South Oxfordshire Emerging Local Plan update

Earlier this month the Leader of the Council received a temporary direction from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding our emerging Local Plan 2034, which caused us to have to withdraw the Local Plan agenda item at a Council meeting on 10 October.

This meant that councillors and residents, who were due to take part in exercising their rights to be part of the local democratic process, were unable to discuss the plan.  

Our officers are continuing to work constructively with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and all our local partners to work towards ensuring positive outcomes for all our residents and communities.

Soha Housing develops new Housing First Project

Six homes are being provided from Soha Housing’s stock for homeless people with complex needs in our district, as part of a joint Housing First project.

We worked with the local housing association to pilot a scheme to identify the impact on homeless people, the community and public purse.  We also jointly funded the initiative to commission an independent evaluation, which showed that this model can be transferred into a semi-rural area, something that is not historically associated with homelessness.   

We're also working with Aspire, a local employment charity, who are providing support to individuals to overcome personal challenges and helping them to have the opportunity to return to the world of work.

£127,000 boost for Wheatley Sports Centre

We're investing £127,000 in the Park Sports Centre near Wheatley.  

The sports centre is still open whilst the work is ongoing and it should take approximately eight weeks to replace the large roof area, which covers the three squash courts and a five-court sports hall. 

The new lightweight tiles will also upgrade the building's insulation and improve energy efficiency, and should be completed by the end of November.

Councillor grant scheme

If there's a community project in your area that's in need of a funding boost you could appeal to your local district councillor.  All 36 district councillors in South Oxfordshire have a budget of £5,000 as part of the councillor grants scheme to help fund projects in their ward areas. This is available to local 'not for profit' organisations (including parish councils) whose work benefits local residents.  
The funding is ideal for projects which are relatively low cost (between £500 and £5,000) and expected to be completed within a year.  Examples of previous funding include an outdoor gym, defibrillators, a senior citizen Christmas lunch and new mowers for sports pitches (pictured above). 

To make an application, groups should get in touch with their local councillor and submit online via our website. For more information visit

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee

Earlier this month, the newly formed committee met to discuss the best options on how the council can become 'carbon neutral'.

The politically balanced committee will be recommending to Council that it adopts targets to becoming a carbon neutral council by 2025 and for a carbon neutral district by 2030.

If adopted, work will begin on examining the costs to achieve the targets and to look into ways on how the local community can get involved with the initiatives being proposed.

Charity event in Thame

Come and spend an exciting 'Evening with the Joneses' on 30 October at the Players Theatre in Thame to help raise funds for charity.  Cllr David Bretherton, Chair of the council, has arranged for Ian and Catherine Jones to talk about their experiences in two very different careers.

Ian will be recalling stories on his time spent as a Bomb Disposal Officer and Catherine will be giving her take on being a successful published author.

Tickets cost £10 each from or by phoning Spear Travels in Thame on 01844 217228.  All proceeds of the event will go towards Cllr Bretherton's two chosen charities - Red Kite Family Centre in Thame and local environmental charity Earth Trust.

SmartWater helps to protect property

Our Community Safety team is doing its bit to combat burglary by funding SmartWater kits, part of an anti-burglary scheme in partnership with Thames Valley Police to protect properties, deter thieves and help convict criminals. 

SmartWater is a colourless liquid that contains a unique forensic code. The kits are registered to an address and the solution can be applied to valuables, for example; electricals, bicycles, work tools and jewellery. If the marked items are stolen and recovered by the police, the Smartwater can be detected by a UV light and used to trace them back to the owner. 

So far, we've given out 400 kits to residents who have either been a victim of burglary, or in areas where there have been a series of thefts.

You can find out more information about SmartWater on the Thames Valley Police website and you can purchase a kit via SmartWater.

Pumpkin food waste

We’re encouraging everyone to make the most of their pumpkins this Hallowe’en. If they cannot be used for cooking or composting, then please recycle them with us in your food waste collection.

You can either cut them up and put them in your food waste bin or simply leave them out whole next to your bins on your usual weekly collection day and our bin crews will take them away.

Work for us

We've been working with Vale of White Horse District Council since 2005 and together we employ around 400 staff.  We are always looking for enthusiastic team players to join our friendly council.  

To keep an eye on the career opportunities we have on offer, you can visit our website page.

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South Oxfordshire District Council
135 Eastern Avenue
Milton Park
OX14 4SB