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Local Government

Vale of White Horse District Council Update

December 10, 2020

Hello! As this is the last edition of the Blewbury Bulletin for 2020, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in Blewbury Parish a very happy Christmas.

We sincerely hope that you and your families are able to enjoy the festive season and get some much needed rest and relaxation at the end of a very challenging year. With the hope of an imminent COVID-19 vaccine rollout, we wish you a bright and promising new year in 2021.

As we approach the new year, we will continue to keep you updated on council matters and the council’s response to COVID-19 through these newsletter articles, as well as on our dedicated councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any issues or concerns – our email addresses are hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk and sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk.

COVID-19 Community Support Hub

Since the lockdown ended, Oxfordshire is in tier 2 of the Covid-19 restrictions across England. Council services continue as they have done throughout lockdown. As we come out of lockdown and move into the tier system the government has updated its guidance for those considered to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. There is general advice for all tiers and further guidance on each tier. We have reflected this messaging on our websites. The tier level for Oxfordshire will be reviewed again on Wednesday 16 December.

Our Community Hub will carry on its work offering support to our vulnerable residents and those in need – details below:

To contact the Community Support Team:
call: 01235 422 600 Monday to Thursday 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm
email: communitysupport@southandvale.gov.uk

fill in an online form at: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communityhub

Remember, for the most up-to-date coronavirus information relating to district council support and any changes to services, please take a look at the dedicated Vale webpage for updates: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/covid19

Support local traders in the Vale and South Oxfordshire with free parking days in the run up to Christmas 

With many traders affected by the Covid-19 restrictions, we are urging people to use this opportunity to support their local shops and cafes in the run up to Christmas, while maintaining social distancing and face covering requirements.  Each year we provide free parking days during December to help encourage people to shop locally for their Christmas presents to help support our high streets.  This year motorists can park for free in our car parks, and will not have to display a ticket, on the following days:

  •          Abingdon – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  •          Faringdon – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  •          Wantage – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  •          Didcot – Mondays (7, 14, 21 December)
  •          Goring – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  •          Henley – Tuesdays (8, 15, 22 December)
  •          Thame – Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December)
  •          Wallingford – Thursdays (10, 17, 24 December)

Motorists can also continue to park for free each day outside of the charging period and during the standard free periods offered by both councils, but must they display a ticket during this time. The above arrangements are subject to any change in national or local Covid-19 restrictions.

For more information about parking and district council car parks please visit – whitehorsedc.gov.uk/parking / southoxon.gov.uk/parking

Leisure centres in tier 2 

If you want to stay up to date with our leisure centres the Better website has all the details of the opening times and which facilities are available at each centre.

Christmas Waste Guide and Quiz 

We have a new page on our websites helping people deal with their waste over the Christmas and New Year period – including information on changes to collection days, what to do with extra waste, Christmas trees and some videos on how to reduce waste by reusing and recycling items. We also have a Christmas-themed recycling quiz  which tests your knowledge on what to do with festive junk and Christmas leftovers. We can help you deal with all the extra waste at this time of year by helping you to put the right things in the right bin.

See more at www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/christmaswaste

Flytip caught on camera in Harwell – man prosecuted 

A man from Fyfield Wick near Abingdon has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 after Vale of White Horse District Council successfully prosecuted him for flytipping. The crime was caught on camera after the council placed CCTV cameras in the area in Harwell, following a number of cases of flytipping at that spot. On 12 November 2019, on private land on Grove Road, Harwell a tipper truck was caught on camera dumping a load of hardcore and soil on land without permission. For more information on flytipping and how to report it please see our webpage

What should I do if I see a person rough sleeping in our districts? 

During office hours, please call the housing needs team on 01235 422 452. This is a direct line to a Housing Needs Officer. If the person is in immediate danger, call an ambulance or the police on 999.  Don’t put yourself in danger or approach someone acting strangely, even to help. Outside office hours, please report to the non-profit homelessness organisation Streetlink which is funded by the Government.  You can report someone rough sleeping via its website www.streetlink.org.uk or by calling 0300 5000 914.  Streetlink is the national scheme for reporting rough sleeping and connects rough sleepers to local support services.  Please be aware that these reports will be dealt with next working day.  To contact the Out of Hours Officer, please call 01235 422 410.

Financial Support for Businesses 

Businesses that need help and guidance should continue to visit the South and Vale Business Support website svbs.co.uk. Around 3,500 businesses in the Vale and 4,500 in South Oxfordshire may be eligible for further grant funding aimed at helping those affected by Covid-19 restrictions. The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open Businesses) is a discretionary fund that applies to rate paying businesses in tiers 2 and 3 that have been severely affected by the restrictions but haven’t been forced to close. The council is currently finalising the application process and eligibility criteria for this scheme and will confirm more details as soon as everything is in place. There is a separate grant for businesses that pay rates and have been forced to close due to the national lockdown – we estimate we have a total of 677 eligible businesses. Finally, the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme is for businesses that aren’t eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant, including those that haven’t been temporarily forced to close, but have been severely impacted by the current restrictions, and those that do not pay any business rates. This is a discretionary fund with £2,000 available to support individual businesses. Deadline for applications was 4 December, however the council will continue to accept applications from any businesses who were notified they incorrectly applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant.