…about Goring and its Parish Council
The council works to maintain and enhance the attractive environment of the village. It is responsible for street cleaning and the control of litter. It oversees maintenance of the council’s footpaths, bridleways, verges and children’s playground equipment, and seeks to control intrusive overgrowth of hedges, trees and weeds. It maintains and administers the burial ground and oversees the provision and maintenance of public lighting and community notice-boards. It also maintains certain other village assets, including the war memorial, village hall clock and flagpole. The council is empowered to grant requests for occasional use of its open spaces by organisers of funfairs, scout and guide camps, cross-country runs and other suitable events. It encourages and promotes road safety and makes recommendations to county and district councils for the management of traffic and car parking.
It has a duty to promote and encourage environmental sustainability and energy saving measures, including walking and cycling for local journeys. The council is aware of the health and social benefits to be gained by all members of the community from easy access to recreational facilities.
The council prepares the annual budget, recommends the precept and ensures that all money due to the council is received and accounted for. It also ensures that spending stays as close as possible to the budget and maximises non-tax income from investments and paid-for services. An integral part of this is to examine periodically the council’s financial procedures, identify opportunities for improvement and implement agreed changes. It takes responsibility for compliance with financial, employment and health and safety laws, and for adoption of current good practice with regard to audit, insurance, property management and communication with ratepayers, the press and the general public. The council provides occasional, modest cash grants for deserving local community organisations and projects.
The job of the Planning Committee is to respond to all planning applications referred to the council by South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC), with the exception of a few applications regarded as of “substantial significance” to Goring which are considered by the full council. In all cases, SODC, as the local planning authority, decide whether planning permission is granted. The committee’s role is to canvass and represent to SODC, the opinions of Goring residents likely to be affected by a development proposed in a planning application. Factors taken into account include architectural merit, the likely effect on neighbouring properties, local planning policies, the likely impact on the conservation area, the local areas of outstanding natural beauty and any consequences for Goring generally, such as amenity and local access to services. The committee is also responsible for reporting apparent breaches or neglect of planning laws, preparing submissions for planning enquiries and advising the council on significant planning initiatives such as draft development plans and proposed changes to planning laws or the definition of “permitted development rights”.
Goring on Thames is one of the most charming and vibrant villages in South Oxfordshire, located on the east side of the Thames at the western edge of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It offers many attractions as a residential, tourist and recreational centre and was selected as South of England village of the year in 2009.
In addition to its tranquil riverside scenery, Goring is a convenient base for exploring many places of interest, including Oxford, the Chilterns and the Cotswolds, and is only an hour or so from London by train. Goring marks the intersection of the prehistoric Ridgeway path and the modern Thames long-distance path. It is a magnet for walkers. A recent addition of lifts at the Goring & Streatley station has greatly improved accessibility of the area, and a leaflet provides further details and is easily downloaded here.