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February - SPECIAL VALUE GRAND PRIX TICKETS FOR SILVERSTONE AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON - This week Silverstone launched its online booking service for fans seeking to experience the thrills of this year's Foster's British Grand Prix (9 – 11th July).
The new 24 hour service at means it's never been easier for Formula One fans to book tickets for Britain's premier motorsport event.  The launch comes as fans have one month to take advantage of Silverstone's early booking offer. Fans buying in February will benefit from enjoying all three days of Formula One action for the price of one. The offer, available until 1st March, provides spectators purchasing race day tickets with a free upgrade to a three day Weekend Ticket. This offer has been a major feature of Silverstone Motorsport's new pricing strategy for 2004.
With general walkabout tickets available from £90 for adults, the free upgrade provides spectators with a three day Weekend Ticket that costs less than a Sunday ticket in 2003

March - 'HANDS OFF HORTON' -A NEW APPEAL - Cuts to our hospital not acceptable A NEW CAMPAIGN has been launched to ensure that Horton General Hospital's 24-hour acute services remain intact. Though there are no immediate plans to reduce them, there are fears that a change in national trends may be used by management as a reason to move them to the John Radcliffe in Oxford. And supporters from as far away as Daventry and Chipping Norton had pledged their backing for a Hands Off Our Horton petition, launched by the Keep the Horton General action group. The launch took place at the Oxford Road hospital with Banbury Town Mayor Cllr Rosemarie Higham, Banbury MP Tony Baldry and Daventry MP Tim Boswell all there promising their full support. The dignitaries and the action group were there for a private meeting with Trevor Campbell Davies and Sir William Stubbs, chief executive and chairman respectively of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust.
Action group chairman George Parish said: "It was arranged so we could get feedback from the trust on questions we asked in December, particularly about the loss of post mortems and histopathology and the potential loss of 24-hour children's cover." Mr Campbell Davies described the meeting as "very useful". "A large part of our discussion was about delayed discharges and how to stop the Horton getting caught up as a community hospital, as well as the issue of paediatric services," he said. "We tried to make it clear that some things are generated by national changes which affect the whole nature of the way hospitals work." And Mr Campbell Davies added that with doctors' training time halved in recent years, learning was needed in larger hospitals offering wide and specialised experience. Advanced training was not possible at limited smaller hospitals such as the Horton, he said, posing a problem in providing safe medical staffing levels. Mr Parish said: "This has been a good start to the campaign. We now need to explain to people that we don't believe there is any threat to close the hospital, but there is a distinct threat to the continuation of a full range of full-time services and we are not prepared to let that happen.
"We gave a very clear message about how strongly people feel about keeping 24-hour services at the Horton and I think the trust is now listening to us," he added. Now a meeting is to be set up between the Trust, MPs and the Royal College of Paediatrics to discuss the Horton's problems.
The current review of paediatrics has prompted fears that a weekdays-only, daytime service will be introduced with knock on effects in maternity and accident and emergency. Mr Parish said that since news of the launch was published in last week's Banbury Guardian, he had 60 telephone calls from supporters. "I have been overwhelmed by the number of people ringing for petition sheets from places like Brailes, Daventry, Eydon, Middleton Cheney, King's Sutton and Deddington as well as in Banbury."

MISSING £1m ENQUIRY APPEAL - Furious Banbury parents are demanding a public enquiry over the discovery of £1 million in a bank account forgotten for four years by Oxfordshire's social services. They believe that if the council had known about the money two years ago, respite centres under threat from budget cuts would never have been targeted. The parents — whose children attend the Sycamore House respite centrein Banbury — took their protest to County Hall in Oxford.
Many had campaigned to save Sycamore House from closure in 2002 and believe the home, along with three others in Oxfordshire, could have been funded by the money which instead was invested in 1999. Sycamore House was saved when children's charity Barnardo's and the Oxfordshire Learning Disability NHS Trust joined the council to fund and manage it. But their plans to modernise it and keep it open seven days a week mean it will have to close in April for six months.
Janice Underwood has taken her son Lewis to Sycamore House for the last 12 years. After attending the protest this week she said: "Council members were very dismissive and I felt we were being fobbed off. "But although we didn't get any answers from them, at least they know we are demanding some.
"When Sycamore closes I shall miss the after school sessions the most. Lewis is 16 and severely disabled. Because of his age and the seriousness of his condition he will not be able to go to alternative sessions being offered to some of the other children from the home. This will mean I have less time to spend with the rest of the family.
After the protest council leader Cllr Keith Mitchell said: "This money had built up in an account over five years and only latterly reached the £1 million figure. The practical reality is that this money could never have been used to increase social care provision."

MR ARTHUR RIGGS - It is with great sadness to report the death of Arthur Riggs just a few days before his 99th birthday.
Mr Riggs came to Charlton in the 1960's as a gardener to Margaret Countess of Birkenhead at Holly House. He was an acid gardener with a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of gardening, which he was always happy to share with others. A devoted family man and a great comfort to his wife during her distressing illness.
For the last few years he was resident at Diana House in Brackley and passed away at Duncote Hall Nursing Home on March 1st.
Our deepest sympathy is passed onto his son Brian, daughter-in law Lynne and thier family.

HOPE FOR AYNHOE PARK RESIDENTS" - As reported in the local Banbury Guardian, hope for Aynhoe residents ELDERLY residents facing eviction from Aynhoe Park may have won a reprieve after a successful bid to buy the £3 million Georgian mansion as a going concern. Seventeen people, in their 80s and 90s, had been given notice to quit their serviced apartments – bought as dream retirement homes – by the end of June after the Country Houses Association charity, which owns Aynhoe Park, went into solvent liquidation.
But CHA trustees are now working with the successful bidder to convert their offer into a signed contract before the end of the month.
Christopher Taylor, acting chairman of the association, said the trustees were delighted with the bids they had received for eight houses across the country. "We hope to be able to exchange contracts as soon as possible," he said. "We have asked the residents to remain cautious until the exchanges are confirmed." Parish council chairman Keith McClellan welcomed the news and said he hoped residents would be able to continue living at Aynhoe Park. "It gives residents and staff security for a little longer. They feel it has given them breathing space," he said. The CHA bought its historic properties in the 1950s and sold off apartments to mostly well-off ex-service personnel who paid a lump sum, between £40,000 and £140,000, and a now pay a monthly service charge.

"PLAN TO RESTORE AIRFIELD RAF BICESTER" - THE former RAF Bicester airfield could be restored to its former glory by a vintage and classic aircraft company. Flying A Services Ltd wants to buy and restore the airfield and associated buildings to create a museum and fly historic aeroplanes about once a month. A company spokesman described the historic airfield as 'a gem on Bicester's doorstep', adding: "Flying A Services Ltd wants to purchase the freehold and use the two main hangars for museum and restoration facilities.
"We want to buy and restore the rest of the airfield site for other business and aviation related use – to generate funds for the upkeep of the airfield to English Heritage standards." "We also believe we have a duty to the community of Bicester as well as providing a local museum capable of attracting visitors from around the world."
Defence Estates, which owns the land, says it is aware of the plan and is awaiting a proposal, but a spokesperson said: "We want to build 1,300 dwellings plus other facilities including at least 30 acres of recreational ground on the site." Berkshire-based Flying A Services Ltd currently owns the former Cruise Missile site at Greenham Common near Newbury for storing and restoring 12 historic aeroplanes. It now needs a grass airfield to fly the collection on a limited basis. It wants to buy the airfield and the associated buildings, but not the domestic site and main camp. The planes it is restoring include a Spitfire, Mustang, Thunderbolt, an A26 Invader, a P40 Warhawk and a World War I SE5 biplane. They are airworthy but currently dismantled. The airfield had been earmarked by Cherwell District Council for more than 1,000 homes. But the CDC Executive changed its chosen site to land south-west of Bicester after an independent study group said it is the best preserved WWII bomber airfield in the country. Full council will decide whether to adopt these changes next month.
CDC leader of the council Cllr George Reynolds said: "I am sure CDC would look sympathetically on anyone wanting to use the existing buildings."
April - "Your bill for new state-of the-art Oxford Children's hospital is £2.88" - Less than £3 would be needed from everyone in Oxfordshire to help complete the state-of the-art Oxford Children's Hospital. The £20m hospital, being built at the John Radcliffe site in Headington, is due to open its doors in December 2006, bringing the city's paediatric services together in one building. The community is being asked to provide £2.5m, of which £750,000 has already been raised. Therefore, by digging into their pockets to donate just £2.88, each of Oxfordshire's 607,500 residents could do their bit to find the final £1.75m. Charitable trusts and corporate donors are being asked to find £12.5m of the funding -- most of which has been raised -- while the NHS has provided £5m.
Dr Anne Thomson, consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at the JR, said: "I can hardly think of a more worthwhile cause than a children's hospital for such a small amount of money from everyone in the county. It's an incredible thought to think that if the people of Oxfordshire gave £2.88 each -- less than the price of three litres of petrol, a cappuccino and a croissant, or even two Sunday newspapers -- the community appeal would be achieved overnight." Many people have already worked hard to do their bit for the Oxford Children's Hospital Campaign. Joggers have run more than 4,000km in marathons and fun runs, cyclists have pedalled more than 400km, and climbers have scaled more than 5,000m up mountains across the UK and abroad. Pounds have been lost in diets, lengths have been swum, and fairways have been trodden in golf tournaments in a bid to boost the campaign to provide a new home for children's services currently based at the JR, the Churchill and the Radcliffe Infirmary. To contact the campaign's fundraising office, call 01865 222807.

- Almost a month later than last year due to the late frosts and the toads and frogs are moving in large numbers. Please use caution when driving past the toad crossing points, this could save a lot of lives. Anyone wishing to help empty traps in the mornings should contact 01295 810870 or 0781 8462584

"MORE TIME TO RECYCLE YOUR RUBBISH" - NOW that spring is here and the evenings are lighter, South Northamptonshire Council has extended the opening times for Farthinghoe Reuse and Recycling Centre, near Brackley.
The summer opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 –19:00, Saturday and Sunday 9:00 – 17:00. The Centre closes at 4.30pm during the winter months. Don't forget that they accept a wide range of waste for recycling. Items that can be recycled include glass bottles, cans, foil, plastic bottles, textiles, oil, car batteries, paper and cardboard.
Garden waste suitable for composting will be accepted, along with furniture with a valid fire label. Items that cannot be accepted include fridges, freezers, carpets and general mixed rubbish for disposal. Furniture items, records, books and bric-a-brac collected at the site are available for sale back to members of the public. For more information contact the site office on 01295 713782.

"OXFORD POSTAL DISPUTE MAY SPREAD WARNS UNION" - The strike by Oxford postal workers could expand to other areas of the country unless staff vote to return to work. Crunch talks to resolve the dispute, now in its third week, were due to be held with the national deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, Dave Ward, meeting both management and staff. But unless a deal is struck at a mass rally at the Cowley Workers Social Club in Between Towns Road, CWU bosses feel other parts of the country could join the dispute and moves may be made to make the wildcat dispute official. National CWU spokesman Chris Proctor said: "Either the meetings make some progress or the strike will expand." The strike was triggered by claims that a small group of workers carried out a campaign of abuse, intimidation and harassment against fellow colleagues and their families in a bid to rack up premium overtime rates.
Local union leaders say they are not optimistic staff will vote for a return to work. The number of workers taking action has since swelled to 480 with both the Headington delivery office and Royal Mail House in Becket Street joining staff on the picket line at the Oxford mail centre in Cowley...........A deal was struck and the Dispute was settled 20 April........

"NORTHAMPTONSHIRE C.C. SPEND £900,000 ON MAJOR COUNTRY PARK EXPANSION" - Plans for an ambitious £1.5m new regional country park in the county have taken a significant step forward with news that Northamptonshire County Council has purchased a key part of rural land for the scheme. Cabinet member for finance Les Patterson has given the go ahead for the council to spend a government grant of £900,000 to purchase Chester Farm next to Irchester Country Park to form a central part of the River Nene Regional Park.
Plans for the regional park in the county were unveiled in January in a bid to hit the right balance between future growth and green spaces in Northamptonshire. This regional park will build on the county's nationally recognised network of country parks. Cllr Patterson said: "I am pleased we are now in a position to purchase this 100-acre piece of land which is already recognised as an important heritage site and includes within it a buried Roman town and deserted mediaeval village. "By purchasing this land we are not only securing the long term future of this unique landscape but also can make it available for the public for educational and recreational use."
With the purchase of the land now complete a variety of options will be explored by the council into how the land will be developed as a regional park. These options will be reported to full council this summer.

May - The Newbottle and Charlton CE School's CHARITY BALL was a brilliant night for all those who attended and we all thank the Committee for organising such a night..... there will be some photos appearing soon and it would be nice to incorporate a whole page on this for the we are appealing to all that attended to email your comment or appreciation of the night - your name need not appear if you wish, just your initials and location....this is your opportunity to repay the organisers to show your appreciation or memory of the night....

Brackley Community Carnival 2004 - Plans are well underway for the annual Brackley Carnival to be held on Saturday 12th June 2004.
The new organising committee is calling on as many local organisations as possible to get involved to ensure the biggest and best event ever. The carnival is the biggest showcase for Brackley reflecting every aspect of our community, and is therefore a great opportunity for all businesses to promote themselves. The theme for Carnival 2004 will be `Around the World'. A number of changes to previous years events have been agreed to make the carnival more accessible to the groups including the time and route of the procession and the venue for the main event itself. The carnival will commence at 11am, to allow better opportunities for everyone, and will be held at the St Johns site at Magdalen College School, Brackley. For additional information check the website:

Charlton - BRING AND BUY at Thanet Lodge, Hogg Lane on Sunday 16th May aid of NANNA to help local animals with neutering, car, rehabilitation and rehoming was attended well and raised over £250 -Grateful Thanks for all those participating.

COUNCIL HOLDS FIRST COMPUTER AMNESTY - COUNCIL staff, residents, businesses and schools have the chance to recycle their unused and outdated computer equipment with South Northamptonshire Council's first ever computer amnesty. It will take place on Wednesday, 19 May from 9am to 4pm in the visitors' car park at the Council offices, Springfield, Towcester The Council has invited everyone to bring in old computers, printers, keyboards, modems and monitors that they no longer want, but that are still serviceable. They will be collected by Wellingborough-based company Kwik PC who will wipe the memory, refurbish the systems and sell the computers on. These upgraded computers can then be sold to people who are either re-training to use computers, or students on a low budget and cannot afford an expensive new computer. Many people don't realise that computers can be reused in this way, rather than scrapping them. There is no charge for collecting any serviceable computers and the Council will not be profiting from the scheme – the idea is to make the most of a resource before it is wasted and help people who need it. The Council hope to hold this event on a regular basis, if the amnesty proves to be a success. If you cannot attend on 19May contact SNC for disposal details.

The Rose and Crown Aunt Sally Team are competing now again, having been promoted up a division last year. Results will be online as they happen!

"THE ANNUAL BANBURY CARNIVAL IS CANCELLED" - The Cancellation of this year's Banbury Carnival is a bitter blow to the town and those who have supported it. Organisers, Banbury Cross Round Table, say they have been forced to pull out because of concerns about arranging adequate insurance. Round Table members have been told they could be held personally liable if something went wrong. The event has been at the heart of Banbury's traditional calendar of summer festivities for 23 years, and all proceeds have boosted the Round Table's charity fund, plus various clubs and organisations have used it for fundraising.
Town mayor Rosemarie Higham is equally shocked. She said: "It was such a wonderful carnival last year. I'm extremely sorry it has had to be cancelled. The Round Table was given assistance by the town council last year, but the council cannot help again because its insurers will not allow it.
"NEWS WATCHDOG BITES ANN SUMMERS" - A SAUCY advertising campaign for a new sex shop opened in Castle Quay, Banbury that used a pun on Banbury's famous nursery rhyme has been banned by watchdogs. Just one complaint was received by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the eight metre-high billboard advertising the new Ann Summers store in Castle Quay. But it was enough for it to rule last Wednesday that it should not be used again.
The poster, which played on the Ride a Cock Horse rhyme and pictured a woman in her underwear, was paraded around the town on a trailer behind a van for a weekend at the end of February. The ban came on the same day that the ASA released its annual report showing that adverts in 2003 had drawn a record number of complaints nationally.
A series of photographs of naked bottoms used in a toilet tissue campaign and an image of a woman in a bikini top in an advert for an airline were among the adverts that attracted the highest number of complaints.
In all, 14,277 complaints were made, but out of the top ten most complained about ads, only two were banned. The first was a campaign by Barnardo's highlighting child poverty by showing a baby with a cockroach in its mouth; the second was an advert for Channel 4 show Six Feet Under depicting a corpse's face with the line, "skin to die for".
Watchdogs singled out the Ann Summers billboard for a ban because of its use of a nursery rhyme, which was likely to attract the attention of children, and because it was paraded around the streets. The ruling said: "The advertisement was unsuitable for poster medium and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and harm to children."
But a spokesperson for Ann Summers said: "The message was tongue in cheek and not in any way meant to cause offence. It was a very deliberate and clever word play that children wouldn't understand and gave the campaign a local flavour."

"DIXONS CLOSURE BRINGS JOBS WOE" - High-street electrical chain Dixons is to close its Banbury store with the loss of 10 jobs.
The move comes as it was revealed the group is to shut down 106 of its underperforming stores across the UK and Ireland following disappointing sales since Christmas. But the stores in the Clarendon Centre, Oxford and the Woolgate Centre, Witney, will remain open. A Dixons spokesman said: "There will be a 90-day consultation period for employees and wewill be looking to reallocate as many as we can to other stores in the group." The Dixons group also includes Currys, PC World and mobile telephone retailer The Link - none of them are affected by the announcement. The Banbury store in the Castle Quay centre will close within eight weeks. The move follows the closure of Dixons Master Care distribution centre at Milton Park, near Abingdon, in February last year with the loss of 65 jobs. Meanwhile, the company said it was still looking at ways to develop the Dixons format, including through the use of larger stores. The move follows the piloting of a larger format, known as Dixons XL, at various locations including the Birmingham Bullring. The firm has more than 1,100 outlets.

June - "SILVERSTONE GRAND PRIX SELLOUT" - Silverstone announced today that all three days of the 2004 Foster's British Grand Prix (Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July) are sold out, and that Sunday's race will take place in front of a capacity crowd of 100,000 – the highest attendance and first sell-out since 1999. The demand for tickets to this year's British Grand Prix, the UK's premier motorsport event, has been exceptional. Silverstone's 2004 pricing structure – offering enhanced value and a range of options for fans, with all seats priced flexibly according to their location – has been instrumental in this sell out.

SWIM CLUB TO LAUNCH IN SEPTEMBER - A NEW CLUB for young swimmers in the district will be launched at the Towcester Centre for Leisure in September. Training will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings 6-7pm and Saturday mornings 7-8am (times could be subject to change).
The Club aims to provide swimmers with expert coaching to help them develop their swimming skills beyond the normal lesson programme, and introduce youngsters to squad swimming and eventually competitive swimming. In order to be join the club for September swimmers must enrol at one of the sessions listed below during next week at the leisure centre. Monday 21 June: 4.00-6.30pm Tuesday 22 June: 3.30-6.30pm Thursday 24 June: 3.30-700pm

EVERYBODY HATES JUNK MAIL! - T'S OFFICIAL- junk mail has been voted as the most annoying consumer issue. This is the result of the poll carried out by the BBC TV programme `Brassed Off Britain.' Every year around 500,000 tonnes of junk mail - about 250 items per household per year - come uninvited through householders' letterboxes.
South Northamptonshire Council's Environmental Services Team can offer advice on how to enjoy a junk mail free home and cut down on rubbish at the same time. The Council advises that householders can do the following: Register with the Mailing Preference Service. This means that your name will be taken off the mailing lists of the credit card companies, banks and mail order companies that send out direct mail. Householders can do this on-line at or by writing to The Mailing Preference Service, FREEPOST 22, London W1E 7EZ. Residents can also ask the Royal Mail Door to Door Service not to deliver unaddressed mail to your home. This can be done by writing to Door to Door Customer Services, Room 130, Wheatstone House, Farraday Road, Swindon, SN3 5JW.
When filling in product warrantees, competitions and catalogue forms tick the opt-out box so details are not passed onto other companies.
Select the option to not have your name shown on the public copy of the electoral role, which is sold to mailing firms. To stop `local' junk mail such as flyers from takeaway restaurants and cleaning companies try sticking a note on your letterbox that says `no free newspapers or junk mail.'
For more information and advice contact Elly Catchpole, Waste Management Officer at South Northants Council on 01327 322320.

On Tuesday 13 July at 7.00pm there will be a presentation in The Memorial Hall to thank retiring members of the Parish Council for their service to the well-being of the Parish, those being thanked are: Mr Pat Locke for 21 years of service, 17 years as Chairman, Mr Ron Cave for 36 years of service, 17 years as Vice Chairman, Mrs Annette Bull for 18 years of service, 15 years as the Parish Council's Representative on the Old Ecclesiastical Parish of King's Sutton Charities, Mr John Cliffe for 18 years of service and Mrs Elizabeth Howell for 14 years of service. Everyone is welcome to come along to the Presentation.

A43 closed on Friday 9, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July for Silverstone - Advice leaflets for drivers, aimed at keeping traffic moving during the 2004 Foster's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, are published today by the British Grand Prix Inter Agency Working Group.
The leaflets target three different audiences - local residents, race traffic and through traffic - and publicise the traffic arrangements to help people plan their journeys and keep disruption to a minimum. The Inter Agency Working Group announced in May that the A43 will be closed to non-race traffic between M1 J15a in Northamptonshire and M40 J10 in Oxfordshire from 4am to 10pm on Friday 9, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July. The leaflet for race traffic explains the one-way system that will be in operation on the A43 to help race goers reach the circuit while the one for national traffic gives details of diversion routes for drivers who would normally use the A43. The leaflet for nearby communities tells people about local access routes and how the A43 closure will affect local services such as bus routes.
The leaflets are available from a number of outlets, including Northamptonshire's tourist information offices, libraries and council offices, as well as petrol stations and motorway service areas. The Inter Agency Working Group will also distribute them to a range of people such as race goers, Formula 1 teams, parish councils, residents, local businesses, motoring organisations and freight operators. They are also available by calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 08457 50 40 30 and can be downloaded at

B4100 an accident waiting to happen- does it need 4 deaths to prove a point? - In August 2001 Christine Williams was driving along the B4100 to visit her sick mother. She died instantly after a car swerved into her path. The other driver was later convicted of driving without due care and attention. The accident happened at the entrance to the Great Barn which is about 200 yards from the bridge on which the Blessed George Napier school bus and a tractor collision in last week's tragedy .
Following the school bus crash Christine's father, Geoff Williams, returned to the scene of the accident. Mr Williams said: "When I heard the news about the accident it brought all my memories flooding back. My heart goes out to the boy's family because I know how painful it is.
I had to visit the scene of the accident to see it for myself. I just couldn't believe someone else has died in the same place as my Christine."
Following Christine's death Mr Williams contacted Northamptonshire County Council to urge it to introduce safety measures on the road. He was told little could be done as it was not a designated accident spot. "Two people have died there now and it seems like every time I drive along there I see a car which has come off the road, In Christine's case I know the other driver was at fault, but I also believe that the bends and the undulating road may have contributed to the accident. Perhaps traffic lights should be installed or there could be just a single lane." said Mr Williams. A spokesman for Northamptonshire said normally there needs to be four fatal or serious injury accidents on a road before action is taken. But added an investigation into the accident and the road has begun and the council will be communicating with Oxfordshire County Council which also has responsibility for the road.

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