News index


Town Survey 2016 - first draft results published

Initial results are now available for the household and individual surveys and can be downloaded from here:

Please note these are draft results and subject to corrections. Also they do not include the open responses (e.g. answers to 'Other' options in the questions). These are still being processed and categorized and we hope to publish them as soon as possible.

The results will be presented and discussed at the public meeting in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 1st December. Please contact if you have any questions or comments on the data, or if you would like to volunteer to join the Neighbourhood Forum to help with this ongoing work.

Chris Sharpe · Wed 30 Nov 2016, 14:02 · Link

Charlbury WI – we’re on the move!

Due to flourishing membership over the last 12 months, Charlbury WI is moving to a larger venue in the town. From January onwards, we will be meeting in the Memorial Hall. Our meeting time and date remain the same, 7.30pm on the third Wednesday in the month. Look out for our 2017 programme to be available shortly. Printed copies to be found in the Corner House and Pharmacy, with meeting details posted on the Charlbury website Events page.
Contact Louise on or 07867 880237 for more information.

Louise Cashman · Wed 30 Nov 2016, 11:26 · Link

A unique opportunity to hear a solo viola da gamba in Charlbury!

This coming Sunday afternoon (December 4), the viola da gamba player Richard Boothby will be coming to launch a series of one-hour Sunday afternoon teatime concerts to be performed by different artists. The series is promoted by Charlbury Refugee Action Group.

Founder and Director of the Fretwork Viol Consort and professor of viola da gamba at the Royal College of Music, Richard Boothby is a distinguished player who has recorded over 80 CDs.

This concert will be a rare opportunity to hear some gems of the solo viola da gamba repertoire in a medley of 17th and 18th century German and English music. The hour-long recital is in the Memorial Hall at 3pm ands will be followed by homemade cakes and tea, when there will be an opportunity to meet the artist and buy copies of his CDs.

The works played will include:

Tobias Hume: A Soldier's Resolution; Harke, harke

Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasia No. 2 in D major

William Lawes: Alamain; Coranto; Saraband

Charles Frederick Abel: Prelude, [Allegro], Adagio, Allegro

Telemann: Fantasia No. 3 in E minor

Lawes: Prelude; Country Coll; A Jigge; Coranto

Abel: Prelude, Allegro, Adagio, Allegro

All proceeds will go to work supporting refugees, mainly in northern Greece

Jon Carpenter · Tue 29 Nov 2016, 13:26 · Link

Latest planning applications to West Oxfordshire District Council

The following planning applications have recently been lodged. Click on the address to see full details at the WODC website.

Mon 28 Nov 2016, 08:00 · Link

Letter from The Queen

To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday in June, a party was held at the Font Cafe in St Marys church for all Charlbury residents born in the same year.
A card with a watercolour painting by Susan Woolley of a Queen Elizabeth rose was signed by all the 90 year olds and sent to Her Majesty.
This reply has now been received: .......

Maureen Sparling · Sat 26 Nov 2016, 14:32 · Link

Come and find out more about your town on Saturday 26 November!

The results of the Town Survey (organised by the Charlbury Neighbourhood Forum (CNF) on behalf of the Town Council) are now being published.

You can drop in to the Morris Room at the Corner House between 10.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. on Saturday to have a preview of the findings on key local issues and needs expressed by local residents responding to the questionnaire and to chat to representatives of the CNF.

(If the stairs up to the room are a problem for you, you can join the coffee morning in the Anne Downer Room and a member of the CNF can come down and chat to you there.)

This opportunity is designed to prepare for a formal launch of the survey findings at a public meeting to be held on Thursday, 1 December at 7.30 p.m. in the War Memorial Hall, which will provide an opportunity for discussion and questions.

A full written report of the survey results will be available to view on the CNF website from 26 November

Now that key issues have been identified and views on needs have been expressed, the next important question is 'so what are we going to do about them?'

Nothing will happen if interested local residents don't come forward to lend a hand with exploring solutions and improvements that would benefit them and others in the town. The Charlbury Community Action Plan Group of the CNF are proposing to set up Follow-Up Groups for this purpose. Come and find out more on Saturday and on 1 December.

Please spread the word about the Drop In to anyone you know who is not likely to see this News item.

Meryl Smith · Thu 24 Nov 2016, 08:13 · Link

Charlbury arts project partners with local theatre

In a pioneering partnership, Charlbury based arts project AYYO Contemporary Art has worked closely with The Theatre Chipping Norton to run a mentoring project for a group of five young artists from the region as they mount their first professional exhibition at the theatre.

For the exhibition, called 'High Seas and Palm Trees', the young artists have responded to the 2016 panto 'Robinson Crusoe and the Pirate Queen' and made colourful prints, animation, comic books, ceramics and even a musical soundtrack. The young artists were given unique access to rehearsals, script and set designs to help them with planning their artworks.

They have made their own animated website too

ILLUSTORY EU is the name of the youth project and offers professional development for young artists, illustrators, animators and games designers from the Oxfordshire region.

The theme of the project is discovering stories and young artists are encouraged to delve into the literary works that are emblematic of their own cultures. They consider why they are so loved and make contemporary visual responses to them and it is hoped, vision new stories together. The project began in July this year with the young artists making art works in response to Carroll's much beloved fantasy novel 'Alice in Wonderland'. Their work was shown in Oxford to coincide with the annual Alice's Day events.

The project is led by artist and AYYO Creative Director Clare Carswell and mentoring by artists, illustrators and publishers in order to learn the skills required to work as arts professionals, as well as networking and exhibition opportunities is offered to the young participating artists.

Clare says of the project :

"Having mentored two local young artists as studio interns in the last three years, I have learned that there are many other talented arts graduates who return to the county with their degrees but may not then find it easy to launch their career as creative professionals. There are fewer opportunities in the rural areas than there are in the city for emerging artists to show their art or for the networking that is vital to progressing a career in the arts and many of these talented young people are doing non-arts related jobs and can lose heart that they will get to use their education. With support and encouragement from experienced arts professionals and the chance to take up real world opportunities they can gain confidence and go on to make a real contribution to society as the creative people that they are. Having taught in Further and Higher education for many years it is a pleasure to now be using my lovely studio at Charlbury as a hub for this project and I plan for 2017 to make funding applications in order to develop the project and partner with more professionals and arts organisations so that I can offer similar opportunities to more young arts graduates in the county."

AYYO and The Theatre Chipping Norton hope to make this panto themed exhibition an annual event and other future plans for ILLUSTORY EU include an exhibition in Oxford next July to coincide with Alice's Day 2017 and then to work with young artists and arts organisations in the Netherlands on collaborative projects. AYYO will partner with the Oxford-Leiden Link association to support the young artists in undertaking exhibition opportunities in the Netherlands.

Clare Carswell MA(RCA)
AYYO Contemporary Art
Spelsbury Road

01608 811997 07769 723328

Clare Carswell · Sat 19 Nov 2016, 13:19 · Link

Criminal damage to vehicles.

There has been another incident of mindless criminal damage to a vehicle in Marlborough Place.

The vehicle in question was parked on the drive way of the property and the offender has deliberately gone onto the driveway to key the vehicle. This is the third time this vehicle has been damaged and other vehicles belonging to this property have also been damaged previously.

Police are appealing for any information to catch the offender. If you have any further information please contact police and quote crime report number 43160320429

This occurred between the 14th and 15th of November.

Wesley Smith · Thu 17 Nov 2016, 21:51 · Link

Parish Poll to take place on 8th December

The Public Meeting held tonight at the Memorial Hall voted unanimously to stage a Parish Poll on Thursday 8th December, to ask the town's electors whether the Town Council should give grants of:

  • £130,000 to the Thomas Gifford Trust, for the Charlbury Community Centre;
  • £70,000 to the Charlbury Football & Sports Club, for a new headquarters, changing rooms and social facility on Nine Acres.

The money would be raised by a loan taken out by the Town Council, typically from the Public Works Loan Board, and repaid over 20 years. The effect would be a rise of around £10 in the annual council tax on a Band D property. The rate of interest would be fixed at that in force when the loan was taken out; interest rates are of course at a historically low level at present.

The meeting resolved, following a proposal by Reg James seconded by Phil Morgan, to ask two separate yes/no questions in the poll, one for each proposed grant.

The poll will be held in the Memorial Hall between 4pm and 9pm. Government regulations state that poll cards are not issued, and unfortunately postal votes are not permitted.

The meeting packed out the Memorial Hall, with over 190 people present. Representatives of the Town Council, the Football & Sports Club and the Thomas Gifford Trust were available to answer questions raised from the floor. Notably, representatives of both the Thomas Gifford Trust and the Nine Acres Management Committee spoke strongly in favour of the Football & Sports Club's proposals.

Richard Fairhurst · Wed 16 Nov 2016, 21:43 · Link

The Merry Wives of Windsor Tickets now on sale !

The "Fat Knight" comes to Charlbury!
The one and only Sir John Falstaff may be seen in the CADS Autumn production:
"The Merry Wives of Windsor"
at The War Memorial Hall on
24, 25 & 26 of November.
Tickets £9.00 and £7.50 doors and and Bar open 7pm show starts 7.30pm
Available from Cotswold frames 01608 811805 or

Tim at Cotswold Frames · Wed 16 Nov 2016, 14:32 · Link

Speculative development for 34 homes on green field site in AONB

The deadline to get comments in to WODC Planning Dept is 24th Nov. For those who are unaware, Vanderbilt Homes are proposing a 34 home estate at the top of Grammar School Hill beside Fiveways and the allotments.
You can either make comments by going to and type in 16/03494/OUT or Grammar School Hill, or write using the same reference to the Planning Dept, West Oxfordshire District Council, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney, OX28 1PB

Philippa Phelan · Wed 16 Nov 2016, 00:56 · Link

£5000 appeal launched for refugees in northern Greece

Tens of thousands of refugees are stuck in camps in northern Greece as winter sets in and the ground turns to mud, then ice. The charity Help Refugees is supporting a number of charities and NGOs working on the ground, providing medical, food and educational aid. Some of the camps are on army bases and very isolated, with limited facilities of any kind, and many of the refugees are in flimsy tents. The photo shows one of the camps a couple of weeks ago, just after the rains began.

Charlbury Refugee Action Group has launched an appeal for £5000 to support the work of Help Refugees. More information, and the opportunity to contribute, are at

CRAG is also running a café in St Mary's on Sunday from 12 to 5, serving light lunches, coffee and teas in support of the appeal. This is alongside the Artworks exhibition of work by local artists and craftspeople.

Jon Carpenter · Tue 15 Nov 2016, 17:49 · Link

Latest planning applications to West Oxfordshire District Council

The following planning applications have recently been lodged. Click on the address to see full details at the WODC website.

  • Goodgames Sheep Street Charlbury
    Change of use from Retail to Beauty Salon.
    WODC reference: 16/03773/FUL - Tue 01 Nov 2016 - Under consideration
  • Wychwood View Stonesfield Lane Charlbury
    Proposed raising of the roof to the original part of the house and forming additional bedroom accommodation within the roof space created.
    WODC reference: 16/03670/HHD - Thu 10 Nov 2016 - Under consideration

Mon 14 Nov 2016, 08:00 · Link

Southill Solar generated its first electricity on Friday 11th November!

Read the meter!
Following heroic efforts from the Southill Community Energy and Solar Century teams, and with the help of SSE and others, Southill Solar generated electricity and passed its G59 safety test on Friday 11th November. Thanks to all who made this happen. And what a fabulous sunny day to do it!
Come and celebrate with us on Thursday 17th November and hear Jeremy Leggett, author of Winning the Carbon War, talk about what the future holds, including Southill's small contribution to making the switch.

Liz Reason · Fri 11 Nov 2016, 14:10 · Link

Town Council proposed grants to community facilities – Further Information

You should already have seen the recent note from the Town Clerk concerning the possible awarding of grants by the Town Council to the Thomas Gifford Trust and to the newly formed Charlbury Football and Sports Club towards the provision of much improved modern community facilities which should benefit the town and its residents for many years to come. The original note was delivered to all homes in the town with the latest copy of The Leaflet and posted here (see

Your views are important in enabling the Town Council to proceed and we therefore urge you to participate in the Public Meeting on Wednesday 16th November and the subsequent proposed Parish Poll on Thursday 8th December.

The grants, if awarded, will be subject to a number of conditions which are set down below in a resolution passed by the Town Council at its full meeting held on Wednesday 28th September 2016. The following text is an extract from the minutes of that meeting.

Subject to a public consultation and approval by parishioners, this Council proposes to apply for a loan sanction from DCLG (Department for Culture and Local Government) and a loan from PWLB (Public Works Loan Board) (if approved) of a sum of £200k over 20 years to be used to make grants towards works for the benefit of the community as follows:
1. A grant of £130,000 to the Thomas Gifford Trust towards the construction of the Community Centre and subject to the following conditions:
a. That the money shall be used only for the following:
I. Landscaping and improvement of the visual appearance of the centre and its surrounds.
II. Provision of car and cycle parking spaces, pathways and roadways.
b. That no further funding shall be granted by the Town Council towards the community centre construction project following the making of this grant.
c. That the grant shall be repayable in the event that the community centre project is not completed or the centre ceases to operate within a period of 10 years of the issuing of the grant.
2. A grant of £70.000 to Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club (formerly the Charlbury Sports and Social Club) toward the construction of a new headquarters building and subject to the following conditions:
a. That the Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club formally adopts the proposed constitution, elects and appoints officers and trustees and is accepted by HMRC as a bona fide Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC).
b. That the money is used solely for the construction of a new headquarters building for which planning permission has been granted,
c. That the money will be made available to the Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club only when and if it can be demonstrated that the construction project is fully funded through the securing of funding from this and other sources.
d. That no further funding shall be granted by the Town Council towards this construction project following the making of this grant.
e. That the grant shall be repayable in the event that the construction project is not completed or that the club ceases to operate within a period of 10 years of the issuing of the grant.

Peter Kenrick · Thu 10 Nov 2016, 13:21 · Link

Town Proud Working Party

Many thanks to everyone who turned out on Saturday 5th to the first Town Proud Working Party and helped to clear leaves from pavements and gutters before they became a hazzard. 11 builders bags full of leaves were collected by WODC and replacement bags provided.

A good start - keep up the good work!

Peter Kenrick · Thu 10 Nov 2016, 12:03 · Link

Ticknell Piece Play Area

Huge thanks to all of the children who took part in the Sponsored Spook last weekend. They ran a 1km course in fancy dress and did a good job of scaring a few dog walkers along the way. Between them, they have managed to raise £301 so far towards the cost of replacing the broken swings. If anyone would still like to donate, it isn't too late. We have a Just Giving page (link below) and would really appreciate your support.

Liz Soar · Wed 9 Nov 2016, 23:13 · Link

Charlbury town football sports Club

Invite you to a presentation of proposed new changing rooms and social area for charlbury town football sports club.
Friday 11th November 5pm till 9pm Ann downer room corner house.
Free refreshments.
Saturday 12th November 9am 12pm in the pavilion on nine acres.
Come and have a look at the new drawings
Meet the committee
Ask questions
Offers off help always welcome.

mandy · Mon 7 Nov 2016, 20:43 · Link

Charlbury Community Centre Information Evening

The trustees of the Thomas Gifford Trust would like to invite you to an open meeting on
Thursday, 10th November from 4pm to 6.30pm
in the Morris Room at the Corner House.

This will be an opportunity to answer any questions you may have in relation to the Charlbury Community Centre and the forthcoming Parish Poll.

daniela jenkins · Sat 5 Nov 2016, 12:58 · Link

"Be Town Proud" Working Party

You should have seen the brightly coloured leaflet delivered to your door recently to launch the "Be Town Proud" initiative aimed at improving the look of our town. Thank you to all those who have responded already.

To kick off volunteer action for the "Be Town Proud" initiative, we are holding the first Working Party on Saturday 5th November at 10am meeting on the Playing Close. All are welcome!

If you are willing to help, come and join us and meet like-minded people.

For this first session, the focus of work will be on clearing fallen leaves from pavements and footpaths where they can become a serious hazzard. Please come suitably dressed with stout footwear, gloves and readily visible clothing. Bring a shovel if you have one.

See you there - Be Town Proud!

Peter Kenrick · Thu 3 Nov 2016, 21:04 · Link

Town Council proposed grants to community facilities

This information was included as a flyer in the most recent copy of the Leaflet, delivered to all houses in Charlbury.

  • There will be a public meeting on Wednesday 16th November at 8pm in the Memorial Hall.
  • Subject to the outcome of the above, there will be a Parish Poll held on Thursday 8th December.
  • The Parish Poll will be held in the Memorial Hall between 4pm and 9pm. There will not be any poll cards issued so please note this date as it will be extremely important that as many as possible vote on the question posed. The outcome of this vote will determine the amount of loan which the Town Council will seek.

Charlbury Town Council is preparing to set its budget for the financial year 2017/18. This process determines the total sum of money to be allocated to the various areas for which the Town Council is responsible. Most costs are unavoidable, including maintenance of such areas as the Cemetery, Nine Acres, Mill Field, grass cutting, play equipment and similar. Also included this budget are requested grants to bodies such as the Day Centre, Children's Centre, Dementia-Friendly Charlbury, the Museum, churchyard grass cutting, and other requests as they arise.

This year, there have been significant developments in terms of the Community Centre project coming to fruition, and the associated loss of the building on the Spendlove site formerly used by the Sports & Social Club. The Town Council has been asked to provide grants to both the Community Centre and the Sports & Social Club, in order to enable completion of external works at the Community Centre, and for a new building to house the Sports & Social Club in its new format and name.

Both of these projects will provide much improved modern community facilities. Accordingly, the Town Councillors have considered carefully how this could be achieved. The only way available is to seek consent for a loan to be taken to provide the sums necessary. The total loan required will be £200,000, which would be taken on a 20-year repayment basis.

Based on the current interest rate, which varies only marginally on a daily basis, the annual cost to the Council would be around £12,000, or the equivalent of approximately £10 per annum on a property with a Band D council tax rating, fixed for 20 years, in addition to existing unavoidable costs. Clearly this would be less for lower bands, and higher for those above Band D: Band D is considered the average for these purposes. These costs will continue until 2037.

The agreed split of the loan is £130,000 to the Community Centre (Band D cost £6.50pa) and £70,000 to the Sports & Social Club (Band D cost £3.50pa). Grants given will be subject to conditions set by the Town Council.

To obtain approval for the loan, a submission has to be made to the Department for Communities and Local Government. Each application is required to demonstrate that it has local support; that the effect on Council Tax is understood and accepted; and that repayment is sustainable alongside all other expenditure obligations, so far as can be foreseen.

Thank you for reading this. As your views are important in reaching a decision, please make them known at the public meeting and in the Parish Poll.

Town Clerk, Charlbury Town Council, October 2016

Wed 2 Nov 2016, 19:50 · Link

Charlbury Community Centre Update

The steel frame has been fabricated and will be delivered to site on Monday 7th November. It is anticipated it will take approximately 2-3 weeks to erect.

There have been a number of questions about the funding for the Community Centre following the Town Council note issued with the November edition of The Leaflet. We would therefore like to stress that the funding for the Community Centre building is secure and that the contract currently underway will result in a fully functioning building. Although more money is needed for things like computers, furniture, sports equipment and library shelving, our intention is to raise the funds required over the next nine months while the building is being constructed.

However, we think that it is important to ensure that the exterior areas of the Community Centre link well with the surrounding buildings and Nine Acres, improve the look of the site with trees and other planting, and have well paved footpaths, good finishes to roadways and fencing as well as creating 19 car parking spaces. The trustees have made a bid to the Town Council for a grant to fund this element of the work and the Town Council note in the latest edition of The Leaflet explains the impact that this would have on the Council Tax. We hope that you will support this proposal to provide the high-quality facility that Charlbury deserves.

For more information please contact Marjorie Glasgow on

daniela jenkins · Wed 2 Nov 2016, 11:21 · Link

Charlbury collections for Hurricane Matthew apeal

Collections towards the Hurricane Matthew appeal were made at the by-election hustings and at a Churches Together in Charlbury United Service These collections were donated to the Christian Aid appeal. Here is the acknowledgement from Christian Aid:
"Thank you for the generous donation of £620.69 from the Churches Together in Charlbury, and the United Nations Association; Gift Aid will increase your donation to £755.17.
Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Thousands have lost their homes, crops have been flattened, and livestock have been swept away. Thanks to your donations we're providing urgently needed shelter, clean drinking water and supplies. Through our local partner KORAL, we are distributing 500 hygiene kits, 500 shelter kits, 500 food kits and roofing materials to 62 families."

Gerald Draper · Tue 1 Nov 2016, 17:57 · Link

Could your business run Charlbury's Post Office?

You may or may not know that, according to Post Office Limited's (POL) Service Transformation policy, it will not be possible to continue the Charlbury's Post Office service contract on the current basis in 2017. Under the circumstances Elaine Newbold, our current Post Office service provider, has indicated that she wishes to terminate her POL contract w.e.f. whenever a successor is found.

POL is currently advertising the opportunity for a local retail business to take on the Post Office franchise as part of their ongoing business. To view the advert go to .

POL are looking for an existing retail business to take on the franchise and run it as an integrated part of their shop - in other words from the same counter as other retail sales, keeping the same hours, using the same staff. Their preference is for a shop that turns over £4k a week but apparently they do have procedures for smaller businesses.

The word "shop" is used but POL may also be willing to consider another type of local business, if it meets key criteria and is a way of maintaining the level of service currently on offer.

The Charlbury Community Action Plan (CCAP) group is starting to consider how to follow up the results of the town survey (which will be shared with the community by the end of the year). The CCAP group are anxious that as many local Charlbury businesses who might be interested in exploring the idea of taking on the Post Office franchise are aware that it is currently being advertised and as soon as possible find out more about what is on offer. There is a finite time during which POL will be considering how best to continue a Post Office service in Charlbury and will be offering financial and other help to a local retail business interested in taking it on.

As far as we are aware POL is committed to maintaining some kind of Post Office service in the town but, according to their current policy, if no suitable existing business comes forward to take on the franchise along the lines mentioned above, the town may end up with a part-time visiting service delivered by a neighbouring franchise.

Do, please, have a look at the Post Office Limited website advertising local franchise vacancies?"web address given above. If you think you might be interested, find out more by expressing interest via the website.

If you would like more information about the background to this notice, please email me: .

Meryl Smith
Charlbury Community Action Plan group

Tue 1 Nov 2016, 11:19 · Link

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