Category Archives: News

Car Free Day – 22 September -Cyclestreets route planner map


Car Free Day Poster
Car Free Day Poster










If you have not discovered this  yet it’s a fantastic journey planner for a bike journey. You pop in your start and finish point and it will give you routes you can take that are either the fastest, the quietest or a balance of the two.
It will add all these extra snippets of data too:

Journey time: 41 minutes
Distance: 4¾ miles
Calories: 107 kcal [?]
CO2 avoided: 1.41 kg [?]
Quietness: Very hostile
Route has very busy sections
Traffic lights: 1

Cyclestreets app screenshot
Cyclestreets app screenshot





also available as an app


Car Free Day – 22 September -Cycle Racks

Car free day Poster
Car Free Day Poster


You will all be familiar with existing cycle racks around town, but we do have some new ones and some of the older ones have been replaced. You will also find some of the faded cycle lane markings have been repainted to make them clearer.
Locations of new racks:
• Bridge at the Mill St end
• Lower High St Shops, by bus stop to Oxford
• Corner of Welch Way by the flower bed
• Deer Park shops
• Fettiplace Rd shops, round the side
• Windrush Place, by the bus stop into Witney
• Church Green (near the Post Box)
• Mill Walk (around the corner from where Hacketts was)
• The Leys (along the avenue of trees nearer the church end)
• Market Square (Replacement rack to mend the broken one adjacent to where Bills was)
Cllr Ruth Smith said
There has been demand for bike racks at these locations for some time and a few had run into snags and stalled in the past. This COVID-recovery active travel funding is a very welcome opportunity to make shopping and leisure easier for individuals and families, with cycle parking where it was noticeably lacking.

Car Free Day – 22 September -Local Walks

Car Free Day poster








If you are thinking of getting around on foot on Tuesday, we have put together a  list of local walks, some of which you might know and others that may be new to you:

  • Lake and Country Park – access through Station Lane Avenue 2 or off Langel common behind the Leisure Centre and through the hay meadow.
  • Visit the Tiny Forest at Eton Close on Cogges – it’s still very little but growing well and a great place to spot some butterflies and creepy crawlies
  • Cogges or Madley into the town centre across Langel Common
  • West End to Marriotts across the field and Windrush and up Puck Lane
  • Alongside the Windrush from the back of the Mill past the Bathing Place and up to Dry Lane in Crawley
  • Deer Park Wood
  • Burwell to The Leys across the traffic lights on Ducklington Lane and along the lane beside Lidl.
  • This one sounds a bit odd, but consider a walk through our beautiful Victorian Cemetery. Here is a  guide to help you discover some of the most interesting historical and  unusual features there and another to help identify some of the wildlife.

  • Why not walk to a play area that’s not your nearest one and see what is there. We have 10 parks that you can visit:
  1. Eton Close, Cogges
  2. Oxlease, Cogges
  3. The Leys, Station Lane
  4. King George V field Newland
  5. Burwell Recreation Ground, Burwell Farm
  6. Moorland Avenue, off Welch Way
  7. Quarry Road, West End
  8. Wood Green, Woodstock Road
  9. Fieldmere Close, Windrush Valley (Smiths)
  10. Ralegh Crescent, Deer Park

If you know of other walks that you enjoy why not share them under the hashtag #CarFreeDayWitney




Car Free Day Tuesday September 22 2020

Car free day poster
Car Free Day poster
Witney Town Council is once again supporting a Car Free day on September 22nd. We are encouraging people to leave their car at home (if possible) and discover some of the benefits of being car free.
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.
With the COVID-19 regulations in mind we would urge you to maintain social distancing while exercising and remember that some people will be using cars so make sure you follow road safety rules where there is traffic.
We will be posting some ideas and information to make leaving the car at home easy and fun!

Advance Notice of Road Closure – Church View Rd – 6 October

Map showing extent of Closures in Church View Rd
Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council
LOCATION: Witney, Church View Road
REASON: to facilitate carriageway resurfacing and patching
DURATION: Starting on 6 October 2020
The anticipated completion date is 9 October 2020(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
The “No Waiting” restriction means that wherever there are in place yellow “No Waiting” cones, you will not be able to park vehicles on the highway.
SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: via A4095 Curbridge Road-A415
Ducklington Lane-Ducklington Lane-Southlawn and vice versa
Highways enquiries 0345 310 1111

Halls, Cemeteries and Allotments Committee 14 September 2020 – Virtual Meeting Link

To watch the meeting at 6pm please

Click Here to Join
Passcode: 137354

Or iPhone one-tap:

United Kingdom: +443300885830,,98850950325# or +441314601196,,98850950325#

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
United Kingdom: +44 330 088 5830 or +44 131 460 1196 or +44 203 481 5237 or +44 203 481 5240 or +44 203 901 7895 or +44 208 080 6591 or +44 208 080 6592
Webinar ID: 988 5095 0325
Participant ID: 488419
Passcode: 137354



Children’s Christmas Card Competition

Every year we ask Witney’s children to get creative and design an official Christmas Card for the Mayor and this year is no different.

The Council is calling on all the children of primary school age living in Witney to help out. Your mission is to create a fabulous Christmas themed design. Below you can see some of the previous entries.

Previous entry Father Christmas



Entries can be submitted via email or post and we have provided a template for you to use. Please return your entries to: or Witney Town Council, Town Hall, Witney OX28 6AG


Witney Town Council Christmas card Competition template 2020

Previous entry Christmas Tree


We must receive all entries by 5pm on the 16th November. There will be prizes for 1st 2nd and 3rd.
Don’t forget to pop your name, age, school and contact details on the form when you return it.



The overall winning design will be made into the official card used by the Mayor and Town Council.

Previous entry - The Buttercross


First Look at new Corn Exchange bar

A soft opening at Friday evening’s Witney Jazz Club night, allowed a small audience to experience the newly installed bar and coffee shop in the Corn Exchange.

A warm welcome from the halls staff







Cllr Mel Jones, Chair of the Halls, Cemeteries and Allotments committee said,

“I am thrilled that we are now able to offer a bar in the Corn Exchange. This is a great new advantage for the hall and those wanting to use it. Well done to all that worked so hard to get it up and running.” 

The seating area in the bar







Named 1863 after the year the Corn Exchange was built, the bar was installed during the shut down of the public hall for 6 months during the Covid -19 pandemic and was a welcome addition to the facilities when the doors reopened. The bar is currently only available to customers attending events and other hall users but will be open to all as soon as possible.

Cllrs Owen Collins and Luci Ashbourne







Cllr Owen Collins, Chair of the Corn Exchange Working Party, who was at the Jazz night added,

“I’m absolutely delighted that Bar 1863 is now up and running – not only does it look beautiful aesthetically, but it will add so much to the Corn Exchange for hirers and visitors alike. The bar made its debut during a typically-terrific evening from Witney Jazz, and I’m pleased to say that like the musicians, it struck exactly the right note, and went down a storm.

The installation of the new bar and coffee shop is just the first step on the journey to a complete revitalisation of the Corn Exchange, turning this iconic building back into a thriving, vibrant arts centre for the whole community, and beyond!”

The Piano




New Cycle racks installed

Witney has welcomed several new cycle racks across the town, installed by Oxfordshire County Council as part of its commitment to upgrading cycling infrastructure across the County, and funded from the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Grant. Working with the Town Council, the locations of the racks were identified to help cyclists access more areas for retail, leisure and work purposes during the Covid-19 pandemic. The investment takes account increased cycling and walking during the pandemic, particularly during lockdown, when motorised vehicle traffic was greatly reduced, and builds on the desire to encourage healthier travel choices.
Cllr Ruth Smith, Chair of the Town Council’s Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee said,
“I am delighted to see that the new cycle racks we applied for are beginning to appear across Witney in various spots. Some are near popular shopping areas and others in outlying residential areas near shops and bus stops. The toast rack style installations all hold between 2 and 6 cycles and will make shopping in town and connected journeys by bus, for longer commutes, so much easier. Please use them and enjoy!
Town council staff put hours into scoping out positions for these next racks, and working with OCC to get them finalised. Well done everyone. Thank you.”
Almost 300,000 bicycles are stolen every year in England and Wales alone and relatively few are reunited with their owners, so Witney Town Council recommends that all cycles parked in cycle racks are securely locked to deter thieves.
Cycle rack at Deer Park Shops
New cycle rack at Deer Park shops
New cycle rack at corner of Welch Way nr Nat West
New cycle rack at corner of Welch Way nr Nat West
New cycle rack, High Street opposite Methodist Church
New cycle rack, High Street opposite Methodist Church
New cycle rack, approaching Bridge Street
New cycle rack, approaching Bridge Street
New cycle rack behind Wesley Walk
New cycle rack behind Wesley Walk
New cycle rack at the bus stop outside Windrush Place
New cycle rack at the bus stop outside Windrush Place




Temporary Emergency Road Closure at Witney, Church Green / Market Square

Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Temporary Emergency Road Closure at Witney, Church Green / Market Square
Oxfordshire County Council has been informed of a temporary emergency road closure on the Church Green / Market Square whilst pavement licensing to aid social distancing and provide support to businesses affected by COVID 19 restrictions works are carried out for public safety reasons).
A temporary Emergency Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 19 August 2020 up to and including 09 September 2020
A single Temporary Emergency Notice can last for 21 consecutive days maximum.
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.
Further information regarding the emergency works may be obtained by contacting Oliver Murray of West Oxfordshire District Council on 01993 861000
Google Map view showing closure area on the west side of Church Green

Witney Feast Cancelled


Witney Feast will not take place this year. The difficult decision to cancel was taken by Witney Town Council after much deliberation at an Extraordinary Full Council meeting last night.


Working closely with the organisers, Bob Wilson Funfairs Ltd, in consultation with the Showmen’s Guild; and taking advice from other regulatory bodies, concerns remain about the impact the fair could have on the town, given the anticipated size of the crowd and the risk that poses to public health.


The disappointing news follows in the wake of the recent cancellation of St Giles fair in Oxford by the London & Home Counties Section of the Showmen’s Guild and Oxford City Council.


It is frustrating that in such an unsettling and unpredictable time, a well-loved and historic local fair such as The Feast is to be added to the list of abandoned and postponed events this year, but protecting large numbers of people in open spaces is challenging and complex, even when there is no pandemic to take into account.


Witney Town Council would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts and contributions to trying to find a way to allow the Feast to go ahead and looks forward to working together next year and a successful outcome for 2021.


Cllr Luci Ashbourne, Leader of the Council remarked,


“In these difficult and unprecedented times we are forced to make difficult and unprecedented decisions. As upsetting as it is to have to postpone this year’s Feast, the council were not confident that the risks to the people of Witney during this pandemic could be mitigated, and the safety of the public is paramount. We look forward to the return of our cherished fair when this dreadful situation has passed, which will surely be even more of a celebratory occasion than usual.”


Witney Town Council marks 75th Anniversary of VJ Day with Wreath Laying

Traditionally, the Town Council works with the Witney Branch of the Royal British Legion, local cadet forces and other organisations to plan for anniversary events such as  VE, VJ and Remembrance Day. In this extraordinary year we are having to plan for very different acts of commemoration that take account of government guidance regarding the current COVID -19 situation.


Earlier this year, our local Royal British Legion Branch wrote to inform the Town Council that they would not lay wreaths, as they normally do, for events such as VJ day. This has been a very difficult decision for them to take and they are hugely disappointed.


Given the situation and the vulnerability of some of their veteran members, their decision is sensible and the Council completely understands and respect the limitations they have this year.


We are also mindful of the practicalities and difficulty of managing numbers and protecting attendees; members of the public, invited guests, volunteers and our veterans while gatherings of more than 30 people are not permitted by current regulations and guidance covering mass gatherings.


VE day, which was marked during lockdown, was a remote event with people encouraged to celebrate and commemorate at home.


While it is still not currently possible to invite people to an organised event that might potentially draw a crowd, the importance of these commemorations, albeit on a more personal level is recognised and acknowledged. For this reason the three public war memorials in Witney are accessible every day of the year with those on the Leys and Church Green, fully accessible to those with disabilities.


This enables and encourages people to visit a memorial at any time for quiet contemplation and to perform their own personal and private acts of Remembrance, as was the case on VJ Day on Saturday.

The Mayor, Town Clerk and Platoon Commander Russell Crawford veteran






A simple low-key wreath laying was undertaken by the Mayor of Witney accompanied by the Town Clerk. Cllr Joy Aitman placed a wreath on behalf of the town. Other tributes had been placed by earlier visitors to the memorial and members of the public continued to attend throughout the day. Among these was veteran, Platoon Commander Russell Crawford (DLI, formerly OBLI) who had come to mark his respects at the memorial.




Extra Ordinary Council Meeting 18 August 2020 Agenda

Extra Ordinary Council 18 August 2020 Agenda 

Please click on the link below which will enable you to watch the meeting on Tuesday 18th August 2020 at 7pm via Zoom.

Passcode 583556

If you would like to speak on any agenda item listed please contact the Town Clerk ( 24 hours prior to the meeting so the necessary arrangements can be made.


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