West Oxfordshire

West Oxfordshire is a local government district in north west Oxfordshire, England including the towns of Woodstock, Burford, Chipping Norton, Charlbury, and Witney (where the council is based).

The area is mainly rural downland and forest, the main activities being farming and associated trades.

The district was created on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the municipal borough of Chipping Norton, Witney urban district, and Chipping Norton and Witney Rural Districts.

West Oxfordshire lies within the River Thames catchment area, with the Thames itself and its tributaries including the River Evenlode and River Windrush running through the area. Parts of the district suffered severe flooding during the 2007 floods in the UK.

Elections to West Oxfordshire District Council are held in three out of every four years, with one third of the seats on the council being elected at each election. Since the first election to the council in 1973 the only political party to have had a majority on the council is the Conservative party, although there have been periods where no party has had a majority and independents had a majority from 1973 to 1976 and from 1990 to 1992. Since the 2000 election the Conservatives have controlled most of the seats on the council.

Our District Councillors

Ascott and Shipton: Jake Acock

Jake was first elected when he was 20, with the biggest vote any councillor has ever had in Ascott and Shipton ward. He is one of the youngest Liberal Democrat Councillors in the country and a big advocate for LGBT rights.

Jake has lived in Leafield, West Oxfordshire his whole life and has often put the community first: in 2013/2014, Jake organised two fetes in consecutive years, even gaining praise from the former Prime Minster, David Cameron. Jake has worked closely with Young Careers Oxfordshire and even helped make a training video, which is now displayed in every secondary school in England. Most recently, Jake co-founded the LGBTIQ+ support group with fellow councillor Andy Graham, which has helped over 50 people since September 2017.

Jake currently reads History at Kings College London and is organising a major campaign to dual the Cotswold Line. Jake is also championing education, LGBT rights and rural transport links in the council chamber.

Contact Jake: Phone 07582 379760. E mail: jake.acock@westoxon.gov.uk


Charlbury, Finstock and Fawler: Andy Graham

Andy is a teacher by profession, and pioneered drama in the school curriculum before becoming a youth worker and drama director. He was a councillor for 16 years in Hertfordshire and town mayor, before moving to West Oxfordshire. He lives in Churchill.

Andy has, in the last 3 years, saved the local pub, The Bull from being turned into a residential dwelling, helped to save the local post office, set up and run Charlbury Youth Theatre, as well as running campaigns on Homelessness and set up a support group for the LGBTIQ community.

Contact Andy: Phone 01608 659462. E mail: andy.graham@westoxon.gov.uk


Charlbury, Finstock and Fawler: Liz Leffman

Liz has lived in Charlbury since 2001, and runs a business from her home in Park Street with her husband, Mike. She is a founder member and former director of Southill Solar, and helped to set up the community owned solar farm between Charlbury and Finstock. Until recently she was a trustee of the West Oxfordshire Citizens' Advice Bureau, and YoungDementia UK Homes.

Liz was elected to Oxfordshire County Council in 2017 and now represents the Charlbury and Wychwood division. She has recently succeeded in getting new school crossing lights installed at Wychwood Primary School, and has been active in making sure that our roads are properly maintained. She campaigned to save Dean Pit, and is still looking for a way to replace that facility.

Contact Liz: Phone 01608 810153. E mail: liz.leffman@westoxon.gov.uk


Eynsham and Cassington: Carl Rylett

Carl lives in the village of Eynsham and was elected councillor in May 2018. He is a member of Eynsham Parish Council and works in IT

Contact Carl: Phone 01865 883643. E mail: carl.rylett@westoxon.gov.uk


Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield: Kieran Mullins

Contact Kieran: E mail: kieran.mullins@westoxon.gov.uk


The Bartons: David Jackson

Dave has lived in Middle Barton for over eight years. He is a retired Primary School Headteacher who became involved in village life before he was elected for the Bartons Ward in May 2018.

He is an organiser of the after-school Eco Club, and volunteers to help at school as needed. He enjoys an involvement with various organisations in the Bartons, such as the choir, drama group and the Scout Group, where he is a Beaver leader.

Apart from the usual casework, Dave is particularly interested in environmental issues like recycling and plastic waste, and is a member of the local Wildlife Trust. Combatting loneliness is another area that he is investigating.

Contact David: E mail: david.jackson@westoxon.gov.uk


Woodstock and Bladon: Julian Cooper

Julian has lived in Woodstock since 1964, and been a councillor since 1984. He was inspired to join the Liberal Party in 1974 when listening to the Right Hon Jo Grimmond at the Bury Barn in Burford. He is an Assurance Salesman and also works for Kellogg College, Oxford. He is currently serving as Mayor of Woodstock.

Contact Julian: Phone 01993 811519. E mail: julian.cooper@westoxon.gov.uk


 Woodstock and Bladon: Elizabeth Poskitt

Elizabeth is a retired academic paediatrician who has lived in Woodstock for twelve years. Elizabeth is Vice Chair of the Friends of The Oxfordshire Museum, on the Committee of the Woodstock Society, and a member of the Sustainable Woodstock and Woodstock Fairtrade groups.

Contact Elizabeth: Phone:01993 811590 E mail: elizabeth.poskitt@westoxon.gov.uk

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