Sanctuary Housing Best Garden on Windrush Valley Estate Competition

Garden competitionSanctuary Housing are running a competition to encourage residents of the Windrush Valley Estate to beautify the estate and to encourage people to get out into the fresh air and enjoy their gardens.  Witney Town Councillor Alan Beames  and Councillor Andrew Coles of WODC  are on the judging panel.  There is a first prize of a £50 National Garden Gift Voucher for the winner and there will be a celebratory event at Fettiplace Road on 15th September 1-3pm.

The competition runs from Friday 1st July to Friday 12th August 2016 so there is plenty of time to get involved.




The Wheels On The Bus Continue to Go Round!

bus infographic

Witney Town Council has agreed a proposal put forward by the Community Services committee to pledge £10,000 towards a Town Centre Circular Bus service. This will serve the residential areas of Madley Park, Smiths and Cogges estates after the termination of the existing Stagecoach 213, 214 and 215 services due to withdrawal of Oxfordshire County Council subsidies from 20 July this year.


This is the first stage in a process that will see the Town Council seeking partnerships with other local organisations and businesses to see what level of support and collaboration can be achieved.


Witney Town Council has worked closely with its Independent Transport representative who has assessed the needs of the bus users including the town’s most vulnerable residents and has identified a suitable timetable that provides for these needs.



Cllr Suzanne Bartington, Chair of public Transportation Working Party, commented


‘’I am delighted that Councillors have responded to the concerns of Witney Bus Users and pledged funding to support a future Town Centre circular bus service. Provision of an effective and reliable service is vital for our most vulnerable residents, particularly those who have limited mobility. We hope that both existing and new passengers will support the service and recognise the wider benefits of public transport for reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.


It’s been a privilege to work with Stagecoach to find a solution. They have been incredibly helpful and supportive .I’d also like to pass on thanks to other local bus companies for their vital input ”


Further information about a likely start date and any additional information about the new service will be published as it becomes available. If you would like to be involved in the Witney Bus User Group please contact the Facebook page: or contact and we will pass your contact details on to Cllr Suzanne Bartington and Cllr Laura Price


Raising of the Armed Forces Flag

dOn the evening of Tuesday 21st June the Armed Forces flag was raised to mark Armed Forces Week.   The flag was raised by the Mayor’s cadets from Witney Air Training Corps 2120 Sqn. and the Witney Detachment Army Cadet Force.  Representatives from both forces along with Deputy Mayor Cllr Chris Woodward, Town Councillors and Officers were also in attendance.




Armed Forces Day – Flag Raising Tuesday 21st June 19.00 hrs


All are welcome to join Deputy Mayor Cllr Chris Woodward, representatives of Oxfordshire Battalion (The Rifles) Somme Coy – Witney Detachment ACF, 2120 Squadron (Witney) Air Cadets, Councillors and staff.

Please gather beneath the Town Hall for 19.15. The Union flag will be lowered and replaced by the AFD flag which will be raised by the Mayor’s cadets.


Tesco Funding for Outdoor Space Projects – Closing Date Soon

bagsGroundwork South, an environmental and community charity, are working in partnership with Tesco to administer their Bags of Help community grants scheme, funded by the 5p carrier bag charge.  The grant scheme funds a wide range of outdoor space projects that provide community benefit.


They’ve received lots of applications but the scheme is currently under-subscribed in our area, so we are making sure groups have  heard of this opportunity who might be interested in applying.

Elligible projects include  local spaces such as play areas, woodlands, community gardens/allotments, public parks, school grounds that need improving.

Llocal groups or charities who have or are involved in outdoor areas might also be interested? – Environmental groups, schools, assisted living facilities, scout and guide groups, etc. within Witney?


The application process is pretty straightforward – you will need to apply online at

This website has loads of information about the funding scheme.


The deadline for you to submit your application has been extended until 19th June so you have plenty of time to fill it in. If you need help or would like to run a project past please get in touch for anymore more information; with


Katherine Davies

Green Spaces Supervisor &

Community Enabler (Tescos Local Community Grants Scheme)

Groundwork South (Thames Valley Area)

Direct Dial:     07702 532755


Cogges Meadow Park – Oxlease Survey

The Cogges Meadow Park Community Group is a new voluntary organisation of independent local residents to support improvement of outdoor spaces for people to enjoy, play, exercise and relax.

They are working with Witney Town Council and local stakeholders to improve the Oxlease Area; known to many locally as Wadard’s Meadow.

Please take this opportunity to complete a short survey to help them know how you use this area and what improvements can be made by clicking on the link below

Oxlease Recreation Area Community Survey


Witney’s New Mayor and Deputy Mayor

chris h for profile web

Witney’s new Mayor is Councillor Chris Holliday who as a Town Councillor serves the East Ward of Witney. Originally from Yorkshire, Chris has lived in West Oxfordshire for 20 years, and has lived on Madley Park for the last 10 with his wife Lisa and 3 daughters. He served for a number of years in the Armed Forces. Now retired, he commits much of his time to the local community which includes being a Trustee of Madley Park Hall and Cogges Welfare Trust. For relaxation Chris enjoys reading and going to the cinema with his family, collecting political cartoons and in October will begin his BA (Honours) History degree with the Open University.

The mayor has chosen Ditto as his supported charity throughout his term.

Set up 4 years ago, D.I.T.TO, (Doing It Together To Overcome), is a unique group that offers help, advice and support to a wide range of disabled, elderly and vulnerable people, (regardless of age), and their carers.


Deputy Mayor is Councillor Chris Woodward is 30, happily married to Jayne since 2012 and enjoys home life with their 2 year old Golden Labrador, Meg! He joined the council in the 2011 elections and has been an active member sitting on most standing committees since the start. Chris is proud to serve as Facilities Manager at the Iffley Academy, an Ofsted Outstanding school for children with special and complex educational needs. He brings a wealth of operational experience to the council, having   been a governor at both Witney Community Primary School and Wood Green. Chris is also proud to sit on the board of trustees of Witney Educational Foundation and the new Corn Exchange Trust. He is relishing the challenge!


Cllr Woodward commented,


“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to accept the office of Deputy Mayor. It’s a real privilege to be working with our brilliant new Mayor Chris Holliday. Witney is a fantastic town with magnificent Cotswold character. Both Mayor Chris and I love to meet and help people as much as we can; and we can’t wait to get started



Fitness Fiesta May 14th – Don’t miss this unique opportunity to trial some classes for free!

Fitness Class Fiesta Poster 14.05.2016Witney Town Council is working with Clubbercise to bring you a very different sort of Community Coffee Morning! Witney’s 1st Community Fitness Class Fiesta will be held at the Corn Exchange on Saturday 14th May between 11am – 6pm.

Free classes will include; Hiit, Kettlecise, Pure Stretch, AbCore, Jazzercise, Kangoo Jumps, Piloxing, Boogie Bouncing, Clubbercise and Zumba.

This is a great opportunity to trial a free class and find something that suits you.  Let’s get Witney moving.

Healthy food options are available.

Further details can be found by clicking on the poster above.


Grave Levelling in Tower Hill Cemetery

DSC02401As part of our on-going, long term Cemetery Maintenance Program we will be carrying out grave levelling work in Tower Hill Cemetery. This will involve adding layers of topsoil and seeding the surface of selected graves that have sunk.

Some graves are noticeably more in need of this than others and these will take priority. Work on all graves that need levelling will be undertaken in time.

Work will begin in early May 2016


Grass Repair at the Leys Splash Park

ablurDue to the popularity of the Leys Splash Park and Adventure Play area, repairs are necessary to the grassed area just inside the gate. While the ground is levelled and seeded the main gate will remain locked, but access to the park is still possible via a fence panel a little further along. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your co-operation. Work will finish by the end of May.

Your Next Community Coffee Morning is Very Physical! Join The Fitness Class Fiesta!

Fitness Class Fiesta Poster 14.05.2016

Witney Town Council is working with Clubbercise to bring you a very different sort of Community Coffee Morning! Witney’s 1st Community Fitness Class Fiesta will be held at the Corn Exchange on Saturday 14th May between 11am – 6pm.

Free classes will include; Hiit, Kettlecise, Pure Stretch, AbCore, Jazzercise, Kangoo Jumps, Piloxing, Boogie Bouncing, Clubbercise and Zumba.

This is a great opportunity to trial a free class and find something that suits you.  Let’s get Witney moving.

Healthy food options are available.

Further details can be found by clicking on the poster above.


Market Square Noticeboard

As part of the second phase refurbishment of the Market Square the noticeboard outside Baker’s the Butchers has been removed. We are working with West Oxfordshire District Council to find a suitable spot to site a new board. In the mean time if you are holding an event in our halls we can continue to display your posters in the noticeboards at the relevant halls. We do not have space for any other posters at this time.


What Are We Hearing From You?


Word cloud 1

Who’s been having their say on our survey? We’ve been looking at some of the early results. More women than men have responded and over 50% of those responding are in the over 50 age range.

It runs until the end of April, so make sure yours is one of the voices being heard. These are some of the hot topics being mentioned this week.


Have your say here:





Memorial Stability Testing Update

Our memorial Stability Testing programme at Tower Hill Cemetery will soon be coming to an end. Do you have one of these on a memorial you own?

unstable memorial

What is this?

This is a notice that has been attached to a memorial that has failed a stability test. It is there for two reasons. We need to be able to trace the owners and we also need to warn that there is a potential hazard.

Why was it tested?

The council is required by law to carry out memorial testing every five years.

Why has it failed?

A professionally trained specialist has determined that this memorial does not meet current safety standards. This criteria is not set by the council and we must abide by the law.

What do I do?

All we ask at this stage is that you contact us on the following number and leave your name and a contact number so we can call you back.  01993 704379

What happens next?

Once we establish the owners of the Exclusive Rights of Burial (the owner of the grave plot and any memorial placed on it) we will contact the owners to explain what happens next depending on the test results.

We need to ensure that our records are up to date and that we are talking to the owners who are the only people who can make a decision about what happens next.

More information



Dementia Friendly Witney

Dementia friends


Here’s a great initiative for the town. Witney Town Council is supporting this with subsidised letting of the Corn Exchange for some training sessions. Help Witney become a Dementia friendly community and book a session.

The Corn Exchange is the venue for the next Dementia Friends Information Session on 7 April at 4pm.
If you can spare an hour to help make Witney, Oxfordshire a more dementia friendly community please call Suzi on 01993 768557 or email


Market Square Refurbishment 2nd Phase

the mkt sq


Work to start on town centre improvements

A high footfall area in the centre of Witney is to be repaved making it safer and more attractive for residents and visitors.

The area is at the lower end of the Market Square, near the Woolgate entrance by Bakers Butchers.

Starting on 5 April, it is expected to last around 3 weeks. During this time there will be access for shoppers and traders.

As well as re-paving the renovation will include new street furniture and additional seating.

Cllr Warwick Robinson, Cabinet Member responsible for planning said “Improvements are necessary to this very busy area and repaving will make a huge difference to the visual appearance at the heart of the town. It complements the refurbishment work done in recent years to the central Market Square area and to the historic Corn Exchange building.”

“We hope that any disruption will be minimal and I am sure traders and shoppers will be keen to see improvements. I’d like to thank them in advance for their understanding and cooperation whilst the work is taking place.”

Adam Highmore-Talbot, Woolgate Shopping Centre Manager said he was delighted the work was going ahead. He said, “It will make a big difference to the entrance to the Woolgate. The area has been in need of improvements for some time and the additional seating will be well received by those visiting the shopping centre.”

Oxfordshire County Council repaved the central Market Square area in 2013 and Witney Town Council completed its Corn Exchange renovation project in June 2015.

The cost of the repaving work and new street furniture is £30,000. The scheme is paid for by developers of new housing estates in Witney.


Tower Hill Cemetery Easter opening


Tower Hill cemetery bollards will be lowered throughout the Easter period, from 9am on Thursday 24th March through until the morning of Tuesday 29th March. Memorial stability testing has been taking place this month. If you notice a sticker on a memorial that belongs to you please get in touch with us after the Easter break and we will talk to you about what this means. You can find out more here.


Official Site of Witney Town Council