Oxford City Council is considering implementing a night time patrol to combat excessive noise in the early hours.The scheme, proposed by Councillor John Tanner, aims to introduce ‘an Environmental Health Officer and a police officer going out in the small hours, looking for noise at key times,’ specifically at the beginning and end of term, and on streets where there have often been complaints.The intention of the scheme is to ensure that ‘people who have to be up in the morning, including many students, can get a good night’s sleep’. The Council can point to 4, 289 complaints received over the last three years about loud noise and parties.Despite Tanner’s claim that the patrols are ‘not specifically anti-student’, some students have complained about the scheme. Rhiannon Garth-Jones, a fourth year Classicist who has lived both in Cowley and around Oxford on a barge, noted that ‘noise in Cowley can be quite bad, but that’s from pubs, bars and clubs as much as house parties and it’s part of living in the centre of a city, especially a student city’, going on to point out that ‘both Oxford and Oxford Brookes contribute a lot to the city, and student nightlife is an element of thriving universities’.She said, ‘a ‘party patrol’ seems a bit like the parents coming round to tell you to turn the lights off and go to sleep. The council could probably find a more adult and effective way to deal with noise issues.’Henry Blauth, a third year at Balliol, added that rather than a patrol, ‘a little community spirit and co-operation are all that is needed.’ However OUSU’s Communities and Charities Officer, Dan Stone, praised the scheme and explained that ‘students need not be alarmed’ as it was an attempt to ‘to make the existing provisions more efficient.’Other Councils throughout the UK employ noise patrols at key times, but these tend to be London Boroughs such as Camden, which has a population density three times that of Oxford. Cambridge City Council, for example, do not have a ‘patrol’ as such, but instead an officer on standby who can respond to noise complaints as they are made throughout the night. At present Oxford pays officers to be on call, who may be in Bicester or Abingdon, leading to slow response times.The scheme is set to cost Â£12,000, but Tanner explained, ‘we propose to save money by only having people on-call at the peak problem times, between say midnight and four in the morning.’ He stressed that in terms of the patrol in general, they would ‘experiment and see what works’.A spokesperson for Oxford University stated,’Anyone can be a noisy neighbour, whether or not they are a student. We would of course encourage all students to be considerate about their neighbours.’
The Ag Data Transparency Evaluator (ADTE) Interim Board met recently in Washington to review the progress of the ADTE. It remains located here, with plans to build it out as a stand-alone website. The National Potato Council recently joined the board. In addition to the American Soybean Association (ASA), other farm groups represented include the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Corn Growers Association, National Sorghum Producers and National Association of Wheat Growers.As of Sept. 30, 2016, 34 companies expressed an interest in undergoing the evaluation and eight have completed the evaluation. There are significant numbers in the pipeline that are updating their contracts and policies prior to beginning the evaluation.The board spent considerable time discussing the 10 questions each evaluation answers and ways to improve and keep the questions relevant. The board also discussed how to reach different groups of ag data users that may not be farmers, such as crop consultants and agronomists.