Burford Town Council Annual Town Meeting
Mayor’s Report 2021/2022
Our town has suffered a second year of Covid, adversely affecting our businesses and residents, but hopefully at last we can start to move on.
I must start by thanking John White and Jane Westmacott-Tunnell for their long service as Mayor and deputy Mayor in previous years and for leaving the town in good order. May I also thank all my fellow councillors for their support.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome to our lovely town our new residents in the new houses off Shilton Road and elsewhere in the town.
The Penguin crossing over the A40 by Shilton Road has finally been installed after many false starts to give us a much safer crossing point.
The traffic through the town has increased again with queues at peak times. The 20mph speed limit through the town is unfortunately often ignored but now the new speed sign we have installed really helps remind motorists to respect the limit on entering the town.
We successfully lobbied OCC with the help of Ken Gray and The Burford and District Society, and finally had the western High Street pavement resurfaced in the autumn to make it safe by reducing the camber near the kerb and removing trip hazards.
After years of work by Derek Cotterill, WODC Planning turned down our application to extend the Guildenford car park, but we will not give up. Burford needs more parking for both its residents and visitors, especially as tourism is the lifeblood of the town.
The application to build up to 172 residences on Cole’s Field was refused by WODC: unfortunately, we expect the applicant will appeal the decision, so we will continue the fight next year.
The campaign to reduce the damage and pollution cause by HGVs travelling through Burford suffered a setback with the cancellation of the experimental weight limit by OCC, but your council will fight on to make the town a safer and more pleasant place.
As our contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee the council funded the two new community orchards which were planted by volunteers, and we were honoured to have the Duke of Gloucester come to Burford to plant the inaugural tree on Westfield, and in addition we also planted a single Oak tree , our Jubilee Oak, on the triangle of land at the end of Shilton Road.
Your council’s plans for 2022/23 are
- To manage the council’s responsibilities in the town within the agreed budget.
- To work with OCC to agree a freight and logistics strategy for Burford and West Oxfordshire, to agree an HGV weight limit through Burford.
- To review the use of the recreation ground and Westfield and to plan the improvements that the community would like to see for the future.
- To start to raise funding for improvements to the recreation ground.
- To investigate any further possibilities for car parks in Burford with WODC and local landowners.
- To co-ordinate the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in the town to provide a day of fun for our community.
- To support WODC in upholding their refusal of the planning application on Cole’s Field on appeal.
Finally, our town would not function without the expertise and commitment of our 3 employees: Maggie Andrews, our Town Clerk, John Yeatman, our Responsible Financial Officer, and David Buckland, our Lengthsman. The whole of Burford is in their debt, as am I. They have guided me through my year as Mayor.