Hungerford Town Council News – August/September 2017 Update

This notes incorporate some but not all of the matters discussed at the Full Hungerford Town Council Meeting on 4 September 2017, the agenda for which can be found here. The official minutes of the meeting will in due course be found on the HTC site. See the foot of this post for a link and for more information.

Library Update

Work continues on finalising the new arrangements for the Library. There remain a number of technical and bureaucratic hurdles to cross, including a building survey and various committee approvals at West Berkshire Council. It’s hoped these this will have been completed within the next month or so.

Post Office Update

It’s recently (6 September) been announced that the new WHS will be opening on the old Martins’ site on Thursday 12 October. The Post Office will be re-opened there at the same time. You can read more about the changes to the services, the consultation process that is now open, the outreach service and the work that HTC and others have done to help secure the future of a Post Office service in the town here.

In the meantime the outreach Post Office is operating in the library building. It’s open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.45am to 1.45pm and Wednesdays from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

Neighbourhood Development Plan

Following the meeting on the subject in May, HTC is continuing to look into the issues surrounding the adoption of a neighbourhood plan for Hungerford. The intention is still that a further meeting will be arranged, probably in September, at which the matter can be discussed again and, hopefully, a decision reached as to whether or not to proceed. Further information will be made available in Penny Post and elsewhere as soon as it’s available.

If you are interested in finding out more about neighbourhood plans, the following websites provide more information: My Community; Forum for Neighbourhood Planning; Planning Aid; Locality; The Department for Communities and Local Government; and West Berkshire’s own site.

Salisbury Road Judicial Appeal

Due to holidays and other technical delays it’s unlikely there will be any further news on this until late September or early October. It seems likely that HTC will need to meet its initial costs up until the permissions stage (when a judge will decide if the case should proceed to court), although is likely to be indemnified against further ones in the event that this stage is passed and the review is ultimately unsuccessful.

For more on the background to this step and for a link to the crowdfunding campaign which has been set up to help cover these fees, please click here.

For an article (written by Penny Post, not HTC) about the wider issues opened up by judicial reviews and why it’s so important that they exist, please click here.

The Hungerford Business Showcase

A reminder that this event will be taking place on 13 October at John O’Gaunt and will be an opportunity for businesses and potential employees in the town to meet find out more about what they can offer each other. Many organisations have already been contacted: if for any reason you haven’t been and would like to find out more, please get in touch with the Council at claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk. Further information will be made available in Penny Post and elsewhere as soon as it’s available.

Christmas Lights

Many agree that Hungerford’s Christmas lights are amongst the most elegant and eye-catching in the country. Hungerford Town Council’s work on ensuring these are continued began some time ago with a number of companies being invited to tender for the job of installing the numerous lights and tress on the High Street and taking them down in January. A final decision on the chosen company will be made soon with the results being made visible by an as-yet unspecified celebrity in early December.

Defibrillators

An increasing number of defibrillators are now to be found in and around the town. Hungerford Town Council is currently seeking to ensure that these are located in the most appropriate places: this may result in some being moved, particularly where there are two in close proximity. HTC will also be agreeing with the owners of any private ones whether these can be more widely used. It will then be publicising the location of all Hungerford’s defibrillators and explaining the basics of their operation (full instructions are provided on each device).

If you have anything to contribute to this process, including suggesting to where an existing defibrillator might be moved or where a new one might be installed, please contact Councillor Shaun Wood on shaunwood_007@hotmail.co.uk

Councillors’ Christmas Lunch

It was unanimously decided at the HTC meeting on 4 September that that this should take place, at a venue to be decided, but that the councillors should themselves pay for the cost of the meal.

Police Update

Members of the Thames Valley Police had been invited to address the HTC meeting on 4 September but were unable to attend. Some dismay was expressed at the meeting not only about the seeming rise in petty crime in the town but also about the lack of staff (which was expected) and of information (which was not) at the new Tri-service centre.

Councillor Small suggested that an obviously unstaffed police desk with little information amounted to an invitation to commit a crime; Councillor Crane reminded the meeting that, following the Hungerford Tragedy 30 years ago, a promise had been made to retain police on the streets. There was a general feeling that the new arrangements have done nothing to improve the perception of public safety.

District Councillor Paul Hewer promised to look into this and promised that he would be present at the Neighbourhood Watch meeting on 19 September (see next sections).

Anti-social behaviour

During the summer the problem of anti-social behaviour in the skate park in Bulpit Lane was raised to the Council and discussed at a subsequent public meeting.

Various solutions were proposed including installing a CCTV camera, increasing the police presence and initiating a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. If you see or think anything suspicious going on, please report the matter by calling 101 (or 999 if a crime is actually taking place). Please ensure that that you are given a crime number as this will ensure that the report is logged and included in the statistics.

Neighbourhood Watch Meeting

Partly in response to this issue, there will be a Neighbourhood Watch meeting at Hungerford Town Hall from 7pm on Tuesday 19 September at which various interested parties, including the Police, town and district councillors and representatives from Sovereign Housing’s Community Engagement Team will be present. The meeting is open to all.

You can find out more about the Neighbourhood Watch scheme by clicking here.

 

The sections above cover some of the issues with which Hungerford Town Council has recently been involved or concerned: it by no means describes all of the Council’s activities.

For more information on Hungerford Town Council, please click here.

If there’s anything that you’d like to see covered in this way in future editions of Penny Post Hungerford, please email claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk. Any such suggestions should be received at least four working days before the end of the month (and preferably sooner) if they are to be included in the corresponding post for the following month. That is not, of course, to say that the Council will not in any case give the matter its attention and respond personally if appropriate.

This information has been compiled by Penny Post from information supplied by Hungerford Town Council and others. Links have been provided to other posts, on the Penny Post site or elsewhere, to provide additional information where this has been judged necessary. The presence of such a link should not be taken to imply that Hungerford Town Council necessarily agrees with, endorses or supports any of the material contained therein.

 

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