Steeple Aston Emergency Response Plan

To view the Emergency Plan, please click here.

South Side Road Closure

A section of South Side in Steeple Aston will be closed from Monday, 6th March for up to five days. There will also be a “No Waiting” restriction on The Crescent to allow for buses to turn around. The closure is to enable an essential sewer connection to be carried out.

Limited access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for frontages within the closed section of road, subject to the progress of the works.

The “No Waiting” restriction means that vehicles will need to be removed from the highway where there are yellow “No Waiting” cones.

The suggested alternative route is via Heyford Road, B4030, A4260 and vice versa.

A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and also the alternative routes for traffic is attached here.

Further information about the works may be obtained by contacting the contractor K.A. Perkins on 07702 106739.

Allotments Available in Steeple Aston

The Steeple Aston Church Allotment Association currently have a few good plots available. Why not grow fantastic fruit and veg – while keeping fit at the same time.

NEW for 2017 – Starter Plots

For busy young families, senior residents or those who need a little extra advice, we have  ‘Starter Plots’. These are very small plots with enough space to grow your own delicious strawberries or vegetables – without the worry!

And to help those new to growing, we provide you with a Mentor, an experienced allotment holder, who will give all the advice you need to get you going and to keep your plot productive.

If you would like to see pictures from our events, read information, or sign up for an Allotment or Starter Plot, please visit our website or email Stuart (Allocation Officer) on

Village Hall Letting Agent

The Village Hall Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank our present letting agent Mrs Betty Smith for all her hard work, patience and commitment over the last four and a half years.

From the 1st – 31st December please contact Barbara Brewer on 01869 340423 email Please collect keys from 22, Grange Park.

As from 1st January 2017 our new letting agent will be Mrs. Sarah Packer on 01869 347247 email Keys to be collected from 8, Heyford Road.

We wish her well in her new post.

Bicester Rural Neighbourhood update – November 2016

policelogoAs we come to the end of another year I am asking myself the question where has the year gone.


In relation to crimes two vehicles were stolen in Arncott but have since been recovered. Iin Steeple Aston a car door lock was tampered with and damaged, whilst in Fritwell number plates were stolen from a parked car and in Arncott speakers and a sub-woofer were stolen from a car boot.

A workshop in Steeple Aston was broken into and garden equipment was stolen and in Caversfield a house was subject to a burglary where the car keys were stolen along with the car. Damage was reported to a vehicle in North Aston where the window was smashed and in Ambrosden paintwork on a vehicle was scratched and the Village Hall in Souldern sustained damage during a private party. Finally two males were checked in a parked car in Caversfield and found to be in possession of cannabis.

Festive crime prevention advice

At home

Leave it till the last minute to put Christmas presents out under the tree and don’t leave them in view of a window.

If you are buying or receiving valuable gifts such as bikes, mobiles or electrical items register them for free at Doing this can assist the police in returning your property should it be lost or stolen.

If you receive any Apple products for Christmas, familiarise yourself with the Find My iPhone app, which can help you locate your electrical items if they are lost or stolen. For more information, visit Apple.

Refrain from keeping large amounts of cash at home.

A secure home will reduce the chance of a burglary. Make sure windows and doors are locked and remove keys from sight every time you leave the house.

When you go out at night make it appear like someone is home. Draw the curtains and leave a light on. You could always put a lamp or a radio on a timer switch.

Dispose of packaging carefully by breaking it down before putting it in the bin. Empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have nice new goods inside.

Ensure your home contents insurance adequately covers the additional things that you have in your home over Christmas.

Going away

Check you have locked all doors and windows and then remove keys from sight. If you have an alarm, activate it.

Inform trusted neighbours that you are away and ask if they will keep an eye on your property and collect your post.

Use timer switches on lamps and radios so it looks as you are home and deters intruders.

Cancel any deliveries such as milk and newspapers.

Going out

Drink sensibly and stay with friends.

Plan how you are getting home in advance.

Save the number of a licensed taxi firm in your mobile phone. Always check the driver’s identification and never get into an unlicensed taxi.

Don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended.

Whether you are male or female avoid walking alone and never take short cuts through dark alleys or large open spaces.

Keep your belongings with you and your valuables out of sight and never leave your handbag over a chair or personal items left unattended.

Don’t drink and drive, remember you may still be over the limit the morning after a big night out.

If there’s trouble while you are out stay clear of it.


When shopping online, or using a website where you need to enter your personal details, make sure the site is secure. Look for the padlock being displayed in the browser, and the web address starts with https.

Make sure your anti-virus is up to date.

Consider where your deliveries will be left – don’t ask for parcels to be left on doorsteps, in porches or behind bins.

Think about what you write on social media sites about what you have been buying, and where you are going. Be careful not to advertise that you are out partying or away.

Remember that financial institutions will never ask for your online banking details by email, nor will they try to ask you to divulge your PIN.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a crime free and happy Christmas and best wishes for 2017.

WPC Caroline Brown

Councillor Calling – by Cherwell District Councillor, Mike Kerford-Byrnes

Money, Money, Money!

At this time of year, all councils – County, District, Town and Parish – turn to the setting of the budget for the following year. The end result of this process is the Council Tax bill which lands on your mat in March.

The bill (or precept) has four components – County ( 75 – 80%), Police (around 10%), District (7.5%) and Town/Parish (the rest). Last year, there was an additional 2% added on.  This was exclusively collected to assist the burgeoning Social Care Costs.  As I write this, there is speculation in the press about an increase to this “extra”.  Time will tell.

Several years ago, the government passed legislation intended to limit ever-increasing demands for Council Tax. Authorities seeking to raise Council Tax by more than 2% would have to hold a referendum (paid for by the authority) before such an increase would be allowed.  The legislation applied to all councils in the land, but the Government has the opportunity, at the end of every calendar year, to determine the councils to which it applies.  Up to and including the current year, the “cap” was limited to County and District Councils.  Town and Parish Councils were exempt.

Not surprisingly, most Councils implemented the 2% – Oxfordshire included. More surprisingly, some did not. This includes Cherwell, who have not raised their demands for the past seven years.  This is often overlooked, given that the Cherwell demand is well under 10% of the total.

This year, things are changing. Parliament are likely to extend the “cap” to some Town and large Parish Councils and, in their notification, they sought views as to whether or not it should go “all the way” and cover all Town and Parish councils.   We will not know the precise scale of any extension until the Government decision is announced.  The likelihood is that the extension will be restricted to the Town and large Parish Councils.  In the Cherwell context, this may affect Banbury, Bicester and perhaps Kidlington.  But, Whitehall can always surprise us!

So Steeple Aston is likely to be unaffected – this year.

I say “this year” because it is becoming increasingly apparent that the cap will gradually extend and will ultimately cover every council (unless there is a change of heart at the top). If it is applied consistently, Parish Councils such as Steeple Aston (current precept £23,125) will have to hold a local referendum if they wish to seek an increase of £463 or more.  The cost of the referendum is likely to be more than double this amount.  So, in round terms, in order to increase the budget by £460, a precept increase of around £1,400 would be needed!  Clearly this is bizarre at best.

I am aware of the work done by Parish Councils, who, largely, manage their responsibilities in a very frugal manner. On occasions, the unexpected happens, such as extra maintenance/repair of the Play area , replacement Christmas lights or emergency tree work on the playing field.  These costs (nearly always in excess of the magic 2%) are covered from their limited reserves, and they make up the difference with a corresponding increase in the next precept.  If the all-embracing 2% is in place, this may prove very difficult in the future.

A number of Parish Councils are anxious to avoid the situation that I have described. So they are planning to increase the precept this year in order to gain some headway while they still can.  This way, they will avoid a referendum, at least for now, and increase the contingency provision.  Steeple Aston Parish Council are aware of these possible changes.  They will bear them in mind when they set the precept on January 16th.

December 2016


Adderbury Food Market

The market is held every second Thursday of the month from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at The Institute, The Green, Adderbury OX17 3NE.

You will find a wide range of local producers selling meat, poultry, eggs, savouries, vegetables, cakes & tarts, honey, coffee, gin & liqueurs, preserves and lots more. Guest stalls provide monthly variety. There is a bar and hot food to eat in or take away.

2017 Dates

9th February
9th March
13th April
11th May
8th June
13th July
10th August
14th September
12th October
9th November
14th December

This is a not-for-profit community project. For more information go to

Whit Races Results 2016

1. Fancy dress paradeOrganiser Anna Thatcher writes: “Despite promised good weather the day dawned cloudy and windy, the hardy Scout team arrived and everything was set and ready for the start at 11.45am.

“Numbers were a bit down on last year due to holidays and weather but lots of happy children enjoyed the races, Tombola, BBQ and ice cream after the fancy dress parade. Fewer people than normal dressed up and Debbie Morris struggled to pick a winner – eventually joint winners were chosen. Pictured here are winners Tamsin Thatcher as a space rocket and Hattie Wright as Dr Who with the two runners up.

“ A huge thank you must go to Sue Tyler who despite not being there on the day organised everything – it certainly wouldn’t have gone ahead without her driving it forward whilst I was looking after my parents. As ever Alan Peckham painted the lines, organised a goal keeper (thanks Ryan O’Sullivan), organised the winner blocks and helped on the day, Dan Ruaux who signed in all the competitors and Fiona Ritchie for holding the winning line and managing the winner’s stickers to make sure we know who has won. More thanks go to Bob Wilkins for putting up the posters and the Scouts for getting everything printed for us and the Brownies for providing the ice creams.

“Lastly a big thank you to my husband, Simon Thatcher, who ran around setting up races and cleared up with me despite having the first rumblings of appendicitis (his appendix was removed the next day!)

“As you can see a lot of work goes into the day, a few more helpers would also be welcome to join us – it is fun honestly and the appendicitis was nothing to do with the races!!! You can contact me at”


Jan Lester Memorial Trophy for Fancy Dress Parade: Tamsin Thatcher and Hattie Wright

Adrian Kinch Memorial Trophy for Participation: Oliver Martin

Race Age group 1st 2nd 3rd
Teddy Bear Race 2 and under Reece Hutt Ava Obina  Woody Wright
Childrens running Race 3 to 4 Hugo Wyszhowski Ruben Cadd Lily Packer
Childrens running Race 5 to 6 Zara Barrow Leon Wyszhowski Amara Cadd
Childrens running Race 7 to 9 Alex Vernicas Fredrick Van Martin Carla Shayler
Childrens running Race 10 to 11 Joe Hodges Olivia Hartley Lara Solie- Tolurie
Childrens running Race 12 to 16 Luke Kelly
3 legged Race 5 to 6 Tamsin Thatcher & Mia Obina Hattie Wright & Daragh Cassidy
3 legged Race 7 to 9 Carla & Zoe Shayler Fredrick Van Martin & Leo Sansom Jack Scrivens & Faye Simmons
3 legged Race 10 to 11 Lara Solie- Tolurie & Rebecca McLoone Bryn & Idris Taylor
3 legged Race Parent & child over 12 Joint First Place                                     Jon & Hannah McLoone and Paul & Zara Barrow Simon & Tamsin Thatcher
Egg and Spoon Race 5 to 6 Zara Barrow Charlie Wright Samuel Martin
Egg and Spoon Race 7 to 9 Zoe Shayler Carla Shayler Jack Scrivens
Pyjama Race 5 to 6 Charlie Wright Amara Cadd Daragh Cassidy
Handbags and Gladrags 7 to 11 Zoe Shayler Jack Scrivens Faye Simmonds
Football crazy 7 to 11 Fredrick Van Martin James Bristow Zoe Shayler
Childrens Bike race 7 to 9 Jack Scrivens Carla Shayler Zoe Shayler

For more photos, please click here.

Full peal rung for Queen’s 90th birthday

Bellringers full peal Queen's official 90thFollowing their successful ringing of a quarter peal to mark the Queen’s actual birthday on April 21st,  Steeple Aston Bell ringers and friends took on the much more arduous task of ringing a full peal for her official birthday.

Church Tower Captain Graham Clifton reports: “The bell ringers were pleased to have successfully completed a full peal to mark the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday, 12th June.

“We met at 3.00pm and after placing the ringers on each bell and adjusting the rope lengths to suit each person we started about 3.10pm. Unfortunately after about 15 minutes we had a trip and had to re start. This time we were successful and completed the peal in 2 hour 51 minutes.”

The ringers taking part were ( l to r): Lawrence White  (SA), Malcolm Hensher  (SA), Michael Austin  (Hook Norton), Daniel Austin  (Hook Norton), Sally Austin  (Hook Norton), Alan Griffin  (Bloxham), Graham Clifton  (conductor) (SA), Nicholas Powell.  (SA).

As well as being rung for The Queen this peal was also rung to celebrate the ruby wedding anniversary of Graham & Dorothy Clifton.


Join the Scouts

The 1st Aston Scout Group meets every Tuesday during term-time at 7.00pm at the Steeple Aston Sports and Social Club.

All children age 10 to 14 are welcome. Activities include archery, shooting, cookery, camping, badges and more.

If you are interested, call Colin on 01869 243038 or just come and give it a try!

Elderly targeted by fake police officers

Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, reports that there has been a recent series of incidents whereby fraudsters either phone or attend the home address of elderly members of the public, claiming to be police officers.

The fake officer/s will claim that they are investigating a fraud which they believe the elderly person to be a victim of. The fake officer/s will then request the bank cards and personal identification numbers (PIN) of the victim and claim these are needed for investigation purposes. If the first contact was made by a phone call, the fake officer/s will tell the victim that someone will be over to collect the evidence. In one case the victim was instructed to attend their local bank and withdraw all of the money from their account. The suspect was left alone in the victim’s house whilst the victim carried out the instructions.

Protect Yourself

  • Before letting anyone into your home who claims to be from any law enforcement agency, ask to see their identity card and check it by calling 101.
  • Ask if they can attend at a pre-arranged time when a family member or friend can also be present.

If you receive a phone call from a police officer, ask for their name and force and tell them you will call them back. Wait a few minutes and then use 101 to call them back through their force’s switchboard and verify their identity.

The Police will never ask for your PIN or passwords. Do not give this information to anyone.

The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at or by telephone 0300 123 2040.


Warning of council tax scam

Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre reports that fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate. They normally say that this rebate should be worth about £7,000.

Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance. The payment they ask for varies between £60 and £350. The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone. When they phone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.

The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.

How to protect yourself

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.
  • Your local council won’t ever phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate. If you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.
  • No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advanced fee in order to receive money, so never give them your card details.
  • If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible use a different phone line to make the phone call.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Community Education at the Marlborough School Woodstock

Once again the Marlborough School is offering an extensive programme of courses for adults. There are weekly courses and 1-day and 2-day weekend workshops. Many subjects are available at several levels – beginners, improvers etc.

Subjects range from tai chi, Pilates and yoga to singing, calligraphy and various art, language and computer courses.

To browse the courses available or download the latest brochure, go to

To request a printed brochure and to book a place ring 01993 813592 or email

Village Hall AGM 2016

The Annual General Meeting of the Steeple Aston Village Hall management committee was held on the 9th May 2016.

There were no members of the public in attendance. The full committee is listed below, showing which group they represent.

  • Barbara Brewer Tuesday Badminton (Chair)
  • Margaret Bulleyment Choral Society (Secretary)
  • Helen White (Treasurer)
  • John White Sports & Rec Trust
  • Anna Thatcher Thursday Badminton
  • Deborah Morris Village Rep
  • Margaret Mason Arts Programme Co-ordinator
  • Mary Rushworth WI
  • Torquil McLusky Scouts/Cubs/Beavers
  • Alan Wightman Players/Events Co-ordinator
  • Chris Clarke PCC
  • Martin Lipson Archive
  • Richard Preston Valentine Club
  • Cathy Fleet Parish Council
  • Rose McCready Garden Club

In the next few months the committee will be deciding on a programme of events for the forthcoming year. If there is a specific event you would like to see in the programme or if you have any new ideas, please contact me or any committee member.

Barbara Brewer 01869 340423

Buy a book with your drink at village pub

A new secondhand book stall has been opened in The Red Lion pub in Steeple Aston. A variety of secondhand books in good condition are for sale at the pub. They are displayed in the room to the right of the front entrance, and all proceeds are in aid of charity.

The Red Lion is open Monday to Friday 12 noon – 3.00pm & 5.30 – 11.00pm, Saturday 12 noon – 11.00pm, Sunday 12 noon – 5.00pm.

Any queries, please ring Christopher on 01869 349808.

Essential repairs grant available

Cherwell District Council is offering an essential repairs grant to help vulnerable people, which covers, for example:
. Replacing a defective door or window
. Roof repairs
. Minor electrical works

You may be eligible if you meet the following criteria:
1. You have owned your home for at least three years and
2. You are eligible for a means tested benefit, and /or a tax credit with a household income below a set level and
3. You are over 60 years of age or in receipt of child benefit for a child living with you.

For more details contact:
Private Sector Housing Team
Cherwell District Council
Bodicote House
OX15 4AA
Tel. 01295 227004 or visit

A Plea to all Dog Owners

The Parish Council lately has again been getting complaints about dog mess around the village, and particularly bags of dog mess left hanging on hedges and thrown in to bushes around the village walks.

It does seem extraordinary having bothered to pick up after your dog then to leave the bag, which will not degrade, behind.

Please – do pick up after your dog, and please take the bag home with you or put it in a litter bin. Properly sealed this is perfectly acceptable, certainly much better than throwing it into the hedge.

The Parish Council

Can you help save lives in Steeple Aston?

Two years ago, Steeple Aston established its own group of Community Responders, funded by enthusiastic fundraising efforts in the village. The Community Responders are a team of local volunteers who are trained and equipped by the South Central Ambulance Service. No prior medical training or experience is needed.

If you are taken ill, the local Community Responders can be with you immediately to give life- saving support and reassurance until the paramedics and the ambulance arrive. Because of our distance from the nearest ambulance stations, this can take fifteen minutes or more – which can be too long in cases of strokes or heart attacks.

Over the past eighteen months, our Community Responders have responded to around fifty calls for help averaging around ten callouts per person in that time.

Now we need a few more volunteers to add to the team. To find out about how you could contribute to this vital service in our village, contact Lawrence White on 07814 903464, Alan Brewer on 01869 340423, Sue Tyler on 07919 540021, John Fortin on 07710 482234 or David England, SCAS on 07970 490519. There is also more information on

The Parish Council

Calling all parents and grandparents

• Are you a good listener?
• Do you enjoy being with young children?
• Could you spare 2 – 3 hours per week?
• Would you be interested in becoming a volunteer with Home-Start?
• Volunteering provides excellent experience for a CV

Home-Start Oxford and Bicester is a local charity which supports families with at least one child under five years of age. They have been doing so for over 20 years and in that time have been a lifeline to thousands of families in need.

Their volunteers offer regular support, friendship and practical help to local families under stress in their own homes, helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

For more information please contact Sarah Harvey on 01869 349990, email her on or view their website:

CAB Caseworker Help for disabled & vulnerable

  • Are you living with a hard to manage mental or physical condition?
  • Do you need some help to cope?
  • Our Specialist Caseworker can visit you at home, offer a full welfare benefits eligibility check, and help you to access other relevant support services within your community.

Contact us if you:

  • Are under 60 years old, and
  • Live in Oxfordshire, and
  • Have limited ability to get around on your own, and
  • Need support to continue to live independently

To discuss your requirements in complete confidence, please leave a message with your name and contact number for Lynn on 01608 646990

Have YOU ever thought about FOSTERING?

PACT LogoThere is a recognised shortage of 10,000 Foster Carers in the UK. PACT, founded in 1911, is also known as the Oxford Diocesan Council for Social Work inc. We are a registered charity working to improve life chances for children. The focus of our work is within Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and aims to build and strengthen families.

We are an approved Adoption and Fostering Agency. We have a history of finding safe, loving families for children in care. Here are a few facts about Fostering:

1. Did you know you don’t have to be married to become a Foster Carer?
2. You don’t have to have children already although you do need to have experience of caring for children.
3. Did you know you get paid a Fostering Allowance of £335.70 a week to be a Foster Carer which is tax free and won’t affect any other benefits?
4. Most of the children who need fostering are known as ‘hard to place’ children, they will usually be 8+ years of age.

Fostering is a hard but very rewarding job. If you think you might have what it takes to become a Permanent Foster Carer or you want to find out more then contact PACT now on 0800 731 1845 e-mail

Katherine House Hospice Lottery

Support your local hospice lottery for just £1 a week.

Over £100,000 is raised every year.

Every week there is a first prize of £1,000 plus:
2 x £100 prizes
2 x £50 prizes
5 x £20 prizes
10 x £10 prizes

Wendy Crosse in Fundraising
Katharine House Hospice
East End
OX17 3NL
Tel: 01295 812161
Email :

Or download an application form from their website:

Registered Charity No. 297099