Climate Emergency

Wantage Town Council Launches Climate Change Initiative

Wantage Town Council has added its voice to the growing environmental debate by declaring a Climate Emergency and establishing a new Sub Committee to help the Town Act on this. At its inaugural meeting this month Councillors pledged to take into account the environmental impact of its decisions and also to reach out to the local community, both householders and businesses. A budget of £10,000 – in part funded from savings made elsewhere – has been established to assist local projects that will contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint. The new Committee Chair, Dr Angela Dunford says “ We look forward to working with local partner organisations, individuals and businesses to promote initiatives that will have a positive environmental impact. Whether it’s community tree planting, waste reduction, energy advice or many other areas, we believe we owe it to future generations to play our small part in this global issue,”

Vice-Chair Erik Johnson added, “ Meetings of the Committee will be open to the public and we would encourage anyone with an interest or positive suggestions to contribute. Alternatively, ideas and suggestions can be sent to the Town Council. “

Contact details, meeting dates and rules available on the website.

FREE PopUp Business School from 7 – 11 October!

The Economic Development team at South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are working alongside the PopUp Business School team to run a FREE event in Shrivenham from 7 – 11 October.

The course is designed to help people start small businesses and make money doing what they love, for free! The team will show attendees how to start without spending any money, make a great website for free and figure out how to get to their first sale and beyond.

Events have previously been held in Didcot, Faringdon and Berinsfield, which have all been hugely successful! You can view the event trailer here to see what it’s all about.

Good news for local groups and not-for-profit organisations

Good news for local groups and not-for-profit organisations in the Vale of White Horse!  We have New Homes Bonus community grants available and groups can apply for a minimum of £1,000 (and up to 50 per cent of the total cost) towards projects which benefit the local community. 

Vale of White Horse District Council runs the scheme on behalf of the government, but you do not have to have new homes built in your area to apply. Previous projects funded through the scheme include parenting courses in Botley, a play area in Faringdon and most recently new furniture for a group in Wantage caring for people suffering from dementia and alzheimers. 

Local groups can greatly benefit from these grants and we would urge any organisations who think they could be eligible to get in touch. But don’t delay, the grant scheme closes at noon 28 October 2019. 

Anyone interested in New Homes Bonus grants should see more information on the council’s website or get in contact with the Community Enablement Team on 01235 422405 / /

Vale of the White Horse Freegle

Vale of White Horse Freegle keeping reusable items out of the waste stream since 2005! It’s not waste until you waste it.

Please don’t throw your old stuff away! Someone, somewhere may still find it useful. If you live in our group area please join up and offer it to our members. A much better option than sending it to landfill

Items must be legal, appropriate for all age-groups, and given away for free

Please: no Lending, swapping or selling.

For further info please click here

Grant funding for community and voluntary sector daytime support services Oxfordshire County Council

Information about the grants available

In 2016 Oxfordshire County Council developed a sustainable model for delivering daytime support to meet people’s needs now and in the future. This would include:

  • supporting people to live well in their communities;
  • providing some additional tailored support to people who need this;
  • and ensuring that a range of options are available for people with more complex needs to choose from, using their personal budgets or own resources.

There remained a need to continue to support people to live well in their local community, taking part in a range of locally available opportunities. Our aim was to reduce loneliness and social isolation by supporting individuals and communities to support each other.

Oxfordshire’s voluntary sector delivers excellent support to many vulnerable people; and the majority do so without funding from us. As part of the outcomes from the daytime support review, we introduced voluntary sector funding.

Grant funding for 2020/21 

The Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund is open to all voluntary and community groups supporting people in Oxfordshire. The total amount of the Innovation Fund for 2020/21 is £100,000

This fund will provide one-off funding to support the development of self-sustaining projects, delivering new and innovative opportunities for adults in Oxfordshire. 

The Sustainability Fund 

The Sustainability Fund is open to all voluntary and community groups supporting people in Oxfordshire. The total amount of the Sustainability Fund for 2020/21 is £250,000.

The fund can provide a contribution which can be used to support existing services to continue to operate and offer daytime support opportunities.

How to apply

Both funds are now open for applications. The closing date for all applications is 12pm Friday 20 September 2019. 

Vale of White Horse district councils’ new anti-idling campaign – Wantage Market

Councils are asking drivers to ‘Turn it off’ if they are stopped for a minute or more

Just one minute of sitting with your car engine running and the vehicle not moving produces the equivalent of 150 balloons of harmful pollutants into the air.

This is why South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have launched a joint campaign to help improve air quality across southern Oxfordshire.

The campaign called ‘Turn it Off’ – – which has been endorsed by Public Health England – is aimed at drivers who leave their engines ‘idling’ – still running even when the vehicle is not moving. This often happens when a vehicle is parked but the driver is still inside, waiting for someone outside a school or a shop.

The councils will be promoting the campaign on Wednesday 24th July at Wantage Market between 10am and midday talking about our new anti-idling campaign called Turn It Off and giving out promotional items – why not come and see us there.

Edwin Goldsmith

It is with great sadness that former Wantage Councillor EDWIN CECIL GOLDSMITH Passed away peacefully at the John Radcliffe Hospital on Tuesday 9th July, surrounded by his children. He will be sadly missed by his family and his partner Kate and her family. The funeral will take place at the South Oxfordshire Crematorium on Wednesday 31st July at 12:00 noon. Afterwards at The Bear Hotel Wantage. Family flowers only. Donations to Cancer Research UK, may be sent c/o H J Knapp & Sons 4 Church Street, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8BL.

Polling district and polling places review

Please find attached notice of the council’s review of polling districts and polling places. Further information is available on the council’s website

Below is the text of the press release issue by both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils.

“Residents are being asked to comment on the location of polling stations that are used for elections in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.

The councils are carrying out a review of the polling districts and polling places to help ensure that they meet the needs of voters.

All views are welcome, and the council is especially keen to hear from disabled residents and those who have experience of assisting disabled people with access requirements.

Margaret Reed, Returning Officer for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils said: “It’s important that all our polling stations are in suitable locations and that everyone can go and vote without having to worry about whether they will have problems getting in and out of the building.

“We’d like to hear from people about their experience of using polling stations during recent elections – whether there are any changes to the location or building that you’d like us to make or to give us details of any alternative places that may be used as a polling station.”

Comments are open until Friday 27 September.  People can have their say by visiting our website:

A34 Closures

A34 Didcot (Oxfordshire) to Chieveley (West Berkshire) Road Marking Renewal

Kier Highways, on behalf of Highways England, will be renewing the road markings along the A34 north and southbound carriageways between the A4130 Milton Interchange at Didcot and Chieveley, to ensure the network remains in a safe condition for our customers.

For the safety of our workforce and customers we will be closing the A34 overnight on the following dates:

  • Monday 22 July for four nights – A34 southbound carriageway from A4130 Milton Interchange to Chieveley

During the closure a signed diversion will be in place via the A417 to Wantage, then south on the A339 to junction 14 of the M4, then east along the M4 to access the A34 for motorway permitted vehicles; or via the A417 to Wantage then south on the B4494 through Farnborough and Snelsmore to Donnington, then north on the Oxford Road to access the A34 at the Chieveley roundabout for motorway restricted vehicles

  • Monday 29 July for five nights – A34 northbound carriageway from the M4 junction 13 Chieveley roundabout to the A4130 Milton interchange

During the closure a signed diversion will be in place via the M4, junction 14, north on the A338 to Wantage then the A417 towards Didcot for motorway permitted vehicles; or via the A4 from Speen to Hungerford, north on the A338 to Wantage then the A417 towards Didcot for motorway restricted vehicles

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles on blue light calls only.

Please be aware that these works have been carefully programmed but are subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances – please check the yellow signs placed in advance at the junction for confirmation of the closures dates/timings.

We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption caused during our work; if  you have any questions, or if you’d like to know about our work please contact us on 0300 123 5000 or email