The nominated Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board met on 11 March to discuss the proposed operation and structure of the board and the three sounding boards it will be setting up.
The separate sounding boards will consist of a:
* a parish council board, to include parishes within the garden town area of influence,
* a business sounding board made up by representatives from local business based in the vicinity and,
* a community sounding board with people from community groups and interested parties.
Each of the sounding boards will meet regularly to discuss various garden town projects and give constructive feedback and ideas on how they might work. This feedback will be used by the advisory board to make their decisions on what they recommend to the authorities that fund and approve the garden town plans.
Since the meeting, the government announced that £218 million has been secured from their Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) and we will work with Homes England to help bring much-needed transport improvements for residents living in and around the garden town.
The four major projects include a Didcot Science Bridge and improvements to the A4130, a new crossing over the River Thames at Culham and a bypass at Clifton Hampden.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chair of the nominated advisory board, said: “We are delighted that the government has demonstrated its commitment to investing in Didcot Garden Town. This is an exciting and important stage in the progress of the garden town projects – it is vital that representatives of the local community are involved as we lay the foundations for the future of Didcot and its surrounding villages.”
Now that the funding from HIF is secured, the Didcot Garden Town team will continue work to prioritise the over 60 projects identified in the delivery plan and, once the sounding boards are formed, the team will start to talk to the members for their input.
Once set up, all advisory board meetings and annual general meetings will be held in public so that everyone can hear about and get involved with the plans for the town to make the Didcot Garden Town vision into a reality.