From Vale of White Horse District Council

18th March 2020


General update

We’ve been working with other partner organisations and government agencies to help us prepare for any impact the virus may have on our staff and public services for our residents.

If we have any significant changes, we’ll keep you updated on this page and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information.

You can keep up to date and help to stop the spread of the virus by following the guidance on the government’s website.

Leisure centres and The Beacon

Our leisure centres remain open.

Following recent Government announcements, we regret to announce that The Beacon’s cafe will close to the public and all public performances, exhibitions, classes and events are cancelled until further notice. Read for more information on their website.

South Oxfordshire District Council has now taken the decision to close the Northern Community Centre on Great Western Park in Didcot. You will be entitled to a refund if you have already paid for the hire of any facilities. Anyone this applies to will receive a call in due course.

Waste collections

Our waste collections are running as normal, so please put out your bins on your usual collection day.  To check out which waste collection it is this week – head to our collection pages.

If you have the virus or suspect you or someone in your household have it there are guidelines from Public Health England about how to dispose of your waste. They say:

Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Meetings and events

As a precaution we are postponing the following events:

  • our formal council meetings and committees until the end of March – keep up to date on the calendar schedule here.
  • our South and Vale Business Awards will now take place in the autumn – more information here
  • Most of our community sports activities for the over 60s that are part of our “Go Active Gold” programme and activities run for those with diabetes have been cancelled. For more information please email


Elections and referendums


Police and Crime Commissioner Election

The government has confirmed that the Police and Crime Commissioner Election, scheduled for Thursday 7 May, has been postponed and will now take place in 2021.

Shrivenham Neighbourhood Planning Referendum

The neighbourhood planning referendum in Shrivenham on Thursday 26 March will take place as scheduled.

To maintain hygiene in the polling station, staff will be provided with additional hand washing and cleaning equipment.

All voters are asked to bring their own pen/pencil with them to cast their vote and will be required to maintain a safe distance from staff and other voters.

If anyone is worried about voting at the polling station, they can apply for someone to vote on their behalf – this is called a proxy vote.  The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Wednesday 18 March, so please ensure you do this immediately – visit for more details.

Please note – there is currently no provision in law to postpone existing neighbourhood planning referendums.

Taxi licensing

Following the latest government advice on social distancing, the council cannot offer any licensing appointments until further notice.

Unfortunately, this means that we are unable to accept any renewals at this time, and licences may expire over the coming months.  We are also not able to accept any new applications.

We’re currently waiting on advice from the government for details of any support that might become available to support taxi drivers affected by this situation.  We understand that this is a challenging time and will be offering appointments as soon as we are able to.

Please check the website for updates.

Other services

All our other services, such as our council tax, planning and housing teams are still working and available to provide you with any help you may need.  You can find most advice you require on our website but if you do need to speak to one of our teams, please call our main switchboard – 01235 422422.

The Land Charges team has requested that until further notice all searches are submitted electronically rather than by post. 

Advice for business

If you’re a local business owner and are looking for advice on the coronavirus you can head to this government website for more guidance or contact our South and Vale Business Support team.

Advice for town and parish councils

If you’re a town or parish council looking for further guidance, please contact the Oxfordshire Association for Local Councils for advice – they will be able provide you with the right information on what you’ll need to do at a more local level.