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SPADE

Sunningwell Parishioners Against Damage to the Environment (SPADE) was a longstanding Oxfordshire based, non party-political community campaigning group. 

In December 2021 SPADE disbanded and circulated the following:- 

It's time to say goodbye


Dear friends and supporters,

Many of you will have heard the sad news that our Chairman, and dear friend Bob Warne passed away on 6th June  2021 after a short but aggressive illness.  Bob will be very much missed by his many friends in the Parish, and indeed also by those who didn’t know him but who will long feel the benefit of his many volunteering roles in the community during the years he and his family have lived in Sunningwell.

We will miss him for all the campaigning work he has done to protect the parish and the green belt as Chairman of SPADE over nearly 20 years. Many people will also recall that Bob was an active and effective Chair of the Village Hall Management Committee and a keen supporter of the Sunningwell Festival.

Before Bob’s illness, as a Committee we had been discussing the future of SPADE’s activities.  We have carried out our mission to ensure local people are informed about significant planning and development issues affecting our community for nearly 20 years and feel that with the successful conclusion of the campaign against the Expressway, now is the time for us to call it a day.  Unfortunately, despite our continual appeals for further volunteers to step forward this hasn’t happened, and it’s just not sustainable for our small group to undertake the ongoing commitment any longer.

Looking back, with your support we have worked on many different campaigns. We started with the “Penbridge” scheme to build thousands of houses, a park and ride (speculative development proposals NEVER go away!) and a waste incinerator project on the land surrounding Sunningwell and Bayworth. We then moved on through two Vale local plan cycles where we represented both ourselves and the Parish Council at the public enquiries and most recently ensured the removal of safeguarding land for bus lanes across the fields behind Sunningwell as well as the inclusion of mitigations for the parish of the effects of the proposed Dalton Barracks and North Abingdon developments. SPADE’s activities also included the ultimately abandoned South-East Plan, two County Council Local Transport Plans, culminating with the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway which has been cancelled, thanks to huge public support of co-ordinated campaigning by many groups like us.

We also worked with other groups to ensure transparency of the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Oxfordshire Growth Board. SPADE was a founding member of the Need Not Greed Oxfordshire county-wide coalition which brought together many groups like ours across Oxfordshire to campaign for sustainable development, more environmental awareness and affordable housing for real, local people.

We do have some limited funds left in the bank and in accordance with our constitution we shall close down our Facebook, website and email accounts and after paying any final bills, transfer the balance of funds if any, to institutions having similar objectives to those of SPADE and/or in the interests of people in Sunningwell Parish.

Thank you for all your support over the years; thank you to those of you who delivered leaflets, attended meetings or took part in consultations as a result of our campaigns. And finally, thank you to our friends who have been part of the SPADE family over the years.

We send our heartfelt sympathies to Bob’s wife and family who have lost a much-loved husband, dad and granddad.  We have lost a good friend and wise counsellor who was also great company. And on that note we bid you farewell.