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News & News Archive

New service to help residents keep warm and healthy this winter

on Thu, 21/12/2017 - 10:57am

Residents concerned about keeping warm and managing their energy bills are being encouraged to contact an advice service for help. 

The Better Housing Better Health service, funded by Vale of White Horse District Council, alongside the county’s other district councils and Oxfordshire County Council, helps people who are vulnerable to the effects of living in cold homes over the winter period. 

The advice service offers free, impartial advice on staying warm and managing energy bills. Residents can find out if they qualify for a grant to install energy saving improvements to their homes or a free home energy visit to look at ways to save energy to bring their bills down. 

The service is run by the Affordable Warmth Network, which all local councils are part of.  It offers direct referrals to a growing network of support organisations, including the fire service, falls prevention service and befriending and advice services.  All of which aims to ease the pressure on other health services during the winter months.  

If you or someone you know is struggling to keep warm and well this winter call the free BHBH hotline on 0800 107 0044 or visit the website

Uffington Shop - Christmas & New Year opening times

on Mon, 18/12/2017 - 7:55am

For further details on our local Shops & General Stores, including normal opening times and contact details, please see:-

Waste has never bin so easy with a new smartphone app

on Fri, 15/12/2017 - 8:04pm

Waste collection information is now just a screen tap away. Vale of White Horse council has launched a brand-new smartphone app, which is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones right now. 

The app is called Binzone – by simply tapping their postcode in and selecting their address, residents can find out which bin is being emptied this week, and what day it’s being emptied. 

The app will also send users a notification if their waste collection day changes due to a bank holiday – very handy for keeping track of what day bins will be emptied over the Christmas period. 

It will also let residents know if collections are disrupted by snow or icy conditions. 

That’s not all though – residents can also use Binzone to look up what bin their rubbish goes in. Ever been confused as to what bin an empty aerosol can goes in?  Not any more – residents can simply search for it in Binzone and find out.  It’s the green recycling wheelie bin, by the way. 

Councillor Charlotte Dickson, cabinet member for waste at the Vale of White Horse District Council, said, “The app is so easy to navigate and will save residents time by having all the information needed right at their fingertips, especially the changes to collection days around bank holidays.” 

Binzone is available to download free of charge on the iPhone Appstore and the Google Play Store.

Childrey Stores - Christmas & New Year Opening

on Fri, 15/12/2017 - 7:19pm
  • Christmas Eve 9-12
  • Christmas day – closed
  • Boxing day – closed
  • 27th , 28th 29th December - 9am – 2pm
  • 30th & 31st December 9am – 12pm
  • News years day – closed
  • Tuesday 2nd Jan 9-2pm
  • Wednesday 3rd Jan – normal hours 8-6pm

Further information:-

Amazon Telephone Fraud - Beware

on Mon, 11/12/2017 - 7:02pm

Web security advisors are warning about an 'Amazon' call scam.

Recipients receive a call from “Amazon” confirming delivery of expensive item which you didn’t order.

They caller then promises to 'cancel' the delivery, citing a different delivery address to your own. They then transfer you to “your bank’s fraud dept” who will then go on to “confirm details”.


Neighbourhood Police Update - December 2017

on Mon, 11/12/2017 - 5:49pm

Here is the latest Faringdon neighbourhood update from PCSO Alex Hill.


Anti-social behaviour (ASB): We received reports of ASB in the Tuckers Park area. We have increased high visibility patrols in the area and will continue to do so. Four of the young people involved in the ASB were recently arrested for burglary and so hopefully we will now see a decrease in these reports. There continues to be incidents of ASB in areas of Shrivenham which the neighbourhood team are working hard to resolve.

Please continue to report ASB by calling us on 101, or 99 if a crime is being committed.

Rural crime: Rural crime continues to be a top priority for Faringdon neighbourhood team. We have continued to work with gamekeepers and land owners suggesting options for target hardening as well as conducting dedicated day and night time operations targeting rural crime.

Crime prevention advice

There has recently been an increase in burglary non-dwelling offences in the Faringdon area. We are working as hard as we can to stop this but there are steps you can take to make your items more secure. Please continue to report any suspicious activity as soon as you can.

This time of year usually brings with it an increase in burglaries to houses and other theft offences. Please could everyone remain vigilant and report anything you feel is suspicious as soon as you can. There are several steps you can take to increase the security of your property at this time of year:-

  • Do not leave presents on display either in vehicles or visible through the windows of your property.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure.
  • Maximise surveillance levels i.e. cut back tall trees and bushes to make your property more visible to neighbours.
  • Consider installing a CCTV system.
  • Use timer switches to make it appear that there is someone in the property if you are out for long periods of time.
  • Consider using a property marking system like SmartWater which will make your items less desirable.
  • Take down serial numbers of presents and valuable items in your house so that they are identifiable if they are stolen.

What the neighbourhood team have been doing

The team had the privilege of attending the remembrance parade last month. It was fantastic to see so many people in our community come together to show respect.

Future events/meetings

We will be attending the Faringdon Town Nativity on Friday 8th December so pop along and say hello!

We will also be trying to attend the cake café every Wednesday from 9.30am in the Pump House this month. So if you have any concerns or would like to speak to us then please stop by.

And finally we hope you all have a very merry Christmas as well as an enjoyable and safe New Year!!!

TVP South and Vale Twitter

Please remember the best place to find out what the Faringdon Neighbourhood team are up to is always on Twitter: @TVPSouthandVale (opens new window) and using the #Faringdon.

Thames Valley Alert

Receive free local crime alerts and crime prevention advice by registering at (opens new window) today. This allows anyone who signs up to choose what updates they receive and how they would like to receive it. A new option includes receiving information via text but more traditional landline and email messages are still available. You can also filter the updates you receive by specifying the priority level of the messages you receive.

Contact us

If you want any advice or would like to contact the neighbourhood team you can call us on the police non emergency number 101 (or 01865-841148 if 101 doesn't work for you) but if your call is an emergency then dial 999.   You can also contact us via email: - [email protected] please note this email address cannot be used to contact Thames Valley Police to report crimes or for any urgent matters. To view information on your neighbourhood team visit the Thames Valley Police website at: Thames Valley Police Twitter account is kept up to date with what we are up to; please follow us @TVPSouthandVale. (opens new window)

To report local problems such as graffiti, fly tipping, pot holes and

broken street lights please visit

Find out more here:-

B4507 Safety Meeting Minutes - Wednesday, 29th November 2017

on Mon, 11/12/2017 - 5:34pm

Minutes of the public B4507 Meeting held on

Wednesday 29th November 2017 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm

19:30 Meeting Open.

Present:  19 people.  Representatives from Childrey, Kingston Lisle and Fawler, Sparsholt and Westcot and West Challow Parish Councils.

DC & CC Yvonne Constance acted as Chair of the Meeting.

Introduction by DC & CC Constance:

Discussion regarding a speed restriction on the B4507 has been around a long time.  Currently there is no speed restriction so the national speed limit of up to 60mph applies.

A group of residents, backed by the Parish Council would have to present a case to County Council.  The CC are responsible for the speed restrictions on all roads in County.  The Parish Councils would have to agree to share the costs and the Parish Councils could increase their precept to cover this.

There is going to be a 8,000 dwelling housing project along the eastern edge of Swindon which will mean extra traffic along the B4507 as commuters to Harwell and Milton Park will use it as a ‘rat run’ across country.

5/6 yrs ago villagers group “Western Vale Villagers Consortium” hired a traffic monitoring system and the vehicle count was 320 vehicles an hour heading towards Harwell.  There is also another 1,000 houses to be built in Shrivenham.

The meeting then opened for comments:

Norman Downie agreed that speed is an issue but the CC are responsible fot the state of verges along the roads.  There have been two incidents caused by the edges slipping in and loose gravel on the road.  Also the narrowing of the road and numerous potholes causes drivers to drive in the middle of the road.

YC responded that maintenance of the roads is constantly on the CC agenda and that they are doing larger patches to make them last longer.  YC will report the verges again.

Ian Barnes agreed that there should be a reduced speed limit especially around the Britchcombe Farm caravan site.  People & families have to walk in the road with no footpath or any warning signs.  Only a matter of time before there is an accident around the caravan site.  The accident statistics for the B4507 have been requested by IB through a F.O.I. but no response has yet been received.  It was thought that there had been 4 Fatalities in 10 years.

The junction are also dangerous and a cyclist was killed due to the road signs not being clear and the white lines worn away.

Warning signs are often concealed by trees and dirty.

Nick Price videoed a B & Q Lorry driving along the B4507, hitting the overhanging trees are throwing debris into the road and mostly driving in the middle of the road.  The road is too narrow for lorries.

It was commented that there would be no one around to enforce the limits so it would not make any difference.

The CC reduced the speed along the A417 to 50mph but this is a very busy road.

12 years ago a school girl got off a bus and was hit off and killed by another vehicle.

NP witnessed a traffic incident along the B4507 and 3 fire engines, 2 ambulance, the air ambulance & police were all called which is a massive use of resources.

YC stated that the CC will not commit to larger projects as they have no funding.

Costs were discussed:

YC A consultation costing around £3,000 - £5,000 minimum cost would be the first thing that is required.  To erect a 50 mph sign at the beginning and end of the restriction would be £2,000 each and every 10th of a mile a repeater sign costing £1,000 would be required.  The costs are justified because they are detailed spec and fitted by experts.

Childrey PC had previously commented that the road is so naturally bendy and narrow that the traffic has to slow down.  Also that 50mph may be too high and drivers will see 50mph and think it’s safe to drive at 50mph which is too fast for the majority of the road.  40 mph was suggested but is not enforceable as the road would not meet the criteria, usually used for residential roads.  Slow down signs on the bends and hazards etc. and road markers might be a more effective option.

Uffington have just purchased an electric sign costing £3,900 but there must be an electricity supply.  Without an electricity supply it would cost £15,000 to be solar powered

‘Accident Blackspot’ signs were suggested – YC to investigate.

ND stated that in Cambridgeshire, the CC in conjunction with the villages have rented a mobile flashing speed awareness sign which tells you the speed that you are doing.  YC to investigate whether this could be hired or purchased.  The reason that this may not work is that currently the speed on the road is the national speed limit.

Ashbury has a 30mph limit through the village but this is due to the risk of life.

The consultation will establish why there are accidents and what would work.

The National Trust who look after the White Horse should be contacted as they may contribute.

Cycling events are often held along the B4507 and hold up drivers causing them overtake.  Events should be scheduled so not more than one at a time.

Horse riders also use the B4507.

Reducing the speed limit to 50 mph and erecting mobile/ moveable flashing signs in hotspots was thought to be the best idea and ND will find out more about it and circulate a report by email.

There are moveable cameras that record speed and take photos, the police write to the car owners and visit the offenders after three letters and may issue an endorsement.  This speed survey would cost around £4,000/£5,000 but this could be shared between villages.  It takes 3/4 people record speed and photograph. 

CC need to cut back trees and foliage that is level with edge of road, especially around Eastmanton Lane and the Childrey dip.

Britchcombe Farm should put a path in, YC to investigate if this would require planning permission and a “warning pedestrians” flashing sign.  Local Enterprise Partnership may help fund Britchcombe Farm.  YC to investigate if planning conditions were imposed on Britchcombe Farm.

Iain Brown stated that there had been an increase in traffic since the Challow Station bridge was closed.  Drivers found alternative routes and have stuck to them as the shortest route is B4507.  Difficult to get a speed reduction but should try to get it down to 50mph as people sticking to speed limit will slow down other users.  If Wiltshire 50mph so should Oxfordshire.

YC feels that car shares are the way forward due to no buses.

YC will speak to Lee Turner who is the “Area Operations Manager”.

20:30 Meeting Close.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk

Your waste collections - adverse weather conditions - Monday 11th December

on Mon, 11/12/2017 - 11:42am

Some of today's (11/12/17) waste and recycling collections are being affected by adverse weather conditions. Please see below a message that the Vale is sharing with residents. The Vale website will be updated, along with social media.

The Vale's waste collection crews are out and about emptying bins where they can, although most side streets are too dangerous for their 26 tonne trucks.

If it is safe to do so, please put your bins out as normal.  If the bins in your street aren't emptied on your normal collection day, please leave them out for three days and they will try and come back to get them.  If they haven't managed to get back to you in three days, bring your bins back in and they will come and get them next time they're due.  If this is the case, they will collect extra waste left out next to your bin next time around.

Even if the roads around you are clear, it might still be difficult for our waste collection crews to reach you - that might be because the roads between you and their depot are not passable for their large trucks or it might just be that the snow and ice has slowed the crew down so much that they aren't able to finish their complete rounds in one day. 

The Vale are very sorry for any disruption and inconvenience this causes you - they are doing the best we can to get out to as many of you as they can, but the safety of the general public out on the roads, and of their waste collection crews is their first priority.

The latest information will be available on their website -

Parish Council Minutes - Monday, 6th November 2017

on Thu, 07/12/2017 - 4:55pm


Minutes of Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on

Monday 6th November 2017 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm


Present: Councillors Comyn (Chairman), Brown, Downie and Williams, the Clerk and 5 parishioners






Apologies:  Cllr Barnes, DC & CC Constance and the RFO.



Declaration of Acceptance of Office, Declarations of Interest & Reminder of the Code of Conduct:  Cllr Brown declared a non-prejudicial interest in the Days House planning application on account of his sister in law, Sandy Humphreys living next door.



  Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 11th October 2017: 

  Cllr Brown proposed signing these as a true record, seconded by Cllr   Williams and

  unanimously agreed.



Matters Arising:  

  1. B4507 50 mph speed restriction update:  TROGS - Top Road Group for Safety Meeting has been booked for Wednesday 29th November 7.30pm in Griffin Memorial Hall.  The Clerk has emailed the local Parish Council Clerks.
  2. Cemetery rules:  The rules need assembling with a plan, Cllr Comyn to take around to Cllr Barnes. 
  3. Potholes:  Cllr Comyn to contact Lee Turner, Clements Hill very bad.
  4. Definitive Map:  Cllr Barnes has requested a copy, Cllr Brown stated Definitive Map is available on OCC website.
  5. Complaint against Old Glebe House, dangerous driving:  The Clerk emailed Romana and she was already aware of the incident and it has been discussed with the member of staff.
  6. Water from Humber Barn:  The Clerk wrote a letter to the residents.




Cllrs Comyn, Barnes and Brown


Cllr Comyn


Cllrs Barnes and Brown





  1. Approval of the Finance Report to the end of 31st October and the listing of payments to be made:  Cllr Comyn proposed acceptance and agreed the cheques, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.

Cllr Comyn initialled the bank statements.

  1. RFO Vacancy:  The vacancy has been advertised and the Clerk reported that no one has applied for the position.  Cllr Comyn would like to talk to the current RFO to find out what work is involved.  The Clerk offered to speak to other local Parish Councils
  2. External Audit:  The audit forms have been received and the Parish Council reviewed the effectiveness of the Audit and acknowledged the comments made by BDO regarding the fixed assets.
  3. Any other Finance matters:  A request has been received for a donation to the Independent Advice Centre and Cllr Comyn proposed a sum of £50 under section 137, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed by all.







Cllr Comyn
















  1. P15/V2600/PAR Westcot Farm, Westcot, OX12 OX12 9QA:  Conversion of agricultural buildings to form three no. C3 dwellinghouses.  Fully Discharged, remove from Agenda.
  2. P17/V1299/FUL (Amended) Days House, Westcot, OX12 9QB:  Demolition of bungalow/pool house (not Days House). Dividing site and erection of new house.  Cllr Brown will represent the Parish Council at the planning Committee to be held on Monday 13th November.
  3. P17/V2344/HH 3 St Johns, Sparsholt, OX12 9PW:  Single storey rear extension.  Granted.
  4. P17/2713/HH 5 West Street, Sparsholt, OX12 9PR:  Proposed two storey rear extension.  No decision.

  New Applications:

  1. P17/V2835/HH 1 New Farm Cottages Westcot, OX12 9QA:  The demolition of the existing garage to facilitate a two-storey extension to the eastern side of the current dwelling and a single storey extension to the rear. It is also proposed to incorporate a timber constructed carport with storage shed attached to the eastern side of the dwelling. It is proposed to replace existing porch with a timber-framed porch on brickwork walls.  Cllr Comyn expressed his view that extensions to existing buildings should be allowed unless any harm is caused to anyone.  This application will not affect any neighbours to the side or behind due to the high hedge and the distance from the boundary.  The owners of No.2 Farm Cottages have responded on the website with no objections.  Cllr Brown has a concern that the construction workers and material delivery lorries will block the road and asked who would be site managing the work.  The applicant was present and stated that he would be overseeing the work and would ensure that deliveries were not made at peak times.  He would also be available if anyone had any problems during construction.  The resident of No. 3 New Farm Cottages was present at the meeting and has concerns that it is a large extension and will change the character of the property.  The applicant responded that care had been taken to match existing materials.  Cllr Comyn felt that the site could sustain a moderate extension and proposed a response of ‘no objections’, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.  The Clerk to submit the response.

b)     P17/V2787/LB Westcot Farm Westcot, OX12 9QA:  Conversion of the existing listed barn into 2 no residential accommodations.  Cllr Comyn expressed his opinion that this development was a practical use of a redundant grade 2 listed barn and would preserve the barn.  The yard is already a part residential yard as there is a farm house and another barn conversion.  There is no fence shown on the plans on the southern side and high level lights are shown on the plans to give light into the building.  The original barn door is also to be a louvered glass window.  Cllr Comyn is concerned that the applicant may have ‘no right to light’ on that side of the building.  Cllr Downie stated that when  Albion Barn was converted there was an understanding that the threshing barn should not be developed.  Angie Brown was also concerned about drainage using sceptic tanks, for the new dwelling, more development causes more drainage issues.  Cllr Comyn stated that the applicants contractor would have to satisfy Building Control Cllr Brown commented that he had no objections but would like to see the drainage plans attached to all applications at the planning stage. Cllr Comyn proposed a response of “no objections but wish the following comments to be taken into account” which could then include the provision for drainage, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed by all.  A parishioner asked about sustainability for the area and Cllr Comyn explained that there were exceptions if there is an existing building.

c)      P17/V2786/FUL Westcot Farm Westcot, OX12 9QAConversion of the existing listed barn into 2 no residential accommodations.  As above, Cllr Comyn proposed the same response, seconded by Cllr Downie and agreed unanimously.

d)     P17/V2759/HH 8 West Street Sparsholt, OX12 9PR:  Proposed porch and w/c.  Cllr Comyn proposed a response of ‘no objections’, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.  The Clerk to submit the response.

e)    P17/V2883/FUL Lodge Farm, Childrey, OX12 9XA:  The demolition of two existing buildings and subsequent construction of a two 18.825m wide x 30.658m long steel portal framed building for the purpose of storing grain.  Sparsholt Parish Council were notified of this application because part of the site is within the Parish of Sparsholt. Cllr Comyn proposed a response of ‘no objections’, seconded by Cllr Brown and agreed unanimously.  The Clerk to submit the response.































  Highways:  OCC have dug up the drain in Westcot Lane but it did not resolve the problem and may

  need jetting or it may be another collapse.  Angie Brown showed the workmen which way

  the flow goes and where the inspection cover was. 

  Angie Brown has emailed DC & CC Constance for a contact at OCC. Cllr Brown to chase.

  Lizzie Long stated that the road surface in Broadbrook lane is very bad.



Cllr Brown


Trees along Church Way:  Col. John Dean (former resident and Parish Councillor for Sparsholt) raised the money and planted these trees and this confirms the belief that the trees are owned by the Parish Council.  Cllr Brown has sent photographs of the trees as they are today to Col. Dean.



Cemetery and Cemetery Rail:    Cllr Brown still only had one quote for the work.  Cllr Williams will check that the headstones are secure in the cemetery. An enquiry has been received from Colonel John Dean about reserving a plot for the internment of ashes, Cllr Comyn to draft a reply and Cllr Brown to send.


Cllr Comyn

Cllr Brown


Correspondence Sheet:  No comments.



Any other business: 

  1. Sally Haines, a parishioner complained about the lack of bus service and that the UBW Community bus is often too full to pick up in Sparsholt and Westcot. It was noted the replacement route Faringdon, Wantage stopping at Stanford in the Vale and East Challow is an hourly service and not used very much, therefore it would be better if the timetable and route was amended to include the villages.
  2. Cllr Comyn will review the Local Plan 2031 part 2 to see if any comments need to be added to the publicity period.  In the plan Sparsholt and Westcot are declared in open countryside.
  3. Cllr Williams offered to clear the footpath of leaves in Broadbrook lane.





Cllr Comyn


Cllr Williams


Dates of Next Meetings: (TROGS) B4507 Meeting Wednesday 29th November, Parish Council meetings Wednesdays 6th December 2017 and 17th January, 21st February, 21st March, 18th April and the AGM 16th May 2018 all starting at 7.30pm at the Griffin Memorial Hall.

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



Meeting closed at 8.55pm.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk


SPC 6th November 2017

Ed Vaizey MP - Parish News, December 2017

on Thu, 07/12/2017 - 12:42pm

May I take this opportunity to send each of you my best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and I hope you all have a peaceful and prosperous start to 2018.

In November, the Chancellor delivered his Budget.  No one can pretend it was radical or revolutionary.  But most will think that’s a good thing. There's quite enough turmoil at the moment.

The main focus of the budget was housing - a deeply controversial issue in our part of the world. Nevertheless, people do know that we need to build more houses, as property ownership has fallen dramatically and houses have become unaffordable for many people.  I am therefore encouraged that the Chancellor has outlined the Government’s ambition to increase housing supply to its highest level since 1970 by the end of this Parliament. This will put us on track to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s with £15.3 billion new financial support for house building over the next five years – taking the total to at least £44 billion. 

On a local level, it was promising to see an additional £215 million set aside for Oxfordshire to build infrastructure, deliver new homes and increase economic productivity across the county. This is a welcome step in ensuring our local area is fit for the future.

I welcome the announcement from Chris Grayling of the £47.9bn overhaul of the rail network in England and Wales, including restoring the Oxford to Cambridge rail link. This is part of the overall strategy suggested by the National Infrastructure Commission's report earlier this month on infrastructure growth across the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc, which Wantage & Grove Station is part of. I will be continuing to campaign in Parliament for a new station at Wantage & Grove whilst there is so much interest in rail infrastructure.

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has recently compiled a handy list of funding sources available for arts, heritage and cultural projects which may be useful for local organisations. There are many different avenues that organisations seeking support can pursue and I would recommend that anybody wishing to make an application first contacts the relevant local office. Their staff will then be able to provide advice and support regarding the application process. Full list can be found at:

On a similar note it is fantastic to see that over the past three months the Big Lottery Fund has provided nearly £55,000 of funding to 6 projects in the constituency. Every week over £13 million is awarded across the UK to support community activity with the money raised from National Lottery players. The organisation works hard to ensure the money reaches the people and organisations who make a real difference and it’s great that the benefits are being felt in our area.

The brand new Didcot Concert Orchestra gives its inaugural concert at Cornerstone arts centre, Didcot at 4pm on Sunday 11 February 2018 playing music from the late Romantic era. More info can be found at:

I am delighted that this Orchestra has been established. Didcot is a vibrant and growing town, and the arts have always been a central part of its life.  The concert orchestra fills a gap, and it is very much needed.  Music brings great joy to people, and it also plays an important role in our schools and our communities. I wish the Dicot Concert Orchestra every success and I look forward to seeing them perform soon in Didcot – if not at the Proms!

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