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Woodstock Blog - News from the Woodstock area of Oxfordshire
Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Woodstock News

News and gossip from the Woodstock area.

Youth club to build new home after major grant fun
Members of a youth club are celebrating after councillors agreed a £50,000 grant to help build their new purpose-built home.

The Woodstock Youth Centre will now press ahead with its plans to construct the clubhouse on its existing site in Recreation Road which will house its hundreds of weekly users as well as the wider community.

The Community Facilities Grant funding was agreed by Cabinet members at West Oxfordshire District Council and means the club is near to the £208,000 it needs to start building work following a 10-year fundraising campaign.

Jane Hibberd, Vice Chairrman and volunteer Jackie HibberdJane Hibberd, Vice Chairman and Youth Leader at Woodstock Youth Centre, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the funding – it has given us a great boost to move forward with this venture.

“It will bring in new people and help provide the community leaders of the future.”

The Nordic building, which has planning consent, will replace the existing clubhouse which is more than 50 years old. It is hoped construction will take place next summer.

Described as a “landmark facility” the new clubhouse will be environmentally friendly and energy efficient with disabled access built into the design.

Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Health at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Woodstock is a popular and vibrant youth club which plays an important role in the lives of many young people in and around the town.

“I am delighted that it has secured the funding and look forward to visiting the new clubhouse in the near future.”

The £50,000 is the maximum amount available under the Community Facilities Grant which provides financial support for community led capital projects for the improvement and / or enhancement of existing facilities and the purchase of new equipment.

Other projects to benefit from the grants which are awarded by West Oxfordshire District Council twice a year are the Langston Memorial Fountain in Churchill which received £5,774 for repairs and Brownes Hall in Carterton which was granted £38,361 for refurbishment and a new roof.
Posted: 23/11/2016 11:40:27

Cheer on Britain’s silver medallists at Blenheim P
In a glorious autumn of British equestrian sport, the action now moves to Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials this week (17th-20th September).

Riders from 12 nations head to Oxfordshire for the country’s most prestigious three-star three-day-event, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials has attracted the best competitors from the sport of eventing round the world, including three of the members of Britain’s silver medal-winning team from last weekend’s European Championships at Blair Castle – William Fox-Pitt, Kitty King and Pippa Funnell.

And although the Blair individual gold medallist Michael Jung is taking a well-deserved break, his fellow member of the German team and the individual silver medallist, World Champion Sandra Auffarth, is competing at Blenheim.

Other top British riders in action over the weekend include Izzy Taylor and Gemma Tattersall, who both finished in the top 10 at Blair. They were two of only three riders to complete the cross-country without jumping or time-penalties, and will be thrilling to watch round Eric Winter’s challenging cross-country track in the stunning setting of Blenheim Palace’s park.

Alongside the sporting action, Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials offers a vast range of other attractions. These include excellent shopping opportunities, a Cookery Theatre featuring top local chefs, the ever-popular High Jump competitions and diverse arena attractions, masterclasses and displays.

The Brightwells Elite Event Horse Auction takes place on the evening of Friday 18th September.

There is also a parade of past winners of Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials on the final day of the event, Sunday 20th September, including Zara Phillips’ former World and European Champion, Toytown.
Posted: 15/09/2015 20:30:41

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials Outstan
Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials has attracted a huge entry of outstanding quality for its 25th anniversary event, which takes place from 17th-20th September 2015.

Entries in the principal CCI3* class, the most prestigious of its kind in Britain, include former winners William Fox-Pitt, Pippa Funnell and Francis Whittington.

William Fox-Pitt, who has taken this title three times so far (in 2000, 2010 and 2012) is bringing the experienced Cool Mountain – winner of individual silver and team gold medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games – and the younger but highly talented Luxury FH.

Pippa Funnell, whose four successes at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials came in 1993, 1995, 2003 and 2004, rides Mirage D’Elle and the home-bred Billy The Biz.

Both William and Pippa are representing Britain at the European Championships at Blair Castle this weekend before coming to the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials – as is last year’s CCI3* winner Francis Whittington.

It’s not just Britain’s best at Blenheim – stars from round the world are competing at the Oxfordshire event. A strong American contingent includes Lauren Kieffer and Clark Montgomery, both hopeful of a place in their country’s squad for the Rio Olympics next year.

Australia’s Andrew Hoy, a triple Olympic gold medallist, has entered Cheeky Calimbo, while his team-mate from the London Olympics, Christopher Burton – recently third and fourth at Burghley – brings Nobilis 18 to Blenheim.

Aoife Clark, winner of the CCI3* at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in 2013 and the highest-placed Irish rider at both the London Olympics and last year’s World Equestrian Games, has entered the exciting young horse Fernhill Adventure.

The CIC3* for eight-and-nine-year-old horses is always a strong indicator of future stars, as three out of the six horses to have won this class so far have already gone on to win at the very highest (CCI4*) level.

Particularly exciting entries in this class include Zara Phillips and Watkins, and New Zealander Tim Price with Xavier Faer – Tim’s horse is a half-brother to last year’s winner Faerie Dianamo, who was ridden by Tim’s wife Jonelle.
Posted: 11/09/2015 15:43:44

Zara Phillips and Toytown return to Blenheim
Zara Phillips and Toytown, who were crowned European eventing champions at Blenheim Palace in 2005, are returning to the scene of their great victory this autumn.

Toytown, who carried Zara to triumph in the World Equestrian Games the year following their European Championship win, is heading the Parade of Champions at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials – part of the Oxfordshire event’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials runs from 17th-20th September 2015, and the Parade of Champions – former winners of the event - takes place on the afternoon of Sunday, 20th September.

Toytown, now 22, lives in happy retirement at Zara’s Gloucestershire home.

Zara, who is hoping to be part of Britain’s team at the Rio Olympics in 2016, is also competing a new horse in Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials’ prestigious CIC3* class for eight-and-nine-year-old horses.

She will be riding Watkins, a nine-year-old thoroughbred gelding, who started his career in New Zealand and joined Zara’s team this year. The pair finished eighth in their first CCI2* at Camphire in Ireland recently; this will be their first attempt at three-star level.

Mandy Hervieu, Event Director of Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, said: “We are delighted to have Toytown and Zara at Blenheim this year. Toytown is one of the most famous, best-loved event horses of all time and we hope that spectators will enjoy the chance to see him once more.”
Posted: 28/08/2015 11:48:42

Woodstock play and activity day
Children and young people have the chance to join in the fun at a FREE action-packed play and activity day in Woodstock to kick-off the summer holidays.

With activities including body zorbing, drumming, lasertag and ‘Go Karting’, as well as soft play, face painting, nature play and the Story Tailors, there will be something for youngsters of all ages and abilities.

The Play and Activity Day takes place:

Wednesday 29 July
The Marlborough School playing field, Woodstock, OX20 1LP

The event is part of the national Playday campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives.

Cllr James Mills, West Oxfordshire District Council’s ‘Young Persons Champion’, said: “We hope to see lots of you there as it’s open to all young people across the District. And with so many different activities on offer the youngsters will be spoilt for choice – and what’s more it’s all absolutely free which will appeal to parents too!”
The day has been organised by Oxfordshire Play Association and is supported by West Oxfordshire District Council, Woodstock Town Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Cottsway housing association, Greensquare, Oxfordshire Community Foundation and Doris Field Charitable Trust.

For further information see: or call 01865 779474.
Posted: 10/07/2015 18:47:14

Woodstock play and activity day
Children and young people have the chance to join in the fun at a FREE action-packed play and activity day in Woodstock to kick-off the summer holidays.

With activities including body zorbing, drumming, lasertag and ‘Go Karting’, as well as soft play, face painting, nature play and the Story Tailors, there will be something for youngsters of all ages and abilities.

The Play and Activity Day takes place:

Wednesday 29 July
The Marlborough School playing field, Woodstock, OX20 1LP

The event is part of the national Playday campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives.

Cllr James Mills, West Oxfordshire District Council’s ‘Young Persons Champion’, said: “We hope to see lots of you there as it’s open to all young people across the District. And with so many different activities on offer the youngsters will be spoilt for choice – and what’s more it’s all absolutely free which will appeal to parents too!”
The day has been organised by Oxfordshire Play Association and is supported by West Oxfordshire District Council, Woodstock Town Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Cottsway housing association, Greensquare, Oxfordshire Community Foundation and Doris Field Charitable Trust.

For further information see: or call 01865 779474.
Posted: 10/07/2015 18:47:03

Get ready to make a splash as Woodstock pool reope
After a record-breaking number of visitors in 2013, Woodstock’s outdoor pool is gearing up to open its doors for the summer.

The pool is due to reopen on Saturday 26 April and staff are looking forward to a busy season ahead.

Last year, soaring temperatures and a hot summer helped to attract 15,000 swimmers and spectators – the pool’s highest ever number of visitors.

The pool is owned by West Oxfordshire District Council and run by its leisure contractor, Better. It has a 25m main pool, heated to 29 degrees and with a depth of 3.5m, making it ideal for diving enthusiasts, along with a separate paddling pool for younger children.

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member responsible for leisure, said: “With its large grassed area and café, the pool is suitable for families and makes for a great day out. Although last summer was exceptionally busy thanks to the hot weather, both pools are heated and suitable for all weather.

“We’re pleased to offer leisure facilities like this in District and are looking forward to another busy, fun-packed summer. Hopefully we’ll have some fantastic weather too!”

The pool is also available for private hire and swimming lessons and will be open until September.

Timetable and pricing information will be available shortly at Alternatively, call 01993 811785.

Woodstock is one of two open-air pools in West Oxfordshire. The second is The Lido at Chipping Norton, a community-run facility, which opens for the summer season on Thursday 17 April. For more information see or call 01608 643188.
Posted: 04/04/2014 18:25:37

Date set for Woodstock Pool opening
Woodstock’s heated outdoor pool opens for the summer season on Saturday 20 April.

In addition to the main 25 metre swimming pool, it has a separate paddling pool for younger children.

Robert Wood, West Oxfordshire Partnership Manager for GLL Better, which runs the pool on behalf of the District Council, said: “The pool is heated to a pleasant 29 degrees, so it means we get lots of visitors whatever the weather and have thousands of people coming along to swim or make the most of the surroundings every year.”

The pool, in Shipton Road, Woodstock, is set in a grassed area. The deep end of the main pool has a diving board and a depth of 3.5m, so is an ideal place for diving enthusiasts. The changing rooms have modern showers and there are disabled facilities. It is also open for private hire and swimming lessons.

Entrance costs range from £2.50 (off-peak) and £3 (peak) for juniors to £4.15 (off-peak) and £5.75 (peak) for adults, with concessions, family and season tickets available.

The pool, which is owned by West Oxfordshire District Council, will remain open for the summer season and close in September.

Anyone wanting further information can visit or call the pool on 01993 811785.
Posted: 10/04/2013 15:42:29

Huge crowds turn out to cheer Olympic Flame
Around 13,000 people turned out in Woodstock and Blenheim Palace on the afternoon of 9 July to share in the excitement of welcoming the Olympic Flame.

Entertainment and activities by local groups added to a party atmosphere before the relay started. In Woodstock local bands played and in Blenheim Palace many people joined in the displays and activities put on by schools, sports clubs and disability groups.

The church bells rang as the crowds cheered, clapped and waved flags when Clive Stone from Eynsham carried the Torch into the centre of Woodstock. Here he was greeted by the Rt Hon David Cameron, Prime Minister and MP for Witney before passing the Flame across to Roland Read.

Once inside the Palace grounds, Graham Warland, the next Torchbearer, ran in front of the beautiful backdrop of Blenheim Palace, a scene often called the 'Finest View in England'.

Thousands of excited flag-waving school children greeted 18 year old Juliet Sparrow as she carried the Torch into the Great Court, at the front of Blenheim Palace. Some of the children had created Olympic-inspired banners and they were standing on the Palace steps holding them up for the world to see.

Inside the Great Court Juliet Sparrow (photographed right) was met by the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. His Grace, the 11th Duke of Marlborough welcomed her saying, “We are honoured and delighted that the Olympic Torch Relay has come to Blenheim Palace today. I am sure that this historic event will be long remembered by all present, and I am especially pleased that there are over 3,000 children here today.

“We wish all the runners a safe journey and we all hope that the Olympic Games will be very enjoyable and successful.”

Cllr Derek Cotterill, the Chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council and Cllr Brian Yoxall, Mayor of Woodstock also welcomed the Torch to Woodstock and West Oxfordshire.

On the Palace steps the Flame was handed over to Pat Pearce who left the Great Court holding the Torch up high whilst the crowds sang Land of Hope and Glory led by a brass band. Leslie Billinger was the final Torchbearer before the Flame left Woodstock and Blenheim Palace to resume its journey.

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure at West Oxfordshire District Council had been very involved in the preparations for the day. He said, “It's thrilling to be here and see the Olympic flame carried by inspirational torchbearers and I'm incredibly proud of the fantastic welcome it's been given by West Oxfordshire residents. Both Woodstock and Blenheim Palace play an important role in attracting thousands of tourists to the Oxfordshire Cotswolds each year and today has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase our district for the world to see.”

“A lot of effort has gone into ensuring that this day has run so smoothly and I would like to thank officers from the local authorities, Blenheim Palace staff, the Police, schools and the local community groups who put on displays and entertainment. It’s been a good example of communities and authorities coming together and working effectively.”

Cllr Brian Yoxall, Mayor of Woodstock, said, “It was an unforgettable day. Everyone appreciated it was a historic occasion for Woodstock and Blenheim and was determined to savour the moment. An added bonus was that the Prime Minister was present and engaging with as many people in the crowd as humanly possible.”
Posted: 11/07/2012 11:32:53

New banks for recycling small electric items
Residents in West Oxfordshire can now recycle small electrical items at new depository banks being rolled out across the District.

West Oxfordshire District Council is providing a host of new WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) banks, across the district, that allow people to recycle minor electrical items more conveniently.

The new banks can be used for anything with electrical or electronic parts from hair straighteners to shavers, and toys to toasters. These will then be recycled or refurbished and in turn reduce waste sent to landfill.

Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We are committed to making the District a greener place to live by making it more convenient and accessible to recycle smaller household items.

“This will benefit residents, who previously may have thrown smaller electrical items in their general rubbish bins or had to make a special journey to a County Waste and Recycling Centre.”

The WEEE Banks will be placed in the following locations:

Guildenford car park, Burford
Co-op, Carterton
Stanmore Crescent, Carterton
Marsh Lane car park, Clanfield
Aston Rd car park, Ducklington
Edington Square, Witney
Sainsbury’s , Witney
Woodford Way, Witney
Back Lane car park, Eynsham
Hensington Rd, Woodstock

The District Council has teamed up with WEEE compliance scheme Electrolink who are helping to fund the project.

Electrolink's commercial manager, Martyn Parfitt, said: "We're happy to support West Oxfordshire in its bid to recycle even more. The more we can divert from landfill the better - we can prevent environmental damage and preserve valuable resources."

Larger items such as TV monitors, washing machines and anything that doesn't fit in the chute of the banks should be taken to a household waste and recycling centre (tip). Alternatively, for a small charge, you can order a bulky household waste collection through the District Council by calling 01993 861025 or visiting:
Posted: 05/07/2012 17:33:04

Woodstock buildings come alive with history
Woodstock’s walls came to life as a series of plaques that delve into the town’s history were installed.

A set of seven plaques will be displayed on buildings across the town and will cover a range of historical facts and information including a plaque on the Town Hall illustrating how a market was held in the building during the Victorian era.

The project was financed privately from developer funding secured by the District Council from Pye Homes Ltd and donations from Woodstock residents.

The stone used was donated by Joslins Stonemasonry, an Oxfordshire-based company.

The plaques were worked from Portland Limestone, the same stone used to build the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Oxfordshire sculptor Giles Macdonald was commissioned by West Oxfordshire District Council, Woodstock Town Council and Historic Woodstock to design and create the plaques.

Giles Macdonald said: “It’s a real honour to be commissioned to carry out this project and it has really caught the Woodstock residents’ imagination.

“The town has a rich history and I’ve picked up so many interesting facts through working on the plaques.”

Cllr Warwick Robinson, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “What’s great about this is that every part of the project was local. The stone was kindly donated by a local company, the sculptor is born and bred in the county and it was financed by local organisations.

“These plaques bring the town’s rich heritage to life and many of the buildings have fascinating stories to tell. I urge people to visit Woodstock and enjoy these great pieces of art.”
Posted: 20/04/2012 13:51:58

Outdoor pool makes a splash with swimmers
Swimmers are being urged to pick out their swimwear following news that West Oxfordshire District Council’s heated outdoor pool in Woodstock will open for the summer season this Saturday (April 14).

As well as the 25-metre pool, there is a separate paddling pool for younger children.

Ben Border, West Oxfordshire Partnership Manager for Nexus Community, who run the pool on behalf of the District Council, said: “With the great weather and a sport filled summer I’m sure many people will want to get active.

“The pool is heated to 29 degrees, so it means we get lots of visitors whatever the weather and there is plenty of green space for people wanting to bring a picnic with them and making a day of it.”

The pool, in Shipton Road, Woodstock, is set in a grassed area. The deep end of the main pool has a diving board and a depth of 3.5m, so is an ideal place for diving enthusiasts.

The changing rooms have modern showers and there are disabled facilities.
The pool is also open for private hire and swimming lessons.

Entrance costs range from £2.50 (off-peak) and £3 (peak) for juniors to £4.15 (off-peak) and £5.75 (peak) for adults, with concessions, family and season tickets available. There is also free parking available.

The pool will remain open for the summer season until 2 September.

Anyone wanting further information can call 01993 811785 or visit
Posted: 05/04/2012 16:04:07

Residents invited to take the tourist trail
West Oxfordshire residents can experience the district from a tourist’s perspective as part of the first ever English Tourism Week.

It runs from March 10-18 and gives the industry an opportunity to highlight the value of tourism to the nation as well demonstrating its role in promoting the district to tourists and visitors

During this period the Visitor Information Centres will be offering a 10 per cent discount on all gifts and souvenirs at their centres.

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Local Economy and Communities, said:
“Tourism plays a significant part in the district’s economy and has not only boosted the local economy but created employment as well. This is a great opportunity for residents to take part in the guided tours and view the district from a tourist’s perspective.

“We all lead very busy lives and have a tendency to lose sight of some of the wonderful attractions on our doorstep. These tours give us an opportunity to see what makes West Oxfordshire such a popular tourist destination.”

Witney MP David Cameron backed the initiative and urged residents to explore their locality.
He said: “With so many wonderful local attractions in West Oxfordshire, it is no surprise that tourism plays an enormous role in our local economy. I encourage everyone to participate in the walking tours planned during English Tourism Week and experience the many hidden treasures of our lovely Cotswold towns.”

There are four guided town walks taking place across the district:

Tuesday 13 March Woodstock Town Walk 2.00pm - 3.30pm, The Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock

Wednesday 14 March Chipping Norton Town Walk 10am - 11.30am, Town Hall, Market Place, Chipping Norton

Wednesday 14 March Burford Town Walk 2.00pm - 3.30pm, Visitor Information Centre, High Street, Burford

Thursday 15 March Witney Town Walk 2.00pm - 3.30pm, Visitor Information Centre, Town Centre Shop, Welch Way, Witney

Places on the guided walks should be booked in advance by calling 01993 861780 or email

As part of English Tourism Week, the district’s residents and businesses can also nominate their Tourism Superstar.
It can be anyone from a tour guide, shop assistant, cab driver or hotel receptionist who embodies the spirit of the district and is a real ambassador. There are prizes for the winner and the person who submitted them. To nominate a candidate visit

The District Council works closely with local businesses to promote the area as a tourism destination.

This includes producing visitor guides, promotional material and marketing the area as the ‘Oxfordshire Cotswolds’ through the website.

For more information about English Tourism Week visit
Posted: 10/02/2012 16:16:25

Council grant for Woodstock community centre
Plans to refurbish a community centre in Woodstock have been given a £35,500 funding boost from West Oxfordshire District Council.

Built originally as a Drill Hall and located in New Road, Woodstock, the community centre is now in need of refurbishment so it can be used as a multi-purpose venue for the benefit of its regular users as well as encouraging new activities and bookings.

Cllr Jill Dunsmore, Mayor of Woodstock explains, “The community centre is a valuable asset for the town and used by many groups, but bookings have been in decline for some time. We have patched, painted and washed but the state of the building has now gone beyond this. We want to make the space more flexible and attractive so more people and community groups will use it and we also think it would be an ideal venue for events such as weddings and private parties. The project has received widespread support from local residents”

The work that needs to be carried out includes re-wiring, effective central heating, double glazing and insulation. The Town Council want to make it a greener, more energy efficient building.

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Local Economy and Communities said, “The existing building is outdated and so it is good news that Woodstock Town Council has taken on these huge improvement works for the benefit of its residents. I am particularly pleased to see the large level of support from the local community and congratulate the Town Council for successfully raising the funding needed for the project to go ahead.”

A breakdown of the improvement works includes:
Turning the main hall into a flexible space suitable for art exhibitions, drama, lectures, films, parties, private hire events, dance and exercise classes.

Removing the current low ceiling and installing roof lights
Adding new windows to the rear of the hall.

Double glazing all windows/rooflights, and where possible implementing further green energy options such as improved ceiling insulation.

Providing a new meeting room for local societies.

The total cost of the project is £145,000 and contributions will be from: Woodstock Town Council, WREN, West Oxfordshire District Council, Cottsway Housing and local societies and private donations.

The project will retain the first floor in its present form with the commercial tenancies in place.
Posted: 26/08/2011 15:06:34

Secured future for Combe Mill
An ancient steam and water mill, is to receive grant funding from West Oxfordshire District Council towards a major refurbishment project to secure the building’s future and provide an improved leisure and learning destination for visitors.

Combe Mill, a Grade 2* listed building, which is part of the Blenheim Estate, has operated for centuries as a working watermill until the 1950s and a saw mill until 2000.

Since the late 1960s it has been looked after by the Combe Mill Society, a charity run wholly by volunteers. Through fundraising they have restored a rare beam engine, line shafting and brought a waterwheel back into working condition.

However, over the years the historic fabric of the mill building has deteriorated to such an extent that the safety of the building and its visitors is now at risk. Urgent work is needed.

Tony Simmons, Chair of the Combe Mill Society explains that the refurbishment project will include waterproofing the mill by refurbishing the windows, repairing and weatherproofing the roof and re-pointing settlement cracks. It will modernise the electrical system so it is compliant and structurally reinforce the education room.

It will also improve access for all visitors especially those with mobility problems by putting in a lift and suitable toilets.

Commenting on the Combe Mill Society’s successful grant application, Tony Simmons said, “We are delighted to have West Oxfordshire District Council’s support as it is vital for the project to go ahead. Conservation and improved access will help to attract tourists and visitors. It is a place where all ages can experience and learn about Victorian engineering and social history.”

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Local Economy and Communities said, “Combe Mill is an important heritage site which will attract even more tourists and visitors once it is fully restored. It’s a site our district is very proud of, so I am very pleased the Council is contributing towards its restoration. Well done to the Combe Mill Society volunteers who have worked tirelessly on this project for many years.”

The £30,000 funding provided by the district council goes towards the total project cost of £824,000. The largest contribution is £768,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Support is also being given by the Blenheim Estate (£22,657), volunteer effort (£31,550) and the Combe Mill Society (£2,000).

English Heritage has been fully involved with the Combe Mill restoration project and supports the plans.

Combe Mill Society also maintains the Mill’s riverside setting, keeping it in good order and safely managed for the benefit of the community and the environment. Anyone interested in finding out more, or joining the society to help maintain the mill or fund raise, can download a membership form on

The grant decision was made by the Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 24 August and is subject to the usual call in period.
Posted: 26/08/2011 11:50:18

Keeping children active this summer
A fun-packed line-up of activities is on offer at West Oxfordshire District Council’s leisure centres to help keep youngsters active during the summer holidays.

Under-16s can swim for just £1 during selected sessions at Carterton, Chipping Norton and Witney’s Windrush Leisure Centres.

In addition to the discounted swimming, various sessions are available including:

· ‘Active Zone’, a holiday playscheme for 5-11 year olds at The Windrush, offering activities such as roller-skating, games, bouncy castle and face-painting.
· Crash courses in swimming, trampolining, gymnastics and much more.
· Racquet sports for just £1 for any age, Monday-Friday, at Chipping Norton Leisure Centre.

The holiday activities run until the end of the school holidays and have been organised by the Council’s leisure contractor, Nexus Community, which manages leisure facilities in West Oxfordshire.

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Local Economy and Communities, said: “The leisure centres have lots of things going on to keep children and young people active during the summer break at very reasonable costs. There’s also the opportunity for them to try new things and make new friends, and we hope people take advantage of these great local facilities.”

For warmer days during the holidays, Woodstock Pool offers open-air swimming as well as a large grass area for playing and picnicking as well as a café. There is also an independently-run Lido at Chipping Norton.

For more information about summer holiday activities, contact the leisure centres on:

Carterton: 01993 861981
Chipping Norton: 01993 861951
The Windrush: 01993 202020
Woodstock Open-Air Pool: 01993 811875
Posted: 22/07/2011 12:32:32

Woodstock Neighbourhood Management Update - April
The team has carried out a number of speed checks across the neighbourhood and have included the A44 Woodstock by Churchill Gate, Lower Road Church Hanborough, Church Road Long Hanborough and Killingworth Castle between Wootton and Glympton. All locations visited have 30mph zones and we found that the majority of offending drivers were local residents.

Warning letters will be sent out to those drivers caught exceeding the limit and should they re-offend then the police will visit your home address as a final warning. We will also be visiting locations with the laser speed device and in these instances where drivers are caught, £60 fixed penalty tickets are immediately issued and three points put on your driving licence.

If you have any concerns regarding speeding issues where you live, please contact the neighbourhood team.

Parking outside the railway station in Long Hanborough will be reduced in the coming weeks as a fence will be placed around the grassed area by the bus stop. This is being completed by Oxfordshire County Council as a result of the continuing problems with vehicles parking on the grass verges. It is hoped that funding will be made available to enable the verges on the Blenheim side of the road to be cordoned off to eliminate all parking of station users in these areas.

It is not acceptable for residents to have to put up with having 20 to 30 vehicles regularly parking by their properties and Network Rail will have to provide additional parking as part of the upgrade that they are carrying out.

Other News
There has been a spate of bogus workman in Bladon and Woodstock. In these cases men have called on elderly residents and offered to fix a shed roof or similar which they have claimed was in need of a quick repair. They have then charged an unreasonable amount to do the work and in most cases the job did not need doing at all.

I recommend that if you know any vulnerable neighbours or family members that could be a target for these undesirable people, then please advise them not to get into a conversation with unknown callers. Do not agree to any work being carried out. If these people do not go away then ensure that all doors are locked and the police are called. We need to find out who these people are and deal with them as soon as possible. Trading Standards would also like details and they can be contacted on 0845 051 0845.

We also operate a Nominate a Neighbour scheme in West Oxfordshire. For more details on this free scheme please visit

You can now send non emergency messages to us using the online form that is available on the Thames Valley website. Please visit and choose neighbourhood policing then select your neighbourhood.

Alternatively you can telephone the non emergency number on 08458 505 505 and leave a message which will be passed on to the team, thank you.
Posted: 07/04/2011 10:50:23

16 affordable new homes for Woodstock
The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough are officially opening Ben's Close, a development of 16 affordable new homes in Woodstock on Friday 10 September.

Ben's Close has been developed by Sovereign Vale, the largest social housing provider based in Oxfordshire.

Woodstock is an area which needs affordable homes for local people living and working in the town. This was identified by West Oxfordshire District Council working in conjunction with the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council and Woodstock Town Council.

The new Ben's Close development, which cost £2.4 million, including a £1.07m grant from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), is also being built to code three of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The development has been named after Ben Brooks who used to farm the surrounding area where the development has been built. The scheme has been delivered under the Oxfordshire Rural Housing Partnership and has been built by the contractor Blenheim Estate Contractors Ltd (part of the Blenheim Estate) on land previously owned by the Estate.

Steve Russell, Managing Director for Sovereign Vale, noted, "Sovereign Vale is committed to providing homes in rural locations across Oxfordshire. All the partners involved in Ben's Close have worked really hard to deliver this excellent new scheme and we are really pleased to be offering these much needed affordable new homes in Woodstock. "

Cllr Verena Hunt, West Oxfordshire District Council's Cabinet Member with responsibility for housing said, " Securing affordable homes for residents in our villages is essential for our rural communities to thrive. West Oxfordshire District Council's rural exception sites policy has enabled many schemes such as this one in Woodstock to be built."

Ken Glendinning, Head of area at the HCA, commented, "We are committed to investing in rural communities and supporting our partners in creating new and affordable places for local people to call home. This is an excellent new development and will help meet demand from the Woodstock community."

Roger File, Property Director at the Blenheim Estate, commented, "We are extremely proud of the scheme, particularly as it is within Woodstock with which Blenheim Palace and the wider Estate is an integral part. This is the first time we have worked with Sovereign Vale and have been very pleased how all parties have worked together to achieve a common objective. We hope that this will be the first of many similar successful schemes in the District."

If you would like more information, please contact Chris Irons, Public Relations Manager for Sovereign, on 01635 277406 or 07810 506423, or email
Posted: 10/09/2010 12:14:24

Woodstock pool set to reopen for summer
Woodstock’s heated outdoor pool opens for the summer season on Saturday 22nd May.

The pool has undergone essential maintenance works in preparation for the re-opening. Carey James, Partnership Manager for Nexus Community, which runs the pool on behalf of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We wanted to be sure that the Pool is both safe and in tip-top condition for the new season. As it is heated to a pleasant 29 degrees, we are always very busy, whatever the weather. Last year we had over 10,000 visitors.”

The 25m pool in Shipton Road, Woodstock, is set in a grassed area. The deep end of the main pool has a diving board and a depth of 3.5m, so it is an ideal place for diving enthusiasts. There is a separate paddling pool for toddlers and very young children. The changing rooms have modern showers and there are disabled facilities. The pool is also open for private hire and swimming lessons.

Entrance costs range from £2.90 for juniors to £5.60 for adults for a full afternoon. Family and season tickets are available for regular users. The pool will remain open for the summer season until 5th September.

Anyone wanting further information can visit or call the pool on 01993 811785.
Posted: 13/05/2010 11:44:27

New opening date for Woodstock outdoor pool
Woodstock heated open air pool is expected to open in May rather than April this year, due to essential maintenance works.

Loose tiles were discovered on one wall of the swimming pool tank during preparatory works for the new season. Work is starting immediately on removing and replacing them and, weather permitting, will take about 3 weeks to complete.

“Traditionally Woodstock pool has always opened earlier than most other outdoor swimming pools, and we had been planning an opening on the 17 April”, said Carey James, Partnership Manager for Nexus Community. “However, we must be sure that the pool is safe and in tip top condition before we open. Loose tiles are a safety hazard and so replacing them is essential.

“We apologise to those looking forward to the early opening and hope that the replacement tiling work will not take long. The Pool is at its quietest during April and we’d like to reassure all our regular users and visitors that the swimming pool will open in plenty of time for the warm summer weather. Once opened, it will not close until the end of the summer season on 5th September.“

The 25m pool is set in a grassed area and is a very popular local facility during the summer months. The deep end of the main pool has a diving board and a depth of 3.5m and so it is an ideal place for diving enthusiasts. There is a separate paddling pool for toddlers and very young children. Modern showers are in the changing rooms and there are disabled facilities

The pool, in Shipton Road, Woodstock, is owned by West Oxfordshire District Council and managed by Nexus Community.

Anyone wanting further information can visit or call the pool on 01993 811785.
Posted: 31/03/2010 18:28:03

Tourism spending rise in West Oxfordshire
Latest figures show that tourism-related spending in West Oxfordshire rose by 3.3% to £232 million in 2008, despite the start of the UK-wide recession.

An Economic Impact of Tourism Study by Tourism South East, the official tourist board for the region, shows that annual tourism expenditure in the district increased in spite of the economy down-turning in the final quarter of the year.

The number of visitors to the district increased to 3.8 million, including day trips and overnight or longer stays. The number of overseas visitors dipped slightly, however expenditure by people visiting from overseas is shown to have increased.

The study also shows that 4,000 people were employed in the tourism sector in West Oxfordshire, including almost 3,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Tourism plays an important role in West Oxfordshire’s economy and West Oxfordshire District Council supports the sector through investment in tourism services and development. This includes operating Visitor Information Centres in Burford, Witney and Woodstock.

The Council also works to promote the district under the brand of the ‘Oxfordshire Cotswolds’ and runs a website containing information about events and attractions, as well as producing a visitor guide, attractions guide and other specialised publications, and representing the district at both national and international tourism events.

Cllr Hilary Biles, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism and Health, said: “The tourism industry faced a severe threat when the economic downturn started in 2008 and there has undoubtedly been an impact across the country, and indeed globally. These latest figures for 2008 are extremely positive for West Oxfordshire. At the first sign of the downturn, the Council began increasing marketing activity and worked with local businesses to offer assistance wherever possible. This has continued throughout the recession and we remain committed to supporting the industry.”

As part of its commitment to tourism, the Council published a Tourism Strategy at the end of 2009 setting out how it plans to work with key organisations and local tourism businesses over the next 3 years to increase the contribution of tourism to the district’s economy. Key to this is encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more.

To find out more about tourism in West Oxfordshire and to view the Tourism Strategy visit Alternatively, call 01993 861080.
Posted: 12/03/2010 09:47:26

Get set to go jogging
Jog into spring by joining one of West Oxfordshire’s new jogging groups for beginners this month.

The ‘JustJog’ sessions are being run by the District’s GO Active (Get Oxfordshire Active) team, which is part of a countywide project to encourage adults over the age of 16 to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.

The sessions are running for 10 weeks starting in Chipping Norton on March 17th, Eynsham on March 18th and Woodstock on March 29th.

Meeting points for the sessions are yet to be announced and the GO Active team is encouraging anyone interested in joining in to find out more by calling 01993 861564. The cost for each session is £2.

The JustJog groups are being run in partnership with Run England and will be led by qualified jog leaders. The aim is to encourage beginners to give jogging a try while having fun and meeting new people.

West Oxfordshire’s GO Active co-ordinator Sarah Sandford, who is based at the District Council, said: “One of the key aims of GO Active is to create opportunities for more people to get active, while having fun and meeting new people. Jogging is a fantastic way to improve health and fitness, and having the support of other people around is a great incentive to stick at it. We hope people will make the most of the JustJog groups in their local communities and we are continuing to work on other projects across the district.”

More information about GO Active in West Oxfordshire, including other sports and leisure activities available in the District, can be viewed at or
Posted: 11/03/2010 10:46:51

Have a say on the way housing is allocated
West Oxfordshire District Council is inviting residents to have a say on how social housing is allocated to people.

The Council has not held any housing stock since 2001, but is responsible for keeping the District’s Common Waiting List for housing.

Anyone who wishes to be considered for social housing – whether rented or part-ownership – must be on the Waiting List. Each applicant is awarded points and those with the most points, who are deemed to have greatest need, become eligible to be housed. The Council then nominates those people to housing associations for accommodation.

The Council has a Nominations Policy which sets out how points should be awarded. This includes guidance set by law which requires the Council to give priority to those in most need, such as anyone who is homeless or living in overcrowded conditions. In addition, it contains priorities which the Council has set for West Oxfordshire, including preference for people with a local connection to the district and key workers.

The Council is currently reviewing the Nominations Policy and would like to hear from residents about what they think of the current policy and changes they feel should be made.

Residents are asked to complete a short survey online at The Nominations Policy can be viewed online via this link.

Cllr Jill Dunsmore, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are contacting people on the Waiting List to ask them for their views and would like to encourage as many others as possible to have a say. This will help with the review and could lead to important changes in the way social housing is allocated in the future.”

Questions being asked include whether the current points system is a fair way to prioritise housing applications and whether more weight should be given to time spent on the Waiting List. At present, priority is not given according to the amount of time an applicant has been on the List.

Anyone unable to complete the online survey, or who wishes to make further suggestions, can email or write to Housing Services, West Oxfordshire District Council, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney, Oxon, 0X28 1PB.
Posted: 01/03/2010 17:40:17

More tree chippings despite bad weather
January’s snow and freezing conditions failed to stop West Oxfordshire residents from helping the environment by getting their real Christmas trees recycled.

Almost an extra tonne of Christmas trees have been chipped in West Oxfordshire this year; despite sessions across the district being put back a week due to the adverse weather.

West Oxfordshire District Council organises the free sessions every January to give people the chance to get their trees turned into chippings which are then used to create eco-friendly biomass energy.

Last year, 10.25 tonnes of chippings were collected in the district. This year, 11.3 tonnes – the weight of two African elephants – were collected from trees taken to sessions and drop-off points in Burford, Carterton, Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Eynsham, Long Hanborough, Tackley, Witney and Woodstock.

Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We had to postpone the sessions at short notice because of the weather and we thought this might have decreased the number of trees brought along. However, we gave people the chance to leave their trees to be chipped and ran the sessions a week later than planned, and although the weather was still affecting travelling conditions people made the effort to come along.

“We are extremely grateful and I would like to thank our residents. This has stopped hundreds of trees from going to landfill and they are being put to good use instead.”

Oxfordshire-based Goodwood Tree Care Ltd helped with the chipping sessions. Half of the chippings have been sent for biomass and will create enough energy to supply heat and hot water to a large three-bedroom house for more than four months during the winter. The rest of the chippings have been used locally on shrub beds.

For more information about other aspects of waste and recycling in West Oxfordshire, visit or call 01993 861020.
Posted: 29/01/2010 17:42:57

Icy conditions and West Oxon D.C. services
Waste and recycling collections in some areas of West Oxfordshire have been suspended due to icy road conditions. This is a particular problem in the higher areas of the District.

West Oxfordshire District Council hope that any outstanding collections will be completed today but this is dependent on the road conditions.

Please could residents whose waste has not been collected, leave their bins and recycling boxes out for collection until the end of today, Thursday 24 December.

Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for the Environment said “We are trying our utmost to reach as many areas as possible but the weather is working against us - the temperature remains at freezing and the roads are very icy and dangerous. Collections have been suspended for the safety for our bin men, and residents and their property”.

If the bins cannot be collected today then the Council’s revised collection dates for the festive Bank Holiday will come into play. Information has been sent to every household in the district and details about the changes are also available on the Council’s website,

The changes are as follows:

Normal Collection --> Revised Collection
Friday 25 December --> Tuesday 29 December
Monday 28 December --> Wednesday 30 December
Tuesday 29 December --> Thursday 31 December
Wednesday 30 December --> Saturday 2 January
Thursday 31 December --> Monday 4 January
Friday 1 January --> Tuesday 5 January
Monday 4 January --> Wednesday 6 January
Tuesday 5 January --> Thursday 7 January
Wednesday 6 January --> Friday 8 January
Thursday 7 January --> Saturday 9 January
Friday 8 January --> Monday 11 January
Monday 11 January --> Tuesday 12 January
Tuesday 12 January --> Wednesday 13 January
Wednesday 13 January --> Thursday 14 January
Thursday 14 January --> Friday 15 January
Friday 15 January --> Saturday 16 January
Monday 18 January --> As normal

Cllr Harvey went on to encourage residents to take advantage of the plastic sacks for recycling over the festive period. “Sacks have been delivered to all homes in West Oxfordshire and can be used for one recyclable material only - either paper or cardboard or plastic or metal - but not glass.

“Residents in West Oxfordshire are keen recyclers and the sacks mean that people can keep up their good work and recycle as much as possible over Christmas, traditionally a time for excess waste.”

Extra sacks are also available from:
· The Council’s Town Centre Shops in Chipping Norton and Witney
· Council’s offices in Woodgreen and New Yatt Road, Witney
· Visitor Information Centres in Burford, Woodstock and Witney.
· Carterton Town Council

The bin men also have a stock available to residents on their vehicles.
In addition to the above excess waste can be taken to:

· Waste and recycling centres (council tips) in Dix Pit, Stanton Harcourt and Dean Pit, Chadlington. They are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day
· Recycling banks are located throughout the district.

Further information, including any updates on waste and recycling collections, can be found online at
Posted: 24/12/2009 13:08:50

Partnership action in Woodstock
With over 450 licensed premises in West Oxfordshire it is important to make sure that owners are complying with the legal requirements necessary to make our towns and villages safe places to live, work and visit.

In November West Oxfordshire District Council teamed up with Thames Valley Police to visit 11 licensed premises in Woodstock. Spot checks were carried out focussing on licensing, benefit fraud and drug use.

Council officers from revenues, benefits and licensing sections made sure that all licence conditions were complied with and that no employees were claiming benefits fraudulently whilst also working.

Thames Valley Police officers meanwhile took swabs from toilet areas to check for traces of drugs. All 11 premises came back clear.

The operation was well received by premise owners and they were also given information about joining the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership’s ‘Nightsafe Scheme’ and the local Pubwatch group.

Cllr Jill Dunsmore, Cabinet Member for Communities at West Oxfordshire District Council said: “This was an excellent operation and our team of officers and police were well received by all the premises they visited in Woodstock. I would like to thank everyone involved for their assistance and support and am very pleased to report that all the tests came back negative.”
Posted: 17/12/2009 12:14:05

Woodstock Neighbourhood Management Update
The neighbourhood team has carried out a number of speed enforcement checks throughout the area this month and this has included the A44 at Kiddington and Manor Road, Woodstock.

Between 1pm–1.45pm on Friday 14 August nearly 280 vehicles were checked in Manor Road near to the zebra crossing in the direction of Enstone. Out of these vehicles only one was recorded as travelling in excess of the 30mph speed limit.

The mobile speed enforcement unit will continue to assist us and will be visiting Freeland, Long Hanborough and Bladon in the coming weeks.

The parking issues at Long Hanborough railway station have eased slightly due to the closure for engineering work. Buses have been put on in place of trains and it appears that not so many commuters have been using the station. As the work is due to be completed soon it is thought that the station will become more popular again. The District and County Councils are aware of the parking problems and will be holding a meeting with the rail company to try and find extra parking.

Youth Facilities
The building of the new youth and community centre in Woodstock has had a small setback in that the District Council has questioned the plans for the new building. Chris Oliver who runs the centre is due to meet with the Council to try to iron out the issues and it is hoped that a resolution can be agreed at the earliest opportunity.

Other news
There has been a slight increase in vehicle crime across the Oxfordshire area and I would advise drivers not to leave valuable items in their vehicles when unattended. Don’t tempt the opportunist thief!

I know there are so many times when we hear vehicle alarms going off that we often tend to ignore them. I would ask that if you do hear a car alarm and you are in a position to have a look out of your window, or if you are in the street look to see if there is any reason for it going off then please do so. You may be able to help us should you witness anything.

An 18-year-old man has been given an £80 fixed penalty ticket for purchasing alcohol from a shop for a 14-year-old. The 14-year-old was seen by PCSO Phil Workman with a bag which he believed contained alcohol. After searching the bag alcohol was found and after viewing CCTV from the store a man was identified and he admitted purchasing the items.

The neighbourhood team has worked hard with licensed premises in enforcing the non-sale of alcohol to persons under 18, as it has contributed in the past to youths causing criminal damage as well as burglaries when drunk.

Blenheim Palace held its caravan club meeting recently with around 2,500 caravans attending. There were no major traffic problems and the event passed off without incident.

The neighbourhood team carried out 13 drop-in surgeries across the area this month. Residents visited us mainly for a chat as no major issues were raised.

From Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 September the team will be involved in our annual engagement process, which involves carrying out a questionnaire with various age groups to find out their local concerns. The results will then determine what priorities we will tackle over the next year, in conjunction with the Neighbourhood Action Group.

The next NAG meeting will be on Wednesday 30 September, 7pm at Woodstock police Station.

If you would like to speak to a local officer you can contact them on 08458 505 505, or email
Posted: 06/09/2009 23:21:04

Restoration Roadshow Coming To Blenheim Palace
Sat 8th and Sun 9th August

Come and meet Eric Knowles and his team of restorers. This is your chance to have your antiques and collectables valued by the experts and pick up some restoration advice too.

Is your prized family heirloom looking a bit sad?
Do you own an oil painting coated with dirt?
A Regency table with an unsightly stain?
A Chippendale chair with worn out upholstery?
Maybe a prize Beswick china cow with a broken leg?

Restoration Roadshow can show you how to nurse your vintage, 20th century antiques and collectables back to life.
You will be given the chance to gain a free valuation of your antiques and collectables by one of our experts or Eric himself. If you like the sound of their restoration advice you may have the opportunity to pay for the work – and even take it to auction to hopefully make a profit.

So if you’ve got a neglected, sad or tired old treasured possession hidden in your cupboards, cellar or loft which could be turned in to cash, just get in touch.

Contact the Restoration Roadshow team at or call 020 7354 9408, leave your details and we’ll call you back.

Please also contact us for free tickets to Restoration Roadshow

Posted: 15/07/2009 23:31:27

Why is Woodstock Called Woodstock?
Have you ever wondered how Woodstock came to be called Woodstock and why other Oxfordshire towns and villages are so named?

Why is Bladon called Bladon and Yarnton called Yarnton? Where on earth did the name Chipping Norton come from? How did Oxford come to be called Oxford and Bicester come to be called Bicester?

The answer to these, and many other questions can be found in a new book called Oxfordshire Place Names by Anthony Poulton-Smith (Amberley Publishing).

This paperback bookruns to over 150 pages and organises the towns and villages of Oxfordshire alphabetically so it's easy to dip in and out of the book.

The book is scattered with black and white photos such as The Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Thame Council Offices and The statue of Alfred the Great in Wantage.

If you have in interest in Oxfordshire and/or place names then the book can be purchased through Amazon - Oxfordshire Place Names

Posted: 22/05/2009 16:05:45

Go swimming outdoors
Woodstock Open Air Pool is open for the summer season until 30th August.

With a large grassed area, 25-metre pool and toddler’s pool, indoor changing rooms and café, it is a great outdoor venue for all the family, especially on warm, sunny days. It is possible to either pay on entry or season tickets are available.

The pool, in Shipton Road, Woodstock, is also open for private hire and swimming lessons.

West Oxfordshire District Council owns the pool and it is run by Nexus Community.

Anyone wanting further information can visit or call the pool on 01993 811785.
Posted: 22/05/2009 13:40:32


Coming soon...