Category Archives: News

Refugee Flag To Fly From Town Hall


The Refugee Nation flag will fly from Witney Town Hall to mark World Refugee Day.


Witney Town Council announced this week that the orange and black flag will be hoisted on the morning of Thursday the 20th of June as a gesture of solidarity with the refugee community across both the town and the world. The flying will also mark Refugee Week, which takes place across the globe from the 17th to the 21st of June.


Since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, six families have been resettled in Witney and West Oxfordshire under the Government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, with several others also making their home here after fleeing the war-torn country. The Council has said it is thought Witney Town Council will be one of the first local authorities in the country to fly the flag.


Deputy Mayor Joy Aitman, who is also Vice Chair of the Stronger Communities committee which passed the motion, said;

It is easy to forget the plight of 60 million refugees and internally-displaced people when you live in rural Oxfordshire. We want our local refugee families to know we are thinking of them and their friends and families who have not yet found a safe home.

I am a strong believer that if you have plenty, you make your table longer and you add more seats,” Cllr Aitman added.

The flag takes inspiration for its striking orange and black design from the similarly-coloured lifejackets, which have become synonymous with refugees crossing the Mediterranean since the ongoing humanitarian crisis began earlier this decade. It was created by Yara Said, a Syrian artist and refugee, who now lives in Amsterdam as a response to the participation of a refugee team in the Rio de Janiero Olympic Games in 2016.

Members of Witney Town Council Planning Committee display the flag of the Refugee Nations“Black and orange is a symbol of solidarity with all these brave souls that had to wear life-vests to cross the sea to look for safety in a new country”, the artist explained. “Since I had to wear one, I have a personal engagement with these life-vests, and these two colours.”

Town Councillor Liz Duncan, a member of Witney Refugee Action Group which has helped settle the six Syrian families in the town, said; “Many people in our town have worked hard to support the needs of refugees both here in Witney, and around the world, and we should be proud of the difference we have made. Their plight continues, and the flag reminds us never to stop caring or helping.”




Witney’s new Mayor vows to be “A Mayor for Everyone”

At the full Council meeting on May 15th among the business transacted was the election of Witney’s Mayor and Deputy Mayor; Councillor Duncan Enright will serve as Mayor and Councillor Joy Aitman as Deputy Mayor. His wife Sally- Ann will be his consort for the 2019/20 Mayoral year of office.


Cllr Duncan Enright, Mayor Of Witney


Cllrs Duncan Enright and Joy Aitman


Councillor Enright, who lives in and represents the East Ward of Witney, became a Town Councillor in 2011 and a member of West Oxfordshire District Council a year later and previously spent 4 years as an Oxfordshire County Councillor. He has stood for Parliament three times and has been a Labour candidate in European Elections.

Duncan has lived in Witney since 1996 having previously lived in Pontefract before moving to Oxfordshire in the early 80s as a physics student at Wadham College where he gained an MA (Hons) and a teaching qualification.

Following a career in scientific publishing, Duncan now runs his own specialist publishing firm in Witney providing expert consultancy and publishing books to improve cancer care.

Alongside this Councillor Enright spent ten years, mostly as vice – chair on the Board of the Oxfordshire Learning Disabilities Trust, providing health and social care services and has been a governor of several schools including; The Blake School, Springfield School and Wood Green which his children have attended. Duncan’s oldest daughter, Katy, had profound and multiple disabilities and attended Springfield School which he says was ‘exactly what she needed’.


During his time as a Town & District Councillor Duncan has focused on various local issues including campaigning to keep the Cogges Surgery open and the state of Witney’s roads.  As Mayor, Cllr Enright has his own mission statement to fulfil ;

“A Mayor for everyone, a council for the town and a town open to the world”

Cllr Enright is looking forward to a full programme of events and has vowed to represent Witney at as many as he can. He attended his first event, the anniversary concert of the Brize Norton Singers in The Corn Exchange just 2 days after becoming Mayor and followed this up by joining the Pride Picnic and the May Dancing on Church Green a few days later.


He says;

“It is an honour to serve as Mayor for Witney this year. Thank you for voting for me, and to my fellow councillors for placing their trust in me. My role is to bring the town together and celebrate all that is great about Witney, making sure we all look after each other. I also represent our town to the outside world, along with others, including to our twin towns whose partnership we value particularly at this time of international upheaval. We would I’m sure all like Witney to be a confident, welcoming, happy market town, in the Heart of the United Kingdom and Europe, no matter what the bigger politics brings.

I hope this year will be one where everyone can enjoy becoming involved with the Town Council. Please come along to our meetings, become a partner through town organisations, or bring friends or family to town events. Or invite me along to any get-togethers you have. It will be a pleasure to see you.”


Duncan has chosen three charities to support during his tenure.


The first of these is Friends of Springfield School, “championing our treasured special school in Witney”,  the second is Witney Woodland Volunteers and The Wychwood Project, “to help green our town and make the air cleaner “ and thirdly, Oxfordshire Mind, “who  provide support for people with mental health issues from their centre on Moorland Road”. 







Review of Parliamentary Polling Districts and Polling Places

Representation of the People Act 1983 – Section 18C
Review of Parliamentary Polling Districts and Polling Places

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that West Oxfordshire District Council is to review the Polling Districts and Polling Places within the District of West Oxfordshire, to include the location of polling stations. The Acting Returning Officer for the Parliamentary Constituency of Witney has been requested to make representations to include details of the location of existing polling stations together with any suggested alternatives. These representations will be published, following which any elector within the District will be able to make comments.
The Council would welcome any person or body with expertise in access for persons with any type of disability to comment on the Acting Returning Officer’s representations or on any other matter. Any comments should, if possible, give alternative places that may be used as polling stations.

Comments are also welcomed from persons registered as electors within the District of West Oxfordshire.

The Acting Returning Officer’s representations will be published on 24 May 2019 and will be available for inspection at the Council Offices, Woodgreen, Witney, Oxon OX28 1NB and also on the Council’s website at


Comments can be sent to the Council addressed to the Head of Democratic Services, West Oxfordshire District Council, Council Offices, Woodgreen, Witney, Oxon OX28 1NB or by email to
Any comments must be received by no later than Friday 13 September 2019
Giles Hughes
Head of the Paid Service
26 April 2019


Traffic sensitive streets consultation

Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council has a legal duty to coordinate road works across the county, including those undertaken by utility companies. As part of this duty we can designate certain streets as ‘traffic-sensitive’, which means on these roads we can better regulate the flow of traffic by managing when works happen. For example, no road works in the centre of Henley-on-Thames during the Regatta.

Our last full review of the county’s traffic-sensitive streets was undertaken over 10- years ago and this now needs to be updated to ensure that the designations we have set are fit for purpose and effective.


Have your say


At this half way point in the consultation I am writing to encourage further views to be submitted on the proposals. To have your say, please visit our consultation portal, read the documents supplied and complete the online form. The deadline for your response is Friday 14th June 2019.


If you have already responded, thank you. Please have your say, even if it is a “no comment”, as views from all stakeholders are greatly appreciated.

I have also attached the link to the consultation below.


The documents uploaded to the portal provide:

  • the criteria a street needs to meet for it to be designated as traffic-sensitive
  • a list of the streets that we propose should be designated as traffic-sensitive – highlighting any changes in status for specific streets
  • maps showing the location of the proposed traffic sensitive streets



CONSULTATION – Highworth Place (Witney) – Proposed Parking Restrictions

Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council

CONSULTATION – Highworth Place (Witney) – Proposed Parking Restrictions
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Oxfordshire County Council proposes to make the above order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and all other enabling powers. The Order will further amend the Oxfordshire County Council (Various Roads – West Oxfordshire) (Prohibition and Restriction of Waiting and Permitted Parking) Order 2012.
The effect of the order, for road safety and traffic management reasons is to extend the No Waiting at Any Time (double yellow lines) to cover the whole length of Highworth Place off The Crofts, Witney.
Documents giving more details of the proposals are available for public inspection online by visiting:
or in person at County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday; and at Witney Library, Welch Way, OX28 6JH, from 9am to 7pm on Monday, Wednesday to Friday, 9am to 1pm on Tuesday and 9am to 4.30 on Saturdays.
Objections to the proposals specifying the grounds on which they are made and any other representations, should be sent in writing quoting ref. JaC/12.6.410 to the address below no later than 5 July 2019. The County Council will consider any objections and representations received in response to this notice. They may be disseminated widely for these purposes and made available to the public.
Traffic Regulation Team for the Director for Infrastructure Operations, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, Oxford, OX1 1ND.
As a result of road safety concerns raised by Witney Town Council, it is proposed to extend the ‘No waiting at any time’ restrictions (double yellow lines) along both sides of Highworth Place for the full length. This will prevent pavement parking and parked vehicles limiting access and movement.
The County Council continues its responsibility to consider the provision of convenient and safe movement of motor vehicles and the provisions for waiting, and the proposed measures are aimed at ensuring that 1 danger is minimised whilst 2 facilitating the effective and safe passage of traffic.
Detailed documents accompany this document.
Date: 30 May 2019
Traffic and Road Safety Team,
for the Director for Infrastructure Delivery
Oxfordshire County Council
County Hall,
New Road
1 Section 1 (1) (a) Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
2Section 1 (1) (c) Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Advance Notice Road Closure – Burford Road

Posted on behalf of 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, Burford Road o/s nr 103


          REASON:            To facilitate water mains service pipe repair


DURATION:         Starting on 27 August 2019 

                                        The anticipated completion date is 29 August 2019 (date included)

                                        (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



75th Anniversary of the D Day Landings Royal British Legion Wreath Laying

This morning at 11am the Witney Branch of the Royal British Legion laid a wreath at Witney War Memorial on Church Green to mark the 75th Anniversary of the D Day Landings.



Splash Park Break In

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.


Witney Based Charities & Good Causes Share Former Mayor’s Charity Pot


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.


Annual Council Meeting – first meeting of the new 4 year term of Witney Town Council


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.


Advance Notice – resurfacing Oxford Hill, Newland

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council
LOCATION: Witney, B4022 Oxford Hill, Newland -between the junction with Jubilee Way to Cogges Hill Road
REASON: to facilitate micro resurfacing of the highway
DURATION: Starting on 19 August 2019
The anticipated completion date is 21 August 2019 (date included). Works will be carried out between the hours of 09:30 and 15:30
(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 Jubilee Way-A4095-B4022 and vice versa
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 Highways and Transport, Oxfordshire County Council on 0345 310 11 11.

Pavement Closure Corn Street






Notice of Temporary Traffic Order

Witney, Corn Street

Footway Closure and Parking Suspensions

Date of Order: 19 November 2018

Came into force: 28 November 2018

End date: 25 June 2019



This Order is being introduced because of building development works which was planned to be completed by 6 months – with work time from 07:30 hrs to 17:30 hrs including weekends.


But due to bad weather condition the work needs an extension of 4 weeks. Now the anticipated completion date of the work will be 25th June 2019.


The effect of the Order is to close temporarily the footway and suspend some parking in Corn Street, on the north side of the road east of Corn Bar for approximately 250 metres.


The bus stops will be relocated during the period of work time to the eastern end of the works.



Exemptions are included for emergency services and for the works and for pedestrian access to premises which are only accessible from the closed section of footpath.



Appropriate signs will be displayed to indicate when the measures are in force.



Traffic Regulations Team (Ref T5977/MR) for the Director for Infrastructure Delivery, County Hall, Oxford OX1 1ND. 0345 310 1111.



Town Hall Flag – Repatriation

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.

Please note that times are subject to change at short notice and we advise that you check again by visiting or call 01865 816345.