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News & News Archive

Be a good neighbour during lock-down

on Thu, 09/04/2020 - 6:23pm

Everyone is being urged to be good neighbours as the combination of lockdown and good weather throws up new challenges for everyone.

Spending most of our day at home means that we are spending more time with the people we live with and those who live close by, our neighbours

Most of us are confined to our homes and this can cause stress, anguish and frustration.

Please consider what you're doing, when you're doing it and the level of noise you may create, as it can cause distress or upset to those nearby. 

  • Reduce TV, gaming or music volume, in particular reduce the bass or use headphones.
  • Think of the time you might carry out DIY, in home or outside.
  • Think about whether it's neccessary to light a bonfire.

The Vale's Environmental Health team can be contacted by telephone (01235 422403), although please remember that they too are likely to be working from home.

More on the Vale's website here:-

Coronavirus - Helplines and websites for advice and support

on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 6:17pm

Mental Health support

  • Support to recover from mental health issues and staying independent is available from Connection Support (click) - 01865 711267.
  • Samaritans (click) provide advice and support for anyone having a hard time. Call 116 123.
  • CALM (click) is the Campaign Against Living Miserably – supporting men under 45 with mental health issues. Call 0800 58 58 58.


Domestic Abuse

Relationship advice

  • For relationship advice and support call Relate (click) on 01865 242960.

Drugs and alcohol

  • National Drugs Helpline (click) (FRANK) – information about drugs and drug use, help and advice – 0300 1236600.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (click) – the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking – 0800 9177650.
  • Drinkaware (click) - UK-wide alcohol education charity helping people make better choices about their drinking - 020 7766 9900.

Modern Slavery


  • Action Fraud (click) – the national reporting centre to report and to get advice about fraud and cybercrime - 0300 123 2040.




  • Call the Bereavement Advice Centre (click) on 0800 6349494 for advice and support
  • SeeSaw (click) provides bereavement support for young people - 01865 744768

Provided by Paul Barrow, Councillor for  Ridgeway Ward, Vale of White Horse District Council

For Parents - A Special COVID Message

on Tue, 07/04/2020 - 12:26pm

When your child is unwell, it can be difficult to decide if/when to call your GP, NHS 111 (click) or go to A&E.

Despite COVID-19, please remember that the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust emergency department teams are still here if you need them.

Maymessy asking for donations of snacks for critical care staff at JR Hospital

on Mon, 06/04/2020 - 5:22pm

In order to show support and gratitude to healthcare staff during these trying times, Meymessy CIC of Garlands Farm in West Challow, will be supplying 75 critical care staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, with various snacks - and are looking for donations in terms of bumper packs of crisps, multipacks of biscuits, chocolates (must be individually wrapped), KitKats etc.

Anna of Maymessy says that, during the Coronavirus outbreak, many staff are living in hotels, often away from their families and she hopes to be able to support at least 50 staff each day.

Can you help?

Please contact Anna at Maymessy CIC on 07960 489677 or by email: [email protected]

Do include a personal message on them for staff in critical care to read.  

Letter to Stuart Bell CE Oxfordshire NHS regarding Wantage Hospital

on Fri, 03/04/2020 - 7:29pm

Please return health care equipment if you no longer need it

on Fri, 03/04/2020 - 7:25pm

Support for people struggling financially due to the Coronavirus pandemic

on Fri, 03/04/2020 - 7:18pm

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are putting a range of measures in place to help people who are being affected financially by the Coronavirus pandemic, including support for individuals and for businesses.

Support for individuals - council tax

Hardship fund for people on Council Tax Reduction

The government has confirmed details of a £500million hardship fund.  Under this scheme, people in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will receive a minimum of £150 off their council tax bill for 2020/2021, unless their bill is less than £150, in which case their bill will be reduced to zero. This is in addition to any support they already receive.  

The councils are now working to confirm the amount each individual qualifying household will receive off their bill – as soon as this is complete, revised bills will be issued.

Council tax payments

Where possible, people should continue to pay their bills as normal.  If someone is genuinely having difficulty paying their council tax, they should contact our council tax team on:

People who are currently not being paid, and are struggling to pay their bill, are encouraged to apply for Council Tax Reduction – their account will then be put on hold for 30 days while their application is processed.

To apply for Council Tax Reduction please visit or

For more information about support and advice for individuals please visit or

Advice and support for businesses

The councils are prioritising awarding the extensions to retail rate relief to existing accounts and working to identify eligible ratepayers.  Work has also taken place to identify and collate the necessary information to allow the councils to pay Small Business and Retail Grants.

Letters have gone out to ratepayers who we believe qualify.  To claim a grant, businesses should complete the required form which can be found at:

Payments will begin to be processed from week commencing 6 April. 

Those that can pay their bills should do so as normal, however those businesses who are genuinely having difficulty paying their business rates should contact our business rates team via:

The South & Vale Business Support team publishes the latest government advice and support on and via twitter (@TeamSVBS), including about rates relief and business support grants.  Business can also sign up to receive an e-newsletter via the website.

The website also lists the latest job vacancies for individuals seeking temporary employment, exercises to stay healthy while working from home, and links to mental health organisations.

The government has advised those who are self-employed who are in urgent need of financial assistance to apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction.  This will provide them with support until a grant for the self-employed becomes available in June.

Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We are working hard to put measures into place to provide urgent assistance to council tax-payers and businesses that have been badly affected by the pandemic.  Thank you to everyone for their patience during this time.  Following each announcement, we have to wait for government guidance and these schemes can take time to set up and check who is eligible.”  

Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet Member for Finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We know this is an extremely challenging and worrying time for many people.  We hope that the measures we are putting in place will help to put people’s minds a little more at ease.  Above all though, our advice is, if you are struggling to pay please get in touch with our council tax or business rates teams and they will do their best to help you.”

More here:-

Message from Chief Inspector Matt Bullivant Deputy LPA Commander

on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 9:41am

I understand that this is a difficult and worrying time for a lot people as we all make significant adjustments to our daily lives to follow the measures set out by the government. These measures have been put in place to stop the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.  

You will be aware that the police were given new powers to help reinforce these measures and whilst these are an option to us, we will only use them as a last resort. Officers will routinely be stopping members of the public and vehicles to ensure the Government’s advice is being adhered to so please don’t be alarmed if you are stopped and work with us if you are told to return home.

This current climate offers up a lot of uncertainty which can make people feel anxious, unsettled and fearful but I want to reassure you that my team and I are still policing your communities, responding to emergencies as well as effecting the Government’s restrictions to stay inside and only go out in very specific circumstances. 

I can assure you that all police officers and staff are extremely grateful for the consideration they are being shown and are increasingly motivated to keep you safe and secure in such unprecedented times. To offer my reassurance to you we are being extremely well guided and supported by a central team of dedicated officers and staff to ensure we have the flexibility and ability to adapt to our local policing needs. 

By continuing to stay home, you can protect the NHS and save lives. Thank you again to the residents of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse for your co-operation during these challenging times.

Useful information and advice:

For more information on the Government’s restrictions, please visit the GOV.UK website (click).. 

You can find a number of frequently asked questions and a message from Chief Constable John Campbell on our website (click). 

If you need to report anything to us that is not an emergency, you might experience some delays calling 101 so where possible report through the Thames Valley Police website (click). In an emergency always call 999. 

Sent on behalf of Chief Inspector Matthew Bullivant, Deputy Commander for South & Vale LPA (Local Police Area)