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Vale of White Horse to get a new Food and Farming champion

The Vale is to get a new Food and Farming Champion to help promote food production, distribution, and healthy eating across the district.

This action was part of a motion raised by Cllr Bethia Thomas at the Vale of White Horse District Council meeting earlier this week (18 May).

Healthy food is vital for everyone, and food production and farming are important to the local economy and employment, with agriculture at the heart of many communities across the district. Council members agreed that more needed to be done to support and promote the vital work that the farming community does.

As part of the motion the council will encourage farming communities and agricultural businesses to respond to the new Joint Local Plan and Oxfordshire Plan 2050 consultations.

Council members agreed to continue with the council’s commitment to reduce food waste and promote ways in which residents and business in the district can do the same highlighting the benefits reducing waste can have on the environment.

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement said: “The rising costs of fuel and other supplies is creating increased pressure on farmers across the district – this and other factors are putting some farmers at risk of leaving the industry.

“As a council we can help support sustainable farming and distribution, reduce food waste, and promote healthy eating for the benefit of our residents and the environment, whilst supporting action to address climate change.”

At the same meeting two other motions were passed that focussed on travel in the county.

Encouraging active travel

After a number of recent deaths of cyclists on Oxfordshire’s roads, the Leader of the council, Cllr Emily Smith, will write to Oxfordshire County Council ​to ensure that they as the highway’s authority publicise the changes to the Highway Code widely as part of their highways safety messaging.

The letter will also request that the county council ensures that all future transport schemes in the Vale of White Horse reflect the latest changes to the Highway Code and encourage Active Travel by default. The Vale will also do more to publicise safe cycling across its district.

Reducing the need to travel

Council members approved a motion to support Oxfordshire County Council’s commitment to reduce car journeys. Cllr Debby Hallett, the Cabinet Member for planning, will work to ensure that the Vale’s contributions to OxPlan2050 and the forthcoming Joint Local Plan support the council’s vision to see more walking, cycling and shared public transport as the first choice for residents.

You can find the details of all the motions on the council website.