South Oxfordshire is a local government district in the ceremonial county of Oxfordshire, England. Its council is based in Milton Park, Milton. 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, from the municipal boroughs of Henley-on-Thames and Wallingford, Thame urban district, and Wallingford Rural District, Bullingdon Rural District and Henley Rural District. The Wallingford parts were previously part of the administrative county of Berkshire.
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:
In May 2006, a report commissioned by British Gas showed that housing in South Oxfordshire produced the 5th highest average carbon emissions in the country at 7,356 kg of carbon dioxide per dwelling.
The 2001 Census recorded a population of just over 128,000 in the district. This was an increase of 7% since 1991. 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.
2015 Local Election Results
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On 15 January 2015, an arson attack destroyed the district council 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. It has now moved to a semi-permanent base in Milton Park. In October 2017 the Council announced that it will be returning to Crowmarsh.