From Vale of White Horse District Council

26th March 2020

General update

We are working with partner organisations and government agencies to manage our services for residents and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

If there’s changes to our services, 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 with the latest information about Covid-19 by following the guidance on the government’s website.

For details on services provided by Oxfordshire County Council please visit the county council’s website.

Council offices at Milton Park closed

Our office at Milton Park are now closed to the public until further notice.

We are working on providing our important services to the public and are protecting the services to residents most in need as a priority. Please continue to check this page, and our Facebook and Twitter accounts, for further updates.

If you need information about any of our services, or you need to pay a bill or make an application or a report, you can continue to so here on this website.

Our phone lines remain open if you need to speak to someone at the council, however it’s likely to be quicker if you look for your information on our website or contact us via email first – this will also help us respond quickly to those most in need during what is a difficult time for so many.

Parking charges suspended

All parking charges across all of our district council car parks in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are now suspended until 1 June 2020 and during this time you do not have to display a ticket.

If you are a permit holder whose permit has recently expired or is due to expire, don’t worry, your permit will be honoured until 1 June, so you won’t need to take any action.

We’ve taken this decision to support key workers and those needing to shop for essential food and medical supplies.  But please remember, if you are not a key worker or are not in need of essential supplies, then you must follow the government guidance and stay at home.

For all enquiries please email This link will take you to an external website…  or call 01235 470118.

Leisure centres, parks and play areas, and The Beacon

All our leisure centres are now closed until futher notice.  GLL, our contractors, will automatically apply a payment freeze for all members throughout this period.

We have closed all play, sports and exercise areas.  Our parks and open spaces are still open so that people can use them for their daily exercise. Please follow government guidance and stay at least two metres apart, and if the parks are busy, you should not use them.

The Beacon’s cafe is closed 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 closed the Northern Community Centre on Great Western Park in Didcot until further notice. You will be entitled to a refund if you have already paid for the hire of any facilities.

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.

Information about our waste services and any changes to the service will be also be published on our waste services update page.

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.

Bulky waste

We have suspended all booking of bulky household waste collections until further notice. We will inform you individually if your booking has to be cancelled. This is to enable the team to focus on household waste collections as we are building up resilience for our workforce due to an increase in staff shortages due to illness.

Garden waste

We will not be taking on new customers for the Garden Waste Service until further notice.

For details about waste and recycling centres please see the latest updates from Oxfordshire County Council.

Council tax

The government has set up a national hardship fund of £500m to help woith the Cornavirus situation. We are still waiting for details of this but it is anticipated it will provide support towards Council Tax through the councils’ existing Council Tax Reduction schemes or another complementary scheme.

When we have been given the details of the government plans we will urgently consider any adjustments necessary to offer council taxpayers further support.

Anyone facing immediate difficulties paying their council tax should contact us via:

Vale – / 0345 302 2315

Meetings and events

  • all council meetings scheduled to take place in April have been postponed.  We will confirm any rearranged dates in due course.
  • our South and Vale Business Awards will now take place in the autumn – more information here
  • All of our activies run by the Active Communities team. For more information please email

Elections and referendums

Police and Crime Commissioner Election

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 due to take place in Shrivenham on Thursday 26 March has now been postponed.   We will confirm a new date in due course, as soon as the government has confirmed that it is safe to hold public events again.

All those who were registered and eligible to vote in this referendum will receive a poll card with the revised polling date.  Postal voters who have already cast their vote will receive a fresh postal ballot pack in due course and will need to use that to vote in the re-arranged referendum.

Taxi licensing

The council cannot offer licensing appointments until further notice. We are able to accept applications by email for the following:

  • Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle licences
  • Hackney carriage and private hire driver applications for current licence holders (renewal applications)

We are not able to accept applications from new applicants who are not already licensed by the council.

We will shortly be in a position to process applications for private hire operators. Please check the website for updates.

Planning and building control

To help Planning review and adapt their processes more efficiently to the new working at home arrangements, any planning applications received from 23 March won’t be registered until 31 March.

Please do not send the Planning and Building Control teams any paper copies of applications, comments/representations or payments through the postal system.

Consultations for neighbourhood planning have been postponed.

We are not undertaking any site visits regarding planning or building control applications over the next three weeks, except where the development or works are in connection with the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak


You can find out more information here.  If you have any queries, you can contact the Customer Service team on 01235 422600 or email them at

Click here to register for planning alerts

Building control

You can find out more about building control here or if you have any building control queries, please phone 01235 422700 or email

Other services

All our other services, such as our council tax 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 and job seekers

If you’re a local business owner and looking for advice on the coronavirus, you can head to the government website for more guidance.  The government has stated that grants will be available for small businesses and we will be writing to those who are eligible soon as soon as we know more.  You can contact our team and sign up for regular updates via our South and Vale Business Support website.

People impacted by office closures or loss of work and are looking for temporary work can find vacancies on the SVBS website:

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.

Warning about COVID-19 related scams

Please watch out for criminals attempting to use the publicity around COVID-19 as a chance to target you with fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages or door to door services.

To help you stay safe please follow this advice on Covid-19 related scams This link will take you to an external website…  from Thames Valley Police.  If you’d like to receive regular updates you can also sign up to Thames Valley Alert Community Messaging This link will take you to an external website… .