West Way Community Concern is a group of individuals living in the local area who wish to understand and communicate the concerns of the community regarding the proposed redevelopment of land at West Way and Elms Parade. We welcome new volunteers who want to be involved in the work of the group.
Our Officers are:
Co-chairs: Lorna Berrett, Caroline Potter, Mary Gill
Treasurer: John Clements
Our committee members are: Chris Church, Grant Nightingale, Anthony Barnett (co-opted member)
Meet some of the members of the group below:
Caroline Potter: I moved to Botley on a ‘temporary’ basis in 2009, my family and I love the area so we’ve decided to stay. The new development will be at my doorstep so I’m very concerned that it’s done right: in keeping with the local landscape, and continuing to provide all of the business and community facilities that drew many of us to the area in the first place. I am an anthropologist working in research at the University of Oxford, so I also have a strong professional interest in ensuring that people’s voices are heard from the ground up. Most importantly, I want West Way to be a welcoming and safe area that I can enjoy with my two young children as they grow up!
Jan McHarry: I moved back into the area in April 2012 (after 25 years in Hackney, London). I work on a freelance basis, am co-director of Community Environment Associates, and I’m a practising Buddhist. My key concern in getting involved locally is to ensure that whatever development happens (and I’m not a NIMBY – not in my backyard) is on an appropriate scale and needed and wanted by local people. We do not want the shopping parade turned into an anonymous, faceless entity which only comprises of known brands e.g Starbucks Coffee. When I bought my house I valued the majority of independent shops within walking distance and valued the community spirit that was evident in everyday dialogue and transactions. This is priceless and unmeasurable in terms of current (and insubstantial) measurement of both resident and customer satisfaction.
John Clements: I moved to Botley in 2005, having previously lived in North Oxford – I much prefer it here. I am a semi-retired accountant, now working part-time for a student-based campaigning network. I support WWCC because Botley & North Hinksey has a real community feel and I don’t want to see that destroyed by inappropriate development.
Lorna Berrett: I have lived in Botley since 2004 and joined West Way Community Concern because I value the community in Botley and wanted to make sure that local people have a say in the changes proposed to West Way. I would like to see the shops updated in a way that retains the community feel and allows small and local businesses to thrive. I have been amazed by the local response to the campaign and the feeling of community here. I want to ensure that local people have a say in their community and are treated fairly.
Chris Church: I’ve only lived in Elms Rise since 2012 but find it a great place to live and work. Like Jan (above) I am co-director of Community Environment Associates, a small company that specialises in supporting and researching local action on environmental issues. The shops at West Way provide a valuable focus for the community and the services we need: the creation of a larger shopping mall will be totally out of context in this neighbourhood. There is a huge opportunity to come up with an attractive and interesting development (keeping Elms Parade) – my concern is that without strong local action that opportunity will be wasted.
Mary Gill: I’ve lived in the Dean Court end of Botley since 1998. I’ve been proud to be involved in the WWCC activities for the past 2 years, and to be part of the community which has fought to reject the Doric proposals in 2014. I believe that Botley should remain a centre which serves the local community, and allows us to meet our everyday needs without having to travel out of the area. I support WWCC’s aim to work constructively with the Vale and Mace to achieve this.