Carterton: Local government

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 15, Bampton Hundred (Part Three). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2006.

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'Carterton: Local government', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 15, Bampton Hundred (Part Three), (London, 2006) pp. 111-112. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]


From its foundation until 1985 Carterton remained part of Black Bourton parish, with which it was incorporated first into Witney rural district, and from 1974 into West Oxfordshire district. (fn. 1) Its parochial affairs were regulated by Black Bourton parish council, which at first seems to have had little sympathy with Carterton's needs, obstructing the introduction of mains water and street lighting in the 1930s. (fn. 2) From the Second World War the town's affairs increasingly dominated the council's business, however, and in 1971 it was renamed Carterton and Black Bourton parish council, comprising 12 members and a clerk. The same year it adopted a chairman's badge of office reflecting aspects of Carterton's history: the circular red background on a green field represents the 'Carterton tomato' surrounded by open countryside, and the central cross the town crossroads, while quartered heraldic symbols represent Christ Church, Oxford, the Royal Air Force, Witney Rural District Council, and the county of Oxford. (fn. 3)

In 1977 the council adopted town status under the 1972 Local Government Act, its chairman and vicechairman becoming mayor and deputy mayor, and in 1985, when Carterton became a separate civil parish, an independent town council was formed, the badge of office being retained with a new legend. The council's powers nevertheless remained those of an ordinary parish council, other functions being fulfilled by the county or district. (fn. 4) A town hall was built in 1982–3, (fn. 5) and the civil parish was extended in 2001, when housing and industrial premises on the town's eastern edge were transferred from Brize Norton parish, increasing Carterton to 1,168 a. (473 ha.). (fn. 6) Thereafter the town council had 16 members representing five wards. Community involvement in town-centre redevelopment prompted conferral of Beacon Town status by the Countryside Agency, and in 2004 the town acquired Quality Council Status, allowing it to appropriate some minor functions from the district. (fn. 7)

Responsibility for church affairs remained with Black Bourton's churchwardens and parochial church council until 1963, when it passed to those of the new united benefice of Brize Norton and Carterton. Carterton became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1977 and an independent benefice in 1980, and in the 1990s retained its own parochial church council and churchwardens. (fn. 8)


  • 1. Above, Black Bourton, local govt (par. govt).
  • 2. Seldon, Carterton, 24, 26.
  • 3. Ibid. 46–7; Carterton Guide [c. 1973 edn], 7, 19–20; [c. 1978 edn], 12.
  • 4. Carterton Guide [c. 1978 edn], 12, 23; [c. 1988 edn], 11; COS, parish (later town) council minutes, 1975–80.
  • 5. Above (public bldgs).
  • 6. West Oxfordshire (Parishes) Order 2000, implemented in 2001; a small area on the north was transferred to Brize Norton.
  • 7. Carterton Town Council website (2004); information from Maxine Crossland, Carterton Town Council.
  • 8. Oxf. Dioc. Year Book (1962 and later edns); ORO, MS Oxf. Dioc. c 1746, faculty of 1973 and Order in Council 15 Dec. 1976; above (church).