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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, 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

Wildwood Wantage - current offers - £10 menu, 30% & 50% off vouchers

on Tue, 27/06/2017 - 4:05pm

Wildwood in Wantage offers a great selection of pizza and pasta, grills and seasonal specials.

Grab a light bite and cocktails with colleagues, have lunch with your little ones, or celebrate a special event.

Current offers:-

  • £10 Menu: Two courses plus a drink (Monday-Friday)
  • 30% off food (Sunday – Thursday)
  • 50% off food (Monday & Tuesday)

More information & vouchers here:-


Drink Driving - Should you drive the morning after?

on Tue, 27/06/2017 - 11:51am

Enjoy a few beers or glasses of wine on a night out? You could still be over the drink drive limit the morning after, even if you feel fine.

If you’ve enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages last night make sure you’re not over the limit. Never drive if there’s even a slim chance you are still ‘under the influence’.

  • Time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system.
  • Drinking coffee, sleeping, or having a shower doesn’t work.

Think you know your drink?


Download and print our 'should you drive the morning after' leaflet (pdf format, 3Mb) - CLICK

As a guide you can use the unit calculation to work out the earliest time you would be safe to drive.

  • number of units + 1 hour = minimum time to allow before driving

Use the units calculator on the Drinkaware website and the calculation above to work out when you should be safe to drive.

Beware of home measures

Partying at home or at friends? Mind your measures as they may be larger than you think. Allow extra time before you drive.

How long does it take for alcohol to leave the body?

The actual time it takes for alcohol to leave your body can vary depending on:

  • Your weight.
  • Whether you’re male or female.
  • Your age.
  • How quick or slow your metabolism is.
  • How much food you have eaten.
  • And whether you’re taking medication.

A general guide is 1 hour for each unit of alcohol plus an additional hour, if you drink 5 units of alcohol it will take at least 6 hours before it leaves your system.

From an article on the 365Alive website; see the original <here>.

New Household Waste Recycling Centre contract for Oxfordshire announced

on Mon, 26/06/2017 - 8:12pm

Oxfordshire County Council confirmed today that it will keep its entire network of seven Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in the county open in the medium term (with no change to opening hours or days they are open), thanks to a new management contract with W&S Recycling.

The Dorset based firm already manages five of Oxfordshire’s HWRC sites which means there will be minimal disruption to residents when the new contract starts on 1 October 2017. W&S Recycling will manage the HWRC sites at Alkerton, Ardley, Drayton, Oakley Wood, Redbridge, and Stanford in the Vale. Dix Pit HWRC will continue to be managed by FCC Environment.

Household waste remains free to bring to HWRCs

Residents will continue to be able to dispose of all household waste free of charge at any of the county’s recycling centres.

Oxfordshire has had a system of charging for non-household waste which includes soil, rubble and DIY waste for 15 years and has not increased the charge of £1 per item over that time.

When the new 7 year contract starts on 1 October, W&S Recycling will increase the charge for non-household waste items to £1.50 which is less than other authorities who charge for this service. In the HWRC public consultation carried out in summer 2016, 91% of Oxfordshire residents favoured charges for non-household waste over site closures. 

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“Oxfordshire’s residents told us very clearly that their priority was to see all the HWRCs kept open when the new contract started and I am delighted that we have been able to achieve that.

“Oxfordshire has one of the best recycling rates in the country which is thanks to the hard work of our residents who collectively make a huge difference to the environment by separating out their household waste and recycling as much as they can.

“While the county council does not have a legal obligation to accept non-household waste at HWRCs, this is a popular and highly valued service among local communities and I am therefore pleased that W&S Recycling is able to continue to offer this service, with only a modest price increase. Overall, I am delighted that our HWRC service remains an accessible, affordable service.”

From an article on the OCC website - see the original <here>.

Let Thames Valley Police know what the key issues are in our community

on Fri, 23/06/2017 - 6:38pm

Take a moment to provide Thames Valley Police with your opinion and observations about the area where you live or work.

Their survey takes a couple of minutes to complete and your responses are very important to them.


Make a difference - Community First Responders (CFR)

on Fri, 23/06/2017 - 2:15pm

South Central Ambulance Service is seeking Community First Responders (CFR) volunteers in the local community who may be able to assist in an emergency.

There are CFR Schemes across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, in both urban and rural areas.  

CFRs are trained to deliver life-saving skills such as the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), basic airway management and oxygen therapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR - and they always need new recruits.  

Because CFRs only respond to emergencies in the area where they live or work, they can arrive at the scene before an ambulance gets there. By being able to start life-saving medical treatment earlier, CFRs really do help save more lives. 

If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact: 

  • Sally Morris
  • South Central Ambulance Service
  • 07748 027419