News index


Making sure you get your vote

You have just received, or are about to receive, your electoral registration form in the post. You are obliged by law to fill it in and return it, and they will chase you up if you don't! (And that costs the council money that could be better spent.)

All the information you need is at If your details are the same as last year and as printed on the form you have been sent, you can save the council further money by confirming them online using the link above: it only takes a minute.

If you register for postal voting (useful if you may be away at election times, or struggle to get to the polling station when it's open), you can download the application form -- details here. You can register for a postal vote for all elections in perpetuity, or for specific elections. Then save yourself money by returning the completed form in the Freepost envelope enclosed with your original registration form.

Jon Carpenter · Wed 31 Aug 2011, 09:29 · Link

Charlbury Pre School Play Ground Renovation

Charlbury Pre School has had it's playground renovated over the summer and has lots of lovely new equipment inside and out. This has been largely funded through the summer festival Pig roast and some local grants. A big thanks is due to all who have helped over the years and who have contributed to the renovations.

Do come and visit us, we still have a few places for 2 1/2 to 5 year olds from September 7th. Children over 3 are entitled to 15 hours free of charge.

See our community page for full contact details.

sarah routley · Mon 29 Aug 2011, 09:09 · Link

Railway service back to normal

Following the teething problems throughout the week with the redoubled line between Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham, the Cotswold Line service has now returned to normal and services are running to time.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 26 Aug 2011, 08:41 · Link

New Cycle route in Witney Gazette

The new cycle route was featured in the Witney Gazette last week.

This is a good way to get out of Charlbury by bike to the lanes to the east and south east, and provides a good link to Finstock.

russell robson · Tue 23 Aug 2011, 11:22 · Link

Rail disruption continues today (updated Wednesday)

With problems being experienced following the last phase of the redoubling work (between Moreton and Evesham), serious disruption is continuing on the Cotswold Line.

The cause is believed to be the new signalling on the redoubled section.

Several peak trains are being cancelled, as are the local Turbo trains that start/finish at Moreton. However, some services are still operating. See this page on FGW's website for the latest details.

(You can also check the live departure board at the top right of the Charlbury Website homepage.)

First Great Western says: "Train services are able to operate over the route but due to signalling problems, alterations, diversions and delays of up to 60 minutes can be expected. Replacement road transport has been sourced to operate where services are diverted or to supplement services where delays are expected to be encountered."

Richard Fairhurst · Mon 22 Aug 2011, 15:51 · Link


If you are under 25, live in Charlbury and have a guaranteed place for a University, College, vocational course or apprenticeship you may apply to the Charlbury Exhibition Foundation for a grant. Write or e mail by 1st October 2011 to CEF, c/o Mrs Kate Gerrish, The Byre 8 Lyneham Farm Cottages Lyneham Oxfordshire OX7 6QP. Email Please give age, schools attended, details of course, and the University or College. Those attending short training courses sponsored by Charlbury Youth Organisations may also apply. Grants are not means tested. Late applications will not be considered

KATHERINE GERRISH · Mon 22 Aug 2011, 10:13 · Link

Temporary Road Closure and No Waiting restrictions – for works in Charlbury – at The Slade (B4022)

In the interests of public safety it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close the B4022 at The Slade in Charlbury from the Enstone Crossroads to the bottom of Ditchley Road, to facilitate carriageway structural patching and resurfacing works. A 'No Waiting' restriction will also be in place as shown on the attached plan.

A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order is being made to implement the temporary closure and waiting restrictions and will operate from 20 September for up to four days approximately. (The maximum duration of such a temporary closure will be 18 months or until completion of the works whichever is the earlier.)

Limited access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and also overnight access for those residents within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works. Please note that access routes will depend on exactly where the works vehicles are at any time and may need to be negotiated with the gang on site as necessary.

To see all the plans, no waiting areas etc. please go the the Town Council website, where all the plans have been uploaded onto the news page about the road closure.

Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Simon Marsden, OCC Highways & Transport on 0845 310 11 11.

Susie Finch · Sat 20 Aug 2011, 15:44 · Link

Opera tickets selling fast

Tickets for Cosi fan tutte -- for details click here -- are selling fast. ChOC's allocation of seats for the night is 50 (we may be allocated more in September) and 20 of these have sold already. So don't delay!

Tickets are on sale in the Post Office and Evenlode Books, or book on line here.

Jon Carpenter · Wed 17 Aug 2011, 12:21 · Link

United Nations Association East African Famine Appeal

Our Appeal with coffee morning, gift aid and donations has now reached £1150 which has been sent to the UN World Food Program. This is a splendid result especially as many people had already made a donation to the DEC Appeal.

To everyone who contributed, thank you very much. The drought situation looks like continuing for some time with the complications of a civil war so the appeal is still ongoing.

Ann Harper 810464

Ann Harper · Tue 16 Aug 2011, 19:36 · Link

Grant Applications to the Town Council

The Town Council has approved a new process for grant applications. Applicants should contact the Clerk to obtain an application pack which MUST be returned no later than midday on October 31st. Applications received after that time will be discounted, as well as those not submitted on the required form. Applications for small grants to be considered in November may continue to apply in the normal way(i.e. as previously). If you wish to clarify any of the above please contact the Clerk. He can be contacted by email at or by phone on 01608 810608

Susie Finch · Tue 16 Aug 2011, 12:22 · Link

Wilderness Festival - thank you to Charlbury

Cornbury Park would like to extend a huge thank you to their neighbours in Charlbury who supported the very first Wilderness Festival this weekend. They hope all enjoyed the music, banqueting, lake swimming, boating, dancing, talks and debates, cricket, theatricals, woodland walks, spas, yoga, fly fishing and star gazing. And for those who didn't come along, they hope it didn't inconvenience you too much and thank you for your tolerance!

Charlbury and Finstock Primary Schools along with Charlbury Pre School did an amazing job keeping up with the unprecedented demand for their scrumptious tea and cakes and the delicious pig roast - and hopefully raised a lot of money in the process!

Among the first year hiccups was the pedestrian signage and Cornbury are grateful for the feedback about this - they have taken it on board and it'll be improved next year.

Cornbury Park welcomed 10,000 people to this new festival. A write up in today's Daily Telegraph says 'Wilderness was fabulous in every sense'. You can read the full article here:

And look here for reaction from the Oxford Mail:

Alison Wright · Tue 16 Aug 2011, 08:34 · Link

X9 bus service to Witney and Chipping Norton

Note for Charlbury Web

Jane Fitzmaurice and I, as your Parish Transport Reps for the Town Council, have yet again had a meeting with the OCC Bus Services Manager, as we are still getting complaints about the RH bus service X9 to Witney . Fortunately at the moment all seems well with the Cl, which we hope means more and more people will use it '?" remember: Use it or Lose it.

Understandably, OCC say they can take very little action on purely anecdotal information. What they need are facts and figures as evidence. Thus, if you have any complaint about the X9 service, please report it immediately to Allan Field, Bus Services Manager, 01865 815826. This is his direct line, and there IS an answerphone, which will take messages. His e.mail is: The sooner he gets the information, the easier it is for them to check recent records, and ascertain the reasons, and hopefully have them corrected. Although Jane and I are happy to be told of these instances, we are often away, or not available, and thus not able to pass on the information in time. Helen Bessemer-Clark, Charlbury Town Council PTR

Helen Bessemer-Clark · Tue 16 Aug 2011, 07:34 · Link

Now you can follow ChOC on Twitter

Find ChOC's Twitter page here and follow us for regular updates on our films and live entertainments.

Jon Carpenter · Fri 12 Aug 2011, 19:46 · Link

Wilderness Festival in Witney Gazette

Alison Wright · Fri 12 Aug 2011, 13:08 · Link

OCC replies to Dean Pit petition

The following has been received from OCC, following presentation of our petition a few weeks ago:

Dear Ms Leffman

Petition about the closure of Dean Pit

Thank you for the petition presented to the County Council's Cabinet on Tuesday 19 July about the closure of the Dean Pit Household Waste Recycling Centre.

I know that there have been a number of emails and letters on this matter that have been sent to you in recent weeks and I will try not to repeat all of this information. However, there are a couple of points that I want to reiterate.

Firstly it is important to emphasise the changing nature of the need for household waste recycling centres. A much improved kerbside collection system has been introduced by West Oxfordshire District Council. This has been very successful and has changed the demands on the Dean Pit site. Site usage in terms of visitor numbers and tonnage has reduced substantially.

That success gives encouragement to our ambition to increase further the use of the kerbside collection system that has been put in place. This will have the added benefit of reducing the need for residents to travel to dispose of their recyclable material. Success in this regard will reduce still further the need for Dean Pit. Our experience across the County suggests that easy access to free of charge residual waste facilities do not encourage people to make full use of alternative ways of disposing of their rubbish.

The Dean Pit site costs money to provide and it is right that we continuously look carefully at all our expenditure. The site is expensive to provide compared to other sites. Value for money is very important to the County Council particularly in the current financial climate.

As previously stated, closure of the Dean Pit site will bring financial savings in the order of £200k per annum. The cost of closing the site is also approximately £200k but this is a one off cost that relates primarily to the physical restoration of the site, as well as publicity and security.

As you will appreciate, we cannot operate the Dean Pit facility past the end of the planning permission. In determining the current permission the Planning and Regulation Committee made it clear that it considered an extension of two years was appropriate. The proposal for a five year extension was turned down by the committee as inappropriate. On that basis even if we were to submit an application for a further extension it is by no means certain that permission would be granted.

The committee's decision prompted us to look for a site so we could provide a direct replacement for Dean Pit - we even carried out a search in the local area looking for a suitable site. A number of sites were considered but all had planning and delivery issues. However, since then the need for the Dean Pit site has reduced and this is reflected in the declining usage of the site. This is a trend that has been repeated across the County as investment by the district councils in new collection systems has come on stream. As a result we are not providing a direct replacement for Dean Pit, or two other sites that are due to close at the end of their planning permissions.

You request that we carry out an equalities impact assessment (EQIAs) for the closure of Dean Pit. The county council takes equalities very seriously and uses EQIAs where we anticipate there could be a significant impact on equality issues. This was not the case for the closure of Dean Pit and therefore an EQIA was not carried out.

You also request that a specific environmental impact assessment (EIA) is carried out. Having considered carefully the EIA Regulations, we do not believe that it is necessary or appropriate to carry out an EIA in this instance.

I have looked at both these decisions and I am comfortable that they were both well made and appropriate for these circumstances. The circumstance in this case is that a planning permission will expire, investment in kerbside collection systems means that for the majority of residents the need to visit Dean Pit is reduced and we have an obligation to close and restore the site.

You suggested using the costs of closure to keep the site open longer, however, the £200k cost of closure would only keep the site open for approximately one year. In addition we would still be faced with the cost of closing and restoring the site anyway.

I appreciate the point that the closure of Dean Pit will have an effect on people who want to continue to use the site. However, the closure of Dean Pit has to be viewed in the light of a planning permission that will expire, a change in the need for the site and also the very tough financial climate that we are in.

I believe that the experience to date for many residents is that by making full use of the available kerbside collection service and the host of other routes for managing their waste it is possible to dispose of their rubbish in a way that minimises any inconvenience.

I hope this letter goes some way to answering your questions and responding to the points made in your petition. I am very happy for you to contact me directly with any further points.

Yours sincerely

Martin Tugwell
Deputy Director of Environment & Economy
Growth & Infrastructure

Please do write to Martin Tugwell to express your views and concerns following this letter.

We are continuing to investigate what it would cost to upgrade the site to keep it open, and have been in touch with the Environment Agency, who tell us that the only thing needed to keep Dean Pit open would be a sealed tank to hold water that currently drains into a soakaway. We still don't understand the logic of closing one facility, incurring costs of £200k, then spending money on opening another site just up the road.

Liz Leffman · Fri 5 Aug 2011, 18:53 · Link

Jim's running for Headway Oxfordshire

After undergoing brain surgery in January 2011, Jim Pearce is now training for the Snowdonia marathon on the 29th October 2011. He is running for Headway Oxfordshire which supports people with acquired brain injury.
If you would like to support Jim please visit

or phone 01608 810846 for a sponsor form.

Thank you

James Pearce · Thu 4 Aug 2011, 20:27 · Link

Gerry Alcock

We're sorry to report the passing of Gerry Alcock, the webmaster of the Chipping Norton website (at ).

Gerry was a good friend to the Charlbury website and the two sites always enjoyed friendly relations. Gerry put vast amounts of time into the Chipping Norton site, which was often entertaining and controversial and reflected both his personality and the argumentative nature of town politics (he was until recently a Town Councillor and instrumental in the Chippy First group). The site's always lively forum made our users look like a bunch of shrinking violets, and indeed Gerry on occasion said he was amazed how civil we all were!

In recent weeks Gerry was quoted several times in the national press, holding forth on the 'Chipping Norton set': "It's a terrible shame that these spivs have brought the town's name into disrepute."

The area is a poorer place for his passing and he'll be greatly missed.

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 2 Aug 2011, 19:15 · Link

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