Category Archives: News

VWHDC Cycling Champions

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have each appointed their first ever Cycling Champions to help and encourage people to travel by bike.

Cllr Sam Casey-Rerhaye at South Oxfordshire and Cllr Eric de la Harpe at Vale of White Horse will work with local organisations, communities, other councils and transport bodies to make sure there is wider access to cycling paths across the districts.

The work of the Cycling Champion will help to deliver the legacy of The OVO Energy Women’s Tour, which saw thousands line the streets and get enthusiastic about cycling when it passed through both districts on 12 June. The race provided a significant platform to showcase Southern Oxfordshire as a cycling and tourism destination and is set to return to Oxfordshire again in 2020 and 2021.

Cllr Casey-Rerhaye, who regularly cycles to work and encourages her children to cycle wherever possible, would love to see more people doing the same – particularly for journeys under five miles.  Her aim is to make improvements to new and existing cycle paths in the district to help reduce pollution and carbon emissions and encourage others to increase their overall fitness through cycling.

Cllr Casey-Rerhaye said, “With the climate emergency, we are seeing how important it is to ensure that people have easy access to alternative transport.  Cycling has a vital part to play, the more people travel by bike for either short journeys or part of a longer journey, the better chance we have of tackling harmful emissions and reducing chronic ill-health.  This could make a massive contribution to a reduction in greenhouse gases -helping to secure a safer future for the next generation.”

Cllr de la Harpe is a keen cyclist after deciding 15 years ago to help the environment and his own health by cycling to work whenever possible.  His passion for two wheels was spurred on further when he experienced following the Olympic Torch from his home in Abingdon to his offices in Henley – not seeing a car along the entire journey has helped him to support people to use their own pedal power.

Cllr de la Harpe said, “Cycling has significant benefits for individuals’ health and wellbeing and can also have much wider benefits in areas where cycling communities have formed, ride together, hold events and socialise together.”

Nominate Your Sports Heroes

Celebrating elite and community sport across Oxfordshire

The Oxfordshire Sports Awards recognise the outstanding contribution made by those who play sport, and those who help others play sport or be physically active.

Long term supporters of this event will notice that this year the awards are later than usual. This delay is due to substantial changes behind the scenes. In September 2018 Oxfordshire Sports and Physical Activity (OxSPA) who organised the awards for 12 years underwent a transition to a new independent charity working to promote physical activity and sport across the county.

Active Oxfordshire, the newly founded charity is delighted to continue the rich history of this event. With the support of BBC Radio Oxford, the Oxford Mail and a number of other sponsors, the Oxfordshire Sports Awards will take place on Friday 15th November at the MINI Plant in Oxford.

We are seeking nominations across 12 categories covering elite level sport to community sessions that help people get active.

Nominations are now open and we are appealing to the public of Oxfordshire to help us identify the individuals who should be honoured. Nominations close on Friday 20th September. Click the link below to nominate:

One Step Beyond

This wonderful video was made at the Faringdon Play day with a Town Council Youth Grant! The next project is at the Folly on 18th August – book your place !!

Holiday Advice from CAB

Cancelled flights or lost luggage? Know your rights – Citizens Advice

Airports and air travel have always caused difficulties and stress, but in the present age – with tight security and overcrowded terminal buildings – travellers have to deal with situations more fraught than ever before. To add to their problems flights are often delayed or cancelled, and suitcases vanish or turn up with items missing or damaged.           

If you encounter any of these problems, you will be able to cope better if you are thoroughly familiar with your options before travelling. 

If you’re flying to or from an EU airport with an EU airline, under EU rules you might be entitled to compensation if you are delayed. You can check on the Civil Aviation Authority website which also provides information on other eventualities and on ATOL financial protection for package flight travellers.

Depending on how long your flight is delayed and where you’re flying to, the airline might have to provide you with food and drink, access to phone calls and emails, and accommodation if you’re delayed overnight. Again, the CAA website (see above) provides relevant information.

If your flight is cancelled you might have the legal right to have either a full refund or a replacement flight to get you to your destination (from another airline if necessary). 

If your luggage is delayed, damaged or lost and the airline is at fault, you have the right to claim compensation from the airline. Act quickly because you might have to claim within seven days of your flight date. But if you have travel insurance or home contents insurance that covers luggage, an insurance claim might be a better option, depending on your excess.

The Citizens Advice website will tell you everything you need to know.

For more guidance, telephone Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or visit Citizens Advice during opening hours. Details of office locations are on

Pop Up Business School

This autumn, the South and Vale Business Support Team will bring the free five-day PopUp Business School to Shrivenham for people looking to start and/or expand their own business without using any money.

Each day from 7-11 October, the PopUp Business School will be held at the Viscountess Barrington’s Memorial Hall, from 10am to 3pm, to give practical advice on how to get a business idea off the ground through a series of hands-on workshops.

The informal workshops help give people the vital skills they need to help them make money doing what they love, and everyone is welcome to attend all week or just turn up to the workshops they feel are most useful. 

This is the fourth time that South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have hosted the event to encourage residents to start their own business with previous events in Didcot, and earlier this year, in Faringdon and Berinsfield.

At the Faringdon and Berinsfield events, nearly half of the people that attended the courses started a business and made their first sale by the end of the week.  The new businesses included local crafts, professional services, arts and entertainment, and a food business.

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Cabinet Member for Vale of White Horse District Council said, “We are very excited that the PopUp Business School is coming to Shrivenham to provide a totally free five-day course.  It’s a great opportunity for people across the district, and with Honda announcing their closure a few months ago, we were also keen to do what we can to support people affected in the area.”

Cllr Simon Howell, local district councillor, said, “If you or you know someone that has always dreamt of turning a skill or passion into a profitable business then this is the course to attend – the enthusiastic pop up team will show you exactly how to get started.”

Cllr Elaine Ware, local district councillor, said, “We know from the feedback we had from the Faringdon business school in February that people have a great time learning how to run their own business, so we urge our local residents go along and see for themselves how easy it can be.”

People can register to attend the Shrivenham PopUp Business School via    

Shrivenham | PopUp Business School The PopUp Business School is coming to Shrivenham! Come along to learn how to start a business for free, without borrowing money, without writing business plans and make money doing what you love.


South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils

01235 422400 | @southoxon | @whitehorsedc 

Open Air Cinema

The open air cinema at Tuckers Park on Friday 2nd August was a lovely evening. Beautiful weather and a great film saw approx. 500 residents attend the free showing of Bohemian Rhapsody. The BBQ was provided by the Rotary Club, and Faringdon Town Football Club kept everyone well watered. The Cinema was organised and funded by Faringdon Town Council with monies raised from the community Cinema. An exit collection raised £220 for the Place. If you would like us to provide this event next year please let your Councillors know!

Fly Tippers Beware

Three men have been successfully prosecuted by Vale of White Horse District Council after fly-tips were found in Longworth and Marcham, and building waste was illegally left at a household waste recycling centre earlier this year.

The men were ordered to pay a total of nearly £5,000 after their cases were heard at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29 July.

The first case involved brothers, Krisztian and Tamus Matus. Krisztian, aged 38, of The Square, Longworth and Tamus, aged 34, from Swallow Mews, Didcot, both pleaded guilty to three charges:

  • the unlawful deposit of waste at Drayton Household Recycling Centre
  • transporting waste with a view to profit without being registered carriers of waste
  • failing in their duty of care in relation to a deposit of waste (fly-tip) found on land between Abingdon and Marcham.

On 4 March, a builders’ one tonne sack containing tiles, wood and paint tubs was found dumped at the side of the A415 Marcham Road between Marcham and Abingdon.

Officers from the Vale of White Horse District Council investigated further and discovered a link to an address in Abingdon and after interviewing the occupier they discovered she had paid her gardener Krisztian Matus to remove building waste from her house after he told her he had the necessary waste licence.

Both men were also involved in depositing building waste at Drayton Household Waste recycling centre despite several notices and signs stating ‘no commercial waste accepted’.

In sentencing, the magistrates stated that these were serious offences attracting significant fines, although account had been taken of their early guilty pleas, their financial situation and that both were of previous good character. 

Krisztian Matus was ordered to pay the following:

  • £500 fine for the unlawful deposit of waste at Drayton Recycling Centre
  • £100 fine for transporting waste without being a registered carrier of waste
  • £800 fine for breach of his duty of care
  • £70 compensation to the person whose waste they collected
  • £538.53 towards prosecution costs
  • £80 victim surcharge

Total £2,088.53

Tamus Matus was ordered to pay the following:

  • £400 fine for the unlawful deposit of waste at Drayton Recycling Centre
  • £700 fine for breach of his duty of care
  • £70 compensation to the person whose waste they collected
  • £538.53 towards prosecution costs
  • £70 victim surcharge

Total £1,778.53.

The second case involved Nathan Draper, aged 21, from Hatford, Faringdon.

On 15 April 2019, volunteer litter pickers discovered several black bags containing tiles, a toilet, long strips of plastic and cardboard packaging fly-tipped in Draycott Road, Longworth.

Evidence at the scene led the investigating officers to Mr Draper, whom they interviewed, and he admitted fly-tipping waste that he had been paid to remove and not being a registered waste carrier.

At court on Monday he pleaded guilty to two charges: 

  • Fly-tipping
  • Transporting waste without being a registered waste carrier

In sentencing, magistrates took into account his early guilty plea and the fact that he was of previous good character. 

Nathan Draper was ordered to pay the following:

·         £448 fine for the deposit of waste

·         £100 fine for transporting waste without being a registered carrier of waste

·         £400 towards prosecution costs

·         £44 victim surcharge

·         Total £992

Cllr Jenny Hannaby, Vale of White Horse District Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “We take crimes of this nature extremely seriously. While we will always prosecute fly-tippers, these cases show that we will also prosecute those who violate other laws designed to protect our environment.”

This week South Oxfordshire District Council also made a successfully prosecution after a fly-tip – read more here.

Photographs attached are of both cases of dumped waste. 


South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils

01235 422400 | @southoxon | @whitehorsedc