West Oxon Summary
West Oxfordshire is more than an assemblage of Cotswold stone cottages on a gentle landscape in the same way as it is much more than another local authority district. After centuries it maintains its core rurality peppered with parish towns and villages. Innovators and businesses are attracted here and add prosperity and affluence to the region.
London, the rest of the South East and the Midlands are readily commutable. Oxford University and Oxford’s clinical research hospitals attract the brightest and most skilled people. In addition, there are at least seven major science and technology parks in Oxfordshire. Unemployment is lower than many other regions. It does not have the social problems faced by other areas and has crime figures very much lower than the national average. Oxfordshire is a good place to live and in a survey 87% of its residents think so too. Life expectancy is also above the national average.
Despite this transformation and growth, Oxfordshire has less population density than any other South East region. A third of the population live in market towns and nearly half of Oxon's population live in settlements of under 10,000 people. The West Oxfordshire district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act of 1972, in a merger of the municipal boroughs of Witney urban district and Chipping Norton, and Witney Rural District and Chipping Norton Rural District.
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 region. It is estimated that about 21,000 properties are at risk due to flooding in Oxfordshire.
West Oxon is ideal for visiting Southern England and the Cotswolds.
Tourism is the biggest contributor to West Oxfordshire's economy. Blenheim Palace near Woodstock is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and is one of only 25 World Heritage sites in the United Kingdom.
The Cotswolds was recognised officially in 1966 when it was designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty and is now the largest AONB in England and Wales with much of it lying within West Oxfordshire and all of the Cotswold countryside on West Oxfordshire's doorstep.