A month’s free swimming for diabetes sufferers

Residents of southern Oxfordshire who have diabetes can sign up for a month’s FREE swimming thanks to a special offer from South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils.
This month’s offer is to coincide with World Diabetes Day on 14 November.
Would-be swimmers will need to register for the offer by emailing participation@southandvale.gov.uk or by calling 01235 422219 by 30 November.
Once they have received confirmation, they can visit the participating leisure centres throughout November to swim as many times as they like. The month-long swim deal will start from the date of the first swim.
The scheme is part of the district councils’ GO Active Get Heathy county-wide programme to support people with diabetes into physical activity.
Physical activity is an important part of a treatment plan, especially for people with type 2 diabetes. Not only does exercise affect the heart health and lower blood glucose levels, but it can also improve sleep quality.
The programme has support from Active Oxfordshire and is funded by the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning group.
The participating centres are:
Abbey Sports Centre, Berinsfield
Didcot Wave
Faringdon Leisure Centre
Henley Leisure Centre
Thame Leisure Centre
Wantage Leisure Centre
White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre, Abingdon

Commemorative Tree Planting: Sunday 11 November

A rowan tree has been donated to Great Milton Parish Council by the Woodland Trust and Oxfordshire County Council to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The tree will be planted on the green about halfway between the Old Garage and the Village Stores in a ceremony starting at 10.15 on Sunday 11 November. Steve Harrod and Bill Fox (Chairman/Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council) will lead the ceremony, with Les Preston the guest of honour. Please come along if you’re able to.

SODC housing allocation survey

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are looking to update their housing allocation policy and have today (15/10) launched a six-week public consultation on the proposed changes.
It was agreed the councils’ housing allocation policy needed reviewing to reflect the districts’ housing needs since the current policy was introduced five years ago. This decision was followed by extensive discussions with partner agencies and key stakeholders to come up with the proposed changes.
These include that the new policy should reflect recently introduced legislation and regulations, particularly in relation to affordability.
Under the new proposals the councils could also accept applications from people on zero hours contracts, which were not widely available when the current policy was drawn up, and this is designed to be fair to the increasing numbers of working households on zero hours contracts.
With the new Local Plans there is likely to be more affordable housing available and the new policy would clearly outline how the district councils will manage the housing allocation process.
Now the councils are looking for feedback from the public on the proposed updates to the policy and have set up a survey for public views.
Everyone has until midnight on 26 November to add their comments.
South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for housing and environment Cllr Caroline Newton said: “The Housing Allocation Policy is five years old, which is the usual lifespan for such a policy. It needs updating to reflect the current housing needs and the changes in housing legislation since 2013.”
Vale of White Horse District Council cabinet member for housing and environment Cllr Elaine Ware said: “We would really encourage residents to give us their views by responding to this survey to let us know that what we have put forward is a true reflection of the changes needed now and what we will need in the future.”
For more information on the proposed changes to the Housing Allocation Policy the documents can be viewed on the survey.
Click here to access survey

Extra garden waste collections: w/c 22 October

Residents across southern Oxfordshire who are signed up for brown bin collections can put out twice as much garden waste during the extra garden waste weeks this month.
South Oxfordshire District Council is giving those who are part of the paid-for service the opportunity to put out the equivalent of one extra bin’s worth of garden waste (around three large 80 litre bin bags) in the week commencing 22 October.

Residents should leave their extra garden waste out in bin liners or sacks beside their brown bins on their usual collection day during these weeks. Trade waste bags will not be accepted., however you can re-use old compost bags.

The garden waste is taken to a recycling plant in Oxfordshire where it is used to make compost, which goes to local farmers, allotment holders and an annual compost giveaway. However, there are increasing reports that the waste is being contaminated with non-compostable items such as plant pots, plastic bags and bottles.

Cllr Elaine Ware, cabinet member for housing and environment at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “This extra garden waste service offers a great opportunity for residents to clear their gardens and make them ready for winter. We want to take this opportunity to remind people that they should only put compostable garden waste in the brown bin.”

Cllr Caroline Newton, cabinet member for housing and environment at South Oxfordshire District Council, added: “I would encourage all our garden waste customers to make use of this extra-large collection – it’s the right time of year to give your garden a really good clear out. Please bear in mind that just because something is used in the garden, that doesn’t make it garden waste.”

What CAN be put into the brown bin
Flowers and plants
Hedge clippings
Branches (not more than 10cm thick)
Prunings and twigs
Windfall fruit
Hay / Straw / Sawdust (soiled animal bedding from non-meat eating animals only eg rabbits)
Vegetable waste from the garden only eg potato tops (not kitchen waste)

See the councils’ websites for more information via www.morerecycling.co.uk.
** Please note that boxes and bags left on the extra garden waste days are left at the customer’s discretion and the council will not replace them if missing or damaged.