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New look Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board

Released on July 20, 2020

On 13 July, the Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board formally welcomed Cllr Rita Atkinson from Sutton Courtenay Parish Council as new member of the board.  Cllr Atkinson’s role will be to represent the views of the five parish councils that sit mainly within the garden town area. 

Rita has been a member of the parish council since 2003 and has worked hard in the community around the garden town for many years.  Rita used to work at Harwell Campus as a scientist, is a Trustee of the Abingdon DAMASCUS Youth Project, and a Trustee and Governor of the Ridgeway Education Trust.  

Cllr Yvonne Constance, who chaired the Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board meeting, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Cllr Atkinson to the board.  Rita will bring a wealth of local knowledge and expertise to the table and we’re looking forward to working with her.”  

The plan for the advisory board meetings has been to open them to residents to observe, but because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the meeting that has been published online. It is hoped that future meetings will be available for residents to watch live online.  

To help make the meetings to be more accessible, residents were asked to submit questions for the board to respond to.  The members discussed how residents can join a Sounding Board – three of which will be formed; one for business, one for residents and one for parish councils and encouraged anyone interested in joining to contact to email the team at

Other questions focussed on having more pop-up spaces for activities to take place for residents in the town, implementing garden town principles into developments and Oxfordshire County Council’s COVID-19 response for active travel plans in the town. 

During the virtual meeting, the board members received an update from the county council on their work on the Housing Infrastructure Fund and the Science Vale cycling Network, Homes England provided information on the proposed Gateway development and the garden communities programme, and the Didcot Garden Town team updated members on the projects they’ve been working on since the last meeting. 

The meeting is now available at  

Also available on these website pages are details on how to sign up to the Sounding Boards, and news and updates from the Didcot Garden Town team.  The team will soon be publishing a timetable of meetings and events, including information on the next advisory board meeting set to take place on 23 October.