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Have A Safe And Fun Bonfire Night

on Fri, 03/11/2017 - 10:57am

Having your own fireworks party or celebrating with family and friends can be great fun. But by far the safest way to enjoy these seasonal activities is to attend a professionally organised event.

Please think of others and remember that fireworks should not be let off between 11pm and 7am (this is extended to midnight on Bonfire night). And that setting off a firework in a public place is an offence.
Always follow the fireworks code:

  1. Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable
  2. Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time
  3. Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary
  4. Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back
  5. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  6. Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  7. Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them
  8. Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  9. Never light fireworks near pets or livestock
  10. Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  11. Never have a bonfire within 100m of a thatched property
  12. Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving 

You should also remember:

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114, EN 14035 or EN 15947
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
  • Always supervise children around fireworks
  • Never give sparklers to children under five
  • Don’t forget your pets! Keep them safe indoors and make sure they have a comfortable, quiet space to relax in.

From a TVP 'Thames Valley Alert' email received 2/11/17.

Vote for Your Favourite Local Wantage Independent Businesses

on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 5:59pm

We're celebrating our independent businesses again with the Local Business Awards.

Voting is open (click) until November 29th and the winners will be announced on Dickensian Evening.

If you have a Loyalty Card you can also be entered into the draw to win a £50 local shopping voucher!

There are five categories:

  • Exceptional Customer Service - Shops
  • Exceptional Customer Service - Non Retail
  • Pub
  • Restaurant
  • Best Kept Shop Front

Show your support and vote for your favourites:-

Phishing - How To Protect Yourself

on Tue, 31/10/2017 - 8:25pm

Safety Tips - Keeping Your Home Secure This Autumn

on Tue, 31/10/2017 - 8:21pm

As the darker evenings approach, with trick-or-treaters preparing for Halloween, Thames Valley Police are offering tips for a safe and fun Halloween and are reminding residents to take basic home security measure to keep their home safe as the clocks go back on Sunday (29/10).

Detective Chief Superintendent, Richard List, said: “While Thames Valley generally has low crime rates, a house in darkness indicates that there’s no one at home and it could be an invitation to a burglar. There are a lot of simple measures you can do, which don’t have to be expensive, such as using a timer so that a light automatically comes on while you are out.

“Making sure your doors and windows are locked is a deterrent for an intruder. Many burglaries are opportunistic crimes, where the offender has identified an open window or insecure door and has easily let themselves into your home.”

Last year saw a 34% increase in residential burglaries in winter compared to summer (summer months include June 2016, July 2016, August 2016 and winter months include November 2016, December 2016 and January 2017). 

“Many people only think about home security after they have been burgled. We want to encourage people to review this before they fall victim to crime. Similarly, valuables left on view on car seats provide an ideal opportunity for a smash and grab.”

Top tips to reduce the chance of your house being targeted: 

  • Invest in a timer light switch and vary the time it comes on each day to make it look more natural. It can also be used with a radio or TV to give the impression that someone’s home
  • Consider installing a fake/simulated TV device which lights up a room like a real TV
  • Keep valuables out of sight and mark them with your house number and postcode using a UV pen, or consider buying a forensic property marking system
  • Register your valuables via immobilise and keep an inventory list. It’s free and takes just a few minutes
  • If you have jewellery at home, photograph it for insurance purpose and consider storing it in a suitable safe
  • Lock your doors and windows, if you have a UPVC door make sure you have double locked it by lifting the handle and locking it with the key. Make sure the key is removed from the lock and out of reach
  • If you’re going away, remember not to post details of your holiday on social networking sites, cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries and if you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set before you leave
  • Look out for your neighbours’ houses, especially when they’re not at home and call the police if you see anything suspicious on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

From a TVP 'Thames Valley Alert' email received 27/10/17.

Apply online for primary school places

on Thu, 26/10/2017 - 7:04pm

Applications for children due to start primary school in September 2018 can now be made online.

Families with children born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 are urged to visit the primary school admissions pages (click) on the county council’s website to find out how to apply for places for next year.

Stating three preferences

Parents are strongly advised to state three preferences when applying and include their catchment school as one of these – even if it is their third preference. This does not in any way affect families’ chances of securing a place at their first-choice school.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Hilary Hibbert-Biles said: “The council has a strong record of being able to offer the vast majority of families a place at their first-choice primary school – with 94 per cent receiving the news they wanted to hear last year.

“It’s very important to apply on time, as this ensures your application is considered alongside all others submitted before the deadline – increasing the chances we will be able to offer you a place at a school listed among your preferences.”

She added: “Many parents understandably have a very clear view about which school they would like their child to attend, but our strong advice is to state three preferences on your application form, including your catchment school – even if it is your third preference. All the information about how to apply can be found on our website (click).”

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 15 January 2018.

Postal applications

The council still accepts postal applications but recommends families apply online where possible, as this helps speed up the applications process. It also means families receive an automatic response confirming their application has been received and can be quickly notified if further information is needed.

Those who apply online will also receive an email on allocation day, 16 April 2018, informing them of the outcome of their application.

Postal application forms are available from all Oxfordshire schools and from reception at County Hall in Oxford.

Further advice and information booklets and are available on the council’s website

School transport

To find out if you are eligible for free home-to-school transport visit:-

'Don't bin your batteries' call following waste and recycling truck fires

on Thu, 26/10/2017 - 6:57pm

Residents in the Vale of White Horse have been urged not to put batteries or other items which could cause a fire in their waste or recycling wheelie bin.

Last week two small fires started in rubbish while it was being transported in waste and recycling trucks.  Both were potentially very dangerous incidents to the crews, other road users and pedestrians.  They also caused delays to collections and could have resulted in significant damage.

The first incident took place while a waste truck was travelling on the A417 in Wantage.  The crew were escorted to a layby by two fire engines where they emptied part of the load so the fire service could extinguish the fire.

The second fire was detected in a recycling load collected in Radley. The fire service attended as crews tipped the load at Biffa’s depot in Culham.  A gas canister was found in the load meaning that, had the fire spread, it could have exploded causing significant damage or injury.

Biffa Waste fire picThe fires were caused by items residents had put in their bins, most likely to have been standard lithium-ion batteries – like the ones found in most mobile phones.

Batteries should be put in a clear plastic bag and left on top of the green recycling bin, while small electrical items (that may also contain batteries), can be put out in a carrier bag alongside the grey refuse bin for separate collection.

Cllr Charlotte Dickson, Cabinet Member for Waste and Recycling at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “If you need to throw out electrical equipment or batteries don’t put them in either of your wheelie bins.  Please check on our websites or give Biffa a call on 03000 610610 if you are unsure what to do.”

From a news item on the Vale's website; see the original <here>.

Childrey Stores - new seating area

on Mon, 23/10/2017 - 7:09pm


Sparsholt Parish Council has a vacancy for a Responsible Financial Officer

on Tue, 17/10/2017 - 5:48pm

Sparsholt Parish Council has a vacancy for a Responsible Financial Officer (RFO).

Reporting to the Chairman, the RFO will work closely alongside the Clerk to the council.

The main duties comprise maintaining the cash book and accounting records, providing reports and financial support to the Council, managing the annual budget process, managing the annual return and audit, and monitoring adherence to the Council’s financial regulations. The RFO should be able to deal with the payment of salaries and compliance with pensions regulator.

Experience of bookkeeping is desirable and a good working knowledge of Excel spreadsheets is essential. Good interpersonal and communication skills are necessary, since regular communication with the Clerk, the Chair and Council members are required. Accuracy and attention to detail are also essential attributes.

Paid hours are 3 hours 20 minutes per month. Salary will be dependent on experience, but will be in the region of £9.50 - £10.00 per hour. 

For further information and a job description please contact Mrs Deborah Lewis-Pryde, Clerk to Sparsholt Parish Council, on 01235 751923, or by email on [email protected] 

Deadline for applications Monday 13th November 2017.


Neighbourhood Police Update - October 2017

on Mon, 16/10/2017 - 1:32pm

Here is the latest Faringdon neighbourhood update from PC 6862 Robert Maris.


Hare coursing: This continues to be a priority for the Faringdon Neighbourhood Team and we have done significant work with stakeholders in the rural community to improve early reporting and target hardening. This has seen significant ditches installed in Pusey Estate and Gates around the Buckland area. On 3rd October 2017 four men were arrested suspected of coursing in the Pusey area. Where arrests are not possible we will also make use of anti-social driving legislation allowing us to mark the driver and vehicle as having driven anti-socially and/or off road. If they or the vehicle were to do it again then the vehicle can be seized.

Vehicle crime: We unfortunately report that there has been another theft from motor vehicle at Ashdown House this month. After a number of months of no beauty spot thefts we will be working hard to pursue any lines of enquiry and identify trends to ensure we do not see another series of these.

Appeal for witnesses:

  • For the second time in three months someone has scrawled racist graffiti on the Welcome to Shrivenham sign in Longcot Road. We would appreciate anyone with any information about this crime reporting it to us.
  • The team have obtained a court warrant to seize an Alsatian dog believed to have bitten a person causing injury on the Ridgeway. We would encourage anyone else who may have been affected by this dog to come forward as we look to ensure it cannot do any more harm to our vulnerable communities.
  • There was a suspected arson to a hay stack near Winter Lane, West Hanney. The incident occurred around 5pm on 7th October 2017 and two young males were seen leaving the area of the hay stacks around that time. 

If you have any information about any of the above please call 101 and report it.

Offenders brought to justice

Emma Jackson aged 40 of Bromsgrove has been charged with one count of murder after a five year old Tyler Warmington was found dead at the address. We are still very grateful for the support of the community during this investigation. Jackson will be attending Oxford Crown Court on 13/10/2017.

Gary Curtis, Edward Checkley and Nathan Ingram were all sentenced to significant prison sentences after burglaries involving Shotguns at Bampton and Radcot. Ingram and Checkley were sentenced to 8 ½ year whilst Curtis received 7 1/2. These offences were very distressing for the victims and we welcome significant sentences.

Theft of lead

We have recently seen an increase in thefts of lead from roofs in South Oxfordshire and Vale of the White Horse. Offenders take the lead because of the rising value of scrap metal. Recently the primary school in Hanney was a target. Please consider the following if you have a lead roof (mainly schools and churches): 

  • Security marking – marking the lead will make the crime less attractive and make it harder for the offenders to sell on. If you use a DNA marking solution i.e. Smart Water it can be traced back to the owner if recovered. 
  • Keep gates locked and restrict vehicle access. 
  • Maximise surveillance levels i.e. cutting back tall trees. 
  • Encourage members of the local community to keep an eye on the building and report anything suspicious. 
  • Remove things that might help thieves get access to the roof, like water butts, bins and tall trees. 
  • Conduct regular checks of the roof so the theft is detected at the earliest possible time. 
  • Apply anti-climb paint to drain pipes and roof guttering to restrict access to roofing (warning signs must be displayed when using the paint and below a height of 2m) 
  • Install CCTV. 


Police will be carrying out patrols on Halloween to make sure that people who are trick-or-treating are doing so in a friendly manner and not causing a nuisance. For some people, this time of the year can be a bother as your evenings are interrupted with people knocking on your doors for treats. Most of these children or teenagers are just getting involved in the Halloween celebrations and will be friendly. If you feel unsafe:

  • Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spyhole, look out of a window and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.
  • Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.
  • If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween. If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance, you could also help by downloading the poster.
  • You can download a ‘no trick or treat’ poster from our website using the following link (right hand side of the page):

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:-