Bake Up Enjoy the Tarts

There was a fine turnout for the second Upton baking social in March. The theme was ‘tarts’ and we tasted a panoply of pastry-based goodies, both savoury and sweet.
A humdinger of a pissaladiere took centre stage, and other onion fillings proved popular in the savoury section. Spanakopita and cheese and tomato slice were also devoured with gusto.
In the sweet department we had lemon curd tarts, rhubarb and almond, apple slice and Swedish nut pie.
One audacious recipe dispensed with pastry altogether and used bacon for a base with an egg, bacon and cheese filling. Breakfast in a bite!
If you have a yen to bake (not competitively) the next meet-up is on Friday May 12 at 11am at Fieldfare near the church.
The theme is quite simply ‘cake’. Do come along and don’t forget some Tupperware for the divvy up.

Kieron Humphrey

Village Litter Pick

Volunteers are needed for the annual Village Litter Pick which will take place on Saturday 25th March, meeting at the Village Hall at 9.30.

Hi viz vests, litter-sticks and refuse sacks will be made available but we cannot manage this task without volunteers and the more we have the more litter we can clean up.

It is amazing just how much litter accumulates around our roads and footpaths and how much better the village looks when it has been removed.

Thank you

Rob Traynor

Welcome News for Our Bus Service

Following the withdrawal of bus subsidies by Oxfordshire County Council, representatives of the local villages have joined together to form the Downland Villages Transport Group to work with the bus companies to retain as much service as possible. We are pleased to announce that Thames Travel will continue a Monday to Friday service on the 94 route and that there will be a twice daily service also serving the Astons and the Mortons, made possible by the transfer of the school run to the scheduled bus. There will be some increase in fares and the bus service will operate on a trial basis for one year starting on 24th July.

Thames travel has released the new 94/94A timetable, please click on this link Bus Timetable

The 94 will serve the Hagbournes, Blewbury and Upton and will run roughly hourly from early morning until the evening from Monday to Friday. During term time a 94A service will run once in the morning and once in the afternoon; in addition to serving the 94 villages. It will also serve the Astons and the Mortons. The longer term future depends on the economic viability of the service, so more users are needed!

The Downland Villages Transport Group is grateful to everyone who has provided input on bus services over the past few months and for the support of our County Councillors. You’ve said clearly that keeping bus services is important for the life of our villages. Your input has helped us to argue for our transport needs and to begin to work out some new options where services have been cut, while the new timetable will not be perfect for everyone. Thames Travel have listened to our suggestions and responded where they can. It is a trial- we need to ensure adequate use, as it’s fairly close –cut thing for them on a commercial basis.

*A key factor that made Thames Travel feel it was “worth giving it a go” on the 94/94A was that “you (our villages) were really passionate about keeping the service”

* The key financial replacements for the lost subsidies were, as we knew, school funding and some development funding.

A real effort has been made to try and serve our commuters. If it fits in with your schedule please give it a try.

As and when more information becomes available, we’ll keep you informed.

Jesse West





New Stamps at Blewbury P.O.

The Queen Elizabeth 90th birthday stamps will be on sale very shortly, they are far better than the last so called “special” stamps! We have ordered extra’s!

Much as we would love to work overtime, we don’t get paid for any time worked over our allotted 30 hours a week, so please remember when you rush in at 5 minutes to closing time, for us to process your parcels etc, that we are cashing up and dispatching all our paperwork, or attempting to clean the floor!

We will be closed on Monday 2nd May and Monday 30th May, as they are bank holidays, allowances & benefitswill be  paid on the Friday,  if your usual pay day is Monday,  Advance warning that we are also closed on Saturdays 6th  (VPA garden visit) & 11th June (family fun day on Tickers Folly)

It must be heading towards summer, the ice cream is here!

Love from Karen & Angela

Emergency Plan for Upton

Many emergencies are dealt with in a co-ordinated joint response by the emergency services, local authorities and the major utilities providers. There may be occasions when communities could help themselves:

  • While waiting for the arrival of emergency services.
  • During widespread events such as flu pandemic, flooding, storm damage or deep snow.
  • Following the loss of basic utilities for an extended period possibly combined with extreme weather conditions.

The Parish Council would like to have an effective community group that could provide immediate support to village residents impacted by such an emergency. There have been house fires, flooding and road traffic accidents.

An Emergency Management Team can be made up from anyone within the village who could offer their skills in time of a crisis. The Parish Council are looking for anyone willing to become part of the team and help devise a simple plan of action that could be put in place in times of an emergency.

For that once in a ‘blue moon’ situation it would be nice to have a group of people who could organise, communicate and address the short-term needs of individuals affected by the emergency.

If you would like to be part of this team please contact me, verbally or by email.


Rob Traynor


Agenda for Meeting 19th January 2016


You are summoned to a

Meeting of Upton Parish Council in Upton Village Hall on Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 8.00 pm


  1. Apologies for Absence
  1. Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any personal interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any items under consideration at this meeting.

  1. Adoption of minutes of meeting: 17th November, 18th December
  1. Reports
    • County Councillor’s Report
    • District Councillor’s Report
    • PCSO’s report (no PCSO in post at present)
  1. Public Forum
  1. Matters arising:

Parish Council Meeting on 17th November:

  1. Emergency Planning update – RT to report on progress with Ian Ross
  2. Parish plan update – RT to report on publication of Plan
  3. Possible creation of “false footway” in Prospect Road to enable footpath surface standards to be maintained. RL to report on communications with Highways
  4. Adoption of Recreation Ground rules following publication for comment (circulated)
  5. Post Office Outreach – response to Upton News article
  6. Data Storage: Decide on appropriate replacement of current “cloud” provider (Alfresco) as free service has ceased
  7. A417 Crossing requested by young resident; RL to report on Highways Liaison Meeting 3rd December

            Parish Council Meeting on 18th December – taken under Planning

  1. Business to be transacted:
  2. Review of Smaller Authorities audit Vote to opt in or stay out of the Smaller Authorities Audit arrangements.
  3. OALC Courses in 2016: circulated (email). Decide who should attend what, if at all.
  4. Financial Report end of 3rd quarter to 31st December
  5. Decide on appropriate amount to request.
  6. Confirm date of Annual Parish Meeting (Monday 18th April?)
  7. Dates of UPC meetings 2015/16 (circulated). Vote to change meeting dates from a Tuesday to a Monday.
  8. Acceptance of £3360.35 donation from Uptonogood? for use on “recreation ground facilities” (both new and maintenance of existing).
  9. Acceptance of £3440.35 donation from Uptonogood? for use on the village hall under the direction of UVHAT.
  10. OPFA Annual Membership Renewal £40 – agree or decline.
  1. Planning:
  • Methodist Chapel – Mr Fraser and Ms Marshall to report on meeting with Westwaddy on site.

For noting:


  • Letter from Lord Lieutenant of Oxford requesting PCs celebrate Queen’s 90th birthday; suggestions?
  • Letter from Lloyds Bank announcing changes to financial services compensation scheme limit, reducing from £85 to £75,000.
  • Letter from Vale enclosing Precept Form and requesting response by January 16 (extended to 22 January).
  • Copy of complaint to VoWH from Alex Smith
  • SLCC Renewal of Clerk’s subscription
  • OPFA request for renewal of membership

Receipts since last meeting

  • Bank interest, Nov 16p, Dec 15p
  • Uptonogood donations, 8th Jan, totalling £70

Angela Hoy, Clerk

Tel: 01235 851726

13th January 2016

  Appendix A – Schedule of payments



Gopak: Tables & Trollies for UVHAT 2679.47
Kalehurst: Self-propelled mower service and parts 114.50
Kalehurst: Ride on mower service and parts 307.18
Clerk’s SLCC membership subscription 2016 77.00
Clerk’s salary Nov/Dec @ £149.60 (S/O) 399.20
Cemetery Loan (DD) 412.91
TOTAL 3990.26


Proposed Outreach Post Office for Upton

Blewbury Post Office is considering the viability of running an outreach post office at Upton Village Hall for four hours once a week and is seeking your views on this.

We need to know whether you would use such a service, and if so, how often, as Post Office Limited will not sanction the expenditure unless they feel it is worth their while. The previous post office facility was closed through lack of demand so we need to prove the case for a new facility.

Services that could be offered include:

Cash withdrawals and deposits

Bank cheques and pay bills, including Council tax

Draw pensions

Accept letters and parcels, including Parcel Force and online returns

Sell stamps/stamp books

Sell Gift Cards

Top-up mobile telephones

Sell Health Lottery tickets

Sell pre-ordered Euros and other currencies

Change facility, withdraw and pay in

The Village Hall Management Committee is keen for the Hall to be used during the day and is supporting this idea; it could be combined with the serving of refreshments and also, taking a leaf out of the very successful “Tea with Technology” sessions at Aston Village Hall, where local residents are given help and advice on their laptops, tablets and mobile phones – for free!

Please complete the questionnaire attached to this item and email it to ku.oc.licnuochsirapnotpunull@krelc


1.    Which Post Office do you currently use:

Blewbury / Didcot / East Hagbourne / Other

  1. How do you get there? Car Bus      Other (specify)
  1. Would you use a weekly PO facility in Upton Village Hall?
  1. What day and time would you prefer:

Morning                       Afternoon

Day of Week                           Don’t mind

  1. Which of the following services might you use and how often?

Often               Occasionally                Never

Cash withdrawal



Foreign Currency

Pay bills

Post and parcels

Phone top-up


Buy stamps

Change facility



Ash Dieback Disease

Ash dieback has recently been confirmed at the Earth Trust’s Paradise Woods, near Long Wittenham, just 6 miles from Upton!
Ash dieback, also known as Chalara, was first recorded in the UK in 2012. Since then it has spread to most areas of the UK. The latest information from the Forestry Commission shows that the disease has spread close to Upton, with records to the North, South and East of the village.
Chalara is a serious disease of Ash trees and is caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. Symptoms include leaf loss, crown dieback and bark lesions. Once a tree is infected it is usually fatal and unfortunately we have many long established trees in this parish. The spaces left are likely to be similar to those left in this parish when the Dutch Elm disease struck in the late 1970s.
Please see the Forestry Commission’s website for the latest advice on management and identification . The Winter Symptoms video towards  the bottom of the page is excellent, and also see  for the latest records of the disease.

A Dicken’s Reading

Back by popular demand!

A Reading of another of Dickens’s Christmas Books  “The Cricket on the Hearth”

Friday 27 November at 7.30 pm in Upton Village Hall

Last year, we read “A Christmas Carol”;  this year we are attempting another of the Christmas Books, originally even more popular.  It is a story suitable for all ages, with love and pathos and magic and disguise and deception – but of course a Happy Ending.   It will go down very well with a warm drink and a mince pie or two.   Do join the readers in establishing an annual tradition, and have a very enjoyable time, too.

Tickets £5 from Malcolm Wright (850705) or Hatty Burrow (851449)

(Children under 16 free)

Ticket price includes a mulled drink and mince pies, but not the Raffle

Any profit goes to Friends of St Mary’s

Tour of Britain Cycle Race

The Tour of Britain cycle race will be passing through Upton on Friday 12 September. When they reach Upton they will have already cycled 117 Km. on the stage from Bath to Hemel Hempstead so it is not possible to give an arrival time but it is likely to be between 13.10 and 13. 50.

The cyclist will travel along the A417 from Wantage as far as Halfpenny Hill where they will turn down through Cholsey and on to Wallingford.

The A417 will be closed for at least 30 minutes whilst the cavalcade passes through and you will be prevented from heading along the A417 towards Wantage for some time before that.

Mike Brown