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Agenda item

Receipt of Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Leader of the Council, Members of the Executive or the Chief Executive.


Councillor Andy Graham, Leader of the Council, welcomed all attendees to the meeting and thanked members of the public for attending. The Leader advised public attendees that the Members of the Executive would remain in attendance after the meeting had concluded, so they could meet each other on an informal basis and discuss any issues attendees wished to raise. The Leader also advised that the meeting was being live streamed to the Council’s website and welcomed viewers to the meeting.

The Leader announced a community project in Stonesfield to purchase The White Horse Pub. The purchase would be an asset to the community. The Leader, on behalf of the Executive, thanked Officers for their assistance with the project and their swift action, help and support. The White Horse planned to reopen in 2024.

The Leader advised that the Woodgreen Council Chamber would be undergoing extensive refurbishment work in the latter months of 2023, and as a result, the next Executive meeting on 11 October 2023 would held at Warwick Hall in Burford. After speaking with residents, it was decided to hold the meeting at 6.00pm on an evening trial basis, to facilitate those residents who wished to attend meetings but had commitments in the daytime.

Councillor Carl Rylett, Executive Member for Planning and Sustainable Development, announced the Local Plan Consultation ‘Your Place, Your Plan’ had recently gone live and would be running for 8 weeks ending on 25 October 2023. The Council was keen to hear the points of view of the residents and had organised the following events at Town and Parish councils:

·         10 October 2023 at 6.30pm at Milton under Wychwood Village Hall;

·         18 October 2023 at 6.30pm at Woodgreen, Witney.

In addition, there would be 3 drop-in sessions at Local Plan Exhibitions:

  • 26 September 2023 between 4.00pm and 8.00pm at Carterton Town Hall;
  • 3 October 2023 between 4.00pm and 8.00pm at Woodstock Community Centre;
  • 23 October 2023 between 4.00pm and 8.00pm at Klein Hall.

Details could be found on the West Oxfordshire District Council Website.

Councillor Duncan Enright, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Economic Development, welcomed Sports Direct to Marriot’s Walk Shopping Centre. The Deputy Leader noted that Sports Direct was a welcome addition to the Centre, and complimented the mix of current retailers. Other planned events at Marriot’s Walk would include a ‘Vegan Fiesta’ on 14 October 2023, a Christmas Market and Charter Markets.

The Deputy Leader also highlighted the upcoming first meeting of the Witney Town Partnership, which would bring together organisations within the town and also the District & Town Councils, to focus on how to support businesses in the town. There were plans to bring further partnership meetings to both Chipping Norton and Carterton.

The Deputy Leader advised that engagement and exhibitions were underway to gather ideas for the future of the High Street and Market Square in Witney. This would be led by County Officers, and would be portrayed as a good example of different councils working together.

Councillor Dan Levy, Executive Member for Finance, announced that the consultation on Council Tax Support for the next financial year had opened on the consultation pages of the West Oxfordshire District Council website. The consultation would run until 22 September. The consultation was the first part of setting the budget for next year and would focus on helping more residents who faced the challenges of the Cost of Living crisis and increased inflation.

Councillor Levy also welcomed Madhu Richards to West Oxfordshire District Council who was present in the public gallery. Madhu Richards would join the Council as the new Director of Finance and Section 151 Officer. Councillor Levy expressed that the Council looked forward to working with her in the future.