Vote for Cogges Meadow Park Community Group in Tesco Carrier Bag Funding Bid

cogges-meadow-park-logoCogges Meadow Park Community Group  is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which see grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted to receive the cash award.

And from next month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Cogges Meadow Park Community Group is one of the groups on the shortlist. The Group members are raising funds for outdoor fitness equipment to be installed at Oxlease, Witney. The equipment will be suitable for adults and children including those with disabilities, enabling access to outdoor exercise all year round!

Group Chair Dr Suzanne Bartington said ʺOutdoor recreation has positive benefits for health and wellbeing. Many residents find gyms and classes are too expensive or restrictive so we wish to provide free access to fitness equipment suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities in a beautiful green settingʺ

Voting is open in stores from 31st October – 13th November.  Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

This is the second round of the initiative: the first round saw approximately eight million shoppers vote in stores up and down the country earlier this year.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “The first round of the Bags of Help initiative was a fantastic success.

“In total 1,170 community groups were awarded £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000 – that’s a massive £11.7 million being invested into local projects.

“We are already seeing some great results from groups transforming their own environmental and greenspace areas.

“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for round two. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help is giving our communities both the funding and the support to create better, healthier and greener places for everyone to enjoy.

“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“They’re all fantastic projects that make a real difference in our neighbourhoods.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”


20 Years of Service Award for member of Town Council Team

john-sWitney Town Council’s Mayor, Cllr Chris Holliday was delighted to award a certificate of Long Service to John Silvey  who marked 20 years of dedicated service for Witney Town Council today.

John is a familiar figure around the town and you will have no doubt seen him out and about in all weathers, looking equally cheerful in sunshine or rain.


Free End Of Season Plants

flowers-1507499_960_720The bedding plants from Langdale Hall’s beds have been removed today and will be available for members of the public to take from outside our depot at the Leys (next to the Coffee Shed) for the next couple of days. Please bring a bag or container to take some in and please note that you cannot access the depot by car. You can park at the top of the Leys and walk down . The plants are free of charge as we love to see them recycled, but if you would like to make a donation to The Mayor’s charity Ditto we are happy to accept that here at the Town Hall. Please only take what you can use. Plants only available during office hours and while stock lasts. Plants available include the following:

Pampas Grass



skateboard-316565_960_720Please note that a programme of remedial work will begin on Monday 24th October. The park is still accessible during this time, though individual ramps will be subject to work over the next week or so. The work is weather dependent but will be completed as soon as possible.


Langdale Gate Parking Suspension October 30th

Langdale road closure picOXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL – road closure Langdale Gate
Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council
LOCATION: Witney, Langdale Gate
REASON: to facilitate carriageway resurfacing
DURATION: Starting on 30 October 2016 for 1 day (Sunday)
(Traffic Regulation Notices cover a maximum of 5 consecutive days.)
ACCESS: access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles, buses 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 Witan Way, High Street and vice versa.
Chris McCarthy, Interim Deputy Director – Commercial
Environment & Economy Date 14 October 2016

Queen Emma’s Dyke Contamination

image3LAKE & COUNTRY PARK – Queen Emma’s Dyke contamination

Yesterday evening we were made aware of a problem with a potential contamination of the water in Queen Emma’s Dyke. The Environment Agency and Thames Water were both onsite investigating.

Witney Angling Society’s Chairman, Andy Lawson, has called with an update this morning, confirming that dead fish were found in Queen Emma’s Dyke, the stream alongside the lake, but that they had been working to rescue as many as they could. The Environment Agency has dammed the dyke upstream while their investigations continue so if you are visiting the lake you will notice that the dyke has been reduced to little more than a trickle. Sadly, you may also see some remaining dead fish in the stream.

Witney Lake is self-contained and no water courses feed directly into it. We have not been notified of any contamination to the Lake itself, but our usual advice stands; that we do not encourage swimming or allowing your dogs to swim in the lake which contains untreated water.

If we receive any further information we will update our social media and website pages.


Witney Town Council Press Statement on the Future of the Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange DrawingUnfortunately, negotiations between the Corn Exchange Witney Trust and Witney Town Council have reached an impasse despite considerable efforts on both sides to reach an agreement over the lease.

 After careful consideration of the options, the Council recommends that the Public Halls committee reconvenes as a matter of urgency to put together a comprehensive plan to run the hall. With the freedom to actively promote and market the Corn Exchange Witney Town Council is confident that it will continue to attract a variety of hirers and take the hall forward as a successful and versatile hireable space for the people of Witney.


Volunteer Recruitment Day 13th October

Volunteer Link Up A5A Volunteer Recruitment Day on Thursday October 13th is being held by Volunteer Link-Up in conjunction with Witney Town Council as one of a series of community events that the Town Council supports. Refreshments will be provided by Cogges Meadow Park group, who are fundraising to bring about improvements to the play area at Cogges.

Organisations are invited to bring a stand to the event to showcase their organisation, highlight the work they do and the kind of opportunities they can offer volunteers.

The recruitment day is also an opportunity for enthusiastic individuals interested in volunteering in Witney and the surrounding area to find out how they could give their time to help improve local services.

Patricia Chirgwin, Manager of Volunteer Link-Up said;

“‘West Oxfordshire is an amazing place to live, with wonderful people willing to help when they know there is a need. This event is being held to showcase local organisations that do incredible jobs supporting the residents of the district. These organisations do need support to continue – and we hope that the people of West Oxfordshire will come forward to find out more about what these groups do – and hopefully offer their help.”

Volunteers bring fresh ideas and approaches and enthusiasm to the organisations they volunteer with, but it’s a two-way street as there are a number of benefits to be gained by volunteering.
For some, volunteering can be a means to finding permanent employment, or an opportunity to experience new challenges which may prompt a career change. For others, volunteering offers social benefits.

Here are ten great reasons to volunteer.
• Give something back to an organisation that has impacted on a person’s life, either directly or indirectly
• Make a difference to the lives of others and your own
• Feel valued and part of a team
• Spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle
• Gain confidence and self-esteem
• Gain new skills, knowledge and experience and develop existing ones
• Enhance a CV and improve employment prospects
• Gain an accreditation
• Using one’s professional skills and knowledge to benefit others
• It’s a chance to socialise and meet new people, make new friends and get to know the local community

Witney Mayor, Councillor Chris Holliday added;
“The Volunteer Recruitment Fair is a great way for local voluntary groups and organisations to come together for some valuable networking. This enhances their ability to provide better services. The volunteers of this town are seen as a vital means of providing support for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Make 2016 the year you decide to get involved. Make a start by coming along to the Corn Exchange on October 13th between 10am and 2pm and find out more about the volunteering opportunities available locally. If you represent an organisation and would like a stand please contact Mrs Patricia Chirgwin on 01993 776277 or


Free End of Season Plants

succulents 2The bedding plants from the formal planting scheme in the large rectangular raised bed at the end of Welch Way have been removed today and will be available for members of the public to take from outside our depot at the Leys (next to the Coffee Shed)for the next couple of days. Please bring a bag or container to take some in and please note that you cannot access the depot by car. You can park at the top of the Leys and walk down . The plants are free of charge as we love to see them recycled, but if you would like to make a donation to The Mayor’s charity Ditto we are happy to accept that here at the Town Hall. Please only take what you can use. Plants only available during office hours and while stock lasts.



Witney High Street Overnight Parking Suspension

High Street No waiting


Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Temporary Parking Suspension – Witney, High Street on 3 October for 5 nights (19:00 – 05:00)

In the interests of public safety it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to suspend the parking as detailed above in order to facilitate carriageway maintenance works.

A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary parking suspension and will operate on the nights shown above.

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and also limited access for those properties within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works. Please note that access routes will depend on exactly where the works vehicles are at any time and may need to be negotiated with the gang on site as necessary.

A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and also the alternative routes for traffic is attached.


Joint Exercise at RAF Brize Norton


There will be a joint military and civilian exercise at RAF Brize Norton next week:
On Wednesday 21 September Royal Air Force Brize Norton will be conducting a large scale exercise with the civil emergency services.
The RAF, civilian police, ambulance, fire and country council are required to test their resilience and emergency planning on an annual basis.
RAF Brize Norton are playing host to this year’s exercise. Local residents should not be alarmed if they see increased blue light traffic in the area.
The set up for the exercise will begin Monday 19th September, where a decommissioned aircraft fuselage will be brought onto the station.

Deer Park Medical Centre Proposed Closure – Patients Meeting

deer park surgeryIn response to the announcement that Deer Park Medical Centre is to close, a Meeting for Patients of the Practice has been called by the Chair of the Patient’s forum, Brenda Churchill.




There is also an online petition at






The 2018 Boundary Review


The Boundary Commission for England has today launched its initial proposals for new constituency boundaries. This marks the start of 12 weeks of consultation on these proposals, during which people are invited to view and comment on the new boundaries.

The BCE is an independent a political impartial public body, and must makes its recommendations for new Parliamentary boundaries to Parliament in September 2018. This is the first of three rounds of consultation before this date.

To view and comment on the consultation please visit

A hard copy of the consultation document with maps is viewable at the Town Hall.


Town Hall Heritage Day today

DSC00597DSC00596DSC00593DSC00589DSC00599DSC00601We are all set up and about to open. We have a range of old Witney Gazettes  that you are very welcome to leaf through and some fascinating entries in the constabulary register. From being prosecuted and fined for ‘stealing a quantity of turnip tops’ to being charged with vagrancy after being found ‘ Wandering in the town of Witney at night with a loaded pistol and not giving a good account of himself.’

He was remanded until the 15th. Discharged and given over to Inspector Bricknell, prisoner having committed a felony in London.
Please drop in and enjoy this display here in the Town hall. Completely free and for today until 4pm only. 




Skeletons in Your Closet? Heritage Open Day at the Town Hall

skeletons posterHeritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival involving 40,000 volunteers across the country. It is a once-a-year chance to discover gems on our own doorstep free-of charge. 
In Witney a range of buildings will be open to the public on one or more days between 8-11 September including Witney Town Hall, Witney Blanket Hall, Cogges Manor Farm, The Bishops’s Palace and St Mary’s Church. There will also be a range of tours, events and activities across the town. 
For further information on Heritage Open Days please visit

On Thursday September 8th Witney Town Hall is hosting ‘Skeletons in Your Closet’, a unique chance to see what some of our forebears got up to almost 160 years ago. 
Look up your local ancestors and discover their misdeeds in the Oxfordshire Constabulary Summons Register dated 1857 onwards! What were they charged with? What was their sentence? Some very familiar local names from Witney and the surrounding village are here.

The summons register is very old and hard to read but we have found some great entries. How about…Stephen Woodward, Labourer, charged with ‘absconding leaving his wife and family chargeable to the parish.’ He was committed for one month hard labour. 
Or Alfred Day charged with ‘being the putative father of a bastard child’ . His case was dismissed with ‘police expenses not allowed’.

We will also have a selection of old copies of the Witney Gazette dating back as far as the 1950’s, along with other historical records and documents. Come and view them in the *Council Chamber which itself dates from circa 1780. Information on the History of the Town Hall will also be displayed. *Please note, the council chamber is a historic building and not DDA compliant. There is no lift access for wheelchairs and buggies.


Road Closure Highworth Place





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





          LOCATION:         Witney, Highworth Place


          REASON:            to facilitate sewer cleaning works


DURATION:         Starting on 12 September  2016

                                        The anticipated completion date is 13 September         2016 – (09:00 – 17:00)

                                        (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





Mark Kemp, Deputy Director – Commercial

Environment & Economy



DATE       11 August 2016