Steeple Aston Emergency Response Plan

To view the Emergency Plan, please click here.

Steeple Aston Parish Council

Clerk to the Council: Cathy Fleet
Westfield Farm Cottage
Steeple Aston
OX25 4SS
Tel: 01869 347000



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, that Richard Preston has ceased to be a member of Steeple Aston Parish Council, and a vacancy now exists in the office of Councillor for the said Parish Council.

In accordance with the Local Elections Rules an election to fill the vacancy shall be held if, within 14 days after the date of this notice (i.e. no later than 6 June 2017), a request for an election to fill the said vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer, Cherwell District Council, Bodicote House, Bodicote, Banbury OX15 4AA by TEN electors for the said Parish.

In the event that no such request is received by 6 June 2017 the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

Paul Sutton
Returning Officer

Dated 17 May 2017

Note: In computing the fourteen days Saturdays, Sundays, day of Christmas break, of the Easter break or of a bank holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning are disregarded.

New Village Hall Letting Agent

Village Hall Chair, Barbara Brewer writes, “We are very sorry to say goodbye to Sarah Packer who, although may not have been with us very long, has been very dedicated and done a very good job as our letting agent. We do wish Sarah and her family well in their new home in New Zealand.

“During July and August please contact Barbara Brewer on 01869 340423. Collect keys from 22 Grange Park, Steeple Aston, OX25 4SR

“We are fortunate that Mrs. Katie Rushworth will take over as our letting agent as from 1st September. (More details later)”.

Village Hall AGM Report

The Annual General Meeting of the Steeple Aston Village Hall management committee was held on the 8th May 2017.

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
 John White Treasurer
 TBA Thursday Badminton
 Deborah Morris Village Rep / Sponsorship Co-ordinator
 Margaret Mason Arts Programme / Publicity 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, Chair
01869 340423

Report potholes and other street problems directly to OCC 

Did you know that you can report any problem with our roads direct to Oxfordshire County Council via their Fix My Street portal.

You can report potholes, loose paving slabs, fly tipping, overgrown hedges or anything else that needs the attention of the council.  You will be given a reference number and can track the progress of the problem.  The Parish Council regularly use this means of reporting, but they do not always know about all the problems!   Please help us by reporting problems direct to the County Council as well as to the Parish Council.

To access the Fix My Street portal, please click here.

Cathy Fleet – Parish Clerk
Tel: 01869 347000

Junior Art Competition

The subject for this year’s Steeple Aston Junior Art Competition is ‘Time Travel’.  All entries will be displayed in the Village Hall at the Church Fete on Saturday, 24th June

Entry is free and open to all children under age 12. Entries will be judged in the following age categories:

  • under 5 years,
  • ages 5 to 7 years
  • ages 8 to 12 years.

Artwork may be in any medium except collage and should be A4 in size (one entry per person).

The closing date for entries is Friday, 9th June.  There will be a box for entries in Dr Radcliffe’s School and a box in the church or you can deliver your entry to Rachel Marsden, Tchure Cottage, North Side, Steeple Aston.

Please write your name, age and phone number on the back of the picture.

Spring Flower Show 2017

The Horticultural Society’s Spring Show was held on Sunday, March 19th in the Village Hall.

To see more photos, please click here.

To see the full results, please click here.

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

Bicester Rural Neighbourhood update – February 2017

WPC Caroline Brown retires with a poem

policelogoAs some of you will have heard by now I am retiring in mid March after just over 30 years with the police. I have been eligible to retire for the last 18 months but now feel that the time is right as there are a lot of changes with how policing is delivered. The main change for me is that there will no longer be rural police officers on the team and all neighbourhood police officers will merge to form a problem solving team. A few of you who I have met over recent weeks have asked who will be my replacement, well sadly there won’t be anyone taking my place.

I have enjoyed my time with the police and have met some lovely people and had some amazing opportunities. I shall miss driving round the villages and seeing everyone but am hoping to still come along to some of your village events and of course no doubt will continue to bump into some of you in Tesco’s from time to time. My husband often despairs of me when in town and Tesco as I am forever stopping and being stopped by people for a chat.

I think the main highlights of my career has got to be my visit to Buckingham Palace in 2015 for afternoon tea when I was nominated for my services to  the community and also a few years ago when again I was nominated and won Community Officer of the year for Oxfordshire.

I would like to thank you for your support over the years , especially the last 15 since I have had the pleasure of being your village “bobby” and for welcoming me into your communities. I have enjoyed attending village events and parish council meetings and look forward to seeing you around.

To leave I would like to share these words which I found some time ago and I feel best describe my feelings and thoughts.

Signing off for the last time as WPC 437 Caroline Brown, Thank you and best wishes.

As I hang my appointments up and close my locker door,
I take a moment to reflect on what I’ll do no more,
I’ll never tell another mother that her son has been found dead,
I’ll never stand in the dark alone when my family’s at home in bed
I’ll never go to another crumpled car with a dying person inside,
Watch them take their last breath, unable to save them though I tried,
I’ll never stand alongside my team on a rainy Saturday night
When the stream of drunken debauchery will end again in blood and fight
I’ll never go out on patrol and roam the streets no more
intervene and gain control while restraining them on the floor,
Proud of what I have achieved, hopefully I’ve served the public well
I did my best and fulfilled my quest before the final bell
So as I lock my locker door one poignant final time,
I’m thankful for my extended family left on the thin blue line.

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

It will soon be that time again, when the letters from CDC drop through your letterboxes, informing you how much you will have to pay for Local Government services over the next year. One thing is guaranteed – the amount demanded will never decrease!

All of the various bodies, on whose behalf the money is collected, have to go through a carefully defined (and pretty tortuous) process to determine how much is to be charged. They have to take account of the anticipated costs for the next 12 months, as well as an estimate of the unexpected items.

The four parties who appear on your Council Tax Bill are the Police, the Parish, the local District Council and the County Council.

The Police determine their requirements in line with directions from the Home Office, and the process is overseen by the Police and Crime Commissioner. Their levy accounts for just over 10% of the total bill.  Since 2013, they have been limited by Government to an annual increase of 2%.  This has been applied every year so far.

I wrote about the Parish element of Council Tax in December earlier. For the current year, they are NOT limited in the extent of any increase.  The likelihood of such a constraint being imposed seems to increase year on year.  I suspect that it will be imposed in some form next year.

The District Council, like the Police, have been limited to a 2% increase, again since 2013. However, for the eighth successive year, Cherwell have managed their finances such that there has been NO increase at all.  The Cherwell Link newsletter has given you a flavour of the various methods and ideas employed to use the funds more and more effectively.  The Joint Working arrangements with South Northants DC have been very significant in this regard.  As a result Cherwell’s share of the overall bill is around 8% of the total and falling.

The County Council has also been limited since 2013. Here the increase has not been the same each year.  For the first three years, it was 2%.  Last year it was increased to 3%, with the extra being specifically spent on adult social care.  This year, it is likely to be 5%, with 3% being dedicated to adult social care.   Their share of the bill is just under 80% of the total – and rising.

So, assuming these percentages are confirmed, since 2013, the Police will have increased their levy by 10% and the County Council by 14%. The District Council will not have increased their share at all.

As an aside (a very big aside), the County have renewed their efforts into the amalgamation of the County and all Oxfordshire District Council into a “Unitary Council”. No prizes for guessing which authority will have the major influence.  The County have been more persuasive this time since both South Oxfordshire and The Vale District Councils, staunch opponents in the past, have decided, eventually, to endorse the proposals.

Oxford City, West Oxfordshire and Cherwell District Councils are all still adamantly opposed to the idea. From Cherwell’s perspective, we would have to unravel all the Joint arrangements with South Northants, losing all the hard-won benefits that have led to, among other things, a static Council Tax bill for the past eight years.

February 2017

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