Folly Radio

Folly Radio

Local monthly newsletter from Matthew Barber, Council Leader and Deputy PCC

Cllr Matthew Barber

April 2017

In this month's edition:
  • **NEW** video update
  • Free digital workshops
  • Calling all landlords
  • Garden Town update
  • Local Plan - Part 2
  • Police & Crime Plan launched
  • New Thames Valley Police website
  • Better Oxfordshire plans submitted to Government
  • Thank you
Keep up to date with the latest news and access archived articles on my website at
View my new video update on YouTube - reaching more people with the latest news about your community.

Free digital workshops for businesses

Businesses in the Vale of White Horse can find out how digital marketing, Google ranking and Google Ads can help raise their profile and income, thanks to a series of free workshops taking place this year.
The free digital workshops are being organised by Vale of White Horse District Council’s Vale4Business and local online marketing experts Zanzi Digital to help people understand how they can use web based activities to boost their business. The remaining workshops for this year are:
  • Wednesday 17 May - How to make digital marketing work harder for your business
  • Wednesday 20 September - Make your Google Ad campaign stand out from the crowd in 20 minutes a week
All workshops take place between 8.30am and 10am at the Milton Park Innovation Centre, 99 Park Drive, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4RY.
Register for a workshop now by visiting
Cllr Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council said: “These workshops will provide vital advice for businesses looking to improve their online presence.  Vale4Business is staging these events to help ensure that small businesses throughout the district have access to free advice which could help increase their trade and, in turn, boost the local economy.” 

Call for landlords to join White Horse Lettings

Landlords with properties to let in Oxfordshire are being encouraged to sign up to White Horse Lettings. 
Run by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, White Horse Lettings offers long-term rental accommodation to people on the housing waiting list.  Around 250 landlords are already registered but more are required to provide much needed homes for families on lower incomes. 
White Horse Lettings is looking for good quality flats, houses and rooms, and tenants are ready to move in.  All tenants are carefully vetted beforehand to make sure they are suitable. 
White Horse Lettings staff are part of the councils’ housing advice team with many years’ experience in managing rental homes and providing accommodation. They support landlords throughout the tenancy and all services including paperwork, inventories and tenancy advice are free of charge. 
If you have a suitable property please contact White Horse Lettings on 01235 422422, or visit

Garden Town update

Thousands of residents, businesses and the wider community have contributed to proposals for Didcot Garden Town. The Didcot Garden Town proposals are now being updated, following this extensive engagement programme, and will no longer include proposals for a new technical college and associated flats in Ladygrove. 
The councils are now working to amend the plans - ensuring people’s views are taken into account. The final Didcot Garden Town Delivery plan will be published for consultation in May. 
In January South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils revealed their innovative draft Masterplan for Didcot Garden Town.  These initial plans included a better connected town centre, significant new public open space, a new leisure centre, the potential to upgrade the station, a mix of affordable and private rented homes, and new infrastructure.  This followed input from residents who had been asked what they wanted to see from a Garden Town. 
Cllr Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Didcot Garden Town will benefit thousands of residents in southern Oxfordshire.  We’ll see many new facilities, a vast increase in the amount of public open space, and it will also help to ensure we get the infrastructure needed to support the new homes in the area.”

Local Plan Part 2 consultation - three weeks left

You still have the chance to have your say on Part Two of the District Council's Local Plan.
The council adopted part one of its local plan in December last year – this explained where the main housing sites in the district could be built and identified the infrastructure that the district will need to support them.
Part two of the plan includes the detailed policies the council will use when making day to day decisions on planning applications. It will also explain how it proposes to accommodate 2,200 homes for Oxford that they have agreed to plan for within the Vale.
Residents can read the draft version of the Local Plan 2031 Part Two and find out how to make comments at Paper copies are available at libraries and council offices. The consultation is open for comments until 5pm on 4 May.

Police & Crime Plan launched

A new Police & Crime Plan for the Thames Valley has been launched by the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC). The document, which covers the period 2017 – 2021, sets out the priorities for policing and other crime reduction organisations across the Thames Valley, including the response to regional and national threats.
This new Plan consists of five broad strategic priorities which are:
  1. Vulnerability – Managing demand on services through working together with a particular focus on mental health, elder abuse, hidden abuse, and the criminal justice experience for victims of domestic and sexual abuse
  2. Prevention and Early Intervention – Improving safeguarding in both the physical space and virtual space including tackling cyber crime, road safety, peer on peer abuse, hate crime and female genital mutilation (FGM)
  3. Reducing Re-offending – Targeting and managing harm and risk with a focus on substance misuse, violence involving weapons and offender management including perpetrators of domestic abuse
  4. Serious Organised Crime and Terrorism – Improving the local response including increased public awareness, promoting a ‘dare to share’ culture, and preventing violent extremism and the exploitation of vulnerable people.
  5. Police Ethics and Reform – Increasing the pace of change with a focus on improved support for victims, accelerated uptake of new technology, and improving the perceptions of police among young people
You can view the full Police and Crime Plan here

New Thames Valley Police website

Thames Valley Police have relaunched their website:
This is the culmination of a collaboration project between Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary, working with the Police ICT Company and the Digital Policing Programme. The design and operation will be a national solution which is expected to be available to all police forces in the coming years. 
It’s a new look, but the address is the same: - do go and have a look.

Better Oxfordshire plans submitted to Government

Proposals for a single council for Oxfordshire have been submitted to the Secretary of State.This is a significant moment for the communities of Oxfordshire, who under a new single council will receive better, simpler joined up services, saving taxpayers millions of pounds each year and ensuring good quality services for generations to come.  
It is expected that the government will make a final decision on our proposal later this year, but work is already underway to ensure all six councils work together effectively on delivering a new council for Oxfordshire in 2019.
Read the Better Oxfordshire proposal at

Thank you

Thanks to all those who sponsored me for this year's 10k Monster Race in aid of Oxfordshire charity, SpecialEffect. We raised nearly £300 which contributed towards a fantastic £15,000 raised on the day for the charity. There's still time to contribute to this great cause online at:

Copyright © 2017 Cllr Matthew Barber & Vale Conservatives, All rights reserved. 
We send these updates to Parish Councils, local Councillors, individuals who have signed up online or given their email address when attending public meetings or in writing. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. 

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Cllr Matthew Barber & Vale Conservatives
Orchard View
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