoms. We therefore need to operate services bearing this in mind. Significant contact is defined as being less than 2 metres away from an infected person for more than 15 minutes, and we need to avoid this in our waiting areas. This has reduced the capacity of our main waiting room down to 12 people, and we have adjusted the volume and timing of face to face appointments to align with this.
• Shielded patients can be seen separately.
We are operating some evening appointments for blood tests / nursing activity which are reserved for people at the highest risk of complications from coronavirus. The CALM clinic and the pharmacy will be shut at these times, so that people can access services without significant contact with other people. Staff will be wearing PPE, which together with their weekly screening, makes the risk of possible transmission to these patients extremely low. We will also be operating daytime appointments for shielded patients from one of the other GP practices, so that people also have this option to access services.
• Most GP appointments will be done remotely by phone, video or e-consultation.
We can now only justify face to face GP consultations for people who need to have a specific examination carried out. This is needed to manage the flow of people through the practice, reduce the risks to patients and staff, and preserve the available supplies of PPE. We have found that most issues can be dealt with in this way, without the need for face to face examination, and we will be able to continue to provide effective services with these changes. If you have symptoms that you would like advice on, please do get in touch rather than waiting for things to get back to normal, particularly if you are concerned about potential cancer symptoms, heart problems, or any other significant health issue.
How to help us help you:
• Please make sure we have an up to date mobile phone number for you on your medical records.
We are increasingly using text messaging to let people know about appointments, send links to documents and issue electronic prescriptions. Having your correct mobile number is essential for these things to work, so please update this if it changes. You can provide or update your number via the NHS App (see Annex).
• Consider using the e-consult service available via our website.
We are providing a same day response to e-consults received before 4pm on any working day, so this is a quick and effective way to deal with health issues. Photos can also be attached.
• Do not enter the waiting room before the time of your appointment.
With our limited safe waiting room capacity, we need to minimise the number of people waiting. If you have arrived by car and have a mobile phone, you can also phone reception to let them know you have arrived and ask for the clinician to phone you when they are ready to see you. We will also be working on ways for people to check in and contact reception from outside the building. Depending on how things develop in the coming months, we will look at the feasibility of having an additional temporary waiting area to create additional capacity.
• Attend your appointment alone unless you need someone to assist you.
With the reduced waiting room capacity, we are not able to fit in several people per appointment and having more people in the building or consulting rooms increases the risks of transmission of coronavirus. Clearly children will need to come to their appointments with a parent / guardian, but where possible this needs to be 1 adult with the child and no other family members.
• Request your prescriptions online and have them sent electronically to a pharmacy.
You can use the NHS App or other online services to request prescriptions. Please also nominate a pharmacy to receive your prescriptions electronically, as this is more reliable and helps to reduce the number of people needing to come into the practice.
• Make use of our community link workers.
The pandemic will have created issues for many people with work, finances, and stress from uncertainty and isolation. Our community link workers can offer pragmatic and emotional support for anyone in need. You can contact them on 01235 849 445 or at .
We are all needing to rapidly adapt to the new realities we are faced with and we would like to thank our patients and our staff for the understanding that they have shown so far.
We are happy to hear any comments, feedback or suggestions that would help us provide effective healthcare, so please feel free to share these.
First read through the steps before you start to ensure you have all you need ready.
• Go to the NHS website or download the NHS App to your phone
• Set up your NHS log-in details which will mean giving your email address, choosing a password and accepting the terms and conditions
• Reply to the email the app will send you to confirm your email address and log in
• Supply your mobile number. You will then be sent a text with a security number which you will need to enter to continue
• Then comes the hard bit. You can either register with your practice details which will require the practice to confirm you; OR you can register by submitting a photo of some photo ID such as passport or driving licence. This is how you do this: Submit the photo of your ID record a short video of your face as you say 4 randomly generated numbers Enter your date of birth Enter your NHS number if you know it or else the name and postcode of your home address
• The website or app will then verify your ID and should reply back within two hours.
If you cannot enter this information via the app then please contact the surgery and who will send you an online application form to complete. This will allow the practice to set up your access and then send you a link to the NHS app for you to accept.
Woodlands Medical Centre – June 2020

Cycleways and Footpaths to be cleared.

Cycleways and Footpaths to be cleared.
Cyclists and walkers are set to benefit from a concerted plan of action to clear and prepare the Oxfordshire’s network of cycleways and footpaths ready for the expected rises in demand as lockdown is very gradually relaxed.
As the people of Oxfordshire look to return to work and school during the Summer, cycling and walking will become more important than ever – both offer zero emission ways to travel which will improve health and wellbeing as well as helping to address the need to keep socially distant.
In each case, the work will pay particular attention to narrower areas that might be widened for greater access. Paths requiring surface improvement work will also be identified so that repairs can be made.

Household Waste Recycling Centres to Re-open

Residents in Oxfordshire are being asked not to make a dash to the county’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) when they reopen on Monday 18th May and risk spending time in tailbacks seen elsewhere in the country where sites have re-opened.

The reopening applies to all Oxfordshire HWRCs: Alkerton, Ardley, Dix Pit, Drayton, Oakley Wood, Redbridge and Stanford in the Vale.

The seven sites will operate with reduced opening hours. They will open at 8am and close at 4pm. The sites will be open seven days a week as long as they are not overwhelmed and can operate safely.

The number of vehicles allowed onto the site will be reduced by approximately 50% to allow for social distancing. This means that queues are highly likely, especially at peak times such as weekends.

Residents are therefore being urged only to visit the site if their trip is essential and they cannot safely store their waste at home.

Government guidance says that trips to a HWRC should only be made if ‘essential’ – that is if the waste cannot be stored safely without harm to health. The Government guidance states: “It would be reasonable for residents to undertake a journey to a HWRC if the waste or recycling could not be stored safely at home or disposed of through other legitimate routes such as a dedicated collection. By this we mean that the waste/recycling could not be stored on their property without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the resident or other members of their household or harm to public health and amenity.”

Things to remember when visiting the reopened centres:

  • You should only visit the site if you cannot safely store your waste at home.
  • Revised opening hours: All sites will open at 8am and close at 4pm to allow them to be cleaned for the following day. The summer evening opening hours are suspended.
  • Vehicle numbers and parking bays will be reduced on site, and once the maximum is reached the site will operate on a one-out one-in basis. PLEASE NOTE the potential for long delays and queues.
  • Please follow any instructions given by traffic marshals to ensure queues are managed safely
  • We will continue to charge for non-household waste brought to sites and this will be by contactless card payment only. If you are unable to pay by contactless means you will not be able to deposit non household waste at the site.
  • Residents are expected to self-police and abide by social distancing of two metres from site teams and other residents at all times.
  • For an initial period, no hire vans or trailers will be permitted onto sites.
  • Site teams will be there for guidance only and will not be able to assist residents in unloading their waste.
  • Only one resident will be permitted out of the vehicle, unless it is to unload a heavy load which would otherwise be unsafe to remove. Visits are best made by just one person per vehicle.
  • In line with Public Health England guidance, residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.
  • Residents are requested to ensure all waste is pre-sorted before arriving at site to ensure minimum time on site.

Specific rules and restrictions will vary by site. Please refer to the county council website before leaving home to familiarise yourself with these and to avoid frustration and delay:

Oxfordshire County Council has been heartened by the support and respect shown to its refuse collection services. The council respectfully asks during these difficult times that the same level of courtesy and respect is shown to our site teams. Please expect delays along with the risk of being turned away after 4pm irrespective of the size of any queue for entry.

Unsure what to recycle at our HWRCs? Residents can check if a HWRC can deal with their material by using our new online tool Waste Wizard:

You may find that you can recycle some of your goods without having to make the journey to one of our Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Although the council sincerely hopes they will not be needed, residents are reminded that all sites have CCTV and site teams are issued with bodycams. There will be zero-tolerance of abuse and threatening behaviour to site teams and anyone found to do so may be banned from our sites.

Cllr Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“I’d like to thank our residents for their patience in holding their waste for recycling at this difficult time. I would also like to ask the people of Oxfordshire to use the sites with care as they reopen and consider if they are able to store their waste for a bit longer as we all adjust to continued social distancing.”



A34 Closures

A34 Closures

Please note parts of the A34 will be closed between 9.00pm and 6.00am on the following nights .

Monday 4th May for two nights – closure of the southbound carriageway from the A420 Botley Interchange to the A4130 Milton Interchange.

Monday 11th May for two nights – closure of the northbound carriageway from the A423 Hinksey Hill junction to the A44 Peartree Interchange.

Monday 18th May for four nights – closure of the southbound carriageway from the A4130 Milton Interchange to the M4 (Chieveley).

Thursday 21st May for one night – closure of the northbound carriageway from the A4185 Chilton Interchange to the A4130 Milton Interchange.

Saturday 1st June for two nights – closure of the northbound carriageway from the M4 Chieveley Interchange to the A4185 Chilton junction



Blewbury Post Office During Lockdown

The Post Office is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday mornings, 9.00am to 11.30am, the post is collected at that time. The refit has been delayed, it may happen in May or June, who knows?

We are experiencing high volumes of returns, we don’t have enough space to store them until collection time, so we are limiting the number we can take. We have Kitty’s eggs on sale, when closed, they will be on my doorstep, (Tadcombe, Besselslea) £1.50 for 6! Emergency gas/electric/phone top ups, cash etc, please ring my mobile 07825154842

Karen (Maggie and Carl in splendid isolation!)


Blewbury Post Office

This coming week , starting 20th April, Blewbury Post Office will be opening Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am to 11.30am, for essential transactions only, cash deposits & withdrawals, bill payments, gas, electric & phone top ups, business posting, stamps.
No home shopping returns or eBay please this week.
Thank you.

Post Office to Close for Refurbishment

Please note that the Post Office will be closed from Friday 10th April until 2.30pm on Tuesday 28th April. We are having a bit of a revamp as part of the Village Hall refurbishment.

Royal Mail usually put the cost of postage up at the beginning of their financial year, and as usual, it will be at the end of March or beginning of April, so buy 1st and 2nd class stamps before then, as they just revalue themselves!

We are looking to take on another part time counter clerk, (1 or 1½ days a week) full training will be given, if you are interested please pop in for a chat, or ring 851777. I would just like an extra day in the garden!

Karen and Maggie

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Thank you so much to all the Poppy Appeal collectors and all who contributed to this year’s Poppy Appeal. We have raised £638.96 for the Royal British Legion.

Helen Weston ( Poppy Appeal Organiser for Upton.)