Coronation Bunting


We are looking for volunteers to make bunting for Witney’s Coronation celebrations.

We are asking you to make 3m lengths of red, white and blue bunting from fabric that you might otherwise throw away.

Almost half of us in the UK put unwanted clothing in the dustbin, where it currently goes to landfill and it would be lovely to see old clothing, fabric scraps and charity shop bargains upcycled and recycled into beautiful bunting to decorate the town!

We have a template of a flag that is 15.5cm wide and 21 cm deep and some instructions that you can download from our website.

Our recommendation is to use a cotton or cotton mix type fabric rather than anything stretchy which isn’t easy to sew. Oh, and your bunting must be red, white and blue, of course. 😊

Sadly, knitted and crocheted bunting won’t work as it will be very heavy if it gets wet.

We will need your finished bunting back by Friday, 7th April so we have enough time to put up the bunting by the beginning of May.

Please bring it to our Reception on Market Square.

We still remember the fun we had a few years ago creating the poppy mile with our incredibly enthusiastic community army of crafters and hope that you will all enjoy our Bunting Challenge.

Instructions and templates below.

Bunting challenge Instructions.pdf


Interlocking the flags as much as possible maximises the number of flags you can get from your material. Doubling the material over will obviously make cutting out quicker.


Emergency Road Closure – West End

Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council:

Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Temporary Emergency Road Closure at Witney, 65 West End, OX28 1NF.

Oxfordshire County Council has been informed of a temporary emergency road closure on West End whilst service pipe repair >33mm unmade works are carried out for public safety reasons.

A temporary Emergency Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 21 January 2023 up to and including 25 January 2023.

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 works may be obtained by contacting Thames Water Helpdesk on 0800 316 9800.



Stronger Communities, Monday 23rd January 2023, 6pm

The agenda for Stronger Communities, Monday, 23rd January, 2023, 6.00 pm 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
5 Finance Report
6 Communications Report
7 Community Engagement Report
8 Coronation of King Charles III
9 Third Party Events Report

Climate, Biodiversity & Planning, Tuesday 24th January 2023, 6pm

The agenda for Climate, Biodiversity & Planning, Tuesday 24th January 2023, 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 Public Participation
4 Minutes
5 Planning Applications
6 Planning Decisions
7 Planning Appeal Decision Notification – 13 Willowbank, Witney
8 Planning Appeal Decision Notification – Land at Witney Road, Ducklington, Oxfordshire
9 West Oxfordshire District Council Validation for Planning Applications
10 Notice of Definitive Map Notice of landowner deposit
11 Licensing Application Consultation – W/22/01158/PAVLIC – The Corn Exchange, Market Square
12 A Petition to Government to Protect the Swift Population

Agenda for Halls, Cemeteries & Allotments, Monday 16th January 2023, 6pm

The agenda for Halls, Cemeteries & Allotments, Monday 16th January 2023, 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
5 Finance Report
6 Public Halls Report
7 Langdale Hall – Witney Horticultural Society Sign Request
8 Holy Trinity Churchyard Tree Works
9 Allotment Gates
10 Newland Allotments – Adjacent Path Lights Request

Witney Town Council Precept 2023

Witney Town Council Precept 2023

 Witney Town Council has voted to freeze its Council Tax precept for the 2023-24 municipal year, ensuring Witney residents won’t pay any more tax to the town council in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. The decision to freeze the precept payment was agreed at its Full Council meeting on Wednesday 4th January 2023.

Council tax image of wooden house  on blue background

The Town Council offers a range of community and recreational services to residents, many of which do not generate any income, and which include Allotments, Cemeteries, Civic and Community Events, Grants to Voluntary Organisations, Sports Pitches, Public Halls, eleven Recreation Grounds, Planning Matters (consultee on planning applications for the planning authority), The Town Hall and Street Scene.  In the current inflationary environment, it has also seen its own costs increase significantly.


At the budget-setting meeting this week, it was explained that the Town Council finances are in a strong and healthy position and the current administration has made enormous progress towards achieving its objectives, with additional funds earmarked for future projects.


Leader of the Council, Cllr Vicky Gwatkin stated “With the challenging economic climate hitting everybody hard and Town Council finances able to absorb some cost increases, it makes total sense to freeze the precept at its current rate.  It is a small gesture but the welfare of our community is our highest priority and it will at least go some way to easing the burden for the people of Witney.”


Citizen of the Year Nominations are now open

Last year's winners
Previous Winners

Who are Witney’s unsung heroes? Who does amazing things for the people of the town?

You can nominate them for a Citizen of the Year award.
The search is on to find Witney’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year. This prestigious annual award goes to someone who has given their time and energy to benefit their local community usually (but not always) on a voluntary basis.
Judges will be looking in particular for selfless service to a voluntary body or the community or someone whose service is acknowledged as making a real difference to the everyday lives of others. There is no age barrier, but nominees must live within Witney.
Friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues have the chance to nominate a special person for the prestigious title or any of the other awards which include; a Certificate of Outstanding Merit, Outstanding Commitment to Public Service and Outstanding Contribution. Witney Town Council is looking for people who have given exemplary service, which may be paid or unpaid, who make a real difference to Witney.
Residents who go that extra mile to help others will be recognised in the annual awards, presented by the Mayor at the Civic Reception in March.
ANYONE thinking about nominating a deserving individual as Witney’s Citizen of the Year or for any of the other awards has until 31st January 2023 to submit their details.
If you know someone who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment, energy and effort in order to achieve something of great benefit to you or your community nominate them on this link
or contact the Town Hall for a nomination form.
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Flood Alert Witney Area

Map of flood alert area
Flood alert area: River Windrush from Bourton to Newbridge including Burford, Asthall, Minster Lovell, Crawley, Witney, Ducklington, Rack End and Standlake.
A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency.
Flooding is possible in this area. Monitor local water levels and weather conditions. Avoid using low lying footpaths or entering areas prone to flooding. Start acting on your flood plan if you have one. The Environment Agency Flood Warning System has issued this message based on rising river or tidal levels.
Be prepared.
* Visit the GOV.UK website to see the current flood warnings, view river and sea levels or sign up for flood warnings by phone, email or text.
Call Floodline for advice
Telephone: 0345 988 1188
Textphone: 0345 602 6340
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Find out more about call charges

Agenda for Full Council, Wednesday 4th January 2023, 7pm

The agenda for Full Council, Wednesday 4th January 2023, 7pm has 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 Council Budget: Revised Budget 2022/23 and Estimate 2023/24
4 To formally Declare the Precept for 2023/24
5 Witney Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan
6 Correspondence

Traffic Regulation Notice – Curbridge, Bampton Road and Curbridge Road

Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council:
Curbridge, Bampton Road and Curbridge Road
Starting 13th February 2023


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

LOCATION: Curbridge, Bampton Road and Curbridge Road (A4095)
REASON: To facilitate replacement of Curbridge Manor Farm bridge expansion joints.

DURATION: Starting on 13 February 2023
The anticipated completion date is 18 February 2023 (date included) , 20:30 to 05:30 hours each night.
(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 Bampton Road A4095 > Main Road > Downs Road > Burford Road B4047 > Deer Park Road > Curbridge Road A4095 Vice Versa


Rearranged Full Council Meeting due Mon 12 December will now be held Wed 4 January 2023

Agenda will be published the week before the meeting.

The date of the meeting of Full Council that was scheduled for Monday, 12th December, 2022, 7.00 pm has now been rearranged.

It will now be held on Wednesday, 4th January, 2023, 7.00 pm in the Gallery Room, The Corn Exchange, Witney.

Please contact the Committee Clerk if you have any questions.

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


Witney Mayor’s Carol Service 2022

There’s a warm welcome at the Mayor of Witney, Cllr Liz Duncan’s Christmas Carol service on Friday 9th December at 7pm at St Mary’s Church on Church Green. The service contains familiar and well loved carols and readings. There are also performances from West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts, Witney Town Band and Wood Green School Chamber Choir.

It’s a great way to start feeling festive. In the words of someone quite famous “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

Some Leys Pitches to Be Back In Play Before January

Some Leys Pitches to Be Back In Play Before January

pitch work underway

 Witney Town Council is delighted to announce good news about the pitches at the Leys. Protective fencing which had been in place around the renovation work being undertaken on The Leys pitches was removed on Tuesday 29th November. The grounds team have commenced mowing the field.  They aren’t making a traditional autumn cut but completing a full cut and collect to help keep the thatch level under control and ensure the new sward has the best chance to further enhance its root strength. The Autumn weather has been much milder than usual, so the new grass has germinated better than expected.

The Council is able to open up a portion of the field for football earlier than expected. It is proposed to mark out two 7 x 7 and a 5 x 5 pitch that could be bookable as early as this weekend. The rest of the area will require some additional work but is still on target to be in play in January.

In addition to this, as a result of the Council bringing its grounds maintenance contract in house it has been able to invest in a Shockwave linear decompaction machine that will enable the team to perform more frequent decompaction work on all its football pitches. This will allow for decompaction work to be carried out more frequently  during the out of season maintenance periods, which will greatly improve the condition of all of the Town Council’s sports pitches.



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.




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.



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.”

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.


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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