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Hungerford Town Council Update February/March 2019

These notes incorporate some but not all of the matters discussed at the Full Hungerford Town Council (HTC) Meeting on 4 March 2019, the agenda for which can be found here. Any references below to ‘the meeting’ refer to this event unless specified otherwise. The official minutes of the meeting will in due course be found on the HTC site. See the foot of this post for more information. WBC = West Berkshire Council.

For HTC updates from previous months, please visit the archives here.

Police

Representatives of the local police were unable to attend the meeting but sent a report, which is reproduced here verbatim:

Unfortunately there will be no one available this evening to attend the council meeting. I am very sorry for this. However, I have had a quick look at the figures for the past month as follows:

Burglary Dwelling – 0
Burglary Non Dwelling – 2
Theft From Motor Vehicles – 19 (includes a spike in isolated incidents at Membury Services and Coombe Gibbet)
Assaults – 12
Shoplifting – 6 (Boots & Co-op being all of these) 
Public Order – 0
Criminal Damage – 7 (four of which appear to be the same incident in Kintbury) 

Just to add to the above, this week is Rural Crime week nationally and as the local police team we will be working with partner agencies, identified rural community spotters and other cross-border police to target rural crime with specifically run operations. As part of this we will be looking to target the above numbers in ‘Theft from motor vehicles’ at beauty hotspots, services etc.

Once again, apologies that we have no-one to attend this evening. 

At the meeting, surprise was expressed at the the 12 assaults: was this normal? The Council agreed that the figures appeared rather high and will request further information.

For more information on the police presence in and around the town, please click here.

To read a recent interview with Matthew Barber, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, please click here.

The Mayor’s activities

The Mayor’s activities in February included attending meetings of HTC council and committee meetings, discussing the Trade Showcase, the proposed Youth Council and the Pub Watch scheme with members of the public, the police, local businesses and other councillors, visiting the Hungerford Car Home, attending an employment law seminar and the Community of Hungerford Theatre Company’s performance of The Sound of Music, meeting members of the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and interviewing candidates for a vacant position in the HTC office.

Hungerford 2036 (Neighbourhood Development Plan) update

An update on the progress of the work can be seen here. The next stage will be consultation with organisations in the town and with members of the public. This will start in earnest at the Town Meeting on Wednesday 20 March (see separate section).

To be kept informed please click on this link and scroll down to the foot of the page to sign up to the Hungerford 2036 mailing list.

‘Welcome to Hungerford’ Signs

The following information was received from WBC regarding the new welcome signs: “The proposed welcome signs on the A338 and near the A4/B4192 junction are achievable. However the proposed welcome sign on the roundabout near the Texaco petrol station is somewhat problematic and we are currently looking at suitable alternative location.”

Hungerford Trade Showcase

It’s planned that the third such event – which aims to demonstrate the employment opportunities that exist in Hungerford – will take place in October 2019, in the Corn Exchange or John O’Gaunt School and probably in the evening. If you wish to get involved in this in any way or for more information, please contact cllr.martin.crane@hungerford-tc.gov.uk. More information will also be available at the Town Meeting on Wednesday 20 March (see separate section).

The Town Meeting 2019

This will take place in the Corn Exchange on Wednesday 20 March (6.30pm for 7pm in the Corn Exchange) and is an important way by which HTC and other organisations in the town can explain their work over that previous year and their plans for the year to come.

This year, the meeting will take a different form and will be more like an exhibition than a public meeting with a number of stalls for various groups. These will include HTC’s various committees, the Hungerford 2036 team, the Chamber of Commerce, the Town and Manor, the Police, WBC, The Hungerford Allotment-holders’ Association and Smarten up Hungerford. The intention, as the Mayor said at the Council meeting, is that the event be ‘more relaxed, friendly and inclusive’.

Lorries at One Stop in Fairview Road

In response to a question from the floor, it was confirmed that no further definite progress had been made with the long-running problem of large lorries making deliveries to the the One Stop in Fairview Road, sometimes during school hours. It was confirmed at the meeting that no laws were being broken and that the only document governing this matter is a voluntary code of conduct (more honoured in the breach than the observance) with Tesco, which makes the deliveries. All in all, the One Stop manager, HTC, WBC and the Police are all equally powerless in the matter. Only the department of Tesco which organises the deliveries can address this situation.

One suggestion for people who are concerned about the problem is to contact Tesco directly. The number to call for this is 0800 50 5555; the the email is customer.service@tesco.co.uk; and the mailing address is Tesco Customer Service Centre, Baird Avenue, Dundee, DD1 9NF.

The Great West Way

Councillor Martin Crane confirmed that the promotion of Hungerford as an ambassador town under this new tourism project had now started. Discussions with various groups had suggested a several initiatives the town could adopt to maximise the benefits of Hungerford’s participation.

Anyone wanting to find out more is urged to attend the Town Meeting on Wednesday 20 March (see separate section).

For more information on the Great West Way generally, please click here.

Hungerford Town Council Grants 2019

Applications can now be received for these. For more information, please visit the HTC site.

For details of the grant awards made in 2018 and the many useful purposes to which the funds were put by the recipients, please click here.

Car parking and the railway station

Discussions continue between HTC and other parties about the new car-parking arrangements at the station. For an update, and the background to this issue, please see this article.

It was pointed out that Newbury station received grants from various combined sources, including £6m from the the Thames Valley Local Enterprise partnership, of £18m in December 2018. (In 2017-18, Newbury station was used by 1.8m passengers and Hungerford by 364,000. Newbury’s grant is thus about £10 per annual passenger.)

Anyone wanting to find out more is urged to attend the Town Meeting on Wednesday 20 March (see separate section).

Hungerford in Bloom 2019

Councillor Sally Hawkins presented her proposals for his this year’s competition would be run which were accepted by the council. Judging will take place in early July 2019 with entities closing about two weeks before.

Anyone wanting to find out more is urged to attend the Town Meeting on Wednesday 20 March (see separate section). Application forms will be available there and, shortly afterwards, on the HTC website.

New email addresses for councillors

All councillors now have email addresses with the format Cllr.firstname.secondname@hungerford-tc.gov.uk and the contact list on the HTC website has been amended. Please henceforth use these email addresses for any communications with councillors on municipal matters.

Council elections in May 2019

In May 2019, all the HTC councillors will resign their seats and may, if they wish, stand again. In most town and parish councils, the number of applicants is fewer than the number of available seats and so these are filled by co-option. It is HTC’s hope that in 2019 there will be more candidates than seats, which will result in an election. As well as attracting new people into municipal life and increasing awareness of the vital work that HTC performs, this will encourage debate about what projects the council should concentrate on and how it might change any of the ways in which it operates.

Anyone wishing to stand will need to complete a nomination form: these are available from the HTC office and on WBC’s website.  Once completed, the form must be delivered by hand to the WBC offices in Newbury no later than 4pm on Wednesday 3 April.

The official notice of the election will be issued on 15 March. From this date a period of Purdah space will apply, which prevents councils from making announcements about initiatives which might be seen as advantageous to a particular political party.

Committee meetings

For more information on the work of these committees, please click here. For a full calendar of committee meetings, please click here.

The minutes of these (and other) meetings are available on the HTC website now or will be soon.

 

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 addressed by Hungerford Town Council, and perhaps also 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. Every reasonable effort has been made to provide a clear and dispassionate summary of the points covered but these may contain expressions of opinion which may not accord with Hungerford Town Council’s official view on the particular matter. Links have been provided to other posts, on the Penny Post site or elsewhere, to provide additional information where this has been judged useful or 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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2 Responses

    1. Hi Mark
      Thanks for your comment. There is, I believe, a code of conduct already in place but this is, it would appear, trumped by the needs of Tesco’s logistics department. As no laws, or even enforceable legal agreements, are being broken it’s hard to see an easy solution. My suggestion is that people contact Tesco as it seems that only they can do anything about this.
      Regards,
      Brian Quinn

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