Witney Town Council Expresses Delight at District Playing Pitch Strategy

The news that West Oxfordshire District Council has adopted a Playing Pitch Strategy that both seeks to protect existing provision and looks to provide additional facilities, has been warmly welcomed by Witney Town Council.

football boots on grass

The District Council’s commitment to addressing the longstanding and undeniable shortfall of sports pitches matches the Town Council’s ambition to improve residents’ ability to take part in sports activities across our town by providing good quality, safe facilities for players of all ages. This is a great opportunity to work together to achieve this.

Leader of Witney Town Council, Cllr. Vicky Gwatkin commented,

“I really welcome WODC’s Cabinet decision to adopt the Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) 2022. 

 Numerous and increasing demands are placed on all Witney’s green spaces which creates significant challenges for our staff and has inevitably resulted in difficult decisions having to be made and some unwelcome compromises. 

 We have been pushing for action for years to help relieve the pressure on our available sites – through expansion, facility improvement and a transfer of management to Witney Town Council to take advantage of economies of scale and a regular maintenance regime.  We are pleased the new administration is willing to work with us to achieve this goal and that there is a desire for the 2022 strategy to not just to be a tick box exercise, as evidenced by WODC’s agreement to appoint a dedicated resource to see projects through.

 This will inevitably take time – funds need to be realised, pitches need to be established or renovated and planning permission may be required.  From a regrettably standing start, in the last six months we have already made significant progress working alongside a receptive WODC and with the long-awaited strategy now in place, we have a prioritised reference point and stimulus to help bring about future change.”

 

Witney Town Council acknowledges the huge difference and positive impact sport has on the community and continues to prioritise work to reinstate the football pitches at The Leys. Latest work has included a slow-release fertiliser. There is more maintenance and repair work to be done but the pitches look to be on track to be back in use in the New Year.

 

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CORN EXCHANGE THEATRE SEATING TO BE INSTALLED

Witney Town Council’s renovation of the town’s Corn Exchange is entering the final phase as new, retractable, tiered seating is about to be installed in the main hall.

The installation will provide comfortable seating for an audience of around 130 people and has been designed to maximise the remaining space where possible, while still ensuring accessibility is a priority.

Image of Corn Exchange Seating

Installation will start on 5th December. The work will be carried out by Hussey Seatway Ltd at a cost of £69,673.00.
Witney Town Council has funded the seating with money set aside for the refit of the Corn Exchange and has also been fortunate in securing a Community Facilities Grant from West Oxfordshire District Council.

Cllr Mel Jones, Chair of Halls, Cemeteries and Allotments said,

“I am delighted that the Corn Exchange refurbishment is going to make such a huge difference for the residents of Witney. I would like to thank the officers at the town council for all their support and work on this but would especially like to thank Councillor Owen Collins for his valuable input. 

Cllr Owen Collins, Chair of the Corn Exchange working party commented

I’m delighted that after numerous delays and doubts, the long-awaited retractable seating for the Corn Exchange finally has an installation date. Following the audio-visual equipment, this is a massive milestone in our journey to returning the Corn Exchange to an affordable, accessible arts centre for the people of Witney and beyond.

The modern seating will help make the Corn Exchange an even more appealing venue for local and touring productions, and will add to the versatility of the hall. Thanks to its retractable nature, we will continue to be able to accommodate a wide and varied programme of events, bringing creativity and culture back into the very heart of our town.”

This final phase brings to fruition the aspirations for the Corn Exchange to be a significant community arts and performance venue for the town.

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YOUTH SERVICES GRANTS AWARDED

Picture from behind of young people sitting together
Witney Town Council has distributed its Youth Funding Grant Project to five Youth organisations.
The Town Council received more applications for this fund than ever before and was not able to help all of those who applied, or award the full amounts requested. The successful applicants were those who demonstrated an immediate funding need and the greatest benefit to Witney residents.
 
These organisations run projects that have demonstrated a significant impact on the local youth community.
 
Got2B Community Interest Company was awarded £20,000 towards 2 detached youth sessions and project work.
Home Start Oxford received £10,000 to improve youth services in Witney – supporting babies and preschool children and their parents, through a range of indoor and outdoor age-appropriate sessions and groups.
 
Katharine Barber, CEO, Home-Start Oxford commented:
 
“Without funding from organisations like Witney Town Council we simply couldn’t continue the work we do. Austerity, Covid and now the cost-of-living crisis has hit families hard and demand for our services has never been higher. With the support we have been given from the Council, we have been able to continue to run our popular parent and toddler groups, giving parents access to weekly sessions they can enjoy with their little ones, and we have continued to provide one-to-one support by linking families with our trained volunteers. Our work centres on providing children with the best start in life, which will have a lasting positive impact for them. The funding we receive is ensuring that we are helping Witney’s youngest residents have exactly that. We would like to thank Witney Town Council for their continued confidence and support in our work to help Witney families when they need us most.”
 
APCAM received £5,000
APCAM is a comprehensive, free-at-the-point-of-need mental health service for families who are in mental health crisis.
 
Oxfordshire Music & Arts Trust received £2,500 to deliver 39 term time after-school tutorial/band sessions (for up to 20 bands/individuals at each.
 
The Parish of Witney, a group of five churches received £2,500 towards a project to provide a dedicated facility where youth work could be carried out.
 
All of this year’s budget has been allocated.
 
Cllr Owen Collins, Chair of Stronger Communities said,
 
“Since we launched the WTC Youth Services grant, it has been the Council’s privilege to be able to support so much of the excellent work that is being done to help young people in our town. This year, we saw a record number of applications for the grant, and were faced with another extremely difficult decision as to how to apportion the funding with the many incredibly worthy and vital organisations applying. It was incredibly hard, as in an ideal world all of these amazing causes would have all the support they need to thrive; nevertheless, I’m confident that we have been able to make a difference, to help them make a difference, to young people of all ages across Witney.”
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Agenda for Climate, Biodiversity & Planning, Tuesday, 15th November, 2022

The agenda for Climate, Biodiversity & Planning, Tuesday, 15th November, 2022, 6.00 pm has just been published.

You can view this document when connected to the internal network using the link: Agenda details on intranet web site

To see the publicly available information, follow the link: Agenda details on public web site

Meeting venue: Gallery Room, The Corn Exchange, Witney

The following items are included in the agenda:

No. Item
1 Apologies for Absence
2 Declarations of Interest
3 Public Participation
4 Planning Applications
5 Minutes
6 Planning Decisions
7 Update from Park Ranger
8 Witney Traffic Advisory Committee Minutes – 27 September 2022
9 Finance Report: Revised Revenue Budget 2022/23 and Draft Base Revenue Budget for 2023/24
10 Revenue Growth Items, Special Revenue Projects and Capital Projects

 

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Agenda for Stronger Communities Monday 14th November 2022

The agenda for Stronger Communities, Monday, 14th November, 2022, 6.00 pm has just been published.

You can view this document when connected to the internal network using the link: Agenda details on intranet web site

To see the publicly available information, follow the link: Agenda details on public web site

Meeting venue: Gallery Room, The Corn Exchange, Witney

The following items are included in the agenda:

No. Item
1 Apologies for absence
2 Declarations of Interest
3 Minutes
4 Public Participation
5 Communications Report
6 Community Engagement Report
7 Witney Forum
8 In Bloom Competitions 2023
9 Youth Services Awards 2022
10 Chat Bench
11 Covid -19 Memorial
12 Finance Report: Revised Revenue Budget 2022/23 and Draft Base Revenue Budget for 2023/24
13 Revenue Growth Items, Special Revenue Projects and Capital Projects

 

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Agenda for Halls, Cemeteries & Allotments, Monday, 7th November 2022, 6pm

The agenda for Halls, Cemeteries & Allotments, Monday, 7th November, 2022, 6pm has just been published.

To see the publicly available information, follow the link: Agenda details on public web site

Meeting venue: Gallery Room, The Corn Exchange, Witney

The following items are included in the agenda:

No. Item
1 Apologies for Absence
2 Declarations of Interest
3 Minutes
4 Public Participation
Public Halls
5 Public Halls Report
6 Public Halls – Review of Booking Terms & Conditions
7 Corn Exchange – Arts Subsidised Hire Request
8 Corn Exchange – Vigil Request 20th November
Cemeteries & Closed Churchyards
9 Children’s Memorial Garden
10 Finance Report: Revised Revenue Budget 2022/23 and Draft Base Revenue Budget for 2023/24
11 Schedule of Proposed Fees and Charges 2023/24
12 Revenue Growth Items, Special Revenue Projects and Capital Projects
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Temporary Road Closure, Aston , Cote Road and Bull Street

Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.

TRAFFIC REGULATION NOTICE
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT, 1984

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council
TEMPORARILY PROHIBITS THE USE OF AND WAITING ON THE HIGHWAY BY ALL MOTOR VEHICLES

LOCATION: Bampton, Cote Road / Bull Street
REASON: To facilitate carriageway patching works
DURATION: 13 December 2022 09:30 to 15:30 hours
( 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: B4449 – A415 – Thorney Leys – A4095 – Station Road – B4449 and vice versa.

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Temporary Road Closure Church Lane, Witney

Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.

TRAFFIC REGULATION NOTICE
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT, 1984

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council
TEMPORARILY PROHIBITS THE USE OF THE HIGHWAY
BY ALL MOTOR VEHICLES

LOCATION: Witney, Church Lane
REASON: To facilitate desilting of underground structures
DURATION: 9 January 2023 between 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.

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Temporary Road Closure at Ramsden, Lower End

Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.

TRAFFIC REGULATION NOTICE
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT, 1984

Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council
TEMPORARILY PROHIBITS THE USE OF THE HIGHWAY
BY ALL MOTOR VEHICLES

LOCATION: Ramsden, Lower End
REASON: To facilitate a new mains power connection
DURATION: Starting on 9 November 2022
The anticipated completion date is 11 November 2022 (date included). This is a 24 hour per day closure. (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

SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: via signed diversion route. Please follow diversion signs.

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Update on Leys Pitches

Pitches have not been permanently decommissioned at the Leys Recreation Ground and this is a temporary suspension of use for urgent remedial work.  All Teams were made aware of this as soon as the results of the annual inspection, carried out by the Sports Turf Research Institute, were known.  The purpose of the inspection is to review agronomic conditions and performance of the sports pitches.

The affected pitches at the Leys are two 9 a side pitches, one 7 a side pitch and three 5 a side pitches. These are played by the junior teams which will be a mix of boys and girls football sides.  The short-term unavailability of the pitches does not affect one gender more than any other.  However, so far, the Council has not turned away a single booking this season.

The compaction is due to a number of causes, extreme heat, lack of rain and unauthorised training on the Leys junior pitches over the off-season. Every year at the end of the football season the Town Council carries out expensive and vital remedial work and for this reason we ask that teams to do not use them for training.

If this work cannot be done or the pitches are played before the work has time to take effect, then the sports turf and pitch suffer and as a result may fail safety inspections, as has been the case with the Leys.

We ask teams to notify us if they intend to use them for any reason, so we can ensure that the remedial work has a chance to take effect. Unfortunately, this did not happen.  Because the effects of the remedial work were disrupted, the pitches are now unplayable, possibly until after Christmas at the earliest. Autumn is the only other suitable time to try to reinstate the pitches through decompaction and reseeding. This also results in a further cost to tax payers when remedial works have to be repeated.

The Council has recently brought its grounds maintenance contract back in house, and therefore it has greater control over the delivery of these works.  We are going to be de-compacting the ground, improving the grass quality and doing all we can to get the ground safe for play again as soon as possible, but this is all weather dependent. We hope to run an earthquake machine over the field and aerate the pitches in the first two weeks of October supplemented by some further slitting operations in late October and mid-November.  It is important to give the rejuvenated pitches as long a period as possible to build up a reasonable level of resilience and longevity for use.

The Town Council has been working extremely hard behind the scenes to try to secure additional pitches. All the existing pitches are oversubscribed with football being the dominant sport, having regular use at a subsidised cost of all of the Town Council’s grass pitches.

Last season Witney Town Council accommodated 51 football teams.  This season demand has increased by a further 25%.  Our officers work hard to make as many pitches available as possible with the resources we have available.  Many are already over-used and this can result in long term damage. All teams know we are working to bring more online – we are at the mercy of third parties but have been making good progress over the last six months.

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Agenda for Full Council, Monday 10th October 2022, 7pm

The agenda for Full Council, Monday, 10th October, 2022, 7pm has just been published.

To see the publicly available information, follow the link: Agenda details on public web site

Meeting venue: Main Hall, The Corn Exchange, Witney

The following items are included in the agenda:

No. Item
1 One Minute Silence for HM Queen
2 Apologies for Absence
3 Declarations of Interest
4 Minutes
5 Public Participation
6 Witney Community Policing Issues
7 An Update from Witney Oxfordshire County Councillors and West Oxfordshire District Councillors
8 Report Back from the Councillors on the Work with External Bodies where they serve as the Town Council’s Nominated Representative
9 Minutes of Committees and Sub Committees
9a Parks & Recreation Committee – 5 September 2022
9b Halls, Cemeteries & Allotments Committee- 26 September 2022
9c Stronger Communities Committee – 26 September 2022
9d Policy, Governance & Finance Committee- 3 October 2022 (to Follow)
9e Climate, Biodiversity & Planning Committee – 2 & 23 August, 27 September (to follow)
10 Conclusion of Audit for Year Ending 31 March 2022
11 Councillor Code of Conduct 2022
11a Civility & Respect Pledge
12 Project Update
13 Civic Announcements
14 Vandalism and Health & Safety
15 Grounds Maintenance
16 A40 County Council Planning Application Consultation R3.0151/21
17 Communication from the Leader
18 Correspondence
18a Notice of Definitive Map Notice of landowner deposit
19 Questions to the Leader of the Council
20 Sealing of Documents
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Blue Plaque unveiled for Alice Maud Batt

Witney Town Council is proud to have contributed to the Blue Plaque for Alice Maud Batt which was unveiled on Saturday at Batt House on Market Square.

Alice was awarded the Albert Medal, which was the highest honour conferred by the Crown on civilians for acts of bravery and gallantry, demonstrating the greatest heroism, or the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger in 1918. The medal, which was considered to be the civil equivalent of the Victoria Cross, has now been replaced by the George Cross.

Her citation for the medal mentions a fire breaking out at the Casualty Clearing Station at Rousbrugge, Belgium, on 1st October 1918, where she was working alongside a surgeon, performing an operation in theatre. Despite the lights going out and the theatre filling with smoke and flames Miss Batt continued to assist the surgeon by torchlight, calmly passing instruments and threading needles. In this way the surgeon was able to successfully finish the operation. Miss Batt then helped to evacuate men from the burning wards to safety.

Further awards given to Alice include a Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society for saving an 11-year-old girl from drowning in 1915, the Special Service Cross in 1917 from the British Red Cross, the badge of the Joint Council of the Red Cross and the order of St John, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. Clearly, a very brave, adventurous, and resourceful individual, Alice deserves her plaque and the opportunity for the people of Witney to know a little more about her.

The Mayor or Witney, Cllr Liz Duncan joined Oxfordshire Blue Plaque Board members, relatives of Alice Batt, other local dignitaries, Councillors and former Mayor, Peter Dorward who initially proposed the plaque, at the unveiling ceremony.

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Agenda for Climate, Biodiversity & Planning, Tuesday 4th October 2022, 6pm

The agenda for Climate, Biodiversity & Planning ADVISORY Committee, Tuesday 4th October 2022, 6pm has just been published.

To see the publicly available information, follow the link: Agenda details on public web site

Meeting venue: Online via Zoom:
Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83263345433
Meeting ID: 832 6334 5433

The following items are included in the agenda:

  1.  Apologies for Absence
  2.  Declarations of Interest
  3. Public Participation
  4.  Planning Applications
  5. Consultation Traffic Calming at The Leys, Witney
  6. Consultation on Proposed Main Modifications to the Salt Cross Garden Village Area Action Plan
  7. Address Management Windrush Place, Witney
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Children’s Christmas Card Competition

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.
The competition is open to all primary aged children creating designs at home, in school, with their Brownie pack or any other Witney organisation.
  • Design the illustration for the official Witney Town Council Christmas card. The winning design will be used as the Mayor’s official card. The Town Council will also use it and we will provide the winner with their own copies to send out too.
  • Closing Date is 5pm on Friday 28th October to allow us time to select the winner and get the cards printed.
  • This year we are looking for a square design and we have provided a template for you to use 
  • Please return your entries by email or post to:info@witney-tc.gov.uk or by post to Witney Town Council, Town   Hall, Witney OX28 6AG.
We look forward to seeing them!
We must receive all entries by Closing Date: 5pm on Friday 28th October. 
There will be prizes for 1st 2nd and 3rd.
Don’t forget to pop your name, age, school and contact details on the picture when you return it.
The overall winning design will be made into the official card used by the Mayor and Town Council.
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Consultation – THE LEYS (WITNEY) – PROPOSED TRAFFIC CALMING

POSTED ON BEHALF OF OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

THE LEYS (WITNEY) – PROPOSED TRAFFIC CALMING

map of proposed speed calming measures on The Leys

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Oxfordshire County Council under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 & the Highways Act 1980 proposes to construct the following traffic calming features in Witney, these proposals are being put forward in order to
improve pedestrian safety by reducing the speed of motor vehicles adjacent to the recreation ground and parking area:

The Leys – speed cushions, approx. 3m long, 2m wide and 75mm high, to be located approximately:
• 120 metres* west of its junction with Station Lane,
• 170 metres* west of its junction with Station Lane, and
• 220 metres* west of its junction with Station Lane.
* All dimensions are approximate, taken from the centre of the junction to the centre of the feature.

Documents giving more details of the proposals are available for public inspection online by visiting https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk

Copies may be made available on request.

Objections to the proposals and other representations specifying the grounds on which they are made, may be sent in writing to the address below or via the web address above, no later than Friday 21st October 2022.

The County Council will consider 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 (Ref: JaC/12.6.410) for the Corporate Director for Environment & Place, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, Oxford,
OX1 1ND.

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MAJOR ACCIDENT EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS – RAF BRIZE NORTON

POSTED ON BEHALF OF RAF BRIZE NORTON.
From time to time the RAF send out this information on what to do in the event of an emergency on the base. It is a routine piece of correspondence and no cause for alarm.
The text of the poster is reproduced below:
Emergency Instructions Guidance
In a major emergency involving RAF Brize Norton, if you are not involved in the incident, but are close by or believe you may be in danger, follow Government advice and:
GO IN to a safe building.
STAY IN until you are advised to do otherwise.
TUNE IN to local TV, radio or social media pages for more information
GO IN STAY IN TUNE IN
  • Go immediately into a house or building.
  • Close all external doors, turn off ventilation systems.
  • Close all windows and curtains.
  • Close all internal doors and go to a room facing away from RAF Brize Norton.
STAY Remain indoors until you receive instructions from the police.
TUNE your radio to the local radio stations (BBC Radio Oxford 95.2 FM & JACK 106.4 FM) or tune into BFBS Brize Norton on local DAB.
Resist the urge to use your mobile or landline telephones, unless it is an emergency, as doing so may cause congestion of the telephone networks.
In the unlikely event of a major incident, emergency instructions may also be available via social media pages:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/royalairforcebrizenorton – Twitter: @RAFBrizeNorton – Local Council: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk
This leaflet is produced in accordance with the MOD Major Accident Control Regulations to advise you what to do in the unlikely event of a major incident occurring at RAF Brize Norton.
Please read this carefully and follow the instructions given if a warning is implemented.
Householders are advised to ensure that all occupants understand the instructions.
Responsible persons in business or community premises should also be familiar with the actions required to enable them to instruct occupants in the event of a major accident.
This leaflet should be kept in an accessible place and passed on to subsequent occupiers.
It should be prominently displayed in business or community premises.
Additional copies may be obtained from the RAF BZN Media Communication s Office.
PLEASE CO-OPERATE FULLY WITH INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY THE  EMERGENCY SERVICES.
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Emergency Temporary Parking Suspension, No Waiting & No Loading/Unloading Restriction at – Witney, Avenue Two

HERE IS AN EXTENSION TO THIS NOTICE WITH A TIMESCALE FOR THE WORKS
This Order continues in force a parking/waiting suspension commenced 21 September 2022 by emergency Notice.
The order extends the provisions of the restrictions until approximately 30 October 2022.
The effect of the order is to prohibit waiting and loading in part of Avenue Two in Witney to complete site access and kerbing works.
Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council:
Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Emergency Temporary Parking Suspension, No Waiting & No Loading/Unloading Restriction at – Witney, Avenue Two
Oxfordshire County Council has been informed of a temporary emergency Parking Suspension, No Waiting & No Loading/Unloading Restriction on the Avenue Two whilst development works (278 program) are carried out.
A temporary Emergency Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and is already operated from 14/09/2022.
The anticipated completion date of this emergency restriction is 04/10/2022 (full restriction 24hrs each day).
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.
Further information regarding the emergency works may be obtained by contacting Bob Plant of Keith Cook Construction Ltd on 07732122800.
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Letter of Condolence to the Royal Family from the Mayor of Witney

The Mayor of Witney has penned a letter of condolence to His Majesty the King and all the members of the Royal Family expressing the sympathy of the Town Council and residents of Witney on the sad passing of Her Majesty the Queen.

The letter speaks of the Queen’s devoted service across 70 years, “an  achievement that seems almost unimaginable to most.” and that she will be missed by many all around the world.

It also mentions the Queen’s fondly remembered visit to Witney in 1959.

There is mention of the Book of Condolence and the letter then finishes, “Our thoughts will be with the King and his family throughout this challenging time. With heartfelt and deepest sympathy.”

 

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