Monday, 21 June 2021

Village set to replace ‘welcome’ road signs

THREE new signs welcoming visitors to Goring could be installed.

The parish council has agreed in principle to accept a £5,028 donation from the Goring Gap in Bloom committee to place the signs at the village’s main entrances in Reading Road and Spring Lane and on Goring bridge.

They would celebrate the village’s status as best small town in Britain and national gold award winner in the Royal Horticultural Society’s 2019 Britain in Bloom contest, replacing old ones which recognised its victory in the 2011 Calor South of England Village of the Year competition.

They won’t mention the fact that the village is in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as the AONB could soon be redesignated a National Park, for which separate signage may be produced.

Like the existing signs, they will recognise the village’s twinning arrangement with Bellême in France.

The signs must be approved by Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, which is understood to be happy with them in principle.

The parish council will be responsible for ongoing maintenance.

In a report to the council, the Bloom committee says it could provide half the money from its own coffers and raise the rest.

It says: “The proposed signs will show that we are a proud riverside community with a sense of place. In addition to marking the parish boundary... they influence the first impression visitors and prospective home and business owners have on entering.”

The provisional design would welcome visitors to “Goring-on-Thames” rather than “Goring” but this has been challenged by a resident who claims the former is incorrect despite the parish council adopting it a few years ago.

In a letter to the parish clerk, they said the suffix was “flummery” used by estate agents but hasn’t existed historically.

They added the existing signs had been there for 25 years and should last 25 more so the money would be better spent elsewhere and the idea of new signs should be “quietly forgotten”.

The council says it will look through old records showing the village’s name.

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