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South News 
February 2017
In this issue
News and events in your area
Local Business

Fitness and Health
News and events in your area

Working towards a unitary council

On 6 February, the Leaders of South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and Oxfordshire County Council issued a joint statement to agree to work on a joint proposal for a single unitary authority.  This is based on the ‘One Oxfordshire’ approach but is significantly improved and will transform the way we deliver our services to the people of Oxfordshire for the better.

A single unitary council will provide the best prospects for maintaining high quality services and secure badly needed investment in infrastructure, including schools, roads and health care. South Oxfordshire District Council will play an important role in developing the final joint proposals for a unitary council and will ensure they have a strong local influence for our communities and offer value for money.
Last year an independent report commissioned by South Oxfordshire District Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council and a separate report by Oxfordshire County Council indicated that a minimum £20 million of savings could be achieved by moving to a single unitary council.

Oxfordshire County Council are asking residents across Oxfordshire for their views on their original proposals – you can find out more here. Feedback from this will be fed into the new joint council approach.
The final proposal will be submitted to government in the Spring subject to approval by all our councillors. We will keep residents updated on progress and decisions made.

Council tax and budgets set for 2017/18

The proportion of council tax that residents will pay for the services provided by South Oxfordshire District Council, such as award winning waste and recycling collections, has been frozen for the second year running - those living in a Band D rated property will continue to pay £111.24 for 2017/18.  With these freezes, and having also reduced its council tax in previous years, this means that South Oxfordshire remains one of the most cost effective and efficient local authorities in the country. 

In setting its budget the district council has included significant additional investment in car parking, support for the regeneration of Berinsfield, funding to help provide accommodation for rough sleepers and money to help Superfast Broadband reach more communities across the district. 

More than a million pounds in grants will also be made available to support community projects, such as improvements to village halls and providing new sports areas; and to help raise further funds for local voluntary and community groups.  The council is introducing a new local lottery scheme – giving people the chance to win, while raising money for a chosen cause or general good cause fund. Almost £99,000 will also go towards increasing volunteering and volunteering opportunities across the district.

Great British Spring Clean 2017

We are backing a new nationwide campaign to help people who want to clean up their local communities in March 2017.

The Great British Spring Clean aims to help bring people together to clear up the litter that blights their local streets and parks.

To take part in the campaign and for information on how to set up your own local clean-up event visit

We are encouraging and supporting groups and individuals who want to help by offering equipment free of charge.  If you require litter pickers, sacks, gloves and high visibility jackets please contact Eleanor Bunn by email or call 01235 422146. Please book in your equipment requests as soon as possible as there is limited availability.

Successful waste contamination campaign

To reduce contamination in the recycling we collect we've been running a campaign to encourage residents to recycle loose or use clear sacks so that waste crews can see what is in each bin before emptying it. Crews do not empty green bins which contain black or coloured sacks. 

The campaign has been very successful.  The quality of the recycling has improved, the contamination rate is falling and the number of bins left un-emptied each day has reduced significantly.

A big thank you to South Oxfordshire District Council residents who have helped to achieve these great results.

To find out more visit the council’s website.
For further information please call 0300 061 0610 or by email.

Waste collections - what to do in bad weather

During the winter months it's possible that bad weather might affect our waste collections.

Here's what to do 
  • If your bins aren't emptied on the scheduled day leave them out for two more days and we will do our best, weather permitting, to come back.
  • If, after three days, they haven't been emptied, take your bins back in and put them out for the next scheduled collection date.
  • Leave extra waste out beside the bins in a suitable container. e.g. open box or a clear sack.
You can keep up-to-date about any disruption through our website and emails. Alternatively contact Biffa on 0300 061 0610.

Easter waste collections

Easter this year falls on the weekend of Friday 14 April to Monday 17 April and, like every year, the public holidays will change the day your bins are emptied. You can find details of Easter waste collections on our website.

For further information email or call 03000 610610.

Voluntary and Community Sector Forum

The annual South and Vale Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Forum, supported by the council, will be held on 15 March 2017 (9am-4.30pm).  The Forum aims to bring local community and voluntary groups together so they can share ideas and advice.
The event, at Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot, is free to attend and includes two workshops, lunch and a funding information fair, plus time for networking.

If you are part of a community or voluntary group in your area please come along.

For more details about the day’s programme and to book a place at the Forum please visit the OCVA Forum website. If you have any questions about the event email OCVA or call 01865 251946.

Alternatively, contact Anne Richardson, Corporate Projects Officer by email or call 01235 422109.

Funding available for athletes

Talented athletes across our district are being encouraged to apply for a share of funding available from GLL, the company that manages the councils' leisure centres.

The GLL Sports Foundation supports athletes under 21 across all Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sports, giving them access to a variety of support initiatives including: up to £1,250, training memberships and sport science and physiotherapy programmes.

To apply for funding visit the GLL Sport Foundation website. Applications close on 20 February 2017.

Leader funding is available for businesses

We have £1.55 million Oxfordshire LEADER funding available for projects in rural areas of Oxfordshire that will create jobs, grow businesses, bring in tourists and benefit local communities.
Grants of £5,000-£35,000 towards capital costs such as building work or equipment are available to farmers, businesses and community organisations. The project must fall within the Oxfordshire LEADER area and fit with one of the four local themes. These details and information about suitable projects and how to apply are on the website.  Alternatively contact the Oxfordshire Leader Programme Team on 01235 422245.

Ask friends and neighbours to sign up to the council’s newsletter

We hope you find this newsletter useful in finding out more about the council and its work. If you have friends and neighbours who you think would also like to receive the newsletter they can register at:

South News sign me up


Statement of Community Involvement consultation

We are asking residents and businesses to have their say on how we should engage with you on planning applications and policy development across the district.

We are updating our Statement of Community Involvement – the document that explains how we will engage with people about planning matters.  We adopted our previous Statement of Community Involvement in 2006, but we’ve just published a draft updated version to reflect changes to the way in which people communicate.

You can view and comment on the draft Statement of Community Involvement by visiting our website

The consultation opened on Wednesday 11 January and runs up to 5pm on Wednesday 22 February.  It is also available to view at public libraries throughout the district.
Further details can be found on the website.

Local Business

New business competition 

We are sponsoring a new competition for businesses under two years old.

Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition 2017 (SONBC ‘17) is open for applications until 28 February. The competition is to find the brightest rising stars in local business, whatever their trade or industry.

The winner will receive a serviced office rent-free for a year, plus a host of other great prizes to help boost their business including: expert branding and website advice, social media coaching, IT consultancy and support, accountancy services and a full programme of business mentoring.  For more information and to download an application form go to the SONBC website.

Register now for the South and Vale Business Breakfast

More than 130 businesses have already signed up for the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils’ annual Business Breakfast on Tuesday 21 February 2017 at De Vere Oxford Thames Hotel, Henley Road, Sandford on Thames, OX4 4GX, starting at 7.30am.
The free event, this year hosted by South Oxfordshire District Council, includes a light breakfast followed by a series of presentations about issues affecting businesses locally plus a question and answer session.
Key note speaker will be Mathew Hornsby, Sales Director and co-founder of yacht and powerboat specialists Williams Jet Tenders, based in Berinsfield.  Mathew will be sharing the story of how Williams Jet Tenders went from a local start-up business to the world’s largest jet tender manufacturer building over 700 boats a year.
Following the Brexit vote of 2016, Garry Young, Senior Adviser at the Bank of England will be sharing his thoughts on business and economic prospects and what it means for local businesses.
There's still time to sign up...
More information and free online registration


Cornerstone Arts Centre - Didcot

19 February 2pm: The Princess and the Frog (Theatre - Family)
23 February 7pm: Frankenstein (Theatre)
25 February 7.30pm: Good Dog (Theatre) 
2 March 8pm: You Win Again - The Story of the Bee Gees (Musical theatre)
4 March 7.30pm: Burton (Theatre)
5 March 2pm: Leaping Frog (Theatre - Family)
12 March 10am: A Cappella Spring Festival (Music)
23 March 7pm: Carmen - Didcot Opera Club (Music)
For more info on the shows, check out the Cornerstone website

The Beacon - Wantage

The Beacon has a February and March packed with great events, highlights include Splendid Theatre’s Macbeth (only a few tickets left!), top blockbuster cinema and family musical Alice in Wonderland. We've also got some great community events: Blingo, the return of the popular Acoustic Blues House Party, Wantage CAMRA Beer Festival, and Rock @ The Beacon – one of the highest attended annual events run at The Beacon.
27 February 7.30pm: Macbeth (Theatre) 
3 March 7.30pm: Sully (Film 12A)  
4 March 11.00am: Moana (Film PG)  
10 March 8pm: An Audience with Larry Lamb (Theatre)
19 March 2.30pm Alice in Wonderland (Family Theatre) 

More information can be found on the Beacon website

Fitness and Health

Jogging and squash

A run at Wittenham Clumps
Saturday 11 March 10am-1pm (last start at 12pm)
Run, jog or just go at your own pace!
3K and 5K courses for runners and shorter ones for juniors and families
£6 entry on the day
Parking at Earth Trust Centre, OX14 4QZ
More information 
Ladies Squash Festival at Racquets Fitness Centre, Thame OX9 3TH
Sunday 12 March 2017 11am - 3pm
Ladies - Come on down for a fun afternoon of playing and coaching squash
FREE Crèche from 12pm - 3pm
Kids Craft Workshops 12pm - 1pm and 1.30pm - 2.30pm
£20 Members
£12 Non Members
Half price for you and any new ladies you bring along!
For more information please call 01844 261754 or email
Copyright © 2017 South Oxfordshire District Council, All rights reserved.

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