Thursday 13 May 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 21 CV-19 cases in the Vale of White Horse in the week 3-9 May, down eight on the week before. This equates to 15 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 17 (16 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The Changing Lives charity shop on Church Street in Wantage has supported many local causes since 2012. King Alfred’s student Eda Onay caught up with the owners to find out about this venture – read more here.

• The most recent meeting of Wantage Town Council was held on 29 March and you can read the minutes here.

• A reminder that the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group held its AGM on 28 April and you can click here to read the Campaign Manager’s report for the year ending February 2021. The Group also keeps a close eye on progress or problems with the various applications or developments – click here to see the archive.

• Wantage Independent Advice Centre has been re-named Vale Community Impact with a new website and facebook page name offering free independent advice on debt, benefits, employment, housing and relationships.

• In her regular column on p8 of the Herald, Julie Mabberley looks at parking enforcement in the area, the responsibility for which will be taken over from the Police by the county and district councils. When this finally happens,  she points out that illegal parkers (who have previously run little risk) will have something of a shock. This, she argues, is surely likely to increase the calls for residents’ parking permits to be introduced so that people can park in front of their own homes.

• There was a request on the Wantage and grove Community FB page on 12 May asking “has anyone got any moving boxes?” Crikey, I thought: is this some kind of paranormal thing in the area that I ought to know about? Would there be replies saying, “yes – all my boxes are moving around as well.” In fact – of course – she was only moving house. How disappointing.

• Advice from the same source, this time from local wildlife expert Mark Bradfield who was alerted to a young tawny owl near Letcombe Brook which seemed to have not done very well at his first flying lesson. The thing to do in these cases, he advises, is to “put them up in a nearby tree out of the rain and away from potential predators.” He asks people not to “immediately take birds away from the scene and try and “rescue” them – just put them in a hedge or tree somewhere safe and leave them for the parent to care for. They are usually somewhere nearby.”

• Click here for details of lateral flow tests that are available at The Beacon in Wantage.

• Click here for a list of businesses offer click-and-collect services in Wantage town centre.

• The most recent meeting of Grove Parish Council took place on 20 April and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: Elmbrook Court Care Home; the Public Art Working Group; the Lidl planning application; updates from the Grove Airfield and the Crab Hill Development Forums; the response to the government’s insistence that council meetings revert to face-to-face from 7 May; planning applications; take-away van issues; and financial matters.

• Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have agreed a partnership to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

• The most recent meeting of Ardington & Lockinge Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Challow Parish Council  took place on 10 March and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for information the Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (DAWN) for the blind and partially sighted. The organisers are currently appealing for help to keep the service going – click here for details.

• You can click here to see the April 2021 issue of the Letcombe Register which includes news from the villages’s groups and societies.

Wantage area council news

Parishes: click here for Wantage Town CouncilGrove Parish CouncilWest Challow Parish CouncilEast Challow Parish CouncilArdington & Lockinge Parish Council, West Hannay Parish Council, East Hannay Parish Council and Letcombe Regis Parish Council.

Vale of White Horse District Council: click here to visit the website.

Oxfordshire County Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn Valley; Marlborough area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Theale area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 6 May 2021

• Official news from councils in this area is currently thin as we are in a period of pre-election purdah (see here for more) until after the polling stations close on 6 May when there restrictions on what can be announced.

• The BBC reports that there were 28 CV-19 cases in the Vale of White Horse in the week 26 April to 2 May, up four on the week before. This equates to 21 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 16 (18 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The most recent meeting of Wantage Town Council was held on 29 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the re-affirmation of the Armed Forces Covenant; reports from committees; confirmation of the expenditure of £4,172 on planters and benches; the waiving of market tolls until 30 June 2021; the annual council meeting (which will take place on 3 May); the “meanwhile space” project to help revitalise empty retail spaces; confirmation of a donation of £5,000 to Grove Rugby Club; and quotes from highway engineers for the pedestrianisation scheme in the Market Square.

• A reminder that the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group held its AGM on 28 April and you can click here to read the Campaign Manager’s report for the year ending February 2021. The Group also keeps a close eye on progress or problems with the various applications or developments – click here to see the archive.

• Wantage Independent Advice Centre has been re-named Vale Community Impact with a new website and facebook page name offering free independent advice on debt, benefits, employment, housing and relationships.

• The April newsletter from Wantage MP David Johnson arrived last week and you can click here to read it. As well as a round up of what he’s been doing in the constituency, there are also two clips of him asking questions in parliament: about the recent patchy performance of Royal Mail and the re-opening of Grove station (more news expected in the summer on this one).

• In her regular column on p8 of the Herald, Julie Mabberley looks at active travel and the need to join up the area’s cycleways.

• The Herald reports that two street cleaning companies have been ordered to pay hefty fines after stealing H2O from Thames Water hydrants in Oxfordshire. (This reminds me of a story I heard years ago. BT was trying to work out why it suddenly started higher than usual electricity bills for a particular area and narrowed it down to the phone boxes (of which there were then quite a lot). They eventually established that one local furniture-maker, who worked from a shed at the bottom of his garden and run a cable to the phone box on the street at the other side of the edge and plugged a cable into the light socket, from which he was running all his power tools.)

• The Herald reports on the progress of plans to provide an “affordable solution” to help the town’s two GP practices cope with the ever-growing number of patients.

• Click here for details of lateral flow tests that are available at The Beacon in Wantage.

• Click here for a list of businesses offer click-and-collect services in Wantage town centre.

• The most recent meeting of Grove Parish Council took place on 20 April and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: Elmbrook Court Care Home; the Public Art Working Group; the Lidl planning application; updates from the Grove Airfield and the Crab Hill Development Forums; the response to the government’s insistence that council meetings revert to face-to-face from 7 May; planning applications; take-away van issues; and financial matters.

• Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have agreed a partnership to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

• The most recent meeting of Ardington & Lockinge Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Challow Parish Council  took place on 10 March and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for information the Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (DAWN) for the blind and partially sighted. The organisers are currently appealing for help to keep the service going – click here for details.

• You can click here to see the April 2021 issue of the Letcombe Register which includes news from the villages’s groups and societies.

Thursday 29 April 2021

• Official news from councils in this area is currently thin as we are in a period of pre-election purdah (see here for more) until after the polling stations close on 6 May when there restrictions on what can be announced.

• The BBC reports that there were 24 CV-19 cases in the Vale of White Horse in the week 19-25 April, down six on the week before. This equates to 18 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 18 (18 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The most recent meeting of Wantage Town Council was held on 29 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the re-affirmation of the Armed Forces Covenant; reports from committees; confirmation of the expenditure of £4,172 on planters and benches; the waiving of market tolls until 30 June 2021; the annual council meeting (which will take place on 3 May); the “meanwhile space” project to help revitalise empty retail spaces; confirmation of a donation of £5,000 to Grove Rugby Club; and quotes from highway engineers for the pedestrianisation scheme in the Market Square.

• With around 7,000 houses in the pipeline for Wantage, Grove and the surrounding village and probably more to come, the role of the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group seems to be ever more important. Its aims are not to oppose all or any development in the area but to ensure that this is “proportionate and sustainable” and that the infrastructure should “improve the quality of life for residents.” The organisation held its AGM on 28 April and you can click here to read the Campaign Manager’s report for the year ending February 2021. The Group also keeps a close eye on progress or problems with the various applications or developments – click here to see the archive.

• Wantage Independent Advice Centre has been re-named Vale Community Impact with a new website and facebook page name offering free independent advice on debt, benefits, employment, housing and relationships.  VCI volunteers run the Transport Service (taking residents to medical appointments, day centres and the like) and the Good Neighbour Service (matching residents and volunteers to buddy up and chat or to undertake small household tasks). If you think you may like to volunteer, please email recruitment@vci.org.uk.

• The April newsletter from Wantage MP David Johnson has just dropped into my inbox and you can click here to read it. As well as a round up of what he’s been doing in the constituency, there are also two clips of him asking questions in parliament: about the recent patchy performance of Royal Mail and the re-opening of Grove station (more news expected in the summer on this one).

• The first 2021 Local Artisan Market in Wantage Market Place is this Sun 2 May 10am to 3pm.

• This week’s Herald reports on p7 that residents have vowed to “fight on” to get beds re-opened at Wantage Community Hospital which has been largely  “temporarily” closed in 2016 as a result of a legionella outbreak.

• In her regular column on p8 of the Herald, Julie Mabberley looks at the issue on the Community Hospital in more detail.

• On the same page, the paper reports on a fire at Haynes of Challow which was described as “unfortunate and inexplicable.”

• The newspaper’s website reports on another fire that seems to be more explicable, a house in Wantage being badly damaged by a blaze seemingly started by a candle.

• The letters page definitely seems to have vanished from the Herald. As I suggested last week, perhaps it’s a pre-election purdah thing.

Click here for information about the various local elections taking place in the area on 6 May.

• The Herald reports on the progress of plans to provide an “affordable solution” to help the town’s two GP practices cope with the ever-growing number of patients.

• Click here for details of lateral flow tests that are available at The Beacon in Wantage.

• Click here for a list of businesses offer click-and-collect services in Wantage town centre.

• The most recent meeting of Grove Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have agreed a partnership to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

• The most recent meeting of Ardington & Lockinge Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Challow Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 20 January and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for information the Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (DAWN) for the blind and partially sighted. The organisers are currently appealing for help to keep the service going – click here for details.

• You can click here to see the April 2021 issue of the Letcombe Register which includes news from the villages’s groups and societies.

Thursday 22 April 2021

• Official news from councils in this area is currently thin as we are in a period of pre-election purdah (see here for more) until after the polling stations close on 6 May when there restrictions on what can be announced.

• The BBC reports that there were 29 CV-19 cases in the Vale of White Horse in the week 12-18 April, down one on the week before. This equates to 21 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 18 (20 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The main story in this week’s Herald concerns the latest salvos in the long-running battle to see the full re-opening of the Wantage Community Hospital which currently hosts only midwifery and physiotherapy services, all other departments have been “temporarily” closed in 2016 as a result of a legionella outbreak. A group of local doctors and councillors has claimed that local health bosses are “not listening” to their concerns.

• In her regular column on p8 of the Herald, Julie Mabberley looks at the complicated issues, touched on above, about the provision of community health services in the Wantage and Grove area.

• Either people have stopped writing letters to this newspaper or the Editor has decided to stop publishing them. The section has completely disappeared: the Newbury Weekly News, on the other hand, expends sometimes as much as six pages on this free opinion section, The Herald does things in a different way, with four regular columns from local interest groups and an alternating soapbox for the two local MPs (which seems to have vanished this week as well, perhaps due to pre-election purdah) as well as an editorial column in which the scribbler-in-chief says what she thinks about an issue or two. This one-tenth of a page is the exception across both papers. For whatever reason, local publications seem reluctant to express any opinions on anything (not a reticence I share). Outsourcing these to others, as both these papers do in their different ways, is fine but I can’t help feeling they should be a bit braver. I appreciate that their first obligation has to be accurate reporting of the things they do cover, something notably lacking from the social-media coverage of life from which many people derive their views of the world. None the less, I’d welcome a bit more of a combative spirit in these publications.

Of the two, I think I prefer the NWN’s letterbox approach, good though the Herald’s regular columnists are. There’s a sense of open house about it, ranging from political polemic to poems about refuse collectors. There’s also normally at least one which makes me laugh (at or with the letter) and at least one that annoys me. This seems to be a valuable service to provide. You may say that social media provides the same thing. No, it doesn’t’t. If you write a letter to a newspaper it’s going to get printed perhaps 25,000 times and you probably spend a bit of time reflecting on what you’re going to say and checking your facts. (Not all NWN letters seem to have gone through this filter as carefully as they might have done but in that case there’s the possibility of an even more measured riposte the following week.) I can’t help feeling that if all social-media posts were delayed by even an hour to give people a chance to reflect on, or research, what they were saying, the results would be more constructive. Letters pages in local papers help provide this.

• The speaker at this month’s Sustainable Wantage Green Drinks on Wednesday 28 April will be Ian Pritchett from Greencore Construction developers of low-impact homes in Oxfordshire. See the Sustainable Wantage newsletter for zoom joining instructions. Congratulations also to Sustainable Wantage for its recognition from the High Sherriff of Oxfordshire for its contribution to the community.

Click here for information about the various local elections taking place in the area on 6 May.

• The Herald reports on the progress of plans to provide an “affordable solution” to help the town’s two GP practices cope with the ever-growing number of patients.

• The most recent meeting of Wantage Town Council was held on 8 February and you can read the minutes here. (Many of its matters are delegated to committees.)

It’s been officially announced that South Oxfordshire (SODC) and the Vale of White Horse have agreed to develop a joint Local Plan for the area to reduce costs and help the councils meet their ambitious targets for making the two districts carbon neutral.

• The same two councils have agreed to offer a financial support package to GLL, the leisure contractor that manages leisure facilities across both districts, subject to formal agreements being entered into.

• Click here for details of lateral flow tests that are available at The Beacon in Wantage.

• The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group keeps its eye on planning and related matters in the area – click here to see the archive.

• The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group will be hosting its AGM (by Zoom) on Wednesday 28 April – click here for details. Note that has been postponed from 14 April following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

• Click here for a list of businesses offer click-and-collect services in Wantage town centre.

• The most recent meeting of Grove Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• It was agreed at the above-mentioned meeting that Grove’s Annual Parish Meeting will take place on Friday 23 April 2021 commencing at 7.30pm and will be held remotely on Zoom.

• Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have agreed a partnership to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

• The most recent meeting of Ardington & Lockinge Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Challow Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 20 January and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for information the Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (DAWN) for the blind and partially sighted. The organisers are currently appealing for help to keep the service going – click here for details.

• You can click here to see the April 2021 issue of the Letcombe Register which includes news from the villages’s groups and societies.

Thursday 15 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 29 CV-19 cases in the Vale of White Horse in the week 5-11 April, down one on the week before. This equates to 21 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 20 (24 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The Herald reports on the progress of plans to provide an “affordable solution” to help the town’s two GP practices cope with the ever-growing number of patients.

• The most recent meeting of Wantage Town Council was held on 8 February and you can read the minutes here. (Many of its matters are delegated to committees.)

• The most recent meeting of Ardington & Lockinge Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the burden of ivy on trees; local speed limits; the S106 funds (or seeming lack of) from the Mason’s Yard development; Ordnance Survey copyright issues; financial matters; foot- and cycle-paths; playground repairs; parking problems; and the Annual Parish Meeting (8pm on 11 May).

It’s been officially announced that South Oxfordshire (SODC) and the Vale of White Horse have agreed to develop a joint Local Plan for the area to reduce costs and help the councils meet their ambitious targets for making the two districts carbon neutral.

• The same two councils have agreed to offer a financial support package to GLL, the leisure contractor that manages leisure facilities across both districts, subject to formal agreements being entered into.

• In her regular column on p8 of the Herald, Julie Mabberley looks at a familiars problem, that of developers trying to squeeze more on more houses onto a site once approval has been granted. She cites the example of Park Farm at East Challow: exactly the same thing happened in the similar-sized Lancaster Park development in Hungerford.

• Local sports clubs in the Grove and Wantage area are helping Vale of White Horse District Council understand how money that’s coming in from new housing developments could be used to help provide appropriate new or improved leisure facilities for local residents.

• Click here for details of lateral flow tests that are available at The Beacon in Wantage.

• The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group keeps its eye on planning and related matters in the area – click here to see the archive.

• The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group will be hosting its AGM (by Zoom) on Wednesday 28 April – click here for details. Note that has been postponed from 14 April following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

• Click here for a list of businesses offer click-and-collect services in Wantage town centre.

• South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils and their leisure contractor GLL, which runs the Better Leisure centres across the districts, have agreed on a phased approach to re-opening local leisure facilities.

• The most recent meeting of Grove Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• It was agreed at the above-mentioned meeting that Grove’s Annual Parish Meeting will take place on Friday 23 April 2021 commencing at 7.30pm and will be held remotely on Zoom.

• Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have agreed a partnership to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

• The most recent meeting of East Challow Parish Council took place on 20 January and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for information the Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (DAWN) for the blind and partially sighted. The organisers are currently appealing for help to keep the service going – click here for details.

• You can click here to see the April 2021 issue of the Letcombe Register which includes news from the villages’s groups and societies.

• Click here for information on the location of defibrillators in and around Wantage.

Thursday 8 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 30 CV-19 cases in the Vale of White Horse in the week 9 March to 4 April, down 13 on the week before. This equates to 22 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 24 (39 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The Herald this week reports on the progress of plans to provide an “affordable solution” to help the town’s two GP practices cope with the ever-growing number of patients.

• A reminder of the proposals recently announced by the campaign group Railfuture to create an Oxford Metro service throughout the county (including a re-opened station service Grove and Wantage). More details can be seen on Railfuture’s website here. There is some doubt as to the extent to which this is supported by Oxfordshire CC or Oxford City Council.

It’s been officially announced that South Oxfordshire (SODC) and the Vale of White Horse have agreed to develop a joint Local Plan for the area to reduce costs and help the councils meet their ambitious targets for making the two districts carbon neutral. One of the things they will need to consider is the news that the government is set to reverse the special status that Oxfordshire enjoys and insist that it demonstrate a five-year housing supply rather than, as at present, enough for three years. If a planning authority cannot allocate enough land this leaves the district open to development that might not accord with its wishes as it would then be obliged to grant permission save in exceptional circumstances (a refusal on which grounds could be challenged).

• The same two councils have agreed to offer a financial support package to GLL, the leisure contractor that manages leisure facilities across both districts, subject to formal agreements being entered into.

• In her regular column on p8 of the Herald, Julie Mabberley looks at a matter which I (and others) have also covered, the question of remote meetings and the fact that after 7 May these will no longer possible where voting will take place. She ends with the comment that as, with the exception of Grove PC, all the councils that cover Wantage and Grove are political with parties making decisions in advance of them, “so we probably won’t notice much difference if meetings don’t take place again.” Political parties would be named from putting up candidates in local elections if I had my way – but don’t get me started on that

• The most recent meeting of Wantage Town Council was held on 8 February and you can read the minutes here. (Many of its matters are delegated to committees.)

• Local sports clubs in the Grove and Wantage area are helping Vale of White Horse District Council understand how money that’s coming in from new housing developments could be used to help provide appropriate new or improved leisure facilities for local residents.

• Click here for details of lateral flow tests that are available at The Beacon in Wantage.

• The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group keeps its eye on planning and related matters in the area – click here to see the archive. The most recent one (1 April) covers the forthcoming AGM on 14 April  see below); Wantage’s neighbourhood development plan; Wantage’s pedestrianisation; leisure funding; and various planning issues.

• The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group, the organisation will be hosting its AGM (by Zoom) on Wednesday 14 April – click here for details.

• Click here for a list of businesses offer click-and-collect services in Wantage town centre.

• South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils and their leisure contractor GLL, which runs the Better Leisure centres across the districts, have agreed on a phased approach to re-opening local leisure facilities.

• The most recent meeting of Grove Parish Council took place on 9 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• It was agreed at the above-mentioned meeting that Grove’s Annual Parish Meeting will take place on Friday 23 April 2021 commencing at 7.30pm and will be held remotely on Zoom.

• Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have agreed a partnership to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

• The most recent meeting of Ardington & Lockinge Parish Council took place on 12 January 2021 and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Challow Parish Council took place on 20 January and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for information the Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (DAWN) for the blind and partially sighted. The organisers are currently appealing for help to keep the service going – click here for details.

• You can click here to see the April 2021 issue of the Letcombe Register which includes news from the villages’s groups and societies.

• Click here for information on the location of defibrillators in and around Wantage.

Thursday 1 April 2021

• The BBC reports that there were 43 CV-19 cases in the Vale of White Horse in the week 22-28 March, down 14 on the week before. This equates to 32 cases per 100,000. The average area in England has 39 (49 last week). See also this map from Gov.uk which enables figures at a much more local level to be obtained.

• The Herald reports this week on p2 of the ambitious (yet probably necessary) plans by the campaign group Railfuture to create an Oxford Metro service throughout the county (including a re-opened station service Grove and Wantage). More details can be seen on Railfuture’s website here. However, the article casts doubt on the extent to which this is supported by Oxfordshire CC or Oxford City Council.

It’s been officially announced that South Oxfordshire (SODC) and the Vale of White Horse have agreed to develop a joint Local Plan for the area to reduce costs and help the councils meet their ambitious targets for making the two districts carbon neutral. SODC had a bit of a run-in with the Secretary of State last year over its plan so perhaps this is seen as one way of dealing with the results. If two planning authorities have a shared local plan, it seems only then a short step towards their merging. They already share a number of things, including the main offices.

• The same two councils have agreed to offer a financial support package to GLL, the leisure contractor that manages leisure facilities across both districts, subject to formal agreements being entered into.

• And once again involving both councils – they appear increasingly inseparable – their combined building control service has been awarded the quality mark ISO 9001 for its provision of public sector building control and public protection services.

• Ah ha – now we come to something where they’re different. In her regular column on p8 of the Herald, Julie Mabberley’s looks at what appear to be differing Covid death rates across the two districts.

• In this week’s Herald, local historian Trevor Hancock tracks down a long-lost stained-glass window from Childrey to East Yorkshire.

• The same paper covers on p3 the tale of a lucky pensioner in Grove who scooped a £300,000 scratch card win on his 74th birthday.

• The most recent meeting of Wantage Town Council was held on 8 February and you can read the minutes here. (Many of its matters are delegated to committees.)

• Local sports clubs in the Grove and Wantage area are helping Vale of White Horse District Council understand how money that’s coming in from new housing developments could be used to help provide appropriate new or improved leisure facilitiesfor local residents.

• Click here for details of lateral flow tests that are available at The Beacon in Wantage.

• The Wantage & Grove Campaign Group keeps its eye on planning and related matters in the area – click here to see the archive. The most recent one (1 April) covers the forthcoming AGM on 14 April); Wantage’s neighbourhood development plan; Wantage’s pedestrianisation; leisure funding; and various planning issues.

• And still with the Wantage & Grove Campaign Group, the organisation will be hosting its AGM (by Zoom) on Wednesday 14 April – click here for details.

• Click here for a list of businesses offer click-and-collect services in Wantage town centre.

• As mentioned last week, South Oxfordshire and the Vale both seem to have done very well in recycling their residents’ rubbish.

• The most recent meeting of Grove Parish Council took place on 26 January and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils have agreed a partnership to help local businesses reduce their carbon footprint.

• The most recent meeting of Ardington & Lockinge Parish Council took place on 12 January 2021 and you can download the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Challow Parish Council took place on 20 January and you can download the minutes here.

• Click here for information the Didcot, Abingdon and Wantage Talking Newspaper (DAWN) for the blind and partially sighted. The organisers are currently appealing for help to keep the service going – click here for details.

• You can click here to see the April 2021 issue of the Letcombe Register which includes news from the villages’s groups and societies.

• Click here for information on the location of defibrillators in and around Wantage.

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