The Oxford City Council voted to pass the proposed plan for the Blavatnik School of Government building on Walton Street. This will be Oxford University’s biggest development project in a century. The project has received criticism from residents and groups affected by the construction in the past. Calum Miller, the Chief Operating Officer of the Blavatnik School of Government, issued a statement saying, “We are delighted that the Councillors have voted to approve our planning application. Throughout the consultation process, we made strenuous efforts to engage with the community and provide clear and detailed information to explain the rationale behind the building design and respond to concerns and questions raised.” The Jericho Community Association, an active local organization representing the historic suburban district of Oxford, have expressed their opposition. David Freud, owner of the Freud Cafe, which will neighbour the Blavatnik building, condemned the council decision as “a shocking travesty of the planning process” and said at the West Area Planning Committee meeting, “It was clear that a decision had already been made before the meeting had begun”. Freud’s objection stems from the blockage of light into the stained glass windows of the former St Paul’s church, now his cafe, by the proposed building. Another major concern is that the construction would disrupt half of the graves of patients who died at the former Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford’s first hospital. Freud wrote on the wall of a Facebook campaign group named “Trouble in Wonder”, “My family has had the pleasure of caring for the former Church of St Paul for the past twenty-five years. If the Blavatnik School of Government is constructed, in the form currently proposed, on the burial ground of the former Radcliffe Infirmary, the Church and the protected nature of Jericho is in danger of irreparable damage.” The Blavatnik School of Government has responded to these concerns with a new information page regarding the building on its website. The school official told Cherwell “The Blavatnik School of Government’s planning application sets out in detail the faculty we have received from the Diocese of Oxford to exhume any remains found on the site. The remains will be exhumed with the utmost care and respect, in strict accordance with archaeological and Diocesan protocol, and laid to rest in consecrated ground.” Besides local protests, another controversy surrounding the building is its 22 meter height in violation of the city’s Carfax Height policy, which prohibits buildings taller than 18.2 meters within 1,200 meters of the Carfax Tower. Alison Stibbe, Head of Communications of the school, explained to Cherwell in an email, “The purpose of the Carfax Height policy is to prevent harm to Oxford’s skyline. A majority of Councillors agreed that our building would not harm the skyline and therefore the policy was not breached. Where it is visible, we believe it will be a positive and beautiful addition.” She added, “The Councillors were clear to stress that their decision on the Blavatnik School’s planning application does not set a precedent for future applications.” Jonathan Beddall, a current MPP student of Blavatnik said, “I am hugely excited by the new Blavatnik School of Government building as it combines cutting-edge architecture with world-class teaching space. The city council’s approval will enable the School to meet students’ needs whilst the School continues to grow.” He continues, “The new Blavatnik building is carfeully designed to respect the local area and is, in my view, a beautiful and sensitive addition to the City.” When asked about his feeling about the City Council decision and whether he will carry on the fight, Gideon Freud, campaign member and St John’s College student, replied that he had no further comments.
Those surviving who will cherish Wanda’s memory include her aunt, Doris Hutson of Penntown; uncle, Bill Schocke of Hartford City, Indiana, and many cousins, friends, and neighbors. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved sister Shirley, on September 21, 2015. Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, from 10 to 11a.m. at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Penntown. Pastor Lynne Busch will officiate the service beginning at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Wanda Joan Hutson, of Penntown, was born on October 6, 1932, at home in Penntown, a daughter to the late Calvin William and Berdella Abplanalp Hutson. Her church and faith were very important to Wanda; she was a member of St. John United Church of Christ in Penntown where she taught Sunday school for over 60 years. Wanda was a homemaker and also helped outside her home caring for children of several families. She loved her family and friends and often claimed, “You just never knew what kind of trouble she could get into next.” On Thursday, December 29, 2016, at the age of 84, Wanda passed away at UC Health West Chester. Memorial donations may be directed to the American Lung Association or to the Merom Conference Center, PO Box 127, Merom, Indiana, 47861. To sign the online guestbook or to leave a personal condolence, please visit www.cookrosenberger.com. The staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home is honored to care for the family of Wanda Hutson.
Banks DIH Limited (D’Aguiars Industry Holding) on Wednesday made their annual donation to 27 charities from across the region at Thirst Park, Greater Georgetown.Every year, the company presents a list of organisations that will be presented with the ‘covenant’ cheques. However, there are also letter requests from other entities that wish to be part of this initiative.The recipients of the cheques donated by Banks DIHThe presentation of these donations is made possible after they are presented by the Board of Directors of the company and approved by the shareholders.Some of the charities that benefited from the donations this year included St Joseph Mercy Hospital, St John’s Ambulance Brigade, Guyana Society for the Blind, Dharm Shala, Shaheed’s Boys and Girls Orphanage, the Scout Association of Guyana, Uncle Eddie’s Home among others.Human Resources Director of Banks DIH, Paul Andrew Carto explained that this is the company’s way of serving Guyana through charitable institutions.He noted, “We see this as part of our corporal social responsibility but we also do this because of our exceedingly good relations that we have with the public and the organisations that work within the wider community doing various forms of charitable and social works.”The cheques were presented by Operations Director, Henry Perriera and the Engineering Operations Director, Shabir Hussein and the Human Resources Director, Paul Andrew Carto.This is the second year the company has held a ceremony to present the awards to the charity foundations and organisations; and they are certain that this venture will be continued in 2019.