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News & News Archive

What's on at The Beacon in May

on Tue, 25/04/2017 - 3:11pm

ChildreyFest 2017 announced - tickets now available

on Tue, 25/04/2017 - 11:47am

For further details, click <here>.

Uffington Tennis Club’s junior coaching program

on Mon, 24/04/2017 - 7:55pm

This starts on Tuesday 25 April.

There are still have a number of places left for children aged between 5 and 7.

The lessons run weekly starting at 16.30 and ending at 17.15, and the cost for 5 sessions is £26.

To book and for full details please go to:

Oxfordshire Science Festival - Friday 16th to Wednesday 21st June 2017

on Mon, 24/04/2017 - 7:34pm

Are we in control of our own destiny when it comes to sex, food and the future of our planet? Meaty topics at this year’s Oxfordshire Science Festival explore everything from solar plasmas to pleasure and insect’s knees to the history and fate of humanity.

The evolution debate will be untangled from science fiction with an event asking “is it right to synthesise human genomes?” Meanwhile a chef and a professor will unpick some unusual factors affecting diet and health. Elsewhere, we scrutinise sustainability with the help of the Ladybird Expert Book of Climate Change.

Hear like an insect, build a star or watch a contagious cabaret. Over the weekend, families, adults and kids of all ages can delve into the world of science. The hands-on Explorazone will open in the evening on Saturday 17 June for adults only, so grown-ups can play at being a paramedic, a plasma physicist or prevent a Polio pandemic.

The programme is out in May with events for all. The Oxfordshire Science Festival invites you to look again, look deeper and explore your world 16-21 June.

The Science Festival takes place across Oxford Friday 16 to Wednesday 21 June 2017 with discussion events and entertainment to inspire debate and celebrate some of the research and creativity in Oxfordshire. Alongside talks and performances, over 30 hands-on research exhibits will present innovations from Oxford on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June within the Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate&#39;s, Oxford OX1 1BX.

Bookings open in May by visiting:

Oxfordshire Science Festival is produced in association with Science Oxford and supported by University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, local industry and research institutes.

Parish Council Minutes - Friday, 3rd March 2017

on Thu, 13/04/2017 - 10:23am




PRESENT: The Chairman and Councillors Brown, Downie, Wiltshire and Williams and the RFO

And two members of the public.


District Councillor Constance had indicated by email that she was not able to attend the meeting.



The Chairman proposed and Cllr Brown seconded, that he sign the minutes as a true record of the meeting of the 13th January 2017.  The motion was carried nem con.


B4507: The Chairman indicated that he had begun to draft a proposal to go to OCC for a speed restriction of 50mph.


Cemetery: The cemetery rules were discussed and the Chairman proposed they be changed as attached.  The proposal was seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed nem con.


Hedges: The Chairman said that he had noted that the hedge boundary to the Old Vicarage on the north side of Church Way had been cut back; and that in his view, the cutting back was sufficient to remove the obstruction to the footway.


Beech tree in Church Way: Cllr Brown gave an update on the removal of the tree.


Salt rota: The Chairman said that he had reviewed the salt rota and made himself aware of the parties to be contacted in the event of cold weather.  He would look into who was responsible for gritting Church Way outside No.5 which was known to be a frost pocket.


Breach of the cemetery rules:  The Chairman said that he had visited the cemetery and noted the wooden picket fence around and the several plastic ‘clouds’ and the rose placed upon the grave of Thomas Walker.  No permission had been given for these features to be placed in the cemetery and it was agreed that they were in breach of the cemetery rules.  The Chairman undertook to write to Knapps to have them removed and if necessary to Karen Walker, daughter in law.


Highway: The Chairman had emailed Lee Turner at OCC to ask for the white lining at the junction of Eastmanton Lane and Broadbrook Lane to be reinstated and the give-way signs cleaned.  He had not heard back and would chase up.


The RFO produced the Financial Report for January 2017. The Chairman proposed, and Cllr Brown seconded, that he signed the report which was agreed nem con.

The RFO then brought to the Council’s attention the need to engage with the work place pension scheme.  The Chairman signed a letter addressed to the clerk Mrs Lewis-Pryde notifying her of her entitlement to join the national scheme if she wished to.


P15/V2600/Westcot Farm:  The Chairman indicated he was in the process of drafting the FOI request.

P16/V0274/FUL Church Way, Sparsholt OX12 9QA: The Council noted that District Cllr Constance had emailed to say that the applicant’s had still not decided whether to withdraw this application.  The Chairman said he would email her to require the application to be determined in the interests of maintaining confidence in the planning system.

P16/V3017/FUL Hillside, Church Way, and Sparsholt: It was noted that the garage conversion had been granted planning permission.

P16/V2419/LDP Hillside: It was noted that the garage conversion had been deemed not to be permitted development.


There was a general discussion instigated by the Chairman regarding the proliferation of horse shelters and associated ‘horsey’ development (hardstandings and tent for tack and implement storage) in the fields on the north side of Church Way.  It was considered likely that it was permitted development and the matter was not taken further.

The Chairman drew attention to the enclosure of agricultural land within the land ownership of Beech Tree Cottage.  It was considered that whilst the agricultural land had been fenced off and there was a bench on its northern boundary, and there was no boundary between it and the domestic garden land belonging to the cottage, the agricultural land could not be said to be being actively used, as at present, as domestic garden land without planning permission. 


Cllr Downie drew attention to the upcoming visit by the ambulance service to the Griffin Hall at 2.30pm on Saturday 11th March 2017 to demonstrate the use of the newly installed defibrillator; all were welcome to attend.

Cllr Brown drew the Council’s attention to the vandalisation of the bus shelter.  The Chairman said it was, in his view, a matter for the police but it was agreed that discreet inquiries would be made locally in the first place to discover the culprits and whether they might contribute to the likely cost (£500?) of  repair of the damage done.  While it was noted that the village no longer had a regular bus service it was considered the bus shelter should be maintained in the interests of the school children who waited there for the school bus.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 11th April 2017.

Meeting close at 8.30pm

Minutes taken and prepared by the Chairman

Signed.......                                                                   Date........





Present rule: All graves must be flat. No kerbstones around or gravel

Changed rule:  All graves must be flat with no kerbstones, picket fences or similar raised surrounding features placed on or around the grave.

 Nor shall gravel or wood chippings or similar be placed on, in or around the grave.

No objects of any kind shall be placed anywhere on the surface of the grave or on the headstone other than a single vase for cut flowers.

Any decorations of a grave, including the placing of growing flowers or plants, shall be subject of approval by the Parish Council on application being made to the clerk.


Ed Vaizey MP - Parish News, April 2017

on Sat, 08/04/2017 - 5:58pm

Thank you to all those who contacted me after the incident which took place in Westminster last month. My team and I are fine and offer our sincerest condolences to each of the victims and their families. PC Keith Palmer lost his life protecting MPs and their staff and his bravery and professionalism will never be forgotten.

The Government have now invoked Article 50 and formally commenced the UK’s process of withdrawing from the European Union. Over the next two years, the Government will now be tasked with negotiating a positive new partnership with the EU’s remaining member states. The Prime Minister has made clear that she will attempt to deliver an outcome that works in the interests of the whole of the UK and will not ignore those who voted to ‘Remain’. MPs will be able to debate, scrutinise and vote on important negotiating decisions and I will make sure that the voices of the constituency are heard throughout.

Some of you may be aware of the 1940s film “Magic Town” in which the owner of a company which performs consumer surveys lacks the funds to compete with its larger rivals in the field. Instead, he comes across a small town which he believes is perfectly representative of the nation’s views and uses it to conduct his research. This month, the team at ASI Data Science used modern data science methods to establish an English “Magic Town” - an area that is most representative of the whole country. Their verdict? Our very own Didcot! Of course, we have always known that Didcot is indeed a “Magic Town”, but it is great to see it finally get the official recognition it deserves!

I am pleased to see that the Oxfordshire Cycling Network has launched its vision of a future Strategic Cycle Network for Oxfordshire. This will be a county-wide ‘all ages, all abilities’ cycle network linking major towns, workplaces and transport hubs with safe, direct and attractive routes. The 366-mile network could cost £120m and take 15 to 20 years to build, but it would bring transport and health benefits of worth at least 7 times that in the 20 year period alone.

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


Some wonderful pictures of old and new Wantage

on Fri, 07/04/2017 - 11:55am

The website has posted a new gallery of some wonderful old and new photos of the town.

Challow Rd & Ham Rd in Wantage closed for gas works - 8th to 28th April

on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 5:22pm

Law Abiding Citizen - Scam Email Alert

on Mon, 03/04/2017 - 7:27pm

Fraudsters are sending out a high volume of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from various email addresses, which have been compromised.

The subject line contains the recipient’s name, and the main body of text is as below:

“Hi, [name]!
I am disturbing you for a very serious reason. Although we are not familiar, but I have significant amount of individual info concerning you. The thing is that, most likely mistakenly, the data of your account has been emailed to me. 
For instance, your address is:
[real home address]
I am a law-abiding citizen, so I decided to personal data may have been hacked. I attached the file – [surname].dot that I received, that you could explore what info has become obtainable for scammers. File password is – 2811
Best Wishes,”

The emails include an attachment – a ‘.dot’ file usually titled with the recipient’s name.

This attachment is thought to contain the Banking Trojan Ursniff/Gozi, hidden within an image in the document. The Ursniff Banking Trojan attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords. The data is subsequently used by criminals for monetary gain.

Protect Yourself:

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent your device(s) from becoming infected.

Please consider the following actions:

  • Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages: Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication (you can find out how by searching the internet for relevant advice for your email provider).
  • Do not enable macros in downloads; enabling macros will allow Trojan/malware to be installed onto your device.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It is important that the device you back up to is not connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that as well.
  • If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately.

From a Thames Valley Alert Action Fraud email received 3/4/17

St John the Baptist Kingston Lisle - Restoration Update No.17

on Mon, 03/04/2017 - 7:22pm

News from St John the Baptist Kingston Lisle

Dear Kingston Lisle Church Supporter

Please find attached our 17th Restoration Update. The cleaning and polishing of the pews is now complete and the final designs for our new pipe organ are being presented to the diocesan authorities in the next few weeks. As you’ll recall, this is being treated by the diocesan organ advisor Barry Williams and our organ builder Christopher Gaughan as a national model for small church organs with limited space and budget. It will be the crowning glory of our restoration.

We now have just £9,000 to go as we “pull out all the stops” to complete our £420,000 fundraising. The last few of the 649 organ pipes are available for sponsorship: for a suggested donation of £10 per pipe, names can be engraved for posterity for family, friends, colleagues, horses and pets.

Best wishes
Arthur & Angus