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Plastic bags can now be used to line food waste bins

on Mon, 24/07/2017 - 9:18pm

Plastic bags can now be used to line food waste bins and caddies.

Food waste is collected every week and taken to Agrivert’s anaerobic digestion plant near Wallingford to be recycled into gas for electricity and fertiliser for local farmland.

The processing plant is now able to accept thin plastic bags, such as carrier bags, bread bags, paper wrappings, or normal pedal bin liners. Residents can also continue to use compostable bags or newspapers to line their caddies and bins, or put food straight in without any liner.

Any bags used as liners will be removed at the processing plant and sent to an Energy Recovery Facility to be turned into energy.

All cooked and uncooked food can be put into food waste bins. Residents are advised that plastic retail packaging, or anything other than food waste, should not be put in. For example, bacon should be removed from its plastic packet and fruit taken out of punnets.

During 2016/17, 10,024 tonnes of food waste was collected and sent for recycling in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.

For further information about food waste recycling and other household waste and recycling collections, see recycling, rubbish and waste (click) or call 03000 610610.

From an article on the VoWHDC website; see the origtinal <here>.


The dangers of driving and texting - excellent video - every driver should see this

on Tue, 18/07/2017 - 11:42am

Don't text while driving - powerful new video.

The advert was created as part of a campaign by South Africa's Western Cape government.

Neighbourhood Police Update - July 2017

on Fri, 07/07/2017 - 7:34pm

Here is the latest Faringdon neighbourhood update from PS Kevin HICKMAN, PC Robert MARIS, PC Mick GOODENOUGH, PCSO Maralyn PACK, PCSO Kerry Davis, PCSO Andy GUNN, PCSO Alex HILL and PCSO Esme BROWN.

You said - we did

  • We have received reports concerning problems with motorhomes parking in certain locations around the town. Faringdon Neighbourhood Team have performed all the necessary checks on these vehicles and they are all parked legally, so we have no grounds to move them. 
  • You said that you have concerns about speeding in various villages in the Faringdon area. We will continue to support our community speed watch program and we will be conducting checks in various locations throughout the month.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB)

So far this summer we have received very few reports of anti-social behaviour in the area. Despite this, the team at Faringdon will be preparing to increase patrols in certain locations to combat any increase caused by warmer and lighter evenings, and the arrival of the school summer holiday. We would encourage any residents with issues or concerns to please report these to us on the police non-emergency number 101. We have received further reports of issues at Tuckers Park and this continues to be a priority area for our patrols. An issue has been identified with low level ASB at Buscot Weir. We have increased our patrols in the area over the last two weeks and have received no further calls.

Crime prevention advice

A small number of thefts from motor vehicles are still occurring across the area. We would like to remind people not to leave anything in your vehicles at all and ensure you lock the vehicles. We would also like to encourage residents to use a property marking system (e.g. SmartWater) so that items are traceable should they be taken. If anyone has any questions or is worried about their property then feel free to contact the Faringdon Neighbourhood Team on 101 and we can organise a comprehensive crime prevention survey to increase security.

What the neighbourhood team have been doing

We enjoyed supporting the Freedom of the Vale parade for The Rifles who are based at Dalton Barracks which we were pleased ran smoothly and hopefully enjoyed by everyone that attended. 

We popped along to Party in the Park and although we experienced some rain it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and happy to come up and have a chat with us. We shall be continuing to attend the Cake Café project at the Pump House when we are available to do so which is a project to support various members of the community offering a cuppa and a cake for a pound every Wednesday 9.30am – 11.30am.

Future events/meetings

  • You will be seeing most of the Faringdon Neighbourhood Team supporting Follyfest free music festival on 28th - 30th July to ensure another enjoyable, crime and disorder free event. 
  • This month also sees us supporting the Camel and Mongolian Culture event at Buscot Park which is new to us this year.
  • It is also almost time for our Community Football Match for young people aged 11-17 which will be taking place on 2nd August at Tuckers Park.


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: - [email protected] 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:-

Going away? Protect your identity, finances & Burglary Crime Prevention Advice

on Fri, 07/07/2017 - 5:00pm - Travel Abroad:

MoneySavingExpert - 50+ Overseas Travel Tips:

How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off While Traveling:

LifeHacker - Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips and Tricks:

Going Away

Now that summer is well and truly here, people can become complacent about home security. The most common cases of opportunist summer burglary involve offenders that: 

  • enter an insecure front door while residents are in the back garden
  • enter doors that are closed but unlocked at night while residents are asleep
  • reach through windows to take valuable items

Crime reduction advice 

  • Ensure that windows and doors are closed and locked when you are out. Don’t leave small windows open believing them to be safe.
  • If you want to leave windows open while you sleep, fit window restrictors so they cannot be fully opened, or make sure they are not large enough to allow access to a burglar.
  • When out in your garden ensure that windows and doors to the front of the house are secure. It only takes a second for someone to get into your home and take things without you noticing.
  • Do not leave valuables on display in front of windows or in reach of open windows or doors.
  • Ensure that all barbecue and garden equipment and tools are securely locked up in a shed and out of sight. Tools can be used by the potential offender to break in to your home.
  • Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars. Even using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway and spiky plants in garden beds can help.
  • Don’t leave any keys near entry points where they can be ‘fished’ or ‘hooked’ out through the window, letter box or cat flap.
  • Ensure any internal handle operated locks on UPVC doors are fully secured with a key.

Sheds - Easy pickings?

Offenders see sheds as easy pickings because they are unprotected and lack basic security measures. The buildings often contain property that can be sold on or implements that can be used to force entry into the owner’s home.

  • Many sheds whilst being of good construction fall short on basic security.
  • It is easy to unscrew the ironmongery, steal contents and in some cases replace the screws to make it look as if the shed has not been tampered with.
  • By using tamper proof screws or coach bolts together with a good quality pad bar or hasp and staple and close shackled padlock, the shed owner will make it harder for the would-be thief.
  • It is also a good idea to bond any window glass in, with mastic to prevent easy removal.
  • Ensure all tools and equipment are locked away when not in use.
  • High-quality locks should be used on doors. Windows can be fitted with a grille or, as a cheaper alternative, chicken wire, to slow a thief down.
  • A shed alarm can also be installed.
  • Post-coding or indelibly marking all property such as lawnmowers, bikes, and tools using ultra-violet pens, forensic marking such as Selecta DNA or Smartwater or engravers.
  • Installing security lighting as a deterrent, and plants such as thorny shrubs to act as a barrier at potential access points.
  • If building a shed, putting it where it is most visible to you and neighbours.

Going on holiday?

  • Make your home look occupied.
  • If you're out or going away, ask a trusted neighbour to open and close your curtains for you.
  • Ask a neighbour if they don't mind parking their car on your driveway and trimming your garden to make your home look occupied.
  • Cut the front and back lawns before you go away and trim any plants that burglars could hide behind.
  • Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.
  • Before your holiday, don’t advertise that you are going away on Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Register for the Royal Mail 'Keepsafe' service.

Bright Sparks Holiday Science Camps

on Fri, 07/07/2017 - 4:53pm

Bright Sparks Events science holiday activities are designed to entertain primary school aged children during the school holidays. The events provide a safe environment for children to get hands-on with science, with enquiry lead activities and exciting demonstrations each day. The science activities are suitable for years 1 to 6 (ages 5 to 11 years).

Join Bright Sparks Events for a day jam packed full of science tricks, messy experiments, fun games and science crafts.

Health and safety - All activities have been fully risk assessed, they have Public Liability Insurance and every instructor is DBS checked and trained on their kits.

Fun Science during the Summer Holidays - Exciting science workshops will be running daily, in various venues across Oxfordshire, where each day is dedicated to exploring the science behind all your favourite things!


  • Monday 24th July to Friday 28th July 2017 
    • West Oxford Community Primary School,
    • Ferry Hinksey Road, Oxford, OX2 0BY 
  • Monday 31st July to Friday 4th August 2017
    • Charlton Primary School,
    • Charlton Village Road, Charlton, Wantage OX12 7HG 
  • Monday 7th August to Friday 11th August 2017
    • Woodstock C of E Primary School,
    • Shipton Road, Woodstock, OX20 1LL
  • Monday 14th August to Friday 18th August 2017
    • Rush Common Primary School,
    • Hendred Way, Abingdon, OX14 2AW 
  • Monday 21st August to Friday 25th August 2017
    • Didcot Civic Hall,
    • Britwell Rd, Didcot OX11 7JN 

(All days throughout summer run from 9am to 3:30pm)  

  • MONDAY - Spy Lab: Be a secret agent for the day and find out how a cryptographer can hide and decode secret messages. Use your spy skills to hide your identity, whilst uncovering your body’s own secret code. Have you got what it takes to complete our mission impossible? 
  • TUESDAY - The Colour of Light: ​What is light and where does it come from? Explore the rainbows of light using diffraction glasses, take a closer look at lasers to find out if light can bend, discover fluorescing chemicals, invisible messages and play in the dark with shadow puppets. 
  • WEDNESDAY - Watery Wonderland: Start to probe the properties of particles as we work in the weird and wonderful world of water. Discover its sticky properties, use your lab skills to create fizzy bath bombs, lava lamps and play with surface tension to create giants bubbles! 
  • THURSDAY - Up, Up and Away: Discover the dynamics of flight and find out how air resistance plays an important part. Explore how aeroplanes, helicopters and rockets fly and land safely. Make and launch a hot air balloon, design and test paper planes and turn a balloon into a helicopter! 
  • FRIDAY - Polymer Science: Let’s investigate a compound which can absorb up to 25 times its own weight, a mixture that has the properties of both a solid and a liquid and chemicals that can make instant reactions to form long chains of polymers.

For more information:-

Beware Home Security Cold Calling Scam

on Fri, 07/07/2017 - 3:08pm

Thames Valley Police (TVP) have received reports of a company cold calling individuals in the Longcot area of Faringdon offering home security systems endorsed by the police and guaranteeing a police response should the alarms be triggered.

No firms that work with the police would be cold calling residents. TVP would like to remind our residents not to provide personal information to cold callers.

You can report fraud and scams, or get advice from the UK’s national fraud reporting centre Action Fraud. Visit Action Fraud’s website for more information.

PC 6862 Robert MARIS - Faringdon Police Station @TVPSouthandVale

From a Thames Valley Alert email received 7/7/17

Puppies and Kittens for Sale - Pet Fraud Alert

on Wed, 05/07/2017 - 9:22am

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed a rise in the reporting of pets, and in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via popular online auction websites. The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, often claiming that the pet is currently held somewhere less accessible or overseas. Upon agreement of a sale, the suspect will usually request an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer. However, the pet does not materialise and the fraudster will subsequently ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Even if further payments are made, the pet will still not materialise as it is likely to not exist.
Tips to staying safe when purchasing pets: 

  • Stay within auction guidelines.
  • Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer.
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online. 
  • Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it.
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
  • A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary.
  • If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure-breed.
  • Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’. A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding.
  • When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.

From a Thames Valley Alert received 5/7/17.

Rural development grants for Farmers, Foresters, Businesses & Community Orgs

on Tue, 04/07/2017 - 5:07pm

Oxfordshire LEADER has £1.55m to grant before March 2019, with grants of up to £75,000 for farmers, foresters, businesses and community organisations in rural Oxfordshire.

Is your project in the LEADER area?

  • Oxfordshire LEADER covers only parts of rural Oxfordshire. Download our map (PDF, 1mb) to find out if your project is within the area and check Who can apply? for more information.

Will your project benefit the local economy?

  • Projects must create jobs, increase productivity / efficiency, develop new markets, increase visitor spend
  • or provide essential rural services.

Does your project support one of the six national LEADER priorities?

  • Increase farm productivity
  • Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification
  • Boost rural tourism
  • Provide rural services
  • Provide cultural and heritage activities
  • Increase forestry productivity

If your answer is YES to all three questions then you could be eligible for a grant.

For further information:-

Ed Vaizey MP - News, July 2017

on Tue, 04/07/2017 - 4:59pm

I would like to start this month with a huge thank you to my constituents for re-electing me as MP for Wantage and Didcot with an increased vote share and a record number of votes. It has been a great honour to represent you over the past 12 years and I am relishing the opportunity to continue working hard to hear, voice and address your concerns over the course of the next Parliament.

Congratulations to Layla Moran, the new MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, who I look forward to working with on county issues. She replaces my friend the brilliant Nicola Blackwood – a great Parliamentarian, a tireless campaigner, a tremendous minister - her presence will be missed both in Oxfordshire and Westminster.

Parliament diversity and turnout

Figures indicate that the turnout of young voters has increased dramatically compared to the last General Election. This is excellent for political engagement as a whole and reaffirms the need to increase the government’s focus on the issues most affecting young people.

Further, this new Parliament is the most diverse to date. The total number of female MPs has jumped to a record 208 – up from 191 elected in the 2015 General Election. There has also been an increase in LGBT, ethnic minority, disabled and state-educated MPs. This reflects a considerable change in the landscape of British politics and is a welcome step towards truly representing the nation as a whole.

Fire Safety

Following the recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower, I convened a group of Oxfordshire MPs to meet with Simon Furlong, Oxfordshire's Chief Fire Officer. You can watch Simon's statement here.

I appreciate that many of you will be concerned about this issue – particularly those living in high-rise accommodation. Oxfordshire has five tower blocks, all of which have been inspected by the Fire and Rescue Service, which has also issued the following safety tips and advice here.

I must also remind you that the fire service offers free ‘Safe and Well Visits’, where firefighters visit your home and see what they can do to help you reduce the risk of fire. More information can be found here.

Steventon Bridge

With regards to the proposed closure of Steventon Bridge, I have met with Network Rail numerous times to discuss the potential disruption this will cause. I have examined, with them, in great detail the alternative options - such as lowering the track to allow the power lines to pass under the existing bridge or building a new bridge parallel to the existing one.  At present, Network Rail believe there is no alternative to replacing the bridge. 

If the bridge does close, I would want to see disruption kept to a minimum, and the closure to be as short as possible.  To this end, I have met English Heritage, Virgin Media, BT, Thames Water and Scottish and Southern, all with a view to ensuring that utilities providers are ready to go if the bridge is closed (restoring utilities is often one of the reasons these projects take so long).  I have of course worked closely with the County Council, who own the bridge and are responsible for the Highways.
Didcot Garden Town

I am pleased that the first steps towards the future of Didcot as a ‘garden town’ are officially underway as a proposed delivery plan has been released. You can download a copy of the full proposed delivery plan and find details of venues providing paper copies here.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are also seeking your views on the proposals. Feedback will be used by officers to finalise the plan, including amendments where fit. Responses to this consultation can be submitted until midnight 31 July 2017 here.

DUP Coalition

Many of you have written this month regarding the DUP and I obviously take your concerns very seriously.  At the time of writing, the Conservative Party has finalised a confidence and supply deal with the DUP and the Prime Minister will form a Government in the national interest. While I do not share their views on social issues, it has to be said that they have supported some of our legislation in the past. I also note that the Labour party tried to reach an agreement with them after both the 2010 and 2015 election.

I would not support any agreement that meant going back on any of the pieces of social legislation I have voted for in the past, such as equal marriage, or other relevant pieces of legislation, such as abortion. While I do not have a problem with the DUP supporting any future Budget, as your Member of Parliament I will continue to promote and champion the equal rights that we believe in.

This Month’s Mailbag

Since the General Election, I have received 270 items of correspondence (emails and letters) from constituents. Subjects raised with me included fire safety, the DUP and animal cruelty sentencing.

With regards to animal cruelty sentencing, I am pleased that we have a robust legal framework to tackle this vicious behaviour in the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is in regular contact with the Ministry of Justice in relation to sentencing policy for animal welfare offences, but I would note that current sentencing practice does not suggest that the courts are finding current sentencing powers inadequate.

Ed Vaizey MP

Please feel free to contact me if you have any pressing issues that you would like help with.  Either myself or one of my team will get back to you as soon as possible and do what we can to assist. You can contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, [email protected] or 020 7219 6350. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly.   Details of my activities in Parliament can be read on my website, I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please complete the online form at


Don't give thieves shed loads of opportunities!

on Wed, 28/06/2017 - 7:40am