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News & News Archive

Updated Pilates session days & times

on Fri, 25/08/2017 - 9:52am

The weekly session days & times for Pilates at Griffin Hall, Sparsholt have been updated (August 2017) as follows:-

  • Tuesday:
    • 9.30 - 10.30am Pilates for everyone
  • Thursday:
    • 9.15 - 10.15am Pilates for everyone
  • Friday:
    • 9.00 - 10.00am Pilates for everyone
    • 10.15 - 11.15am Pilates for everyone

Remember that the first 'taster' session is free. Subsequent sessions are £9 each or a 10% discount if you attend more than one class per week.

Numbers at each session are limited, so if you are interested in joining, please call or email Rebecca D:-

  • Click <here> to email Rebecca or call her on:

Further information on fitness classes can be found in the menu above: Groups » Fitness Classes (or click <here>).

New leisure centre for the Wantage and Grove area

on Fri, 25/08/2017 - 8:39am

To help meet the growing need for leisure facilities in the Wantage and Grove area, the Vale is planning to build a new leisure centre at Mably Way.  Their aim is for the new centre to open in 2020. 

The new facility will play an important part of the future of Wantage and Grove as the area adapts to the meet the needs of a growing population, with new homes and facilities expected at Monks Farm, Crab Hill and the Grove Airfield site.

The ambition is to deliver a new leisure centre that will address the growing demand for enhanced sport and leisure facilities, increasing participation in sport and physical activity for the whole community.

Your chance to find out about plans for the new leisure centre

If you wish to find out more about this project please come along one of our public drop-in sessions: 

  • Thursday 7 September at Wantage Leisure Centre, OX12 9BY – 8am to 8pm
  • Thursday 21 September at Old Mill Hall, Grove, OX12 7LB – 3pm to 8pm
  • An inclusive feedback session for people with disabilities will also take place at Wantage Leisure Centre on Monday 18 September at 6.30pm. 

At these events you’ll be able to find out about our plans for the new centre and talk to members of the project team.  You will also have the opportunity to complete a survey to let us know what you think. 

Anyone not able to attend these sessions will be able to view the plans and complete the survey online from 7 September by visiting

Keep up to date

We’ll post regular updates on this page and via the council’s Facebook, Twitter and e-newsletter.  If you’d like to receive email updates as soon as things are announced please sign up for our mailing list by emailing [email protected]

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

Sweep away the threat of fire - have your chimney swept!

on Thu, 24/08/2017 - 8:57am

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service is urging householders to ensure have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep.

Chris Barber, Station Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service said: “The end of the summer is the perfect time to have your chimney swept ready so it’s ready for your first fire of the winter season.

“To keep you and your family safe from fire during the winter months make sure you have your chimney swept regularly, depending on what fuel you burn, before the colder months set in and you begin to use your fire again.”

Get it swept

Real fires create a warm and homely atmosphere but bring with them extra risks. A poorly maintained chimney, hearth or fireplace can increase the risk of fire breaking out in your home.

By taking a few extra precautions you can enjoy the glow of a real fire and make sure you and your family stay safe.

If you have a chimney - get it swept - is the message from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. A chimney can become dangerous and a potential source of a far more serious fire.

Tips for open fires

  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year – more frequently if you burn wood
  • Always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
  • Make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed
  • Only burn suitable fuels and don’t overload your fire place
  • Never place hot ashes in a wheelie bin
  • Fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly
  • Make a fire escape plan
  • Fit and carbon monoxide alarm and test it weekly.

Visit for advice on smoke alarms, escape plans and chimney fire safety.

How often should you have your chimney swept?


Once a year


Once a year

Bituminous coal

Twice a year


Up to four times a year

Smokeless coals

At least once a year

Source - Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service


Other top winter fire safety tips

  • Never air or dry clothing near open fires or portable heaters.
  • Do not leave candles unattended, make sure they are in a proper holder and remember to extinguish them before you leave a room or go to bed.
  • Never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if the blanket is switched off.
  • Unplug electric blankets before you get into bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use and check regularly for wear and tear.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and test it weekly.
  • Have a fire escape plan.

Local chimney sweeps

Here's a Google search result for local chimney sweeps, including your local sweep Andy Hartle (ASH Chimney Sweeps, marked as 'A' on the map), who is based near Childrey:-

Or visit The National Association of Chimney Sweeps website or ring 01785 811732 to find a local registered chimney sweep. Go to the National Association of Chimney Engineers website or call 01526 322555 to get in touch with a local registered structural chimney engineer.

From a page on the OCC website; for further details and to see the original <here>.

Burglaries in Uffington - be alert

on Tue, 22/08/2017 - 9:21pm

Last night (21/8/17), there were break-ins / burglaries in the Craven Common and Upper Common Lane areas of Uffington.

Police have been informed.

Last week, some residents in Baulking were woken in the early hours by the sound of someone walking about on the gravel drive, inside the gates of the driveway. It is understood that nothing was stolen, and the person left, once aware that the householder was up.

Please be extra vigilant, especially with a lot of people around during the bank holiday weekend.  In emergencies, dial 999, or call Thames Valley Police on 101.

With thanks to Simon Jenkins of Uffington.

Tom Brown’s School Museum August Newsletter

on Fri, 18/08/2017 - 2:19pm

Neighbourhood Police Update - August 2017

on Thu, 17/08/2017 - 10:39am

Here is the latest Faringdon neighbourhood update from PS Kev HICKMAN, PC Robert MARIS, PC Mick GOODENOUGH, PCSO Maralyn PACK, PCSO Kerry DAVIS, PCSO Andy GUNN and PCSO Esme BROWN.
‘You said we did’/ Priorities
Hare coursing: There have been increasing reports of hare coursing in the area. We have created a problem solving profile for hare coursing to ensure incidents are analysed to target our patrols effectively. Key to this is accurate and timely recording of incidents and we welcome reports form the community and would look to resource each incident in a timely manner to increase our chances of catching offenders. Rural crime remains a priority for our teams and we want to ensure the good work conducted by the rural crime team continues.
Anti-social behaviour (ASB): There have been increased reports of criminal damage and related ASB in Tuckers Park, Faringdon. We have increased patrols in this area and are working with the council to discuss the opportunities of installing CCTV and other crime prevention and detection methods to ensure this facility can be used by the community without being subjected to ASB.
We have seen a reduced amount of reports this month compared to last month regarding ASB at Buscot Weir. Our team will continue to provide reassurance patrols to the area particularly during times when the weather is good and the area is busier. There has been a report of dog mess being posted into a post box on Blandy Avenue, Southmoor. This behaviour is not only very disgusting but the offender leads themselves open to prosecution. We would ask the community in the area to be vigilant and report any ASB or criminal damage.
Offenders brought to justice
John Young of HMP Guys Marsh has been reported for summons in relation to the burglary (non-dwelling) at Budgens Supermarket, Marlborough Street Faringdon. On 12 February 2017 two offenders forced entry to the front door and stole alcohol before leaving in a car.
What the neighbourhood team have been doing
  • We are pleased to report that the Folly Fest event in Faringdon Town was crime and disorder free. Faringdon neighbourhood team were supported by the special constabulary for the annual music festival in the town.
  • Our team attended the Thames Valley Police open day at Sulhamstead helping West Berks and West Oxon LPAs resource a rural crime stall offering crime prevention advice, demonstrating CRE marking (property marking) and of course allowing children to climb all over our vehicles!
  • We have also played an 11 aside football match with representatives from the Faringdon youth teams. We are thankful for the support of Faringdon Town FC, Faringdon Town Council and Tesco for providing the facilities, kit and much needed pizza for after the game.
Future events/meetings
Our team will be attending the White Horse Show in Uffington offering crime prevention advice and signing people up to Thames Valley Alert on 27th and 28th August 2017.

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:-

Avoid becoming a victim of voice phishing (also called vishing or telephone fraud)?

on Wed, 16/08/2017 - 12:18pm

These are unsolicited phone calls from fraudsters which encourage you to give out your personal details, such as your card, PIN or card reader codes. The fraudsters can pretend to be your bank, the police, or any other official company.

Sometimes you may get a 'warm up' call where no information is discussed. This is to set the scene for a later call where you may be asked for information.

How to avoid becoming a victim of voice phishing:-

  • Never give out your Mobile banking App Activation codes and Passcode
  • Never give your full Online Banking PIN or full Online Banking password to anyone, even a caller claiming to be from your bank or the police
  • Never give out your card reader codes to anyone
  • If you get a call asking you for this information, end the call immediately
  • If you receive a suspicious or unexpected call, always verify the caller using an independently checked phone number such as a contact number from our website
  • If you receive a request to download software to connect to your computer, and you have not initiated the conversation with the company, decline to do so

The Little Book of Big Scams (PDF opens in new window)

Parish Council Minutes - Thursday, 21st June 2017

on Wed, 09/08/2017 - 11:28am

Ed Vaizey MP - Parish News, August 2017

on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 7:50pm

Regarding the A34, as many of you will know, I initially brought the issue to Parliament by securing a Westminster Hall debate last October. This resulted in a commitment from the Roads Minister to commission a safety review. This was followed in November by the Chancellor confirming £50 million for the area as part of the 2015-20 Road Investment Strategy.
Highways England presented a first draft of the safety review in April this year. While statistically this proved that the A34 was no more dangerous than other roads, it did acknowledge the particular issues on the stretch by East Ilsley. It also recognised the huge economic impact caused by hold ups and collisions, given the increasing importance of the road as a major north-south transport link.
Addtionally, I am pleased that last month Communities Secretary Sajid Javid pledged more than £9 million of Government funding to a major upgrade to the A34. Two new south-facing slip roads at the Lodge Hill Interchange will help end years of congestion and pave the way for up to 1,700 new homes in Abingdon. Oxfordshire MPs will now meet with Highways England in the coming weeks on completion of the safety review and I look forward to working with stakeholders to implement the results.
Last month, I also began a campaign to urge the government to retain our membership of Euratom after we leave the European Union. Euratom is a sixty year old treaty that allows the UK to trade freely with its European partners in the nuclear industry. It’s vital for our local area, as hundreds of millions of pounds, and many thousands of jobs, are centred around Culham, the home of nuclear fusion research.
Since the start of the campaign, this issue has grown in prominence. I am pleased that the case for remaining in Euratom is increasingly gaining support from across parties and from prominent voices outside of Westminster too. Retaining membership will best serve the national interest – as has been unequivocally stated by representatives of the UK nuclear industry – and I hope that ministers are listening to the genuine concerns being raised.
In other news, I am pleased to hear that Oxfordshire County Council placed third in the country for tackling anti-LGBT bullying in schools in Stonewall’s ‘Education Equality Index 2017’. The council has developed nationally recognised strategies to tackle anti-LGBT bullying and has a huge array of online resources and guidance for schools and young people. Stonewall – Britain’s foremost lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity – paid tribute to the progress made in our local area and I am proud that our schools are at the forefront of addressing this issue.

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


Friends of the Ridgeway – the Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize 2017

on Fri, 04/08/2017 - 2:11pm

Further information can be obtained from:

  • Anthony Burdall, 2 Fernham Road, Faringdon Oxfordshire SN7 7JY  
  • Tel : 01367 240713  
  • Mob : 0784135 2938  
  • Email : [email protected]

Please see the links below for further information and an entry form that can be downloaded:

More on the Friends of the Ridgeway website:-