Manifesto

At the local elections on 5th May, there is a clear choice facing voters. Now is the time to say ‘no’ to the Cowley LTN scheme and remove the ANPR cameras.

Vote Independent for A Greener City

The climate crisis means we cannot wait or take half measures to reduce carbon and increase sustainability. The two air quality monitors at St Greggs and on the Oxford Road clearing prove air quality has deteriorated in the area. By reconnecting Oxford with better sustainable infrastructure, we have an opportunity to redress and improve the lives of all residents, and make Oxford more attractive for local residents’ businesses and students.

On the Climate Crisis, I will:

  • Protect existing trees and open spaces, and introduce green schemes for our public spaces including playing fields, parks and cemeteries in the city centre and introduce bio-diversity corridors by introducing tree-planting, hedgerows, wetland and meadows. I will widen the scope of Cowley in Bloom to the wider community of Oxford with a central sustainable theme.
  • Act now to introduce a carbon neutral approach to all new council developments in Oxford. Introduce a ‘carbon bank’ to regulate offset carbon created in new developments. Upgrade building regulations to mandate zero emissions buildings. Waiting for the Local Plan review is too slow.
  • Make the city more attractive and vibrant for residents, students and visitors, by promoting further the predestination of the city, the reintroduction of sustainable transport including an affordable Cowley Branch Line and bus service that is affordable.
  • Develop and build on existing initiatives of the City Council where appropriate, and diversify investment to include green energy.

Vote Independent for a proper Homelessness Policy

Once the emergency measures end, we must review the homeless policy. There has to be collective responsibility and better support from surrounding districts in housing the homeless in Oxford.

On homelessness I will:

  • Provide more Affordable Homes: building more affordable homes would make renting and buying homes much easier
  • Upgrade existing homeless accommodation supported and funded by local district councils
  • On prevention introduce a dedicated support network that aimed at tackling drug use benefitting users and making the public realm safer

Vote Independent for Better Housing and a Better City

On Planning, I will:

  • Undertake a comprehensive programme of developing “green corridors of bio-diversity” within the city and beyond
  • Accommodate more of Oxford’s housing need using ‘employment use sites’ that could also incorporate housing on upper levels. Similarly housing developments should factor in potential employment and health care usage on larger sites.
  • Include a “cycling and walking score” for all new developments which also considers mobility for older residents.
  • Ensure that developers fully pay CIL and S106 contributions and prioritise the funding to mitigate problems caused by developments in the locality.
  • Prioritise 2 and 3-bed housing to meet the needs of local people, and starter homes.
  • Encourage alternative methods of construction. Challenging mortgage lenders to consider alternative forms of construction other tan leading to ‘standard form’ applications
  • Encourage different methods of ownership and tenure such as Community Land Trusts and other models.
  • Abandon the high-density housing policy for homes that are sustainable and provide adequate green space.
  • Ensure all new developments include a proportionate level of green or amenity space and that these spaces are mapped into the cities ‘bio-diversity grid’.
  • All new council developments to be built using a carbon neutral policy forcing the council to off-set all carbon produced during the build.
  • Ensure all development is linked to sustainable transport.
  • Provide on-site car park serving the JR, easily accessible from the A40, linked by regular shuttle, reserving onsite parking for patients, visitors and staff.
  • On Planning
    • Improve communication with residents on planning issues, mandating the developer to communicate potential schemes to local residents and businesses within 100m of larger developments and 50m for smaller developments
    • Facilitate all speakers an opportunity to speak at planning committee meetings, and reintroduce East & West Planning committees
    • Change the call-in procedure from 24 hours to one week for both approved and dismissed applications with the approval of three councillors (Instead of 11).
    • Give local councillors the right to address planning committees on applications in their constituencies.

On strategic and regional issues, I will:

  • Protect Green Belt
  • Oppose the Cowley LTN scheme and remove the ANPR cameras
  • New all council developments to be carbon neutral, and private developments net carbon free
  • Demand genuinely sustainable transport for all new development proposals, with a priority on infrastructure first.
  • Introduce segregated cycle lanes (not painted lines) along all major road arteries and accident ‘hot spots’.

Vote Independent for A city fit to live in

On Transport, I will:

  • Roll out the introduction of School Streets, and where Controlled Parking Zones have been introduce use council resources to enforce them
  • Support 20mph speed limits in residential areas, in hotspots introduce SID (speed indication devices) and variable speed cameras to maintain sensible and safer streets
  • Abandon the use of ANPR cameras that fine local residents and businesses
  • Prioritise the creation of separate cycle lanes or mobility lanes that would also include mobility scooters.
  • Build new infrastructure for cycling/walking
  • Develop a dedicated bus space for tourist buses accessing the city
  • Support the opening of an affordable Cowley branch line

On Development, I will:

  • Put Zero Carbon front and centre of all policies
  • locate growth at sustainable locations within the city
  • Investigate opportunities for a similar approach to other sites outside the city boundary
  • Support innovative development proposals, favouring a mix of types of dwelling and tenure, and MMC
  • Campaign for a land tax for 300 empty houses in Oxford, of which 59 have been unoccupied for over 2 years in the city centre

Vote Independent for our Economy 

For our economy and I will work to:

  • Establish business clusters and start-up networks to create new jobs
  • Abandon the Oxford Living Wage, as this serves as a cap with no opportunity for progression within the scheme
  • Demand a proper living wage for apprentices, both in the public and private sector.
  • Work with the chamber of commerce to set up a business gateway so that local businesses can compete fairly for council contracts
  • Invest in affordable and key-worker housing
  • Prioritise green energy and investment in local neighbourhoods

Vote Independent for our Health,  Wellbeing and Education

For our Health, Wellbeing & Education, I will work to: 

  • Demand that all adolescents and young people have access qualified mental health nurses at secondary and primary level.
  • Provide ‘care for carers’ – including free leisure centre use for all carers and free bus travel throughout city
  • Demand nutritionally balanced free school meals for all children in households on benefits, and financially support local agencies delivering meals during school recesses
  • Make recreation areas more accessible with better lighting and CCTV monitoring
  • Provide sport, music, arts, drama activities through collaboration between schools and communities