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Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 8th December 2021 at 7.30 pm in the Melland Room in the Clubhouse, situated just off Boham’s Road in Blewbury.

In attendance: - Cllrs D Mathias (Chairman/DM), V Humphries (VH), M Penington (MP), J Gibson (JG), L Robinson (LR), L Inglis (LI), M Jacobs (MJ). Also present: - E Cooper (Clerk/RFO/EC), D Hollick (Lengthman/DH). C Burrows, A Sutherland, J Hunter, N Hetherington.

1.     To receive apologies for absence

Cllr M Blythe was not present. County Cllr S Povolotsky, District Cllrs H Medley, H Gascoigne, PCSO G Kirby

2.     To record any declarations of interests relating to this meeting

None

3.     To receive the County Councillor’s report

Issued ahead of the meeting & at Appendix C below.

JG asked if CC information should be published separately within the Parish Council pages on the web site.

VH to see how links to useful information in the CC report could be made available on Facebook.

Clerk to speak to C Whatmore.

4.     To receive District Councillor’s report

Issued ahead of the meeting & at Appendix D below.

5.     To receive the Lengthman’s report (see Appendix B below)

DH also raised problems with the external lights in the recreation ground car park. DH to speak to contractor & obtain a quotation for all necessary work.

6.   To receive a report from the PCSO

Issued to Council ahead of the meeting.

7.   Open Forum

To receive representations from members of the public if present. Maximum 15 minutes (3 minutes per person).

7.1 To hear a short presentation from the Stream Team from Camilla Burrow of Wild Oxfordshire

CB brought the Council up to date with work in & around the streams in Blewbury. More information is available at: – blewburychalkstreams.org

7.2 To hear a short presentation on Rumsey’s Barn new planning submission from A Sutherland

Mr N Hetherington (architect) brought the Council up to date with the proposed changes to the development of the old swimming pool building.

8.   To approve previous minutes & report on any matters arising

Minutes of the BPC meeting held on 10th November 2021

Council unanimously agreed minutes to be a true record.

9.  To hear the Planning Committee Report & Ratify/Agree Planning Responses

9.1 To agree the council’s response to the following consultations

P21/V3247/HH Corner Cottage, South St, Blewbury

Alterations & single storey extension to existing private dwelling.

Deadline 21.12.21

Council unanimously agreed no objections to this consultation.

9.2 To ratify any planning responses made during the month: –

P21/V3076/FUL Churn Cottage, Boham’s Rd, Blewbury

Erection of a replacement house.

Deadline 04.12.21

Council agreed no objections with narrative 02.12.21

9.3 To note planning permissions received during the month

9.3.1 P21/V2860/HH Amendment no.3 Thatcher Cottage, Church Rd, Blewbury

Planning permission 24.11.21

9.3.2 P21/V2708/HH 25 Bridus Mead, Blewbury

Planning permission 17.11.21

9.4 To note any planning permission refused during the month

None.

10.    To hear an update on Finance & Administration

10.1 To receive any updates on contributions planned expenditure (S106, CIL, CPF, SBRR).

10.2 To hear all other financial & administrative updates

10.2.1 End of month reconciliation sent in advance of the meeting to the Chairman.

Agreed & signed at the meeting.

10.2.2 Lloyds Bank account funds as of 30.11.21 were £149,553.89 (inc. £42,552.80 village hall refurb funds). Net funds available £107,001.09.

10.2.3 Lloyds Bank Mandate for changes to signatories – conversations continue with Lloyds Complaints Dept. As of 29.11.21 no record of mandate recorded (although Royal Mail                             tracking states mandate signed for at 7.39am on 27.10.21).

Clerk’s note: – Lloyds Bank have subsequently acknowledged receipt of mandate & added & removed signatures as requested. Also paid £250 compensation to the Council.

10.2.4 Clubhouse finances update

As at 30.11.21: Receipts £4700 (to date – inc. overpayment of £2052.50), Payments (all areas)                            £5723.43. Reserves £3501.

10.3 To agree authorisers for this month’s payments

Cllrs J Gibson & L Inglis

10.4 To approve payments to be made under the general power of competence and within budgeted amounts: –

10.4.1 Council also agreed to the addition of the following payments: –

i.Allgood for £131.87 for master keys

ii.BPC share of SLCC membership (paid in full by Upton Parish Council) reimbursement to UPC for £110.66

iii. Oxon Energy for £180 for Clubhouse heating work

PAYEE

Description / Power to spend

Amount

E Cooper /

D Hollick / E Holroyd

Clerk, Lengthman & Hall Administrator salaries & expenses for November

 

£1782.01
NEST DD Clerk’s pension November £78.67
HMRC PAYE Clerk, Lengthman, Hall Admin November £282.84
Biffa Waste Services Ltd DD Waste services November

£95.95

 

BT DD Clubhouse line rental November £37.20
Scottish Power DD (1.12.21) Clubhouse electricity

£479.00

 

White Horse Horticulture One cut of Churchyard, Pound & Playclose – September & November £400.00
U Grealy Clubhouse cleaning TBC
Oxon Energy Ltd Full ASHP service of units & controls + labour. Paid to be ratified. £1146.00
Total   £4301.67

 

Major Receipts

Description

Amount

VHEMC Clubhouse bookings income £2647.50
Blewbury Village Allotments Allotments income

£520.00

 

Total   £3167.50

11.    To receive an update from VHEMC & on the Village Hall Refurbishment

 

11.1 Village Hall update

11.1.1 Administration of village hall & clubhouse bookings – legal aspects (DM)

DM confirmed an application had been made to the Charity Commission to change the objects regarding joint hall administration.

11.1.2 Hall Administrator update

Clerk confirmed that the administration of the halls was generally going well, with the Clubhouse administration taking up quite a bit of time at this point.

11.2 Village Hall refurbishment update

11.2.1 To hear any updates on remaining snags & completion sign off

MD Group would be at the village hall w/b 13.12.21 for final snagging. Another contractor has been appointed to fix the toilet drainage problems.

12.    To receive an update on the all things relating to the Clubhouse & recreation ground

12.1 Clubhouse heating (MP)

MP gave an update on the Clubhouse heating as follows:-

  1. The underfloor heating is switched off.
  2. The 2.5wk heaters in the ceiling are in operation.
  • An additional stand-alone heater was agreed by Council. Clerk to order.
  1. Hot water is only available in the kitchen & not in the toilets. MP to look in to on demand water heaters for the toilets (which cannot be tampered with by individuals).
  2. A heating switch should be installed in the Melland room from the plant room.
  3. Wall heaters should be installed in the Melland Room (c4). MP to speak to B Gibson re VH wall heaters. JG to provide spec to DH to contact Walters re installation.

12.2 Amazon Girls Football (MP)

Tournament dates are provisionally scheduled for the weekends of 9/10 & 23/24 April 2022.

MP also to look at car parking situation at the weekend.

12.3 Any other updates – None.

 

13.    To receive an update on all aspects of TFF & car park

13.1 Play areas upgrades update (LR/DH)

13.1.1 Matting replacement

LR provided an analysis of quotes received to date. One quote was to be received.

Replacement mats – would need to be replaced again in 5 years.

DH provided a ‘mulch’ sample, which is expected to last for 15 years. Also provided a breakdown of its composition. MJ stated some of its composition was carcinogenic.

MS suggested more regular maintenance is required to better preserve the play area & JG agreed it would be sensible to have regular contracted maintenance.

Council therefore agreed to proceed with the rubber matting option not mulch. Following receipt of the outstanding quote, LR to provide an update of all quotes, together with                       maintenance considerations.

13.1.2 Wood repairs

MS is obtaining more quotes for woodwork repairs. Council acknowledged carpenters were difficult to engage. DH suggested further minor repairs could be actioned. DH/MS to form a working party for play area equipment. MS suggested this work could be spread out over a number of months.

13.2 Any other updates

Council agreed that JG could contact BlewShed regarding providing the design of a new bench(es).

14.    To receive any update on Risk Management & Compliance

14.1 Cemetery paths update (MS/DH)

Council agreed to upgrade the footpath from kissing gate to kissing gate & from the lych gate entrance to where it meets this path. MS to provide a specification for a new major footpath, based   on edged, compacted compound paths. Clerk to contact contractors for requotes based on specification.

14.2 Speed watch data – monthly update provided to Council in advance of the meeting

14.3 Any other updates on risk management & compliance

None.

15.   To receive an update on any issues relating to the Environment

15.1 Sustainable Blewbury (MJ)

MJ extended the thanks of Sustainable Blewbury to DH for clearing 120 bags of leaves on the day of the village leaf clearance.

15.2 Any other issues

None.

16.   To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces

16.1 To agree a quote for pending tree work from Complete Tree Services for £1585 (ex. VAT) for: –

– Mixed trees on bank of Cleeve

– Ash tree felling, inc row of prunus in Cemetery

– TFF car park trees pruning

Council agreed unanimously to proceed with the pruning of the trees in the cemetery & the TFF car park initially. The cost of work around the Cleeve will be shared with Sustainable Blewbury & the owners of the trees. Clerk to contact contractor.

16.2 LI reported on progress with the Upton/Blewbury cycle path, following a meeting with County Council representatives & the Upton Parish Council Chairman.

16.3 LI reported that the Conservation Area appraisal started today.

17.   To receive an update on any outstanding consultations

None outstanding.               

18.   To set the date/venue of the next meeting of the Council

Finance meeting Tuesday 14th December in the Vale Room, 5pm.

Next full council meeting Wednesday 12th January at 7.30pm in the Melland Room (TBC).

 

The meeting finished at 9.20pm.

 

Appendix A

Outstanding Actions – Confirm whether actions are cleared, carried forward or cancelled.

No. Actions from this meeting When By
1. Clerk to spk C Whatmore re publishing of CC/DC reports under Parish Council tab on web site. Jan meet
2. VH to see how links to CC/DC reports can be on Facebook Jan meet
3. DH to spk electrical contractor re external lights in recreation ground car park & obtain. Jan meet
4. Clerk to order standalone heater for Melland room. Actioned
5. MP to investigate standalone water heaters for Clubhouse toilets. Jan meet
6. MP to spk B Gibson re heaters in the village hall. Jan meet
7. JG to obtain spec for heaters for DH to spk Walters electrical Jan meet
8. MS to obtain quotes for woodwork repairs on TFF play area. Jan meet
9. JG to contact BlewShed re design of new bench(es). Jan meet
10. MS to provide specification for major footpaths in cemetery. Jan meet
11. Clerk to obtain final quotes based on specification for footpaths. Jan meet
12. Council unanimously agreed to proceed with quote for tree work. Clerk to contact contractor. Actioned

 

 

No. Actions from November meeting When By
1. MB/DH to speak to Ed Hall regarding assistance with hedge cutting in the village. Actioned
3. DM reconsidering CPF application. To spk C Burrows re potential projects. C’fwd
4. Clerk to pursue Lloyds Bank re signature change mandate. Actioned
5. DM & MP to feedback to council ahead of next meeting with Oxon Energy on 15.11.21. Actioned
6. LI to speak to Oxon Energy re rectifying the Melland Room heating situation. Actioned
8. LI to speak to DH re carpenter details. C’fwd
10. MS to speak to the Allens re use of poison on Blewburton Hill. C’fwd

 

Appendix B – Lengthman’s Report – November 2021

Very little to report this month.

Footpaths are all OK but will get a bit muddy now.

KAP play area is in good condition. TFF play area still has the reported problems.

Cemetery and Recreation Ground are in good shape. I have made a temporary repair to the broken bench in the Rec.

Buildings and equipment are also in good condition, although there is an issue with the lights in the clubhouse which is being sorted.

David.

 

Appendix C – County Councillor Report

County Councillor Update for Parish councillors: 27 November 2021

Welcome to the weekly bulletin for Parish councillors in Hendreds & Harwell Division

This week we tell you news about how we are tackling domestic abuse in Oxfordshire and how our new parking enforcement is going. We update you on a new campaign to help residents work flexibly as a Shared Lives carer, the results of a major review of Oxford’s bus network.

As always, we continue to provide you with the latest COVID-19 public health data and information for Oxfordshire.

Harwell Consultation

Please note the Harwell Village 20mph consultation has begun – you can find details here

https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/harwell_20mphzone2021

News in brief

Tackling domestic abuse in Oxfordshire

Residents of all ages, genders and backgrounds who may have concerns about domestic abuse are being advised of the support available from organisations to help both nationally and locally. To mark the start of the national campaign ‘16 Days of Action’, we are looking to raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse and support available. Anyone in immediate danger should phone 999. Those in danger but unable to talk on the phone should dial 999 and press 55. Doing this will transfer the call to the police, who can assist callers without having to speak. Please share the information with your constituents so they know who they can contact if needed. You can read more online.

Public welcomes new parking enforcement as drivers face fines

Residents across Oxfordshire have welcomed changes to the way parking rules are enforced. On 1 November we took control of civil parking enforcement in the Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, and Vale of White Horse district council areas from the police. In the first two weeks, enforcement officers issued 1,199 warning notices to drivers who broke the rules, while we received 75 requests from the public to target certain areas where inconsiderate parking has been a problem. You can read more in our news story and anyone can report incidents of illegally parked vehicles by using our online form.

New campaign launched to help residents work flexibly as a Shared Lives carer

Residents in Oxfordshire can work flexibly and from their own homes while offering support to people with care needs thanks to our Shared Lives scheme. The well-established scheme matches individuals in need of additional support with Oxfordshire residents who have space and capacity in their homes and are looking for a new way to work, enhance their qualifications, and support their communities. You can read more in our news article and there’s further information about the scheme online.

Changes to Oxford’s bus network aimed at securing services

The result of a major review of Oxford’s bus network, carried out to secure services in the face of an unprecedented set of challenges, was announced on 25 November. We have worked closely with Oxford’s main bus providers on the review, which was prompted by lower than usual passenger numbers, reduced government funding, and a national shortage of driving staff. It looked at how best to balance the available resources with the areas of greatest need. You can read more in our news story.

Improving digital inclusion through mobile coverage in Oxfordshire

Work to enhance mobile coverage in the centre of Oxford will start in the new year, which will improve next generation fast mobile data services (such as 5G) in areas where mast reception is poor. Small mobile transmitters known as ‘small cells’ will initially be attached to seven council-owned lighting columns, although this is likely to be extended to other high footfall areas. For further information about 5G, including around safety concerns, please refer to the published government advice. If you have any questions, please contact the digital infrastructure team at broadband@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Planning application submitted for A40 smart corridor

We have submitted a planning application for a series of major infrastructure projects along the A40 in West Oxfordshire. The application covers three separate, but interdependent highway schemes aimed at improving travel options along the route between Witney and Oxford. Read more in our news article.

Lifesaving A361 road safety project earns royal recognition

The Safer Roads Fund programme has won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its work with us and the Road Safety Foundation to improve conditions on the A361 between Banbury and Chipping Norton. The road was previously classed as one of the 50 most dangerous A road sections in the UK by the International Road Assessment Programme. In response, we carried out the £5.1 million A361 Safety Improvements Project with funding from the Department for Transport. There’s more about this story online.

COVID-19 data, information and advice

The statistics

In the seven days up to 19 November, there has been a total of 3,365 confirmed new COVID-19 cases in Oxfordshire. This is an increase from 2,679 new cases in the previous week and is equivalent to a weekly rate of 482.9 per 100,000 residents. Cases in the over 60s have decreased from 290 to 268, which is equivalent to a weekly rate of 158.9 per 100,000 residents. You can view the latest figures on our COVID-19 dashboard.

Cases in 7 days

Up to 12/11/21      Rate per 100,000   Cases in 7 days                Rate per 100,000                                                    population               up to19/11/21                   population

Cherwell      629                        414.2                     829                                 545.9

Oxford         438                        288.9                     638                                 420.9

South Oxfordshire 539              374.9                     747                                 519.5

Vale of White Horse 568           411.9                     629                                 456.1

West Oxfordshire  505              451.9                     522                                 467.1

Oxfordshire 2,679                     384.4                     3,365                               482.9

Data correct as at 4pm on 23 November.

Keeping safe, testing and travel – new government guidance

The government has updated its advice about COVID-19 testing and you are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before you spend time in crowded and enclosed spaces, or visiting those at higher risk.

All the details on keeping safe and stopping the spread, self-isolation and symptom-free and symptomatic testing can be found on our website. You can access information on the system for international travel on gov.uk.

Vaccinations

The offer of a COVID-19 booster vaccine has been extended to people aged 40 and over. You can book your booster on the NHS website. Booster vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford for those who are eligible. The facility is open from 3pm to 7pm – except on days when Oxford United is playing at home.  It has also been announced that a second dose of a vaccine will be offered to all young people aged 16 – 17, from 12 weeks after their first dose.

Please visit the NHS website for further information about vaccinations.

Communications campaigns

A refreshed message about the importance of regular testing is now being delivered through our digital channels. A wider campaign about winter viruses, aimed at parents and their school-age children, is being rolled out through schools and early years settings across Oxfordshire. An animation is also available online. We are also planning a digital campaign to run in December, which will focus on reducing the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 in the run-up to Christmas.

OCC Council meetings and information

Council meeting access and management

Links to view public meetings can be found on the meeting details page on our website – simply click the meeting in the calendar to see if it is possible to view the live meeting. Recordings can be viewed after each meeting. You can easily import meeting dates to your google calendar by clicking on the link ‘download meeting dates or papers’ on the meeting calendar page of our website.

Little Acorns

Little Acorns – Division knowledge share…

First meeting 1930 on Wednesday 5th January 2022 by TEAMS – emails have been sent

And finally…

Staying up to date

For the latest information about the council’s response to COVID-19, regularly check your emails, visit the council’s website oxfordshire.gov.uk and follow our OCC social media accounts.

All the best, please stay safe and well, and Hanukkah Sameach to all those who will start celebrating the Festival of Lights on Sunday evening.

 

Appendix D – District Councillor Report

Monday 6th December 2021 Monthly Parish Update

Vale of White Horse District Councillors Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne & Cllr Sarah Medley

Hello! It’s the festive season again, and we’ve been out enjoying the fab range of events our local community has to offer in the run-up to Christmas. We had a lovely time at the official opening of the new Alma Barn Lodge Care Home in Harwell – welcome to all the new residents living there. Really interesting to hear the local history of the site, including the story of Alma Barns: a “strong woman, very outspoken” who looked after a farm in the area and was known by many people. The care home team have done a great job bringing a local focus to this fantastic new facility, with plenty of photos and maps of Didcot and the local villages on display, and plans for regular community events.

The Harwellian social club has been well worth a visit this past month, with a Bingo session, live music by local band Frogstar and a delicious afternoon tea being just some of the many events they have hosted. We’re delighted that Didcot’s cultural hub, Cornerstone Arts Centre, is open for theatre shows again –

we really enjoyed the Sound of Music by local amateur dramatics group Jigsaw Stage Productions. There are plenty of Christmas fairs and markets happening locally almost every day – perfect for gift buying! As always, we encourage residents to shop locally and sustainably this Christmas; to support small independent businesses in our area and minimise the miles travelled by your purchases.

This time of year can of course be very difficult for many people, for a number of reasons. If you or someone you know is in need of support over the winter months, financial or otherwise, the councils’ community support hub is available to provide help and advice – see more detail below. COVID-19 cases are also rising again and the council is urging residents to take all the precautions you can, alongside abiding by new government restrictions in response to the Omicron variant.

2021 has certainly been another challenging year for everyone, with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the reality of climate change affecting every aspect of our lives. However, the success of the vaccination programme and the gradual return to normal life have given us much to be grateful for this past year. 2021 has been a big year of climate action, from the international pledges at COP26 right down to the collective activism of all our local sustainability groups. As a council we have continued towards our goals for tackling the climate emergency with the limited resources we have, as highlighted in the new section below on Climate & Environment news. However, it is the hard work and dedication of residents which makes a real difference – everything from the successful community campaign to improve the sustainability of the huge Valley Park housing development, through to the planting of trees at the new Upton nature garden. All of this makes us very proud to represent you, and gives us hope for a better future in 2022.

Whether you are celebrating Christmas or just taking a break, we wish you and your families an enjoyable and restful festive period. We hope that you can spend much-needed time with your loved ones, and we wish you happiness and good health for the new year ahead.

Merry Christmas! Hayleigh and Sarah

We use these monthly updates to keep you updated on our activities, general council news and any COVID-19 developments.

We also post regularly on our councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any issues or concerns, either via Facebook message or email: hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk and sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk.    

Community Support

Contact details

A reminder to all residents that the councils’ Community Support Hub continues to operate for anyone who needs any assistance, either as a result of COVID-19 or just for anyone who needs signposting towards the appropriate support channel. There are multiple ways to get in touch with the Community Support Hub:

Residents can also contact:

  • Citizens Advice – 0808 278 7907
  • Vale Community Impact – 01235 765348

Household Support Fund Available for anyone in need

  • The government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) is now open, offering a very important lifeline for households who may struggle to afford life’s essentials over winter.
  • The money will primarily be used to help pay for food, energy, and water bills for residents, but other costs can also be covered.
  • The fund is open to any resident who is struggling and can’t afford basic household essentials.
  • To find out about the scheme or seek help, call Citizens Advice on 0808 278 7907.

Homelessness Support

If you or someone you know are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please click here for advice.

Domestic Abuse

Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells? Are you afraid of your partner? Are you worried about someone you know being controlled?

  • Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service Helpline: 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10-6 Sat 10-4)
  • Find help and advice at Reducing the Risk’s website org.uk

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 rates

Oxfordshire will be the focus of targeted testing activity following the identification of
the COVID-19 Omicron variant. More generally, COVID-19 rates have spiked in Oxfordshire and South and Vale, which mirrors the national picture. The high rates in schools, predominantly primary-aged school children are likely to be a major factor in the rising cases. Alongside our county council colleagues and health partners, the district council is urging residents to take all the precautions they can to reach the Christmas period free of Covid-19 alongside abiding by new government restrictions in response to the Omicron variant.

Getting vaccinated and boosted remain the best ways for residents to reduce their chance of becoming severely ill with Covid, and boosters will soon become available to everyone over 18 years. Remember that the latest figures are updated on the county council’s interactive dashboard on a daily basis. We continue to encourage residents to get tested regularly and, if you feel unwell, book a PCR test.

Funds available for local businesses

The South and Vale Business Support team has launched its latest round of grants to help new businesses and those trading in events, tourism and wedding sectors to help keep them going throughout the winter months. Find out more information on the South and Vale Business Support website. Businesses can apply for funds up to midday on 16 December.

Local News

Call for people to buy local as free parking days returns in the run up to Christmas

Shoppers in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are being given a helping hand to buy local this Christmas. Those who are unable to get to local businesses by walking, cycling or public transport can take advantage of free parking in district council car parks.

Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot: an exciting line up of events and activities for all ages

Sing the blues with a Polar Bear, jam with the Puffins and beat-box with an Arctic Fox. It all happens at the North Pole Jazz Lounge; the coooolest place on earth in this year’s Christmas show The Ballad of Rudy, running from 18 to 24 December. Find out more about what’s on via cornerstone-arts.org or pop into Cornerstone yourself and take the time to enjoy a drink and bite to eat in the Nourish café bar.

New Chair and updates for Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board members

Members of the Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board met recently to hear about the latest developments in the town and to welcome their new Chair, Cllr Liz Leffman, who is the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council.

Climate & Environment News

Vale 9th most eco-friendly district in England

Vale of White Horse was named the ninth greenest out of 314 local authority areas in England. The research by OxfordshireLive took into consideration different factors including how often people walk or cycle, domestic carbon emissions per person and how much the council spends on the environment.

Councils reveal the food wasted in Southern Oxfordshire last Christmas and urge residents to change their ways

Southern Oxfordshire residents put around 700 tonnes of food* into their black bins last December, emitting nearly 150 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e)** into the atmosphere as well as wasting valuable resources and their own money.

The latest wave of electric vehicle chargers coming to county’s car parks

The roll-out of hundreds of electric vehicle (EV) charging points in council-owned car parks in Oxfordshire has begun. In South and Vale this will include:

More money and new laws needed to save planet say councils as COP26 comes to a close

The government must match their words with action, South and Vale’s cabinet members for climate have said, as COP26 came to a close.

Abingdon student scoots off with first prize in our Air Quality competition

One year six student in Abingdon will have a new way of getting into school thanks to a competition to highlight the issue of air quality, which was run by Vale of White Horse District Council earlier this term.

Sustainability at the heart of councils’ purchases

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are changing the way they are buying goods and services from outside suppliers. While getting good value has always been at the forefront of council staff’s minds when spending money for the councils, they must now focus on more than just financial value.
A new procurement strategy has been implemented which has the following aims:

  • to ensure efficient and economic contracts are managed well
  • to reduce costs and risk within the supply chain
  • to ensure council spending contributes to the economic, social, and environmental benefits for our communities

From now on any procurement must now include sustainability and represent economic and social value for the community. How and what the councils buy will support the councils’ corporate plans and priorities for the next five years. This is explained more fully to suppliers in a new section on the websites South and Vale.

Council News

Council Meetings

Vale of White Horse Full Council is on 8th December at the Milton Park Offices. Members of the public may watch the live stream online. The full agenda is here.
Council will be considering adopting a new parental leave policy for councillors. Motions on the agenda include tackling the climate emergency by retrofitting homes, becoming a trans inclusive council, and opposing the plans for the proposed Thames Water reservoir in Steventon.

£7.3 million for local transport and schools

Over £7.3 million will go towards transport improvements and school extensions in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse thanks to funds the two district councils have raised from housing developers building in the districts.

Over £2.2 million extra funding for Southern Oxfordshire businesses is available this winter

Extra cash is available to help businesses that have been severely affected by Covid-19 restrictions to get through the winter months. Local businesses can now apply for a grant of up to £15,000 to help to keep them going through the quieter trading months.

Council Leader calls on government to give local authorities more control over their finances

The Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council has written to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with proposals for changes to the way councils are funded to reduce financial pressures before they have an impact on public services.