Yellow letters are coming: please confirm your details…

This August every home in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse will receive a yellow letter (a ‘Household Enquiry Form’) requiring residents to confirm everyone over the age of 16 who lives in their property.

When the arrives, simply visit to confirm that your details are correct or, if not, provide the correct information. You will need the 2-part code on the front of your yellow letter to do this.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils need this information to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote is able to do so in future elections, including the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May 2020.

Anyone who doesn’t have access to the internet can confirm their details by completing and returning the form that comes with the letter in the reply paid envelope. If your details are correct you can confirm this by phone or text – the details required for this are included on the yellow letter.

Important – by law, each household must confirm their details, even if they are correct. Anyone who fails to do so could be fined up to £1,000.

SODC Local Plan Update

Councillors in South Oxfordshire have agreed to take a little more time to consider options for the district’s Local Plan following a vote at a Council meeting last week.

Councillors want to find effective and suitable ways to ensure the plan takes into consideration feedback from local residents, who have raised concerns about the emerging plan’s approach to providing land for housing in the district.

The district council submitted its new Local Plan to the government in March ready for it to be examined, but following the local elections in May, the council’s new administration is keen to ensure the district has a plan that addresses local concerns.

South Oxfordshire District Council has also formally declared a Climate Emergency and so at the meeting in Crowmarsh on 18 July, councillors also expressed their wish to use the Local Plan process to help address the issue.

Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We’re all very keen to make sure that we have a Local Plan that protects the best interests of South Oxfordshire and our residents. It’s sensible to take time to make sure we investigate fully of the implications desired changes might have, particularly if they have an impact on quality of life in the district.”

Following the councillors’ vote, council officers will be working with partners and the government to discuss issues related to the Local Plan including implementing Oxfordshire County Council’s successful Housing Infrastructure Funding bid.

Councillors approved a recommendation from the council’s Cabinet and agreed to:

(1) express its determination to maintain its housing land supply and avoid speculative development;

(2) express its continued support for the Housing and Infrastructure Fund (HIF) funding and infrastructure projects that could be delivered by it;

(3) ask officers to explore with Oxfordshire County Council, Homes England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government options for protecting the HIF funding whilst enabling the council to address concerns about the current emerging Local Plan 2034 including (but not limited to) climate change issues, Oxford City’s unmet housing need, and to report back to Cabinet and Council;

(4) recognising that the Climate Change Emergency is all too real and is recognised to be of key and statutory importance under the Climate Change Act 2008 and the associated objective of “zero carbon by 2050”, express its wish to do all that it can to respond through the Local Plan process;

(5) agree that as soon as practicable, alongside satisfactory progress being made on resolving issues in the emerging Local Plan, work on a subsequent Local Plan shall commence, strengthening climate change considerations.

Maple Tree CLOSED until Mon 22 July

There will be no session on Friday 19th or Saturday 20th July (Saturdads).
Unfortunately we have a big problem with wasps in our garden.
Our willow tree arch is producing a lot of sap which in turn is attracting aphids. Wasps love this and will feast on it. We literally have hundreds of wasps and they will come from miles around.
We have been advised by experts that if there are enough wasps, there is a potential that they could swarm.
We really cannot afford to take this risk and therefore will stay close whilst this problem is treated.
Many apologies for any inconvenience caused and our programme will continue as usual next week.

Polling stations review

Residents are being asked to comment on the location of polling stations that are used for elections in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse.

The councils are carrying out a review of the polling districts and polling places to help ensure that they meet the needs of voters.

All views are welcome, and the council is especially keen to hear from disabled residents and those who have experience of assisting disabled people with access requirements.

Margaret Reed, Returning Officer for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils said: “It’s important that all our polling stations are in suitable locations and that everyone can go and vote without having to worry about whether they will have problems getting in and out of the building.

“We’d like to hear from people about their experience of using polling stations during recent elections – whether there are any changes to the location or building that you’d like us to make or to give us details of any alternative places that may be used as a polling station.”

Comments are open until Friday 27 September. People can have their say by visiting our website:
South Oxfordshire residents –
Vale of White Horse residents –
You can also send a written response to Electoral Services, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB
For more information about the review please email the elections team at or call 01235 422528.