Have your say on West Oxfordshire GP services

Below is an appeal / survey from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group for information / sharing.


Witney town centre

Help us plan GP services in West Oxfordshire – now and for the future.

Come to our public events where you can discuss in detail with doctors and NHS managers how GP and primary care services in your local area could be organised. We want to know what works well at your GP practice at the moment and how services could work better in the face of increased demand, recruitment difficulties and budget pressures.

If you are interested in helping to shape the future of GP services in Oxfordshire please come to:

  • The Corn Exchange, Market Square, Witney OX2 6AB on Wednesday 1 November 2017 from 6.30pm to 8pm

  • Carterton Town Hall , 19 Alvescot Road, Carterton OX18 3JL on Wednesday 8 November 2017 from 6.30pm to 8pm

Both these events will include a short presentation followed by round table discussions.

To book your place and get more information please email cscsu.talkinghealth@nhs.net or call 01865 334638.

You can also have your say online via Talking Health


Yellow Fish – Environmental Awareness scheme

Yellow Fish is an enjoyable, simple and low cost activity with
the clear message ‘Only rain down the drain!’. It raises
awareness of water pollution issues and enables you to
improve your local environment. It promotes positive
engagement with local communities and provides
opportunities to gain media interest.

Yellow Fish is a national Environment Agency project that
builds on an international approach to protecting the
environment. It involves stenciling a Yellow Fish symbol
beside drains to remind people that any waste entering them may go directly to the nearest stream, river, lake, canal, beach or bathing water, causing pollution and killing wildlife.


Road and surface water drains are designed to carry only
rainwater, usually to the nearest watercourse. Allowing engine
oil, cooking oil, paints, chemical wastes, detergents and even
litter to enter these drains causes pollution to enter thereceiving watercourse. These pollutions can range from the
creation of an eyesore to the killing of fish and wildlife.
Pollution is also caused by misconnections. Misconnected
properties let the foul waste from toilets, washing machines,
dishwashers, showers, baths and sinks to enter surface water
drains. Instead these wastes must go to a sewage treatment
works through the foul sewer.


30 Hours – Important Information for Parents

Don’t miss out – Working parents of 3 & 4 year olds

 shutterstock_78308257Working parents of 3 & 4 year old children may be entitled to 30 hours free childcare per week. This includes those who are self-employed and some parents on zero hours contracts.

To find out if you are eligible visit https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.

To join those already benefiting apply by the beginning of December for a January start.

The Family Information Service has information about childcare providers in your area. Visit


Visit the 30 hours webpage

Information supplied by
Children, Education and Families Directorate
Oxfordshire County Council
County Hall
New Road
Oxford, OX1 1ND


Witney Horticultural Society – an In Bloom Community Flower Bed

Witney Horticultural Society have planted up the round formal bed at the end of Langdale Gate this year and have very kindly sent in photos of how it all came together.

They planted the bed as part of a 70th Anniversary celebration of the Witney Horticultural Society. Here is how it all came together. If your group would like to plant aup this or another bed please contact Tracy Minns. tracy.minns@witney-tc.gov.uk


April 2017 . Members of the Witney Horticultural Society potting up 860 plug plants for the 70th anniversary flower bed


with warmth, water and care they grew


in early June the bed was marked out


860 tiny plants took a while to establish


it soon grew in
August 2017. Despite the weather, most of the plants survived. Thank you Witney Town Council for allowing us to have this flower bed

Advance Notice – Road Works Witney – DATE CHANGES!

Cogges Hill Road
Church Green
Witan Way
Station Lane




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




Witney – Cogges Hill Road (02/10/17)  Site 12 – Cogges Hill Road

CHANGED TO 09/11/17

Witney – Church Green (03/10/17) Site 13 – Church Green

CHANGED TO 08/11/17

Witney – Witan Way (12/11/17) Site 3 – Witan Way 


Witney – Station Lane (14/11/17) Site 11 – Station Lane,

CHANGED TO 11/11/17 

  REASON:            to facilitate Micro Asphalt Resurfacing

 DURATION:         Each Closure will last for up to 5 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

Owen Jenkins, Director for Infrastructure Delivery


 DATE: 18/09/2017

In the interests of public safety it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close the road as detailed above in order to facilitate Micro Asphalt Resurfacing.

A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from the above start dates, and each closure will last for up to 5 days.

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 Tim Belton / Mo Clark of Oxfordshire County Council on 0345 310 11 11.




Armistice Day Poppy Mile

For a town with a wool trade heritage it seems the most natural thing in the world that residents have taken to the idea of a ‘poppy mile’ to commemorate the end of WWI on Armistice Day, 2018, with such enthusiasm.


The idea to line the route that the young men of Witney would have taken as they marched off to war, with a display of knitted, crocheted and otherwise handmade poppies, has captured the imagination of local groups and individuals.

A Witney embroidery group will be stitching poppies and our local Slimming World group are being encouraged to knit in their spare time instead of pick!

Many people are already making poppies and spreading the word through family and friends.

In fact it isn’t just our town that has been caught up by the idea. We have already had several offers of help to supply handmade poppies from neighbouring towns and villages including interest from Chipping Norton’s answer to Banksy, their anonymous Yarn Bomber and a group of knitters from Filkins, who were one of the first to offer to help.

The rapid message spread via social media has made us all wonder just how far the message will migrate and which handmade poppy will travel the furthest to be part of the display.

In an interesting twist, the gauntlet (or should that be mitten?) has been thrown down to Councillors, challenging them to learn to knit or crochet a poppy of their own. West Witney WI and the Forget- Me -Knot knitting group at Richmond Villages are on the case and keen to do the teaching.  As a result coffee morning ‘Knit & Natter’ groups will be set up so councillors and anyone else who wants to learn can come along and share a cuppa and produce a poppy. As soon as we have set dates for these we will publicise them.

We want it to be a fittingly spectacular display.  The ‘mile’ is actually around a quarter of a mile and will start at the Corn Exchange where the soldiers would have gathered and continue across the Market Square, up Church Green and  through the churchyard at St Mary’s and on to The Leys which was the route to the Railway Station.

Chairman of the WWI working party, Cllr Chris Holliday said;

We will be unveiling a new memorial on the Leys to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of the Great War.  November 11th 2018 will be a great opportunity for the people of Witney to remember the ordinary people, leading ordinary lives, who marched this route as they went to war, to serve King and Country, many of whom did not return. Their sacrifice gave us the freedoms we all enjoy today.

The Witney community have always been very supportive of our Remembrance services. Next year will be particularly special and the folk of Witney like a challenge. There are already groups within the town who are busy setting up Knit & Natter groups and we are expecting poppies in their thousands.  It’s all about people…..”


We have crochet and knitting patterns online at this link http://www.witney-tc.gov.uk/…/up…/2017/09/Poppy-patterns.pdf but feel free to use your own if you have a favourite. You can call in to the Town Hall or Corn Exchange and pick up a paper pattern if you do not have access to the internet. Remember poppies can also be made from paper and other materials. We can use the non-waterproof ones inside a number of venues that will be part of the commemorations next year.

If anyone can help with donating some camouflage netting that would also be very welcome.



Mental Health Awareness Day Tuesday 10th October

Celebrating World Mental Health Day








A Mental Health Awareness Day on Tuesday 10th October is being organised by mental health campaigner, Paul Hicks in conjunction with Witney Town Council as one of a series of Community Engagement events that the Town Council supports.

Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership and other Mental Health charities and associated organisations will have stands that highlight the work they do and offer information to visitors.

The day is also an opportunity for businesses to learn how they can support employees who may be one of the 1 in 4 workers affected by conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress every year. In fact mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year. Looking after the mental health of employees makes business sense: tackling stigma can make a real difference to sickness absence rates, staff wellbeing and productivity, and retention.

Also part of the day is a Photo Booth and a promise wall which will be used to raise awareness via social media.

Cllr Enright Promises to ‘Exercise more regularly’
Cllr Chirgwin promises to ‘Do what makes me happy’
Cllr Eaglestone promises to ‘Live in the now and enjoy each moment’
Cllr Holliday promises to ‘Meet new people’



Cllr King promises to ‘Learn something new’


Entertainment in the form of music and poetry performances, organised by Derek West, will add to the busy timetable of activities in the main hall. Upstairs in the gallery room, breakout sessions include Yoga and presentations on hypno-psychotherapy and a demonstration workshop about song writing will take place. A quiet room is available for those who wish to have uninterrupted conversations.

Oxfordshire Mind will present a session it’s #OxMindWMHD camapaign. This is based around gathering contributions for the #OxMindWMHD book and joining in with the “Olympic Style” relay on WMHD. One of the stops will be this Witney Corn Exchange event, along with local workplaces and services. The Book will then travel to County Hall to be accepted by Cllr Hudspeth at 4:30pm on WMHD.

Paul Hicks, organiser said;

I have lived experience of Anxiety and Depression and I’m very passionate about mental health awareness and campaigning. With the support of Witney Town Council, we are able to host this event and raise awareness of this important issue and provide an opportunity for those working on mental health issues to talk about their work in the community.”

Witney Mayor, Councillor Chris Woodward added;

I’m delighted to offer my support to this event. It is a very emotive subject that everyone should feel they can talk about and seek the assistance they may need. I would encourage anyone who may have a need for support to come along. Very often, the first step is the hardest; perhaps this is that first positive step that will uncover a network of reources.

In the same way, this event is a vital resource that businesses can tap in to in order to discover the huge number of organisations and groups that are able to help support their workforce with mental health issues.

The event in the Corn Exchange is open to the public between 10am and 3pm on Tuesday 10th October. Admission is completely free and refreshments are available throughout the day.


Session Timetable  and Participating Organisations


River Windrush & Stream Pollution Update

Visitors to the Lake and Country Park will notice that there are still signs up warning about this incident. We are being kept up to date by the Thames Environment Agency. The signs will remain in place until there is confirmation that the contamination has cleared completely. We hope that this will not be too much longer.


Advance Notification – Burford Road junction with Deer Park Road 2nd October for 4 weeks

Road works with temporary traffic lights- Burford Road junction with Deer Park Road 2nd October for 4 weeks.


Oxfordshire County Council is in the process of assessing key signal controlled junctions in Oxfordshire with a view to upgrading the mode of operation from the existing Vehicle Actuated system to MOVA (Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation)

MOVA operation offers reduced delays to traffic and increases capacity (typical average improvement of 13%)

For MOVA operation to be implemented it will be necessary to extend the existing network of ducts and chambers in the footway/verge to enable new traffic signal detector loops to be installed in the carriageway (see drawing attached). Pedestrian access will be maintained and for certain parts of the work temporary signals will be required. At the same time we will be refurbishing the entire site, replacing all signal poles (except the two on the island on Burford Road which were recently replaced following an RTC), signal heads and the signal controller and all underground cabling. The new system will be Extra Low Voltage (48v) as opposed to the existing LV 240v which will greatly decrease power consumption as well as reducing risks due to RTCs or vandalism.

We anticipate work to be starting on Monday 2nd October and last approximately 4 weeks


Mike Herbert

Traffic Signal Engineer

Highways and Transport

Environment and Economy

Oxfordshire County Council

Ron Groves House

23 Oxford Road




Tel: 01865 328592



Oxfordshire Live Travel Information



Advance Warning Road Closure – Thorney Leys 12 September


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


LOCATION: Witney, Thorney Leys

REASON: To facilitate sewer connection works for new housing

DURATION: Starting on 12 September 2017
The anticipated completion date is 16 September 2017
(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

DIVERSION: Use of local roads as signs indicate

Owen Jenkins, Director for Infrastructure Delivery
Communities DATE: 04/09/2017


Merchant Navy Day – Sept 3rd


Today is Merchant Navy Day. 3rd September 1939 was not only the date

that World War II began but also the date of the first major British maritime casualty with the loss of the Merchant Navy vessel SS Arthenia, torpedoed just hours after hostilities were declared. The ship went down with 128 passengers and crew. This was the first of many such losses as the brave men and women of the Merchant Navy continued to maintain essential supplies during the war.
Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September has honoured the brave men and women who kept our ‘Island Nation’ afloat during both World Wars, and celebrated our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 95% of the UK’s imports, including much of the food we eat, most of the fuel we burn and virtually all the products and goods we take for granted!

On Friday evening, Mayor Chris Woodward attended a flag raising ceremony at the Town Hall where, the Red Ensign (red duster as it is affectionately known) was raised by cadets from TS Euryalus. He was accompanied by Councillor Brenda Churchill, a former Wren and Councillor Howard Chirgwin, who is a former member of the Merchant Navy. Our thanks to all who attended. The flag is flying above the Town Hall for the entire weekend.


Windrush Cemetery Memorial Stability Testing 2017

Memorial Stability Testing

Witney Town Council is undertaking the next stage of an on-going programme of memorial safety checks in our cemeteries to ensure they are safe places for you to visit. The program is a legal requirement to be carried out every five years following a number of accidents, including some that have been fatal, that have occurred across the country in recent years.

Windrush, is our newest cemetery and testing will be starting in early October. Each memorial headstone will be tested to make sure it’s not at risk of falling over and injuring someone.

Notices are in place at Windrush cemetery while the testing is taking place. A specially trained stone mason will start by doing a visual inspection of the memorial, followed by a hand test. This will involve pressure being applied to the memorial to check for movement. In most cases, there will be no movement and a record will be kept that the memorial has passed the test. If the memorial moves it will fail the test.

We have previously carried out a demonstration of how the checks are performed but if you have any questions please ask.

It is the responsibility of the grave owner, or their next of kin, to make sure that the memorial headstone is kept in a safe condition, so for those that fail the owner will be asked to get it repaired at their own cost.

Where we have contact details a letter will be sent to the registered owner of failed memorials asking them to contact us within one month to determine what action they would like taken.

The options are:

  • We can lay the memorial flat so that it cannot pose any danger to anyone
  • The memorial can be staked and banded as a temporary measure until fully repaired by an approved stone mason.
  • The memorial owner can employ a stone mason to bring the memorial back to within current safety standards.

Please do not try to move or make repairs to the memorial yourself.

Memorials will be checked every five years. Memorials that have had repairs made will join the 5-year inspection cycle.

We understand that this is a very sensitive issue and we will make every effort to contact memorial owners before laying any memorial flat, but there is a time limit of one month for this so that we can keep the program moving forward, make the area safe and complete the inspections in a timely manner. If you own a memorial headstone, please check that we have the correct contact details for you by calling 01993 777820.


Flag Raising – The Red Ensign, Merchant Navy Fri 1st September

The Mayor of Witney
Cllr Chris Woodward
Would like to invite you to join him in raising the
‘Red Ensign’ for Merchant Navy Day
Friday 1st September at 6pm
The Town Hall, Witney
The Red Ensign is the official flag of the British Merchant Navy who we depend on to keep our country supplied with food, fuel and other imports.
The flag will be raised on the Friday and will remain in place until the evening of Sunday 3rd September. The significance of the date is that it is the anniversary of the sinking of the SS Athenia, the first British merchant vessel lost during World War II.


Official Site of Witney Town Council