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Free St John Ambulance iPhone & Android app - first aid advice at your fingertips

on Thu, 23/09/2021 - 5:36pm

Even basic first aid knowledge can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

Ths St John Ambulance free first aid app puts potentially life-saving advice at your fingertips.

Available for Android & iPhone device users, the first aid advice app provides easy to follow advice on a range of first aid scenarios, including CPR , diabetic emergencies, choking and allergic reactions.

Download the free St John Ambulance first aid advice app now and have it with you whenever you have your phone:-

Signpost & Church services - October 2021

on Thu, 23/09/2021 - 1:00pm

Download a PDF copy of 'Signpost' at the link below.

Revd Leonora Hill
Email: [email protected]

Dear Friends,

Summer into Harvest.

“Are we nearly there yet?” This is probably a familiar cry whatever age or
denomination you are. It signifies a journey and, most likely, one to a familiar
destination with plenty of food, fuel and hopefully with a map.

Compare that with Life’s journey. Are you sure of your route and destination?
Do you know where you are or are you lost? St Paul talks about running the
race, but perhaps speed is not always so helpful. I believe that to avoid
getting lost we need to slow down enough to be able to notice and read the
signposts. God has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives, which is easy
for us to ignore or miss, like those signposts. We must take time to explore
where we are and be open to any change of direction that He wants us to
make, before we end up at the wrong destination without enough food or fuel
and are lost.

Remember that the signpost is Jesus, the fuel is the Holy Spirit and the
destination is being at one with the Father. We are the Harvest.

Peter Cook
Ministry Team


What happens and what to do if your energy supplier goes bust

on Thu, 23/09/2021 - 8:33am

If your energy supplier has gone bust, don't panic - your supply is secure and any domestic credit balance you have is protected.

The gas and electricity regulator, Ofgem, will move you to a new supplier. This usually takes a few weeks.

Wait for your new supplier to contact you. They’ll explain what will happen with your account. Contact your new supplier if you don’t hear from them within 2 weeks. You can check who’s taken over your energy supply (click) if you’re not sure who your new supplier is.

  1. Take a meter reading, sit tight and don’t switch
    • Cancel your direct debit if you want to. You will continue to move to your chosen supplier if you already have a switch in progress.
  2. Wait for Ofgem to appoint a new supplier
    • You don’t need to do anything. Your supply won’t be disrupted and it should only take us a few days. Ofgem’s safety net will protect your supply and any credit balance.
  3. When the new supplier contacts you
    • Ask to be put on their cheapest tariff or shop around and switch if you want to. You won’t be charged exit fees. 
    • They’ll also explain how they will manage your account balance, including any credit refunds. 

FAQ from OFGEM:-

  • Will my supply be cut off?

No. We’ll move you to a new supplier. Your energy supply won’t be disrupted. In fact, you won’t notice any change, other than a new supplier being appointed for you. Our advice is to take a meter reading. Don’t do anything until we have appointed a new supplier and they have been in touch with you.

  • Who will choose my new supplier?

Ofgem will choose your new supplier, following a competitive process designed to get the best deal for you. 

More Information:-

Garden waste Brown bin service to resume - with changes - 27/9/21

on Tue, 21/09/2021 - 3:58pm

A message from The Vale:-

The Vale has agreed a temporary arrangement with Biffa to begin collecting garden waste again from 27 September.

Fortnightly collections will change to take place every four weeks, but you will be able to leave twice as much garden waste out as normal.

The Vale will extend your subscription this year by three months to make up for the collections that you have missed while the service has been suspended. The Vale will delay the collection of your next Direct Debit payment by three months – if we have recently informed you that your payment is due to be taken imminently but the payment has not yet come out of your account, the payment will be cancelled, and you will be notified of the revised collection date in due course once your subscription has been amended. If somebody else pays for your garden waste collections, please let them know of this change. If you choose not to continue with the garden waste service when your subscription expires, we’ll continue to empty your brown bin for three months after your subscription was originally due to end.

While we will be reviewing the situation closely on an ongoing basis, we have set an agreed review date with Biffa at the end of October to see if the normal service can resume and we will let you know the outcome of that review.

Your collection day remains the same as before

You can find these details on our dedicated webpage here:

Remember, when you put your garden waste bin out while this temporary timetable is in place, you can leave an extra bin’s worth of garden waste out next to your brown bin. The extra garden waste can be put out in cardboard boxes, old compost bags or bin bags (not the very large trade waste bags please).

The Vale will still collect your food waste weekly, and your recycling and rubbish every two weeks as normal.

We apologise once again that the service has fallen short of the standards you have come to expect. We hope you feel that the temporary arrangement is a good way of getting the garden waste service up and running sooner rather than later, while Biffa continues to look for ways to address its driver shortage.

Based on the above, Sparsholt & Westcot's first Garden waste Brown bin collection of this plan will be Monday, 11th October and every fourth week after that, until further notice.

Get help with savings if you’re on a low income (Help to Save)

on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 3:19pm

Help to Save is a type of savings account. It allows certain people entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus of 50p for every £1 they save over 4 years.

Help to Save is backed by the government so all savings in the scheme are secure.

You can save between £1 and £50 each calendar month. You do not have to pay money in every month.

You get tax-free bonuses at the end of the second and fourth years. They’re based on how much you’ve saved.


You pay in £25 every calendar month for 2 years. You do not withdraw any money. Your highest balance will be £600. Your first bonus is £300, which is 50% of £600.

In years 3 and 4 you save an extra £200 to grow your highest balance from £600 to £800. Your final bonus is £100, which is 50% of £200. Even though you withdrew some money after your balance was £800, this does not affect your bonus.

More information:-


COVID-19 booster vaccine

on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 11:10am

The NHS is offering a booster vaccine dose to people most at risk from COVID-19 who have already had 2 doses of the vaccine.

Protection given by the COVID-19 vaccine decreases over time. A booster dose helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

The NHS or your GP will let you know when it's your turn to have a booster dose. It's important not to contact the NHS or your GP for one before then.

Find out more about who can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Hatchet Inn, Childrey re-opens

on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 5:12pm

The Hatchet Inn, Childrey has re-opened.

Details are scarce, but the opening hours are below.

  • Thursday 7-11pm
  • Friday 7-11pm
  • Saturday 7-11pm
  • Sunday 12-2pm and 7-11pm

Britchcombe Farm purchased by Lovat Holiday Parks

on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 11:49am

A message from our friends over in Uffington:-

Many residents will be aware that Britchcombe Farm has been sold recently, including the farmhouse, farm buildings and c140 acres of farmland, which include some of the fields used for camping.

It has come to our attention that the purchaser is Lovat Holiday Parks, a firm which offers holiday homes for rent or purchase and whilst information on Britchcombe is non-existent, you can see the type and scale of their other sites here:-

The owner has already submitted some preparatory planning applications to clarify the status of the ‘camping fields’.

We are concerned that Lovat Holiday Parks may be preparing to convert some or all of the former rather low-key, summer only, informal camping fields into the sort of holiday locations pictured on the website and that an attempt may be made to convert Britchcombe Farm into the sort of over-developed holiday site which would be inappropriate in this very sensitive location.
To ensure a coordinated response to any such application, a working group has been formed to monitor activity on the Britchcombe Farm site. The group is comprised of residents of Uffington and Woolstone and representatives of other local organisations and entities, and is chaired by the Chairman of Uffington Parish Council – Mike Oldnall. The Clerk to Woolstone Parish Meeting, Sarah, has volunteered to act as Secretary to the group; any queries should be addressed to [email protected]
The working group is now gathering as much information as possible, including the relevant planning law. It is, of course, well aware that Britchcombe Farm is located in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is adjacent to the internationally known, National Trust owned, heritage sites of White Horse Hill and Dragon Hill, all of which offer a considerable degree of protection from development. 

More information will be issued as it becomes available.

Give Oxfordshire County Council your views on our bus services - survey

on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 11:28am

From Oxfordshire County Council:-

People who visit, live or work in Oxfordshire are urged to have their say on the county’s bus network and services.

Oxfordshire County Council has started a consultation process to find out people’s views on the service that is provided now and what people would like to see in the future. People can have their say by visiting Let’s Talk Oxfordshire (click), the council’s new digital consultation and engagement platform.

The results will help the council agree a Bus Service Improvement Plan with bus operator partners to send to the government this October, which will help unlock funding to improve Oxfordshire’s bus services.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “We would like to hear from people about what they think we should be telling the government. We need to concentrate on the issues which matter most to bus users and to people who might consider using the bus instead of driving.

“The main purpose of this survey is to help us to prioritise which aspects of bus services in Oxfordshire we should improve, by finding out what would make people use buses more – which is one of the council’s priorities when it comes to transport. We are excited about the opportunity this presents and want to ensure that our improvement plan reflects the views of Oxfordshire’s residents and those visiting or working in the county.”

In March 2021, the government published its National Bus Strategy which sets out a framework for how bus services can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and its vision for future improvements across England.

To meet this challenge, Oxfordshire County Council is working with local bus companies to create the Bus Service Improvement Plan. This will involve developing bold plans for improving Oxfordshire’s bus services and encouraging more people to use them.

The government has pledged £3 billion nationwide to help deliver these plans, and Oxfordshire is aiming to secure as much of this funding as it can. The survey is open until Monday 13 September.

More <here>.

Have your say - council consultation with local communities on the planning process

on Thu, 09/09/2021 - 4:18pm

From the Vale:-

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are preparing a Joint Statement of Community Involvement. The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) sets out who, how and when the councils will engage with local communities as part of the planning process.

We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved in the planning process. That’s why we’re asking you about our draft SCI. It contains details of how we plan to work positively and proactively with our communities to ensure their voices are heard.

The SCI also sets out how we plan to make sure you can access the right information as easily and early as possible to help you come to your own conclusions.

We’re committed to ensuring you know what we’re doing – we strive to be clear and transparent in our processes – and the SCI reflects this too.

We’ll take on board your comments on the draft SCI before bringing a final version before our councils to be adopted. Once adopted the joint SCI will replace the existing South Oxfordshire SCI and the Vale of White Horse SCI. We will comply with the new SCI when preparing plan-making documents and when determining planning applications.

You can give your comments on the draft Statement of Community Involvement from Wednesday 8 September until midnight on Wednesday 20 October 2021.

How to comment

The quickest and easiest way to comment is to use our online comment form which is available here:

You can also view electronic copies of the documents on the Vale website (click).

If you are unable to comment online, you can also:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Write to Planning Policy, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils and post to ‘Freepost SOUTH AND VALE CONSULTATIONS’ (no other address information or stamp is needed). Our preference is electronic submissions and there is no need to post a hard copy as well.

What happens next

After the consultation period ends, we will consider your comments and make appropriate changes to the SCI before we adopt it. Once adopted, which we expect to happen in December 2021, the revised SCI, along with a consultation statement and a consultation summary report, will be published on our South and Vale websites shortly afterwards.

We look forward to hearing your views.

More information <here>.