Please note that all football fixtures for this weekend, 2nd and 3rd February have been cancelled.
Voluntary groups and charities across Bicester can now tap into an £18,500 cash pot after the town council launched its annual Grant Aid scheme.
The Grant Aid scheme is run by Bicester Town Council to support activities that benefit Bicester residents.
Organisations are invited to apply for a share of the money, up to £1,000, but generally awards do not exceed £500.
Last year’s successful bids included Bicester Sub Aqua, which received £500 to pay for a training defibrillator, and Langford Village Community Association was given £1,000 towards the cost of new flooring in the community hall.
Finance committee chairman Cllr David Magee said: “We know there are many organisations in the town doing fantastic work and the Grant Aid scheme is a way for the council to financially support this work.
“As councillors we look forward to hearing more about the exciting projects that are taking place in our community. In the past we have helped fund children’s reading book boxes, security cameras, first aid training, circus skills for young people and outings.
“I would encourage groups and small charities across the town, who may be struggling to get a project off the ground due to financial constraints, or those setting up new organisations, to seek support from the Grant Aid scheme.”
The closing date for applications is March 8. Decisions will be made in April and cheques will be presented at the annual Mayor Making ceremony in May.
For more information call 01869 252915 or view https://www.bicester.gov.uk/grant-aid-awards/
Bicester Town council has launched its annual awards scheme to recognise the great and good of the community.
Nominations have now opened and residents are invited to put forward the name of someone they feel has gone above and beyond to enhance the lives of townspeople and make Bicester a better place.
The annual Good Citizen Awards, run by the town council, is open to anyone and winners will be presented with a Good Citizen badge and certificate by the Mayor at the annual mayor making ceremony in May.
Last year’s winners included Bicester Garrison Sergeant Major WO1 Lee Davies for his work to bring the local community and the garrison together, and the mayor’s cadet for 2018 Carmen Simpson.
Bicester Town Council leader Richard Mould said: “Everyone knows someone in the community who stands as making a real difference.
“Over the years we have had a wide range of winners from Scout leaders to the foodbank founder.
“The Good Citizen Award is a way of thanking those people across our community who really go that extra mile.
“If you know someone or are involved in a local organisation and want to thank a special person for their efforts, then please nominate them for this prestigious award.”
The Good Citizen Award scheme was launched in 2001 as a way of recognising people who had made a positive impact on their community and thank them for their hard work.
Other former winners include Bicester Foodbank founder Janet Ray, Kirsty Lowe in recognition of her commitment to Langford Village Community Association, Group Scout Leaders Jill Edwards and Ellie Thompson, Mary Daniels for 20 years’ work with Bicester Talking Newspaper, and Assisted Reading for Children volunteer Jenny Stockley.
The closing date for nominations is March 8.
For more information or to nominate a good Citizen call 01869 252915 or click here
***UPDATE on Burst Water Main – A4095 Lords Lane/Howes Lane (10 Tonne Bridge)
- Road closures are now in place until Friday 11th January to facilitate repairs by Thames Water.
- Network Rail structural engineer has no concerns regarding the bridge.
- Footpaths have re-opened.
- Pipework repair estimated to be completed by 08.00hrs tomorrow (Thursday) however restoration of the road will take longer.
Bicester Town Council is seeking to recruit an ADMINISTRATION OFFICER (FINANCE & DEMOCRATIC)
37 hours per week on Salary SCP 20 to 23 (£19,819 – £21,693 pa)
A permanent vacancy within our Administration Team based at Garth Park in Bicester. Working Monday to Friday, within our small administration team, your focus will be finance and the democratic administration.
Closing Date: Friday 4 January 2019.
Interview Date: Monday 14 January 2019.
See here for full details
The Wellbeing activity map will help you to find activities throughout the district that can help you to get:
- active (green flag)
- learning (red flag)
- connected (black flag)
- creative (pink flag)
All of the featured activities are offered at £5.00 per hour or less and are currently welcoming new joiners. Our easy to navigate map will help you find an activity based on the above categories or by location. You may be surprised at the diversity of affordable activities on offer!
So if you have been wondering where to find a new group activity such as a gardening club, dementia café, yoga, youth theatre, writers’ group or photography club you can find an activity near you here: https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/wellbeing-map
If you are a group activity organiser and would like to see your activity featured on the map for free please email wellbeing.map@Cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk.
BICESTER was full of festive cheer as the town came together to mark the launch of Christmas. Thousands of people came into the town throughout the day and helped make the event a great success.
One of the highlights was the lantern making and parade event, which was organised by OYAP, and involved scores of children holding their dazzling lanterns, and walking from the Methodist Church around the town centre and finishing in Market Square.
The mayor then had the “difficult” job of choosing the three best lanterns, and their creators were then invited onto stage to help turn on the town’s Christmas lights. The winners were Aisling, Martha and Billy Ray who, as part of their prize, helped the Mayor, Cllr Sean Gaul, press the all-important switch to light up the town ready for the festive season.
Organised by Bicester Town Council, the annual event took place on a Saturday for the first time.
Cllr Gaul said: “It was fantastic to see so many people in the town enjoying the Christmas lights event. “We moved the event to a Saturday to give more people the opportunity to come along, and I think we can safely say it was a huge success… I was very impressed by the acts who performed on the stage – the line-up showed just how many talented people we have in the town….for me the highlight was switching on the Christmas lights. It was a very difficult decision to pick lantern winners, but it was an honour to share the stage with Aisling, Martha and Billy Ray.”
“None of this would have been possible without sponsorship from local businesses. We would especially like to thank Bicester Village and K2 Recruitment for their significant contribution to the event.”
Throughout the day, which coincided with Small Business Saturday, there was a host activities and entertainment, such as traditional toddler fair rides, Huskies, and street entertainers including roller-skating baubles, cheeky elves and the Snow King and Queen. OneBicester organised a Christmas market with stalls selling arts and crafts, gifts and traditional festive refreshments.
The Market Square hosted the main stage and there were performances from a host of local groups including Bicester Rock choir, local bands Bangtail Feathers and Rhythm Street and students from Adele Peters Performing Arts School who performed on stage and took part in a ‘flash-mob’ dance outside Sainsbury’s in Pioneer Square.
Entertainment was also provided by drummers and a fire entertainer in the centre of Market Square and of course a visit from Father Christmas. The event culminated with the switch on from to the stage with an accompanying light show.
Preparations for winter are being stepped up with key advice to residents from Oxfordshire County Council, as the long-range forecast suggests cold weather may be on its way.
‘Be the warmth in your community’ is the message promoted by the council’s public health team and aims to empower residents to look out for their vulnerable neighbours, including making sure their homes are affordably warm. Read more here.
The county council has also launched a ‘Winter in Oxfordshire’ web page (here), which includes advice from the council’s road safety experts, firefighters and public health and social care teams. It also includes information on flood risk, river levels, gritting and school closures.
Work is underway to build a brand-new £150,000 skate park in Bicester in a bid to boost facilities for young people. This project has been three-years in the making, but it is hoped the new park will be ready to open in January. The initiative has been jointly funded by Bicester Town Council, Cherwell District Council through developer contributions, Sport England, as well as fund raising by the young people themselves.
Councillors and Officers have worked in partnership with PC Vicky Lees, who led the initiative, and the young people to make the new park a reality. PC Lees said she became involved in 2015 after reports of anti-social behaviour in the town centre, which included BMX riders and skateboarders riding in Pioneer Square. She said the young people wanted a skate park they could use all the time, but the current facility was in a poor state of repair. So, she encouraged them to attend a town council meeting to raise their concerns – and the move set the ball rolling.
PC Lees said: “The young people made a conscious effort to keep the park clean and tidy and also set about fund raising. Behind the scenes I worked with the young people and was able to fund CCTV at the skate park, while the council worked to raise the money needed for the project.
“It was never going to be easy to try and find £150,000 for a new park to be built so this has been a real team effort.
“We are so excited to see this become a reality. The Olympics in 2020 are introducing BMX Freestyle and Skateboarding, just maybe our new skate park will attract potential Olympic hopefuls.”
Specialist skatepark firm Freestyle have designed and are building the new park.
Cllr Jason Slaymaker, who is also deputy mayor, said: “Bicester Town Council was delighted to offer support to the young people to help raise the funds to build the new skate park.
“This facility is very popular with young people and we hope the new improved skate park will open up wheeled sports to a new generation.”
Work started in October and is due to be completed in January.
THREE town charities have been given a financial boost thanks to the efforts of last year’s mayor.
On Tuesday, November 21 Les Sibley, who was Bicester’s Mayor for the year 2017/2018 handed over almost £10,000 to three good causes.
Receiving cash was the Hummingbird Centre, £3263.88, Auditory Verbal £3263.88 and Bicester Foodbank £3257.34.
Cllr Sibley raised the cash through a range of events including the mayor’s charity dinner, a Last Night of the Proms concert, an Artists in the Town exhibition, a golf day and Bicester Carnival.
Cllr Sibley, who was previously mayor in 1997/98, said: “I would like to offer my sincere appreciation and thanks to the many Bicester’s businesses’, individuals and the town council staff who supported and made these charity events possible.
“The local community really got behind me and I’m really glad we achieved the figure we did to raise money for local good causes. I am full of admiration for the groups and organisations across the town who have to fund raise year in year out. Being mayor gave me an insight into just how much hard work, time and dedication is given by volunteers that goes into keeping these groups and charities running.”
During his mayoral year, Cllr Sibley, who was supported by his wife Mary as mayoress, also held a series of one-off events to raise cash for other organisations including the Royal British Legion, Bicester Foodbank, Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Bicester Green and Alexandra House of Joy. Cllr Sibley raised a total of £14,371.05 for good causes during the year.
Bicester’s mayor is nominated for the role by fellow town councillors and serves for a year.