Category Archives: News

WWI Centenary Poppy Souvenirs On Sale

The Centenary Commemoration book and bookmarks were launched this morning alongside the unveiling of the poppy blankets so cleverly created by the West Witney WI. Between them, the books and blankets perfectly capture the tremendous community spirit and effort that went into this event last year. You can buy a pictorial souvenir book for £7.50 and a bookmark with original knitted poppy for £2 from the Town Hall from today, while stocks last.  Profits will be shared between Forces Charities and Royal British Legion.

A photograph of the blankets with guests including the Mayor and Leader of the Council
From left to right District Cllr Jane Doughty: Cllr Rosa Bolger, Leader of the Town Council: Sandra Fenton of West Witney WI: Cllr Duncan Enright, Mayor of Witney: Cllr Thomas Ashby of Witney Town Council


Centenary Remembrance Commemoration Souvenirs on sale Fri 1 Nov

Last year Witney Town Council was overwhelmed by the community response to the Centenary Remembrance commemorations, not least because of the 30,000 hand-made poppies we received. The final recommendation of the former WWI Working Party was to use these poppies in some way to raise funds for charity and create picture book/bookmark souvenirs of the events that were held.

These projects have been completed along with the creation of two specially decorated Witney blankets which have been beautifully created by West Witney Women’s Institute. You can see one of these in the foyer of the Corn Exchange. The books will be sold for £7.50 and the bookmarks will £2.00. Both will be available from the Town Hall with proceeds after costs going to the charities. They will be available from Friday 1st November.


Corn Exchange Panto Jack and the Beanstalk


We are very excited to be bringing this to the Corn Exchange. A matinee performance of Jack and The Beanstalk on Sunday 28th December at 1.30 pm. An excellent first panto for little ones it lasts under an hour. Tickets are £8 no matter how big or small you are and they are on sale now from the Corn Exchange.


Nominations Open For Citizens of The Year

The search is on to find Witney’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year. This prestigious annual award goes to someone who has given their time and energy to benefit their local community usually (but not always) on a voluntary basis.

Judges will be looking in particular for selfless service to a voluntary body or the community or someone whose service is acknowledged as making a real difference to the everyday lives of others. There is no age barrier, but nominees must live within Witney.


Friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues have the chance to nominate a special person for the prestigious title.
The number of awards available is strictly limited and therefore, however valuable their service, not everyone can receive recognition. It is important to realise that an award will not automatically follow a submission.


Witney Town Council is looking for people who have given exemplary service, which may be paid or unpaid, who make a real difference to Witney.


Residents who go that extra mile to help others will be recognised in the annual awards, presented by the Mayor at the Civic Reception in March next year.


Anyone thinking about nominating a deserving individual as Witney’s Citizen of the Year or for any of the other awards has until 31st December 2019 to submit their details.


If you know someone who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in order to achieve something of great benefit to you or your community contact the Town Hall for a nomination form or download a form.           


Witney’s only female WWI casualty to be honoured on Memorial

The name of Witney’s only female WWI casualty will be added to the town’s memorial following a request from local historian Jeff Clements.

Although Lucy Harris was listed in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records, she was buried in Cogges Churchyard with no headstone and was not recorded on either the town centre War Memorial or the plaque inside Cogges church.

As custodians of the War Memorial on Church Green, Witney Town Council considered the request and agreed to have her name added in the single remaining space there.

Lucy enlisted in the WRAF in October 1918 but sadly died of influenza in London just 2 weeks later.

 Cllr Vicky Gwatkin, Chair of the Halls and Green Spaces Committee, that considered the request commented;

 Adding Lucy’s name to Witney’s War memorial allows us to pay tribute to her as an individual and serves as a poignant reminder to current and future generations of the efforts and sacrifices made by women from communities just like ours during periods of conflict.  It is a privilege to be able to support Jeff’s work and our thanks to him and Councillor Mel Jones for bringing Lucy Harris to our attention.

 Lucy’s name is scheduled to be added in March next year.

Mr Clements contacted the Town Council this week to say that he is delighted that Lucy would finally get the recognition she deserves.


Silver and Gold Awards for Witney In Bloom

Witney scooped two awards in the Thames and Chilterns regional In Bloom Awards this year. The Town retained its Silver Status while The Leys Recreation Park was awarded Gold. The Leys was entered as a separate category; Parks and Open Spaces, for the first time, this year.

The Schools Challenge run by Witney Town Council every year forms part of the town’s entry and this year was no exception, with colourful wheelbarrows on display outside the Corn Exchange throughout the summer.

The awards, run by Britain in Bloom in association with The RHS, are intended to encourage local communities to improve and care for their local environment through gardening and conservation projects and to promote civic pride.

Photo of Town Council staff and councillors  at The Leys with certificates
From L-R Tracy Minns, In Bloom lead officer; Jess Bailey, contract supervisor;
John Hickman, Operations & Estates officer; Cllr Joy Aitman, Deputy Mayor.

Judges made their decisions in July this year but the results were announced at the end of September.

The Leys was up against five other parks and was the only Gold winner.

Judges said, “What a delight it was to see a play area and all its facilities being used and enjoyed by all ages. It really felt that the community love being there and that staff really enjoy looking after the park.”

The marks awarded for the criteria scored us 26 out of 30 and were as follows:

Community 8
Maintenance 9
Environment 9

The judges commented on other aspects that they really liked and these included facilities for a wide range of activities and hobbies across age groups, the splash play which was being well used on such a hot day, good tree maintenance, the new war memorial and the bee friendly planting.

They also commented on areas for development and gave constructive advice on continuing to replace old bins with recycling bins, considering accessible picnic benches when these need replacement and some bulb or wild flower planting around tree bases to add colour.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Joy Aitman who attended the awards ceremony with Cllr. Melanie Jones and Jess Bailey, Witney Town Council’s grounds contract supervisor; said;

I was filled with pride collecting our certificates on behalf of the town. It was a project that brought lots of groups of people together to share their skills, expertise and community spirit. Next year we can build on this and look forward to hearing from interested parties who would like to be involved. “

The awards reflect the hard work and efforts of staff, community volunteers and of all those involved in the care and maintenance of the planting around the town and the facilities at the Leys.


Advanced Notice – Road Closure – Bampton Rd



map showing road closure

Road Closure Map in pdf format

On behalf of Oxfordshire County Council, advance warning Road Closure.
Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council

A request has been received from Thames Water for a temporary road closure to apply to a section of Bampton Road whilst water main connection works are carried out.

A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closures and will operate from the 4 November 2019 up to and including the 7 November 2019.This is a 24 hour closure.

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 also the alternative routes for traffic is attached.

Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Sophie Carter at Thames Water on 02035 777 745 or email

T7123 / RAG


Badly Missed Shelter is Replaced

A Witney bus shelter that was damaged when it was hit by a bus has been replaced.

After assessing damage to the shelter beneath the Town Hall on Market Square, it was deemed to be beyond repair.

The new installation has a Victorian design that complements other shelters nearby, although an exact match could not be sourced. The shelter has a seat with spaces at each end for buggies or wheelchairs.


The £5k cost is being met by money from the bus company’s insurance with a small top up from Witney Town Council to ensure that a large enough shelter, suitably in keeping with others nearby, could be procured. Cllr Luci Ashbourne, Chair of the Stronger Communities committee commented;

“This brand new bus stop is both a handsome and a vital addition to Witney’s street furniture, and one which I’m sure will be appreciated and well-used by residents as autumn and winter arrive!”

 It didn’t take long for Cllr Ashbourne’s words to prove extremely accurate as wet weather set in hours after the shelter was installed.

The replacement shelter being put to good use in the rain


Advance Notice Road Closure Bampton Road

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


LOCATION: Witney, Bampton, Bampton Road

REASON: To facilitate installation of a new water mains connection

DURATION: Starting on 4 November 2019
The anticipated completion date is 7 November 2019 (date included). This is a 24 hour per day closure.
(Traffic Regulation Notices cover a maximum of 5 consecutive days.)

ACCESS: Limited access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for frontages within the closed section of road, subject to the progress of the works

SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: via Station Road-Bampton Road-Bourton Road-Station Road-Alvescot Road-Upavon Way-Monahan Way-Brize Norton Road-Burford Road-A4095 and vice versa


Advance Notice – Footpath Closure between Mill St & West End

Oxfordshire County Council



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



               LOCATION:         Witney, Footpath between Mill St & West end


Zoomed in map showing area closed between Mill Street and Miller's Mews
The closed section


Map showing diversion route round closed section
The diversion route is shown in pale blue


                        REASON:            To investigate a large hole between footpath and footbridge

 DURATION:         Starting on 1st October 2019

                              The anticipated completion date is 5th October 2019

                             (full closure 24hrs each day)

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

                   ACCESS:             Limited access will be maintained for emergency services and for frontages within the closure, subject to the progress of the works.

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


Car Free Day Sunday 22nd September

Witney Town Council Welcomes Car Free Day As A Breath Of Fresh Air

Having declared a Climate Emergency in June, Witney Town Council is supporting a Car Free day on Sunday September 22nd. We are encouraging people to leave their car at home (if possible) and discover some of the benefits of being car free.

There is a growing awareness that climate change, air pollution, and poor health due to lack of exercise mean that we need to shift away from car use and towards walking, cycling and public transport.

Whether you’re looking to save money, reduce your energy use, or simply enjoy the health and social benefits of being car free, you are invited to participate in Car Free Day.

There are no road closures planned for this year but there will be some cycling activities and a Health Walk taking place on the day and activities throughout  the week before to highlight the best reasons for leaving your car at home.

We will be asking people to share running, walking, mobility scooter and cycling routes they have used to come into town along with their experiences of their car free journey, good or bad.

Car Free Day is a great opportunity for individuals and communities to try something new. What do you see and hear when walking or cycling that you might miss when you are in your car?

It’s not easy for everyone to be without a car that day. If your job requires that you visit several different sites in your working day that might be impractical, but just reducing the number of cars on the road has a big impact on air quality. So, if Sunday is your big shop day and you need a car, why not consider sharing with a friend or neighbour and shopping together? It’s a great chance to have a catch up and socialise.

If you are choosing alternative transport on that day Witney Town Council encourages you to post about your journey or share how you are taking part on social media using the hashtag #CarFreeWitney

Leader of The Council, Cllr Rosa Bolger, commented

“Car Free Day is about supporting and encouraging us all to explore our town by finding an alternative way to get around. We’re very lucky in Witney to have so many wonderful paths and cycle routes.  If you can, why not join us by hopping on your bike, taking the bus or walking in- let us know what you and your family choose and best of all how you’ve contributed to tackling our climate emergency one step (or pedal) at a time.”

We have a great line up of events. Starting bright and early at Witney’s Park Run event. The Park Runners have teamed up with Windrush Bike Project this Saturday and have issued this invitation:

As a precursor to Car Free Day on Sunday 22nd September, we would encourage those of you who are able, to walk or cycle to Witney parkrun on Saturday 21st September.

We are also pleased to be joined on that day by Windrush Bike Project who will be offering free bike checks, maps of local cycling routes and general cycling advice. 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

Having declared a Climate Emergency in June, Witney Town Council is supporting this year’s Car Free Day on Sunday September 22nd. There is a growing awareness that climate change, air pollution, and poor health due to lack of exercise mean that we need to shift away from car use and towards walking, cycling and public transport.

If you bring your bike along to Witney parkrun on Saturday 21st or decide to ditch the car on Sunday 22nd, Witney Town Council encourages you to share your experiences on social media using the hashtag #CarFreeWitney.

Windrush Bike Project are also helping out on Sunday with some guided rides into town and Lawrence and Judith have organised guided walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There are refreshments in the Corn Exchange between 10.30am and 1pm, so every reason to come into town and ‘Just for One Day, Choose Another Way.’


Heritage Open Day – Write Up Your Street event CANCELLED

CANCELLED- We are sorry to announce that this event has been cancelled and apologise for any disappointment-  CANCELLED


Are you a local history buff? We are just launching our @heritageopenday event for 2019. The theme is #ThisIsPeoplePower. Who are the movers & shakers of times gone by commemorated by having streets in Witney named after them? We are asking residents to find out…/
We will mount a family friendly FREE exhibition of findings in the Corn Exchange. Where do you live? Fancy researching your house or business building? Did someone notable live there? We’ll include that too.
Lots of hits and tips on how to get started on our website now.