We have had a report that the cabinet that houses the controls for the Splash Park was broken into overnight. Because this is a free to use facility there is no attendant on duty over the Bank Holiday weekend, our works team have been down and checked that the controls are all set as they should be and things are working normally before we finish for the day. Hope the weather is good enough to make use of it.
Former Witney Town Mayor, Brenda Churchill has raised just over £2500 for her charity fund. In a break from tradition, rather than choosing to support one or two local charities, Brenda created a charity pot from which some of the town’s smaller charities and organisations were able to apply for small grants to benefit people in the town.
During her term of office, Mrs Churchill raised the money at various events including a quiz night with fish and chips, a charity fashion show hosted by M&Co, collections made at her carol service at St Mary’s Church and a photography exhibition by the talented members of Witney Photo Group. She also raised money from ticket sales to her Civic dinner.
Her charity fund was given a big boost by students of West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts who raised an incredible £1222.10p by making and selling cakes and charging a small fee for their Easter end of term performances (usually free to attend).
Brenda has expressed her delight with the amount raised for her fund and is thankful for the efforts of all those who helped raise money by putting on events or attending her own events.
Among those that have benefitted from the pot of money are:
Guideposts Trust (£390.00)
The Barrowers at Springfield School (£390.00)
Witney Radio (£390)
Witney Fire Brigade Heritage Trust (£390.00)
Madley Park Resident’s Association (390.00)
Witney Day Centre (£300.00)
Witney Parkrun (£179.00)
Volunteer Link-Up (£100.00)
Witney Community Fridge (£50.00)
Brenda Churchill formally handed over the Mayoral chain to Cllr Duncan Enright at the Town Council’s annual meeting on May 15th. Cllr Enright, as new Mayor, is expected to announce his chosen charities in the next week or so.
Here are some photos from the Annual Council meeting last night. This is the first meeting of the new 4 Year term for Witney Town Council. Cllrs Duncan Enright and Joy Aitman were elected as Mayor (Chairman) and Deputy Mayor respectively and Cllrs Rosa Bolger and Luci Asbourne as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council. Committee chairs were also selected.
A calendar of all future meetings is available on the town council’s website and a full press release will be issued shortly.
You will notice that the Union flag is flying at half mast today. This is to mark the Repatriation of Guardsman Mathew Talbot of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
The aircraft will land at approx 1.30pm. It is estimated that the cortege will pass the Memorial Garden at approximately 3.30pm, reaching the John Radcliffe Hospital approximately 4.30pm
Norton Way will be closed from approx. 2.30pm, whilst Station Road, Brize Norton, will be closed for approximately 10 minutes once the cortege leaves Britannia Gate at RAF Brize Norton.
There will be road closures in place at the Marston Ferry Road / Cherwell Drive Junction, Marston Road / Cherwell Drive Junction, and at the entrance to the John Radcliffe Hospital. Please expect severe delays in this area whilst the road closures are in operation.
‘With regret, the Mayor’s Big Band Evening in conjunction with the Oxfordshire Youth Music Service on Friday 10th May has been cancelled due to low ticket sales. We apologise for any inconvenience and will be contacting those who have purchased tickets for a full refund.’
part of the budget setting process undertaken by Witney Town Council entails
reviewing expenditure from previous years and calculating an expected cost for
the year ahead.
the cost of vandalism and associated anti-social behaviour is very difficult
since it fluctuates so much, year on year.
for the municipal year 2018/19, so far, record 21 incidents of damage or theft
costing in total, just over £4,000. Twelve of these occurred in play and sports
areas, four in bus shelters, three in our cemeteries and a further one each at
the Lake and Country Park and Lakeside allotments.
shelter has been targeted 3 times with panels being burned, resulting in the
need to replace both the Perspex and the community art work displayed. More recently, the inside of the shelter has
been subjected to graffiti. This has
added £480 to the cost of the original refurbishment of the shelter and
installation of the art work.
The implementation of risk management measures by Witney Town Council helps to reduce the impact and cost associated with vandalism to some extent, but repairing and replacing damaged equipment still takes money away from other areas where it could be usefully spent.
It is easy to
dismiss vandalism as a minor offence, but actually it has a big impact on
communities and distorts the perception of a cared for and safe environment for
both residents and visitors to the town.
A spokesperson for Witney Town Council said,
“Witney has a great
community spirit. However, there is a small but determined minority who
choose to ruin things for others. The council cannot afford to continue
endlessly replacing and repairing at the expense of the council taxpayer. We
would far rather spend money on enhancing our town’s existing facilities and
investing in future projects to meet the needs of our growing town. “
Although the Town Council operates a policy of regular inspection and is quick
to repair, remove or prevent access to damaged equipment, the repeated
destruction is disheartening when hardworking community groups within the town
are fundraising to provide new play areas where they live.
The chair of the Community Services Committee commented,
“At each Community Services Committee meeting we receive a number of reports and sadly the vandalism report is one that isn’t getting any shorter. That being said our works team are quick to respond and will always prioritise making areas safe to use. “
In the latest incident the dry stone wall separating Tower Hill Cemetery and Fieldmere Play area has an extensive hole where the wall has been kicked down over the Easter Weekend. This will cost around £1000 to repair. A good deal of this cost will be offset as the town council’s own works team are skilled in dry stone walling.
The Town Council reports all incidences of vandalism to the Police. If anyone has witnessed any acts of vandalism or has information about those responsible they are asked to contact Witney Town Council on 01993 704379 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800-555111. If you witness vandalism actually taking place please call 101 to report it.
The Town Clerk has sent the following letter on behalf of the Mayor of Witney to Madame Lilyane Lissignol, the Mayor of Le Touquet, expressing sympathy for the devastation of Notre Dame Cathedral
We heard the news of the fire in Notre Dame Cathedral with dismay. Though it is hard to imagine the depth of your sense of loss at the devastation of such an ancient and cherished part of your country’s heritage, the shock and sadness is shared by your friends in your twin town of Witney.
We hope the firefighter who was injured makes a speedy recovery and we are thankful that no lives were lost in the battle to save this historic landmark.
We extend our best wishes to you and your countrymen and hope that you are able to preserve and restore as much as possible of this magnificent building and its contents.
Witney Town Council is currently recruiting for the following position: MAINTENANCE FOREMAN [ASSISTING THE OPERATIONS & ESTATES OFFICER] Reporting to: Operations & Estates Officer Responsible for: Staff – Maintenance team Resources – Budget control within sphere of work Hours: 37 hours per week [Flexible as some early mornings/evenings and week-end work will be required, as well as being on a rota for emergency call outs] Grade/Salary: SCP 22-26 £26,317 to £29,636 Location: The Leys Depot Job Summary:To head up the Council’s Maintenance Team and co-ordinate planned and responsive facilities management, maintenance and repairs across a wide range of premises and services. There is also a requirement to manage services contracted out and other contracts.To be responsible for the duties associated with the burial of the dead and cremated remains within the Council’s Cemeteries.Working with the Operations and Estates Officer and the Public Halls Officer ensuring services, buildings and premises are compliant with relevant legislation and Council policy. In particular providing technical support on the on-going maintenance, security and safety of Council premises/facilities.The post holder will also be required to assist the Operations and Estates Officer in the delivery of projects, both minor and major. The post holder will work closely with technical teams and contractors. Full details on our Vacancies Page
Our yearly survey aims to find out what you think about the Town Council Services and to gather feedback from you about which planned projects you see as a priority. Once we have your feedback detailed plans can be put in place.
To take our survey you can visit Survey Monkey here
to Forces Support, Bereavement and
Veterans charity, visitors to Tower Hill cemetery are now able to take a
seat in the old section of the cemetery while visiting the Commonwealth War
Graves. The cemetery contains around a dozen war graves and the beautiful steel, handmade bench is sited in a section
which contains 4 marked graves and one unmarked. The generous offer of the
bench by Forces Support who have
recently moved their HQ into West Oxfordshire, was made during last year’s WWI centenary
year which saw the war graves covered in blankets of scarlet poppies.
very fitting that the bench which features a poppy and the words ‘Lest We
Forget’ overlooks the single unmarked war grave in the section, which is that
of American, John Christiansen. Christiansen, a
member of the RAF, died thousands of miles from his homeland in an accident at
Witney Aerodrome aged just 28 years old in September1918.
The Witney Gazette report of his funeral states that, ‘In the pretty little cemetery at Witney he
lies and his family can be assured that his last resting place will be
carefully tended by the inhabitants for whom he gave his life.’
One hundred years on the grave is the focus for the new
bench, along with a Centenary Oak tree sapling given by Oxfordshire County
Council, in partnership with The Woodland Trust. Snowdrops surround the bench and make it the
perfect stopping off point for those wishing to pay their respects.
of Witney Cllr Brenda Churchill, thanked Forces Support for their generous gift
‘It’s the perfect bench to have there
among the War Graves, a very thoughtful donation at an appropriate time by
Forces Support and I am sure that it will be appreciated by everyone that
visits. The location of the bench at that particular spot means that the town
of Witney continues to fulfil this most honourable of obligations to Corporal
Christiansen and his family’.