News index


Enstone Road and Browns Lane Road Closure (contact details updated)

Because of proposed works by Southern Gas Networks, the Enstone Road and Browns Lane will be closed from 7th March to 8th April. Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles, residents and businesses within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works.

(Further information from 01865 845982 or 01865 845978 - ask for Graham Lester.)

Susie Finch · Thu 24 Feb 2011, 09:02 · Link

Recruitment for 2011 Census

WODC are now recruiting for Census Collectors in the West Oxfordshire District Council area. The jobs are part time with hours to suit ranging from 15 hours per week to 37 hours per week.
To get more information and apply for these jobs please log on to

The areas being covered are Bampton, Bradwell Grove, Carterton, Clanfield & Northmoor, Burford, Curbridge, Ducklington, Swinbrook & Taynton, Cassington,, Kiddington, Ledwell & Woodstock and Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Churchill & Milton-under-Wychwood.

John Clapton
2011 Census Area Manager
Oxford, West Oxfordshire and Cherwell
Tel: 07801 331476

Susie Finch · Wed 23 Feb 2011, 11:28 · Link

Letter from Neil Owen re. Libraries

Letter from Neil Owen ? Charlbury County Councillor

On Tuesday 15th February County Council voted for cuts across the board - libraries included. I voted with that. There was no other option. Unless one has buried one's head in the sand or is a 'deficit denier' this country is in financial crisis and that is a fact.

The Conservative Group voted for the cuts, our Coalition partners did not and Labour, who are responsible for this mess, sat on their hands. They did not even have the guts to present an alternative budget.

Now, it may seem strange to some of you that I can vote for cuts but still fight to save the Library. However, it is not so strange. There is such a thing as collective responsibility and we have to take a view for Oxfordshire. At the same time each Division County Councillor has a duty to fight for his patch. So I shall continue to lobby, hassle, jump up and down and do anything else it takes to save the Library - with or without any political opportunist who may think otherwise.

Due to public pressure and opposition to library cuts across the board, Keith Mitchell and his Cabinet are having to re-think. There is fresh money available from different sources and I am demanding a share of it to keep the Library going. Another result of the pressure exerted on the Cabinet by the public and involved Councillors is that the consultation will be real and meaningful and not a cynical exercise as is commonly perceived.

No doubt there will be a lot of aggro, hot air and mischief making during the consultation process but I shall remain steadfast and will do my utmost to fight for the Library. I do feel very optimistic.

Neil Owen
County Councillor

Susie Finch · Wed 23 Feb 2011, 11:15 · Link

Report on Meeting with RH Transport. (and revised timetables for 19th - 27th Feb)

I have now pinned up copies of the the revised schedules on the bus stops in Charlbury, but hopefully the drivers will also have copies of the timetables.

I am also reporting that Jane Fitzmaurice and I, as PTR Town Council representatives, had a meeting with Dilywn Roberts, of RH Transport, in Oxford on Tuesday to try and iron out some of the problems that have been mentioned to us. It seems that the main complaints are about Comfort, Cleanliness and Communication. Dilwyn explained that the buses are cleaned every night, but that in this weather just one journey and the outside can be covered in wet grime; the inside of the buses, though cleaned daily, was, to some extent, up to the behaviour of the passengers - so please advise the drivers if you see anyone throwing litter inside the bus. As to Comfort, and the number of passengers standing, if you do not see a second bus going to Witney on busy days, this is because another bus will be laid on from Poffley, which then takes the overload of passengers likely to join later. They are also hoping to acquire a 41 seater bus for occasional use on our route.
As to Communication, RH have promised to look into getting an answerphone installed in their office, so that, especially in the morning, anyone ringing in can leave a message, and the call will be returned (usually to desperate passengers standing at the stop with their mobiles, I explained!)This should help towards keeping passengers in touch with any daily problem.
I know some of you have made various observations about timetabling generally - I will be sending these separately for RH to consider. They did point out, however, that some journeys are regulated by law, and, sensible though it might seem for the Cl to make a quick journey to Charlbury after the 7.09 arrives at the station, they are legally bound to stick to the advertised timetable, and would not be covered for insurance if the driver deviated from that.
I hope this helps to answer some of your worries, but if you need further information, please contact me on or speak to the Town Clerk, on 01608 810608

Helen Bessemer-Clark · Sat 19 Feb 2011, 15:56 · Link

Pratleys' Dairy to close

Charlbury's long-established dairy is to shut up shop, following the sale of its premises for housing.

Charlbury Dairy has been a family-operated business since 1950 and its milk-float is a regular sight around town in the early mornings. In a letter to customers, Mike and Vicky Pratley wrote:

"The time has arrived to hang up our milk crates and put the milk float to pasture. Together we have worked across decades and despite recent health problems for Mike, we have enjoyed ourselves whatever the weather - even through the rain and snow! We look upon you as friends and not just as customers, and it's those memories that we will take with us."

Milk and provisions deliveries will now be handled by Dairy Crest, who have a website at . Orders can be taken until 9pm the night before delivery.

Richard Fairhurst · Sat 19 Feb 2011, 14:05 · Link

Have you ever thought about becoming a councillor?

You only have to look at this website to know that many people living in Charlbury and the surrounding villages care deeply about our community. The District Council is the place where decisions are made that affect all of us, and serving as a councillor means that you can have a say and make a difference to the quality of people's lives locally. How much time it takes is largely up to you and your other commitments, so it is quite possible - and indeed desirable - for people with jobs or families to be councillors. If you think this is something that could interest you and would like to know more, please get in touch with Glena Chadwick on 01608 810555, or Mike Breakell on 01993 868201.

Sat 19 Feb 2011, 11:45 · Link

Tickets going fast for Charity Ball at Cornbury Park!

Finally the details of The Masked Ball at Cornbury Park in aid of Charlbury based Charity SpecialEffect. We hope many people in Charlbury will come and enjoy this fabulous event. Please see details below:
Where - Cornbury Park Estate!
When - Saturday May 21st 2011
Time - 7.30-12.30
Price - £38 per person (To book tickets phone Alison on 07788745878)
Dress Code - Black Tie / Evening Dress + Masks
Details - Champagne reception followed by dinner and live bands. A private Coach has also been hired for the event for 7.15 sharp outside The Bell to return at 12.30pm (£2pp).

Sponsorship - If you can't come to the ball but you want to support the event then your business can sponsor in a number of ways starting from just £50. Contact or call 01608 810055 for more details on how you can help.

Many thanks and we do hope you enjoy the Ball!

Thu 17 Feb 2011, 15:45 · Link

Charlbury to Witney Road closed next week - bus details

Finstock Halt
Because the B4022 Charlbury to Witney will be closed from 19th to 27th February, to enable works to take place on Bridge Strengthening there will be no C1 Rail Bus in the morning picking up in Charlbury. However, I have been assured that the C1 bus will pick from the station in the evening and drop off around Charlbury before going towards Shipton. Details on the X9 can be found here. The B4022 closure is at Finstock Halt just past Fawler Mill so to get through to Finstock and beyond from Charlbury is not possible.

Susie Finch · Tue 15 Feb 2011, 13:49 · Link

The 'Big Society' - Charlbury has its say

A Financial Times report about disquiet with the Conservatives' Big Society concept quotes Charlbury residents extensively:

"In The Bell, a pub in Mr Cameron?s backyard, genteel rage is bubbling. Its source? The threat to close the Charlbury public library, housed in a double-fronted property built from the yellow Cotswold stone typical of towns and villages in the prime minister?s Witney constituency.

"Rosalind Scott, 69, a bespectacled former social worker in a burgundy cardigan, is as potent an opponent of Mr Cameron?s austerity agenda as the students who last year wreaked havoc in central London in protest at cuts to university funding.

"'The library is essential to our community,' she says. 'The problem with losing a library is that you lose a place where people meet each other.' Last Saturday Mrs Scott organised a protest attended by 200 people. Such events are being organised across the country as Mr Cameron pushes ahead with Plan A ? he says there is no Plan B ? to eliminate the underlying deficit of 4.8 per cent of national income within four years...

?'I find the idea of the Big Society insulting,' says Barbara Allison, a retired financial officer, who says that there are 54 local organisations in the town already doing things for the community such as meals on wheels. 'We?re already devoting an awful lot of our time to charities and volunteers. I help run Charlbury museum. Am I not doing enough? Is David Cameron going to volunteer?'"

Separately, Charlbury resident Stephen Bubb was quoted on Sky News making a similar point:

"Sir Stephen Bubb, who heads the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, told Sky News: 'If you want to build a bigger society you have got to have the foundation there and that's the charities, the social enterprises, the community groups and they are the very ones that are being hit. They are making redundancies, they are cutting the work they do in communities. So you can hardly build a bigger society if the very people at the heart of that vision are cutting back on the work they do.'"

Richard Fairhurst · Sun 13 Feb 2011, 00:55 · Link

Charlbury Rainbows needs your Help!

We are looking for a creative, playful and caring weekly helper. We need somebody who is willing to do there Guiding Warrent and help with the weekly running of this small friendly unit. We need somebody who is over 18 and is able to complete the training. Rainbows is on a Tuesday night from 4.30 to 5.30. Please contact me if you are interested.
Fay Kempson 07980426856 or pop in and have a look around.

Sat 12 Feb 2011, 16:17 · Link

New organic box scheme for Charlbury

Following the closure of Chipping Norton Organics and their fruit and veggie box scheme, Skylark Organics have extended their distribution service to this area. They grow a lot of the stuff on their own farm.

Skylark deliver to Charlbury on Thursdays, and as well as providing several sizes of standard boxes, they also take specific item-by-item orders just as Chipping Norton Organics did. The details are on their website, though in some respects that is a bit out of date.

If you sign up to their email list (email your request to ), you'll get a list/order form showing what is going to be available the following week, with prices. This comes on Tuesday and has to be emailed back by Thursday for delivery the following Thursday. You can order bread and cakes too, from the Authentic Bread Co. (On the fruit and veg, you can avoid imported produce if you wish: country of origin is shown against each item.)

This link will download the order form for the deadline just passed, to give you an idea of what you will be sent if you sign up:

This link downloads a more permanent document: the bread and cake list:

Thu 10 Feb 2011, 17:26 · Link

Charity Ball at Cornbury Park!

Charlbury based Charity SpecialEffect have been given the opportunity to host a fundraising Ball at Cornbury Park this May.
Cornbury Park have generously donated a venue for the Charities Fundraising events on many occasions before and we are enormously grateful to Estate's on-going kindest and support.
The ball is being organised by a local team of ladies who are well known for putting on fabulous and successful fundraising events. Details coming soon...!

Wed 9 Feb 2011, 15:59 · Link

New Charlbury Library poster

A new poster has been displayed for Charlbury residents to display in their windows as part of the campaign to save the town library. You can download a copy here (1.4Mb PDF). The poster highlights the Friends of Charlbury Library AGM on 28th February at which County Councillor Neil Owen will speak.

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 8 Feb 2011, 22:55 · Link

New Chair and Secretary - The Thomas Gifford Charity

The Thomas Gifford Charity owns and maintains the Playing Close. It also owns the undeveloped site at the Spendlove Centre which the trustees of the Charity wish to develop for the benefit of the community.

The trustees are seeking a Chair and trustee to replace the current Chairman who is retiring at the end of March.
The trustees are also seeking a new Secretary to deal with the trustee meetings, books, records and day to day business.

If you are interested in either position please contact
Trevor Jones on trevor.jones at or 01608810644

or Helen Micklemore on Helen at or 01608811853

russell robson · Tue 8 Feb 2011, 19:54 · Link

Adelante trains on their way back?

Reports in Rail magazine and on the First Great Western passengers' forum suggest that the much-missed 'Adelante' trains are to return to the Cotswold Line.

The trains were originally built for FGW, but were then passed on to other operators when the company decided to standardise on High Speed Trains ('InterCity 125'). On the Cotswold Line, however, many services which had been operated by the 125mph, comfortable, air-conditioned Adelantes actually went back to Turbo operation with cramped five-abreast seating.

Since then, three of the Adelante trains have been on suburban commuter duty in Manchester; two originally earmarked for East Coast services to Lincoln have remained out of use. It's expected that some of these five will be returning to the Cotswold Line.

If the reports are correct, the trains would be unlikely to enter service on the Cotswold Line until December.

(Photo by Matthew Black at Flickr, CC-BY-SA.)

Richard Fairhurst · Mon 7 Feb 2011, 19:05 · Link

Police ?Have Your Say? Event ? 20 February 2011

Thames Valley Police are inviting you to come and meet your neighbourhood policing team on 20 February 2011 outside the Fiveway Stores, Charlbury, from 10am until 12pm.
Tell us about the issues that matter most to you.

Valou Pakenham-Walsh · Sat 5 Feb 2011, 10:54 · Link

Charlbury Website © 2012-2023. Contributions are the opinion of their authors. Heading photo by David R Murphy. Code/design by Richard Fairhurst. Contact us. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.