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:
- Eton Close, Cogges
- Oxlease, Cogges
- The Leys, Station Lane
- King George V field Newland
- Burwell Recreation Ground, Burwell Farm
- Moorland Avenue, off Welch Way
- Quarry Road, West End
- Wood Green, Woodstock Road
- Fieldmere Close, Windrush Valley (Smiths)
- Ralegh Crescent, Deer Park
If you know of other walks that you enjoy why not share them under the hashtag #CarFreeDayWitney
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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.
Entries can be submitted via email or post and we have provided a template for you to use. Please return your entries to:
email@example.com or Witney Town Council, Town Hall, Witney OX28 6AG
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!”
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When: Sep 1, 2020 06:00 PM London
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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.”
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.
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.
Please click on the link below which will enable you to watch the meeting on Tuesday 18th August 2020 at 7pm via Zoom.
If you would like to speak on any agenda item listed please contact the Town Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) 24 hours prior to the meeting so the necessary arrangements can be made.
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.
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.
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.”