South Oxfordshire District
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||South East England|
|Historic county|| Oxfordshire |
(north of River Thames)
(south of River Thames)
|Incorporated||1 April 1974|
|• Type||Non-metropolitan district council|
|• Body||South Oxfordshire District Council|
|• Leadership||David Rouane Leader & Cabinet (Liberal Democrat and Green Coalition)|
|• MPs|| John Howell |
|• Total||261.99 sq mi (678.54 km2)|
|• Rank||56th (of 309)|
|• Rank||151st (of 309)|
|• Density||540/sq mi (210/km2)|
|• Ethnicity||95.2% White|
1.0% Black British
1.0% Chinese or Other
|Time zone||UTC0 (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
|ONS code||38UD (ONS)|
|OS grid reference|
South Oxfordshire is a local government district in the ceremonial county of Oxfordshire, England. Its council is temporarily based outside the district at Abingdon-on-Thames pending a planned move to Didcot, the district's largest town. The areas located south of the River Thames are within the historic county of Berkshire.
The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the area of six former districts, which were abolished at the same time:
The two Wallingford districts had previously been part of the administrative county of Berkshire, whilst the other four districts had been in the administrative county of Oxfordshire. The new district was originally given the name "Wallingford District".The shadow authority elected in 1973 to oversee the transition requested a change of name to "South Oxfordshire District", which was approved by the government before the new district formally came into being in 1974.
The River Thames flows for approximately 47 miles through South Oxfordshire,forming the historic county boundary between Berkshire and Oxfordshire. It is also joined by the River Thame within the district. A characteristic of the rivers within the district is that they have wide floodplains with few houses on them so that fluvial flooding is a lesser problem than flash flooding. Towns in the district are Didcot, Henley-on-Thames, Thame, Wallingford and Watlington.
The larger villages in the district include:
The 2001 Census recorded a population of just over 128,000 in the district. This was an increase of 7% since 1991. By the 2021 Census, the figure had risen to over 149,000.
Much of the district is rural in nature, with the land in agricultural use and around 70% of the district has a green belt or AONB designation (The northeast of the district forms part of the Oxford Green Belt). 50% of the district’s population lives outside its four main towns of Didcot, Henley-on-Thames, Thame and Wallingford.
South Oxfordshire District Council
|Founded||1 April 1974|
Co-Deputy Leader of the Council
Co-Deputy Leader of the Council
Length of term
|First-past-the-post, third of council elected three years out of four|
South Oxfordshire District Council is elected by the district. Prior to the May 2019 local elections the council had a strong Conservative Party majority, though following the 2019 election the council moved to No Overall Control, with the Conservatives reduced to 10 seats.The council is currently administered by a Liberal Democrat and Green Party coalition.
|Henley Residents' Group||3|
|Henley Residents' Group||1|
At the first elections in 1973, 62 district councillors were elected.Currently thirty-six district councillors are elected from twenty one electoral wards, which cover the principal towns of Didcot, Henley, Thame and Wallingford and surrounding villages. This was a result of The South Oxfordshire (Electoral Changes) Order 2014, effective from the 2015 local elections.
The Conservative Party held a majority on the council between 2003 and the 2019 UK local elections, when the Liberal Democrats became the larger party. After two independent councillors changed allegiance to the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party shortly after the May 2019 election, the two parties formed a coalition, led by Liberal Democrat, Sue Cooper.
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||1973–1976|
|No overall control||1995–2003|
|No overall control||2019–present|
Full elections of the council take place every four years.
Prior to the May 2019 local elections the Conservative numbers on the council had been reduced from 33 to 25, after several resignations and six councillors suspended for voting against a major housing plan.Following the election the Conservatives went from a controlling majority of 18, to having no overall control, with the Liberal Democrats having 12 councillors, the Conservatives having 10 and the Green Party winning 5.
The council was initially based in various premises across the district in Henley, Thame, Wheatley, Wallingford and Didcot inherited from its predecessor authorities.In 1981 the council moved to a purpose-built headquarters on Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, near Wallingford.
On 15 January 2015, an arson attack destroyed the district council's main offices in Crowmarsh Gifford.As the fire started in the early hours of the morning there were no fatalities or injuries. Immediately after the fire, the council was temporarily based in Abingdon, in the neighbouring Vale of White Horse district. From later in 2015 until 2022 the council was based at Milton Park, sharing a building with Vale of White Horse District Council. The Council initially intended to return to Crowmarsh, but in October 2020 it was announced that both councils plan on relocating to a new building in Didcot, to be built on a site known as Didcot Gateway opposite Didcot Parkway railway station, aiming for completion in 2023. In 2022 the councils vacated Milton Park and returned to Abingdon, again on a temporary basis, whilst waiting for the Didcot Gateway scheme to be ready.
In May 2006, a report commissioned by British Gas kg of carbon dioxide per dwelling.showed that housing in South Oxfordshire produced the 5th highest average carbon emissions in the country at 7,356
Oxfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the north west of South East England. It is a mainly rural county, with its largest settlement being the city of Oxford. The county is a centre of research and development, primarily due to the work of the University of Oxford and several notable science parks. These include the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus and Milton Park, both situated around the towns of Didcot and Abingdon-on-Thames.
Wallingford is a historic market town and civil parish located between Oxford and Reading on the River Thames in England. Although belonging to the historic county of Berkshire, it is within the ceremonial county of Oxfordshire for administrative purposes as a result of the 1972 Local Government Act. Wallingford is 12 miles (19 km) north of Reading, 13 miles (21 km) south of Oxford and 11 miles (18 km) north west of Henley-on-Thames. The town's population was 11,600 in the 2011 census.
Oxfordshire County Council is the county council for the non-metropolitan county of Oxfordshire in the South East of England. It is an elected body responsible for some local government services in the county, including education, social services, public health, highway maintenance, waste disposal, emergency planning, consumer protection and town and country planning for matters to do with minerals, waste, highways and education. It is one of the largest employers in Oxfordshire and has a gross expenditure budget of £856.2 million for the 2021–22 financial year.
The Vale of White Horse is a local government district of Oxfordshire in England. It was historically a north-west projection of Berkshire. The area is commonly referred to as the 'Vale of the White Horse'. It is crossed by the Ridgeway National Trail in its far south, across the North Wessex Downs AONB at the junction of four counties. The northern boundary is defined by the River Thames. The name refers to Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric hill figure.
Oxford West and Abingdon is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by Layla Moran, a Liberal Democrat.
Wantage is a constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom by Conservative MP David Johnston.
Henley is a constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2008 by John Howell, a Member of Parliament from the Conservative Party. He was elected in a by-election following the resignation of future Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had taken office as Mayor of London. The constituency was established for the 1885 general election.
South Oxfordshire District Council, a non-metropolitan district council in Oxfordshire, England is elected every four years.
The 2008 Henley by-election to elect a member of the House of Commons for the constituency of Henley in Oxfordshire was held on 26 June 2008. It followed the election of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London in May 2008. In order to resign from being an MP, Johnson accepted the post of Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead on 4 June 2008.
The 2003 South Oxfordshire District Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of South Oxfordshire District Council, a non-metropolitan district council in Oxfordshire, England. This was part of the wider 2003 UK local elections. The whole council was up for election with boundary changes since the last election in 1999 reducing the number of seats by 2. The Conservative Party gained overall control of the council from no overall control.
An election to Oxfordshire County Council took place on 2 May 2013 as part of the 2013 United Kingdom local elections. 63 councillors were elected from 61 electoral divisions, which returned either one or two county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. Following a boundary review, the electoral divisions were not the same as those used at the previous election in 2009. The election saw the Conservative Party lose overall control of the council as the party found itself one seat short of an overall majority.
The 2015 South Oxfordshire District Council election was held on 7 May 2015 to elect members of South Oxfordshire District Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections.
Vale of White Horse District Council is the local authority for the Vale of White Horse, a non-metropolitan district in the south-west of Oxfordshire, England, that was created on 1 April 1974.
The 2017 Oxfordshire County Council election took place on 4 May 2017 as part of the 2017 local elections in the United Kingdom. All 63 councillors were elected from 61 electoral divisions which returned either one or two county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office.
The 2011 South Oxfordshire District Council election was held on 5 May 2011 to elect members of South Oxfordshire District Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections.
The 2021 Oxfordshire County Council election took place on 6 May 2021 alongside the other local elections. All 63 seats of the Oxfordshire County Council were contested. The council is composed of 61 divisions, each electing either one or two councillors, all elected by FPTP.