Witney's 3rd Food and Drink Festival celebrating local producers is on Saturday, 16th May, at St. Mary's Church on Church Green, from 9.30am to 5.00pm. Chris Keating of Wychwood Brewery will officially open proceedings at 10.00am.
Located in the heart of the town, St Mary's is a perfect setting for the Festival being one of the largest covered space in West Oxfordshire. More than 70 local stall holders will be on hand to showcase a range of high-quality, artisan produce from the area. Sampling these products is a must, along with visiting the beer tent and the all day cafe. The Skills Tent will host short, informal cookery skills demonstrations and local dancers and musicians will entertain the crowds on the Green. Children are also well catered for in their own dedicated area with a raft of farm and food linked activities on offer from butter making to creating the Great Big Festival Collage. Or bring a fruit or vegetable themed hat and parade in the Festival Hat competition.
Elpie Lewis, Festival co-ordinator, remarks 'There are regular farmers’ markets in Witney and the Festival is an opportunity for us to show our support for all these local businesses and to bring the town together in a great community venture'.
David Cameron, local MP and Prime Minister says, "The Witney Festival of Food and Drink is a great event, showcasing the finest food and drink that West Oxfordshire has to offer. Whether you are a cooking enthusiast or simply a family looking for a fun day out, Witney Festival promises to have something for everyone to enjoy."
Date: 17th December 11am – 1.30pm
Venue: Langdale Hall, Witney, OX28 6FG
Would you like to go home at the end of every day knowing you have made a positive difference to someone’s life?
Come along to one of our Social Care Careers information events and find out how…
In Oxfordshire, around 3,500 people need some extra support with everyday tasks to enable them to live in their own homes. This number is expected to grow over the next 10 years and we’re looking to employ more people to help support them to live their lives the way they choose.
This could be you if:
We can provide training if you need it, help with application forms and interview preparation and help you find a job that’s right for you.
Booking: To find out more about employment and training opportunities or to book a place/time slot at one of our Social Care Careers events, email ASCC@oxfordshire.gov.uk or call 01865 797212
Abingdon & Witney College are running a course suitable for anyone who is a team leader, supervisor, mentor or for anybody who has aspirations to become one in the future. The course starts on 2nd Sept, runs over 8 weeks and costs £250. Download the PDF for more details.
Lesley and Iris attended the Witney Business Support Fair to help promote both the Chamber and local businesses.
The Event was held at the Witney Business & Innovation Centre on 14th May.
Come and enjoy a fantastic Summer Ball and casino night in aid of Bishop Simeon Trust and Women V Cancer.
The event is being held at Witney Lakes and the cost is £25 a ticket. Get your tickets from email@example.com
The Post Office has announced its intention to franchise its services and close the Crown Post Office in the middle of Witney. Given the closure of so many neighbourhood sub post offices there is a large demand on that central PO.
Lots of local people are very concerned that the full range of services should remain available in the town centre. When this happened in Didcot the "franchise" turned out to be a counter in WHS and it has led to a significant reduction in service. Local businesses as well as residents need the Post Office. That's why we are lobbying them so hard!
Conservative leader Barry Norton is meeting the Post Office management to discuss the plans. An online petition has been set-up, and we have asked Labour and Cooperative colleagues to help gather signatures on the street, to put pressure on the Post Office to maintain the full range of services in the town centre.
The petition has 660 signatures from people on the street plus (as I write) another 275 online. Every signature will add to the pressure on the PO managers to make adequate provision for our growing market town.
Sign the petition by visiting www.change.org/petitions/post-office-save-witney-post-office-services
Phone lines to businesses in Station lane Witney have been affected since last wednesday by building work to Station lane. Over 100 BT lines are having issues. BT have been working on a resolution to the problem which occoured on Wednesday 27th Febuary. Some of the affected businesses are still abel to recieve email in the usual way.
All businesses affected are encouraged to put a message on there Website,facebook pages and linked in profiles giving alternative contact numbers.
Would you like to be part of the fastest charity fully supported end to end, LEJOG?
This year we have limited spaces for you to be part of this ultimate challenge. Now in its 11th year, raising vital funds for the BSTrust, we set the stakes high, riding the race in only 6 days.
The advantages of riding with us:
So why not join us this summer; 23-28th June for the ultimate LEJOG.
Promoting only the best in critically-engaged contemporary art High House promises to be an exciting addition to the local art scene. Aiming to attract visitors from the whole region an innovative programme will feature both solo shows and curated group exhibitions from an international roster of gallery and invited artists. The beautiful formal gardens surround the house will be home to changing summer displays of high quality contemporary sculpture.
The gallery will open Thursday to Sunday 11-5. Visit www.highhousegallery.com for more details.
There will be a Unite demonstration in Witney on Saturday April 28th.
The demonstration will start at Church Green at 12 noon and follow a route along Corn Street, onto Welch Way and along High Street back to the Green where they will have speakers. I understand that the march is quite family orientated and that other demonstrations held in Oxford have been held with no trouble at all.
The march will not enter Marriotts Walk however the marchers will stop on land opposite Caffe Nero to observe a minute's silence for the construction worker who sadly died whilst working on the centre in 2009.
This is a peaceful demonstration against austerity cuts and will be monitored by Unite's own experienced marshalls as well as Thames Valley Police.
Robert Seares of RDS Commercial Ltd (www.rdscommercial.com), Witney, has been elected the 103rd President of The Rating Surveyors' Association.
The RSA, a professional organisation of Chartered Surveyors, specialise in business rates and comply with the highest of professional standards. Founded in 1909, the Association has over 350 members drawn from private practice, corporate bodies, the Valuation Office Agency and local authorities.
Robert says 'I am honoured to lead the RSA at this time when controversial alterations to the business rates system require even greater scrutiny to ensure that business ratepayers minimise their rate liabilities.'
Robert has lived in Witney for over 35 years and his professional career has been based in Oxford & Oxfordshire. In 2008 he founded RDS Commercial Ltd, a niche firm of Chartered Surveyors specialising in rating appeals, rent reviews & lease renewals.
Working with the bodies responsible for business rates, RSA members seek to improve the rating system, giving fairness to the business community and providing the professional background against which reductions in assessments can be obtained.
On Sunday 25th March the 'La Livre all stars' took part in the 'OX5' fun run raising money for the Oxford Children's Hospital.
The team consisted of left to right: Cameron Watkins, Jack Wilkins, Victoria Rimington, Sue Frank, Jennifer Usher and our quickest team member - Lisa Bryant.
The team managed to raise £783.00 in total for the Oxford Children's Hospital and there is talk of making this an annual event!
Many thanks to our many sponsors - including many from the local Business Community. Special thanks to Jenifer for organising t-shirts for us and to Witney Tees for supplying the T-shirts at the last minute.
The Woodford Way Car Park has always been designated as temporary by WODC with no date published for closure. The Chamber believes that the closure of this facility would be very detrimental to the town as there is comparatively little all day parking for visitors and people working in the town centre.
Please support our campaign to permanently retain this vital facility - download the pdf file and print copies for signing by all of your staff, clients, friends and neighbours.
Two team members from Total Credit Management recently ran the OX5 RUN AROUND Blenheim palace in aid of the Oxford Childrens hospital.
Total Credit Management have also moved into new offices at Unit 11 Smiths Industrial Estate, Newland, Witney and taken on a new member of staff Chris Williams who will be handling all no collection no fee debt.
An Oxfordshire law firm has been named as one of the first new breed of law practices in England and Wales.
Witney-based John Welch and Stammers has been revealed as one of the first three Alternative Business Structures (ABS) to be authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. An ABS is a business providing regulated reserved legal activities but which has either, or both, non-lawyer owners and managers.
Traditionally law firms have had to be owned and managed only by lawyers. The non-lawyer ownership and management of legal services providers was one of a significant raft of reforms brought in by the Legal Services Act 2007 designed to liberalise the regulation and provision of legal services in England and Wales.
These reforms will increase competition and provide consumers with greater choice and access to legal and related services, and have been dubbed 'Tesco Law' because they should make buying legal services as easy as buying groceries from the supermarket, and also because large, well-known brands could start to offer legal services to the public.
John Welch and Stammers has seven fee earners and eleven support staff and has been operating in Witney, Oxfordshire since 1932. ABS status will enable the firm to continue and develop, as one solicitor partner retired in December 2011 leaving two solicitor partners and Berni Summers, who has been practice manager for the past 12 years, will be appointed as a non-lawyer managing partner. The firm is a general solicitors practice offering services in domestic and commercial conveyancing, family, personal injury, civil litigation and Wills and probate.
Antony Townsend, SRA Chief Executive, said: 'We're delighted to announce the first ABS organisations. This represents a milestone we have been working towards for nearly two years'.
'The arrival of ABS should foster a more flexible and innovative market for legal services. By stimulating competition and encouraging innovation, we should see consumers' experiences enjoy a major boost.'
Kerry Joels, of John Welch and Stammers, said: 'We have for a number of years wanted to introduce Berni Summers into the partnership as recognition of her major contribution to the development and running of our firm and are delighted that by becoming an ABS we can achieve this.'
Jonathan Djanogly MP, Justice Minister, added: 'This is a huge milestone for UK legal services and the future of Alternative Business Structures'.
'ABSs introduce more competition in the market place, delivering competitive pricing, higher standards of product and more choice for the consumer.
'Our UK legal services are unrivalled around the world and these changes will allow them to reach new heights, as solicitors' firms develop new markets, seek external investment and join up with other businesses to offer different products to consumers and provide opportunities for growth.'
The SRA started accepting ABS applications just under three months ago on 3 January, after being designated a licensing body by the Ministry of Justice in late December 2011. Further information on ABS and the SRA can be found at www.sra.org.uk/abs.
The other two businesses to be named as ABS organisations are Co-operative Legal Services and a husband-and-wife-team in Sidcup, Kent.
Abacus Events are holding their 5th Trade Fair & Networking Event at the Four Pillars Hotel in Witney on the 26th January. The event will be held between 4.00pm and 7.00 pm and entrance is free for visitors.
At every event we raise money for a local charity through a raffle. £1000 has been raised to date.
If you are interesting in attending the event either as a visitor or as an exhibitor visit www.abacuseventsgroup.co.uk for more information.
The 10th Oxford Mail OX5 RUN 2012 takes place on March 25th and is in aid of the Oxford Children's Hospital. The annual 5 mile fun run around Blenheim Palace grounds is a great team building exercise and will add benefit to your Corporate Social Responsibility program as well as create great PR opportunities. Entry is just £10 per person and you can register a team (minimum of 5 participants) at www.ox5run.co.uk and get automatic entry into the Corporate Challenge Cup.
Register online at www.ox5run.co.uk for the 10th Oxford Mail OX5RUN in aid of the Oxford Children's Hospital.
Base 33 Youth Trust are holding their Charity Christmas Concert on December 9th at The Congregational Church in Witney.
The event promises to be a fun and seasonal family event and will feature songs from Rev Jason Boyd and piano accompaniment from Emma Wallace. They will also have a performance by Base 33's Youth Music Group. Stew and crusty bread will be served together with other festive refreshments.
Tickets are priced at £7 per person with under 12's free and food will be provided for a minimum donation.
Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start and ends at 8.30pm.
Tickets are on sale at The Congregational Church or St Andrews Bookshop or can be reserved for payment on the night via an e-mail to Claire Dowan firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Base 33 download their PDF (428kB).
Cottsway's Disability Equality Awareness Group (DEAG) is an independent group made up of a number of disabled residents and carers from across the district and Cottsway's Community Network Officer. Its purpose is to help improve the services provided by Cottsway Housing Association and identify and explore wider issues that effect disabled people in the local area.
If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Maggie Newton on 01993 890000 e-mail: Maggie.email@example.com
The Witney Chamber now has a Twitter account. Click @witneychamber to start following us.
You can also connect with the Witney Chamber group on Linkedin. Click Witney and District Chamber of Commerce to join the group.
Browns Accountancy & Taxation Ltd have just signed up to be a member of the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales) Business Advice Service. Members of this service offer an initial consultation at no cost to businesses and start-ups.
Patricia Chirgwin from Volunteer Link Up gave us a brief but informative presentation at our October meeting. Volunteer Link-Up is the Volunteer Centre for West Oxfordshire, linking people who have time to spare with opportunities to help local residents and charitable organisations that need their services.
If you would like more information about getting involved with Volunteer Link Up visit www.vlu.org.uk.
We are delighted to say the £50 raised from the raffle has been donated to Volunteer Link Up.
“Thank you for the £50 contribution to Volunteer Link Up's funds - in these days of austerity, we really do value donations and appreciate everyone's generosity.”
— Patricia Chirgwin, Manager Volunteer Link Up (West Oxfordshire)
Fresh celebrates its 1st anniversary this week! Thank you to everyone for all their support of our first ever shop - we really appreciate it! We're always grateful for feedback so it'd be great if you could visit our Facebook page and add a review and ask all your friends to 'like' Fresh too! Thank you from Graham, Paul and everyone at Fresh.
Witney MP and Prime Minister David Cameron visited Fresh recently to show his support for new and small businesses.
Paul Hobbs, Owner, said, "The PM is supporting us as we appeal against high business rates. High rates do not help any new business get off the ground and when you make comparisons to other businesses you soon realise how disproportionate the figures are. We hope the PM's support will help all new and small businesses as they get going and grow."
At our breakfast meeting in September the Chamber held a raffle to kickstart our Featured Members section on the website. We are pleased to announce the raffle raised £55 and the proceeds have been donated to Base33.
Base 33 has over the last ten years become well established and recognised particularly for their work with young people that are viewed as challenging, dis-affected and difficult to engage. They provide young people with access to an environment that is non-judgemental, supportive, educational, social and fun.
If you would like to make a donation visit www.base33.org.uk
“Thank you very much for your generous donation of £55 raised from your breakfast. All the monies raised by Base33 support the work we do with dis-advantaged and chaotic young people in Witney”
— Sharon Wise, Base 33 Administrator
The Chamber is pleased to announce that we are now online! Our new website will enable people to book their place at the Chamber's monthly breakfast meeting, become a member of the Chamber and find out what's happening in and around Witney.
If you have any comments about the website email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email email@example.com to share your news and events
in & around Witney.