News index


ChOC increases funding to local good causes

ChOC is increasing its funding to local good causes. The committee decided earlier this week to add the income from sales of DVDs to the charity pot: until now, all the money has been raised from the raffles on film nights.

So far we have given £100 to the Charlbury Society to facilitate the translation of medieval documents, and we have just agreed to give the Charlbury Chronicle £100 to help it postpone a rise in advertising rates in the face of increased printing costs.

Requests for funding should go to

The ChOC DVD shop can be found by clicking this link: You'll find details of how to buy the DVDs and Blu-rays listed. We also welcome donations of your spare DVDs, so we can raise more money and accept more funding requests.

Jon Carpenter · Thu 28 Feb 2013, 12:58 · Link

Developing a Community Led Plan for Charlbury

As mentioned in the Town Council report elsewhere in the Chronicle, the Town Council has been considering how to respond to the principle provided by the Localism Act 2012, that communities should have opportunities to influence the future of the places where they live.
There are two options, one being the Community Led Plan, with the other a Neighbourhood Plan. With a Neighbourhood Plan, the focus is on how to shape new development in the town, establishing general planning policies for the development and use of land in the area. This has to be agreed through a local referendum after a full consultation with all residents. With a Community Led Plan (CLP), the intention is for the community to develop a sound understanding of local aspiration and need, again through a broad consultation process. The CLP can focus on the social, economic, environmental and cultural life of the town, support applications for funds and be used to work closely with the District & County Councils to deliver against.
At its January meeting the Town Council considered a proposal to start a consultation with the residents of Charlbury on the proposal to develop a Town Plan, based on the model of a Community Led Plan. Before we can start, we propose to set up a CLP Advisory Group that will be the team that drives forward the CLP consultation process, sets up events, and arranges consultation and feedback to understand the aspirations and ideas of the town. The CLP Advisory Group will agree a set of Terms of Reference with the Town Council to ensure that there is proper planning and clear outcomes for the plan.
Our first request is for anyone interested in being a part of the CLP Advisory Group to contact the Town Clerk on or telephone 01608 810608, to indicate their interest. Once we have a team together we will start the process of planning events in the town that will give the widest feedback from all parts of the town, providing regular feedback to all interested parties and eventually arriving at a final report and plan for the future of Charlbury.
We are sure that this proposal will bring together a creative and hard-working team that will deliver a fresh plan for Charlbury and if you want any further background go to for information from Oxfordshire Rural Community Council to see the national 9 step CLP process. You can also go to to see examples of other local towns and parishes that have taken this opportunity to shape the future of their communities.
The group of Town Councillors are Richard Fairhurst, Jim Holah, Liz Reason, Russell Robson, Valou Pakenham-Walsh

Jim Holah · Wed 27 Feb 2013, 16:37 · Link

Town Council report for March 2013

Charlbury Town Council report, No. 66
By Councillor Jim Holah

In the last edition I mentioned that there are opportunities arising from the Localism Act and I am pleased to say that we have been considering how best to begin a debate in Charlbury about a Community Led Plan. This is one of the options for us all to consider what we want Charlbury to look and feel like in the next ten to fifteen years. At present there is a small group of Town Councillors thinking about how we can start the debate and we have agreed financial support in next year's budget. See Page ** in this edition of the Chronicle. Don't forget, if there are any issues you want to find out about, you can come to the Town Council meetings to hear the discussions, all meetings are open to the public If you have any questions, please see how to contact us at the end of the report.
Christmas Trees: thanks to all residents and businesses who put up Christmas trees in the town, this made a real difference and brought brightness to our streets in December. Special thanks to Geoff Burroughs for donating the tree for the Corner House,
Snow & Ice: the winter weather hit us very hard in January and the Town Councillors available spent some time clearing footpaths and spreading salt. Thanks to those residents who also took time to spread salt and shovel snow to help.
Pot holes: the roads have been suffering as a result of all this bad weather, and if you find potholes, please report them to O.C.C. Highways on 0845 310 1111.
The Town Council Reception: took place in the Corner House on the 13th February
The Annual Parish Meeting: will be held at 8pm on Friday 5th April in the War Memorial Hall. Please come along and find out what your Council has been up to for the past year and ask questions about any aspect of the town. As well as Town Councillors, the District and County Councillors will also be in attendance.
Annual meeting of the Town Council: will be held on Wednesday 22 May at 7.30pm in the Corner House and is open to the public as are all other meetings. This meeting sees the election of the Chairman and the various Committees and nominations to other organisation in the town.
Town Council precept: this is the Town Council's budget for 2013/14 and will be £79,640.00. This is less than the current budget of £84,292.00 and gives a Band D Council tax rate of £64.14, down from the present of £64.44. The reason that the Council Tax has only dropped by 30p whilst the budget has been reduced by £4,652.00 is that the process by which Band D is calculated, the Council Tax Divisor, has been changed by the Government. About half the precept is unavoidable as it covers the essential running costs of the town. This includes grass cutting, hedge, tree and walling repair, care of the cemetery, play equipment maintenance, insurances, grants and administrative costs. Repayment of loans relating to the cemetery extension and funds towards the resurfacing of the hard surface play area are also included. If you want to know more about the planned expenditure, please contact the Town Clerk.
Councillor surgeries for 2013: The dates have been set for this year as follows; 6 April, 1 June, 3 August, 5 October, 7 December, between 10 & noon. There are always two Councillors available to you and for the moment the venue is the Corner House. In the last issue I asked whether there were any other venues that might be more convenient but there have been no suggestions so far.
County Council elections: are on Thursday 2 May: with a seat available for the new Charlbury & Wychwood Division. The present Charlbury Division seat is held by Cllr. Neil Owen (Con), who has made it clear that he will not be contesting the new Division. The Polling Station is at The Memorial Hall, between 7am to 10pm.
Annual Parish Boundary Walk: takes place on Rogation Sunday 5 May, the walk leader this year is Harriet Baldwin. The walk starts at 10 am at the old oak tree on Forest Road (B4437 to Burford). Break for lunch at Model Farm, Ditchley by kind permission of Rob & Maxine Hobill. Volunteers (please contact the Town Clerk) are needed for stewarding and chauffeuring to support this walk on Bank Holiday weekend over land not normally open to the public.
The Station car park: is now fully operational including the new set of steps proposed by the Town Council that make it easier to use the new facilities at the station.
West Oxfordshire Local Plan: The Town Council has made comments on the draft document ad you can obtain a copy from the Clerk or through the W.O.D.C website.
Police & Crime Commissioner consultation: the Town Council has commented on the draft strategy and again, you can obtain a copy from the Town Clerk.
Affordable Housing in Little Lees: this site being built and managed by SOHA will hopefully be available for occupation by May 2013. There are 15 homes and to qualify you must meet the following criteria; to be on the WODC housing waiting list, be resident in Charlbury for at least 12 months or have lived here previously for at least three years, be currently employed in the Parish for more than 12 months or have close family living in Charlbury for at least three years.
To contact the Town Council, e mail the Town Clerk at or telephone 01608 810608,
9.0 a.m - 5 p.m. (Not weekend or Bank Holidays)
Further information can be found at

Jim Holah · Wed 27 Feb 2013, 16:36 · Link

Steam trains through Charlbury in March

It looks like there will be two chances to go train-watching during March. On Saturday 9th, 34067 Tangmere is scheduled to run through (one-way only)during the morning, then on Tuesday 19th, 70000 Britannia will be heading for Worcester in the morning and back again during the afternoon.

At the moment, it doesn't look as though there will be too many other opportunities during 2013, as the published schedules are looking pretty bleak as far as the Cotswolds line is concerned.

Simon Walker · Tue 26 Feb 2013, 16:56 · Link

C1 Railbus new timetable from 4th March

As a result of the various train timetable changes, the C1 timetable has been slightly amended and all buses in the morning will now leave 5 minutes earlier than they used to. This is to take affect from 4th March. The timetable can be found here

Susie Finch · Mon 25 Feb 2013, 16:40 · Link

Wilderness Lineup has been announced

"Wilderness will take place for the third year running in August, at Cornbury Park, near Charlbury. And for the first time it will be spread over four days. Headlining will be Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun, folk-pop outfit Noah and the Whale, and American folk artist Sixto Díaz Rodríguez."

Alison Wright · Mon 25 Feb 2013, 10:21 · Link

Tickets now available for Screen Test II: The Sequel

Tickets have now gone on sale for the popular film-based quiz Screen Test II: The Sequel (in aid of the Community Centre Appeal). They are available from Cotswold Frames and Evenlode Books, and the admission price (£10 full price, £5 for under 16s) includes a one-course meal. The first Screen Test, last autumn, was a sell-out, and tickets for the 16 March event are expected to go quickly. See the Events page for full details.

Edward Fenton · Sat 23 Feb 2013, 12:37 · Link

07.15 train to leave earlier

First Great Western has announced that the 07.15 train to London Paddington, which starts at Charlbury, will leave three minutes earlier from Monday 4th March.

The service has been the least reliable of the morning trains in recent months, often being cancelled and starting from Oxford. A small group of Oxford commuters have asked FGW for the Charlbury start to be dropped entirely.

Instead, FGW is adjusting the timetable to give more leeway. The 07.13 Worcester train will now have more slack between Didcot and Charlbury, dropping its Radley stop entirely and leaving Oxford earlier, so that it is less likely to get in the way of the London train on the single line.

FGW managing director Mark Hopwood said: "Due to a number of challenges performance on our services in this area has not been up to the standard we expect to deliver for our customers. We are working with Network Rail to improve the situation and these changes are just one of many ways we are working to provide a more punctual service."

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 21 Feb 2013, 22:37 · Link

Fair Trade Fortnight 2013

Fair Trade Fortnight 2013 begins on Monday 25th February 2013 and lasts until Sunday 10th March. A great range of Fair Trade products is available from Charlbury Fair Traders at St Marys Church. See the entry under Community - Other on this website. Details from Cara Williams 01608 811284.

Ted Welsh · Tue 19 Feb 2013, 17:44 · Link

New Time for RAD Club (8-11 yr old)

As of this Friday, RAD Club -- a youth group for 8-11 year olds -- will begin at 3:30 pm instead of 4.

This allows everyone to come directly from school. A light sandwich-based snack will be provided, followed by games, songs, and the ever-popular sweet shoppe.

Younger siblings are welcome to come if a parent/carer stays. This event takes place at the Baptist Church every Friday in term time from 3:30-5pm, and is FREE.

For more information, contact Kat Patrick 07800-821099

Kat Patrick · Tue 19 Feb 2013, 10:01 · Link

Local Charity, FASD, features on Channel 4 News tonight.

Channel 4 News tonight will include a feature on families and children affected by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

The youngsters and their parents have agreed to share their experiences ahead of Tuesday's publication of a report into FASD prepared by more than 60 medical professionals and the Charlbury based charity, The FASD Trust.

The news feature will provide an insight into living with a condition that is often misdiagnosed, and is probably much more widespread than we realise.

More details of the feature can be found at: -

Jackie Hague · Mon 18 Feb 2013, 13:08 · Link

New estate agents open on Wednesday

The Old Bank House on Market Street, which has been extensively renovated in recent months, will open on Wednesday (20th February) as a new branch of Wychwood Flowers estate agents.

On their website, they say:

"After much work our new office in Charlbury will be opening on Wednesday 20th of February. We have taken the lease of The Old Bank just north of the main cross roads in Market Street right in the centre. The building has been unoccupied for many years and has been subject to an extensive refurbishment program. The ground floor office is huge, plenty of space for us and more - we have some interesting ideas!

"Anne Roberts will be returning to her old stomping ground, before setting up Wychwoods in Burford she worked in the town for Chancellors. Alexa and Tracy will also be based in the office."

Richard Fairhurst · Mon 18 Feb 2013, 11:18 · Link

Better Together Oxfordshire: Switch to save on your energy bill

Oxfordshire councils are offering residents the chance to join in a collective energy switching scheme to try to get lower fuel prices. Cherwell District Council have partnered with West Oxfordshire District Council, to set up Better Together Oxfordshire, designed solely to help residents save money on their gas and electricity. Better Together Oxfordshire works by residents registering their interest between 15th February and 8th April.

The councils will then group together with other local councils across the country as part of the national campaign called the Big Community Switch to run a reverse auction where energy companies compete to offer the lowest electricity and gas rates. If you've registered, then after the auction is completed you will be told about the auction result. The councils will compare these prices to your current bills and you can then decide whether to accept or decline our offer without any obligations.

With the average fuel bill now standing at approximately £1,350 per year (Ofgem) and rising, similar schemes run in the UK have saved residents from £60 - £200 a year. The average savings in a recent Manchester scheme were £122.

To find out more visit

Christine Elliott · Sun 17 Feb 2013, 12:19 · Link

Gypsy Fire are back -- in Oxford

Do you remember the amazing and barnstorming performance by Gypsy Fire in Charlbury School a couple of years ago? Here's news of their forthcoming concert at The Old Fire Station in Oxford (40, George Street, OX1 2AQ) on Saturday 23 February at 8pm.

The quartet will be performing a mix of music from their first two albums and more - with interpretations of music from Rodrigo, the Who, Traditional, Gypsy, Walt Disney, Persian Folk, Bach and Duke Ellington plus some originals. If you've not seen or heard Gypsy Fire before, check out their website where you can listen to album tracks and see videos, though there's nothing like the live act.

I've got one spare ticket for sale (find me in the bookshop, or phone me), and more are available from The venue can only accommodate 130, so book early. This music is really exciting stuff!

Jon 819117 / 811378

Jon Carpenter · Wed 13 Feb 2013, 20:43 · Link

Wilderness Festival discounted tickets for locals now on sale

The Wilderness Festival takes place in Cornbury Park from 9th-11th August 2013 and OX7 residents are offered a substantial discount on tickets. Wilderness is a celebration of the arts and the outdoors and includes lavish banquets by the UK's finest chefs, debates and discussions, music, theatre, masked balls, cricket, vintage shopping, wild swimming, outdoor cinema, boating and spas...

Discounted tickets are now available from Charlbury Post Office.
Adult weekend £80
Young Person weekend £40 (11-17 years old)
Child - FREE but must be issued with a ticket (10 and under)
Adult day tickets £55
Young person day £20

Charlbury Post Office is open Mon-Fri 9-5.30 and Sat 9- 12.30.

Further details at:

Alison Wright · Wed 13 Feb 2013, 09:06 · Link

Calling all dog lovers...

... and dog walkers to help reduce the amount of dog mess spreading (literally!) in Charlbury. Dog fouling is on the increase in town. It is probably down to a handful of careless dog walkers, but it makes life unpleasant for all. Charlbury is a very dog-friendly town, and will remain so as long as dog walkers (and that includes myself) adhere to three basic rules:
- No dog on the Playing Close
- All dogs must be kept on a lead on the Nine Acres Recreation Ground
- Clear up after your dog anywhere in town and on all surrounding footpaths
Thank you.
Valou Pakenham-Walsh
Charlbury Town Councillor and Member of the Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Action Group

Valou Pakenham-Walsh · Tue 12 Feb 2013, 09:31 · Link

Support Charlbury's 'Walkers are Welcome' bid

Charlbury is applying for membership of Walkers are Welcome, a national scheme for towns and villages that welcome walkers.

We hope to attract more visitors to the town, securing a better future for Charlbury's shops, pubs and other businesses; to ensure that Charlbury's footpaths are clear and well-maintained; and to help others share in this beautiful place. We would be the only WaW town in Oxfordshire and the only one in the eastern Cotswolds.

An 11-strong steering group has been meeting regularly since the autumn to plan our scheme and how we intend to attract walkers. Charlbury Town Council has pledged its support.

But we need to show support from local people too - and this is where you can help! The Walkers are Welcome national committee have asked us for 50 signatures... but Charlbury being what it is, we think we can manage a few more than that.

If you support our aims, please do click one of the following links:

You'll need to be logged into the Charlbury Website to sign. You're not committing yourself to anything - just showing support for Charlbury as a walking town.

Copies of the sign-up sheet will also be available around Charlbury in due course.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 8 Feb 2013, 15:20 · Link

Local author wins Political Book of the Year Award

Last night, Caroline Shenton's book "The Day Parliament Burned Down" (OUP, 2012) won top prize at the Political Book Awards. More information is here:

Caroline Shenton · Thu 7 Feb 2013, 11:50 · Link

Greystones moves a step closer

BBC Oxford is reporting that a deal has been agreed in principle for the Greystones recycling centre outside Chipping Norton. The project had stalled after Chipping Norton Town Council held out for more money for a strip of land required to widen the access road.

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 7 Feb 2013, 08:05 · Link

Roadside scam - Beware

Police are warning motorists to beware of a potential scam involving men claiming to have broken down, who say they need money for fuel.

In the reported cases, motorists have been flagged down by men from a supposedly broken down car. They either asked the victims for cash so that they can buy fuel, or offered jewelry or watches in exchange for cash. Police are warning that the jewelry is often cheap gold or polished metal and not worth the money they are asked to pay.

In the last few months there have been a few cases that local residents have given money to these scammers and in all cases reported to police the allegedly fuel-less cars are driven away before officers arrived on the scene. Try to make a note of the index number of the car and any descriptions of the people in the car.

Contact Police on 101 for a non emergency

In an emergency call 999

Follow us on Twitter @tvp_chippy

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool

Valou Pakenham-Walsh · Wed 6 Feb 2013, 08:24 · Link

Green Deal now launched

The new 'Green Deal' launched this week is a government initiative to give householders the chance to access upfront funding to carry out improvements, then repay the money through their energy bill.

Register your interest in a free Green Deal assessment organised by WODC using the WODC website or call 01993 861020.

Christine Elliott · Sat 2 Feb 2013, 10:35 · Link

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