Council News

May 2017


At the Annual Parish Meeting in May between 30 and 40 residents discussed an number of issues. A simple questionnaire was given to all to prompt ideas on particular topics, and a summary of the responses on the returned questionnaires is presented here.

May 2017


Our PCSO Lee Kehoe has suggested that we all could help by reporting HGV suspected of using the town illegally by reporting them to Oxfordhsire County trading Standards. For guidance see their webpage at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/weight-restriction-enforcement

May 2017


Our air quality report for January is now available to download. Visit out Air Quality page to find out more.

December 2016


During the winter months it's possible that bad weather might affect SODC 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 SODC 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.

Between 28 December and 13 January SODC will work to the published waste collection schedule only. During that period if your bins have not been emptied due to adverse weather take them back in and they will be emptied on the next scheduled collection date

You can keep up-to-date about any disruption through SODC's website and emails. Alternatively contact Biffa on 0300 061 0610.

November 2016


Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to stop using white goods that are subject to product recall or safety notices, even if the manufacturer says it is safe to do so.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Rob MacDougall, said: “If you find out that one of your white goods is subject to a safety notice or recall, it is really important that you do not continue to use it, even if the manufacturer says it is safe to do so. This is a view shared by other Fire and Rescue Services across the country and by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA).”

If you want to check if a white appliance is part of a manufacturer’s recall or subject to a safety notice, check the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, visit http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/ to check if your appliances are safe.

November 2016


If you live alone it’s important that your contact and medical details are easy to find in the event of an emergency.

To help out, Lions Club International are giving away a free green bottle for you to store important information, such as personal details, emergency contact details, doctors details, medications and allergies. 

If the emergency services are called to your home they will look for the green cross symbol on the back of your front door and will then know to look in the fridge for the information in the green bottle.

Free green bottles are available in the parish office in Old School Place. Just pop in to collect one.

November 2016


If the power goes off, or there’s a problem with the water supply then utility companies have a priority service for vulnerable people to ensure that supplies for those residents are dealt with first.

Many people don’t like to ask for help, however if the water or electricity fails then it can be distressing, especially in the winter, and potentially dangerous if someone uses equipment such as a dialysis machine or ventilator.

If you are elderly, disabled, have a child under five or use specialist medical equipment, then you could benefit from joining water and electricity priority care registers.

Sign up to priority services by calling:

  • Electricity: SSE 0800 294 3259 or text phone 0800 316 5457, UK Power Networks – 0800 169 9970, Western Power Distribution – 0800 096 3080
  • Water: Thames Water 0800 009 3652 or text phone 0800 316 6899

Click here for more information.

Power failure? If there’s a power cut call the free number 105 to check what’s happening with your local provider

No water? Find out what’s happening by calling Thames Water on 0800 980 8800

October 2016


The Oxfordshire Healthcare Transformation Programme has issued a briefing about public consultation on the future of the county's health services.

Oxfordshire's Transformation Board announced that the three month consultation on changes to the ways health services are delivered will begin in January 2017.

The Board wants to ensure proposals for change are rigorously tested before options are finalised for patients and the public to have their say.

Public engagement, through the ongoing Big Health and Care Conversation, will continue until the end of December to help inform and shape the final proposals. There is a further 'Big Conversation' roadshow being held in Abingdon on 19 October - see story above. The Board has stressed that no decisions will be made until the full consultation is completed.

The full briefing is available to view click here.

October 2016 


The County Council have removed the bus stops and timetables on Shirburn Street by mistake. They will be replacing them shortly. We have put up some temporary signs and timetable at these stops to say that they are still in use.  

October 2016


The county council is currently running a consultation on proposed options for the council’s daytime support services. The two proposed options in the consultation will enable older people and people with disabilities to live independently in their community.

The new proposals include a guaranteed core service for people who require daytime support, alongside financial support to enable community-based services to continue to flourish.

People with assessed needs who receive help from Oxfordshire County Council’s adult social services would continue to receive support under a new proposed structure for daytime support in the county.

The council values day time support services run by volunteers and will continue to support these services while encouraging new community initiatives to be launched. Three-quarters of all community-based services do not receive funding from the county council so would be unaffected by the changes.

The county council has listened to more than 600 service users and carers to understand their priorities and develop a new approach.

The consultation is running from 1st November to 20th December 2016. The county council would appreciate it if parish councils could encourage all their residents to whom the consultation is relevant to complete the consultation, so that the council has as an accurate representation of the county’s views as possible.

October 2016


The county council’s Fire & Rescue Service is currently running a consultation on the above plans, the service are keen to hear the views of residents and local parish councils on the community risks that they have identified.

The consultation is running until 9th January 2017, the plans and consultation documents are available via this link.

October 2016


As part of National Tyre Safety Month, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service in Watlington are urging residents to carry out monthly tyre checks to make them safer on the roads.

The 20p tyre test is really easy to do; just place a 20p coin in the main grooves of your tyre. If you can see the outer band of the 20p coin when it's placed in the tyre, then the tyres may be dangerous and illegal and should be inspected by a tyre professional.

Throughout October, local tyre retailers are offering a free tyre safety check that includes a tyre pressure check. To find your local retailer visit http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tyresafe.org%2F&h=MAQHVyDItAQHAMA_XecUKo1M1Yb_G2eOYjHfaylXAdd1xtw&enc=AZMY8-koQWfhW4MynnGXoQoy4dNiJ0XAASZfbQyt9jBZys6lL-wRU_RR1ke7cVABXWu-BYUNaqF900v6pGE_gub73xtTnTp7cutmUAud_mGf2UJbY-_1hrWNv6ktHs54-2ktizzBNlOa6OsBi14ial41SRFb4zGxFd9rudBSZYeNhNiwlv2-xsN4zvOyDD014fq-XNfYZ-ZNoDxgB4ODjvyS&s=1Further information is available here http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.oxfordshire.gov.uk%2F20ptest%2F&h=5AQHZDNKXAQG451uKU-VGGAQi_ukjoyhr9yepOLM3moAE8g&enc=AZMhgFwBwL_fc271jB3izgdfIunaIgyoT0WRorckmrFxlCG99LYL9IxsGU7h8WkpfF7hzK3DuZgWr7EL_ej5LW03SIhz2yFJ2dkDpv0GxBmPv8ZAmdtxW53bylz5BNBIfBorvyM_jzdfMzn3SZ4mQHiMTIKDJa6B8aF1mJY6qHFfo9_oGvwxUo7CZyNEenowps1sZzMKJxQSyUL-Lf79v9Zq&s=1

October 2016


We would particularly like to draw your attention to an event in Watlington on Saturday 15th October from 10am to 2pm at the Town Hall. The event is about air quality and is being hosted by SODC in respect of the actions that could be taken to cut vehicle emissions in the town under their Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP).

A good attendance locally will help our desire to ensure that action is taken to implement a course of action to address this issue. SODC will also be doing door to door consultations with some of the most affected residents today and tomorrow (7th and 8th October).

September 2016


You may already have heard talk that the Post Office is likely to move to the Co-op. For more details and an invitation to give your views on this proposed move see the attached note. You have till the end of September to respond.

The Parish Council will discuss this at their meeting on 13th September.

August 2016


In the recent consultation regarding the Neighbourhood Plan, Watlington residents rated fast broadband as one of the most important facilities needed.The good news is that the five cabinets in the town are fully enabled as part of the current phase of the Better Broadband for Oxfordshire campaign.

The five cabinets are spread around the town and the distance you are situated from the cabinet will affect the speed you can get but the aim to get as near as possible to 24 mps which is the accepted level of superfast.

To take advantage of this, you have to sign up for one of the many superfast packages – there are some great packages on offer. With the Neighbourhood Plan emerging, we have an immediate benefit for residents and businesses and the Parish Council is now supporting Connect8 in their efforts to bring fast broadband to other parts of the Parish and surrounding communities. More information available at http://www.connect8.org/

July 2016


Air Quality - The Air Quality Action Plan for Watlington has at last been published by SODC, and was open for public consultation for five weeks till 4th July. Download the Action Plan from here and download Watlington Parish Council's reply to the consultation from here

Local Plan 2031 - Although SODC has only recently had its Local Plan for the period to 2027 accepted, a new housing market assessment study for the whole of Oxfordshire has identified that up to a further 5,900 houses are needed in South Oxfordshire by the year 2031. The SODC consultation on the principles for distribution of this housing closed on 23rd July. Download the consultation documents from the SODC website and the Parish Council's response from here and the attachment to our response from here.

Local Transport Plan LTP4 - This Oxfordshire wide consultation was very important for Watlington as it concerns the future development of transport networks in Oxfordshire. A relief for road for Watlington, or at least a feasibility study for one, was included in LTP2 issued in the 2005, but disappeared without trace in LTP3 issued in 2010. We hope to get the need for a serious look at Watlington’s traffic problems included in LTP4 which is currently being prepared.

You can download the consultation document from the County website. The Parish Council's response is given here, and includes, as an attachment, our response to the SODC Air Quality consultation described above.

July 2016


Watlington was served by four bus services but three of these were discontinued when the Oxfordshire County Council subsidies are stopped in July. The remaining service (T1) is an approximately hourly service to Oxford which continues as a commercial service operated by Thames Transport. To see a timetable for the service click here. This revised timetable offers a new connection to Chinnor and to the London Tube and airport coach services at M40 Junction 6. From Chinnor it is also possible to connect with the Link40 service to Thame. The timetable for this connection is available here.

The discontinued services will be the 124 to Thame, the 125 to Wallingford and the M1 to Reading.

Watlington Parish Council welcomes a new market-day bus service provided by the Oxfordshire Comet using the ITU fleet of minibuses. This service to Thame will started on Tuesday 16th August and replaced the old 124 service that stopped running at the end of July. The timetable for the service and more detail about how to use the service is here. 

June 2016


In October 2014 the Parish Council made Watlington Parish Council (Off-street parking places) Order 2014 which will give the council the authority to enforce parking regulations in Hill Road Car Park, including among things, the ability to issue penalty charges on vehicles that overstay the two hour limit in the designated short term parking spaces. The short stay parking spaces have now been repainted in red to avoid users' confusion on where long term parking is allowed.

May 2016


South Oxfordshire District Council's (SODC) telephone number has changed to 01235 422422. Please update your contacts.

October 2015


  • Do you have children or grandchildren under 5?
  • Are you concerned about litter on our streets?
  • Do you want starter homes built here?
  • Do you play football or cricket?
  • Are you a bus user?
  • Have you never heard of the Charlotte Coxe Trust? 

With the budget cuts or caps being inflicted on District and County Councils, the Parish Council is being forced to look at a number of the services where the higher level councils have requested our support. Watlington Parish Council only has a limited budget so cannot meet all these requests. We would like your views on which we should support, if any.

An overview of the budget issues facing the Parish Council this year is available here. For more information about each of the major issues please follow the links below.

Please reply by completing this Questionnaire (editable or pdf) and returning it by email with title "Budget 2016" to watlingtonpc@tiscali.co.uk  or by paper copy to the Parish Office in Old School Place or to the Library.

November 2014 


From 1 November 2014 the off-street parking order comes into force. The Order contains various provisions about the operation of the Hill Road car park and enforcement in relation to conditions of use. The aim of the order is not to introduce charges for use of the car park; on the contrary its aim is to make sure that free off street parking is available to those coming into town to shop or use other facilities. Some years ago the Parish Council marked about quarter of the bays for short term parking only, but this has not proved sufficient to ensure that there is space available for the short stay visitors on which our High Street visitors rely. The Order gives the Parish Council the authority to levy excess charges on those who misuse the designated short term and disabled parking bays. For a summary of the Order see the Notice of Making or if you wish to see the full text see the Parking Order.

During February we looked at the use of the short term parking bays in the car park. There are 88 spaces in total and 21 of these are reserved for short term (2 hour maximum) parking with a further 2 reserved for blue badge holders. On the day we did the survey 9 of the 21 short term spaces were occupied by the same vehicle for at least 6 hours from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, the prime time for shoppers to visit the town. As the car park is 75% funded by the businesses in town (predominantly the shops), it seems reasonable that their customers should have convenient parking at the time they need it.  In this instance warnings were issued, but with the Parking Order now in place we have the authority to issue parking fines of £70 for abuse of these short term spaces. We will use this power in future.

Click here to see which bays have parking restrictions on them, either short term (2 Hours) or blue card holders.

November 2014


The NO2 pollution levels at the Town Hall for this year up to the end of November are shown here. This month's report shows the ratified NO2 levels for the first six months of the year, and provisional values for the rest of the year.  SODC have provided the attached explanation of the processes involved in ratifying the data.

These show that the pollution level at the Town Hall has an average value for the first 11 months of this year of 32.5 micrograms per cubic metre against a European and national objective of 40, and that the hourly average value has not yet been exceeded this year.  This is good news as it takes us below the European objectives for both of these criteria. There are of course other criteria which are not monitored hourly so this does not necessarily mean that we  no longer concern ourselves about the quality of the air we breath in the centre of town.