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Apply online for primary school places

on Thu, 26/10/2017 - 7:04pm

Applications for children due to start primary school in September 2018 can now be made online.

Families with children born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 are urged to visit the primary school admissions pages (click) on the county council’s website to find out how to apply for places for next year.

Stating three preferences

Parents are strongly advised to state three preferences when applying and include their catchment school as one of these – even if it is their third preference. This does not in any way affect families’ chances of securing a place at their first-choice school.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Hilary Hibbert-Biles said: “The council has a strong record of being able to offer the vast majority of families a place at their first-choice primary school – with 94 per cent receiving the news they wanted to hear last year.

“It’s very important to apply on time, as this ensures your application is considered alongside all others submitted before the deadline – increasing the chances we will be able to offer you a place at a school listed among your preferences.”

She added: “Many parents understandably have a very clear view about which school they would like their child to attend, but our strong advice is to state three preferences on your application form, including your catchment school – even if it is your third preference. All the information about how to apply can be found on our website (click).”

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 15 January 2018.

Postal applications

The council still accepts postal applications but recommends families apply online where possible, as this helps speed up the applications process. It also means families receive an automatic response confirming their application has been received and can be quickly notified if further information is needed.

Those who apply online will also receive an email on allocation day, 16 April 2018, informing them of the outcome of their application.

Postal application forms are available from all Oxfordshire schools and from reception at County Hall in Oxford.

Further advice and information booklets and are available on the council’s website

School transport

To find out if you are eligible for free home-to-school transport visit:-

'Don't bin your batteries' call following waste and recycling truck fires

on Thu, 26/10/2017 - 6:57pm

Residents in the Vale of White Horse have been urged not to put batteries or other items which could cause a fire in their waste or recycling wheelie bin.

Last week two small fires started in rubbish while it was being transported in waste and recycling trucks.  Both were potentially very dangerous incidents to the crews, other road users and pedestrians.  They also caused delays to collections and could have resulted in significant damage.

The first incident took place while a waste truck was travelling on the A417 in Wantage.  The crew were escorted to a layby by two fire engines where they emptied part of the load so the fire service could extinguish the fire.

The second fire was detected in a recycling load collected in Radley. The fire service attended as crews tipped the load at Biffa’s depot in Culham.  A gas canister was found in the load meaning that, had the fire spread, it could have exploded causing significant damage or injury.

Biffa Waste fire picThe fires were caused by items residents had put in their bins, most likely to have been standard lithium-ion batteries – like the ones found in most mobile phones.

Batteries should be put in a clear plastic bag and left on top of the green recycling bin, while small electrical items (that may also contain batteries), can be put out in a carrier bag alongside the grey refuse bin for separate collection.

Cllr Charlotte Dickson, Cabinet Member for Waste and Recycling at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “If you need to throw out electrical equipment or batteries don’t put them in either of your wheelie bins.  Please check on our websites or give Biffa a call on 03000 610610 if you are unsure what to do.”

From a news item on the Vale's website; see the original <here>.

Childrey Stores - new seating area

on Mon, 23/10/2017 - 7:09pm


Childrey & Sparsholt Newsletter - November 2017

on Mon, 23/10/2017 - 1:20pm

Download a PDF copy of the current Childrey & Sparsholt Newsletter by using the link below.

Contact for Childrey & Sparsholt newsletter articles:

Sparsholt Parish Council has a vacancy for a Responsible Financial Officer

on Tue, 17/10/2017 - 5:48pm

Sparsholt Parish Council has a vacancy for a Responsible Financial Officer (RFO).

Reporting to the Chairman, the RFO will work closely alongside the Clerk to the council.

The main duties comprise maintaining the cash book and accounting records, providing reports and financial support to the Council, managing the annual budget process, managing the annual return and audit, and monitoring adherence to the Council’s financial regulations. The RFO should be able to deal with the payment of salaries and compliance with pensions regulator.

Experience of bookkeeping is desirable and a good working knowledge of Excel spreadsheets is essential. Good interpersonal and communication skills are necessary, since regular communication with the Clerk, the Chair and Council members are required. Accuracy and attention to detail are also essential attributes.

Paid hours are 3 hours 20 minutes per month. Salary will be dependent on experience, but will be in the region of £9.50 - £10.00 per hour. 

For further information and a job description please contact Mrs Deborah Lewis-Pryde, Clerk to Sparsholt Parish Council, on 01235 751923, or by email on 

Deadline for applications Monday 13th November 2017.


Neighbourhood Police Update - October 2017

on Mon, 16/10/2017 - 1:32pm

Here is the latest Faringdon neighbourhood update from PC 6862 Robert Maris.


Hare coursing: This continues to be a priority for the Faringdon Neighbourhood Team and we have done significant work with stakeholders in the rural community to improve early reporting and target hardening. This has seen significant ditches installed in Pusey Estate and Gates around the Buckland area. On 3rd October 2017 four men were arrested suspected of coursing in the Pusey area. Where arrests are not possible we will also make use of anti-social driving legislation allowing us to mark the driver and vehicle as having driven anti-socially and/or off road. If they or the vehicle were to do it again then the vehicle can be seized.

Vehicle crime: We unfortunately report that there has been another theft from motor vehicle at Ashdown House this month. After a number of months of no beauty spot thefts we will be working hard to pursue any lines of enquiry and identify trends to ensure we do not see another series of these.

Appeal for witnesses:

  • For the second time in three months someone has scrawled racist graffiti on the Welcome to Shrivenham sign in Longcot Road. We would appreciate anyone with any information about this crime reporting it to us.
  • The team have obtained a court warrant to seize an Alsatian dog believed to have bitten a person causing injury on the Ridgeway. We would encourage anyone else who may have been affected by this dog to come forward as we look to ensure it cannot do any more harm to our vulnerable communities.
  • There was a suspected arson to a hay stack near Winter Lane, West Hanney. The incident occurred around 5pm on 7th October 2017 and two young males were seen leaving the area of the hay stacks around that time. 

If you have any information about any of the above please call 101 and report it.

Offenders brought to justice

Emma Jackson aged 40 of Bromsgrove has been charged with one count of murder after a five year old Tyler Warmington was found dead at the address. We are still very grateful for the support of the community during this investigation. Jackson will be attending Oxford Crown Court on 13/10/2017.

Gary Curtis, Edward Checkley and Nathan Ingram were all sentenced to significant prison sentences after burglaries involving Shotguns at Bampton and Radcot. Ingram and Checkley were sentenced to 8 ½ year whilst Curtis received 7 1/2. These offences were very distressing for the victims and we welcome significant sentences.

Theft of lead

We have recently seen an increase in thefts of lead from roofs in South Oxfordshire and Vale of the White Horse. Offenders take the lead because of the rising value of scrap metal. Recently the primary school in Hanney was a target. Please consider the following if you have a lead roof (mainly schools and churches): 

  • Security marking – marking the lead will make the crime less attractive and make it harder for the offenders to sell on. If you use a DNA marking solution i.e. Smart Water it can be traced back to the owner if recovered. 
  • Keep gates locked and restrict vehicle access. 
  • Maximise surveillance levels i.e. cutting back tall trees. 
  • Encourage members of the local community to keep an eye on the building and report anything suspicious. 
  • Remove things that might help thieves get access to the roof, like water butts, bins and tall trees. 
  • Conduct regular checks of the roof so the theft is detected at the earliest possible time. 
  • Apply anti-climb paint to drain pipes and roof guttering to restrict access to roofing (warning signs must be displayed when using the paint and below a height of 2m) 
  • Install CCTV. 


Police will be carrying out patrols on Halloween to make sure that people who are trick-or-treating are doing so in a friendly manner and not causing a nuisance. For some people, this time of the year can be a bother as your evenings are interrupted with people knocking on your doors for treats. Most of these children or teenagers are just getting involved in the Halloween celebrations and will be friendly. If you feel unsafe:

  • Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spyhole, look out of a window and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.
  • Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.
  • If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween. If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance, you could also help by downloading the poster.
  • You can download a ‘no trick or treat’ poster from our website using the following link (right hand side of the page):

TVP South and Vale Twitter

Please remember the best place to find out what the Faringdon Neighbourhood team are up to is always on Twitter: @TVPSouthandVale (opens new window) and using the #Faringdon.

Thames Valley Alert

Receive free local crime alerts and crime prevention advice by registering at (opens new window) today. This allows anyone who signs up to choose what updates they receive and how they would like to receive it. A new option includes receiving information via text but more traditional landline and email messages are still available. You can also filter the updates you receive by specifying the priority level of the messages you receive.

Contact us

If you want any advice or would like to contact the neighbourhood team you can call us on the police non emergency number 101 (or 01865-841148 if 101 doesn't work for you) but if your call is an emergency then dial 999.   You can also contact us via email: - please note this email address cannot be used to contact Thames Valley Police to report crimes or for any urgent matters. To view information on your neighbourhood team visit the Thames Valley Police website at: Thames Valley Police Twitter account is kept up to date with what we are up to; please follow us @TVPSouthandVale. (opens new window)

To report local problems such as graffiti, fly tipping, pot holes and

broken street lights please visit

Find out more here:-

Parish Council Minutes - Wednesday, 20th September 2017

on Thu, 12/10/2017 - 7:29pm


Minutes of Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on

Wednesday 20th September 2017 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm

Present: The Chairman Councillor Tim Comyn, Councillors Barnes, Brown, Downie and Wiltshire, the  Clerk and 4 parishioners (including Nick Price from the website and Angie Brown from the Griffin Hall Management Committee).






Apologies:  The RFO.



Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Declarations of Interest & Reminder of the Code of Conduct:  Cllr Brown declared a non-prejudicial interest in the Days House planning application on account of his sister in law, Sandy Humphries living next door.  The Chairman declared an interest on account of his friendship with the applicants for this permission.



  Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 19th July 2017:  Cllr

  Comyn proposed signing these as a true record, seconded by Cllr

  Brown and unanimously agreed.

  Minutes of the Planning Meeting held on Tuesday 22nd August

  2017:  Cllr Brown proposed signing these as a true record, seconded

  by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.



Matters Arising: 

  1. B4507 50 mph speed restriction update:  Cllr Comyn has investigated the Government guidance tool online and downloaded the information.  Local Councils can limit the speed on the roads in their parish if the roads meet the criteria, eg. sharp bends etc.  Opinion would have to be obtained from all the parishes along the B4507.  The speed appraisal tool gives the costs and benefit and helps forecast 85% of the average speed.  Local Highways officers can set up equipment to monitor speed.  The B4507 meets the criteria with sharp bends, adverse cambers, junctions, hidden dips and pedestrian walk along the road without a footpath.  There is a campsite situated along the road which causes more walkers along the road.  There are no white lines in the middle of the narrow pieces.  Nick Price wanted to correct the statement previously made – the B4507 is NOT classed as one of the most dangerous roads in Oxfordshire but has a high mortality rate.  Cllr Barnes suggested spreading the work load on this project.  Firstly a case must be put together for the 50 mph speed limit and this would need to be circulated to neighbouring parishes, DC & CC Constance and OCC.  A full description of the road by driving along it and logging the danger spots was suggested.  All Cllrs agreed to be involved in the project and Cllr Comyn will circulate an action plan.

















All Cllrs

Cllr Comyn


  1. Cemetery rules:  Cllr Comyn has reviewed the cemetery rules that have previously been agreed.  The Burial administration and information to undertakers will be included with the rules.  Cllr Comyn has included that a protective covering must be put down before the digger crosses the graveyard to dig out the grave.  Cemetery tariffs were updated last in May 2015 and should be reviewed in the budget and updated in April 2018 if agreed.  Cllr Comyn proposed agreeing the Cemetery Rules, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed by all.  Cllr Barnes offered to put the Burial Map into a excel document and Cllr Comyn will circulate the new rules.
  2. Westcot ‘Village Green:  Any application to register Village Green would have to be supported by evidence and Cllr Comyn suggests that Cllr Brown encourages people to make statements.  Cllr Brown has registered an interest with OCC and been advised to wait until the property is sold, Cllr Brown to circulate the emails to the other Cllrs and the Clerk.  It is a ssquare of grass with a flagstone path inset, a Notice Board, bin and bench on it. 
  3. Sparsholt Green Notice Board:  Cllr Comyn reported that the Notice Board has been mended and will be re-sited against the fence.
  4. Cemetery Hedge:  The work has been completed and Cllr Comyn proposed signing a cheque for £320, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.
  5. Hedge at Eastmanton Corner:  Tony Carter spoke with the landowner and obtained permission to cut the hedge back.
  6. Mrs Frost’s Trees:  Cllr Brown and Mr Lee have trimmed the trees.
  7. Cemetery Compost  and Litter Bins:  Cllr Brown has emptied the litter bin and Cllr Williams will empty the composter. 
  8. Brown Bin for the Cemetery:  The Parish Council are unable to have a brown bin.
  9. Litter Bin Overflowing:  Cllr Barnes has emptied the bin.
  10. Re-painting of the bus shelter by Guy Mendonca:  Cllr Comyn to write a thank you letter.







Cllr Barnes

Cllr Comyn




Cllr Brown













Cllr Williams




Cllr Comyn




  1. Approval of the Finance Report to the 31st July:  Cllr Comyn read this out and proposed acceptance seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.  Cllr Comyn to check the wording on the burial costs.
  2. Approval of the Finance Report to the end of 31st August and the listing of payments to be made:  Cllr Comyn proposed acceptance and agreed the cheques, seconded by Cllr Barnes and agreed unanimously.

Cllr Comyn proposed initialled the bank statements

  1. Any other Finance matters:  None.





  1. P15/V2600/PAR Westcot Farm, Westcot, OX12 OX12 9QA:  Conversion of agricultural buildings to form three no. C3 dwellinghouses.  Fully Discharged.  Cllr Comyn still to pursue the FOI.  Work has started, a digester has been put in.  The Parish Council to keep an eye on this project as it is a conversion not a new dwelling.
  2. P17/V1299/FUL Days House, Westcot, OX12 9QB:  Demolition of bungalow/pool house (not Days House). Dividing site and erection of new house.  Cllr Brown spoke at the Planning Committee on behalf of the Parish Council to reinforce the Parish Councils objection.  The application is on hold as the VOWHDC Councillors had not viewed the application from the neighbouring properties.  Another site visit to be arranged.  A parishioner enquired about the monitoring of building control and if the Parish Council had any concerns regarding drainage.  The Parish Council responded that the VOWHDC have not replaced their drainage officer and that the Building Regulations department supervise any building works.
  3. P17/V2092/FUL Days House, Westcot, OX12 9QB:  Demolition of bungalow/pool house (not Days House) to divide site and construct new house to replace bungalow in different position similar to that approved 4/3/16 but with two minor additions.  No decision.
  4. P17/V2090/AG Broadleaze Farm, Westcot, OX12 9PZ:  Erection of polytunnel for lambing.  Granted.

New Applications:

a)  P17/V2344/HH 3 St Johns, Sparsholt, OX12 9PW:  Single Storey rear extension.  A response of “no objections” was proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.  The Clerk to submit the response.




Cllr Comyn


All Cllrs















Highways:  Cllr Barnes reported a number of potholes along the road from the B4507 up to Sparsholt Firs and Cllr Comyn agreed to write to Lee Turner


Cllr Comyn


Oxfordshire Together:  The Parish Councillors were not happy with the draft contract and Cllr Brown mentioned that there would be a requirement to have £10 million public liability insurance.  Cllr Comyn proposed not accepting the Oxfordshire Together proposal, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.



Cemetery and Cemetery Rail:    Cllr Brown waiting for quotes.



Correspondence Sheet:  No comments.



Any other business: 

  1. Barry Jones was going to attend to discuss ownership of the trees along Church Way and the land they are planted on.  To be added to the next meeting.
  2. Cllr Barnes asked about the Local Plan 2031, Part 1 has been agreed and Part 2 does not affect the Western Vale.



Dates of Next Meetings: Wednesdays 25th October, 15th November, 6th December 2017 and 17th January, 21st February, 21st March, 18th April and the AGM 16th May 2018 all starting at 7.30pm at the Griffin Memorial Hall.

The Parish Council may need to change this date as necessary.



Meeting closed at 8.50pm.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk


SPC 20th September 2017

Vale of White Horse - Local Plan 2031 Part 2 - publicity period

on Wed, 11/10/2017 - 11:14am

The Vale is nearly ready to submit their Local Plan 2031 Part 2 for independent examination. 

Their Local Plan 2031 Part 2 sets out policies and locations for housing for the Vale of White Horse district’s proportion of Oxford’s housing need up to 2031, which cannot be met within the City boundaries. The document also contains policies for the part of the Didcot Garden Town that lies within the Vale and detailed development management policies to complement Local Plan 2031 Part 1. It replaces the saved policies of the Local Plan 2011 and allocates additional development sites for housing.

Before they submit their Plan, the Vale are launching a six week publicity period on the Local Plan 2031 Part 2.  This runs from Wednesday, 11th October until 5pm on Wednesday, 22nd November 2017. 

The publicity period is different from the previous consultation, as the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) Regulations 2012 dictate that the Vale ask specific questions relating to the soundness and legality of the Plan.

After the publicity period, the Vale will submit the Plan to the Secretary of State, who will appoint a Planning Inspector to carry out an independent examination. The inspector will then examine the Plan, the evidence supporting it and the comments received, and make a decision on whether the Plan is “sound” and “legally compliant”. 

The Plan, video, guidance note and details on how to comment are available at:

They are also hosting public events across the district to help explain the publicity process and how to comment.  The events will all provide the same information so please feel free to attend any event.

Exhibitions and public meetings

Exhibition 4-6.30pm followed by public meeting 7-8.30pm

  • Monday 6 November: Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus, Wootton Road, Abingdon, OX14 1GG 
  • Tuesday 14 November: Corn Exchange, Gloucester Street, Faringdon, SN7 7JA 
  • Wednesday 15 November: Harwell Village Hall, High Street, Harwell, OX11 0EX 

How to view the information

The Plan, evidence documents, guidance note, video and comment form are available on the Vale's website.

Hard copies of the Plan, appendices and a selection of supporting documents will be available during opening hours at the locations listed at the bottom of this email.

How to comment

  • Responses can be made until 5pm on 22 November 2017 by:
  • using our online consultation system  (registration is required); 
  • downloading the comment form  and emailing it to
  • collecting a comment form from one of the locations listed below and posting it to Planning Policy, VOWH 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SB; 
  • attending one of our public events. 

For your comments to be considered, you must provide your name and address. All responses received will be available for the public to view.  If you respond on behalf of an organisation or agent the Vale may display your name and contact details. If you respond as an individual the Vale may display your name, but the Vale will not display your contact details.  All comments will be passed on to the Secretary of State. 

If you have any questions, please contact the planning policy team on 01235 422600 or email 

Distribution points for Local Plan:

Local libraries

  • Abingdon-on-Thames
  • Botley
  • Didcot
  • Faringdon
  • Grove
  • Kennington
  • Wantage

Council offices

  • 135 Eastern Ave., Milton Park, Milton
  • Abbey House, Abingdon
  • St. Aldates, Oxford City Council 

Council office opening hours - from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4.30pm Fridays

The Ridgeway Autumn newsletter

on Mon, 09/10/2017 - 3:17pm

Please find attached The Ridgeway Autumn newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Bill Bailey takes to The Ridgeway again, and gives tips on walking the Trail.
  • Bill is also guest speaker at The Ridgeway Partnership & North Wessex Downs AONB Annual Forum 'The Great Outdoors!' on Wed 18th October in Uffington, Oxon, where we'll also have representatives from Cycling UK, MIND mental health charity, Nordic Walking and more. Everyone is welcome. Book your place:
  • We're looking at (and tasting) food and food production along The Trail
  • Visiting one of the oldest schools in the country – in Uffington
  • and there’s our events listing and the Volunteer task diary with dates of tasks for you to join in on. 

Please note that we are looking for a new Chairperson for The Ridgeway Partnership from April 2018 – see advert in newsletter for details. Please spread the word to friends, work colleagues and family who may be interested in leading our Partnership and shaping the future of The Ridgeway.

For further information:-

Exhibition: 'Then and Now' Images of Wantage - until Saturday, 14th October

on Mon, 09/10/2017 - 2:39pm

Memories of Wantage shops, their owners and staff, and what they sold have been sparked by a collection of photographs being displayed at Vale & Downland Museum and online.

Called 'Then & Now: Wantage through the years - a collection of photos from past and present', the collection features 28 old photographs showing town centre shops in years gone by, alongside a shot taken from the same perspective now, by Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell.

They're on display at Vale & Downland Museum on Church Street from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 14th October 2017.

The project is a joint venture between Wantage Town Team and The Museum, with kind support from local historian, David Castle, and was inspired by the popular FaceBook group 'Old Wantage', which has more than 3,600 members. It’s hoped that more images of Wantage town centre shops past will emerge, and that they’ll be the basis of future exhibitions. Anyone with a photo of Wantage town centre buildings who would like it to be included in possible future projects could contact Mim via email: or telephone 01235 766689.

Vale & Downland Museum's Curator, Suzie Tilbury says: “The Museum is very proud to be part of this collaborative project with Wantage Town Team. The Wantage community is very passionate about the history of the town, and it's wonderful to see the memories alongside the images - it really brings them to life."

Wantage Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, says: "This has been a lovely project to put together. Grateful thanks go to the Old Wantage members for their contributions, and to David Castle for his support. We’ve really enjoyed reading all the memories the photos have sparked, and look forward to that continuing as the exhibition runs at Vale & Downland Museum and continues online."

The Museum on Church Street, Wantage is open Monday-Saturday, 9.30am-4pm with more details at:-

Wantage town team, led by Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, is part of a town vitality initiative funded by the Vale of White Horse District Council, and supported by Wantage Town Council, Grove Parish Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the Wantage Joint Economic Forum (JEF).