(The following is an extract from the Eulogy read at Ron Oxley’s funeral by Jon Green, former Chairman of the Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group).
Ron Oxley has been a member of the Welwyn Planning & Amenity Group Committee continuously for over 30 years, and as a member of this volunteer group, he stood up for the interests of the Welwyn community.
During all that time Ron made it a speciality of his to examine and analyse each and every planning application that came before the Welwyn Parish Council for a decision.
About 10 years ago Ron, together with me as the WPAG Chairman, were co-opted onto the Welwyn Parish Council Planning & Licensing Committee, and from then onwards we were able to make our comments in person and directly to the Parish Councillors at the monthly meetings.
Ron’s previous career as an Architect in Local Government, and his personal experience of planning regulations, made him immensely valuable; the Parish Council Committee were now able to give their opinion on planning applications to the Borough Council, supported by the authority of Ron’s advice.
In preparation for each meeting, Ron used to examine every application in great detail at home, before the meetings, and check meticulously for any hidden snags, or risks of impact on other property, and for any threats to the character of our historic village centre.
He has maintained above all, a special concern to protect Welwyn’s Conservation Area and the precious Green Belt, which are both often under threat from development.
Whenever he made a comment or raised a query the Parish Councillors listened – Ron was a conscientious and respected guardian of Welwyn’s interests. Although happy to express his views on any subject, Ron was actually a very private man who always preferred and practised discretion. But once you had earned his respect, he became an open and sociable colleague with a quiet but keen sense of humour.
To the end of his life, and despite much persuasion, he refused to ease up on what he considered his special responsibilities. It was an example of dedication which will be hard for his successors to match.
Those who knew him will have admired him for many reasons, but I am sure that without exception everyone will keep Ron in their memory as a forthright, honest and trustworthy friend.
We shall all miss him badly.