The website of the Sibfords and their Parish Councils
Sibford road safety
Our community is typical of small villages across the country having a mix of narrow twisting roads with limited footpaths …
Our community is typical of small villages across the country having a mix of narrow twisting roads with limited footpaths (to keep pedestrians safe). Traffic volumes and speeds moving around and through the Sibfords vary dependent on time of day, and drivers range from the courteous and safe to potentially dangerous. We also have two schools and safety of our children is so important. A group has been formed to look at what can be done to improve overall road safety and raise awareness of motorists who drive in our community. The image attached below shows a summary of the issues identified (click to enlarge it).
Do you believe this is an issue that needs to be investigated? Would you like to be involved? Contact Richard Irons or Simon Rayner, who would welcome your thoughts on this subject.
13 July, #3: A new batch of two eggs explains why this pair has been so diligent in continuing to sit on the nest, despite the discarded eggs on the floor of the box.
12 July, #1: Surprisingly, the pair that took up residence a couple of weeks ago are now incubating two eggs!
28 June, #3: The nest is empty, and the eggs are on the floor of the box (see photo – one is almost hidden behind the concave). It seems that the parents have decided that they are not viable.
27 June, #4: The two-week old chicks in #4 are growing fast.
27 June, #3: We’re concerned about the two eggs. They were laid about a week after #4, so now they must be about a week overdue in hatching. The parents are still dutifully incubating.
27 June, #2: We have seen the occasional visitor in this box, but last night we caught sight of a pair having a good look around together.
27 June, #1: A new prospecting pair took up residence two or three days ago. They are spending nights (and this morning!) cuddling up together.
12 June, #4: In a rare moment when both parents were out foraging, we saw that the eggs have hatched. May have been a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the pictures from this box are somewhat blurred, but it looks like there are only two chicks.
30 May, #3: A second egg.
27 May, #3: First egg; probably the first ever for this pair.
23 May, #4: A third egg. Going by previous years, that will be the lot.
22 May, #4: A second egg.
20 May: Since last night there has been a pair in #3.
19 May, #4: An egg!
17 May: We watched as a new swift flew up to each of the nestboxes in turn and called into them, finally spending a night in #2 – the first time this box has been used.
12 May: A small screaming party of four swifts entertained us outside this evening. The pair in #4 have been happily cuddling up together every night. And there’s a single bird in #3 again tonight; is it the same one who left 5 days ago, or is it their partner finally returned?
7 May: Our first breeding pair today returned to #4, where they successfully raised chicks last year and the year before. Unfortunately, after 4 nights alone in #3, the first bird of this season seems to have given up waiting for their partner.
3 May: The swifts are back! Well, one is, anyway. This must be one of the prospecting pair that took a shine to nestbox #3 last summer. Let’s hope that their partner makes it back as well before too long.
The nesting boxes are in Sibford Ferris. Revisit this page to keep an eye on progress.
The School House, owned by the Town Estate Charity of Sibford Gower and Burdrop, is currently being refurbished and will …
The School House, owned by the Town Estate Charity of Sibford Gower and Burdrop, is currently being refurbished and will be available for rental shortly. The house has 3 – 4 bedrooms and the Charity trustees would ideally like to help meet local housing needs by letting to a local family. Further details can be obtained from the secretary, Peter Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org or tel.01295 788 207)
Town Estate Trustee Vacancy
The Town Estate Charity is a long-established charity that receives rental income from various sources including a farm, livery and …
The Town Estate Charity is a long-established charity that receives rental income from various sources including a farm, livery and residential property. It has a remit to use surplus funds for (i) the general benefit of the Sibford Gower parish, (ii) to help the primary school and (iii) relief-in-need.
Applications are now invited to fill a forthcoming vacancy for a co-opted trustee. Candidates are asked to send details of their suitability, listing the skills and qualifications they believe they possess that would benefit the Charity, to the secretary, Peter Morgan (email@example.com).
The secretary or any of the trustees can also be contacted for further details of the Charity’s operations.
Brass in Concert
The draws for the 2019 Brass in Concert and Youth Brass in Concert Championships, to be held at Sage Gateshead …
The draws for the 2019 Brass in Concert and Youth Brass in Concert Championships, to be held at Sage Gateshead in November, have been made by sports broadcaster Mark Pougatch in Sibford Village Hall.
This year the two councils of the Ferris and the Gower explored ways in which they might share their separate …
This year the two councils of the Ferris and the Gower explored ways in which they might share their separate Annual Parish Meetings in a single celebration of our combined Sibfords Community. As part of his Chairman’s Report for the year, Gower’s Hugh Pidgeon explores some of the surprises he encountered when he started looking into the Meeting’s origins:
It was something of an experiment, and the more we looked into the history of the 1972 Local Government Act which underpins the declared purposes of this day, the more contradictions and anomalies we found. Within the same Act, the responsibilities of Parish and Town Councils as an arm of local government are defined right alongside this once-a-year Parish Meeting. The meeting itself is defined more as a form of direct democracy – uncommon in the United Kingdom, which primarily uses representative democracy.
For this first occasion we were content to stay with the primary declared purpose:
An Annual Parish Meeting is a meeting of the electors of a parish and the purpose of the meeting is for the community to come together to discuss parish affairs.
This we did, and I believe with great success. But we recognize that there is a delicate balance to be drawn between the primary purposes of the Community Meeting under the auspices of the Annual Parish Meeting, and the interests of the two elected Councils as they seek to respond to the wishes and concerns of their electorate.
Happily we did not get mired in some of the more dramatic collisions of view that have come to characterize the current debate between the direct democracy of the 2016 referendum and the responsibilities for the outcome claimed by the representative democracy of local members of Parliament!
Following our experience for the very first time of coming together as two Parishes to hold a shared meeting of the community as a whole, the two councils of the Gower and the Ferris have agreed to set up a cross-parish group to continue to investigate in a further developed structure and design for the event how best to honour the spirit of the original legislation that it should continue to be actively supported by the two councils but not be led by them.
The remainder of the Chairman’s report can be found as an appendix to the minutes of the Gower Parish Council Meeting of 21 May, in the Meeting Archive (190521).
Hugh’s tribute to the Annual Parish Meeting event and thanks to all those involved is in an earlier news item, and there is a full account of the event itself in the official minutes in the Meeting Archive (190509).
Sibford Drivers available from 1 July
Mary and Norman Nash write: We are pleased that our article in the May copy of the Scene has produced …
Mary and Norman Nash write: We are pleased that our article in the May copy of the Scene has produced 32 volunteers and we will be commencing our service to our fellow residents in July.
We are delighted and most grateful to Margaret Gardiner for agreeing to act as “Hub” in the first instance and you will see that Margaret is the first named each week on the rota for taking requests for a lift.
The first rota is attached below and anyone seeking a lift within or up to a ten mile radius of the village should telephone Margaret in the first instance. If Margaret is unavailable to answer please then try the second named, first on their house phone and as a last resort on their mobile, the number of which (if available) is also given. The two names on the rota have not been asked to sit by their telephones all the week but we hope the arrangements described will find you a driver. You will be asked how long you wish to stay at your destination i.e. a visit to the surgery or village hall for a film or to church or for a lengthy visit to an old friend may well necessitate a different driver to take you home.
The driver will be making a small charge to cover petrol and maintenance costs at the rate of 30p per mile. Note that the distance to Banbury, Shipston-on-Stour and Chipping Norton are all about 7 miles and a journey there and back would be about £4.50 depending on where exactly you wish to be taken. If the driver is unable to wait to take you home, you will be requested to pay a similar sum to the second driver.
We do hope that the inhabitants of Sibford will use this service as the volunteers are very keen that you should and will be disappointed if they have no requests; nobody likes to feel unwanted!
Residents will be aware of similar services organised mainly in Banbury for hospital and other appointments further afield. These are:
A planning application for a change use of the Pheasant Pluckers Inn (formerly Bishop Blaize) to residential use is about …
A planning application for a change use of the Pheasant Pluckers Inn (formerly Bishop Blaize) to residential use is about to be considered by the Planning Inspectorate, under the reference 3216818. You may make a representation to the Inspector up to Friday 21 June via the Planning Inspectorate’s Appeal Casework Portal.
The application documents are available on the Cherwell DC website under reference 18/01501/F. The reasoning behind Cherwell DC’s recommendation to refuse the application is set out in their Planning Committee minutes of 17 January 2019; scroll about half-way down the Agenda, decisions and minutes page to find links to the relevant sections.
A visit to Downton Abbey
The Sibfords Society writes: We hope you can join us on a coach trip to Highclere Castle, known world-wide …
The Sibfords Society writes: We hope you can join us on a coach trip to Highclere Castle, known world-wide as the setting for Downton Abbey. Near Newbury, it is home to the Carnarvon family and its treasures include an important Egyptian collection.
Martin’s of Tysoe will take us straight there on 30th July, leaving the Village Hall at 10 am. Cost: £28.50 per person. To book a place on the bus please contact Diana on 780 506.
Proposed footpath diversion
A proposed diversion of a footpath near Haynes Barn in Sibford Gower is about to be confirmed by Oxfordshire County …
A proposed diversion of a footpath near Haynes Barn in Sibford Gower is about to be confirmed by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). Representations or objections must be made to OCC before 21 June 2019. A copy of the order, an explanatory statement and a map are all available on the OCC website. The map may also be seen on the SGPC notice board outside the village hall.
CDC has set up the Cherwell Lottery to benefit not-for-profit groups all over the district. More information here.
CDC has set up the Cherwell Lottery to benefit not-for-profit groups all over the district. More information here.
For the first time in their separate histories, the councils of the two Sibford parishes, Ferris and Gower came together …
For the first time in their separate histories, the councils of the two Sibford parishes, Ferris and Gower came together last Thursday (9th) to host the Annual Parish Meeting as a shared celebration of our extra-ordinary vibrant community. And what a celebration it was! Over 50 people representing dozens of organisations, clubs, societies and other village institutions, and more like 150 people overall in one glorious upsurge of shared interest, mutual curiosity and animated conversations! As one of these wrote to me afterwards, “it was a wonderfully convivial meeting, showcasing the best of what the Sibfords is all about”.
I am writing on behalf of both Councils – of Ginny Bennett and John Wass for the Ferris, and myself – to express our sincere thanks to all the many people who contributed to making this such a success. As Ginny herself put it to me in a note afterwards: “So many people helped on the night – real community spirit!”
I was particularly grateful to the pupils from both Sibford schools who came to play and sing for us, and their music teachers, Fiona Hudson and Valerie Vet. Having the children there for me was a key part of the whole evening. Along with all the other children who came with their families, they are the community’s future, and I was delighted these young musicians could remind us of this so very beautifully!