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Newsletter: March 2024

Welcome to the March2024 edition of the Town Council’s newsletter.

The Annual Meeting of The Town

You are invited to Chipping Norton's Annual Town Meeting! 
Hosted by Chipping Norton Town Council, this is not a Council meeting, but a chance for residents to raise and discuss matters affecting the town, and to ask questions and express views about the year ahead.

Please do come along the the Annual Town Meeting – it is a chance for you to raise and discuss matters affecting the town, and express your views about the year ahead. This year we will be publishing an annual report, which will highlight some of the priorities, projects and plans that the Council have been working though over 2023-24, including what the precept (the portion of the Council tax that the Town Council receive) will be spent on in 2024-25.

We are delighted that CHARG (Chipping Norton Archeological Research Group have agreed to send a guest speaker to talk about the work they do, and the significance of the scheduled monument (outlined below). We will also be joined by Cabinet members from Oxfordshire County Council who will update residents on traffic and highways matters. You can view the full agenda here:

The Town Council will also be publishing an annual report, copies of which will be available at the meeting. You can read more about this, and view the report below:

The inaugural annual report from the Chipping Norton Town Council is now available. This comprehensive document showcases the Council’s activities throughout the 2023-24 municipal year, encompassing committee initiatives, special projects, grant allocations, event management, budgetary overview, and forthcoming plans.

We hope this document is a useful and engaging document that provides and insight into the priorities and commitments of Chipping Norton Town Council. We have also created an easy read version. Physical copies can be collected from the Town Hall or The Guildhall, or you can view the digital version here:

Historic news for Chipping Norton

After months of waiting, we have finally found out that the East Chipping Norton site has been designated as a Scheduled Monument by Historic England. This means that the finds at the site were significant enough to be considered of national importance, and worthy of being protected for generations to come.

If you would like to read the full listing, describing the finds including a Romano-British settlement dating from the 1st-4th Century AD, and possible shrine, bathhouse and cemetery, please click the link below:

Work with us!

Are you organised, reliable and good with people? Are you looking for a varied role, where no two days are the same? If so, you could be our new Venue Assistant.

An exciting opportunity has arisen to work for Chipping Norton Town Council. The Council seeks a committed and competent person to support the Facilities and Events officer and other staff in the continued development of Chipping Norton Town Hall as a valued community space.

No previous experience is required, but you will be able to offer a flexible approach to the working week.

More to look forward to from the Town Hall

Keep an eye on our Town Hall Facebook Events Listings to know what events, groups and activities you could be a part of that are coming up.

  • Saturday 2nd March2024 – The Reclaimed Home Fair is back in Town Hall – with a £2 entry fee, this is a great day for perusing the gorgeous stalls of upcycled and reclaimed goods for your home.
  • Sunday 3rd March 2024 – Its a Tea Party fundraiser for the Community Church – they would love your support as one of their members puts on a great afternoon Tea Party to help raise funds for your local community church.
  • Monday 4th March – come and visit the Town Hall for the Annual Meeting of the Town – hear about what the Council have been doing for you in the past year, and find out more about the future for Chipping Norton.
  • Wednesday 6th March – sees the Chipping Norton Choral Society begin their first after school session for young people as they open up the Cotswold Youth Choir from 4 pm ’til 7 pm.
  • Saturday 9th March to Sunday 24th March – Chipping Norton Music Festival take over the Town Hall for their 112th year. It’s a wonderful week of music, speech and drama, performances, classes and community involvement. Please go to Chipping Norton 2024 Syllabus to find out more about what’s on and when. We would like to wish all people entering all the best for the competitions, and also ‘Break-a-Leg’ to all the performers taking part.
  • Monday 18th and 25th March – The HSBC Banbury Branch will host a Hub in the Town Hall to be able to provide advice and support to their customers whilst the Banbury Branch undergoes refurbishment. They will have a member of staff available in Council Chambers for you from 11am – 3pm on both days.

An Old Friend is Back in Town

Barclays Banking Hub in The Snug have been supporting their customers since July 2023. Andy and his team have been working hard to ensure people are able to get the help and advice that they need. It has been lovely for the staff from the branches, Mikaela, Sharon, Elaine, Christine and Paul, to get the opportunity to share the workload and help you all. But there are changes afoot! Barclays are now able to provide a single point of contact for your banking needs in Chippy, and we are sure you will be delighted to know that your old Barclays Bank Branch manager for Chipping Norton is back in town, and will be your main staff member to speak to in the Town Hall Snug and banking hub. Mark Hancock, we are very glad to have you here, and know that many of your customers will be too.

‘It’s lovely to see all my regular customers again.

I have been really looking forward to supporting the local community in Chipping Norton with their banking needs.

It’s is great to be back.’

Mark Hancock, Barclays Hub Manager, Chipping Norton Town Hall.

A little bit of fun in the Lower Hall

We have new items of furniture and we have a new toy too! We would love more people to take up the opportunity to take over our Lower Hall and Kitchen for coffee mornings, communal get togethers, drinks, chat, games and more! The Community church take over once a month on a Friday evening for Games and Activities, and soon they will move the Coffee, Chat and More on Monday mornings down to the much more comfortable Lower Hall. Tuesdays from April brings Turning Point and a new drop in service to Chippy, and they will also be making use of the more comfortable space. Of course, the Youth Space have really enjoyed the new furniture; new coffee tables and comfy armchairs. The new furniture does not mean that we lose the versatility of the room, it can still be cleared for those occasions that it may be used for meetings, or prayers, but it does mean that it is a much nicer space for fully utilising the Kitchen in conjunction with the Lower Hall.

We have also brought a new 3-in-1 Table Tennis / Pool / Dart Board table for people in the community to enjoy, and in particular the young people at Learn2Sustain’s Youth Space on Tuesday evenings. It will be kept in the Lower Hall and can be used on request, please do contact events@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk for more info on booking the Lower Hall withs its catering facility, and to have fun with the new gaming equipment.

The Chipping Norton Piano Bursary

We are delighted to announce that we will be launching a new initiative in conjunction with Helen Payne Music, to be able to provide a free piano lesson on Fridays, through the Chipping Norton Town Piano Bursary. The bursary will be open to a young person who would not have the financial ability to receive professional tuition, but who would get real benefit from learning from a professional musician and teacher, The Bursary will be launched on March 5th, and the application form will be available in paper from the Town Hall or online. Keep an eye on our Website and Social media for further information.

Local Elections May 2024

There will be West Oxfordshire District Council elections in May 2024. The Electoral Commission have provided a useful booklet reminding residents of the recent changes, including the Voter ID requirements. Please read the guide below:

Skatepark Update

The Skatepark Consultation has been completed. The survey received over 500 responses, and the results will be used to help inform the design brief as part of the tender process to select a preferred contractor. The skatepark users group have put together a helpful summary of the responses, which you can rad below:

We will be hosting another pop-up skatepark event at the New Street Recreation area in May. More details will be published when we have them.

Rusty Riders

*** Please note: The event scheduled for the 2nd March has been cancelled due to inclement weather. The next session will be held on Saturday 6th April ***

Cycling enthusiasts, both new and returning, have a monthly meet up to look forward to at the Rusty Riders Clinic. The event will be held on the first Saturday of the month from 10 am to midday. This unique event, hosted in collaboration with Transition Chipping Norton, is designed to cater to individuals who are either new to cycling or considering a return to the saddle after a hiatus. The Rusty Riders Clinic offers a three-part workshop, combining essential elements to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience for participants.

You can read more about this here:

Keep Chippy Beautiful – Spring Clean Up

Last year, Chipping Norton Town Council launched the ‘Keep Chippy Beautiful’ initiative, to help empower the community to take pride in our town and work together to shape a shared vision of community action that everyone can participate in.

Our next ‘Big Clean-up’ litter pick event will be held on Saturday 23rd March from 10am-Midday. Meeting on the steps of Chipping Norton Town Hall.

If you would like to take part please sign up here:

Flag-flying at the Millennium Garden

We will be flying the Suffragette Flag for International Woman’s Day on Saturday 8th March 2024:

8th March - International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. 

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. 
The Suffrage flag was introduced in 1908 - the colours represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

The Commonwealth Flag to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday 11th March

and the Human Rights Flag, on behalf of Chipping Norton Amnesty International, on 24th March to mark the International Day for the Right to Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations & for the Dignity of Victims

Pool Meadow Restoration Project

Pool Meadow is a unique and ancient area of natural beauty and tranquility that runs alongside the stream along Worcester Road, close to the site of an associated Ancient Monument where a Norman Castle once stood. The pool, which was drained many years ago, was an artificial pond created to supply the castle with fresh fish .

In June 2022 the Council agreed to have a feasibility study undertaken by Beaumont Rivers Ltd. This study focuses on protecting and improving the biodiversity and access of Pool Meadow; preserve and highlight the heritage of the area; as well as improve the flood risk to downstream communities. The final report can be read here:

The roadmap for constructing the proposed environmental restoration project outlines the necessary permits and design requirements, as well as funding sources. Following a thorough feasibility study, detailed designs and ecological impact assessments are required from designated suppliers. Costs for permits and services are outlined, with partial funding secured through grants. Construction funding will be sought from various organisations, including local authorities, environmental trusts, and corporate donors. The project aims to engage the community, restore habitats, improve water quality, and enhance flood resilience, aligning with environmental legislation and strategies.

In conclusion, the project offers significant environmental and social benefits, promoting community engagement, biodiversity, and environmental education while addressing flood risk and water quality issues in alignment with relevant legislation and strategies.

An Introduction to Councillor Alex Keyser

We will use this space to introduce your new town councillors.

This month we asked Cllr Alex Keyser to tell us a bit about himself and why he decided to become a Councillor:

“Having first founded my company in Chippy in 2016, I’ve been living here full time since early 2023. I have a deep connection with Chipping Norton. Performing at a music recital in Chippy School aged 11, paved the way for my career in the music business, recording my first album at Chipping Norton Studios in the mid 90’s.

Since I grew up in and schooled at Henry Box in Witney, I’m almost a local. As a schoolboy, I often competed in sports competitions against Chipping Norton school, as well as Charlbury, Burford and others. My mother has lived here since 2001 and I’ve been visiting the town since then.

I’m currently studying a BSc in Humanistic Counselling, as well as continuing my career as company director of Music Production events/tours. Since joining the town council last May, I’ve also become Chairperson for newly formed Chippy Community Land Trust, A community-led, democratic, non-profit organisation, that owns and develops land for the benefit of the community and protecting community assets in perpetuity.

As a town councillor, I am honoured to represent the town I love. My technical and logistical skills have been a bonus for the events I’ve been involved with so far, including Picnic in the Park, Chippy Pride and the Christmas Lights.

Chipping Norton has a proud tradition as a working market town, and I feel privileged to be involved in the future of Chippy, and to listen to the residents to positively create and build on improving the town for all who live here.

I hope to use my energy, skills, and passion for Chipping Norton to benefit the town and its people, and to help make the town a safer, fairer, and happier community.”

You can contact staff and Councillors here:

Get involved

Do you have skills or experience that might be useful in our discussions about the ECN development? Or just feel that you would like to contribute? To join the Build Chippy Better group, please contact Katherine on: deputyclerk@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk

As part of our work in securing a Local Cycling/Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Chipping Norton, we’re very keen to hear from people with disabilities or mobility difficulties about the areas of the town that are particularly difficult for them to navigate. Again, please contact Katherine on: deputyclerk@chippingnorton-tc.gov.uk with your views.

Dates for your diary

  • Monday 4th March 2024, 7pm: Annual Meeting of the Town, Upper Hall
  • Monday 11th March 2024, 6:30pm, Community Committee, Council Chamber
  • Monday 18th March 2024, 6:30pm, Strategic Planning Committee, Council Chamber
  • Monday 25th March 2024, 6:30pm, Finance and Resources meeting, Council Chamber

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1 March 2024
Last Updated
1 March 2024