WODC Council Chamberc refit

West Oxfordshire District Council chamber to be updated to make new community space

West Oxfordshire District Council is due to refit its Council Chamber as part of its ongoing approach to improve accessibility to local residents, improve services and make the council operations more efficient.

Cllr Alaric Smith, Executive Member for Leisure and Major Projects, said, “We are excited to be moving ahead with the next stages of updating our buildings which includes improving our Council Chamber. Once the works are complete later this year we see the chamber becoming far more of a community space. 

“Transparency in local government is very important and this update will also allow us to install a new system to stream all our meetings online so anyone can see local democracy in action without having to attend meetings in person.

“It is part of wider works we are doing across the buildings we own to make council services more efficient for residents and ultimately these works will give the council a more modern working environment. 

“This will allow us to provide better customer service and also look to use some of our estate to bring in money to pay for local services as our other funding reduces. The investment in these works will not only pay for themselves but also deliver a better service for residents.”

The Council’s Executive approved the update to the chamber which is the latest project as part of a plan to modernise the council buildings that has been ongoing for a number of years. This has included exploring options to reduce the carbon footprint of the council buildings and improving the Welch Way building in the centre of Witney. The Welch Way upgrades are currently under construction and due to be completed in the Summer.

The new council chamber will be a modern, versatile space that can be used by many in the community, for a variety of events and activities, including meetings, weddings, community functions, and business events. 

The council will hold an open day once works are complete to show people around the new space and explore how local groups may want to use it. It is expected the works will be completed by the end of the year.

Once the works are complete the council will also start streaming all its meetings on its website. Currently only meetings held in the other council rooms are streamed following installation of a new system earlier this year. Residents can tune in to watch the meetings with the system in place able to track conversations so that it is easy for residents to follow the debate and understand what is happening.

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]

Notes to editors

You can read the full details of the upgrade works in the cabinet papers here https://meetings.westoxon.gov.uk/documents/g2209/Public%20reports%20pack%2021st-Jun-2023%2014.00%20Executive.pdf?T=10