Storm Dennis: useful information from OCC Emergency Planning

As you will have seen on the news we are due some wet and windy weather again this weekend.

The latest reports indicate that wind speeds will be slightly lower than last week but rainfall is likely to be heavier so there is an increased chance of flooding. Oxfordshire County Council is working closely with all our partners to monitor the situation and prepare for the weekend. As a reminder there are some numbers that you can call to report weather related issues if you become aware of them.

To report fallen tree’s or other debris which pose a risk to your safety or the safety of others, please call 999
To report fallen tree’s or other debris which doesn’t pose such a high risk but still needs to be dealt with, please call 101
If you lose power or can see that a power line has come down please report it by calling 105
If you are concerned about flooding, you should visit the Oxfordshire Flood Toolkit online – – and I will summarise the key numbers to call below:
If you have a flooding emergency which is a threat to someone’s life, contact Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service on 999
To report flooding relating to a highway such as blocked ditches, blocked drains or flooding on a road call Oxfordshire County Council Floodline on 0345 310 1111
To report flooding from a main river contact the Environment Agency through the Floodline (Tel: 0345 988 1188 or 0800 80 70 60) or visit their website
If your property is at immediate risk of surface water flooding please contact Thames Valley Police on 101

Emergency Planning

Storm Ciara

You may have seen that Storm Ciara is on the way and we are likely to see high winds and heavy rain across the East of England and South East this weekend.

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather can damage overhead power lines resulting in some customers losing their electricity supply. Where this happens we work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, and we have organised for additional staff in our contact centre and more engineers on the ground to be available to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather.

Both you and your constituents will be able to find regular updates on our website and social media @UKPowerNetworks throughout this period.

Anyone experiencing a power cut should:

Call 105 to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network, or 0800 3163 105 (from a corded phone or mobile phone if you have no power)
Visit for the latest updates
Visit and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map
Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report a power cuts or to receive updates

We advise people to stay clear of power lines and report damaged power lines immediately by calling 105 free from either a landline or a mobile phone. If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.

We provide extra help to customers on our Priority Service Register during a power cut. Households with older or disabled people, those with children under five, or where someone uses medical or mobility equipment that requires electricity as well as other reasons can join the register. You can find out more information about our Priority Service on our website:

As a result of #stormciara, heavy rain and high winds are due to arrive this weekend. @UKPowerNetworks has extra staff and engineers on hand. Call 105 to report a powercut and visit for the latest updates #ukpnnews

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut?
@UKPowerNetworks provides free services to vulnerable customers. Visit for more information #stormciara #ukpnnews


Waste enforcement officers out and about

Waste enforcement officers from South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are heading out to a series of events starting next week, where they will meet the public to talk about littering. They have also put together a top ten list of excuses given to them by people caught in the act.
These range from “I couldn’t see a bin” to “There are no signs about not littering”. There’ll be no excuse about not seeing the signs as the councils have produced new banners to be put up in town centres where litter enforcement patrols are being carried out.
From 4 February officers will be out across the districts talking about the work they do tackling litter and fly-tips and how members of the public can report offences and help with investigations.
Officers’ Top Ten excuses given by people caught littering
I didn’t think a cigarette butt was litter
It was already littered so won’t matter if I add some more
I didn’t know it was against the law
I didn’t know you could be fined for dropping litter
I’d have to walk all the way over to the bin
I keep the road sweepers in a job
You go and stop others first, then I will stop
It’s bio-degradable
I couldn’t see a bin
There are no signs about not littering*
*All of the people who gave these excuses were given a Fixed Penalty Notice and £80 fine
Cllr Jenny Hannaby, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “There are no excuses for littering. It is so unnecessary. Is it so hard to find a bin when you have finished your food or drink in the street? Even if it is, then what is stopping you taking your litter back to your work or home and put it in the bin there. Littering is an offence and we fine people when they are caught.”
Cllr David Rouane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “People who drop litter can’t care about the environment they live in or the people around them. It’s anti-social, unattractive and in the case of the most littered items – such as chewing gum, cigarette butts and plastic takeaway boxes – detrimental to wildlife too.”
Residents can meet the team tackling littering at:
Thame Market on 4 February 8.45am – 2.15pm
Wallingford Market 7 February 11am – 1pm
Henley Market Place 13 February 11am – 1pm
Didcot at Cornerstone 21 February 11am – 1pm
Wantage at The Beacon 28 February 11am – 1pm
Abingdon Market Place 6 March 11am -1pm
People caught littering are issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice and an accompanying fine (currently £80). If they refuse to pay the fine, they can be prosecuted for non-payment and if found guilty will face higher costs. The following people failed to pay the fine and were prosecuted at Oxford Magistrates’ Court:
In January 2020 a woman was ordered to pay £432 after she was caught dropping a cigarette butt in Market Place, Wantage.
In January 2020 a man was prosecuted and ordered to pay £766.11 after being convicted of littering a black bin bag of rubbish on a pavement in Lower Broadway, Didcot.
In December 2019 a man was prosecuted and ordered to pay £540 in court costs and fines after officers identified him as a passenger who dropped a cigarette butt from a vehicle in Milton Park and he refused to pay the fine.
In February 2019 a man caught littering in Abingdon failed to pay the fine and was ordered to pay more than £600 by the courts.



Photo courtesy Oxford and Chiltern Bus Page

Red Rose service 275 (High Wycombe-Chinnor-Milton Common-Oxford) will be diverted through Great Milton village from Monday 24 February. A journey to Oxford will serve the stop opposite the Post Office on Monday to Friday at 10.52, first serving Thame Road and The Green, then travelling to Wheatley (Park Hill), Headington and Oxford. The return journey will leave Oxford (High Street) at 14.35, arriving back in Great Milton at around 15.00. These journeys will initially operate on Monday to Friday only. This facility has been offered by the bus operator on a commercial basis, and on the assumption that there will be sufficient use to make the diversion worthwhile: if usage is not sufficient it can be withdrawn by the operator at 56 days’ notice, so please make use of the facility!

Oxfordshire tops UK recycling chart

Oxfordshire has been named the best performing county council waste disposal authority in England for the sixth year in a row, thanks to residents’ commitment to the environment.

Last year residents recycled or composted a larger proportion of their household waste than the previous year, while the national average for recycling fell, according to new government figures released on Friday (29 November).

Recycling officers at Oxfordshire County Council point to residents recycling more of their food waste as an important reason for the increase. Nearly 20,000 tonnes of food waste was recycled in 2018-19 – up 6% on the previous year. The four district councils and the city council in Oxford operate the kerbside collections of household recycling and waste, which Oxfordshire County Council then disposes of.

Overall 58% of household waste was recycled in Oxfordshire last year, compared to 57% the previous year. The national average was only 44.8%, according to the new figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Individually, the five District and City Authorities in Oxfordshire have also achieved excellent results above the national average.

Yvonne Rees, Chief Executive at Oxfordshire County Council, said:

“I would like to thank our residents who have done another great job of recycling so the county keeps the top spot in the country. Oxfordshire councils provide really good waste collection and recycling services, but it is only because most people use them properly that we’re able to perform so well.”

But waste officers at the county council have said that there is still a lot more to be done to improve recycling rates and the county council is keen to see further improvements as part of its goal to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Around half of the waste put in the general waste bin – the bin for non-recyclable materials only – could actually be recycled. Further increasing the amount of waste that is recycled or composted would make a huge difference to the county’s figures and save precious resources from being wasted.

The county’s leading place is down to the commitment of our residents to reduce and dispose of waste responsibly. The County Council’s Waste Disposal Authority, together with the five district and city authorities in Oxfordshire, provide comprehensive services to maximise the amount of materials that can be collected for reuse, recycling and composting.

Oxfordshire also has a very active network of community action groups (CAGs) funded by the county council that help tackle and reduce waste, especially the Replenish network which is doing great work to tackle food waste.

Residents can use one of seven household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) across the county. This is part of the county council’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life in our communities and the protection of the local environment are top priorities.

Yvonne Rees of Oxfordshire County Council added:

“We’re not complacent though. This year more waste collected for recycling than ever before has been rejected due to the wrong waste being put into the wrong kerbside containers such as textiles, nappies and food being put in the mixed recycling bin.

“We know that around half the items placed in the general waste bin could have been recycled using the services provided locally, and this includes a huge amount of food waste. So please check your local council website, make sure you’re recycling everything you can and look for tips on how to reduce the amount of waste your household produces.”

Free parking in the run-up to Christmas

Drivers in South Oxfordshire can benefit from free parking in district council car parks on certain days in December.
The annual free parking tradition is provided by South Oxfordshire District Council to encourage people to shop locally for their Christmas presents. The free parking days allocated to each area are agreed with the individual town councils depending on which day would best suit local traders.
Free Christmas parking days also means people don’t have to pay to park if they wish to catch up with friends and family in pubs, cafés and restaurants during the festive period.
Drivers will be able to park without paying for a ticket on the following days next month: 
Didcot – Mondays (9, 16, 23 December)
Goring – Saturdays (7, 14, 21 December)
Henley – Tuesdays (3, 10, 17 December)
Thame – Saturdays (7, 14, 21 December)
Wallingford -Thursdays (5, 12,19 December)

On the above days there’s no need to display a ticket.
Parking is also free on a Sunday in many of the council-owned town centre car parks – please check the tariff boards in car parks for further details.
For further information on parking in South Oxfordshire visit: