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2 Road Closures in Wantage - B4507 29th-30th May & Ham Rd 30th May-1st June

on Sat, 26/05/2018 - 5:23pm
  • 29th-30th May: Ickleton Road B4507, from King Alfred's Academy to Newbury Street will be closed.
  • 30th May - 1st June: Ham Road, from West Hill to the roundabout at the A417/Mill Street

More details here:-

Freeview TV service changes force Oxfordshire viewers to retune

on Wed, 23/05/2018 - 10:42pm

A reconfiguration of the Freeview TV service in Oxfordshire forced viewers to retune their digital TV receivers on Wednesday 23rd May 2018, following engineering work at the main transmitter at Beckley, Oxford.

If you haven't retuned your Freeview TV devices, you may find that some or all of your channels are missing.

The changes affected nearly every Freeview channel broadcast from the Oxford transmitter, including all of the main BBC and ITV channels and many of the main commercial channels.

It is part of a nationwide programme to clear services from the 700MHz frequency band following the Government’s decision to clear TV frequencies for future 5G mobile services.

Freeview said that re-tuning 'should be straightforward' but warned older aerials may need to be replaced to continue receiving all channels - but customers could get free in-home support.

Go to (click) or call them on 0808 100 0288 for help & information.

Wantage Summer Arts Festival - 1st June to 7th July 2018

on Wed, 23/05/2018 - 12:34pm

The Wantage Summer Arts Festival is a 5-week long celebration of Arts and Culture in Wantage and surrounding villages.

Not just a change of name but also a change of emphasis. This year you’ll find many more music, art related and spoken word events.

Although the Festival is primarily a celebration of Arts and Culture in Wantage and surrounding villages, we also want to create a Festival  that our community will be proud of.

Please take time to look through the programme (below) and plan which events you would like to see. There’s a lot to choose from including many different kinds of music, art exhibitions and lectures. 

Find out more:-

The Greyhound Inn wins the Muddy Stilettos B&O 'Best Destination Pub' 2018

on Tue, 22/05/2018 - 8:15am

The Muddy Stilettos Awards 2018 winners have been announced, with thousands in Oxon voting to support their most loved local businesses across 24 categories.

Congratulations to all at The Greyhound Inn, Letcombe Regis, who won the 'Best Destination Pub' 2018, beating stiff competition from The Boxing Hare (Swerford), The Perch (Binsey), The Muddy Duck (Hethe) and The Trout at Tadpole Bridge (Faringdon)

The Greyhound has also recently been listed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the 30 best pubs for long lazy weekend lunch. More here:-

More here:


Public hearing sessions set for Local Plan 2031 Part 2

on Mon, 21/05/2018 - 8:24pm

Public hearing sessions of Vale of White Horse District Council’s Local Plan 2031 Part 2 will begin in July.

A government-appointed planning inspector has announced the timetable for public hearing dates as part of the examination process to determine whether Part 2 of the Plan is ‘sound’ and legally compliant, in line with national planning guidance.

The hearings will take place over three weeks, starting at 10am:

  • July 3-6 and then July 24-27 at the Advanced Skills Building, Abingdon and Witney College, Abingdon Campus
  • September 4-7 at the Beacon, Wantage

Full details about the hearings and a guidance note from the inspector are available on our Local Plan 2031 Part 2 Examination page (click).

As part of the examination process, the inspector will consider all comments submitted during the final consultation period that took place at the end of last year. The hearings are open to the public, however only people invited by the inspector will be able to participate.

After the examination has finished, the inspector will issue a report with recommendations to either accept the Plan as it is or with modifications, or reject it.

Cllr Roger Cox, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “We are confident that Part 2 of our Local Plan is robust and look forward to taking this next step towards having it adopted.

“A significant amount of work has gone into producing the Plan and it will play an important role in how the district develops and meets the housing challenge in the coming years, particularly how we can help to address Oxford’s unmet housing needs. Thank you, once again, to everyone who has commented on and helped to shape the Plan.”

Councils are required to have Local Plans to identify sites for housing, retail and employment development along with the infrastructure needed to support this growth, such as new roads and schools.

Part 1 of the Vale’s Local Plan was adopted in 2016 and set out sites and policies to address the Vale’s own housing need. Part 2 complements this by detailing policies to assist development management, policies for Didcot Garden Town and additional sites for 2,200 extra homes to meet the district’s share of Oxford’s unmet housing needs.

This includes 1,200 homes at Dalton Barracks, along with 600 homes adjacent to Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor (within Fyfield and Tubney Parish) and smaller sites at East Marcham and East Hanney. 

Further information about the Local Plan is available on our Local Plan page (click).

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

Childrey Stores wins Vale 'New Business of the Year'

on Mon, 21/05/2018 - 1:58pm

Congratulations to all at Childrey Stores, who won the Vale's New Business of the Year 2018 at a recent event at the Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove.

The inaugural V4B Awards celebrate the achievements of local businesses, recognising, rewarding and promoting our local success stories. 

To learn more about the winners, visit 

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01235 751459

Vale of White Horse District Council appoints new leader and chairman

on Fri, 18/05/2018 - 7:49pm

Cllr Roger Cox has been elected the new Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council and Cllr Monica Lovatt elected chairman. 

Cllr Cox was appointed at a meeting of the full Council on 16th May and takes over from Cllr Matthew Barber, who had been leader since 2011. Cllr Barber has stepped down to take up the full-time post of deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley. He will continue as district councillor for Steventon and the Hanneys ward. 

Cllr Cox was elected as a district councillor in 2003. He has served as Deputy Leader since 2011. 

Cllr Cox said he wished to thank Cllr Barber for his work as council leader and added: “I feel very honoured to have been chosen to lead Vale of White Horse District Council and I 

Cllr Cox appointed the council’s Cabinet at yesterday’s meeting and Cllr Ed Blagrove was appointed as his Deputy Leader.

The new Cabinet responsibilities are: 

  • Leader, planning, partnership and insight – Cllr Roger Cox
  • Deputy leader and corporate services – Cllr Ed Blagrove
  • Community services – Cllr Alice Badcock
  • Legal and democratic – Cllr Eric Batts
  • Regeneration and development – Cllr Mike Murray
  • Finance – Cllr Robert Sharp
  • Housing and Environment – Cllr Elaine Ware 

Cllr Monica Lovatt, who was Deputy Chairman was elected as the new council Chairman. She represents Abingdon Fitzharris. Her deputy is Cllr Ben Mabbett, ward councillor for Grove. She succeeds the outgoing chair Cllr Reg Waite who remains a ward councillor for Blewbury and Harwell.

From a news article on the Vale website; see the original <here>.


Parish Council Minutes - Wednesday, 18th April 2018

on Thu, 17/05/2018 - 2:18pm



Minutes of Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on

Wednesday 18th April 2018 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm


Present: Cllrs Comyn, Brown, Barnes and Downie, the Clerk and 3 parishioners.





Apologies:  Cllrs Williams and the RFO.



Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Declarations of Interest & Reminder of the Code of Conduct:  None.



  Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 21st March 2018: 

  Cllr Brown proposed signing the Minutes of Wednesday 21st March as a true record,

  seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed by all. 



Matters Arising: 

  1. B4507 50 mph speed restriction update:  No update.
  2. Cemetery rules:  Cllr Comyn still to send the Cemetery Rules to Nick to publish on the website.
  3. Potholes:  The potholes on the B4507 have been marked up ready for repairing.  Cllr Brown suggested that the Parish Council may have to buy some tarmac and make the repairs themselves.  20 kilo bags can be brought for £8 each and it would need 4/5 bags, Tony Carter has a rammer that could be borrowed.  Cllr Comyn to email Lee Turner and the Clerk suggested that supporting photographs would help.
  4. Tree on Church Way:  Cllr Brown will cut the Ivy off the remaining trees on Church Way.  To be further discussed in item 7.  Cllr Brown now has a map from County Hall showing that the County own the bank and ditch.
  5. Salt rota on the website and Newsletter:  The salt rota is still to be sent by Cllr Comyn to Nick to be posted on the website.
  6. Eastmanton Hedge:  The box hedge is still overhanging and needs to be cut back, Cllr Comyn to add to the email to Lee Turner.



Cllr Comyn




Cllr Comyn





  1. Finance report up to the 31st March 2018:  Cllr Comyn read through the report proposed acceptance and signing of the finance report, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed by all.  Cllr Comyn initialled the bank statements.  Cllr Comyn has received a letter of thanks from Anthony Lee thanking the Parish Council for the £1,000 contribution towards the war memorial, the letter to be given to the RFO.
  2. Approval of any payments to be made:  Clerks salary £64.91 for April, RFO salary £39.96 for April, PAYE £26.00 all payments proposed by Cllr Comyn, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed by all. 
  3. Any other Finance matters:  None.












  1. P17/V2786/FUL and P17/V2787/LB Westcot Farm, Westcot, OX12 9QA:  Conversion of the existing listed barn into 2 no residential accommodations.  Granted.

New Aplications:

a)   P18/V0627/FUL Hill Barn Stables road between Sparsholt Firs and Lodge Farm,

      Sparsholt, OX12 9XB:  Erection of new American-barn style stables with 19 horseboxes

      and tack room/store.  Cllr Comyn explained the application and stated that as the yard

      had become successful they needed to expand and house up to 100 horses.  There is a

      historic association in the area with racing and it provides local employment.  Concerns

      were raised that the construction would stick out across the open field and that the

      access road along Clements Lane and entrance to the yard is not only in a bad condition

      but is also only single track.  Cllr Barnes agreed that the road is not fit for the purpose of

      large horse transporter vehicles and that the surface of the B4001 should be improved

      and used rather than the single track Clements Lane.  Cllr Brown also suggested

      screening to break up the line of development, beech trees would be a good example.

      Cllr Comyn proposed the response of “no objections” but wish the following comments to

      be taken into account; the problem of the Clements Lane access being only single track

      and adding a condition to using the B4001 instead, and the suggested screening

      around the proposed new barn, seconded by Cllr Barnes and agreed by all.  Cllr Comyn

      to write the response.     




















Cllr Comyn


Tree Planting:  Cllr Brown talked about replanting the missing trees along Church Way and other areas in the village and suggested that the Parish Council purchase and plant in the Autumn.  Beech trees were suggested, the cost was approximated at £100.  Cllr Brown to get quotations and to raise the matter in the Autumn.



Cllr Brown


Cemetery and Cemetery Rail:  Cllr Brown has visited the cemetery and emptied the bins and composter.  Cllr Brown suggested signs to encourage people to use the correct bin and offered to get a quotation.  Cllr Brown also suggested that Cllr Comyn tell the Funeral companies, to tell their gravediggers not to put the excess soil under the hedge or in the composter.  The cemetery gates have also been cleaned and Cllr Brown will try to repair and re-hang them.  Cllr Brown also agreed to speak to a parishioner about keeping an eye on the bins etc.  Cllr Brown also offered to put a rail around the fence and compost area.  The bench also needs some repair work.

Cllr Comyn has been asked about an internment of the ashes of Mrs Anns.

The Cemetery hedge has been cut in the wrong place making the headstone for Mr and Mrs Seal out of line and on the foot of another grave, this needs to be rectified.  Cllr Comyn to investigate.

The moss needs to be scarified.


Cllr Brown


Cllr Brown

Cllr Brown

Cllr Brown


Cllr Comyn


Cllr Comyn


Parish Councillors email addresses:  It is good practise for all Parish Councillors to have a dedicated email account which is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant with a footer added. 

All PC’s


Annual Review and polices for the Clerk and RFO:  The Parish Council prepared a contract for the Clerk when the job was accepted which includes a grievance procedure, dismissal policy and absence policy.  Appraisals are not currently carried out annually.  The contract should be reviewed due to the changes in pension auto enrolment regulations.  Cllr Barnes offered to look into the contract.




Cllr Barnes


GDPR:  The portable hard drive used by the Clerk should be password protected.  Cllr Barnes to investigate what the Date Protection Officer (DPO) job involves.


Cllr Barnes


Registering the Star Public House as an Asset of Community Value:  Cllr Comyn to speak to the current landlords about this.  It was thought to be a good idea while the public house is being run as a successful business.


Cllr Comyn


Correspondence Sheet:  Cllr Barnes asked about footpath no: 5 and was informed that in 1985 a bungalow was built over the footpath.  It should have been re-routed and Angie Brown chased this until 2012. Three is now an informal consultation to re-route the footpath up the driveway of the bungalow.  Cllr Comyn proposed that the Parish Council has no objections to this, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed by all.  Cllr Brown to respond as the footpath officer for the Parish Council.

Cllr Brown explained the proposed road closure in Westcot Lane on the 23rd April for up to 5 days to fix the drains.  Cllr Brown to update the Parish Council further once the pegs he has set works out the levels for re-routing the overflow water into Rams Paddock.




Cllr Brown


Cllr Brown


Any other business: 

  1. Anthony Lee has offered to relay the lifted parts of the path around the war memorial in the Church Yard.



Dates of Next Meetings: The Annual Sparsholt Parish Meeting and the Annual Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council Wednesday 16th May 2018 starting at 7.30pm at the Griffin Memorial Hall.

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



Meeting closed at 8.40pm.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk


SPC 18th April 2018

Letter from Revd Leonora Hill, 'Signpost' & services - June 2018

on Thu, 17/05/2018 - 11:00am

Revd Leonora Hill
Email: [email protected]

Dear Friends,

Recently all the Parochial Church Councils of the Rideway Benefice came together for a presentation entitled: “Moving the Ridgeway Churches Forward”. The presentation outlined a new approach for governance and administration to enable us to become a more Christ-like church. The approach has two strands:-

  • Employ an administrator
  • Become one parish with six churches

I hope you will join us in praying and listening to God as we continue to seek the best way forward for the churches of the Ridgeway Benefice.

Thanks and blessings





Woman fined £400 following dog fouling prosecution

on Tue, 15/05/2018 - 4:45pm

A woman from Harwell has been ordered to pay £400 after being prosecuted for failing to remove mess that her dog had left on public land.

At Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 1 May, Toni Brayfield, of Westfield, Harwell, was fined £170 and ordered to pay £230 costs for breaching the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996. 

Magistrates heard how, in September 2017, a resident had contacted Vale of White Horse District Council after witnessing Ms Brayfield repeatedly let her dog foul on neighbouring public land.  An environmental enforcement officer visited the area and found several piles of dog mess that had not been cleared up. 

The officer then wrote to Ms Brayfield about the issue and eventually issued her with a fixed penalty notice.  However, she then failed to pay the fine and so was prosecuted for the offence.

Ms Brayfield failed to attend court and the case was proved in her absence when Magistrates agreed that she had failed to remove the dog mess. 

Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Dog mess is both unsightly and potentially harmful to people’s health.  Anyone in charge of a dog is responsible for making sure that mess is cleared up and disposed of correctly. 

“Failing to do this shows a complete lack of regard for the environment, everyone in the local community, and also badly lets down all responsible dog owners.”

If your area is experiencing a problem with dog fouling please report it by visiting or by calling Vale of White Horse District Council’s Environmental Protection Team on 01235 422403.

By law, you must clean up after your dog when it fouls any footpath, highway, verge or other open space to which the public have access. Failing to do so could result in a fixed penalty notice of £50 or prosecution.

If you see a dog owner allowing their dog to foul and not picking it up, take details of anything that identifies them and contact the Vale's Environmental Protection department:-

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