Message from the Co-Chairs:
The OBRAG AGM will be held Tuesday 24th January from 7pm to 8:30pm in the Terrace Room of Islip Village Hall. We have provisional agreement to have a speaker from Network Rail who will be able to explain and answer questions about the new and planned future infrastructure changes at Oxford railway station and their impact upon rail services for Islip, Kidlington and Bicester residents. This will hopefully provide us with some impartial information to use as a springboard for further discussion about how best to campaign for improvements to the current service, in particular the Islip timetable.
The OBRAG coffers are empty, so we will be discussing a membership subscription of £1 per month, to be paid either in one sum or as a standing order (here is a form: Membership application form). This will also make it easier to maintain a membership list, so that we can contact members by email, although meetings will continue to be open and developments and events will continue to be posted on the web site. We will also discuss a draft constitution (Constitution) with a standing committee of three members, a chair, a vice-chair/secretary, and a treasurer. We are happy to fill two places and would appreciate volunteers for a third, the duties for which could be quite minimal.
We anticipate that now that the rail lines and station are complete OBRAG will move in the direction of becoming a rail user group to represent the residents of Bicester, Islip and Kidlington, including affiliation with Railfuture (for more information see http://www.railfuture.org.uk/Welcome+to+Railfuture). Advantages would include access to a common legal fighting fund if OBRAG were ever to need it, being “plugged in” to wider national campaigns to improve the rail system and representation of OBRAG’s particular interests and objectives within these broader campaigns. Affiliation would cost £21/year for the entire organisation. Of course, we will continue to work in close cooperation with Islip Village Council, as well as other stakeholders in Kidlington and Bicester.
The order of business at the AGM will be a brief discussion of the past year’s events, the Network Rail talk, OBRAG campaigning strategy going forward, a brief discussion of the constitution (any changes will be delegated to a committee to report back next year) and election of the standing committee. We will conclude the meeting by 8.30 at the very latest.
We look forward to seeing as many people as possible there.
Richard Povey and Scot Peterson, Co-Chairs