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Minutes of the BPC Meeting held on Wednesday 8th June 2022 at 7pm in the Melland Room of the Clubhouse.

In attendance: - Councillors D Mathias (DM) Chairman
J Gibson (JG)
C Burrow (CB)
L Inglis (LI) Vice Chairman
V Humphries (VH)
M Shayler (MS)
L Robinson (LR)
Also attending: - E Cooper (EC) Clerk / RFO
County Cllr S Povolotsky (SP)
District Cllr H Gascoigne (HG)
Mr A Jarvis

Before the meeting began, Cllr Jane Gibson announced that this would be her last Parish Council meeting & gave notice of her intention to resign. Although the Council is hugely disappointed to be losing Cllr Gibson, her many years of service, contribution & hard work were acknowledged by the Council, together with how much she will be missed.

1.     To receive apologies for absence

D Hollick (Lengthman), Cllr M Penington, Cllr M Blythe, PCSO

G Kirby.

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

Cllr M Shayler (re invoices).

Cllr L Inglis re leadership of Blewbury ReST.

3.   To receive the County Councillor’s report from Cllr Sally Povolotsky (see Appendix C below).

SP updated Council on 20mph progress in the village. Blewbury is in tranche one, which may come into effect in September this year. The A417 & Bessels Way are to be assessed by the Highways Safety  Officer. The A417 has priority, with safety measures being introduced first. Bessels Way would be considered in a future financial year. Parish Council to consider fund raising for the potential introduction of SIDs (speed notification signs).

4.     To receive District Councillor’s report from Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne (see Appendix D below)

HG explained the conservation area appraisal process to Council. The appraisal will be signed off by a cabinet member at a monthly meeting. LI will inform HG of any progress in case HG can help.

JG asked if HG could confirm the situation with bin collections? HG stated that there is no timescale for the District Council to stop emptying bins that are not on their land. SP attends monthly Biffa meetings & will feedback any updates to HG.

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

6.   To receive a report from the PCSO (if available)

‘A couple of incidents of note. There have been 2 separate reports of theft from vehicles where items have been taken from vehicles. 1 at the car park in Bohams road and another from in the village. There has also been a theft of catalytic convertor from a vehicle in the village. As I’m sure that you are aware these are stolen due to the precious metals that they contain and are then sold for scrap.         We are asking residents to be aware of anything suspicious and to please let us know.’

7.   Open Forum

Mr Andy Jarvis attended to talk about the Red Lion & a new application as an asset of community value.

JG explained the history behind this matter. The Parish Council agreed a new application could be made.

LI to discuss further with Andy Jarvis.

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


Minutes of the BPC AGM meeting held on 11th May 2022

Minutes unanimously approved by Council as a true record.

9.   To hear the Planning Committee Report & Ratify/Agree Planning Responses – Cllr L Inglis


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


9.1.1 P22/0975/LB St Michaels, Church Road, Blewbury

Replacing the plasterboard & skimming over. Insulation to be added to required depth of 70mm.

Deadline 18.06.22

Council agreed no objections.


9.1.2 P22/1140/HH Fieldside, London Rd, Blewbury

Replacement of glass roof over outside terrace at rear of house with spray painted white metal roof structure.

Deadline 18.06.22

Council agreed no objections.


9.1.3 LAVFUL/17392/22 Blueberry application for increased licencing hours.

BPC no objections with comments 25.05.22.


9.2 To note planning permissions received during the month


9.2.1 P22/V0669/FUL Rumseys Barn, London Road, Blewbury

Planning permission 10.05.22


9.2.2 P22/V0579/HH Upstones, Berry Lane, Blewbury

Planning permission 11.05.22


10.    To hear an update on Finance & Administration from the Clerk


10.1 To receive any updates on planned expenditure from contributions held

CIL funds held £15,273.28


10.2 To hear all other financial 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 31.05.22 were £110,527.43, inc. £11,909.51 village hall refurb funds. Final invoices totalling £30,343.29 received from MD Group & invoice for                     £300 received from Ridge, related to the VH refurb.

Net funds available £98,617.92.


10.3 To hear all other administrative updates


10.3.1 2021-22 Audit update Internal Audit progression

Internal audit signed off by IA on 24th May, with comments which are being addressed. Confirmation of Exercise of Public Rights dates

Friday 10th June to Thursday 21st July.


10.3.2 To adopt the LGA Model Councillor Code of conduct 2020 – All Cllrs

Council agreed to this in principle & asked that VH examine the document & report back at the July meeting.


10.3.3 To discuss the request from Blewbury ReST, to support a refugee family, with funding of a one-off grant of £1000 – Cllr L Inglis

Council unanimously agreed to make this donation. a one-off grant. LI did not take part in the discussion. LI to provide ReST bank details to Clerk.


10.3.4 VAT Reclaim

The Clerk updated Council on the last VAT reclaim from February 2022, which remained unpaid. HMRC acknowledged they had a problem making the payment & would arrange                       to make it as soon as possible.


10.4 To agree authorisers for this month’s payments – All current signatories



10.5 To approve payments to be made under the general power of competence and within budgeted amounts as detailed in the table below – All Councillors

Council agreed to all payments listed with the exception of Playground Facilities, as work remained incomplete on the TFF play area.

Council also agreed to the addition of payments for IAC (internal audit), Shayler Concrete Pumping (supply of gravel for footpaths), White Horse Horticulture (mowing contract) & Didcot       Plant (compactor hire).








E Cooper/D Hollick/

E Holroyd

Clerk, Lengthman & Hall Administrator salaries & expenses for May£2260.12
NEST DDClerk’s pension May£85.01
HMRCPAYE Clerk, Lengthman, Hall Admin May£399.79
Biffa Waste Services Ltd DDWaste services June£105.07


BT DDClubhouse line rental June£40.66
Scottish Power DDClubhouse electricity 03.05.22£300.00
J NewmanClubhouse cleaning May£180.00
OALCAnnual subs 1.4.22 – 31.3.22£352.09
Didcot PlantHire of dumper & excavator (footpath gravelling/cemetery path)£312.05
Complete Tree ServicesTree work: – Cemetery, Cleeve, TFF car park£1548.00
Playground FacilitiesResurfacing work to TFF Play Area – payment deferred£9257.89
Pear TechnologyCemetery Mapping software annual fee£102.00
MD GroupVH Refurb practical completion valuation 8 (paid, ratified)£17583.04
MD GroupVH Refurb Valuation 9 retention release (paid, ratified)£12760.25
RidgePost-contract administration, project management & completion of the defect rectification period (paid, ratified)£300.00
UCABDonation (agreed May AGM, paid to be ratified)£2000.00
OCCAnnual rent of land in grounds of Blewbury School£210.08
IACBPC internal audit£294.00
Shayler Concrete PumpingSupply of footpath gravel 2 x invoices (£1638 & £360)£1998.00
White Horse HorticultureMowing Pound, Play Close & Churchyard May£200.00
Didcot PlantHire of compactor£68.70





SavagesDonation     £400.00

11.    To receive an update from VHEMC & on the Village Hall Refurbishment – Chairman D Mathias


11.1 VHEMC update

No update this month.

11.2 Village Hall refurbishment update

Final invoices received see 10.2.2 above.

Council agreed that this item could now be removed from the agenda.


12.    To receive an update on the all things relating to the operation of the Clubhouse & the recreation ground – Cllrs M Penington, J Gibson & Lengthman D Hollick


           12.1 Clubhouse

12.1.1 Outdoor furniture update

MP had ordered 2 x folding wooden bench table sets & 2 x folding trestle tables.

Clerk’s note: – These items have been delivered. Clerk to contact Cllr MB re loan of chairs.

12.1.2 Any other updates on any aspect of the Clubhouse The hall administrator reported the regular bookings were consistent, although one group had announced their intention to move to the Vale room in the autumn.                                         Also, the cricket season had begun. JG queried a wedding booking at the Clubhouse & whether terms had been agreed? Clerk to action MP in his absence to report back to Council.


12.2 Recreation ground

Council agreed to the purchase of a new bin to replace the one at the entrance to the recreation ground car park. JG had presented details of the bin to be purchased. JG also confirmed that the District Council would still collect from bins that they could access whilst using the larger trucks as the smaller vehicles are to be phased out.

Clerk to arrange purchase of the new bin.


13.    To receive an update on all aspects of TFF & car park – Cllrs L Robinson, M Shayler & Lengthman D Hollick


13.1 Play Space surface upgrade update

DM explained the current situation with the matting replacements & communications with the contractor at the TFF Play Space. Some matting was not pinned down & where top soil had been used, this had not been grass seeded. The contractor had also confirmed that they did not want to make any other repairs in the Play Space as they did not want any liability. Council is in touch             with a different contractor & a playground inspector.

13.2 Any other updates – Play area/TFF/Car Park



14.    To receive an update on Risk Management & Compliance – from the Clerk & Cllr V Humphries


14.1 Update on TFF incident on 1.5.22

DM updated Council on the TFF incident & explained that the matter was in the hands of the Council’s insurers.

14.2 Speed Watch update

Speed Watch data for May received & issued to Council.

CB will be attending a meeting regarding SIDs & report back at the July meeting.

14.3 Village defibrillators update

VH had spoken to a representative of the Blueberry & they agreed to have a defib outside the premises & to make a ‘meaningful’ contribution. VH is awaiting quotes & confirmed that there are no grants or other funding available. VH also spoke with Dibleys Heritage regarding an additional defib outside their office.

14.4 Any update or information on risk management & compliance



15.   To receive an update on issues relating to the Environment – from Cllr Camilla Burrow


15.1 Information from Sustainable Blewbury


15.2 Any other environmental issues

15.2.1 CB is to carry out a survey of the village & report where village upkeep maintenance could be relaxed.

15.2.2 A community artwork project meeting had been arranged. CB & DM to lead. JG asked to be involved as an interested party. LI also a member of the steering group.


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

        from Cllrs M Penington, L Inglis, M Blythe


16.1 To receive an update tree work at the Cleeve & Cemetery

Tree work completed 23rd May

16.2 Play Close Footpaths update

LI & CB reported that together with the PCC they are keen to progress access and ecology-related improvements to the Play Close & are looking at grant opportunities. Father Jason is               formally investigating ownership of the Play Close. MS has one quotation to upgrade the footpaths at c£7,500.

16.3 Footpath gravelling

Completed 23rd May.

16.4 Any other update on Footways, Footpaths, rights of Ways & open spaces in & around the village



17.   To receive an update on any outstanding consultations – All Councillors

JG & DH to complete the litter picking survey.


  1. To agree the date/venue of the next meeting of the Council – All Councillors


Next full council meeting Wednesday 13th July at 7.00pm in the Melland Room. LI to chair.


Appendix A

No.Actions from June meetingWhen By
1.Clerk to order new bin for Recreation ground car parkActioned
2.Clerk to create Sustainable Procurement Policy from information provided by Cllr Burrow on 11.5.22ASAP
3.Cllr Inglis to lead on Red Lion Asset of Community Value applicationASAP
4.Cllr Penington to confirm any outstanding orders for Clubhouse outdoor furnitureActioned
5.Cllr Penington to confirm agreement reached regarding July wedding at the ClubhouseASAP


No.Actions from May meetingWhen By
9.Mark Shayler to build lockable cover over TFF standpipe.C’fwd
No.Actions from April meetingWhen By
13.Mark Blythe to speak Mr Kauntz re potential for hedge planting alongside concrete pathC’fwd


Appendix B – Lengthman’s Report – May 2022


Only minimal grass cutting this month as “No Mow May”.

TFF Play Area remains out of use while remedial work & safety checks are finalised. Spare top soil bags will be used in the cemetery & on the recreation ground.

KAP Play Area is sound except for some of the brown paintwork now beginning to peel off. Only painted last July!

Mark Shayler and I have refurbished nearly all of the remaining paths in the cemetery.

I will be cutting the footpaths and verges in June. So back to normal.

All equipment and buildings are in good order.

David Hollick, Lengthman.


Appendix C

Hendreds and Harwell Parish councillors: 30 May
Welcome to your weekly news update from Oxfordshire County Council and your County Councillor Sally.

This week, I will tell you about the official opening of the new Business and Intellectual Property Centre at our county library, plans to drive down carbon emissions across the county and how some of our staff in education and social care have been recognised this week by the Queen. Info and to share the LGC article about our new food strategy and, as usual, we update you on the countywide effort to support the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

 Finally, as well as attaching the latest vaccination programme update from the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) integrated care system, we have also attached a briefing note from our public health team on monkeypox.

Homes for Ukraine
Our news on our support for the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme focuses on updates made to government guidance.

Last Monday, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) wrote to local authorities with a summary of the latest changes to the scheme guidance. This is the second update to the guidance, and, as before, we will work through what this may mean. The highlights are detailed below:


The new guidance includes two new sections – local council checks and welfare checks. These additions cover how local authorities may wish to undertake welfare checks to safeguard arriving guests, the application of statutory safeguarding duties to children and adults and provides links to organisations that may offer support to guests. The guidance emphasises the need for vigilance based on local intelligence and the importance of taking action where appropriate. Councils are advised to draw on existing safeguarding partnership arrangements and consider whether there are additional support services needed. The guidance aimed at guests has also been updated with new content on modern slavery.


The guidance on rematching hasn’t changed. It reiterates the priority remains to ensure as many sponsorship relationships as possible are sustainable and that councils are now able to rematch guests with new sponsors where it is unviable or unsafe for the sponsorship relationship to continue. Only those who received a visa through the Homes for Ukraine visa route are eligible for rematching, to ensure that those without family links in the UK are prioritised.

Voluntary and community sector role

The government wants to build on the valued work of community organisations, faith groups and charities to help more people from Ukraine find safe and sustainable matches with sponsors in the UK. It has published a list of recognised providers – voluntary and community sector organisations running schemes, which provide support for and help match people coming from Ukraine with sponsors in the UK. It has also published new guidance for voluntary and community sector organisations interested in developing a matching service.

Access and entitlement to child benefit

The updated guidance includes further information on entitlement to child benefit and how to claim it, including the evidence that guests would need to provide with their claim.

 Self-assessment for self-employed

The government has added further information and links to HMRC for those people from Ukraine who wish to take up self-employment within the UK.


A reminder, councillors can direct general Ukraine queries to:

  • Website:
  • Oxfordshire Ukraine helpline: +44 1865 966444 / 01865 966 444 (opening hours for Monday 30 May – Wednesday 1 June, 8.45am – 5pm, bank holiday Thursday 2 June – Saturday 4 June, helpline closed but email is being monitored 10am – 3pm, closed Sunday 5 June).
  • Email: (Thursday 2 June – Saturday 4 June email is being monitored 10am – 3pm, closed Sunday 5 June).

Barnardo’s has also set up a free support service and helpline staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers:

· Website:

As always, we will keep you updated on progress. We do have families now in our division and groups set up to help them, especially learning English and integrating into village life. Please do contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Redefining how we work with Cherwell
The Joint Shared Services and Personnel Committee, made up of elected councillors from both the county council and district council, met on Monday 23 May to review a further set of recommendations. It was agreed that the following teams will formally separate:

  • Legal and democratic services (including information governance and those teams supporting Cherwell with managing freedom of information requests)
  • Communications, strategy and insight.

Both councils have agreed there will be a transitionary period to maintain resilience and ensure access to specialist services. The committee also supported the recommendation that new partnership arrangements will be put in place for Oxfordshire to deliver marketing, consultation and engagement services to Cherwell in the future. Colleagues in the teams affected are aware of these developments.

Latest news
Celebrating the official opening of our new library service

Our library teams celebrated the official opening of the new Business and Intellectual Property Centre on Wednesday. Based on the second floor of our county library in Oxford, the centre supports individuals and entrepreneurs to start and grow their own business. Developing multi-purpose physical spaces for people to access a range of services is part of our innovative new library and heritage strategy, which was unveiled at Cabinet on Tuesday.

 I went to visit this facility a few weeks ago and I have to say how impressed I was, so please do share the information with your residents. An ideal place for anyone who set up a business or project from their kitchen table!

 Food strategy recognised

Great to see last weeks lead story in the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) featured Cllr Mark Lygo explaining how our new food strategy boosts sustainability and affordability. For those who might not be able to access the online article, a copy has been attached.

 Plans to drive down carbon emissions approved

Action to tackle climate change in Oxfordshire is set to increase over the next three years as we aim for a net zero carbon future. Earlier this week, our Cabinet approved plans that could see our own corporate carbon emissions almost halved by 2024/25. Learn more about this in our recent news article.

The Queen recognises Oxfordshire education and social care colleagues

Several colleagues from education and social care were recognised for their professionalism and dedication to children and young people in Oxfordshire at the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace last week. Find out more in our news story.

Monkeypox in the UK

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is investigating an increasing number of cases of monkeypox in England. It is a rare infectious disease, but numbers are rising. However, the risk to the UK population remains low. You can read more in the attached briefing from our public health team. Information about the illness, how to spot symptoms, and where to go for treatment is available on our website.

In other news …

· Major proposals for children with special educational needs and disabilities

· Warning on government’s adult social care plans

· The Countess of Wessex visits Oxfordshire

· Michael overcomes sight loss to thrive in the world of work

· John finds his feet in time to collect his British Empire Medal

· Woodstock parking changes.

Upcoming events
Oxford Pride: Saturday 4 June
Pride is for everyone, so you’re all invited to come along to join the celebrations – and do bring family, friends or others with you! The fun begins at Rewley Road Fire Station at 9.30am where you can enjoy breakfast (vegan and gluten free options available) with friends and staff from across the council, as well as from the police and UNISON, the public service union. We’ll then walk up to Radcliffe Square for the parade which starts at 12 noon, passing through the city with our rainbow fire appliance and finishing at the County Hall rainbow crossing. All the details about the event are published on the Oxford Pride website and look out for the Pride guide.I know many of you have Jubilee events, and please do send me details on my Facebook page and I will share. My page has a large reach and I am always happy to plug and share any local events, initiatives and local businesses in the division.
Consultation and engagement activities
We are currently running four major consultations for residents. Please encourage your residents to have their say by sharing the relevant links.

There is further information below on the low traffic neighbourhood proposals, following the launch of the consultation last week.

For details of all other live consultations visit Let’s Talk Oxfordshire.

ConsultationLink to consultationClosing date
Keeping safe in open waterLet’s Talk Oxfordshire


31 May
Voluntary and community sector strategyLet’s Talk Oxfordshire12 June



Latest statistics

At 20 May, the weekly case rate for Oxfordshire was 92.4 per 100,000. You can view the latest figures on our COVID-19 dashboard.

Vaccination update

For those who are eligible, spring boosters are still available to book through the NHS website or by calling 119. You can read more in the attached latest vaccination programme update from the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) integrated care system.

Council meetings and information
Upcoming meetings

No meetings are scheduled to take place next week.

Access to public meetings

Links to view public meetings can be found on the meeting details page on our website. 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.

Division Round Up
Division Round Up


The Signage is now up for the TRO changes to the Speed Limits, I pushed for these to be changed from Advisory to Regulation. Now as you come off the A4130 its from a 60mph to a 40mph and then a 20mph over the bridge channel. Steventon is in Tranche 1 of our 20mph scheme hence the investment in signage for the future.

Information here


The redesign of the High Street is ongoing with officers and Taylor Wimpey to avoid issues around the Memorial and also make the cycling provision more prominent and universal and not tied into a cycle path (and restrict on street parking which was a residents concern)

Valley Park

Given the lack of design code, we have pushed back on any comments related to this current parcel of approvals until this is complete. I am still raising concerns over the 5 arm roundabout at all levels, and will now with the new Cabinet member for Highways.


Residents have asked for an LTN in part on GWP, where they were promised it by the developer, this is an awkward situation now, due to Taylor Wimpey claiming amnesia and of course OCC haven’t adopted it yet. I am trying to organise a meeting to iron this out and get TW to deliver as they promised to residents.

West Hendred

Due to crossing and safety issues a pedestrian crossing is in design near the Hare Pub on the A417, more info to come.

Harwell Campus

I rarely step in on HC developments due to the Science Vale, or unless the Parishes have concern. However a recent application around adding a huge influx of parking to a site that doesn’t have any parking issues is one I cannot let go unnoticed. Thankfully officers also have the same views. However the modal cycle hub is to be commended but not at the cost of the huge parking need / desire – details on planning reference – P22/V0930/FUL

Highways Download

I had a meeting 2 weeks ago with Highways raising 15 key issues locally, and will feedback to PC’s when I get some responses.

And finally…
Due to the bank holidays next week, I won’t be sending out my usual weekly briefing so look out for the next one on Monday 13 June. Apologies that there has been a delay of a week but I have had an awful virus and sitting at screens hasn’t been much fun! Remember – for the latest news and information from the council, check your emails regularly and keep an eye on our website. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram and sign up for our residents’ newsletter, Your Oxfordshire.

With best wishes, Sally Povolotsky, County Councillor – Hendreds & Harwell


Appendix D

Monday 6th June 2022 – Monthly Parish Update

Vale of White Horse District Councillors

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Hello! We hope everyone enjoyed the long bank holiday weekend, whether or not you were celebrating the Platinum Jubilee. We had a brilliant and busy weekend at the various community events taking place across the local area. First up on Friday 3rd June was the ‘Right Royal Knees Up’ at Boundary Park Pavilion on Great Western Park. Well done to local charity Style Acre for organising this fantastic event – we had a great time!

Saturday morning started with the traditional Harwell Feast Parade, with so many incredible floats decorated in a tribute to Her Majesty. We really enjoyed the Harwell Feast, it was so good to see it back for the first time since 2019! Well done and thank you to everyone involved in making it a success, from the Feast committee who work hard all year round on organising the event, to the Scouts who run the BBQ and the Harwellian who provide drinks and snacks…everyone has a part to play in this legendary local event.

On Saturday evening we had the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of the Vale of White Horse District Council at the Harwell Stone D-Day Memorial Service. Thank you to the Royal British Legion Harwell Branch for organising – this was another annual event which hasn’t taken place for three years. It was a privilege to attend and to learn about this fascinating piece of local history. The stone marks the end of the runway from which aircraft of No.38 Group Royal Air Force, took off on the night of 5th June 1944 – these troops were amongst the first British Soldiers to land in Normandy on the main assault for the liberation of Europe.

On Sunday 5th June we stopped by the Chilton Jubilee Picnic, which was lovely! The homemade banners, scarecrows and corgi trail were fab, and thank you to the Chilton W.I. for the delicious Victoria sponge cake – perfect for the occasion! Next stop on our Sunday afternoon was the Big Jubilee Afternoon in Blewbury, which had lots of fantastic stalls and activities. We booked our tickets for the Blewbury Players in July, we had fun studying water wildlife from the chalk stream, and we loved the plant sale by the Blewbury Refugee

Support Team. Well done to the Blewbury School PTA for organising such a wonderful event!

We then took a trip up to Abingdon to join in with the excellent eccentric local tradition of bun-throwing, which only happens during royal celebrations. This was the perfect end to an absolutely fantastic weekend of community events! With National Volunteer’s week coming to a close, we’d like to say a huge well done and thank you to all the wonderful volunteers in our community – we wouldn’t be able to enjoy Platinum Jubilee celebrations or other events in our local area without your constant hard work and dedication.

In other news, we are delighted to announce that Hayleigh is now the new chair of the council’s Climate Emergency Advisory Committee. Hayleigh has been a member of the committee since its inception in 2019, and she is passionate about doing all we can as a council and as individuals to tackle the climate emergency. We are also very pleased that Cllr Sally Povolotsky is the new cabinet member for Climate Emergency & Environment at the council. Sally works as a sustainability engineer and many of us knew her as a community climate activist long before she became involved in local politics. We are really looking forward to all the new ideas and energy we know she will bring to this role.

The next full council meeting is Wednesday 13th July. Should you wish to speak at this (or any) meeting, please email democratic services by 12noon on the working day before the meeting. You can also attend meetings in person or watch the stream on YouTube – link here or search the Vale of White Horse District Council for more information.

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: and   Community Support

The Council Community Support Hub

The Community Support Hub, originally set up by the council in 2020 in response to the pandemic, is still available for anyone in need of help: if you have COVID-19, or if you are struggling financially, or if you are just finding life difficult due to the pandemic. Whether it’s practical support or just advice, get in touch. Call:

01235 422 600 (Mon to Thurs 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm) or visit

Council tax rebate

Most homes in council tax bands A-D have now received their £150 rebate.

Once we have completed the final payments for the A-D households we will then launch a discretionary scheme which will provide £150 to all homes in receipt of Council Tax Support in E-H banded homes. Any money left over from this scheme will be used to provide a small top-up payment to all households in receipt of Council Tax Support. We will confirm more details about this scheme in due course.

We have been asked what people should do if they do not want to receive the rebate. The Council cannot use the declined monies for any other purpose, such as providing more funding for those in need. Declined funds will be returned to Central Government. If you want the money to be used to support others, do not decline the rebate, but instead, you could decide to donate it to any cause or person you choose.

Financial Support Helplines

With rising energy prices and the cost of living increasing, it is a difficult time for many residents. Anyone who is struggling financially can contact Citizens Advice on 0808 278 7907, Vale Community Impact on 01235 765348 or the council’s own community support hub – details below.


Our fantastic colleagues across our county partnership continue their work to support the scheme in numerous ways.

Local communities across Oxfordshire are providing fantastic local services for our guests, for example community-led English lessons, access to clothing, toys and food, community support groups and more.

The Oxfordshire Family Information Service (FIS) would like to provide local information for both Ukrainian guests and their host families on its directory webpages about events, activities and support services available to them.

Leader of VoWH District Council, Emily Smith, says, ‘Thank to everyone at the council and across district for the incredible welcome that you have shown those fleeing war in Ukraine.

Our housing team, with support from officers from across the council have carried out hundreds of house checks to ensure accommodation is suitable and safe. And we have just appointed two new Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) who will work with Asylum Welcome and help community groups to support Ukrainian guests who are settling in households across our districts, providing information, advice and guidance and liaise with local authority support teams across Oxfordshire, to build a support framework for refugees that need it.

The generosity of local people offering accommodation and other support is heart-warming and very much appreciated.’

For more information

General Ukraine queries: 

 Oxfordshire Ukraine helpline: +44 1865 966444 / 01865 966 444 (opening hours: 8.45am

– 5pm, Monday to Friday. Closed weekends and bank holidays).  Email:

For housing and community support in South and Vale:  

 South and Vale helpline: +44 1235 422600 / 01235 422600 (press option one). Opening

hours: 8.30am-5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am-4.30pm Fridays, Closed weekends and bank holidays.

Email: Finally, as we work hard to support the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, it’s important to recognise that we are continuing to work collectively across the county to support people of all immigration status, including refugees, whatever their country of origin.

In recent years, all councils across Oxfordshire have established specific support arrangements for those from Syria and Afghanistan working together with our voluntary and community sector partners to deliver wrap-around support for those temporarily accommodated in hotels. We will all continue to support relocating refugees and work with Thames Valley Police and other agencies to identify and prevent modern slavery.

Local News

Didcot Healthcare Update

The NHS Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) were unable to attend the Great Western Park

Residents’ Association Meeting in May, so they will now be joining the next meeting instead at 8pm on Monday 13th June. The CCG will be providing an update on the GWP healthcare provision, so please attend if you can as the meeting is open to the public. It will be held in person at Boundary Park Sports Pavilion with the option to join online via Zoom. Please keep an eye on the GWP Residents’ Association Facebook Event for more details, and note that you need to register online for the meeting beforehand in order to receive the Zoom link.

Valley Park Update

The planning applications for the first two parcels of homes on Valley Park, as mentioned in previous updates, have been submitted – references P22/V0539/RM and P22/V0907/RM. They are currently both closed for comments. However, the strategic design code for the Valley Park has not yet been approved.

Design codes set out design principles aimed at delivering better quality places, for example the requirements for streets, blocks, etc, or they may focus on landscape or architectural designs. Once this document has been approved (subject to negotiations), then the planning applications will reopen for consultation, so you may comment on them within the context of knowing what the design code is. As usual, if you have any questions on this matter, don’t hesitate to contact us.

A new way of shopping has launched in Wantage An exciting new shopping tool has launched in Wantage to help support local independent traders to recover following the pandemic. Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils are offering local organisations a free 12 months’ membership to ShopAppy, a website that helps market their goods and services online.

Women’s Tour cycling race is coming to Oxfordshire on Saturday 11th June

Residents across the county will be able to cheer on elite riders when this year’s Women’s Tour professional cycling race returns to Oxfordshire on Saturday 11 June. You can see the women passing through locally at Wantage, Harwell or Didcot. For full route details, see the website. Proud to celebrate Pride

June is Pride month, and the council will be celebrating in several ways. We’ll be raising the Pride flag outside Abbey House and Milton Park through the month, to celebrate and show our support for the LGBTQ+ community across the districts.

Cornerstone Arts Centre is celebrating #PrideAtCornerstone with events including The PHWOAR Next Door drag cabaret on Friday 10 June and a FREE art drop in on Saturday 11 June from 11am to 4pm where everyone can add to the Cornerstone Pride flag. More information and tickets available via

Climate & Environment News

EV Chargers Launch across Vale

A series of 62 EV chargers which have been installed in council-run car parks across the Vale of White Horse district are now up and running.

The chargers – which have been installed as part of the county-wide Park and Charge scheme – are ready to use by EV owners in our council-run car parks in Portway in Wantage, Cattle Market, Audlett Drive, West St Helens in Abingdon and Southampton Street in Faringdon.

The Park and Charge Oxfordshire project has attracted £5.4m of funding, with £4.1m being funded through the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles via Innovate UK and the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

The remaining investment has come from commercial partners Zeta Specialist Lighting and [ui!] UK (Urban Integrated).

Boiler Upgrade Scheme opens

The government has announced a new £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme to help improve the energy efficiency of homes, reduce energy bills and cut emissions in the long-term. The scheme is now open for people to apply for the following support when replacing their oil or gas boilers:  £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump  £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler  £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump

You can find out more about the scheme via the government’s website. Council News

New joint local plan about far more than housing as interactive consultation opens

Tackling the climate emergency, sustainable transport, affordable housing, high-tech jobs, and the future of our town centres are among the topics up for discussion as South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils embark on the creation of a new Joint Local Plan. The two district councils have launched an interactive consultation to find out what the public thinks are the key issues facing the areas. You have until Thursday 23rd June to contribute.

Abbey Meadow outdoor pool’s future secured for many more summers of fun

Families will be able to enjoy summer holidays at Abbey Meadow outdoor pool and splash pad in Abingdon for years to come, despite spiralling energy costs that have closed pools all around the country.

Vale of White Horse to get a new Food and Farming champion

The Vale is to get a new Food and Farming Champion to help promote food production, distribution, and healthy eating across the district. This action was part of a motion raised by Cllr Bethia Thomas at the Vale of White Horse District Council meeting

Councils mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a focus on the environment and Wellbeing Creating a lasting legacy will be at the heart of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations at South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.

The councils are asking residents to share with them pictures of the trees they have planted across the districts as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. These images will go on display until spring next year on the councils’ websites and will create a record of where the trees are for years to come.

Later in the year South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse will each install living sculptures. The final designs are yet to be decided but the statues will be created using grasses, vines, plants, or trees. Both districts will have a sculpture as a reminder of this special anniversary.