I love it here because...

Paul Balmer - Oakley Vale

Community Association Chair

How long have you lived in Oakley Vale?
Judy and I have lived on Oakley Vale for 10 years along with our son Karl who is now aged 12.

What brought you to live in Oakley Vale? 
I had taken a job peripatetic teaching in 13 local schools and needed a family home in Northamptonshire. Judy was at that time a full time mum and we were keen to take our two year old away from the increasing environmental pollution of West London. Oakley Vale seemed ideal.

What do you love about living in Oakley Vale?
Oakley vale has huge potential. We have a landscaped environment with fresh air and lots of diverse families with many stories to tell. The challenge is to get to know each other and create a real sense of community. I feel this is a 20 year project and we are 10 years into that. Gradually we are making friends, can find a local plumber and someone to fix a windblown roof. It takes time but starts with a willingness to engage.

What groups and activities in Oakley Vale would you recommend to other people?
I would urge everyone to join the local community association – established 10 years ago we have managed to effect many changes with a strong lobby on local matters, noise pollution mitigation from the A43 extension being one example. More important however is the talking that goes on at our meetings and perhaps most important the young people of ‘The Oakley Rangers’ youth music group – who represent our future.

If you were to describe Oakley Vale with five words, what would they be?
Vast potential, lots of hope