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Publication of Financial Year-End Documents for Public Inspection

We have today published our Accounts for the Year ended 31st March 2020 along with our Annual Governance and Accountability return for Public Inspection.

They are in the library section of our new digitalised document system on this link.

Link to finance documents in library section of Modern Gov digital documents

If you are not yet familiar with this new system it is worth following the link below to the main menu page and exploring all the links. You can find our minutes agendas and reports here too, along with detials of all our councillors and committees.

Link to Modern Gov menu page

 

 

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Witney Town Council Youth Services £30k Funding Launched

Witney Town Council is delighted to be launching its Youth Funding Grant on 1st August.
Following a period of consultation with key professionals, the town’s youth and more recently a residents’ satisfaction survey that focused on youth provision, the Town Council set aside £30,000 in its budget which will be made available in the year 2020-21.

This is an exciting opportunity for community and voluntary sector organisations, including existing organisations and those in the process of setting up.

The fund is open to organisations covering age ranges 0 – 18 years.

Cllr Luci Ashbourne, Leader of the Council who chaired the Youth Services Working Party commented;

Cuts to local Government have hit young people really hard, and while the voluntary sector have stepped up to meet that gap meaningfully, it is vital that they’re supported and not relied upon by local authorities. This fund is just one of the ways Witney Town Council is meeting that commitment” 

 Applications are open for one month from 1st August to 1st September 2020. Successful submissions will be projects that have a measurable impact on key issues affecting our young people and that promote positive futures. The Council will look favourably on those who create opportunities to be accessible to all young people, therefore applications demonstrating how they will extend their reach to young people who have not previously engaged with these opportunities are encouraged.

Applicants will need to meet criteria as set out in the application process and will also be required to report back on the success of the project for which funds have been granted. They will be notified of final decisions in mid-October.

Cllr Owen Collins, Chair of the Stronger Communities committee added;

There’s a huge number of young people in Witney, and they contribute massively to the energy and life of our town. However, they’ve often been at the sharp end of reduced services, so it’s vital that the provision exists to help and support them. I’m therefore delighted that this fund has been launched, to help build a more positive future for the next generation, that the whole of Witney will ultimately benefit from.

Youth Grant Funding Criteria

Witney Town Council Youth Fund Application Form

 

 

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Buttercross Clock

Some good news about the beleaguered Buttercross clock. Our clock mender has sent an update on the new mechanism we are waiting for. The specialist company that the part was ordered from was closed during lock down. It has now reopened and catching up on all its back orders.

As soon as the new mechanism arrives the clock can be repaired.

 

The Buttercross

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Play Area Safety Reminder

With a slight rise in Covid-19 infections reported in Oxfordshire we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of observing safety measures and capacity numbers as stated on our posters in the play parks.

Visitor safety is our biggest concern. Unlike commercial parks we do not have the resources to man all our play areas. We therefore rely on you to help ensure the play areas remain open by looking after yourselves and observing safety notices.

Copy of the poster with the text

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Dying tree to provide benches for cemetery

Witney Town Council is preparing to fell one of the town’s substantial Beech trees, within Tower Hill cemetery. It has recently shed a large bough, the second in two years, and upon examination it has become apparent that the tree is becoming dangerous and needs to be removed. The second bough fell over the weekend, blocking two paths and narrowly missing several headstones.
The splintered Beech in Tower Hill Cemetery
The splintered Beech in Tower Hill Cemetery
The Beech was of such a size that it will take a few days to properly clear away the fallen branch and fell the remainder of the tree.
Given the age and condition of many of the trees in the cemetery the Town Council has, for the last few years, undertaken significant replacement planting in order to preserve and maintain Tower Hill’s familiar leafy canopy. An additional Beech will be added to this Autumn’s planting schedule.
The splintered Beech in Tower Hill Cemetery
The Beech trees will be recognisable to most visitors. Several of them line the walk up the footpath from the entrance at the bottom of Tower Hill. In Folklore Beech is considered the Queen of British Trees, associated with ancient knowledge, and with its dense canopy and deep shade it is a valuable wildlife habitat, sustaining butterflies, birds and some of the more unusual shade loving plants.
Losing a tree is always such a pity but regretfully, in public access areas, the only option is to fell diseased and dying trees. This Beech is such a well-loved part of the landscape that the Town Council is hoping to use parts of the main trunk to create two natural style benches to place at the side of the footpath so that it still has a place where it has stood for so long.
A large bough has fallen
A large bough has fallen
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Play Areas – 3 Play areas reopened

Witney Town Council is pleased to announce that Burwell, Woodgreen and Quarry Road play areas have opened today and these will be followed by others as the week progresses.

The safety of everyone is paramount and we have been using the time since the recently issued Government guidance on reopening to carefully risk assess each play area and start to implement necessary changes required to make them safe for our residents and visitors.

To allow for safe play and social distancing there are restrictions on the total number of people that can be inside the fenced areas. Please take note of these on the posters you will find at each of the open play spaces when you arrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Play Areas Update

 

Unfortunately, we will not be reopening any of our playgrounds or outdoor gym equipment on Saturday 4 July.

The health and safety of our residents and visitors is our priority, and therefore we need time to consider the practical implications of the recently issued Government guidance on reopening.

It is however our intention to reopen as soon as practical and we would like to thank you for your understanding during these challenging times. Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for further updates.

 

 

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Reopening of Play Areas

 

child on play equipmentFollowing the recent Government announcement that play areas and outdoor gyms can reopen, Witney Town Council is working hard to reopen these and taking precautions to manage risk. We will communicate further information when we can reopen them. Please remember. They remain closed for now.

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Witney’s Big Green Plan

Graphic describing main features of the plan , 20 mph speed limit, widened footways, pedestrian and cycling zones, one way street with contraflow for cycles, school streets, pop-up cycling facilities

 At its extraordinary Council meeting on 8th June Witney Town Council put forward the following motion.

Witney Town Council notes that a consortium of councillors, residents and social enterprises in the town worked together to compose ‘Witney Reallocating Road Space Proposals’ – termed ‘Witney’s Big Green Plan’ – which was submitted to Oxfordshire County Council on 18 May. The measures were drafted in relation to travel in the town whilst public transport capacity is limited and social distancing is required due to COVID-19. They were informed by a wealth of detailed local knowledge, including from Windrush Bike Project.

We note that the main recommendations of Witney’s plan, which was tailored to the government’s proposals, match OCC’s stated priorities:

  • School Streets
  • 20 mph speed limits
  • Reallocation of road space in favour of pedestrians and cyclists

We express commitment to Witney’s Big Green Plan throughout and beyond the pandemic by

  • working with Witney’s Traffic Advisory Committee to implement the plan alongside representatives from all councils, transport providers and user groups
  • setting out the contents of the plan formally in a WTC Active Travel Infrastructure Development Plan
  • communicating with residents as we work together to improve safety, public health, air quality and sustainability.

Having moved to formalise ‘Witney’s Big Green Plan’, Witney Town Council will continue to feed local details and wish lists into work being prioritised by the County and District Councils and will look at how it can access the funding available to facilitate measures which reduce vehicle miles in the town and promote active travel choices by creating new walking and cycling spaces. The plans will capitalise on emergency measures already planned and implemented in response to the need to get the town ’open’ again following the Covid -19 lockdown.
It is hoped to find ways to extend these temporary measures to make some of these permanent.

Improving existing infrastructure and connectivity will benefit those with a rediscovered appreciation of walking and cycling as a safer, greener and cheaper option for getting around.  Active travel reduces both air pollution and congestion and therefore meets the  criteria within the Town Council’s Climate Emergency sustainability priorities.

Cllr Ruth Smith, chair of the Climate, Biodiversity and Planning committee, says,

Everyone I have corresponded with – at county, other Witney councillors, our MP – states the two parallel purposes of improving active travel now: responding to the COVID-19 crisis and starting to embed the changes we know we need regardless. As a town council, we have resolved to look for opportunities to make Witney greener and healthier at every turn. We know there are people who have to drive, so we will seek solutions that acknowledge that, whilst leading the call for safer and more connected all-age cycling and walking.”

 

To comment on the social distancing changes to the town centre, which can be adapted, please contact West Oxfordshire District Council at enquiries@westoxon.gov.uk

To have your say on how the government’s Reallocating Road Space Phase 2 funding should be spent in Witney, please fill in this Oxfordshire Country Council questionnaire: https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/OxfordshireActiveTransport

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Covid-19 SafeStart Restrictions, road change

TRAFFIC REGULATION NOTICE
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT, 1984

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council

TEMPORARY TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS

LOCATION: Road Closure: Witney, High Street
Parking Suspension: High Street between Witan Way and Corn Street

REASON: Emergency closure to facilitate public safety for Covid-19 SafeStart Restrictions, road change.

DURATION: Starting on 17 June 2020
The anticipated completion date is 25 June 2020 (date included). This is a 24 hour road closure.

(Traffic Regulation Notices cover a maximum of 5 consecutive days.)

ACCESS: Limited access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles, buses, deliveries, disabled drivers and for frontages within the closed section of road.

TRO: The relevant parts of the “Oxfordshire County Council (Various Roads – West Oxfordshire) (Prohibition and Restriction of Waiting and Permitted Parking) Order 2012” () as amended, will be temporarily suspended

SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: via A4095, Woodford Way, Welch Way and vice versa

Further information Highways 0345 310 1111 Map showing new restrictions and diversions as described in the order Map showing new restrictions and diversions as described in the order

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Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee Agenda

Climate Biodiversity Planning 16 June – Agenda

Planning Applications 16.06.20

All Council meetings are open to the public unless otherwise stated.  The Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee are scheduled to meet on Tuesday 16 June at 6pm and you can watch the meeting by following this link https://zoom.us/j/95539955337?pwd=N05Mcjh1cnpTVGM4Rm5OWEg3bndMdz09

Password: 308385

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

United Kingdom: +44 208 080 6591  or +44 208 080 6592  or +44 330 088 5830  or +44 131 460 1196  or +44 203 481 5237  or +44 203 481 5240

Webinar ID: 955 3995 5337

Password: 308385

Under the Council’s public participation policy if members of the public wishing to address the Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee on an agenda item you must contact the Town Clerk (townclerk@witney-tc.gov.uk) at least 24 hours before the meeting in order to arrange the necessary access to be able to speak at the meeting due to it being held virtually.

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Witney Town Council Meeting Virtual Meeting Link

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Jun 8, 2020 07:00 PM London
Topic: Witney Town Council – Full Council Meeting
 
Please click the link below to join the meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/93241622643?pwd=NzFBNGVlUVFYNnk5a1RGMkl3RGtJUT09
Password: 332881
Councillors and officers attending the Annual Council Meeting remotely
Agendas and Reports are here
Or iPhone one-tap :
United Kingdom: +442080806591,,93241622643#,,1#,332881# or +442080806592,,93241622643#,,1#,332881#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
United Kingdom: +44 208 080 6591 or +44 208 080 6592 or +44 330 088 5830 or +44 131 460 1196 or +44 203 481 5237 or +44 203 481 5240
Webinar ID: 932 4162 2643
Password: 332881
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/apGWlQfCf
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Advance Notice Road Closure – Cogges Hill Road and Stanton Harcourt Road

Map showing diversion round road closure in CoggesTemporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Temporary Road Closure and “No Waiting” restriction at – Stanton Harcourt Rd & Cogges Hill Rd
 
In the interests of public safety, it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close the road and impose a ‘No Waiting’ restriction as detailed above to facilitate carriageway resurfacing & patching works.
 
A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 24/08/2020.
The anticipated completion date is 28/08/2020 (full closure 24hrs each day).
 
A Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and restriction and will operate on the days shown above.
 
Please note that Notices for urgent works can last up to 5 consecutive days only.
 
Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works and liaison with the works supervisor.
 
A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and restriction and also the alternative route for traffic is attached.
 
Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Oxfordshire County Council on 0345 310 11 11.
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Advance Notice Road Closure – West End Witney

Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Temporary “No Waiting” restriction & Parking Suspension at – Witney, West End (between Roundabout at A4095/B4044 junction and Millers Mews)

In the interests of public safety, it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to impose a ‘No Waiting’ restriction and parking suspension as detailed above to facilitate drainage survey.

A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 08/06/2020 (at 20:00hrs).
The anticipated completion date is 10/06/2020 (at 06:00hrs).
2 nights closure and each night from 20:00hrs to 06:00hrs.

A Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and restriction and will operate on the days shown above.

Please note that Notices for urgent works can last up to 5 consecutive days only.

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works and liaison with the works supervisor.

A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and restriction and also the alternative route for traffic is attached.

Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Oxfordshire County Council on 0345 310 11 11.

T7870/MR

No photo description available.
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Social Distancing over the Bank Holiday Weekend

You can play your part in stopping the spread of #coronavirus.

If you’re planning to go out over the bank holiday weekend, make sure to keep 2 meters apart from others.

Public spaces may be busier this bank holiday weekend.

The safety of yourselves and others relies on people remembering to maintain 2 meters social distancing and if a place is too busy, please be prepared to make the necessary decision to leave and try somewhere else instead.

STAY ALERT, STAY SAFE…..Protect the NHS

Ladies on benches demonstrating correct social distancing

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Advance Notice Roadworks Burwell Drive/Farmhouse Meadow

OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 – Section 14(1)

Notice of Temporary Traffic Order
Witney – Burwell Drive and Farmhouse Meadow
Prohibition of Through Traffic and Waiting
Date of Order: 20 July 2020
Coming into force: 27 July 2020

This Order is being introduced because of carriageway resurfacing works which are anticipated to be completed 7 August 2020.

This will operate between 07:00 and 19:00hrs. The effect of the Order is to temporarily prohibit any vehicle proceeding or waiting in the whole length of Burwell Drive and Farmhouse Meadow.

Map showing 1st area of closure

Map showing 2nd area of closure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map showing 3rd area of closureAppropriate traffic signs will be displayed to indicate when the measures are in force.

Exemptions are included for emergency services and for the works and for access to premises which are only accessible from the closed sections of road.

The alternative route for traffic is via Ducklington Lane, Curbridge Road and vice versa.

This Order will remain in force for a maximum period of 18 months or until the works have been completed whichever is the sooner.

Traffic Regulations Team (Ref.T7826/AC) for the Director for Infrastructure Delivery, County Hall, Oxford OX1 1ND. 0345 310 1111.

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Town Council Urges Residents to Keep Faith with Lockdown Exit Strategy

Witney Town Council is encouraging people to keep faith with the lockdown exit strategy, continue to follow government guidance and not take part in public gatherings in the town’s parks.
The Government’s guidance is clear – public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited and social distancing should be maintained at all times. Signs are up in Witney’s parks, reminding people to respect social distancing rules and that play equipment is still off limits to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Luci Ashbourne says,

“We are living through unprecedented times, and I have been so proud of the community response in our town, with many people going above and beyond to help their neighbours. One of the most important ways we can keep each other safe is to respect and value social distancing at all times – it is the one most important, and frankly life-saving, acts of solidarity and care that we can carry out. I understand it is hard, but without it more lives will be unnecessarily lost. We will get through this, and all do our part while we stay apart

Cllr Ashbourne wished to pay particular tribute to the local neighbourhood policing team who have worked tirelessly patrolling the town and estates ensuring that public spaces were being used appropriately and social distancing observed.

As the government navigates a path out of lockdown it is vital that people continue to observe the guidelines. Flouting precautions that remain in place only makes a return to lockdown more likely.
Witney Town Council is also making preparations for the lifting of restrictions while following government guidance on opening facilities and services to the public and putting safe working practices in place to protect staff and the public/service users.

Although the skate park, splash park and play equipment remain closed for the time being, some play areas are being refurbished with the installation of new equipment and safety checks taking place in anticipation of reopening as soon as permitted.

Picture of The Leys with St Mary's Church in the background
Picture of The Leys with St Mary’s Church in the background

Premier Tennis is opening courts and the Coffee Shed with additional precautions in place to protect users and while the Corn Exchange remains closed – facilities within are being improved and upgraded.
It is in everyone’s interest to get through this and back to a semblance of normality as soon as possible.

Things are moving forward and we are keen to keep that momentum, but it does rely on the patience and full co-operation of members of the public in sticking to the rules and keeping things on track.

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Witney Town Council makes history as it holds its first remote Annual Council Meeting and Election of the New Mayor

In a historic first for the town, local councillors, officers, and members of the public stayed at home and gathered around mobile devices to join Witney Town Council for its first ever ‘virtual’ Annual Council meeting. They tuned in via a remote conferencing app to witness the election of Councillor Joy Aitman as the new Mayor of Witney on 13th May 2020.
The Covid-19 outbreak has brought about a temporary change in legislation permitting local councils to meet remotely, so that they are able to continue to take decisions that allow them to function and provide continuity in their delivery of services.

Councillors and officers attending the Annual Council Meeting remotely

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Councillors and officers attending the Annual Council Meeting remotely

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Councillors and officers attending the Annual Council Meeting remotely
Councillors casting votes at the Annual Council meeting held remotely for the first time

 

 

 

 

Witney Town Council was well prepared for this, having, over the last two years, updated its business continuity and resilience contingency plans. This has included investing in cloud data storage, a web-based telephony system and digitalising its democratic processes that leaves it well placed to work and hold meetings remotely when necessary.

Councillor Aitman has no intention of serving as a virtual Mayor though. She has a straightforward, hands on approach to the role and is looking forward to the end of the pandemic so that she can fulfil her position in the town with the enthusiasm for which she is renowned. Having served as Deputy Mayor last year she has a good idea of what is in store. She is passionate about the youth of Witney, having taught at both primary and secondary level both here and in London.

She said,
“I am thrilled to be elected as Mayor and look forward to representing Witney. I hope to focus on rebuilding the spirit of the town when our current situation changes. I am sure we will work to celebrate the reopening of Witney.
I am enjoying working with the Youth Council and supporting them in putting on events for the town. They are an ambitious group and have many exciting ideas.
On the Corn Exchange Working Party we have been working to create a heart for our community. I am excited that we will soon be seeing some fabulous changes.
I hope to spend my year focused on our young people. They are the future of our town”

Councillor Joy Aitman, Mayor of Witney

Councillor Aitman joined Witney Town Council in May 2019 and represents East Ward.
Serving as her deputy this year will be Cllr Liz Duncan, while the new Leader of the Council is Councillor Luci Ashbourne and the Deputy Leader is Cllr Vicky Gwatkin.

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Witney Town Council holds its first virtual Annual Council Meeting and Election of the New Mayor

A recent temporary change in legislation brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak has allowed local councils to meet remotely for the first time. This enables them to continue to take decisions that allow them to function and provide continuity in their delivery of services.

As a result, we are making history in the town with our first Virtual Annual Town Council Meeting at which our new Mayor will be elected.

To watch you will need the following details

Topic: Annual Council Meeting of Witney Town Council

Time: May 13, 2020 19:00  London

Join the Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 952 8358 7756

Password: 4DRMsr

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