Residents asked to highlight their priorities for Council budget
West Oxfordshire District Council is asking residents for their views on how it should prioritise its spending over the next year.
The Council is also preparing an updated Council Plan which sets out its priorities over the next four years. This will be set against a backdrop of uncertainty concerning central government funding levels.
The budget consultation contains a proposal to increase council tax for residents by an average of £5 a year to ensure current service provision can be maintained and improved.
The survey can be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6NF6JDW.
Patients urged to help the NHS help them this winter
Winter is traditionally the busiest time of year for the NHS, and so patients are being reminded to only use Emergency Departments in Oxford and Banbury in an emergency.
There are a range of alternative options available for non-emergency situations to ensure you get the appropriate care you need, and save an unnecessary trip to the Emergency Department.
· Self-care is the best choice for minor illnesses and injuries – a range of common winter ailments can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Having a winter plan – such as keeping stocked up on medicines, keeping your home warm, and looking out for neighbours – can also be beneficial.
· Local pharmacies can give advice on several conditions, such as coughs, headaches, upset stomachs and skin conditions, as well as advise on stopping coughs and colds from getting worse.
· NHS 111 has call handlers who can help you choose the right health services for your needs, as well as a website. NHS 111 can put you in touch with a clinician, a GP, book you an appointment at your nearest minor injuries unit. You can also use NHS 111 online: 111.nhs.uk.
· Minor injuries units can treat deep cuts, small burns, sprains, sports injuries, and infected wounds. To find out your nearest MIU please visit the Oxford Health website.
· Your local GP may offer extended opening hours into the evening or at the weekend.
Most importantly, only attend Emergency Departments when there is a genuine emergency, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
When the Environmental Agency issues a flood alert due to an imminent risk of flooding, West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) provides sandbags free of charge. They will deliver sandbags to vulnerable residents at times of need. To arrange collection of ready-made sandbags from Witney, please call: 01993 861000.
If residents would like to be extra prepared, the district council will deliver sandbags outside of a flood warning for a fee or residents can fill sandbags themselves at WODC depots across the area.
The council’s out of hours emergency service number is 0151 343 2945. Sign up for the Environmental Agency’s free flood alert service on 0345 988 1188.
If you are affected by flooding and are in need of temporary accommodation, please call WODC on 01993 861000.
More information around flood prevention and support for those affected by flooding in West Oxfordshire can be found on the WODC website at https://www.westoxon.gov.uk/residents/environment/flooding/.