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Wantage workshop for villages on applying for a share of £43,000 grant funding

on Fri, 17/11/2017 - 8:05pm

Vale of White Horse District Council is inviting community groups in and around the Wantage area to a special workshop aimed at showing them how they can apply for a share of more than £43,000 in grant funding.

The Wantage Area Grants Workshop takes place on Thursday 30 November, 5pm to 7pm at The Beacon in Wantage (OX12 9BX). Spaces at the session are limited so please book in advance via [email protected] or by calling 01235 422103.

The session will tell people about the funding that’s available, what projects qualify and how groups can apply.

Wantage Area Grants are available for projects costing more than £2,000 that won’t start before April 2018.

Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Grants at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “We still have a significant amount of funding available for projects in the Wantage area, so I urge any groups with schemes coming up next year to come along to the workshop to find out how they can apply.”

Projects which have previously received Wantage Area Grant funding include a district-wide village halls advisor, improvements at tennis clubs in Harwell and Wantage, the creation of community space at Milton Church and new equipment for Grove Rugby Club.

To qualify projects must be within the Wantage Area, this includes:

  • Ardington and Lockinge
  • Blewbury
  • Childrey
  • Chilton
  • Dechworth
  • East Challow
  • East Hanney
  • East Hendred
  • Grove
  • Harwell
  • Kingston Lisle
  • Letcombe Bassett
  • Letcombe Regis
  • Milton
  • Sparsholt
  • Steventon
  • Upton
  • Wantage
  • West Challow
  • West Hanney
  • West Hendred

For more about grants available from Vale of White Horse District Council visit 

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

5 things teens want parents to know about their digital lives

on Fri, 17/11/2017 - 1:48pm

In Childnet's youth consultation for the upcoming Government Internet Safety Strategy (more <here>), they asked 65 young people aged 11-18 years, who are part of their Childnet Digital Leaders Programme, a wide range of questions about what they felt could help to make the internet a better place for children and young people.

In one question they asked what they think parents need to understand better when it comes to their digital lives. Here are some of their responses:

Youth Perspectives:

  1. Understand that the internet plays an important and positive role in our lives
    • “[Parents need to understand] that not everywhere on the internet is so unsafe and which areas are.”
    • “They need to understand that the internet and social media plays an important part in their kids’ lives.”
  2. Understand what we’re going through
    • “I think that parents need to try and understand their children's situation more so that they know what they are going through so that they can try and help them better.”
    • “They need to understand the situation so that they can help more efficiently. They may also misinterpret the situation and scold their child rather than helping and empathising.”
  3. Be sensitive to our feelings and treat us with care
    • “They need to understand how children may feel if something goes wrong for them.”
    • “They need to treat their kids with care and respect when something happens online.”
  4. Give us some freedom to build trust and independence
    • “I think that parents need to understand that young children do need to be protected on the internet, however sometimes a small amount of freedom can aid them in some important life lessons.”
    • “Parents need to understand trust. Of course every parent trusts their child, but going against them is what makes their children go against them as well.”
    • “They can't protect their children all the time and need to let them make their own choices in an adult manner even if it means putting them at risk, giving the child the independence need for life.”
  5. We will make mistakes – but you can guide us through this
    • “They need to trust their children and realise that things can happen that might not be the best thing in the world but they should just talk it out with their child to gain their child's trust.”
    • “That children will make mistakes and they need to guide them through the process of what you could do.”

More advice for parents and carers

At Childnet we have a range of advice for parents and carers to help them empower their children to use technology safely and responsibly.

The most important thing you can do is to stay engaged with your children’s digital lives and have regular conversations about how they use technology and how they can use it safely.

We have some helpful conversation starters and an introduction to key e-safety topics at

There are also a range of parental controls which you can set up on devices your children use, as well as on your home internet. You can find out how to set these up and more advice about staying safe while using the internet at

With thanks to Childnet; for further information on Childnet International, a non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children, go <here>.

Ed Vaizey MP - Historical Expense Claim Details - IPSA

on Fri, 17/11/2017 - 1:03pm

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), sets and regulates MPs' salaries, pensions, business costs and expenses, independent of Parliament and the Government.

They publish all MPs’ claims and expenses.

IPSA's aim is to assure the public that MPs’ use of taxpayers’ money is well regulated and that MPs are resourced appropriately to carry out their parliamentary duties.

Our current MP is Conservative Ed Vaizey; you can see his published historical expense claim details here:-

Lock Down Your Facebook Security & Privacy Settings - WIRED Magazine

on Wed, 15/11/2017 - 1:13pm

Courtesy Wired magazine (brief ad at the beginning).

"The only way to be truly secure on Facebook is to delete your account. But that’s crazy talk! Here’s how to lock down your privacy and security and bonus, keep targeted ads at bay."

Christmas at The Greyhound, Letcombe Regis

on Wed, 15/11/2017 - 11:53am

Primary School Places - Is your child 3 or 4? Apply for places now

on Wed, 15/11/2017 - 9:04am

Neighbourhood Police Update - November 2017

on Tue, 14/11/2017 - 5:01pm

Here is the latest Faringdon neighbourhood update from PCSO Maralyn Pack.


Hare coursing: This continues to be a priority for the Faringdon Neighbourhood Team and we have done a two day operation in the rural community to improve our visibility on the 8th and 9th of November. We engaged with various land owners, game keepers and farmers and also checked for any offences that may have been committed on their land. 

Drugs: We had several reports of drugs being sold in the community and due to this information we successfully executed a warrant at an address in Faringdon on 20/10/17. This resulted in one arrest and drugs being taken of the street. This is still a live investigation.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) 

We had calls about ASB and damage to Tuckers Park in Faringdon. This is now part of an active enquiry and patrols have been set up for the area. Can you please call 101 if you see any offences being committed in order to assist us please?

Little Coxwell village also suffered from ASB and criminal damage and enquiries revealed the offenders. Using restorative justice between those affected and the young people concerned, an effective solution was reached. 

Crime prevention advice

As the evenings are now getting darker earlier please can residents consider using timers on lighting, TVs and radios so that your homes do not appear to be unoccupied and ‘welcoming’ for burglars. Please consider fitting secure locks to any gates that lead to the rear of properties and consider security lighting for the outsides of the buildings.

Garden sheds can be locked using padlocks and can have shed alarms fitted. Good quality CCTV cameras are now available from many retailers and whilst these may appear to be expensive, they offer another form of deterrent against intruders.

Alarms fitted to the house are another thing that may be considered. Please keep curtains closed and any presents you may buy over the next few weeks securely out of sight. The festive season is upper most in a lot of people’s minds and a lot of planning and preparation is taking place in homes over the next few weeks. Leaving all these on show can lead to events that can cause major distress if homes are broken into. 

What the neighbourhood have been doing 

We have been carrying out active patrols in Southmoor and work is ongoing between agencies to see if a long term solution can be found for one of the problems that has arisen from investigations surrounding the local community park. There are active patrols in Faringdon town centre whenever we are on duty. 

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:-

Last UK posting dates for Christmas 2017

on Wed, 08/11/2017 - 1:51pm

Post Office "Christmas 2017" page:-

UK Inland Services

  • Wednesday 20 December - 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
  • Thursday 21 December - 1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For® and Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®
  • Friday 22 December - Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®

International Standard HM Forces Mail - British Forces Post Office® (BFPO)

  • Mon 27 - November Operational BFPOs
  • Mon 11 - December Static BFPOs

International Standard (formerly Airmail) and all International Tracking and Signature Services (formerly Airsure® and International Signed For®)

  • Sat 2 December - Africa, Middle East
  • Wed 6 December - Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)
  • Thu 7 December - Caribbean, Central and South America
  • Sat 9 December - Australia, Greece, New Zealand, Turkey
  • Wed 13 December - Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
  • Thu 14 December - Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
  • Fri 15 December - Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
  • Sat 16 December - Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

International Services International Economy (formerly known as Surface Mail)

  • Wed 27 September - All non-European destinations (except Canada, Far East, Middle East, South Africa and USA)
  • Thu 28 September - Middle and Far East (except Hong Kong and Singapore)
  • Thu 12 October - Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, USA
  • Thu 2 November - Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece, Iceland, Malta, Turkey
  • Thu 16 November - Western Europe

Parish Council Minutes - Wednesday, 11th October 2017

on Tue, 07/11/2017 - 2:10pm


Minutes of Meeting of Sparsholt Parish Council held on

Wednesday 11th October 2017 at Griffin Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm

Present: Councillors Barnes, Brown and Williams, the Clerk and 7 parishioners (including Angie Brown from the Griffin Hall Management Committee).






Apologies:  Cllr Comyn, Downie, DC & CC Constance and the RFO.  Cllr Brown chaired the meeting in the absence of the Chairman.



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 Humphries living next door.



  Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 20th September 2017: 

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

  Barnes and unanimously agreed.



Matters Arising: 

  1. B4507 50 mph speed restriction update:  It was agreed to organise a meeting with all the local parish Councils along the B4507, to be held on Wednesday 29th November at 7.30pm in Griffin Memorial Hall.  The Clerk to email the local Parish Council Clerks
  2. Cemetery rules:  Ongoing.
  3. Westcot Village Green:  Cllr Brown has forwarded an email to the Clerk proving that he has registered an interest with Arthur McEwan-James of OCC.
  4. Potholes:  Ongoing.







  1. Approval of the Finance Report to the end of 30th September and the listing of payments to be made:  Cllr Brown proposed acceptance and agreed the cheques, seconded by Cllr Williams and agreed unanimously.

Cllr Brown initialled the bank statements

  1. Any other Finance matters:  The RFO has handed in her notice, the vacancy to be advertised on the Notice Board and website.











  1. P15/V2600/PAR Westcot Farm, Westcot, OX12 OX12 9QA:  Conversion of agricultural buildings to form three no. C3 dwellinghouses.  Fully Discharged
  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.  It was reported that demolition has already started.  There are drainage issues and inconsistencies in the report.  A parishioner asked for assurances that the Parish Council would have a degree of oversite to the process.  Septic tanks, run off and drainage will all be taken into account.  Cllr Brown will ask Building Control to comply with the guidance and  condition of the planning should be that the drainage scheme is proposed before approval.  It was suggested that the Parish Council reference a previous application with drainage issues.  Building Inspectors do site visits throughout the building process.  Cllr Barnes proposed that Sparsholt Parish Council have ‘no objections’ to this application but will add a condition to this approval, seconded by Cllr Williams and agreed by Cllr Brown.  The Clerk to submit the response.
  3. P17/V2092/FUL Days House, Westcot, OX12 9QB:  Demolition of bungalow/pool house (not Days House) to divide site and construct new house to replace bungalow in different position similar to that approved 4/3/16 but with two minor additions.  Remove this application from the Agenda.
  4. P17/V2344/HH 3 St Johns, Sparsholt, OX12 9PW:  Single storey rear extension.  No decision.
  5.   New Applications:

a)  P17/2713/HH 5 West Street, Sparsholt, OX12 9PR:  Proposed

     two storey rear extension.   The application was discussed and no

     one was present to either support or object to the application. 

     A response of “no objections” was proposed by Cllr Brown,

     seconded by Cllr Barnes and agreed unanimously.  The Clerk to

     submit the response.
































Highways:  None.



Trees along Church Way:  Coronel John Dean raised the money and planted these trees and this proves that the trees are owned by the Parish Council.



Cemetery and Cemetery Rail:    Cllr Brown waiting for three quotes.  Coronel John Dean has requested information about reserving a plot to have his ashes interned when the time comes.  The Clerk to pass the letter to Cllr Comyn.



Correspondence Sheet:  No comments.



Any other business: 

  1. Cllr Barnes asked for a definitive map and Cllr Brown will ask Arthur McEwan-James how a copy can be obtained.
  2. Cllr Brown has received a complaint about a staff member from the Old Glebe overtaking the School bus and another vehicle dangerously and speeding.  The Clerk to write a letter to the Old Glebe House.
  3. Water has been gradually emptied from the swimming pool at Humber Barn, the Clerk to write to Mr and Mrs Stout to remind them of the drain problems in the road.



Cllr Brown







Dates of Next Meetings: Wednesdays 15th November, 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 8.40pm.

Minutes prepared by Mrs D Lewis-Pryde, Parish Clerk


SPC 11th October 2017

Ed Vaizey MP - Parish News, November 2017

on Tue, 07/11/2017 - 1:41pm

In October, I spoke in Parliament alongside my fellow Oxfordshire MPs about the future of healthcare in the county. Wantage Hospital is currently in a state of limbo – Oxford Health announced in April 2016 that they would be closing the hospital due to concerns over legionella in the old pipe system. This decision is subject to a consultation by Oxfordshire CCG - a consultation which was previously promised in October 2016. Phase one of the consultation did not take place until January 2017, three months after the full consultation was promised. As Wantage is a community hospital it is not covered by this phase. Phase 2 of the consultation has yet to take place, and no date has been announced for when it will begin. This leaves the hospital effectively closed with no end in sight.

After an online petition was signed by almost 4,000 people it was agreed to keep the hospital’s physiotherapy and maternity services open. However, Oxfordshire CCG re-tendered the hospital’s physiotherapy services and the contract passed to HealthShare. The company has since had to close all physiotherapy services provided in Wantage, leaving the hospital with just limited maternity care. Whilst we all recognise the pressures on local health authorities, it is clear that the entire consultation process by Oxfordshire CCG has been completely unacceptable. We must have an open and transparent conversation about the services needed in our towns and communities and this should include full public and stakeholder engagement at every stage.

Also in October, the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced £2.5 million allocation funding for 9 garden towns across England. After a successful bid, I am delighted an additional £295,000 of capacity funding has been allocated to support the delivery of Didcot Garden Town in 2017/18.This additional funding is specifically for ongoing work on place-making, community engagement and the development of an arts and culture strategy. The Government recognises the important contribution the project will have on its central ambition of delivering more homes and I am pleased by the support for Didcot’s ambitious, community-led plans for growth.

It is also worth noting that Public Health England and NHS England have now launched their Stay Well This Winter campaign, which helps the most vulnerable people prepare for winter and avoid having to visit hospital due to common winter illnesses. If you’re in one of the groups who are particularly susceptible – such as pensioners and pregnant women – or the parent of a young child, go and speak to your GP or pharmacist as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of avoiding flu this year. More people than ever before are eligible for that free vaccination this year, including more young children and everyone who works in care homes. To check if you or your loved ones are eligible, and for other tips on staying well this winter, head to:

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