West Oxfordshire

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West Oxfordshire District
Witney, the largest-settlement and administrative centre of the district.
Witney, the largest-settlement and administrative centre of the district.
West Oxfordshire shown within Oxfordshire
West Oxfordshire shown within Oxfordshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyOxfordshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQWitney
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyWest Oxfordshire District Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet
 • MPsRobert Courts
 • Total275.83 sq mi (714.40 km2)
 • Rank54th (of 309)
 • Total114,237
 • Rank211th (of 309)
 • Density410/sq mi (160/km2)
 • Ethnicity
98.4% White
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code38UF (ONS)
E07000181 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSP3591610698

West Oxfordshire is a local government district in northwest Oxfordshire, England, including towns such as Woodstock, Burford, Chipping Norton, Charlbury, Carterton and Witney, where the council is based.


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

The district was created on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of Chipping Norton Municipal Borough, Woodstock Municipal Borough, Witney Urban District, Chipping Norton Rural District and Witney Rural District.[1]

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.[2] Parts of the district suffered severe flooding during the 2007 floods in the UK.[3]


West Oxfordshire District Council
Leader of the Council
Andy Graham, Liberal Democrat
since 18 May 2022[4]
UK West Oxfordshire District Council 2022.svg
Political groups
Administration (26)
  Liberal Democrats (15)
  Labour (9)
  Green (2)

Other parties (23)

  Conservative (20)
  Independent (3)
Last election
5 May 2022
Meeting place
Council Offices, Woodgreen, Witney, OX28 1NB

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. The council went into no overall control following the 2022 local elections with the Liberal Democrats agreeing to form an executive with Labour and the Greens. Liberal Democrat Andy Graham subsequently became the leader of the council.[5]

As of the 2022 local elections, the council consisted of the following councillors:[6]

Party Councillors
Conservative 20
Liberal Democrat 15
Labour 9
Independent 3
Green 2


The council is based at the former Witney Rural District Council offices on Woodgreen in Witney. The building was built as a large house in 1887 for one of the town's blanket manufacturers, and was originally known as Springfield, 39 Woodgreen.[7][8][9] The building was acquired by Witney Rural District Council around 1966 and is now known as Council Offices, Woodgreen.


  1. ^ The English Non-Metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972 No. 2039). London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 1972. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  2. ^ "West Oxfordshire District Council – Preparing for Flooding".
  3. ^ "Witney Flood Gallery".
  4. ^ "Council minutes, 18 May 2022" (PDF). West Oxfordshire District Council. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Lib Dems set to join forces with Labour and the Greens to take control of West Oxfordshire District Council".
  6. ^ "West Oxfordshire result – Local Elections 2022". BBC News.
  7. ^ "Oxfordshire History Centre Archive Catalogue". Oxfordshire County Council. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2022. F17/1/P1/20: 2 postcards of Springfield, Witney, c. 1920, an Early family home, later used by Witney Rural District Council.
  8. ^ 1911 United Kingdom census, Class RG14; Piece 8227; Schedule 158. List address: "Springfield", 39 Woodgreen, Witney.
  9. ^ "Springfield". Witney Blanket Story. Retrieved 17 March 2022.

Coordinates: 51°47′36″N 1°28′45″W / 51.79333°N 1.47917°W / 51.79333; -1.47917