South News - May 2021

Welcome back

Welcome back to South News.  Our newsletter has been taking a bit of a break during the pandemic, but with the situation steadily improving, we are very pleased that we can once again bring you regular updates from South Oxfordshire District Council straight to your inbox.

Covid-19 posters

New downloadable posters are now available on our website for businesses and venues to print off and display so they can safely welcome back their customers, and provide some friendly guidance for visitors.  

You can find all the resources at

Getting Active across the district

With restrictions lifting most of the activities run by the Active Communities team are now returning with more to come, including the family Xplorer events in Wantage next month. Please help spread the word and share our social media posts over the coming days and weeks. 

You can find out more at

All the sessions follow Covid-19 safety guidelines and so booking in advance is required.

Elections round-up 

You can read all the elections results across South Oxfordshire, including details of the Neighbourhood Plan referendums, all of which were approved by voters, by visiting

Air Quality Superhero Competition 

We are launching a competition for primary school children to design a superhero to tackle air pollution, with a new Micro scooter as the top prize.

Through local schools, children can draw their superheroes or create them as models. The judges are looking for a hero who can easily get about without using cars, and whose superpowers can help make our air cleaner and clearer. 

The deadline for all entries is World Environment Day – 5 June. The competition will be judged by our councillors and the winner announced on Clean Air Day – 17 June 2021.

For more information visit

Extra Garden Waste week 

Our Extra Garden Waste Week is next week, 17 to 21 May.  This means garden waste customers can put out twice as much garden waste as usual. The extra waste can be put in cardboard boxes or old compost bags but are asking residents to not put any waste into trade waste bags.
Welcome to Climate and Nature News! As part of the relaunch of South News, we wanted to provide a special new, regular section to keep you up to speed on how we’re tackling the climate emergency and highlight some of the great work being carried out in our communities.

Many of you will be aware by now that after declaring a climate emergency in 2019, we set ourselves a target to become a carbon neutral council by 2025, and for South Oxfordshire to become a carbon neutral district by 2030. This was one of the first recommendations of our Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee, which advises our Cabinet on the climate and ecological crises.  

What have we done so far?
There’s lots for you to catch up on, so here’s a quick rundown of what’s happened so far:
  • We made Protecting and Restoring the Natural World, and Action on Climate Emergency two of the key priorities in Corporate Plan 2020-24.
  • We declared an ecological emergency to highlight our commitment towards biodiversity and nature recovery and formed an internal Biodiversity Working Group to develop a biodiversity strategy. We are also part of countywide plans to form a Local Nature Partnership.
  • We appointed Cllrs Ian Snowdon and Peter Dragonetti as our Tree Champions, and we are developing a Tree Policy.
  • We supported a grant scheme for 150 households in fuel poverty in Oxfordshire to improve the efficiency of their homes.
What’s next?
We have lots of exciting projects to announce very soon – including news of “Park and Charge” coming to South Oxfordshire for anybody interested in owning an Electric Vehicle, and for anyone who already does!

Have you got ideas for a project to help cut carbon? If so, make sure you check out the funding you can apply for:
  • The Urban Tree Challenge Fund aims to increase tree numbers in urban areas through small-scale planting projects.
  • Trust for Oxfordshire (TOE) has the Local Environment Fund for projects that support biodiversity, public access and climate priorities, and the Biodiversity Net Gain Project for schemes that involve the creation, restoration and enhancement of habitats.
  • Greater South East Energy Hub’s Rural Community Energy Fund supports rural communities to develop renewable energy projects that benefit the community.  
Share your stories 
We want to hear about your climate action and nature protection work - we’re going to feature local stories in this newsletter, so here’s your chance to showcase your efforts!  To share your stories, email us at  

To find out more about our climate action work please visit our Action on Climate and Nature section.

South Oxfordshire District Council
135 Eastern Avenue
Milton Park
OX14 4SB