Lambourn Area Weekly News – 2023 archive

To see the current Lambourn Area Weekly News section, please click here.

Please note that this section is presented as an archive of past columns and is not updated (except by the addition of the previous post every week). Some web links may no longer be active (usually indicated by a score-through), for instance when draft parish council minutes are replaced by adopted ones or when a consultation has closed.

Click here for the 2022 archive

Click here for 2024 archive

Thursday 21 December 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: donations, reading, groundwater, stress and salting – plus East Garston’s elephant, Lambourn’s flash survey and a look back at some of the main things we’ve covered in this column in 2023. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: Santa’s Sleigh and outdoor carols. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

The Lambourn Junction thanks everyone for their kind food donations for residents in need this Christmas. Their opening times for holiday period are: Saturday 23 December open 9am to 10am, Christmas Day – Closed, Wednesday 27 December – closed, Saturday 30 December open 11am -1pm, Monday 1 January – closed, Wednesday 3 January onwards open as usual. If you are in need of assistance call Julie on 07840 780345.

The George, Lambourn still has a few numbers left on the Christmas Draw with a £500 top prize. Wouldn’t that be nice a couple of days before Christmas! Selling numbers for £2 right up until winners drawn on Saturday 23 December.Friends of

Friends of Lambourn Library have launched a Winter Reading Festival, aimed at 12 years to adult until the end of February with the chance to win the draw for a book token. To take part, sign up at the desk in Lambourn Library collect your “Record Card” and borrow your book(s): printed, audio or e-book. When you return a book, enter the author and title on your card and ask a member of staff to snowflake stamp your card. Before the end of February, return your card to Lambourn Library to be entered in the draw for a book token. There is no limit on the number of books you read.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet has reported that ‘November saw 150% of the long term average rainfall (which means 50% more than the monthly average), causing us to experience particularly high groundwater levels.’ Two observational boreholes in the Lambourn Valley have passed the first threshold for early awareness: Longacre, Lambourn and Northfield Farm, Great Shefford area. These sites are now subject to increased monitoring and the Environment Agency Partnership and Strategic Overview Team have increased engagement with local authorities. The information above is found in the weekly briefing note which is available here.

• Quick reminder about free bus travel this Saturday 23 December. If you start your journey in West Berkshire, the free travel even extends to our neighbouring areas such as Reading, Basingstoke, and Swindon. Your return journey is also free. To learn more click here.

• While Christmas can be a time of enormous joy for many, heightened emotions can also magnify loneliness and grief. If you find Christmas stressful or depressing, you are not alone. See here for advice and help that is available.

• At this time of year when all normal routines take a buffeting and emotions can be stretched, a little levity and lightheartedness doesn’t go amiss. With this in mind, we folks at Penny Post are challenging each other to come up with the best Christmas cracker joke – or should we saw the worst because there is a good psychological reason why cracker jokes are so bad. Perhaps you and yours could do the same? Here is one to get you started – What do frogs wear on their feet ? Open-toad sandals…

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• The Corn Exchange’s ‘Ageing Creatively’ programme provides workshops, courses and classes for anyone aged 55+ in West Berkshire. Their new Home Artists Lambourn project will start on Wednesday 3 January 2024 where you get artistic activity packs to enjoy at home with meet-ups with artists in Lambourn Library every four months. Please sign up here if you are interested, or pass on to anyone you know who might enjoy this. For more details please contact Katy Stevens, Ageing Creatively Co-ordinator on [email protected] or 01635 582666.

• Quick reminder about Lambourn Surgery’s Christmas opening hours here.

• There is a choice of Nordman Firs and Blue Spruce organic Christmas trees from Eastbury. See here for more details.

Lambourn Parish Council has issued details of road salting in the village. To find out more about the routes agreed for this winter, click here.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is currently adding equipment and resources to its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. The PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on and is prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help, please email [email protected]

• If you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

• East Garson’s elephant

Following the village’s meeting earlier this month with Thames Water, it was agreed that an ATAC filtration unit would be installed near the pumping station, the idea being that this would reduce or remove the need for the tanker lorries. So far, matters have not exactly gone according to plan.

Earlier this week, the ATAC arrived. It’s a great big thing, about the size of a crate that might be used to transport a medium-sized elephant. ATACs also share two other characteristics with elephants: being good at sucking up large amounts of water and making quite a lot of noise. Neither of these have yet been put to the test as it not yet been able to be switched on (this is expected to change very soon).

One of the reasons the install has taken longer than expected was, as Martyn Wright from the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum points out in his latest newsletter, because of an overhead power cable which blocks the route to where the ATAC was meant to be positioned. One might wonder why this wasn’t checked beforehand. As a result, it hasn’t been put next to the pumping station but about twenty yards away.

One of the results of this, Martyn Wright explains, is that the tanker lotteries (which will be needed until the elephant is fully operational, or if it breaks down) can’t get to the pumping station. They have therefore had to pump the foul water from the manhole by Cornbaggers bridge. All this has meant that there have this week been more lorries trundling around the village, exactly the situation the ATAC was meant to avoid.

Time will tell if the elephant will be doing its stuff before the fog of Christmas week descends. One thing that continues to descend is the rain. Charlotte Hitchmough from ARK told me today that local groundwater levels are about as high as they’ve ever been in December. Much of this will end up leaking into the village’s sewage pipes.

So in summary the village is facing quite a list of things: Christmas, rising groundwater, falling rain, a defective sewerage system, a blocked path and a disconnected elephant.

Martyn Wright also repeats the point that “the installation of a filter unit is an admission of failure by TW to complete the repair work and provide a sewer system that is fit for purpose.” Indeed. If you want to receive newsletters from the EGFPF, please email [email protected].

• Lambourn’s flash survey

Lambourn.org recently conducted a short-period survey among residents concerning the proposed budget cuts. The survey has now closed and the results are analysed in full here. I repeat the point made in the article that none of these constitute a formal response to the consultations unless you have also made your comments on the WBC website (or by post). These close at midnight on Thursday 11 January 2024.

One useful thing that will come from this is that, if services are cut, Lambourn PC now has a better idea of which ones are valued by residents and therefore which ones it should consider retaining – if it can afford to. As I’ve mentioned before, parishes will have had to have set their precepts before the district’s budget is finalised and so won’t know what they might need to take on. If the services remain, residents will still be paying for them, either through the council tax or the precept. Some services or facilities may vanish altogether. Getting them back will be harder than cutting them.

Vicky Rieunier, the Chair of Lambourn PC, told Penny Post on 21 December that she met Iain Cottingham and Lee Dillon of West Berks at the Hungerford drop-in session on 12 December and gave them an interim set of results and feedback from the survey, which were “broadly similar” to the final results. The matter will also be discussed at Lambourn PC’s Full Council meeting on 10 January.

Howard Woollaston told Penny Post the same day that the results showed that local residents find many of the proposals “completely unacceptable.” He also echoed the above point that one way or another residents will still be paying for the services that remain and that, parish councils being smaller, it’s unlikely these can bought as efficiently as they can by WBC. He will be at the Lambourn PC meeting on 10 January and will taking the views of the meeting back to the Council.

• A look back at 2023

Each week in 2023, with a couple of exceptions, we’ve provided an overview of what’s been going on in the area. The more important ones have merited their own sections. Some of these have been referred to time and time again as there are very few issues of any significance that can get resolved within seven days. 

All the previous versions of this column are archived: follow the links at the foot of this post and then thereafter to locate them. You can use search (command + F on a Mac, control + F on a PC) to find a particular subject. Many of these appear very frequently. Here I’ve picked out a few stories in this area we’ve covered this year.

• Probably the most important single event was the local election in May which ended 16 years of Conservative rule in West Berkshire. Of course, new councils rarely produce immediate results (and no council can change as much as it would like to) so the full effects of the election on this area will take some time to be felt. One matter which has already become clear is that WBC needs to make some serious savings. This has led to a number of consultations which close on 11 January preparatory to the final budget being set in February.

• 2023 was, unlike 2022, a year of very high groundwater levels and this brought with it a severe test of the valley’s sewerage system. Recent events have shown that the repairs carried out in 2021 have not completely solved the problem. Tankers, filtration systems, overflowing manholes and discharges into the river are there back with us. In recent months, the matter has been given extra prominence by Thames Water’s appearance before WBC’s Scrutiny Commission in October and before East Garston Parish Council in December. We shall continue to cover this story and support the work of all the organisations which are holding Thames Water to account, including the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum.

• The campaign continues to introduce 20mph zones in at least part of Eastbury and Lambourn. The local website Lambourn.org has been spearheading this and we’ve been happy to draw attention to the articles and surveys they produce about this. We’ve also discussed the matter with officers at WBC and have explained how any progress is likely, as so many council projects are, slow, process-driven and dependent on money.

• Another local project that we’ve been following closely is Lambourn’s neighbourhood development plan. These are complicated, time-consuming and important projects that periodically disappear from public view for some months while background work goes on and then emerge back into the public gaze when engagement with residents is required. Lambourn’s plan is perhaps now a little over a year from completion. As with all NDPs in the district, this is being conducted against a backdrop of intense uncertainty as a result of the fitful progress on WBC’s plan and the continuing rumbles of possible change from Whitehall.

• Lambourn, Eastbury and the western part of the Woodlands are in the Lambourn ward, the District Councillor for which is Howard Woollaston. Each month for the last three years we’ve provided an update from him on ward matters which, collectively, provides a good snapshot of the issues that have dominated his ward work, and thus the concerns of local residents, over this period. Sewage, planning, speeding, the industrial area at Membury and potholes have all featured prominently.

Other matters that we’ve covered include planning applications and the disputes that sometimes attend these; the campaign to save the area’s last remaining phone box; the demise of Eastbury Village Hall; changes at the Surgery; problems with the Post Office in Lambourn; and the two green weekends which have been organised in the Valley. We also provide a link to the most recent parish council minutes and, for the first few weeks after they’re published, provide a summary of these.

• We also produce a monthly e-newsletter, the Valley of the Racehorse, for the area roughly bounded by Upper Lambourn, Membury, Shefford Woodlands and East Shefford. If there’s anything you want to have included in the January 2024 edition, email [email protected] by Friday 5 January.

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 24 Dec Christingle Service, Lambourn

• Fri 22 Dec Christmas Jumper & Disco Night Wheelwright Arms

• Sun 24 Dec DJ Marky Mark Wheelwright Arms

Sun 24 Dec Crib Service, Eastbury

Sun 24 Dec Midnight Mass, Lambourn

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, East Garston

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, Eastbury

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, Lambourn

Sun 31 Jan New Year’s Masquerade Party  The George

• Tues 2 Jan Film matinee & night: Double Indemnity East Garston

Wed 3 Jan Home Artists Lambourn Lambourn Library

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; street lights; no road-safety mirror; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; the 2024-25 budget; Eastbury Village Hall; Christmas decorations; planning matters; and the freedom of the parish nominations.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 14 December 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: Santa, trees, a bungalow, groundwater and fruit & veg – plus our report on Thames Water’s meeting in East Garston, Lambourn’s planning applications, possible service cuts and the fifth anniversary of the dredging incident in the River Lambourn passes without any sign of a prosecution.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: Santa’s Sleigh and outdoor carols. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Quick reminder about free bus travel this Saturday 16 and 23 December. If you start your journey in West Berkshire, the free travel even extends to our neighbouring areas such as Reading, Basingstoke, and Swindon. Your return journey is also free. To learn more click here.

• The festive season in the Lambourn Valley was kicked off last week with great enthusiasm by the Santa walk in Great Shefford and Carols on Square in Lambourn. Many thanks are extended to those who made both celebrations such a roaring success.

Lambourn Parish Council is happy to announce that Chris has confirmed that he will be back on his regular pitch with his fruit and veg stall on Friday 15  December. Just in time to meet your Christmas shopping needs.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Garston Gallopers welcome you to their Christmas Morris Dancing performance at 7pm this Monday 18 December at The Queen’s Arms in East Garston, followed by carol singing in the bar at 7.30pm.

• The Corn Exchange’s ‘Ageing Creatively’ programme provides workshops, courses and classes for anyone aged 55+ in West Berkshire. Their new Home Artists Lambourn project will start on Wednesday 3 January 2024 where you get artistic activity packs to enjoy at home with meet-ups with artists in Lambourn Library every four months. Please sign up here if you are interested, or pass on to anyone you know who might enjoy this. For more details please contact Katy Stevens, Ageing Creatively Co-ordinator on [email protected] or 01635 582666.

• Quick reminder about Lambourn Surgery’s Christmas opening hours here.

• There is a choice of Nordman Firs and Blue Spruce organic Christmas trees from Eastbury. See here for more details.

Lambourn Parish Council has issued details of road salting in the village. To find out more about the routes agreed for this winter, click here.

One bedroom bungalow will be available at Eastbury Almshouses at The Hermitage from January 2024 for a single person over 60 with no pets. The bungalow has one bedroom, a sitting room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Please see details here, eligibility and how to apply.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is currently adding equipment and resources to its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. The PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on and is prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help, please email [email protected]

• The Environment Agency’s latest update regarding groundwater levels in the Lambourn Valley which are higher than normal for this time of year. If you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

• Cutting Lambourn’s services

As most will be aware, West Berkshire Council is needing to find some significant savings or sources of extra revenue for its 2024-25 budget. The final decision on this will be taken at the Full Council meeting on 29 February. As part of the budget-setting process, WBC has launched a number of consultations on specific areas, including public litter and dog bins, the maintenance of grass verges, weed spraying and parking charges, including in Lambourn. These consultations close on 11 January 2024.

The first three of these may, as mentioned previously in Penny Post, provide some headaches for the Parish Council. If these services are to curtailed, the PFC may choose to take these on (as it already has with the dog bins). The final decision from WBC will not, however, be taken until after the parishes need to set their precepts (the amount of money each parish requests from its parent authority). Lambourn PC appears to feel that it has sufficient reserves and seems likely to agree on a very small precept rise. Other parishes may take a different view. It’s possible that the new arrangements may in time lead to a better and more locally-responsive range of services but any transfer of operations from one organisation to another is problematic: so we perhaps have that to look forward to as well.

In order to draw attention to the issues that seem particularly relevant to the parish, Lambourn.org has launched a flash poll which closes on Sunday 17 December.

As the preamble stresses, this is not a formal response to the consultation, any more than is making your points on social media. The only way to express your views officially is via the WBC website. (If you know of anyone who wants to respond but doesn’t have access to the internet, they can arrange to have paper copies sent to them by calling 01635 55 11 11.)

This flash poll will provide a snapshot of the feeling of residents on these various matters. This will provide useful insights for Lambourn PC and other local organisations into which services people particularly value and therefore, should the cuts take place as predicted, which would be worth trying to retain and fund locally.

• Dredging

In late 2018 there were two incidents in which the River Lambourn in East Garston was illegally dredged. Representatives of the Environment Agency (EA) attended the first incident on 29 November and warned the perpetrators to stop but the activity was repeated on 4 December. Following this, the EA issued a formal notice to stop all work.

The River Lambourn is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and a SAC (Special Area of Conservation). There is no higher level of protection that a river can receive and permission must be sought before any work is done on, or in many cases within as much as 500 yards of, an SSSI or SAC. It appears that no such permissions were applied for in this case.

Both incidents were filmed. The digger was hired from a local firm (which is blameless in the matter) which would have recorded details such as name, bank details and perhaps driving licence. The people involved seemed to make no secret of their intentions and did not immediately respond to requests to desist. These, surely, were all the ingredients necessary for a prosecution.

It seems not. No case has ensued and numerous attempts by Penny Post to establish what was happening have been met with variations on “we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.”

On 30 November 2023, the day after the fifth anniversary of the incident, we contacted the EA again. “Our investigation into what happened opened several leads we have pursued,” a spokesperson said. “We have made numerous attempts to interview various parties we consider have useful information regarding the unplanned work on the Lambourn in November 2018, including one person overseas, but they have yet to respond to our environmental crime officers.

“Our investigation continues, keeping all enforcement options under review. We would like to hear in confidence from anyone with concerns about activities in the East Garston and Lambourn area since the unplanned work on the river in November 2018. Our incident hotline is open around the clock on 0800 80 70 60.”

Further enquiries revealed that the £36,000-worth of restitution work has been “recovered from one of the parties involved.” That at least is welcome, though it seems strange that someone would pay this sum and then not be liable for further action. However, given the time that’s elapsed since the incident and the difficulties that the EA has suggested, it seems unlikely that a prosecution will now result.

Some could argue that a different approach from what has turned out to be a non-prosecution option might have worked better. At least the EA has recovered its restitution costs though it’s failed to nail its main target.

All this seems to ask serious questions about the EA’s ability to bring action successfully against all infringements of all the rules it’s charged with enforcing. For example:

  • New Civil Engineer reported in November 2022 that the EA brought 197 cases to court in 2021, resulting in fines on over £105m. However, the vast majority (£102m) was paid for pollution offences by the high-profile offences of water companies, and £90m of this was paid by one company, Southern Water.
  • The law firm Kennedys claimed in April 2023 that the total fines from 2015 to 2022 were £141m, making Southern Water’s penalty an anomaly. It added that prosecutions in the period from 2012 to 2021 fell by over 75%, adding that variable monetary penalties and enforcement undertakings represented alternative ways of dealing with abuses.
  • The Guardian said in March 2022 that a “leaked internal report adds to concerns the cutbacks have undermined” the EA’s work.”93% of prosecutions for serious pollution over four years” had been downgraded, the article alleges, “despite recommendations from frontline staff for the perpetrators to face the highest sanction.”

One of its problems is money. Earlier this year, the government launched a consultation into the way charges to polluters should be measured and, as importantly, where the proceeds will go. At present all fines are paid to the Treasury but many feel it’s more rational if these stay within the environment sector. On 11 December, a DeFRA press release confirmed the new arrangements. This included some tough talking against polluters and the suggestion that the EA will be better funded.

However, one measure appears to have been watered down as a result of the consultation and lobbying period. This concerns the roles that expert local groups and organisations such as Action for the River Kennet will play in any projects. The consultation document from August 2023 envisaged that “All future environmental fines and penalties from water companies will be put into a new Water Restoration Fund, which will be re-invested back into the environment by supporting local groups and community-led schemes.”

However, by December, this had changed to “The funds raised from water company penalties will be reinvested in a new Water Restoration Fund, designed to provide direct investment for projects that work to improve our rivers, lakes and streams at a local level.” The local groups have been air-brushed out of the picture. The impression is instead of people descending from DeFRA HQ or the EA: like, perhaps, the ones who came to do an environmental impact assessment on a stretch of the river Lambourn near Weston in 2015 only for it later to be admitted that they’d taken their samples from the wrong river.

Organisations like ARK know every inch of the waterways they manage. They spend so much time in or near them that I’m surprised they haven’t started to grow gills. They already work with local landowners and riparian users and are executing exactly the kind of projects which larger-scale intervention can build on. Any schemes which do not involve such groups risks being, at best, a duplication of effort and, at worst, actively dangerous. I’m not saying that such a strange and top-down approach will inevitably result, merely that this is what the change of words strongly suggests.

I’ve been in touch with DeFRA asking for clarification on this point. I’ve received one reply which seems a bit evasive but have pressed them further.

• Still with water…

Last week, representatives of Thames Water attended a meeting in East Garston organised by the Parish Council. You can read our account of the meeting here. This probably achieved about as much as could reasonably have been expected though the real test will come when the ailing water giant starts work on the projects that it promised at the meeting.

The first of these is the installation of a filtration unit near the pumping station at the east of the village. This hasn’t turned up yet (TW said at the meeting that it was hoped this would happen this week) but it’s hoped it will be in place by Christmas. East Garston PC is on the case. As the above-mentioned article notes, these are fine (if a bit noisy) when they work. The one at Lambourn, however, has packed up several times since it was  installed a few weeks ago. When that happens, and as the tankers will have been stood down, the situation can be made worse as sewage can then overflow up through manholes. In East Garston, the nearest ones are in the yard at Mabberleys just across the river from the pumping station.

• Lambourn’s plans

Every month, the excellent Lambourn.org publishes a list of the live (ie undetermined) planning applications in the parish. As WBC no longer sends letters to neighbours and as the orange notices don’t always get displayed as clearly as they might, this is probably the best way of keeping up to date with what plans have been submitted. This is the latest list, published on 8 December 2023.

As the preamble to L.org’s list explains, “in order to build or substantially modify a property a planning application has to be submitted and approved. The local planning authority, and decision maker for Lambourn, is West Berkshire Council. Lambourn Parish Council reviews planning applications and provides input to West Berkshire Council.

“The best place to check what applications have been made in your locality is by visiting the West Berkshire Planning Portal where you can search based on your postcode. Using the portal you can comment, object or support a planning application. The list [in the above-mentioned post] is an extract and only valid on the day published. Always check the West Berkshire Planning Portal to see the latest applications and status.”

WBC has promised to re-introdude the letters that were sent to neighbours of sites for which applications have been lodged but this has yet to be introduced. Even so, these will only go to properties in the immediate vicinity and, as we all know, the postal service is not currently to be relied upon. The orange notices still have to be displayed but these can, by accident or design, get removed or obscured. all applications are considered by the Parish Council but few people will attend every meeting on the off chance that one of the items relates to an unwelcome application down the road. These monthly summaries thus represent the best and most accessible overview of what’s being planned.

• The valley’s newsletter

The December issue of the Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published last Saturday 9 December. This includes all the usual news, views, offers and events from the upper Lambourn Valley area, including Thames Water meeting in East Garston, Pat Murphy’s racing column and Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston’s regular monthly update.

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 16 Dec Christmas Crafts Morning Lambourn Library

• Sat 16 Dec Festive Pub Quiz Great Shefford Sports & Social Club

• Mon 18 Dec Christmas Winter Wonderland  Lambourn Youth Junction

• Mon 18 Dec Morris Dancing and Christmas Carols at The Queens, East Garston

Sun 17 Dec Carol Service, Lambourn

Tue 19 Dec Carol Singing, meet 6pm Lambourn Vicarage

• Thu 21 Dec Dressed-up Nativity, Lambourn

• Thu 21 Dec Outdoor Christmas Carols St Mary’s Church Great Shefford

• Thu 21 Dec Jingle & Mingle, Lambourn

Sun 24 Dec Christingle Service, Lambourn

Sun 24 Dec Crib Service, Eastbury

Sun 24 Dec Midnight Mass, Lambourn

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, East Garston

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, Eastbury

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, Lambourn

Wed 3 Jan Home Artists Lambourn Lambourn Library

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; street lights; no road-safety mirror; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; the 2024-25 budget; Eastbury Village Hall; Christmas decorations; planning matters; and the freedom of the parish nominations.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 7 December 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: discharges, surgery hours, carols artists and trees – plus a look ahead to the weekend’s Valley of the Racehorse newsletter, an inj.unction in Ermin Street, the next steps with the proposed 20mph zones, the latest on Lambourn’s NDP and a CIL nightmare finally ends for a local resident.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: Santa’s Sleigh and outdoor carols. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• The Corn Exchange’s ‘Ageing Creatively’ programme provides workshops, courses and classes for anyone aged 55+ in West Berkshire. Their new Home Artists Lambourn project will start on Wednesday 3 January 2024 where you get artistic activity packs to enjoy at home with meet-ups with artists in Lambourn Library every four months. Please sign up here if you are interested, or pass on to anyone you know who might enjoy this. For more details please contact Katy Stevens, Ageing Creatively Co-ordinator on [email protected] or 01635 582666.

• Please be aware that, despite the deployment of the filtration unit by the fire station on Newbury St this week, the sewer has once again been discharging into the road then on in to the river. Both Thames Water and the Environment Agency are aware and are attending. Please be mindful of residents when driving through this and of course, protect yourselves and your family. See also the separate section below on the recent meeting with Thames Water in East Garston.

Santa and his elves are getting ready to roll their sleigh through Great Shefford village this Sunday 10 December – see the route here which starts at the far end of Spring Meadows at 4.30pm. Santa and his elves will be handing out sweets and festive cheer on their way to the Village Hall where there will be mulled wine, luxury hot chocolate, and plenty of sweet and savoury nibbles on sale, so bring your appetite…

Lambourn Surgery has published its Christmas opening hours here.

East Garston Church’s Carol Service at 6pm on Sunday 10 December is followed by Christmas Drinks at Manor Farm in aid of the Church Tower Fund.

• Collection dates for organic Christmas trees from Eastbury start on Saturday 9 December and there is a choice of Nordman Firs and Blue Spruce. See here for more details.

Lambourn Parish Council is looking for three new members for the Parish Council and welcome applications from the community. Their mission is to maintain and improve the village for all and you can support this by proposing or getting involved in local projects, research and local conversations bringing your skills and expertise to the council and the village. If you’re interested but would like to understand a bit more, please contact Parish Clerk, Gary Wyatt-Hawkins at [email protected]  or call on 01488 72400.  Gary can also put you in touch with current Parish Councillors if you would like an informal chat.

Lambourn Parish Council has issued details of road salting in the village. To find out more about the routes agreed for this winter, click here.

NAORS representative Julia Bennett is keen to inform racing staff that if anyone needs a high-vis jacket, they have new and free ones in stock. Contact Julia on facebook here and collection or delivery will be arranged.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is currently adding equipment and resources to its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. The PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on and is prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help, please email [email protected]

One bedroom bungalow will be available at Eastbury Almshouses at The Hermitage from January 2024 for a single person over 60 with no pets. The bungalow has one bedroom, a sitting room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Please see details here, eligibility and how to apply.

• The Environment Agency’s latest update regarding groundwater levels in the Lambourn Valley which are higher than normal for this time of year. The EA issued a groundwater flood alert on 27 November 2023 for the areas at risk of groundwater flooding in the Lambourn Valley and this will remain in force as the catchment remains sensitive to rainfall due to saturated ground. If you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800.

• Winding Wood Vineyard between Kintbury and Wickham is hosting a couple of Vineyard Open Days with Christmas stalls on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December. They were very popular last year so do pop along if you fancy a glass of fizz.

• Do you know any local residents or volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help the community? Quick reminder that there is still time to nominate them for West Berkshire’s Community Champion Awards. Fill in the online nomination form by 11 December.

• Quick reminder about free bus travel on Saturdays 16 and 23 December. The free travel even extends to our neighbouring areas such as Reading, Basingstoke, and Swindon. If you start your journey in West Berkshire, your return journey is also free. To learn more click here.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

• Work continues on Lambourn’s NDP

To repeat an analogy I’ve used several times, these long-term projects can be likened to a train which spends a good part of its journey out of sight in a tunnel. Its bursting out into the sunshine marks the start of a period of engagement with residents. For most of the time, however, it is invisible. This is not to say that work does not continue during these periods: quite the reverse.

Lambourn’s NDP is currently at one of these invisible stages. A number of assessments on matters such as habitats and the environment need to be prepared by experts and, before this can happen, grants have had to be secured. The plan must also now contain site allocations so it’s also necessary to re-do the local housing needs assessment, which was last done in 2019 . Much has changed since then, including the publication of the latest census figures.

The LNDP’s Steering Group Chair Sue Cocker told me on 8 December that it was hoped that these tasks would be completed in the next five or six months. The train would then emerge and a period of public engagement would follow, culminating the the formal six-week Regulation 14 consultation (hopefully starting the summer) and the independent examination by the planning inspectorate (hopefully in the autumn). The final stage is the public referendum. Sue Cocker said that, hopefully, the plan would be “made” – the slightly bizarre technical term for its formal adoption – “as soon as possible in 2025.”

The word “hopefully” has been used several times above, for two main reasons. All NDPs are, like trains, subject to delays. For the wrong kind of leaves, staff shortages and points failures read reports that take longer than expected, people (they are all volunteers) not able to spend as much time on the project or pauses while funding is secured. If completed within this schedule, the LNDP will have taken over five years. This is not unusual. Confidently to predict an end date at this stage would, however, be unwise.

The work is also being conducted against the backdrop of a complex set of uncertainties at local and national level. WBC is (or, perhaps, is not) about to withdraw its own draft local plan  The LNDP when completed will be slotted into this and so needs to compliant with it. However, it’s currently very uncertain when WBC’s mammoth project will be concluded and what it will look like. In addition, the latest National Planning Policy Framework is about to be published, which may change the required housing figures. Whitehall is constantly muttering about radical reforms of the planning system, though so far with little more than piecemeal announcements. There’s still no certainty about how the nutrient neutrality issues will be resolved. Finally, there will be a general election called some time in the next year. If the polls are correct, this will lead to a change of government, as a result of which some or all of these matters may be thrown into reverse.

All in all, it’s a bit like driving a train when the track gauge, the gradient and even the direction of travel are constantly changing for reasons which the driver cannot control. Despite this, the work continues and, when it’s finished, Lambourn will have a set of planning policies that more closely match local wishes than would otherwise be the case. What further changes may need to be made to be made to the route or the timetable, however, are rather harder to predict.

• Thames Water meeting

I attended this, along with about 65 other people, in East Garston’s Village Hall on 7 December. You can read our report on this here. Congratulations to Martyn Wright and Sur Tulloch for persevering with organising this after the one last month had to be called off at short notice.

• Lambourn’s speeds

We mentioned last week (see below) about the results of the recent survey conducted by Lambourn.org into the possibility of introducing 20mph zones in parts of the parish. Lambourn member Howard Wollaston sent these to WBC’s Highways department on 27 November and suggested that they represented “a pretty overwhelming level of support which I also personally endorse. Could we discuss the best way of taking this forward please?”

WBC’s Environment Service Director Jon Winstanley replied on 4 December thanking and outlining the next steps.  “As detailed in the report submitted to Executive in November,” he wrote, “the initial pilot 20mph project will be in Theale and this will be delivered in the 2024/25 financial year.  The further roll-out of 20mph restrictions will be subject to significant additional investment which will need to be approved by full Council.

“An initial capital bid has been submitted for consideration and it will be for the Administration to decide if this initiative will be supported at this time, given the significant competing demands on the Council’s finances.  That decision will ultimately be made at full Council on 29 February 2024 and, if approved, we anticipate further roll-out would start from April 2025.

“If the capital investment is approved, Officers will devise criteria for approval which will guide how the 20mph restrictions will be rolled out across the District.  Public support for such measures will inevitably form part of the criteria and I will ask the Traffic and Road Safety Team to place this request on file to revisit this once we know the scheme is funded.”

Nothing quick, nothing cheap and nothing certain, in other words. The project will have to take its place in the queue. However, this survey and other fact-finding in the past are important parts of the process. Nothing can happen without community support.

• Ermin’s enforcement

West Berkshire Council has announced that on 30 November 2023 it was granted an interim injunction by the High Court of Justice “against named landowners in Lambourn Woodlands, at a site known as Ermin Street Stables.”

“The ‘Sealed Order’,” the statement continues, “prohibits the named defendants from creating hardstanding for caravans and mobile homes and installing the associated utilities with the intention of creating a residential site.”

Councillor Tony Vickers, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Planning and Community Engagement says, “We are committed to taking early action to prevent potential planning contraventions and will be returning to the High Court on 11 December 2023 for another hearing to extend the injunction.”

The Sealed Order and all documents pertaining to the injunction can be viewed here. WBC requests that any questions be directed to Planning Enforcement on 01635 519111 or [email protected] quoting ref 23/00562/15UNAU.

“I’m delighted to see enforcement working,” ward member Howard Woollaston told Penny Post on 7 December. Time will tell if the injunction is adhered to and what action will be taken if it isn’t. A High Court Sealed Order (which sounds quite scary) is doubtless a useful weapon.

As for Tony Vickers’ comment that WBC is “committed to taking early action to prevent potential planning contraventions”, this represents as aspiration more than the reality. The current administration is already finding enforcement to be as much of a problem as did its predecessor. A national shortage of enforcement officers, not to say a shortage of money to pay for them, are two of the main reasons fore this. Amazingly, planning enforcement is not a statutory obligation for a planning authority. To me, this seems a bit like passing a lot of laws but not having any police officers.

• CIL dispute finally resolved

See the 7 December This Week with Brian for what seems to be the end of a seven-year nightmare for one Upper Lambourn resident. Other cases remain to be resolved and hopefully that will happen before too long.

• The valley’s newsletter

The December issue of the Valley of the Racehorse newsletter will be published on Saturday 9 December. This will include all the usual news, views, offers and events from the upper Lambourn Valley area, including Pat Murphy’s racing column and Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston’s regular monthly update. We’ll also be looking back at the meeting in East Garston on 7 December which was attended by senior representatives of Thames Water.

If there’s anything you’d like to see included in the newsletter, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 10 Dec Festive Cupcake Decorating workshop Trindledown Farm, Great Shefford

• Sun 10 Dec Santa Sleigh Journey  Great Shefford Village

Sun 10 Dec Carol Service, East Garston

Sun 10 Dec Christmas Drinks at Manor Farm in aid of Church Tower Fund, East Garston

Wed 13 Dec Carol Singing, meet 6pm Lambourn Vicarage

• Sat 16 Dec Festive Pub Quiz Great Shefford Sports & Social Club

Sun 17 Dec Carol Service, Lambourn

Tue 19 Dec Carol Singing, meet 6pm Lambourn Vicarage

• Thu 21 Dec Dressed-up Nativity, Lambourn

• Thu 21 Dec Outdoor Christmas Carols St Mary’s Church Great Shefford

• Thu 21 Dec Jingle & Mingle, Lambourn

Sun 24 Dec Christingle Service, Lambourn

Sun 24 Dec Crib Service, Eastbury

Sun 24 Dec Midnight Mass, Lambourn

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, East Garston

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, Eastbury

• Mon 25 Dec Christmas Communion, Lambourn

Wed 3 Jan Home Artists Lambourn Lambourn Library

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; the contribution to Lambourn Library; street lighting; road safety; Friends of Lambourn Library; the D-Day beacon; the Flood Forum; Eastbury Village Hall; the Market; parking issues; speeding; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 30 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: salt, water, almshouses, a clean-up and a lunch – plus Thames Water coming back to the valley, the results of Lambourn’s 20mph survey and a successful quiz night. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: brass band concert, festive fairs and films. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

Lambourn Parish Council has issued details of road salting in the village. To find out more about the routes agreed for this winter, click here

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA are currently adding equipment and resources to their wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. They are looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on. Prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help please email [email protected]

Eastbury Almshouses have a bungalow available from January 2024 for a single person with no pets. The bungalow has one bedroom, a sitting room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Please see details here, eligibility and how to apply.

• The East Garston’s annual clean-up day is this Sunday 3 December meeting at 10am in the Village Hall Carpark.

East Garston’s over-60s Christmas lunch will take place in the Village Hall on Sunday 10 December. Everyone should have had a letter through their doors but if not please email [email protected] asap.

• The Environment Agency’s latest update regarding groundwater levels in the Lambourn Valley which are higher than normal for this time of year. The EA issued a groundwater flood alert on 27 November 2023 for the areas at risk of groundwater flooding in the Lambourn Valley and this will remain in force as the catchment remains sensitive to rainfall due to saturated ground. If you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800.

• Valley Film Society invites you to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford in East Garston Village Hall on Tuesday 5 December. Screenings at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. See details here.

• Collection dates for organic Christmas trees from Eastbury start on Saturday 9 December but do contact Tobi Corney if you would like yours before then. There is a choice of Nordman Firs and Blue Spruce. See here for more details.

• Winding Wood Vineyard between Kintbury and Wickham is hosting a couple of Vineyard Open Days with Christmas stalls on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December. They were very popular last year so do pop along if you fancy a glass of fizz.

• Festive markets this weekend include Boxford Christmas Market in Boxford Village Hall from 2pm to 6pm on Saturday 2 December with lovely stalls, mulled wine and a visit from you-know-who…

• Do you know any local residents or volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help the community? Quick reminder that there is still time to nominate them for West Berkshire’s Community Champion Awards. Fill in the online nomination form by 11 December.

• Quick reminder about free bus travel on Saturdays 16 and 23 December. The free travel even extends to our neighbouring areas such as Reading, Basingstoke, and Swindon. If you start your journey in West Berkshire, your return journey is also free. To learn more click here.

Jude Stewart invites residents to come and decorate the Upper Lambourn Cemetery Community Christmas tree on Sunday 3 December from 11am in memory of all those who are so loved and lost. This year is particularly poignant because Stephanie Barrett, who began decorating this tree many years ago for her loved ones and many other Lambourn people, died in February of this year.  Please feel free to hang your own decorations at any time throughout December.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please join the Eco East Garston group on Sunday 3 December at 4pm for a chat and cuppa. Please contact [email protected] for meet-up venue details.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• Lambourn’s 20mph survey

The excellent Lambourn.org website has recently been running a survey to see what people think about having 20mph zones in Eastbury and Lambourn. This has been discussed for some time, particularly in Eastbury where the Main Street is very narrow and has houses opening directly onto it. The discussion has recently been given a fresh impetus by WBC’s announcement that it was having another look at its policies for deciding these (setting such speed limits is the responsibility of the highways authority, WBC in this case, not the Police).

You can see the survey results here as well as all the 76 comments that were received. A total of 289 people responded which is a respectable 7% of the entire population of the parish. Four options were provided with people being asked to pick the one they most agreed with. There are two ways one could summarise the results: either that no one suggestion commanded more than a third of the votes; or that nearly 90% of the respondents are in favour of a 20mph zone in at least some parts of the parish.

This is an informal, though very useful, survey and will be added to the evidence base used to make a decision. It’s necessary to be realistic about both the timing and the cost. A council rarely does anything very quickly – 20mph is probably about typical – and this is no exception. Two more stages of engagement, including a formal consultation, would be needed. Getting the limit reduced to 30mph on Hungerford Common took several years.

Time is also money, in terms of officers’ work, the cost of consultations and any legal matters that need to be sorted out. Then new signs will be needed and they aren’t given away. As we are all aware, every item of expenditure is being tested extremely carefully at present. Local residents may need to brace themselves for being asked to make a contribution themselves, if matters get that far, as was the case with the flood defence scheme a few years ago (although this was requested by the Environment Agency).

The point has been made that having more 20mph zones is pointless as the Police won’t be able to enforce them. I don’t agree with this and indeed is an argument for abolishing most of our speed limits. There’s evidence that most people will want to keep within a speed limit, or within touching distance of it. Most people will also recognise that a 20mph zone across a small area serves a useful purpose and so be inclined to obey it. If the 20mph area is too large, however, then the restriction becomes irksome and in places pointless. This is likely to lead to disregard for the limit across the entire area. Less would seem to be more in this case.

• Thames Water in the Valley

The meeting with Thames Water, which was to have taken place on 16 November, has been re-arranged for 6pm on Thursday 7 December in the East Garston Village Hall. Senior representatives of the water company will be present.

This is an important meeting for East Garston. Its objective is to ensure that Thames Water provides us with a sewerage system that is fit for purpose in the twenty-first century (which it isn’t at the moment!).

Anyone is welcome to attend, to listen to the questions to and the answers from Thames Water and to ask questions of their own. Note that priority will be given to questions which directly bear on the sewerage system in and around East Garston.

• Quiz time

Last weekend saw a popular annual event in East Garston, the quiz at the Village Hall. As ever that affair was expertly organised by Village Hall trustee Ed James. The raffle, the entrance fee and the auction raised well over £5,000. What the world of sports event management has gained, those of quiz mastering, event compering and auctioneering has surely lost.

“A huge thank you to all those who attended, bid, helped and cooked,” he said. “Everything came together to make this a great evening.” Personally, I must single out Sue Tulloch’s lasagne, always one of the high points of my gastronomic year.

The event also saw over £1,300 being taken at the bar. I think it’s fair to say that I contributed to this.

About ten years ago, I somehow ended up on the winning team. Facetiously, I raised the trophy above my head as if it were the FA Cup. Too much enthusiasm was shown and I smashed my elbow into the wall, which caused the base of the trophy to detach itself and fall about nine inches onto the top of my head. Whether for this reason or some other one, I remember nothing else until about eleven o’clock the following morning. No such temptations this time as our team finished fifth.

“Thanks also to the event’s sponsors, Nelson Travel,” Ed James added. Ben Nelson also provided the guest round of questions, one of which I have selected as my quiz question of the week in This week with Brian.

A great evening: and a much-needed one for the Village Hall’s funds. East Garston is lucky in that its hall has a bar, a kitchen and audio-visual equipment :but the more you have, the more there is to look after and repair. One year it’s the electrics, then the roof, then the heating, then the toilets, then it’s time to look at the electrics again. It hasn’t yet been decided what the funds from this event will go to but one possibility is a battery for the solar panels which were installed last year.

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 1 Dec Christmas Wreath Workshop Lambourn School

• Fri 1 Dec Christmas Fair on the Square Lambourn Marketplace

• Sat 2 Dec Christmas Bazaar  East Garston Village Hall

Sat 2 Dec Coral Gold Cup After Party Queens Arms East Garston

Sun 3 Dec Phoenix Brass Band Concert Walwyn Hall, Lambourn

Sun 3 Dec Christmas Craft Fair Aldbourne Memorial Hall

Sun 3 Dec East Garston village clean-up day: meet at the Village Hall 10am

Tues 5 Dec Film night: The Sting East Garston

Sun 10 Dec Festive Cupcake Decorating workshop Trindledown Farm, Great Shefford

Sun 10 Dec East Garston over-60s Christmas lunch

• Sat 16 Dec Festive Pub Quiz Great Shefford Sports & Social Club

•Thurs 21 Dec Outdoor Christmas Carols  St Mary’s Church Great Shefford

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; the contribution to Lambourn Library; street lighting; road safety; Friends of Lambourn Library; the D-Day beacon; the Flood Forum; Eastbury Village Hall; the Market; parking issues; speeding; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 23 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: Christmas trees,  flood relief, bulbs, an auction and wonky joints – plus Thames Water has another go at attending a meeting and a planning decision in East Garston is decided by committee after some effective presentations. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: bingo, a lunch and a local shopping jamboree See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• The Lambourn High Street Christmas trees will be going up this Saturday 25 November. If anyone is able to assist with putting the lights on trees before they go up, please ring Julie Blogg on 07840 780345. Any donations to the tree fund would be gratefully accepted. The trees have been locally grown in Eastbury.

• Great news from Chairman Vicky Reunier of Lambourn Parish Council about the ongoing flooding of the Upper Lambourn Road by the entrance to the Old Cricket Field. After some persuasion by Lambourn Parish Council, West Berkshire Council has finally cleared the ditch, the grips and the culvert which should ensure that the road does not flood – which in turn should prevent any further flooding of both the horse track and skate park at the Old Cricket Field.

Eastbury Almshouses have a bungalow available from January 2024 for a single person with no pets. It has one bedroom, a sitting room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Please see details here, eligibility and how to apply.

• The East Garston over-60s Christmas lunch will take place in the Village Hall on Sunday 10 December. Everyone should have had a letter through their doors but if not please email [email protected].

• Check out Lambourn Foodhall’s Black Friday Offers for delivery or in store click & collect (not available to purchase in store). 10% oof online purchases plus a Taste of Christmas Bundle saving you over 20%.

• The Lambourn Environmental Group are planning to do more hedge and tree planting this winter and would like to appeal to anyone who can volunteer. They aim to plant 420 whips at Farncombe Farm on Saturday 25 November. Please email [email protected] if you can help and they will provide more details nearer the time. Also, they have created a new Eco Patch habitat at the top of Close End to support biodiversity, with a lavender hedge, shrubs and pollinator friendly plants and if you would like a similar patch near you please contact them as above.

• Eastbury Parish church’s 170th Christmas event this Sunday 26 November is sold out but you can still bid on their fabulous auction of promises. The Lots include local artist limited edition watercolour print, grass fed beef box, tickets to a flower show and Manor, motoryacht cruise & clay pigeon shooting. See catalogue here. Send a separate email with each lot number as the subject heading to [email protected] no later than mid-day Sunday 26 November. The body of the email must confirm your name, address and telephone number as well as the value of your bid.

• See below for more Christmas events coming up including Christmas Shopping & Community Day in Lambourn and Prize Bingo in East Garston also on Sunday.

• West Berkshire Council is pleased to announce that there will once again be free bus travel this festive season on Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 December. On these days, you can travel all day, any time, completely free (do check the timetables) within West Berkshire. The free travel even extends beyond West Berkshire to our neighbouring areas such as Reading, Basingstoke, and Swindon. If you start your journey in West Berkshire, your return journey is also free. To learn more click here.

Jude Stewart invites residents to come and decorate the Upper Lambourn Cemetery Community Christmas tree on Sun 3 December from 11am in memory of all those who are so loved and lost. This year is particularly poignant because Stephanie Barrett ,who began decorating this tree many years ago for her loved ones and many other Lambourn people, died in February of this year. So this year it is especially important to continue the tradition that Steph began.  Jude will bring the decorations from last year to rehang, but please feel free to join in and hang your own at any time throughout December.

• The Environment Agency’s latest update regarding groundwater levels in the Lambourn Valley. If you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800.

• The NAWT Berkshire Online Xmas Auction runs until Monday 27 November at 11am. All proceeds from each lot will go directly to caring for their elderly animals. All bids made after 11am on the 27 November will not be accepted. Please enquire before bidding if an item will be able to be posted.

• If you know anyone looking for a career change or a young person seeking a career path, check out this FarmStart opportunity to learn for free how to garden commercially with access to a start-up plot and mentoring being offered at Sheepdrove near Lambourn. The course is on four Saturdays and starts on Saturday 25 November. Sign up here.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please join the Eco East Garston group on Sunday 3 December at 4pm for a chat and cuppa. Please contact [email protected] for meet-up venue details.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• Greengates

The application to demolish the 18th-century house in Front Street in East Garston and replace it with one of a rather larger footprint was recommended for approval by officers. More than ten objections (more like twenty) having been received, the matter went to the Western Area Planning Committee on 22 November.

Slightly to the surprise of many, the committee decided, admittedly by a narrow margin, to refuse it. You can see a recording of the meeting here, from about 1′ 09″. The main reasons for this were the disproportionate increase in size, its presence in a conservation area and the loss of residential amenity for the neighbour to the south, whose property would be considerably more overlooked than currently.

At such meetings, officers often warn the members of the possible consequences of refusal against their recommendations, the main one being an appeal by the applicant. These are costly for whichever side loses. On this occasion, the ward member Clive Hooker made the opposite point, that members should not be afraid to refuse the application if they felt that they should. At the end of the debate there seemed to be little appetite for a decision one way or another and eventually the Chair, Adrian Abbs, himself proposed a motion to refuse. With several abstentions, this was passed.

If planning committees are always going to agree with officers then there’d clearly be no point in having them at all. The risk of an appeal exists but it doesn’t do for planning authorities to be cowed by the threat of litigation. Every decision involves weighing a number of different issues and policies and the purpose of the meeting is to reach some shared feeling about how much weight should be accorded to each. This one was clearly finely balanced. On a different day a different decision might have been reached. In particular, the question of what constitutes an acceptable increase in footprint seems to be a subjective one and I don’t think there’s a clear policy that deals with this.

The planning committee meetings are often long but that’s as it should be as area-changing decisions are being made. The arrangements by which the various interested parties are given an allotted time to speak and then answer questions, followed by a debate and a vote, seems to work well. Sometimes not all of those who are entitled to attend bother to do so: on several occasions I’ve been surprised by the absence of any response by the parish council, which could be taken as either a massive indifference or the suspicion that the whole thing was a done deal. If I were on a planning committee, I might wonder why I should care about an issue if it appeared that the local PC did not.

East Garston PC certainly did show up: moreover, the Chair, Sue Tulloch, gave a very clear and well presented account of the council’s position. The two people who spoke on behalf of the twenty or so objectors also made their points well. Given that the issue was on a knife-edge, this probably made all the difference. The parish council did exactly what is meant to do, and did it well.

This rather leaves the ball in the applicant’s court. An appeal is possible but, given that the reasons for refusal appear sound, this is a high-risk strategy. More likely, perhaps, is a careful study of the decision notice followed by a new application which more closely follows the existing footprint: which is what the objectors would probably have been happy with from the outset. If the owner really wants to extend it in the future, that would be the subject of a separate application to be considered on its merits.

• Thames Water tries again

East Garston PC’s activities recently have not been confined to planning matters. Following the disappointing last-minute cancellation of the meeting with Thames Water last week, it now seems that a new time and date has been agreed: 6pm on Thursday 7 December in the East Garston Village Hall. This is subject to final confirmation but seems pretty certain. Further information will be sent out by EGPC, by us and by the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum (EGFPF) nearer the time. The bar will be open for the appreciation of liquids more palatable than those which will be discussed at the meeting.

Speaking of the EGFPF, the latest newsletter arrived in my in-box yesterday. The main points are that the water levels continue to rise and that the local sewerage system, and thus its users, may be in for a difficult winter. Better news is that Thames Water has secured the funding to do the work on fixing some identified infiltration works. One of the purposes of the meeting will be to get some guarantees as to when this will happen.

The newsletter also provides six questions which Sue Tulloch of East Garston PC asked Thames Water and the response. This includes (Q6) one about the fairly hair-raising cost of Thames Water running one of its own tankers 24/7 for a month, and the even higher cost if (as must happen) this needs to be contracted out.

If you want to find out the answer to this question, and also to be kept up to date with water and sewage-related issues in and around the village, email [email protected] and ask to be added to the EGFPF newsletter list.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 26 Nov Christmas Shopping & Community Day, Lambourn Sports Club

• Sun 26 Nov Prize Bingo East Garston Village Hall

Fri 1 Dec Christmas Wreath Workshop Lambourn School

• Sat 2 Dec Christmas Bazaar, East Garston Village Hall

Sat 2 Dec Coral Gold Cup After Party Queens Arms East Garston

Sun 3 Dec Phoenix Brass Band Concert Walwyn Hall, Lambourn

Sun 3 Dec Christmas Craft Fair Aldbourne Memorial Hall

Sun 3 Dec East Garston village clean-up day: meet at the Village Hall 10am

Tues 5 Dec Film night: The Sting East Garston

Sun 10 Dec Festive Cupcake Decorating workshop Trindledown Farm, Great Shefford

Sun 10 Dec East Garston over-60s Christmas lunch

• Sat 16 Dec Festive Pub Quiz Great Shefford Sports & Social Club

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; the contribution to Lambourn Library; street lighting; road safety; Friends of Lambourn Library; the D-Day beacon; the Flood Forum; Eastbury Village Hall; the Market; parking issues; speeding; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

 

Thursday 16 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: environmental warriors, farming, trees and precipitation considerations – also an explanationas to why East Gaston residents have recently received so many emails from us and the continuing campaign to get 20mph zones in Lambourn and Eastbury. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: bingo, a lunch and a local shopping jamboree See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Thanks to Lise Cox for her photos of the Remembrance Service in East Garston last Saturday. And also to Rev Julie Mintern for sharing her experience of Remembrance Service with members of 101 Squadron at RAF Welford.

• Our heartfelt condolences go to Ryan and Cherisse from Lambourn Foodhall whose baby daughter Elsie Rose Richards died from sepsis on Wednesday 8 November. The shop will remain closed on Tuesday 21 November, to enable family and friends to celebrate the short, but most joyful time with Elsie. The shop will be back open as normal on Wednesday 22 November.

• The Lambourn Environmental Group are planning to do more hedge and tree planting this winter and would like to appeal to anyone who can volunteer. They aim to plant 420 whips at Farncombe Farm on Saturday 25 November. Please email [email protected] if you can help and they will provide more details nearer the time. Also, they have created a new Eco Patch habitat at the top of Close End to support biodiversity, with a lavender hedge, shrubs and pollinator friendly plants and if you would like a similar patch near you please contact them as above.

• The Environment Agency provided on 14 November this update regarding groundwater levels in the Lambourn Valley: “In response to recent rainfall, groundwater levels have risen above the level that requires early awareness at the Longacre borehole in the Lambourn Valley. The groundwater level at this location is higher than normal for this time of year and is continuing to rise slowly. Currently, no groundwater flood alert has been issued for this area but if the current increasing trend continues, we might issue one next week. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide an update as this changes.” Thames Water ‘stankers are back in action which indicates that groundwater is seeping into cracks in the sewage pipes and overloading the sewage system.

Martyn Wright from East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum asks residents if you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800  and please let me know so I can add it to the evidence bundle.

Project Groundwater is developing a new Groundwater Flood Alerts Dashboard for flood-risk areas including the Lambourn Valley and wants feedback on how the alert system will work. They are offering the chance to win a £50 voucher for a charity or local business in your community if you attend one of their focus group sessions. The last focus group is on Friday 17 November at 1pm to 2:30pm. If you can’t make this session, don’t worry, you can still give your feedback through the survey, which is open until Sunday 19 November.

• The NAWT Berkshire Online Xmas Auction runs until Monday 27 November at 11am. All proceeds from each lot will go directly to caring for their elderly animals. All bids made after 11am on the 27 November will not be accepted. Please enquire before bidding if an item will be able to be posted.

• If you know anyone looking for a career change or a young person seeking a career path, check out this FarmStart opportunity to learn for free how to garden commercially with access to a start-up plot and mentoring being offered at Sheepdrove near Lambourn. The course is on four Saturdays and starts on Saturday 25 November. Sign up here.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please join the Eco East Garston group on Sunday 3 December at 4pm for a chat and cuppa. Please contact [email protected] for meet-up venue details.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• Several newsletters

Residents of East Garston will have received a slew of emails from us over the last week. Lest you think we’re stalking you, I thought I’d explain why this was.

Last Thursday, we sent the Penny Post newsletter as usual. Anyone who didn’t open this would, also as normal, have been re-sent it on Saturday morning. On Sunday, East Garston News was sent which mentioned, among other things, ax extraordinary meeting of East Garston PC which was to have been attended by senior representatives of Thames Water who would answer questions about the work done, and not done, on the sewerage system in the area over the last couple of years.

We agreed that, as this was an important event, we’d send a further reminder about it. This needed to wait until Tuesday, as Monday had been reserved for our Christmas Guide.

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, barely 24 hours before the meeting, Thames Water informed East Garston PC that its Sustainability Director, Richard Aylard, has pulled out as he is “now required to be in the office all day to deal with pressing internal matters.” The meeting therefore needed to be cancelled, or at least postponed. It was therefore necessary to write to everyone in the village yet again to explain this.

Thursday having come round, all our subscribers (including those in East Garston) then received the latest Penny Post. I mention all this in case you thought this digital bombardment was going to carry on indefinitely. Hopefully it won’t.

Those of you subscribe to the the excellent East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum will have received three or four more newsletters on the same water-related matters from them. (If you want to subscribe to these but currently don’t, email [email protected].)

East Garston PC has expressed its “extreme disappointment” at this postponement and has asked Mr Aylard for alternative dates when he could attend. It’s hoped that this will happen sooner rather than later as there are some quite urgent questions which the local community wants to ask the water giant and which aren’t going to go away on their own. The tankers have recently returned to the Lambourn Valley, a sure sign that the sewage system is overloaded.

It’s been suggested that Mr Aylard’s need to be at his desk was connected with this but I think this unlikely. After all, if senior Thames Water staff had to be office-bound whenever the company’s sewers started overflowing then they’d be away from home for months at a time.

As soon as the revised date for the meeting has been confirmed, we’ll let you know. East Gaston residents can therefore expect another email on this subject. Hopefully, this time it won’t need to be followed by a cancellation notice.

Note: the postponement meant I was unable to raise a couple of matters with Thames Water. You can see these in “Water questions” in the Across the area section of  This Week with Brian.

• Twenty’s plenty in the valley?

As mentioned last week, in his latest ward report, Lambourn’s District Councillor Howard Woollaston referred to a possible new approach to 20mph zones from West Berkshire Council. As he said, this was discussed at the meeting of the Executive on 2 November. The resolutions agreed included “new criteria for 20mph speed limits or 20mph zones to be agreed with members over the course of the current financial year”; and that “following an initial pilot scheme in Theale and adoption of the new criteria, Officers produce a detailed cost estimate for rolling out 20mph speed limits as described in paragraphs 5.18 to 5.22 and prepare a capital funding bid accordingly, with a view to implementing 20mph speed limits on roads which meet the new criteria over the course of the following three to four years, or as finances allow.”

I supported this resolution,” Howard Woollaston told me. “I’m not in favour of blanket zones like in Wales. Each one needs to be where it’s wanted and needed, such as near schools.’ He added that the schemes proposed for Lambourn and Eastbury were still ones that he supported. A good deal of fact-gathering work has been done on these which will hopefully make them candidates for early implementation.

Cost is always an issue. Each kilometre of road might require ten signs at perhaps £300 each. This would be a one-off expense but still needs to be found from the dwindling reserves at the council’s disposal. A powerful argument in favour of public amenity and safety would thus need to be made in each case.

To help provide further evidence to support the case, Lambourn.org has recently launched a survey which you can participate in by clicking here. You have until 25 November to make your comments. The more public engagement can be demonstrated, the more compelling the case that can be made to support any new proposals.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 18 Nov Winter Fete, Chaddleworth and Shefford Schools PTFA

• Tue 21 Nov Over 40s Lunch, Memorial Hall Lambourn

• Tue 21 Nov Last 2023 HUGS Collection for Ukraine, Hungerford

Sun 26 Nov Christmas Shopping Afternoon, Lambourn Sports Club

• Sun 26 Nov Prize Bingo East Garston Village Hall

Fri 1 Dec Christmas Wreath Workshop Lambourn School

• Sat 2 Dec Christmas Bazaar, East Garston Village Hall

Sun 3 Dec Phoenix Brass Band Concert Walwyn Hall, Lambourn

• Sun 3 Dec Christmas Craft Fair Aldbourne Memorial Hall

• Tues 5 Dec Film night: The Sting East Garston

Sun 10 Dec Festive Cupcake Decorating workshop Trindledown Farm, Great Shefford

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; the contribution to Lambourn Library; street lighting; road safety; Friends of Lambourn Library; the D-Day beacon; the Flood Forum; Eastbury Village Hall; the Market; parking issues; speeding; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 31 August and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 9 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: festive sales, shopping, jabs and raffles and a welcome donation – plus a look at current planning applications in Lambourn, the latest on the proposed 20mph zones in Lambourn and Eastbury, a public meeting in East Garston with Thames Water and a happy first birthday to the Youth Junction. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include:acts of remembrance, karaoke,Christmas shopping and a lunch. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• November’s Penny Post Lambourn Valley was published last Saturday 4 November. Click here if you missed it

• Please see events section below for local Remembrance services.

Lambourn School PTA is looking to run a Christmas raffle, and are wondering if there are any kind local businesses willing to donate a prize to help fund even more resources for school. Please email [email protected] if you think you can help.

• There are still a few more stalls available for the Christmas Shopping Afternoon at Lambourn Sports Club on Sunday 26 November. Food vendors also welcome. Please contact [email protected] or message Leah Clout on facebook for booking info.

• If you know anyone looking for a career change or a young person seeking a career path, check out this FarmStart opportunity to learn for free how to garden commercially with access to a start-up plot and mentoring being offered at Sheepdrove near Lambourn. The course is on four Saturdays and starts on Saturday 25 November. Sign up here.

Spirit of the Vale invites you to their famous Christmas Fair in aid of West Berks Mencap on Thursday 16 November in a gorgeous 16th century barn in Sparsholt.  Have a lovely time browsing 30 carefully selected stalls between 10am and 7.30pm while Childrey Stores serves delicious refreshments all day and cocktails and canapes are served in the barn from 6pm. And take advantage of the new Wish List Service where you do your shopping and fill out your Spirit Wish List as you go, get your partner/mother/sister/friend to come and they will get your list so you get what you want on Christmas Day too. Free parking and free entry.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please join the Eco East Garston group on Sunday 3 December at 4pm for a chat and cuppa. Please contact [email protected] for meet-up venue details.

• Quick reminder that you can get your Covid and flu vaccines at Lambourn pharmacy: together, or separately if preferred. Book with the pharmacy direct or via the NHS National Booking System (NBS).

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• A ward member’s 20mph in-box

Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston’s monthly update includes recent possible good news on the 20mph zones, school transport, sewage, flooding and member’s-bid projects. Click here to read it.

In his latest report, he referred to a possible new approach to 20mph zones from West Berkshire Council. As he mentioned, this was discussed at the meeting of the Executive on 2 November. The resolutions agreed included new criteria for 20mph speed limits or 20mph zones to be agreed with members over the course of the current financial year; and that “Following an initial pilot scheme in Theale and adoption of the new criteria, Officers produce a detailed cost estimate for rolling out 20mph speed limits as described in paragraphs 5.18 to 5.22 and prepare a capital funding bid accordingly, with a view to implementing 20mph speed limits on roads which meet the new criteria over the course of the following three to four years, or as finances allow.”

I supported this resolution,” Howard Woollaston told me. “I’m not in favour of blanket zones like in Wales. Each one needs to be where it’s wanted and needed, such as near schools.’ He added that the schemes proposed for Lambourn and Eastbury were still ones that he supported. A good deal of fact-gathering work has been done on these which will hopefully make them candidates for early implementation.

Cost is always the issue. Each kilometre of road might require ten signs at perhaps £300 each. This would be a one-off cost but still needs to be found from the dwindling reserves at the council’s disposal. A powerful argument in favour of public amenity and safety would thus need to be made in each case.

To help provide further evidence to support the case, Lambourn.org has recently launched a survey which you can participate in by clicking here. You have until 25 November to make your comments. The more public engagement can be demonstrated, the more compelling the case that can be made to support any new proposals.

• Lambourn’s plans

Every month or so, the excellent Lambourn.org publishes a list of the live (ie undetermined) planning applications in the parish. As WBC no longer sends letters to neighbours and as the orange notices don’t always get displayed as clearly as they might, this is probably the best way of keeping up to date with what plans have been submitted. This is the latest list, published on 6 November 2023.

As the preamble to L.org’s list explains, “in order to build or substantially modify a property a planning application has to be submitted and approved. The local planning authority, and decision maker for Lambourn, is West Berkshire Council. Lambourn Parish Council reviews planning applications and provides input to West Berkshire Council.

“The best place to check what applications have been made in your locality is by visiting the West Berkshire Planning Portal where you can search based on your postcode. Using the portal you can comment, object or support a planning application. The list [in the above-mentioned post] is an extract and only valid on the day published. Always check the West Berkshire Planning Portal to see the latest applications and status.”

• Thames Water in the valley

As we reported at the time, Thames Water (TW) attended WBC’s Scrutiny Commission meeting last month and answered many questions from councillors, members of the public and local interest groups. This covered area-wide concerns. The Lambourn Valley is one area where the proberlsm has been particularly acute in recent years, the more so as one of the methods used to dispose of the sewage that the system can’t cope with is the SSSI-protected Rover Lambourn.

A good deal of work on the pipes has taken place in the East Garston area over the last few years although, as the most recent newsletter from the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum points out, groundwater levels are rising and it seems more than likely that the tankers will soon be being deployed again. While this is a better solution than having sewage coming up in the street, it’s not the perfect solution. East Garston Parish Council therefore asked TW if senior representatives would be able to attend a meeting in the village to discuss what has been accomplished and what remains to be done. It’s recently been confirmed that they’ve accepted.

This public meeting will take place in the Village Hall at 3pm on Thursday 16 November. It’s been described as “a special parish council meeting to answer some searching questions about Thames Water’s plans with regard to the village’s sewer issues.” You will have the opportunity to hear what TW have to say and to ask your own questions. The more people who attend, the more it will demonstrate to TW that there is widespread concern about this issue. It seems unlikely, given all the recent national and local publicity and the number of questions fired at them at the Scrutiny Commission, that they can be in any doubt about this. However, every full meeting is another step closer to our not having full sewers. See you there.

If you want to subscribe to the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum newsletters, please email [email protected].

• Happy birthday

“A year ago,” Lambourn.org reports, “10 volunteers opened the doors to the first ever Lambourn Youth Junction. To their surprise, children were queuing down the street. It was something that the village had needed for a long while and the anticipation was high.” This auspicious start has been built on and over sixty children attended the recent first birthday party. Big congratulations to all concerned, who also wish to thank the Lambourn Carnival Committee for their recent donation of £400.

To read the full story, click here to visit the Lambourn.org website.

The Lambourn Youth Junction is one of the community projects operated by the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company, a not for profit company established to nurture and operate community initiatives.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 9 Nov Karaoke Evening, The George, Lambourn

• Sat 11 Nov Act of Remembrance with Wantage Academy Brass Band, East Garston War Memorial

• Sun 12 Nov Remembrance Sunday St Michael’s and All Angels, Lambourn

• Sun 12 Nov Remembrance Sunday All Saints Church, East Garston

• Sun 12 Nov Act of Remembrance St Mary’s Churchyard, Great Shefford

Sun 12 Nov Cancer Research Bingo Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

Thu 16 Nov Spirit of the Vale Christmas Fair, Sparsholt

• Sat 18 Nov Winter Fete, Chaddleworth and Shefford Schools PTFA

• Tue 21 Nov Over 40s Lunch, Memorial Hall Lambourn

Sun 26 Nov Christmas Shopping Afternoon, Lambourn Sports Club

Fri 1 Dec Christmas Wreath Workshop Lambourn School

Sun 10 Dec Festive Cupcake Decorating workshop Trindledown Farm, Great Shefford

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: improvements to the High Street; financial matters; street lighting; the Friends of Lambourn Library; the racing Committee; repairs and maintenance; Eastbury Village Hall (see separate section in last week’s report below); and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 31 August and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 2 November 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: pregnant riders, a missing market, a working party and roadworks – plus a look at school transport problems (hopefully resolved), rising water and a last call for submissions for our November Valley of the Racehorse newsletter.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include:bonfires, films, and music . See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

Lambourn Parish Council reminds residents that the High Street will be closed on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 November, from 9.30am to 3.39pm, between its junctions with Crowle Road and Parsonage Lane, as detailed here. There will also be a number of byway closures to vehicles with 3 wheels or more this winter, click here for further info.

LPC Chair Vicky Reunier reports that the fruit and veg stall will not be at the Lambourn Friday market this Friday 3 November and for the next four to six weeks as Chris the Market Toby is having to take some time off for an op. The stall hopes to be back as soon as he has fully recovered and in the meantime, the regular market traders will continue to attend the market as usual.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please join the Eco East Garston group this Sunday 5 November at 4pm for a chat and cuppa. Please contact [email protected] for meet-up venue details.

• Season 18 of the Valley Film Society launches next week on Tuesday 7 November with Mrs Harris Goes to Paris in East Garston Village Hall. There are matinee (with tea, cake and subtitles) and evening (with cash bar and interval meal) screenings on the first Tuesday of the month between November and July. You can sign up for the whole season of 9 films for £32 or pay £6 on the door per month.

• The last Churchyard Working Party for this year at St. Marys Church, Great Shefford is this Saturday 4 November. The Churchyard always needs a little TLC and with Remembrance Sunday approaching it would be nice to have it looking its best. Please join them between 10am and noon if you can help.

Racing Home is currently offering a fully funded Pregnancy Rehabilitation and Support Programme designed to provide guidance and support for mothers returning to riding work post pregnancy. Physical, emotional and psychological support can all be sourced by emailing [email protected]

• If you know anyone looking for a career change or a young person seeking a career path, check out this FarmStart opportunity to learn for free how to garden commercially with access to a start-up plot and mentoring being offered at Sheepdrove near Lambourn.

• Quick reminder that you can get your Covid and flu vaccines at Lambourn pharmacy: together, or separately if preferred. Book with the pharmacy direct or via the NHS National Booking System (NBS).

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• For those wondering what to do with their pumpkins after Halloween, here are some creative suggestions. Just please don’t leave them on the ground in your garden or in woodland, as they are dangerous to hedgehogs and attract rats – see more in this request by the Woodland Trust

• School transport

Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston’s monthly report will be updated by the end of the week. One item that I shall scoop from that and mention now is that there seems to have been a resolution to the problem of school transport services affecting Lambourn. This was caused by the last-minute withdrawal of a bus supplier from their contract and caught WBC completely by surprise.

“WBC has been successful in procuring a replacement coach to provide transport for King Alfred’s pupils after the October half term,” Howard Woollaston reports.”This week they have issued Bus Passes and are ready to start work. A similar result for John O’ Gaunt families with a replacement coach confirmed and this has started . Families were contacted by email and bus passes issued. However, they could not arrive in time for Monday, so the bus operator was made aware of that.”

If you have any problems with your passes (such as non-arrival), please contact [email protected].

He adds that “I would like to congratulate the WBC team who went the extra mile to get a resolution to the problems which were completely outside their control.” Many local families would doubtless echo those sentiments.

• Water levels

Living as we do on the banks of the sometimes mighty and sometimes not River Lambourn, we’re used to seeing the water slowly sink away to nothing (usually in the late summer) and equally used to the far more magical spectacle of it return (usually in about January) as nature’s vast underground combined reservoir, filtration system and pumping station that is the chalk aquifer on which we all live gets going. What’s less usual is for both these things to happen at the same time.

In October the river faded away almost to nothing and then, a week or so ago, started to return. This confused us but confused the ducks even more who now seem to be pairing up[ again as if it were March. We even had a couple of egrets a few days ago with their immaculate white plumage and long, graceful necks, wading carefully around and looking for fish that weren’t there. The cats are a bit confused as well.

The slightly unusual aquatic conditions were highlighted by Martin Wright, who runs the excellent East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum in some emails that he sent round about the possible dangers from the recent storms (which seem to have just about missed us). He pointed out that the groundwater levels have rose by nearly 25cm between 28 October and 2 November. He adds that “we are already not far off last years’s levels but a lot earlier”. More information on river-level records going back to 2014 can be seen on East Garston Parish Council’s website here. To sign up to receive these newsletters for yourself, please contact [email protected].

So, that’s some potential flood matters dealt with: what about the pollution, the other part of his organisation’s name? Well, we all know what happens when the groundwater rises – some of it flows in through the cracks in the sewer pipes and floods the system. Thames Water has done some remedial work in the area over the last couple of years and it looks as if early 2024 is going to provide the first stern test of these.

One of the solutions TW adopts – not very elegant, cheap or long-term but reasonable effective – is to pump the excess sewage into tankers and take it to other parts of their network which have more capacity. “I imagine,” Martyn Wright observes, “that Thames Water is getting its fleet of tankers fuelled up already.” Indeed. They’re not the ideal solution but rather them than sewage coming up in our homes and streets (as is currently happening in Newbury and Thatcham). The best solution is to get the sewerage system fixed properly and to have some surface water management plans (SWAMP might be a suitable acronym for these) put in place. That’s what the EGF&PF and many other local groups are campaigning for. Hats off to them all.

• The Valley of the Racehorse

The November edition will be published on Saturday 4 November. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 3 Nov Copper Creek BandThe George, Lambourn

• Fri 3 Nov Inkpen Primary School Open Day, Inkpen.

• Sat 4 Nov Churchyard Working Party, St. Marys Church, Great Shefford

Sat 4 Nov Community Bonfire Party Lambourn Sports Club.

Sat 4 Nov East Garston Bonfire Party, Millenium Field & Village Hall

Tue 7 Nov Valley Film Society: Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, East Garston Village Hall

Sun 12 Nov Cancer Research Bingo Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

• Sat 18 Nov Winter Fete, Chaddleworth and Shefford Schools PTFA

Sun 10 Dec Festive Cupcake Decorating workshop Trindledown Farm, Great Shefford

Fri 21 Dec Christmas Wreath Workshop Lambourn School

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: improvements to the High Street; financial matters; street lighting; the Friends of Lambourn Library; the racing Committee; repairs and maintenance; Eastbury Village Hall (see separate section in last week’s report below); and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 31 August and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 26 October 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: scam alert, a community bus, home delivery, a new vicar and spooky stuff – plus the latest on the slow unfolding of Great Shefford’s flood alleviation scheme. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: breakfast, bonfires, walking and a film. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Quick reminder to put your clocks back this Saturday and enjoy an extra hour in bed…

Scam Alert from Lambourn Surgery where a patient received a call from someone pretending to be a doctor from the surgery in response to a 111 enquiry. The patient was then offered a prescription and asked for bank/debit card details to cover the delivery cost of the prescription. The charge was £4. The bank account was then debited several times for different amounts before the card was cancelled. Please be aware that the surgery will NEVER ask for bank or card details over the phone. Any transactions with the surgery are dealt with by invoice and settled via cheque or BACS or at the dispensary hatch. The police have been made aware and investigations are in progress.

• Joshua and Georgie from The Great Shefford, wish to inform everyone that this Sunday 29 October, will be their final service and wish customers and new owners alike, every success in the future.

•  The Lambourn Community Bus, which offers weekly  trips to Wantage and special days out (including a Christmas shopping day in Birmingham), is now run by the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company.  You can support this service at a fundraising Table Top Sale this Saturday 28 October from 10pm to 2pm at the Memorial Hall. If you would like a table or more information please call Dianen 974180 There will also be a raffle and refreshments.

• In the latest Sheepdrove Eco Show, (listen here) Rosie Kindersley explains why sheep are so vital for Sheepdrove’s wildflower pastures and organic farming system, and updates on their hedgerows and ponds; AONB director Henry Oliver (13:50) outlines the importance of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s new Nature Recovery Plan; Rachel Hammond (22:00) announces new free places on her Farm Start market gardening courses at Sheepdrove this November.

• If you know anyone looking for a career change or a young person seeking a career path, check out this FarmStart opportunity to learn for free how to garden commercially with access to a start-up plot and mentoring being offered at Sheepdrove.

• The Spar in Great Shefford will soon be starting a Home Delivery service for its customers in the local community. Keep an eye out  on  their Facebook page for updates.

St. Marys Church, Great Shefford is delighted to announce the appointment of  The Reverend Michael (Mike) James Griffiths as Rector of the Benefice of West Downland.  Mike is coming from the Diocese of Winchester. He will be welcomed at a service on Sunday 31 January 2024.

• Quick reminder that you can get your Covid and flu vaccines at Lambourn pharmacy: together, or separately if preferred. Book with the pharmacy direct or via the NHS National Booking System (NBS).

Lambourn Royal British Legion is seeking volunteers for its poppy appeal at Membury Service Station or outside the Co-op. If you can help please contact Margaret on 07776 421523.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a monthly eco support group.

• Shefford’s flood scheme

The Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association was set up in 2017 “with the aim of helping to co-ordinate, communicate and fundraise for a long-term solution” the village’s flooding problem. The easy bit, as it turned out, was raising the £80,000 contribution required by the Environment Agency, which was accomplished in October 2019. Harder has been getting the work to start, all of the the time since then being spent trying to get this onto the EA’s to-do list. This has now happened and work was due to have started this summer.

You can read more on the history of this project in this separate post.

Then came yet another hold-up. This was caused, according to EA’s Richard Hancock, writing in the September edition of Great Shefford Parish News, by a combination of delay in getting the planning permission granted and because a high-voltage cable needs to be diverted. He was keen to stress that, despite the planning-permission delay, “we have always worked closely with West Berkshire Council and remain grateful for their collaborative and supportive approach to our planning application and throughout.”

He added that “working through winter, on a hillside, with potential surface water runoff and ground water will increase costs and present unacceptable safety risks to all involved in the construction and for this reason we have taken the decision to delay the start of the works until spring 2024.”

Writing in the October edition of the same publication, Richard Hancock added that “there’s a lot been happening in the background but there’s not that much new news to share.” He anticipated that there would be more to say towards the end of the year as the project gets closer to the construction start date. Presumably one of the first bits of news will be to confirm when this start date will be.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 28 Oct Breakfast at The Five Bells, Wickham

• Fri 3 Nov Inkpen Primary School Open Day, Inkpen.

Sat 4 Nov Community Bonfire Party Lambourn Sports Club.

Sat 4 Nov East Garston Bonfire Party, Millenium Field & Village Hall

Tue 7 Nov Valley Film Society: Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, East Garston Village Hall

Sun 12 Nov Cancer Research Bingo Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

Fri 21 Dec Christmas Wreath Workshop Lambourn School

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: improvements to the High Street; financial matters; street lighting; the Friends of Lambourn Library; the racing Committee; repairs and maintenance; Eastbury Village Hall (see separate section in last week’s report below); and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 31 August and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 19 October 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: Halloween, junk crafting, a photoshoot for kids, funding and the NDP – plus a look back at East Garston’s green weekend, some thoughts at 20mph, local river news and Project Groundwater needs your input. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: breakfast, bonfires, walking and a film. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Lambourn Carnival Committee are inviting applications for funding from local groups or organisations. If you would like to apply to them for a grant (from the funds they raise from the carnival and other events during the year), please email [email protected] or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Latest news from The Queens Arms in East Garston includes live rugby on the big screen, all day Sunday roasts and Christmas party bookings. See details on their facebook page here.

• Last chance for Co-op members to support Lambourn RDA by nominating them as a recipient of the Co-op Local Community Fund. Click here by Saturday 21 October to make a positive impact in the community every time you swipe your membership card.

Chaddleworth & Shefford PTFA has organised a professional photographer to be at Shefford School Site on Saturday 11 November to take some pictures of your child. There is no session fee, just the cost of the prints. Sessions will be every 15 minutes throughout the day. Contact the school for details here. The PTFA is also running a free day of craft and junk modelling at Shefford School on Saturday 11 November from 10am to 2pm.

• Brightwalton Village Hall is preparing for its children’s Halloween Party with a disco, games, face painting & tattoos, craft table and a picnic tea included. Fancy dress is optional. They are looking for adult volunteers to help out, so please contact [email protected] if you can lend a hand. See their facebook event here and book a space here.

• If you can donate any Halloween decorations for The National Animal Welfare Trust at Trindledown Farm’s Halloween half-term event please phone 01488 638584 or email [email protected]. The event runs from Tuesday 24 October to Friday 27 October with a range of activities from a pumpkin hunt to a monster maze.

• Quick reminder that you can get your Covid and flu vaccines at Lambourn pharmacy: together, or separately if preferred. Book with the pharmacy direct or via the NHS National Booking System (NBS).

Lambourn Royal British Legion is seeking volunteers for its poppy appeal at Membury Service Station or outside the Co-op. If you can help please contact Margaret on 07776 421523.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a monthly eco support group.

• Going green

The Green Weekend in East Garston and Eastbury last Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October was very productive, facilitating conversations about a range of eco topics. On Saturday in East Garston Village Hall visitors got items mended at the Repair Cafe, tools sharpened and bikes fixed and at the Quaker Meeting House they learnt how to scythe and got help with insulating their homes and choosing sustainable heating systems.

The eco walk round the village took in hedgerow habitat, the state of the river, community vegetable growing and a bungalow retro-fit. The screening of Save Our Wild Isles: Hungry for Change prompted an important discussion with local food and farming experts about restoring natural habitat, improving soil quality, minimising food waste and buying local.

On Sunday at St James Church in Eastbury village warden Andrew Gorton explained the importance of chalk streams and how to look after them, visitors of all ages built arm muscle scratting and pressing apples and had fun racing solar powered scalectric cars. The sun shone on the foraging walk and local honey was for sale. Dr Mike Pringle from the Jefferies Museum in Swindon explained how Victorian ecologist Richard Jefferies documented the changes Industrial Revolution made to our immersive connection with the land and nature.

If you missed the weekend or would like to continue discussions you had there please contact ecoeastgarston@gmail.com. The Eco East Garston group is planning a monthly meet-up on the first Sunday afternoon of the month for anyone in the Lambourn Valley.

• Twenty’s plenty

There have recently been several attempts made to introduce 20mph limits in various parts of the district. Such changes do not happen overnight, as people following the eventually successful attempts to get the limit lowered to 30mph on Hungerford Common will attest. It’s worth pointing out that although the Police are responsible for enforcing speed limits, the local highways authority (WBC in this case) is responsible for setting them, within any national guidelines that exist.

A spokesperson for WBC told Penny Post on 18 October that “currently, requests for new or amended speed limits, including 20mph zones and 20mph speed limits, are considered by the Speed Limit Review Task Group, which consists of Council officers, Members and the Police, with parish and town councils being invited to attend its meetings as appropriate. When assessing requests, the Task Group considers current guidance (principally the Department for Transport Circular 01/2013 Setting local speed limits – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), traffic survey results, the number of recorded injury accidents and the local road environment. The recommendations of the Task Group are presented for approval with the annual Network Management Works Programme.”

I understand that WBC is working towards implementing a new approach to 20mph speed limits, partly in response to a motion was earlier this year presented to WBC’s Full Council. As a result of which the matter was passed to the Transport Advisory Group and will come to the Executive in November with a recommendation. If a 20mph speed limit is proposed in a particular community, WBC will consult with local organisations such as parish councils, as well as with the police. If it seems that the scheme makes sense in that place, nothing will happen until there has been a full consultation, which is a statutory requirement. Local residents thus have two opportunities to make their views known, and three if you add in writing to to your local ward member/s or parish council about the matter, as you are entitled to do.

I’m mentioned this here because few places in West Berkshire have been campaigning for a lower speed limit for as long and as unanimously as have the residents of Eastbury. In places the road is not wide enough to permit two vehicles to pass each other and many house open directly onto the main road. Hopefully the work that has been done on this over the last few years will enable the village to be fairly high up the list when it comes to making a case.

• Groundwater alerts

Project Groundwater is a partnership project, funded by Defra as part of the £150 million Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme, which is managed by the Environment Agency to develop and test new approaches to resilience tailored to local communities. It aims to transform how communities prepare for and respond to groundwater flooding.

A spokesperson told Penny Post on 19 October that “to ensure that Project Groundwater provides the best possible service to communities affected by groundwater flooding, community engagement is at the heart of our project.” Nine communities from West Berkshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Bedfordshire are participating in the pilot scheme.

Two of these are the Lambourn Valley (Lambourn, East Garston and Great Shefford) and the Pang Valley (West Ilsley, East Ilsley, Compton, and Hampseatd Norreys). There are currently two ways that local residents can get involved:

  • By participating in an online survey and viewing PG’s early-stage prototype. This enables you to offer vital feedback to shape its features. Your honest input, especially on areas for improvement, is crucial. The survey is completely anonymous.
  • By participating in any of the three online focus groups on the 16 and 17 November. This provides an opportunity for you to get involved in a discussion with PG’s developers, have a deep-dive into our new alerts system and to share your feedback on the prototype in a more in-depth conversation. We are holding online focus groups on Thursday 16 November (10am to 11.30am), Thursday 16 November (6.15pm to 7.45pm) and Friday 17 November (1pm to 2.30pm).

More information on both these can be found by clicking here.

• And still on the river…

A reminder that the excellent Lambourn Valley Flood and Pollution Forum produces newsletters about once a month covering matters related to our beautiful but beleaguered chalk stream.

The most recent one has just dropped into my in box and covers groundwater levels, Thames Water’s repair works, a tankering prediction, some thoughts on the recent WBC Scrutiny Commission meeting and the support received from ward members Clive Hooker and Carolyne Culver. Essential reading if you want to know how the flow in the East Garston area is going – contact Martyn Wright on [email protected] to sign up for the updates.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 28 Oct Breakfast at The Five Bells, Wickham

• Fri 3 Nov Inkpen Primary School Open Day, Inkpen.

Sat 4 Nov Community Bonfire Party Lambourn Sports Club.

Tue 7 Nov Valley Film Society: Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, East Garston Village Hall

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: improvements to the High Street; financial matters; street lighting; the Friends of Lambourn Library; the racing Committee; repairs and maintenance; Eastbury Village Hall (see separate section in last week’s report below); and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 31 August and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 12 October 2023

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: surgery update, scarecrows, wine, vaccines, bonfires and poppies – plus this weekend’s green weekend, the latest news from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston, a look at the situation of the local refugees and the possible next steps for the now-departed Eastbury Village Hall. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: Green Weekend, Repair Cafe, Halloween trails and Rugby World Cup. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

Healthwatch West Berkshire  invites you to have your say about the new ways of working at Lambourn surgery, and how you access the services they provide. Join them at the Memorial Hall on Monday 16 October at 10am and share your opinions. Your voice matters, and can help change how health provide their services. Complimentary refreshments provided. Contact 01635 935199 for further details.

Lambourn RDA has been nominated as a recipient of the Co-op Local Community Fund which closes on Saturday 21 October. So there’s still time for Co-op members to support their cause. By clicking here you can help make a positive impact in the community every time you swipe your membership card.

Friends of Lambourn Library invites everyone to have their say about the library at its AGM on Wednesday 18 October in the library. Refreshments will be served from 6.45pm and the meeting will start at 7pm.

Lambourn wine expert Brian Davis is starting a new Lambourn Wine Circle eight-week tasting course next Thursday 19 October in Lambourn  Memorial Hall. The course will include Greek, NE Italian and global cabernets and you get to taste 8 wines each week.

• If you would like to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint, there is a great opportunity this weekend to find out about a range of sustainable options at the Green Open Home in Great Shefford. Book appointments to talk to the homeowner and see a range of systems in action and take advice from someone with experience (who isn’t trying to sell something).

• Enjoy some half-term fun from Friday 20 October on the Great Shefford Scarecrow Trail. Find hidden scarecrows using the map from the village shop, which will cost just £1. Organised by Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA, you can even enter into a raffle to win a prize when you have finished.

• Quick reminder that you can get your Covid and flu vaccines at Lambourn pharmacy: together, or separately if preferred. Book with the pharmacy direct or via the NHS National Booking System (NBS).

Lambourn Royal British Legion is seeking volunteers for their poppy appeal at Membury Service Station or outside the Co-op. If you can help please contact Margaret on 07776 421523.

• Stallholders wanted for the popular Winter Fete at Shefford School on Saturday 18 November from 11am to 3pm. The cost is £10 per stall, plus an item for the tombola. To secure a place, email [email protected]

• Advance tickets now available from Universal Stores and Lambourn Sports Club for the Community Bonfire Party, with fireworks and a BBQ on Saturday 4 November at the club. Gates open at 6.30pm, the bonfire will be lit at 7pm and the fireworks display stats at 7.30pm. £4 per adult, £2 per child when pre booked and  £5 and £3 on the gate.

Trindledown currently has a 50% off clothes sale to raise funds for the charity, brands include Fat Face, New Look, H&M, New Look, Debenhams and Apricot

• Please see events section below for details of forthcoming open days at local schools.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• Click here to read the latest ward update (and all the previous ones) from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a monthly eco support group.

• A full in-box

This month’s (slightly delayed) regular update from Lambourn ward member Howard Wollaston can be seen here. As ever, this covers a wide range of topics.

He starts with some thoughts on the Scrutiny Commission meeting on 11 October at which Thames Water and the Environment Agency were being grilled by members of the Commission, councillors and local interest groups. He described TW’s presentation as “impressive” if sometimes “economical with the truth” and the EA’s as “wooly” and “not inspirational.” Local residents who have suffered from the shortcomings of both bodies in recent years will, hopefully, be encouraged by the fact that they were persuaded to show up at all and that many good ideas and information came from the session which can hopefully lead to some positive results.

Moving to more specific ward matters, he looks at CIL bids, planning applications at the Membury Industrial Estate, a very interesting (if unlikely) plan for mitigating the problem of HGVs on the B4000, speeding, school transport, planning enforcement, Lambourn’s NDP and a recent visit to the parish by the current MP and adopted candidate for the next election, Laura Farris.

• Eastbury Village Hall

This has now been demolished, having been condemned as unsafe. The Trust which owns it is seeking to investigate options for the use of the land. I understand that one course of action that might be adopted is to have it declared an asset of community value (ACV). This is generally employed to offer some protection for places such as pubs from being closed and converted to housing with undue haste. I’m not quite sure what an ACV would accomplish in this case but perhaps it’s seen as a belt-and-braces defence, like leaving your car in gear as well as with the end brake on when parked on a hill.

Parking, on a hill or otherwise, is, however, one of the things that this site is short of. This will limit the options for what use the site can be put to. A number of ideas have been discussed and I understand that these include, appropriately enough, a car park or (a rather small) allotment. The day may come when the best option is to sell it for development. This is for the trustees to decide. If so, there then needs to be a discussion about what happens to the proceeds.

Building a new hall there seems less likely, mainly because of the above-mentioned parking issue. However, it was pointed out to me today that there’s no law that that says a village hall has to be in the centre of a village. It you get into your boat and row a few miles downstream to Boxford, you’ll find a community whose former rather cramped village hall has been converted to a house and a far larger new one built on the edge of the village. The location isn’t ideal but this is perhaps compensated for by the size of the new building, the other facilities like tennis courts and the ample parking. This also makes it a good venue to stage events such as the recent Boxford Masques.the sale of the old site contributed a good part of the funds to the creation of the new one. This could work elsewhere. Just a thought…

• A green weekend

A quick reminder to bring your stuff that needs fixing to Repair Café in East Garston this Saturday as part of the Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley this weekend. Entry is free to all events. Collection of aid for Ukraine: please bring items requested here to any event,  plus any aluminium (foil, cans etc) or unwanted/broken electronics for recycling.

  • Friday 13 October Carbon Footprint Workshop, Village Hall, 6 to 7pm, followed by an optional ‘pot-luck’ veggie supper. Village hall bar open, and local apple juice and organic wine for sale.
  • Saturday 14 October East Garston Eco Day in the Village Hall area includes Repair Café, guided eco-walk, apple-pressing, plant/produce swap, insulation and home energy advice, EV pros and cons. 5pm Save our Wild Isles: Hungry for Change food and farming documentary and expert panel discussion (free entry), followed by an autumnal supper (£17) by Pricilla’s Kitchen and to be booked asap on 07976 156389 or [email protected].
  • Sunday 15 October Eastbury Eco Church welcomes you to a day of free talks and activities at St James Church, Eastbury. Please see here for more details.

• Refugees

This issue, already complex and divisive enough, has recently acquired a faintly party-political aspect in the district. In this separate post, I take a look at some of claims that have been made and also compare the official guidance and what is actually happening on the ground. It would appear that flip-flipping in and poor communication from SW1 is the real issue. I also suggest that the local parties here in West Berkshire have far more in common than they have differences on this issue. This seems like one of those situations where a united front can produce a lot of benefits.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 13 Oct John O’Gaunt School Open School Event, Hungerford.

• Fri 13 to Sun 15 Oct Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley East Garston & Eastbury.

• Sat 14 Oct Coffee and Cake Morning from 10am to noon, The Walwyn Hall.

• Sat 14 & Sun 15 Oct Rugby World Cup Quarter Final Matches and Bingo Night, Great Shefford Sports & Social Club.

Wed 18 Oct Friends of Lambourn Library AGM, Lambourn Library.

• Thu 19 Oct Inkpen Primary School Open Day, Inkpen.

• Thu 19 Oct Fine Dining at The Five Bells, Wickham

• Sat 28 Oct Breakfast at The Five Bells, Wickham

• Fri 3 Nov Inkpen Primary School Open Day, Inkpen.

Sat 4 Nov Lambourn Sports Club community bonfire party.

Tue 7 Nov Valley Film Society: Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, East Garston Village Hall

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 October and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: improvements to the High Street; financial matters; street lighting; the Friends of Lambourn Library; the racing Committee; repairs and maintenance; Eastbury Village Hall (see separate section above); and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 31 August and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


 

Thursday 5 October 2023

This week we look at an AGM, a fete, overgrowth, bonfires, a green weekend and harvests – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This week’s news” for the latest list of planning applications in Lambourn.

Upcoming Lambourn Valley events include: Friends of the Library AGM, open days at local schools and coffee and cake. See events section below for details, plus regular community events and clubs.

This week’s news

Lambourn Parish Council reminds parishioners that if you are struggling to walk along a path due to an overgrown hedge, you can click here to find out how to make a report

Caroline Farrant is keen to remind Great Shefford villagers that the popular Winter Fete will be happening again on Saturday 18 November from 11am to 3pm, and is keen to find those keen to exhibit their craft stalls. The cost is £10 per stall, plus an item for the tombola, for which a table and 2 chairs will be supplied. To secure a place email [email protected]

Lambourn Sports Club is excited that it will be throwing its Community Bonfire Party, with fireworks and a BBQ on Saturday 4 November. Gates open at 6.30pm, the bonfire will be lit at 7pm and the fireworks display stats at 7.30pm. £4 per adult, £2 per child when pre booked and  £5 and £3 on the gate. Advanced tickets available from 9 October from Universal Stores and the Sports Club.

• Many congratulations to Lambourn school whose children entered the National Read Aloud challenge and won the South East region for reading the most books over the holiday.

Lambourn Junction has kindly been given some dishwasher tablets. If anyone would like some and are not a user of the Junction all they ask for is three tins of protein i.e stew/chilli/chicken in white sauce.

Melanie Martin explains that The Swap Station at 4 Bockhampton Road, will be open for a few more weeks but a few of the house plants are starting to struggle with the lower night time temperatures in my porch. Currently there are a lot of house plants, three on the shelf, two on the floor not in a tray and the tray next to these two. However there is a tray of perennials in the porch as well as several outside, plus a shrub (starting to drop its leaves for the winter) and a planted up container. As well as all that there are pots both inside and outside and other accessories. Swap to your hearts content and as always if there’s something you’d like but have nothing to swap pop a donation in the Bear’s basket (all donations are used to add plants to the Swap Station). Happy Growing Lambourn.

Trindledown currently has a 50% off clothes sale to raise funds for the charity, brands include Fat Face, New Look, H&M, New Look, Debenhams and Apricot

• Lambourn Sports Club‘s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members. You don’t need to score 180s but if you enjoy a bit of banter and are available most Thursday evenings from 8pm for a couple of hours they’d love to hear from you. They play in the Lambourn Valley Darts League B division with home games at the sports club and away games in the Hungerford and Kintbury areas. If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• The Valley Film Society’s next film season is starting later this year in November due to East Garston Village Hall getting a new projector so they are kicking off with their popular Quiz Night on Friday 6 October, 7pm for 7.30pm in the village hall. Book your tickets with James on [email protected] or 01488 648705.

• Please see events section below for details of forthcoming open days at local schools.

• Graham Jones wants everyone to be aware that due to a new covid variant the NHS has brought forward the national pharmacy covid and flu vaccination programmes and Lambourn pharmacy will be commencing both covid and flu vaccinations towards the middle of September. They will keep people posted and anticipate to be able to take bookings towards the end of next week.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• Click here to read the latest ward update (and all the previous ones) from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a monthly eco support group.

• A green weekend

A quick reminder that everyone is welcome at the second Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley in East Garston and Eastbury from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 October. Entry is free to all events except the meal on Saturday evening. For more info click here. Collection of aid for Ukraine: please bring items requested here to any event – plus any aluminium (foil, cans etc) or unwanted/broken electronics for recycling.

  • Friday 13 October Carbon Footprint Workshop, Village Hall, 6 to 7pm. Followed by an optional ‘pot-luck’ veggie supper. Village hall bar open, and local apple juice and organic wine for sale.
  • Saturday 14 October East Garston Eco Day in the Village Hall area includes Repair Cafe, guided eco-walk, apple-pressing, plant/produce swap, insulation & home energy advice, EV pros and cons. 5pm Save our Wild Isles: Hungry for Change food & farming documentary and expert panel discussion (free entry) Followed by an autumnal supper (£17), by Pricilla’s Kitchen and to be booked by Wed 11 October on 07976 156389 or [email protected].
  • Sunday 15 October Eastbury Eco Church welcomes you to a day of free talks and activities at St James Church, Eastbury. Please see here for more details.

• Lambourn’s plans

Every month or so, the excellent Lambourn.org publishes a list of the live (ie undetermined) planning applications in the parish. As WBC no longer sends letters to neighbours and as the orange notices don’t always get displayed as clearly as they might, this is probably the best way of keeping up to date with what plans have been submitted. This is the latest list, published on 3 October 2023.

As the preamble to L.org’s list explains, “in order to build or substantially modify a property a planning application has to be submitted and approved. The local planning authority, and decision maker for Lambourn, is West Berkshire Council. Lambourn Parish Council reviews planning applications and provides input to West Berkshire Council.

“The best place to check what applications have been made in your locality is by visiting the West Berkshire Planning Portal where you can search based on your postcode. Using the portal you can comment, object or support a planning application. The list [in the above-mentioned post] is an extract and only valid on the day published. Always check the West Berkshire Planning Portal to see the latest applications and status.”

The new administration at WBC has said that it will shortly be re-introducing neighbour notification letters regarding planning applications. The above-mentioned post (updated as necessary) will nevertheless remain an excellent way of keeping track of all local applications including ones which might affect you but to which you are not close enough to to qualify for receiving a letter.

Latest local newsletters


Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Wed 11 Oct Kintbury St Mary’s Primary School Open Day, Kintbury.

• Thu 12 Oct John O’Gaunt School Open Evening, Hungerford.

• Fri 13 Oct John O’Gaunt School Open School Event, Hungerford.

• Sat 14 Oct Coffee and Cake Morning from 10am to noon, The Walwyn Hall.

Wed 18 Oct Friends of Lambourn Library AGM, Lambourn Library.

• Thu 19 Oct Inkpen Primary School Open Day, Inkpen.

• Fri 13 to Sun 15 Oct Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley East Garston & Eastbury.

• Fri 3 Nov Inkpen Primary School Open Day, Inkpen.

Sat 4 Nov Lambourn Sports Club community bonfire party.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at [email protected] or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included:Dog bins; maintenance and repairs; the local racing industry; the Mill Lane Play Area; the phone box (see separate section above); speeding; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 July and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


Thursday 21 September 2023

This week we look at a closing sale, darts, photos, karate, free buses and a look back at East Gaston’s recent produce show – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

We’re taking a bit of time off so this post will next be updated on Thursday 5 October.

This week’s news

• Lambourn Sports Club‘s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members. You don’t need to score 180s but if you enjoy a bit of banter and are available most Thursday evenings from 8pm for a couple of hours they’d love to hear from you. They play in the Lambourn Valley Darts League B division with home games at the sports club and away games in the Hungerford and Kintbury areas. If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• After the sad news that the Lambourn Royal British Legion Club will be closing down, there will be a Closing Down Sale and Auction of goods on Sunday 24 September. Viewing open from 1pm and auction to follow between 2pm and 4pm. Successful bids/purchases must be paid for, and removed on the day. Credit cards accepted.

• Following the feedback from the recent survey, Lambourn Parish Council have arranged for the resizing and repositioning of the goal posts at Mill Lane. The work started on Friday 15 September with the goals being removed and should be reinstated within 10 working days but may be sooner.

• This Friday 22 September is World Car Free Day and consequently West Berks Council is offering free bus travel on routes starting in West Berkshire and including return trips too. 

• In response to a request from the Lambourn Parish Council Lambourn Camera Club recently ran a competition with the winning photographs due to be framed and hung in the recently refurbished Memorial Hall. The Parish Council would like to offer sincere thanks to the Camera Club and to everyone who took part. 

• Enjoy a Harvest Supper at Great Shefford Village Hall on Friday 6 October. Enjoy a three-course home made meal for just £15 pp. Tickets cost £15 per person. Call or text 07768 668649 or email [email protected]

• Lambourn Karate Club currently have 5 spaces available in their Monday and Fridays class at Lambourn Sports club. On Mondays class is at 5.30pm and at 4pm on Fridays. If you are interested in your child having a free session please text on 07774 645476 or email [email protected]

• If you like a boogie don’t miss the charity Over 40s Disco Night on Saturday 30 September at The Queens Lodge, East Garston with a raffle and auction to raise money for the Dreamflight Charity. Tickets are £10 per person and can be booked from [email protected] or [email protected] The fabulous auction prizes include a weekend in London for two with tickets for the Lion King thrown in; lunch at Mosimann Belgravia; or a 4 ball on your choice of championship course at Woburn.

• Lambourn RDA‘s Silent Auction is running until Wednesday 27 September in conjunction with the Clay Day at Barbury. Everyone can take part and there are some absolutely fantastic lots, including wild trout fishing, shooting lessons and a private tutored wine tasting amongst others, so don’t miss out on the chance to bid and get an experience not to be forgotten. Please submit bids to  [email protected]

• The Valley Film Society’s next film season is starting later this year in November due to East Garston Village Hall getting a new projector so they are kicking off with their popular Quiz Night on Friday 6 October, 7pm for 7.30pm in the village hall. Book your tickets with James on [email protected] or 01488 648705.

• Plans are underway for the next Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley 13 to 15 October with a wide range of events including a repair cafe, foraging walk, pros and cons of electric vehicles, scything demonstration, produce, plant & seed swap, riverkeeper’s talk, Richard Jefferies our first naturalist, home energy information, film and autumnal supper from Priscilla’s Kitchen. All events free except the supper. See here for all details.

• Is there something you would like to change about your smile? Lambourn Dental offers a range of cosmetic dental treatments, white fillings, bonding, straightening, whitening and implants and a 10% discount in September on first Clinical Smile Appointments with Fatima (£117 instead of £130).

• Did you know that you can collect a free roll of compostable food caddy liners from any West Berkshire Library or from the West Berkshire Council Office reception in Newbury? They’ll be available until Saturday 30 September.

• Action for the River Kennet encourage everyone to join The Rivers Trust‘s first ever Big River Watch from Friday 22 to Monday 24 September. You just have to spend 15 minutes observing the wildlife, water colour, litter and pollution in your local river or stream to help gather vital data on the state of our rivers, to support the work being done to improve and protect them. Find out more here.

• Hungerford’s John O’Gaunt School combines big school ambition with small school care and invites prospective students to their Open Evening on Thursday 12 October and their Open Morning Tours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 October. See here for details and book your place with the school office on 01488 682400 or [email protected]

• Kintbury St.Mary’s CE Primary School invites prospective families to their Whole School Open Morning on Wednesday 11 October. Please contact the office on 01488 658336 or email [email protected] to book your place.

• There will be a warming soup lunch with games, chat and company on Monday 25 September, at All Saints Church in Brightwalton. Drop in anytime between 12 and 2pm. Cake donations for afters can be dropped off on the day. There is no charge for lunch but donations are welcome. There will also be a special guest talk from Barrie of Reliance Motors. Email [email protected] for further info.

• Graham Jones wants everyone to be aware that due to a new covid variant the NHS has brought forward the national pharmacy covid and flu vaccination programmes and Lambourn pharmacy will be commencing both covid and flu vaccinations towards the middle of September. They will keep people posted and anticipate to be able to take bookings towards the end of next week.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• Click here to read the latest ward update (and all the previous ones) from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

A look back at the produce show

The annual East Garston Allotment Association Produce Show on Sunday 10 September in the East Garston Village Hall inspired a wonderful array of flowers, produce and baked goods that were entered into the competition and the judges said that the standard was high despite a difficult growing season. Notable flower entries included beautiful pom pom Dahlias and some exquisite scented roses.

The auction of produce hosted by Pat Murphy, to close the show, was as entertaining and popular as ever (what the world of racing has gained, the world of auctioneering has lost). The Allotment Committee would like to thank all their sponsors, judges and contributors for making this event such a success.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 23 Sept Traditional Breakfast at the Five Bells, Wickham.

Thur 28 Sept American Smokehouse & Josh Smith Live at The Five Bells, Wickham.

• Sat 30 Sept Over 40s Charity Disco Night, East Garston

• Sun 1 Oct Super Sunday (Ryder Cup and the Prix de l’Arc), Queens Lodge, East Garston. Booking essential.

• Fri 6 Oct Quiz Night, East Garston Village Hall

• Fri 13 to Sun 15 Oct Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley East Garston & Eastbury

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm on Mondays. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or click here,  or message them on their Facebook page.  New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included:Dog bins; maintenance and repairs; the local racing industry; the Mill Lane Play Area; the phone box (see separate section above); speeding; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 July and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.



Thursday 14 September 2023

This week we look at an unwelcome closure, a harvest supper, a silent auction, a quiz night and river watching – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for a look at current planning applications in Lambourn, a chance to quiz representatives of the Environment agency and Thames Water and what seems to be the last chapter in the story of Lambourn’s last phone box.

This week’s news

• It has come as something of a shock, and much sadness, that The Royal British Legion Lambourn Club (not Branch) will be shutting down no later than Friday 29 September. The venue, which has hosted numerous events over the years, and created innumerable memories for villagers, has found it financially impossible to continue at this time. We will follow this story as more details emerge over the coming weeks.

• Plans are afoot for a Harvest Supper in Great Shefford Village Hall on Friday 6 October. Keep your eyes peeled for posters which will pop up around the village with further details.

Lambourn RDA‘s Silent Auction is running until Wednesday 27 September in conjunction with the Clay Day at Barbury. Everyone can take part and there are some absolutely fantastic lots, including wild trout fishing, shooting lessons and a private tutored wine tasting amongst others, so don’t miss out on the chance to bid and get an experience not to be forgotten. Please submit bids to  [email protected]

The Valley Film Society’s next film season is starting later this year in November due to East Garston Village Hall getting a new projector so they are kicking off with their popular Quiz Night on Friday 6 October, 7pm for 7.30pm in the village hall. Book your tickets with James on [email protected] or 01488 648705.

Is there something you would like to change about your smile? Lambourn Dental offers a range of cosmetic dental treatments, white fillings, bonding, straightening, whitening and implants and a 10% discount in September on first Clinical Smile Appointments with Fatima (£117 instead of £130).

• Did you know that you can collect a free roll of compostable food caddy liners from any West Berkshire Library or from the West Berkshire Council Office reception in Newbury? They’ll be available until Saturday 30 September.

• Action for the River Kennet encourage everyone to join The Rivers Trust‘s first ever Big River Watch from Friday 22 to Monday 24 September. You just have to spend 15 minutes observing the wildlife, water colour, litter and pollution in your local river or stream to help gather vital data on the state of our rivers, to support the work being done to improve and protect them. Find out more here.

• There will be a warming soup lunch with games, chat and company on Monday 25 September, at All Saints Church in Brightwalton. Drop in anytime between 12 and 2pm. Cake donations for afters can be dropped off on the day. There is no charge for lunch but donations are welcome. There will also be a special guest talk from Barrie of Reliance Motors. Email [email protected] for further info.

• Hungerford’s John O’Gaunt School combines big school ambition with small school care and invites prospective students to their Open Evening on Thursday 12 October and their Open Morning Tours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 October. See here for details and book your place with the school office on 01488 682400 or [email protected]

• Kintbury St.Mary’s CE Primary School invites prospective families to their Whole School Open Morning on Wednesday 11 October. Please contact the office on 01488 658336 or email [email protected] to book your place.

• Graham Jones wants everyone to be aware that due to a new covid variant the NHS has brought forward the national pharmacy covid and flu vaccination programmes and Lambourn pharmacy will be commencing both covid and flu vaccinations towards the middle of September. They will keep people posted and anticipate to be able to take bookings towards the end of next week.

• Our family, like many, has very sadly lost friends to suicide, including young adults in Newbury. Here in West Berkshire we have a Suicide Prevention Action Group that provides training and awareness materials. Do have a read Chairman Garry Poulson’s article here for Suicide Prevention Week 10 to 16 September and you can also sign up for their next Suicide Prevention First-Aid Course on Thursday 19 October.

• Don’t miss the charity Over 40s Disco Night on Saturday 30 September at The Queens Lodge, East Garston with a raffle and auction to raise money for the Dreamflight Charity. Tickets are £10 per person and can be booked from [email protected] or [email protected] The fabulous auction prizes include a weekend in London for two with tickets for the Lion King thrown in; lunch at Mosimann Belgravia; or a 4 ball on your choice of championship course at Woburn.

• Lambourn RBL invites 40s and over for an Afternoon Tea on Tuesday 19 September from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at a cost of £5 pp.

• Lambourn Junction CIC are delighted to announce that The Lambourn Community Bus is joining the list of projects under the auspices of the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company. There will be trips every Wednesday from the valley to Wantage and back, plus lots of special excursions such as Bournemouth, Christmas Markets, Garden Centres and more. Click here for more information.

• Lambourn Parish Council are keen to inform villagers that from Wednesday 6 September, The Shield Group will be emptying all dog waste bins, so recent over flowing bins will hopefully be resolved. Click here to find out more.

• Melanie Martin reports that The Swap Station at 4 Bockhampton Rd has a fairly large number of house plants (windowsill and shelf) and some garden perennials (floor), as well as lots of pots (outside) and some accessories (in the open cupboards). As always if you have nothing to swap and see something you like just drop a donation in the Bear’s basket (all donations are used to add plants to the Swap Station).

• Why not enrol in The Everyday First Aid Training Course taking place on Thursday 21 September at 10.45am in Chaddleworth, organised by local charity Connecting Communities in Berkshire with a tutor from British Red Cross. The course is completely free and will cover the basics of first aid in an emergency and defibrillator training, places must be booked though. To reserve your place (first come, first served) please click here.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

Click here to read the latest ward update (and all the previous ones) from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

Lambourn’s plans

Every month or so, the excellent Lambourn.org publishes a list of the live (ie undetermined) planning applications in the parish. As WBC no longer sends letters to neighbours and as the orange notices don’t always get displayed as clearly as they might, this is probably the best way of keeping up to date with what plans have been submitted. This is the latest list, published on I September 2023.

As the preamble to L.org’s list explains, “in order to build or substantially modify a property a planning application has to be submitted and approved. The local planning authority, and decision maker for Lambourn, is West Berkshire Council. Lambourn Parish Council reviews planning applications and provides input to West Berkshire Council.

“The best place to check what applications have been made in your locality is by visiting the West Berkshire Planning Portal where you can search based on your postcode. Using the portal you can comment, object or support a planning application. The list [in the above-mentioned post] is an extract and only valid on the day published. Always check the West Berkshire Planning Portal to see the latest applications and status.”

The last box

What seems to be pretty much the final act of the case of the Lambourn phone box, which has been ear-marked for closure by BT, was played out at the meeting of Lambourn Parish Council on 6 September. The meeting minutes provided a clear summary of where matters are and why it seems they can go no further, so I can do no better than reproduce them in full:

“Councillor Rieunier reported that this is the last working telephone phone box in the valley and that it has been under threat of removal for a number of years. Lambourn Parish Council, Lambourn CIC, Penny Post, Howard Woollaston, Laura Farris and the parishioners of Lambourn have all been actively involved in trying to stop the closure.

“It is now understood that nobody has been able to save the phone box because it is sited on private land. Phone boxes on private land are not subject to consultation for adoption to enable it to be retained. Another option would be to list it, but it’s a newer model that is not suitable for listing.

“Sadly, as far as can be determined, we are not in a position to be able to save the phone box in its current location. Therefore, LPC can take no further action and will have to consider the matter closed.

However, where LPC might be able to help is by acting as a lifeline: One of the reasons cited for saving the phone box was to enable calls to be made in difficult circumstances, for example, in the case of domestic abuse where a mobile phone is being monitored.

Councillor Rieunier proposed, and Councillor Noll seconded that, during office opening hours, LPC offer the use of the office phone to make free, confidential lifeline calls. The Clerk has confirmed they agree with this. Resolved: majority agreed with one abstention.

Scrutinising the water

Do you have concerns about the activities of Thames Water and the Environment Agency? If so, you can submit questions to a special public West Berkshire Council Oversight and Scrutiny Committee meeting being held at 6.30pm on Wednesday 11 October. At this event, the members of the committee will be reviewing the recent performance of TW and the EA in the district and will be questioning representatives of both organisations who will be attending the meeting.

If you have any questions you’d like ask or concerns you’d like to raise, please email these to [email protected] by 18 September. The meeting will be streamed live on the Council’s YouTube channel for residents wanting to follow the meeting as it happens or at their convenience later. Click here for more details.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 30 Sept Over 40s Charity Disco Night, East Garston

• Sun 1 Oct Super Sunday (Ryder Cup and the Prix de l’Arc), Queens Lodge, East Garston. Booking essential.

• Fri 6 Oct Quiz Night, East Garston

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm on Mondays. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or click here,  or message them on their Facebook page.  New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 September and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included:Dog bins; maintenance and repairs; the local racing industry; the Mill Lane Play Area; the phone box (see separate section above); speeding; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Friday 8 September 2023

This week we look at ride, stride, bingo, jabs, dog bins and buses – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for a look at how we judge the new WBC administration has done in its first hundred days, a major metal-detecting event in East Garston and a peek into Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston’s in-tray

Apologies that this is a day late. As many of you will know, we were recently beset by IT problems severe enough to make us wonder if we’d ever get this out at all. Apologies on behalf of the gremlin or gremlins responsible.

This week’s news

• In this week’s September Penny Post Valley Newsletter you will find everything from young karate champions to the next Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley.

• Don’t miss the next Bingo Night at Great Shefford Sports & Social Club this Saturday 9 September. Doors open 7:30pm – Eyes down 8:00pm with Surprize Line Prizes & Cash House Prizes. Tickets available on the night.

• Deborah and Neil Philips from Eastbury are doing the Ride and Stride tour of local churches on Saturday 9 September in aid of  St. James the Greater Eastbury Parish church and The Royal County of Berkshire Churches Trust that encourage churches to make use of their buildings for the benefit of the community at large where possible. They are grateful for sponsorship here.

• Last chance to complete West Berkshire Council’s Bus Survey by Sunday 10 September. Buses sustain town centres, allow young people and the elderly to access education and work, and help reduce carbon emissions from car travel.

• Scarecrows are beginning to appear around East Garston for the village’s first Village Scarecrow Competition as part of the East Garston Produce Show on Sunday 10 September. Produce Show entries will be accepted between 9am and 11am on Sunday 10 September in East Garston Village Hall. The Show opens for viewing at 12pm. Pop on down to enjoy a bar, hot dogs, teas and cakes, fruit, veg and cake stall, tombola, two raffles and the Big Produce Auction with Pat Murphy.

• Graham Jones wants everyone to be aware that due to a new covid variant the NHS has brought forward the national pharmacy covid and flu vaccination programmes and Lambourn pharmacy will be commencing both covid and flu vaccinations towards the middle of September. They will keep people posted and anticipate to be able to take bookings towards the end of next week.

• Our family, like many, has very sadly lost friends to suicide, including young adults in Newbury. Here in West Berkshire we have a Suicide Prevention Action Group that provides training and awareness materials. Do have a read Chairman Garry Poulson’s article here for Suicide Prevention Week 10 to 16 September and you can also sign up for their next Suicide Prevention First-Aid Course on Thursday 19 October.

• Don’t miss the charity Over 40s Disco Night on Saturday 30 September at The Queens Lodge, East Garston with a raffle and auction to raise money for the Dreamflight Charity. Tickets are £10 per person and can be booked from [email protected] or [email protected] The fabulous auction prizes include a weekend in London for two with tickets for the Lion King thrown in; lunch at Mosimann Belgravia; or a 4 ball on your choice of championship course at Woburn.

• Lambourn RBL invites 40s and over for an Afternoon Tea on Tuesday 19 September from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at a cost of £5 pp.

• Lambourn Junction CIC are delighted to announce that The Lambourn Community Bus is joining the list of projects under the auspices of the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company. There will be trips every Wednesday from the valley to Wantage and back, plus lots of special excursions such as Bournemouth, Christmas Markets, Garden Centres and more. Click here for more information.

• Lambourn Parish Council are keen to inform villagers that from Wednesday 6 September, The Shield Group will be emptying all dog waste bins, so recent over flowing bins will hopefully be resolved. Click here to find out more.

• Melanie Martin reports that The Swap Station at 4 Bockhampton Rd has a fairly large number of house plants (windowsill and shelf) and some garden perennials (floor), as well as lots of pots (outside) and some accessories (in the open cupboards). As always if you have nothing to swap and see something you like just drop a donation in the Bear’s basket (all donations are used to add plants to the Swap Station).

• Why not enrol in The Everyday First Aid Training Course taking place on Thursday 21 September at 10.45am in Chaddleworth, organised by local charity Connecting Communities in Berkshire with a tutor from British Red Cross. The course is completely free and will cover the basics of first aid in an emergency and defibrillator training, places must be booked though. To reserve your place (first come, first served) please click here.

• The Trussell Trust’s Step Up September Challenge is in aid of preventing the need for FoodbanksPlease click here if you would like to sponsor Penny doing the challenge.

• Do you have plans for crime prevention projects in your community? Applications for the latest round of Thames Valley Police’s Community Fund are now open, with £200,000 of grant funding available for community group projects to help prevent crime across Thames Valley. Application deadline is 12pm on Monday 11 September.

• Volunteers are being sought to help out at Brightwalton’s Children’s Halloween Party on Monday 30 October from 4pm to 6pm at Brightwalton Village Hall. If you can help please email Katherine Moore at brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

Treasure in the Valley

Driving along the valley road between East Garston and Great Shefford last Friday afternoon I was intrigued by the caravanserai of tents, camper vans, marquees and food stalls which had set up on the field just beyond Maiden Court Farm. Garstonbury had been and gone for this year and was, in any case, on the other side of the road. What was going on? Festival? Traveller encampment? Was it perhaps a hallucination? There was a car close behind me so I had little time to stop and put any of these theories to the test.

The answer, a few enquiries revealed, was that it was a metal detecting event organised by the Rodney Cook Memorial, a charity set up by Gary Cook in remembrance of his father Rodney. We went along to have a look at what was being dug up and learning how any finds are recorded and valued and how any proceeds are divided. You can read more in this separate post.

The Lambourn ward member’s update

You can click here to read the latest summary from local District Councillor Howard Woollaston of what’s been in his in-tray and in-box. This includes CIL bids, further problems with the local sewage system, a briefly alarming piece of information about Lambourn Primary School, a rogue trader, school transport problems, a near disaster on the B4000, changes to nutrient neutrality regulations and a forthcoming visit from the local MP.

The post also has information about how residents can contact him if they have any issues which he can help with.

The first hundred days

The new Lib Dem administration was sworn in or whatever the ceremony involved at WBC on 25 May, so they’ve had just over a hundred days with their hands on the levers. This seemed like a good moment to reflect on what has and has not been accomplished.

Ross Mackinnon, leader of WBC’s Conservatives had the same idea and sent round a press statement on 13 August which provided his party’s take on how things were going. Green leader David Marsh added some thoughts of his own. So did I. Read more in this separate post.  

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 10 Sept East Garston Flower & Produce Show, East Garston Village Hall.

• Sat 30 Sept Over40s Charity Disco Night, East Garston

• Sun 1 Oct Super Sunday (Ryder Cup and the Prix de l’Arc), Queens Lodge, East Garston. Booking essential.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm on Mondays. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or click here,  or message them on their Facebook page.  New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

• Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 2 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; dog-waste bins (see separate section above); the horse tracks at the Old Cricket Field; road salting; repairs and maintenance; speeding on the B4000; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 31 August 2023

This week we look at the carnival, coffee, a walking challenge, scarecrows and crime prevention – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for the possible closure of Lambourn’s last phone box, a last call for submissions for September’s Valley of the Racehorse newsletter and a look at what might, according to a recent government announcement, be the end of the nutrient neutrality regulations which currently affect planning and development in the Lambourn catchment.

This week’s news

• The weather was kind for the Lambourn Carnival on Bank Holiday Sunday, with villagers able to gather to watch the marching band, steam roller, vintage Bracey lorry, terrific floats and walking and equestrian entries parade around the village. And well done to the organisers for coping with the last minute route change due to Thames Water flooding… See the Lambourn Carnival & Festival facebook group for all the photos, results and the wonderful chalk drawings too.

• Great Shefford Villagers are invited to a Village Coffee Morning this Saturday 2 September at the Village Hall from 10am to 12noon.

• The Trussell Trust’s Step Up September Challenge is an inspiration to walk 30 minutes each day of the month to raise funds to help build a future where nobody needs to use a food bank. If you would like to join our Penny Post Team, please search for ‘Penny’ when it asks you to find a team (thanks to Leo Sumner for setting this up). Or if you prefer to sponsor Penny, please do so here.

• East Garston Parish Council is seeking a new Parish Clerk. See full details here.

• Are you over 40 and love a boogie? Then come along for a fun-filled Charity Disco Night dancing to 60’s, 70’s and 80’s classics on Saturday 30 September at The Queen’s Lodge, East Garston with a raffle and auction to raise money for the Dreamflight Charity. Tickets are £10 per person and can be booked from [email protected] or [email protected] The fabulous auction prizes include a weekend in London for two with tickets for the Lion King thrown in; lunch at Mosimann Belgravia; or a 4 ball on your choice of championship course at Woburn. Come have a fun night, support your community and a great cause!  See you there.

• There is still time to complete West Berkshire Council’s Bus Survey by 10 September. Buses allow young people and the elderly to access education and work, and help reduce carbon emissions from car travel. Paper copies of the survey can be requested at 01635 519394 or [email protected].

• East Garston Allotments has introduced a Village Scarecrow Competition as part of the East Garston Produce Show on Sunday 10 September. Entries will be judged between 3 and 10 September and no entry forms are required.

• Do you have plans for crime prevention projects in your community? Applications for the latest round of Thames Valley Police’s Community Fund are now open, with £200,000 of grant funding available for community group projects to help prevent crime across Thames Valley. Application deadline is 12pm on Monday 11 September.

• Volunteers are being sought to help out at Brightwalton’s Children’s Halloween Party on Monday 30 October from 4pm to 6pm at Brightwalton Village Hall. If you can help please email Katherine Moore at [email protected].

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

The Valley of the Racehorse

The next edition will be published on Saturday 3 September and will, as ever, provide the best round-up of life in the upper reaches of the Lambourn Valley.

if there’s anything you’d like to see covered, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.

The last box

In 2022 (on 31 March and 4 August, now in the archives post), we reported on BT’s plans to close Lambourn’s last remaining public phone box, in Newbury Street just down from the George. Both Penny Post and Lambourn.org looked into the matter. The main points were that fewer than 20 calls a year were made from the box; that Ofcom has pointed out that a high proportion of calls made from the country’s remaining call boxes are to emergency services or support groups like the Samaritans; and that BT had conducted a consultation in 2020 about the closure, Lambourn PC having lodged an objection. It later transpired that, as the phone box was on private land, BT could close it without formalities, something it said it would do “in the coming months.” I remain surprised that BT didn’t know this when it launched the seemingly pointless consultation; also that the ownership of the land has anything to do with the importance of the service.

The coming months came and went and everyone forgot about it. On 30 August, however, the BT Payphones team emailed WBC saying that “we’ve identified one public payphone in your area that is no longer needed. We’ve assessed this using the criteria in Ofcom’s Review of the telephony universal service obligation. I’ve attached the list of payphone/s that we’re planning to remove. To make sure that the local community are fully informed, we’ve placed notices (including the posting date) on these payphone/s.”

The email also adds that communities can ‘adopt’ phone boxes to turn into something completely different. “With payphone usage falling, communities are looking at new ways of using them.  Thousands of boxes have been reinvented as cafes, mini-libraries, and defibrillator sites. Communities can adopt most red boxes for just £1. They can also adopt modern glass boxes if they want to house a defibrillator. Visit bt.com/adopt for more information.”

Rather surprisingly given the earlier business about the consultation, it goes on to say that you can make representations in the next 90 days, until 28 November 2023. “We’ll take account of representations you make about our plans when we’re making our final decision. We’ll also write to with you the reasons for our decision. If you’ve got any questions or want to make representations, please email us at [email protected].”

The future doesn’t look bright for this structure, at least as a phone box. A covering email from WBC’s planning team said that the Council had only successfully defended the closure of one box in the last 16 years and that was in a community which at that time had very poor mobile coverage. Should you wish to object, however, there’s no harm in writing to the email address above. It may, however, need to look forward to a new life as a defibrillator box, a location for leaflets or – as we have here in East Garston – as a free book exchange. Everything needs to evolve to survive, after all.

Nutrient neutrality

In the last eighteen months we’ve heard a lot about these Natural England regulations which were introduced in several parts of the country including Lambourn catchment area (which includes a good chunk of West Berkshire) last year. The intention was to reduce the amount of phosphates and nitrates which entered our waterways; and the number-one target was held to be new housing developments of any size. Trying to implement these new regulations caused local planning departments considerable headaches and certainly caused delay to decision-making.

Now, just when officers seem to have got their heads round the issue, the government has said that it wants to do away with the whole thing. This will, Whitehall’s rationale runs, remove another EU-imposed shackle on national growth and help ensure that we get our house-building targets back on track.

In this separate post, we take a look at what the nutrient neutrality policies are (and are not), why they are in several ways misguided and what positive effects they have so far had. We also consider the political time and the legal implications of the announcement and wonder if the environment has, as campaigner and musician Feargal Sharkey suggested, “been left to fend for itself.”

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Flower & Produce Show, East Garston Village Hall.

Sun 1 Oct Super Sunday (Ryder Cup and the Prix de l’Arc), Queens Lodge, East Garston. Booking essential.

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm on Mondays. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or click here,  or message them on their Facebook page.  New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 2 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; dog-waste bins (see separate section above); the horse tracks at the Old Cricket Field; road salting; repairs and maintenance; speeding on the B4000; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 24 August 2023

This week we look at closures, a Clerk, a funfair, a charity ride and a local degree – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for winning scarecrows, a forthcoming green weekend in the Valley and keeping an eye on the water.

This week’s news

High Street in Upper Lambourn is currently closed from the junction of Maddle Road to the junction of Upper Lambourn Road. This emergency closure for repairs to restore customers’ water supply is expected to remain in place until Wednesday 30 August. All enquiries should be directed to: Thames Water on 0800 316 9800. A plan of the closure can be found here.

• East Garston Parish Council is seeking a new Parish Clerk. See full details here.

Scarrotts Funfair will be at the Mill Lane Rec in Lambourn until Bank Holiday Monday 28 August, with all the usual attractions and energy supporting the annual Lambourn Festival.

• There is still time to get your entry forms for the Lambourn Carnival Parade this Bank Holiday Sunday 27 August. Forms are available from Universal Stores or you can also enter by emailing: [email protected]

The National Trust and the tenant at Ashdown House have kindly given permission for Swindon Downs Syndrome Group to provide refreshments to visitors on Saturday 26 August from 2pm to 4pm. They will be selling drinks, cakes and cream scones from their gazebo next to Ashdown House. Proceeds will go to SDSG, with a small donation to the NT.

• It is understandable that a lot of cars are bypassing the road closure at The Queens for Thames Water’s repairs by driving through East Garston. We just request that you keep your speed down. Luckily the Number 4 bus is also able to drive through the village so the bus service hasn’t been interrupted – and there is still full access to the pub.  See reminder here of Thames Water’s connecting and tankering operations in the Lambourn Valley this month.

• East Garston Allotments has introduced a Village Scarecrow Competition as part of the East Garston Produce Show on Sunday 10 September. Entries will be judged between 3 and 10 September and no entry forms are required.

Katy Quayle from Baydon will be the only English jockey competing in the Pat Smullen Charity horse race in the Curragh this Saturday 26 August in aid of cancer research and is grateful for your support here. For more about Katy and the project, watch this short video here.

• There’s still time to apply to achieve a degree locally at University Centre Newbury which runs its own clearing process in-house, by the people who actually deliver and support your programmes. This gives you direct access to the information, advice and guidance you need to make an informed choice about your studies – whether you’ve just finished sixth form and have changed your mind about the university, your recent A Level results have surprised you or if you’re a professional looking to advance in your career.

• Do you have plans for crime prevention projects in your community? Applications for the latest round of Thames Valley Police’s Community Fund are now open, with £200,000 of grant funding available for community group projects to help prevent crime across Thames Valley. Application deadline is 12pm on Monday 11 September.

• Our Summer Holiday Guide includes lots to do with your kids this summer including West Berks Summer HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) Programme at Lambourn Primary School with free spaces for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

Scarecrow Success

There were some really amazing entries in Lambourn Festival’s Scarecrow Competition this year, and after much difficult debate Kiri Fowler announces that the results are as follows:

Top Three: Night on the lash for the minions by Flynn Lashly, 17 Parsonage Place, “What he give for a light” by Faye Williams, Mill Lane;  Sponge Bob by Claire Watkins, 9 Child Street.

Highly Commended: The Horse by Sam Goldsbury, 37 Woodbury; Sponge Bob by Robert Jackson, Hedgeland, Newbury Road; Donald Trump by Tracey Fisher, 6 Stork House Drive.

More scarecrows can be found at the following locations: King Charles plus 1 at Baydon Road/Parsonage Place; Barbie at Morelands, Newbury Road; Scarecrow at 22 Oxford Street; ScareGrow at Marston House, Oxford Street; Frank Tawan House of Thai delivery boy at Ponderosa, Greenways.

Do visit them all!

Green Weekend

Building on the success of the first Green Weekend in the Lambourn Valley in April/May, East Garston Eco Group are delighted to announce they are now planning a second Green Weekend, in collaboration with Eastbury Eco Church, on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October. Please save the dates.

More details to follow, but in the meantime, please do get in touch on [email protected] if you would like to take part, either to showcase what you are doing, suggest a speaker or event, or help as a volunteer.

As well as bringing people together at the Green Weekends, the eco group has started several other projects:

  1. Organising small groups of friends, neighbours or work colleagues to work together to reduce their carbon footprints. The WWF footprint calculator is a great place to start planning how to reduce footprints from ‘Food’, ‘Homes’ ‘Travel’ and ‘Stuff”. This is especially important as we in the Lambourn Valley have higher than average footprints due to our travel and heating costs. EGEG have use of a thermal imaging camera to see the cold spots in your home. This can help with improving insulation and curtains and so helps you stay warmer and save money.
  2. Supporting biodiversity, including planting a wildlife hedge along the side of the Millennium Field in East Garston with saplings kindly donated by locals and the Woodland Trust.
  3. Planting mini ‘veg-beds’ around East Garston to show the role of local produce in saving money, reducing food miles and even improving our health. Please help yourself to any produce.
  4. Giving science-based talks and cooking demonstrations at local schools and events.

Watching the water

The latest email from the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum has just dropped into my inbox. If you’d like to get on the mailing list for this excellent series of communications from this group that covers exactly what its name suggests, email [email protected].

Martyn refers to the fact that the groundwater levels are dropping but suggests that there are some kingfishers at present on our stretch of the river – the colour and speed of these remarkable birds are utterly bewitching and it’s been years since I last saw one here (for about two seconds). He also touches on the responsibilities of riparian owners regarding river maintenance, which are described as “a bit complex.” He says that he aims to have more on this in a future edition. As riparian owners ourselves who are a little hazy about the dos and don’ts, we welcome this. There’s also an update on his dealings with Thames Water and a reminder that TW and the EA will be appearing before WBC’s Scrutiny Commission in October. We’ll have more details on this nearer the time.

Finally, he points us to the latest newsletter from the Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP) group which seems to have re-invented itself as a kind of aquatic Private Eye. Once again, this makes for informative if rasher depressing reading. It’s good that groups like EGFPF and WASP are keeping their eye on these things. but a shame that they need to exist at all and have to do part of the regulators’ jobs for them.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival Parade

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Flower & Produce Show, East Garston Village Hall.

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm on Mondays. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or click here,  or message them on their Facebook page.  New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 2 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; dog-waste bins (see separate section above); the horse tracks at the Old Cricket Field; road salting; repairs and maintenance; speeding on the B4000; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 17 August 2023

This week we look at diversions, donations, training, a full English and school uniforms  – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for recent decision by Lambourn Parish Council to declare independence (if only in the matter of dog-bin collections).

This week’s news

• It is understandable that a lot of cars are bypassing the road closure at The Queens for Thames Water’s repairs by driving through East Garston. We just request that you keep your speed down. Luckily the Number 4 bus is also able to drive through the village so the bus service hasn’t been interrupted – and there is still full acces to the pub.  See reminder here of Thames Water’s connecting and tankering operations in the Lambourn Valley this month.

Lambourn Youth Junction thanks everyone who donated bottles for the fete last weekend and are thrilled to report that nearly £300 was raised. Every penny will go towards activities and events for their amazing youth provision. Some of their members also ran a lasso game and raised an impressive £18.70 which will be used to pay for a toastie maker.

Click here for the latest update from Lambourn’s District Councillor Howard Wollaston.

• Sheepdrove Organic Farm near Lambourn is hosting a free training course for new food growers, as there is a huge shortage of good food growers and the demand for local food is only growing. The course runs from Monday 11 to Friday 15 September and there are a few places left. Please see more information and how to book here.

• Every now and then The Five Bells in Wickham offers a lovely breakfast/brunch menu (including full English, pancakes, avocado on toast, and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon) and this Saturday 19 August is one of those dates. So if you fancy a slap-up start to the day, they recommend booking a table on 01488 657300 or [email protected]. It’s also a lovely pub to walk to if you want to work up an appetite.

• Quick reminder to get your entry forms for the upcoming Lambourn Carnival Parade on Sunday 27 August. Forms are available from Universal Stores or you can also enter by emailing: [email protected]

See here for details of all the Lambourn Carnival and Festival activities to get involved with this month, including Chalk Drawing and Scarecrow Competitions.

• East Garston Allotments has also introduced a Village Scarecrow Competition as part of the East Garston Produce Show on Sunday 10 September. Entries will be judged between 3 and 10 September and no entry forms are required.

• There’s still time to apply to achieve a degree locally at University Centre Newbury which runs its own clearing process in-house, by the people who actually deliver and support your programmes. This gives you direct access to the information, advice and guidance you need to make an informed choice about your studies – whether you’ve just finished sixth form and have changed your mind about the university, your recent A Level results have surprised you or if you’re a professional looking to advance in your career.

• The free school uniform TUXchange shop in Newbury posts its opening times each week on Facebook. You don’t have to swap – you can take items for free or make a small donation.

• Our Summer Holiday Guide includes lots to do with your kids this summer including West Berks Summer HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) Programme at Lambourn Primary School with free spaces for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

Dog bins

This is not the most delightful subject in the world but it’s one that’s been very much on the agenda of parish councils these last few months. In summary, it appears that the new  contractor for emptying these has not been able to provide an acceptable level of service. Some parishes are considering making their own arrangements. One such is Lambourn. The text below is taken from the minutes of its meeting on 2 August 2023, which you can download here.

Item 255-06/23 was “to consider if the Council should pursue seeking a new supplier to undertake the contract for the Emptying of the Dog Waste Bins due to the poor levels of service currently being provided by West Berkshire Council’s contractor.

“Councillor Rieunier advised that the Countryside team of West Berkshire Council has gone above and beyond in trying to resolve the problems in the delivery of the contract and that its failings are not down to the Council team. However, it remains that the contracted provider has not been able to react appropriately to discussions that have taken place with regard to the quality of their service.

“Councillor Middleton asked if the contractor was responsible for only the dog-waste bins. Councillor Rieunier confirmed that they also maintained the general waste bins but that the dog-waste bins is where their failings are most prevalent.

“Councillor Rieunier advised that an alternative supplier had been identified that could deliver the service at a lower cost. There is also the option in the future to move to dual-use bins which will further reduce the emptying costs.

“Resolved: Councillor Harris Proposed,and Councillor Jones seconded that a new supplier should be appointed. All agreed.

“Action: The Chair and the Clerk to seek to obtain contract details from Shield and quotes from another provider.”

I understand that Lambourn PC has already agreed in principle with WBC the sum that will be refunded to it should it proceed with this canine UDI. As this will presumably be deducted from what the contractor receive, this alone should concentrate the mind on improving the service for the others. I’m sure that other parishes in the district will be watching with interest to see if The Lambourn Solution is one that seems worth emulating.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 20 Aug Boot Sale, 10am Lambourn British Legions

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival Parade

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Flower & Produce Show, East Garston Village Hall.

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre from 6.30pm to 8pm on Mondays. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or click here,  or message them on their Facebook page.  New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 2 August and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; dog-waste bins (see separate section above); the horse tracks at the Old Cricket Field; road salting; repairs and maintenance; speeding on the B4000; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 10 August 2023

This week we look at a question time, the carnival, scarecrows, a show offer and bingo  – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for a link to our latest Valley newsletter and news of another road closure (hopefully the last for now) in East Garston.

This week’s news

• Get all your horticultural questions answered by local green-fingered experts at a gardener’s question time on Friday 18 August at 7pm in the grounds of St Mary’s Church in Great Shefford. If the weather is bad it will adjourn to inside the church. Bring a chair and a bottle. To order a Graze Box contact Denise on 07867 934387. £5 per ticket or £10 including Graze Box. For more details, click here.

Lambourn RDA will have a stand at the Lambourn Show at the Sports Club this Saturday 12 August selling good quality second hand tack, riding clothes and rugs. Look out for their gazebo and banner.

• Don’t forget to get your entry forms for the upcoming Lambourn Carnival Parade on Sunday 27 August. Forms are available from Universal Stores or you can also enter by emailing: [email protected]

See here for details of all the Lambourn Carnival and Festival activities to get involved with this month, including Chalk Drawing and Scarecrow Competitions

• East Garston Allotments have also introduced a Village Scarecrow Competition as part of the East Garston Produce Show on Sunday 10 September. Entries will be judged between 3 and 10 September and no entry forms are required.

• Are you a local community or voluntary sports or physical activity club that would like to meet with other groups across West Berkshire. Then register here for the Sports Forum, run by the West Berkshire Volunteer Centre.

• Everyone invited to a Bingo Night at Great Shefford Sports & Social Club on Saturday 12 August. Doors open 7:30pm with eyes down at 8pm. Surprise Line Prizes and Cash House Prizes.

•  West Berkshire Council has increased the number of appointments at its Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across the district in order to provide more flexibility and capacity during the most popular time slots for residents. Additionally, the Newtown Road HWRC has extended its operating hours on Thursdays to close at 8pm until September. Click here for more information.

Newbury Show on 16 and 17 September is offering a special price of £300 (normally £500) on a 3m x 3m stall for local artists, artisans and craftspeople based within 15 miles of the showground. For how to apply please click here.

• The free school uniform TUXchange shop in Newbury posts its opening times each week on Facebook. You don’t have to swap – you can take items for free or make a small donation.

• The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley is urging residents to complete its ongoing local crime survey. The survey is an opportunity for Berkshire residents to share their experiences and have a say in how local policing services are shaped. Have your say here.

• This week, Housing Secretary Michael Gove is urging social housing tenants to complain about substandard housing. Residents are being encouraged to make their voices heard by complaining to their landlord in the first instance and then escalating to the Housing Ombudsman if they are unhappy with the landlord’s final response. For more information click here.

Lambourn Parish Council is keen that all residents are prepared for Thames Water’s connecting and tankering operations in the Lambourn Valley in August. See here for details.

• Our Summer Holiday Guide includes lots to do with your kids this summer including West Berks Summer HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) Programme at Lambourn Primary School with free spaces for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• On Friday 18 August enjoy a Family Film night and Sing-along at The Walwyn Hall. £10 per ticket or £20 for 1 adult and 2 children, proceeds go to Lambourn Youth Junction and Lambourn Brownies. Contact Jane Frances Price on 07766 403045. Tickets will not available on the door.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

More roadworks in East Garston

Between  Monday 14 and Thursday 29, Thames Water will be conducting what a recent letter describes as “the final stages” of the long-running project to improve the sewer network in the area. This will involve a closure of Newbury Road (aka the valley road or the bottom road) in East Garston between the junction with Front Street by the Queens Arms to some point on the east (Shefford) side of the junction with Humphreys Lane.

Direct access from Shefford to Eastbury on the valley road will not be possible between these dates but the Queens Arms will open as usual. Vehicular access to the Queens Arms will be from Lambourn direction, as the works progress vehicular parking will be in the pub’s overflow car park, with pedestrian access available at all times, any changes to this will be signed on site.

For more information, see this separate post.

The valley’s newsletter

The August Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter was published last weekend, providing a round up of life in the upper reaches of the Lambourn Valley. Quakers, free lunches, a councillor’s in-box, Quakers, changes at the Surgery and volunteer appeals are all covered. Click here to read it if you didn’t receive it.

If there’s anything you’d like to contribute for the September edition, please email [email protected] by the end of this month.

A ward member writes

Click here for the latest update from Lambourn’s District Councillor Howard Wollaston. A quiet month in the ward by his standards – just as well as he’s recently moved house – which gives him an opportunity to reflect on some of the recurring issues in his in-box over the last four and a bit years. Planning, traffic, the B4000, Membury, water and speeding all feature prominently.

More recent matters include sewage and flood risks, Lambourn Sports Club, Lambourn Parish Council and a casework sample – as well as an invitation to contact him if you have any problems that you think he can help with.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 12 Aug Lambourn Village Show & Fete, Lambourn Sports Club

Sun 13 Aug Open Day National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire

Sun 20 Aug Boot Sale, 10am Lambourn British Legions

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Flower & Produce Show, East Garston Village Hall.

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a summer recess; the neighbourhood development plan; the public toilets; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 3 August 2023

This week we look at martial arts, chalk, trophies, a road closure, a tombola and tankering  – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for an offer for local artisans and a clarification about the new appointment-booking system at the Lambourn Surgery.

This week’s news

Newbury Road will be closed between Eastbury Shute and Bockhampton Road, Lambourn from Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 August to enable Openreach to replace a manhole frame and cover. Residential access will be maintained throughout and the diversion via the B4000 will be signed on site. Blue light access will be permitted. All enquiries should be directed to Traffic Control 123 on 07921 083750. See lambourn.org for more details.

• The next Teacup Tuesday will be happening on Tuesday 8 August at Oaksey House from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Anybody welcome from 16 to 116 years old for friendly chat and refreshments.

• Lambourn resident Holly Annetts from H.M.A Karate has been competing for Team GB at the World Martial Arts Games in Daytona Beach in the past week and the results are simply amazing. After a long 13 hours of competing, Holly came away with two bronze medals in creative kata and Korean wooden weapons and one gold medal in the team kata along with Kerry and Madge. Team GB with 60 athletes won a total of 176 medals, 76 Gold, 64 Silver and 36 Bronze.

• Calling all Lambourn children, aged up to 12 years. The Lambourn Carnival is running a Chalk Drawing Competition and is asking you to use your imagination and skill to make a chalk drawing outside your home, on the drivetenni, the pavement or even on the wall. To enter and to collect your free chalk set find our stall on the Market Square on Fridays or outside the Co-op on Saturday mornings in August.

• Lambourn Festival and Carnival Committee request that all Carnival Trophies please be returned to 1 The Park, as soon as possible. They also remind you that the Scarecrow competition deadline is midnight on Saturday 19 August. This year there is no theme, so go with your heart. Free to enter and one entry per household. Please email a photo of your scarecrow to [email protected].

• East Garston Table Tennis Club is now every Thursday (used to be on Wednesdays) 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

Lambourn Youth Junction thanks all the residents and local businesses for the 150 donations towards their bottle tombola. Every penny raised will go towards activities and special events for Lambourn’s young people. Their tombola stall will be at the Lambourn Flower Show on Saturday 12 August. They’ll be back out collecting this Saturday or please contact Anna Field on 07749 844600 or [email protected]

• West Berkshire Council has created a new welcome webpage for anyone new to West Berkshire so can know where and how to access the council’s services.

• Are you a local community or voluntary sports or physical activity club that would like to meet with other groups across West Berkshire. Then register here for the Sports Forum, run by the West Berkshire Volunteer Centre.

Lambourn Food Hall is serving free meals for kids (one per child, per week) until 27 August to help families struggling with the added cost of children being home for the summer. There is no means testing, and everything is kept confidential. It simply is that children eat free. No adult needing to pay and no hidden terms.  Meals must be pre-booked by emailing [email protected] for pick up will be between 11am-12noon.

Priscilla’s Kitchen next to East Garston Village Hall has a new group for mums, dads, grandparents and carers with toddlers or tots every Wednesday morning, to get together forcuppa and a chat, from 10am to 12noon. There will of course be cake…

• Everyone invited to a Bingo Night at Great Shefford Sports & Social Club on Saturday 12 August. Doors open 7:30pm with eyes down at 8pm. Surprise Line Prizes and Cash House Prizes.

Lambourn Parish Council is keen that all residents are prepared for Thames Water’s connecting and tankering operations in the Lambourn Valley in August. See here for details.

• Last chance to do The Big Butterfly Count 2023 which ends this Sunday 6 August. You can help butterflies and moths by downloading this free app and ID chart here.

• Our Summer Holiday Guide includes lots to do with your kids this summer including West Berks Summer HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) Programme at Lambourn Primary School with free spaces for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• On Friday 18 August enjoy a Family Film night and Sing-along at The Walwyn Hall. £10 per ticket or £20 for 1 adult and 2 children, proceeds go to Lambourn Youth Junction and Lambourn Brownies. Contact Jane Frances Price on 07766 403045. Tickets will not available on the door.

• Did you know you can save money with free eLibrary audio book loans from West Berkshire Libraries? For help call 01635 519900 or email [email protected].

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

News from Lambourn Surgery

There have recently been some changes introduced at Lambourn Surgery (see this separate post) which culminated on 13 July with the introduction of a new system of triaging as part of the appointment-making process. This included an e-consult form which is, as the Surgery has confirmed on its Facebook page, “much more detailed than the previous one.” This has been causing some concern among patients, as new systems so often do.

It’s important to stress that the new-e-consult system is an alternative method of contacting the surgery, whereby you can begin your consultation online. Those who prefer to book an appointment using the phone, can do so (see details here). You should be prepared to answer some questions from the care navigation team (formally receptionists) in order to be booked in with the most appropriate team member in the shortest possible timeframe. The further good news is that a new phone system has recently been installed which is more sophisticated and flexible than the previous one and has a call-back facility.

The e-consult form is no longer or more complex than it needs to be in order to be clinically safe. The form itself is used by many surgeries across the country and provides your local medical team with comprehensive and consistently presented information which will assist with diagnosis. This replaces the previous free-text version which, though quicker to use, was less informative. As mentioned above, using e-consult is not mandatory and the upgraded phone system is there if you prefer.

There is also important information regarding repeat prescriptions. “We have also added some help pages under the repeat prescription options to help with how to log on to the Airmid app if that is your preferred option,” a spokesperson for the Surgery explained on the FB page. “We do realise all these apps can be confusing. The majority of our patients already have an NHS log-in. If once you have downloaded the Airmid app you choose the option to log in with your NHS Log in, you will not need any further sign-in details. It will all be linked automatically. We are producing a guide to help with the process but please bear with us – it is a new system and we are all learning.”

If you need help with this, please contact the surgery.

Lambourn’s plans

Every month or so, the excellent Lambourn.org publishes a list of the live (ie undetermined) planning applications in the parish. As WBC no longer sends letters to neighbours and as the orange notices don’t always get displayed as clearly as they might, this is probably the best way of keeping up to date with what plans have been submitted. This is the latest list, published on 2 August 2023.

As the preamble to L.org’s list explains, “in order to build or substantially modify a property a planning application has to be submitted and approved. The local planning authority, and decision maker for Lambourn, is West Berkshire Council. Lambourn Parish Council reviews planning applications and provides input to West Berkshire Council.

“The best place to check what applications have been made in your locality is by visiting the West Berkshire Planning Portal where you can search based on your postcode. Using the portal you can comment, object or support a planning application. The list [in the above-mentioned post] is an extract and only valid on the day published. Always check the West Berkshire Planning Portal to see the latest applications and status.”

An offer from the Show

After a three-year pause – two due to Covid and the third to a change of management – the Newbury Show is back on 16 and 17 September. The organisers have recently announced a special offer for any local artists, artisans and craftspeople who want to take a stall. A 3m x 3m stand will cost only £300 for anyone within 15 miles of the Showground, rather than the usual £500. The Show is expected to attract 50,000 people over the weekend, so one way of looking at this is having about one third of the population of West Berkshire coming to see your wares.

For more information on this offer, and the Show generally, click here.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 12 Aug Lambourn Village Show & Fete, Lambourn Sports Club

Sun 13 Aug Open Day National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire

Sun 20 Aug Boot Sale, 10am Lambourn British Legions

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Allotment Flower & Produce Show

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a summer recess; the neighbourhood development plan; the public toilets; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 27 July 2023

his week we look at free meals, taekwondo, red pigs, butterflies and scarecrows – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for a withdrawn planning application at Collingridge that might prompt survey, a chat with a stalwart of the Boxford Masques and a look at a recent hedgehog petition at West Berkshire Council.

This week’s news

• After competing in the World Taekwondo Championships 2023 in London last week, Shefford’s Julie Roth came home with two medals, winning silver in her Individual Black Belt category and bronze in the Pairs Black Belt category. For her very first World Taekwondo Championships, congratulations are definitely in order. Well done, Julie.

Lambourn Food Hall is introducing free meals for kids to help families struggling with the continuous pressure with the cost of living crisis and the added cost of children being home for the summer. There is absolutely no means testing, and everything is kept confidential. It simply is that children eat free. No adult needing to pay and no hidden terms. To keep it fair and to ensure we are able to keep our daily operation as normal as possible, we are limiting to 20 meals per day, and 1 per child, per week. Pick up will be between 11am-12noon. Reserve a slot by email [email protected]

Priscilla’s Kitchen next to East Garston Village Hall has a new group for Mums, Dads, Grandparents and Carers with toddlers or tots every Wednesday morning, to get together forcuppa and a chat, from 10am to 12noon. There will of course be cake…

• Enjoy a Trip to Bournemouth on Thursday 10 August leaving Lambourn at 9am and returning back by 7pm. Cost is £15 per person please call Julie on 07840 780345 or Lorraine on 07796 510042 to book a seat.

• Everyone invited to a Bingo Night at Great Shefford Sports & Social Club on Saturday 12 August. Doors open 7:30pm with eyes down at 8pm. Surprise Line Prizes and Cash House Prizes.

• For ladies concerned about the cost of HRT, a new Prescription Pre-payment Certificate (PPC) is now available, where you can make a much lower one-off payment. Visit gov.uk for details. One lady paid just £19.40 for the year (yes a year), and that covers her for every HRT prescription she now gets – a saving to her of around £76. This scheme only came out in April this year, so please spread the word.

Read Easy West Berkshire harnesses the initiative, energy, skills and experience of volunteers, and equips them to provide confidential one-to-one reading coaching for adults who want to improve their reading. Please see more details here if you could volunteer or need help.

Lambourn Parish Council is keen that all residents are prepared for Thames Water’s connecting and tankering operations in the Lambourn Valley in August. See here for details.

• Quick reminder to get involved with The Big Butterfly Count 2023 until 6 August. You can help butterflies and moths by downloading this free app and ID chart here.

Lambourn Parish Council needs your feedback to help decide what to do with the goal posts at Mill Lane. Please click click here to complete the survey.

Click here for the 2022-23 annual report from the excellent Citizens Advice West Berkshire which has recently been published.

• Our recent work experience student Kaden Womersley from Lambourn wrote an interesting article about reviving the Lambourn Valley railwaya sustainable solution or an unrealistic dream?

• It’s the time of year to start thinking about Lambourn Carnival Festival’s Scarecrow competition. This year there is no theme, so go with your heart. Free to enter and one entry per household. Please email a photo of your scarecrow to [email protected] by midnight on Saturday 19 August.

• From Monday 7 August Lambourn Youth Junction will be holding all Lambourn Youth sessions on a Monday evening at the Lambourn Leisure Centre. Thanks are extended to everyone for their continued support.

• The Royal British Legion will be hosting a Boot Sale on Sunday 20 August. £5  for each outdoor pitch. Sellers to arrive at 9am buyers will be welcome from 10am. Contact Ann-Marie Little or Cathy Brown for more details.

Lambourn Youth Junction will be running a bottle tombola at the Village Fete on Saturday 12 August. Funds raised will help support the weekly activities and special events for local young people. Support them by donating a bottle – contact Anna Field on 07749 844600 or email at [email protected]

Lambourn RDA Riding Therapy have some spaces available for their after school sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays starting in September. Do get in touch with Frances on [email protected] for more information.

• Our Summer Holiday Guide includes lots to do with your kids this summer including West Berks Summer HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) Programme at Lambourn Primary School with free spaces for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• On Friday 18 August enjoy a Family Film night and Sing-along at The Walwyn Hall. £10 per ticket or £20 for 1 adult and 2 children, proceeds go to Lambourn Youth Junction and Lambourn Brownies. Contact Jane Frances Price on 07766 403045. Tickets will not available on the door

Lambourn Flower Show & Fete is coming soon on Saturday 12 August at Lambourn Sports Club. They are offering outdoor stalls for both small businesses or car boot type stalls. Bring your own table/gazebo. Stalls are £10 each. Book with Leah on [email protected]

• Did you know you can save money with free eLibrary audio book loans from West Berkshire Libraries? For help call 01635 519900 or email [email protected].

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

Collingridge withdrawn

Racing Welfare had announced that it has “regrettably”withdrawn its planning application for 24 flats and a young person residence near Oaksey House. “While we are acutely aware of the pressing need for safe, affordable housing to support recruitment and retention for the industry,” a spokesperson told Penny Post, “unfortunately, delays with planning due to new requirements around nutrient neutrality, coupled with substantial increases in building expenses, has made the proposed plans unviable for the charity at this time.”

Wendy Botterill, Director of Housing at Racing Welfare added that the charity “remains dedicated to supporting the wellbeing of the industry through our broad range of services, including exploring opportunities to expand our 165-strong portfolio of properties available through Racing Homes, our housing management charity.”

The application has certainly been stuck in the system for some time, having been lodged two and a half years ago on 22 January 2021. The main reason has bee been that it got caught in a perfect storm on which Covid, the uncertainty surrounding the nutrient neutrality regulations and soaring construction costs featured strongly. There was also local opposition on grounds including access, scale and flood risk.

On the other hand, this would have ticked a lot of boxes. The inits would have been central, affordable, sustainable and provided for the area’s major industry.

One has to take positives where they can be found. The withdrawal has at least given the local racing business a chance to reflect on to what extent this or something like it would have addressed the industry’s needs. To answer that question, one first has to know what these needs are.

Although there seems to be a general agreement that more dwellings are required for its employees, there doesn’t seem to have been any recent or comprehensive survey that looks at the detail. This would usefully provide an understanding of what accommodation’s needed to cover present and known future requirements, how much of this already exists to a suitable and sustainable standard and how many new homes are needed. It will also need to consider where these should go and of what kind they should be: is, for example, the need for one- our two-bed homes or flats or for hostels or similar where staff who are under 18 or in need of more support can be accommodated?

This would be a good time to conduct such an exercise. As many residents will know, the parish is currently conducting a neighbourhood development plan. This is rounding the final bend before the home straight. Anything that’s going to be included in this, whether a site allocation or a community aspiration, will guide and inform future planning applications.

This needs to be evidence-based, however. Anything less will not be added by the steering group and would in any case be kicked out by the inspector. Any evidence therefore needs to be assembled quite soon.

It’s also worth pointing out that anything that’s put in the NDP doesn’t remain set in stone for the next 15 years. These need to be refreshed at least every five years. A policy or aspiration can therefore be modified in the light of changing needs or circumstances. (NDPs are also, perhaps, going to be going through further changes, although the nature of these seem currently only to be known by Michael Gove.)

It’s worth getting something written into the plan now, though. Not only will this help facilitate decisions over the next few years but will also assist the refresh process – it’s easier to modify and existing policy or aspiration than to introduce a new one.

Hedgehogs and swifts

Last week’s Full Council meeting at West Berkshire Council considered a petition to create “hedgehog highways”. These are gaps in fences on housing developments through which these important and much-loved mammals, which are unable to climb or fly, can use to travel in order to feed and to mate. In that respect, they’re not that different from us, then.

The petition did not succeed. However, I don’t think that this reflects as badly on WBC as this bald statement might imply. Indeed, the fact that this particular protection for this animals cannot now be provided by the Council, at least not through the planning system, may be good newest it dispels any illusions that regulations and laws can on their own create what we need, the more so if there’s any doubt as to whether they can be enforced. Britain’s swifts had a similar date with destiny in the Commons last week which met with a similar response. For the same reason, this may not be bad news for them, either.

You can read more on this in this separate post.

Behind the masque

As we’ve mentioned before, the Boxford Masques are back. We’ve recently run an article on local actor Ben Prout (whom our sons remember well from performing with him for the Newbury Youth Theatre) and also with Director Ade Morris who explained to us what makes the Boxford Masque plays so special. This year’s production is The River and the Bell at the Boxford Recreation Ground. There are three remaining performances, on 28, 29 and 30 July: for more information, click here.

The Boxford Masques, which had previously been a tradition in the area before WW1, were revived in 2000 and have generally taken place every other year since. Many people have been involved in these as they are truly community performances. Not many people can, however, claim to have been involved in pretty much every single one. One who can is Ananbel Bailey from Great Shefford. She has now hung up her greasepain, but shared with us some recollections of her past moments treading the Boxford boards.

“I first appeared in the Boxford Masques in 2002,” she told us. “Our daughter Alice was in the very first one, dressed in motor bike leathers as a magician’s assistant, which were instigated by John Vigor, who had found the original scripts.  We acted in the natural amphitheatre owned by Pip Pocock and his uncle where the Masques had been staged before. In the second one I was the so-called Mother of the Camp, but ended up getting shot by my son (played by Jon Harding, a stalwart of the Masques).

“Next I was Lady Elmstock in The Crowning of the Year. Alice took over my part of the Sun in Knight & Day when I was waiting for a hip operation.  Then we went to Welford Park where my favourite part was in 2018 as Britannia, in Joe Soap’s Circus, complete with a dustbin lid as a shield, a pitchfork as a trident and a child, dressed as a little lion, at my feet.

“It is very much like a family: we know each other so well and rehearsals are such fun.  Ade Morris, our director, reads us the Riot Act about three weeks before the Opening Night, but is delighted when it all comes together. Geraldine McCaughrean’s scripts are always tremendous. Last year’s Bellerophon, based on the mosaic found between Boxford and Winterbourne, was splendid.  I was part of the Chorus and also Hera, Queen of the Gods, who told off Athene for getting Bellerophon to attack the Chimera “Are you responsible for this Horse of the Year Show?”  As I say, great fun. I am going on Friday as a spectator, with very mixed feelings – but I have definitely retired!”

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 12 Aug Lambourn Village Show & Fete, Lambourn Sports Club

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Allotment Flower & Produce Show

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a summer recess; the neighbourhood development plan; the public toilets; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 20 July 2023

This week we look tankering, butterflies, the Lambourn Valley railway, a headline act and riding therapy – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for a welcome and co-operative achievement which should result in Lambourn Youth Junction finding a new and long-term home.

This week’s news

Lambourn Parish Council is keen that all residents are prepared for Thames Water’s connecting and tankering operations in the Lambourn Valley in August. See here for details.

The Big Butterfly Count 2023 has officially started. Butterflies are indicators of a healthy natural environment – with half of Britain’s butterfly species already threatened or near threatened with extinction, it’s never been more important to understand how our insects are responding to the changing climate and to take action to protect them. You can help butterflies and moths by downloading this free app and ID chart here.

Lambourn Parish Council needs your feedback to help decide what to do with the goal posts at Mill Lane. Please click click here to complete the survey.

• Free Childrens’ Craft Session in Lambourn Library this Saturday 22 July 10.30am to 12pm. Pop in and join in the fun.

• Our recent work experience student Kaden Womersley from Lambourn wrote an interesting article about reviving the Lambourn Valley railwaya sustainable solution or an unrealistic dream?

• It’s the time of year to start thinking about Lambourn Carnival Festival’s Scarecrow competition. This year there is no theme, so go with your heart. Free to enter and one entry per household. Please email a photo of your scarecrow to [email protected] by midnight on Saturday 19 August.

• From Monday 7 August Lambourn Youth Junction will be holding all Lambourn Youth sessions on a Monday evening at the Lambourn Leisure Centre. Thanks are extended to everyone for their continued support.

Lambourn Sports Club is excited to announce that the incredible Danielle Fairchild will be headlining their after party on the patio on Saturday 12 August to bring a fab climax to Flower Show & Fete Day. Click here for a fantastic video of her performing.

• The Royal British Legion will be hosting a Boot Sale on Sunday 20 August. £5  for each outdoor pitch. Sellers to arrive at 9am buyers will be welcome from 10am. Contact Ann-Marie Little or Cathy Brown for more details.

Lambourn Youth Junction will be running a bottle tombola at the Village Fete on Saturday 12 August. Funds raised will help support the weekly activities and special events for local young people. Support them by donating a bottle – contact Anna Field on 07749 844600 or email at [email protected]

Lambourn RDA Riding Therapy have some spaces available for their after school sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays starting in September. Do get in touch with Frances on [email protected] for more information.

• Our Summer Holiday Guide includes lots to do with your kids this summer including West Berks Summer HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) Programme at Lambourn Primary School with free spaces for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• On Friday 18 August enjoy a Family Film night and Sing-along at The Walwyn Hall. £10 per ticket or £20 for 1 adult and 2 children, proceeds go to Lambourn Youth Junction and Lambourn Brownies. Contact Jane Frances Price on 07766 403045. Tickets will not available on the door

Lambourn Flower Show & Fete is coming soon on Saturday 12 August at Lambourn Sports Club. They are offering outdoor stalls for both small businesses or car boot type stalls. Bring your own table/gazebo. Stalls are £10 each. Book with Leah on [email protected]

• Jackie and Roger Frith are opening up their beautiful garden in Great Shefford to raise money for charity, on Sunday 23 July. Entry for adults is £4 (children free) for two hour timed slots at ‘Ashbrook’ on Wantage Road (the bungalow opposite Station Road entrance). 10.30 am or 2pm pre-booked tickets only. Click here for details.

• Enjoy Afternoon Tea for the 40s and over at Lambourn British Legion from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Tuesday 25 July at £5 per person on the door. No pre-booking required.

• Did you know you can save money with free eLibrary audio book loans from West Berkshire Libraries? For help call 01635 519900 or email [email protected].

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

A new home for the Youth Junction

For many years, people in the Lambourn area have been lobbying for better youth provision. As a result, in November 2022 the Lambourn Youth Junction was set up and immediately proved very popular. This is a co-operative enterprise which is staffed by a team of volunteers and has been supported throughout by Lambourn Junction CIC. It was initially based at the British Legion but a more permanent home was needed if the continuity and success of the group was to be guaranteed.

Thanks to Lambourn Parish Council (LPC) and others, this problem seems now to have been solved. As LPC is a member of the Lambourn Centre Joint Advisory Committee, it’s entitled to a discounted slot. It’s recently taken up this option, on Monday evenings, for the benefit of the Youth Junction. “The negotiations have taken a while,” LPC Chair Vicky Rieunier told Penny Post, “but thanks to the flexibility of West Berkshire Council’s Leisure Services and Everyone Active, the new operators for the Lambourn Centre, the Youth Junction is now in the perfect venue. LPC wishes the group every success in its new home.”

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 22 July Girl Guides Summer Fete, 2pm Walwyn Hall.

Sat 22 July Happy’s Circus, Welford & Wickham Primary School.

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Allotment Flower & Produce Show

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Wednesday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a summer recess; the neighbourhood development plan; the public toilets; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 13 July 2023

This week we look at a a fête, a survey, a sing-along, a garden, tapas and volunteers – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for the latest stop of planning applications in the parish of Lambourn, a food-growing course at Sheepdrove and a peek in your local councillor’s in-tray.

This week’s news

• Caroline Farrant thanks everyone supported Shefford School Summer Fete last Saturday with special thanks to the PTFA team and all the volunteers who made the whole event possible, Lawrence Doyle for being such a good sport and getting in the stocks, and Jan for encouraging everyone. Jackie for doing the face painting, Sheila, Carol and Sue for doing the teas, Daphne for running the tombola.
• Quick reminder that Lambourn Surgery’s website  Please click here for the third instalment of the Lambourn PPG’s explanation of the changes that will effect primary care in the area from 13 July. This includes new ways of making appointments at the Lambourn Surgery, and four ways to request medication.

West Berkshire Council wants you to take part in its bus survey. Buses are a vital part of public transport allowing young people to go to college or school, enabling pensioners to see their family and friends, and connecting people to work opportunities they would not otherwise consider. Buses sustain town centres, strengthen communities and help reduce carbon emissions from car travel. Please complete the online survey by 10 September 2023 here: westberks.gov.uk/wbbussurvey2023. Paper copies of the survey can be requested at 01635 519394 or [email protected].

• It is with great sadness that the Hanging Basket/Tubs and Gardens section of the Village Show will not go ahead. The Carnival Committee are unable to get enough helpers to judge this year’s entries. Volunteers are eagerly needed to support Lambourn Carnival Committee  or it will be lost forever. You don’t need to attend meetings or be on the committee you just help at 1 or 2 events. Please contact Cathy Brown

• A reminder that time is running out to use regular stamps without a barcode. After 31 July anyone using non-barcoded 1st and 2nd class stamps with the Queen’s profile risks a surcharge being added to their post. So here’s how the changeover is set to work: special stamps, printed to commemorate a person or special event are not going to be barcoded, and these will remain valid for postage and while Christmas stamps are soon to get their own barcode, previous non-barcoded Christmas stamps will also remain valid after the deadline so there is no need to rush to use them up or swap them out. See here for more details.

Cats Protection is offering financial assistance to eligible residents for neutering and microchipping your cat. 

• Our Summer Holiday Guide includes lots to do with your kids this summer including West Berks Summer HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) Programme at Lambourn Primary School with free spaces for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far.

• On Friday 18 August enjoy a Family Film night and Sing-along at The Walwyn Hall. £10 per ticket or £20 for 1 adult and 2 children, proceeds go to Lambourn Youth Junction and Lambourn Brownies. Contact Jane Frances Price on 07766 403045. Tickets not available on the door

Lambourn Flower Show & Fete is coming soon on Saturday 12 August at Lambourn Sports Club . They are offering outdoor stalls for both small businesses or car boot type stalls. Bring your own table/gazebo. Stalls are £10 each. Book with Leah on [email protected]

• Jackie and Roger Frith are opening up their beautiful garden in Great Shefford to raise money for charity, on Sunday 23 July. Entry for adults is £4 (children free) for two hour timed slots at ‘Ashbrook’ on Wantage Road (the bungalow opposite Station Road entrance). 10.30 am or 2pm pre-booked tickets only. Click here for details.

• Enjoy Afternoon Tea for the 40s and over at Lambourn British Legion from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Tuesday 25 July at £5 per person on the door. No pre-booking required.

• The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to a tantalising culinary adventure at its unforgettable Tapas Night in Wickham on Tuesday 18 July. Whether you’re a meat lover, a seafood enthusiast, or a vegetarian, they have something extraordinary to please every palate. Limited seats are available, so make sure to book your table in advance. See the full menu here and how to book here.

Walkers Lane in Lambourn will be closed on 18 and 19 July for Thames Water maintenance. The closure is expected to be between its junction with Goose Green and its junction with Oxford Street.The diversion route is expected to be via – Goose Green, The Broadway, Oxford Street, and vice versa. Residential and blue light access will be maintained throughout and the diversion will be signed on site. All enquiries should be directed to: Morrison Water Services on 08003 169 800. A plan of the closure can be found here.

• Did you know you can save money with free eLibrary audio book loans from West Berkshire Libraries? For help call 01635 519900 or email [email protected].

You could have the opportunity to win a European City Break and at the same time support Friends of Lambourn Library. Click here for details.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

Lambourn’s plans

Every month or so, the excellent Lambourn.org publishes a list of the live (ie undetermined) planning applications in the parish. As WBC no longer sends letters to neighbours and as the orange notices don’t always get displayed as clearly as they might, this is probably the best way of keeping up to date with what plans have been submitted. This is the latest list, published on 7 July 2023.

As the preamble to L.org’s list explains, “in order to build or substantially modify a property a planning application has to be submitted and approved. The local planning authority, and decision maker for Lambourn, is West Berkshire Council. Lambourn Parish Council reviews planning applications and provides input to West Berkshire Council.

“The best place to check what applications have been made in your locality is by visiting the West Berkshire Planning Portal where you can search based on your postcode. Using the portal you can comment, object or support a planning application. The list [in the above-mentioned post] is an extract and only valid on the day published. Always check the West Berkshire Planning Portal to see the latest applications and status.”

A councillor’s inbox

Every month since June 2020, we’ve published a report from Lambourn’s district councillor (aka ward member) Howard Woollaston. All of them can be seen in this post, with the most recent at the top.

This month, he reflects on a house move, boxes in Boxford, legacy projects, Thames Water, planning enforcement, driving hazards, councillor training at HQ and a visit to RAF Welford. See the foot of each monthly entry in the post for details of how residents of Lambourn can contact him with any problem that he might be help solve, or direct them to someone who can.

Sheepdrove’s course

Sheepdrove Organic farm near Lambourn has received funding from North Wessex Downs AONB and Farming in Protected Landscapes to host a training course for new food growers, as there is a huge shortage of good food growers and the demand for local food is only growing. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of where the products they buy come from and there is an increasingly strong sentiment to support local businesses as evidenced by the success of Newbury Artisan and Farmers Markets, Hungerford Sunday Food & Artisan Markets and Wantage Farmers Market.

Students will receive training for a career in horticulture or to set up their own food growing business. Horticulture is a rapidly growing area of the economy, thanks to public interest in gardening, plants, sustainability, the environment and food security.

The overarching aim of the course is for students to start their own food enterprise or work for an existing food enterprise, and in this way contribute to establishing a thriving local food system that provides affordable, healthy food through regenerative horticulture.

For more information on this project, please click here.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 15 July Garstonbury, East Garston.

Sat 15 July Country & Western Night with Travis Logan, Woodlands Village Hall.

Sat 22 July Happy’s Circus, Welford & Wickham Primary School.

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Allotment Flower & Produce Show

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Wednesday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 June and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 6 July 2023

This week we look at a garden, work placements, tea, C&W, closures and a fête  – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for the latest from the Woodlands, primary-care changes and some deals available on solar panels and batteries.

This week’s news

• Jackie and Roger Frith are opening up their beautiful garden in Great Shefford to raise money for charity, on Sunday 23 July. Entry for adults is £4 (children free) for two hour timed slots at ‘Ashbrook’ on Wantage Road (the bungalow opposite Station Road entrance). 10.30 am or 2pm pre-booked tickets only. Click here for details.

4LEGS Radio was pleased to offer a six week work experience programme for two students from Newbury College who learnt how to produce and present their very own show from the studio in Eastbury.  See full story here.

• Enjoy Afternoon Tea for the 40s and over at Lambourn British Legion from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Tuesday 25 July at £5 per person on the door. No pre-booking required.

• Tony Hawkins and East Garston Social Club thank everyone who supported their Country and Western night last Saturday.  A good time was had by all and much-needed funds were raised for the club.

Shefford & Chaddleworth PTA invite you to its Summer Fete (with stocks!) this Saturday 8 July at the Shefford School Site from 12-3pm. Please drop cake donations into the school on Saturday morning. Please also bring along your entry for ‘Beach on a plate’ competition. Open to both adults and children, grab a standard size paper plate and decorate with anything you like (except water please). Prizes for each age group.

• The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to a tantalising culinary adventure at its unforgettable Tapas Night in Wickham on Tuesday 18 July. Whether you’re a meat lover, a seafood enthusiast, or a vegetarian, they have something extraordinary to please every palate. Limited seats are available, so make sure to book your table in advance. See the full menu here and how to book here.

• There was to have been a road closure in Eastbury overnight on 10 and 11 July on Newbury Street near Eastbury Village Hall for repairs by Thames Water. Early on 10 July, however, Thames Water withdrew the application for unspecified reasons meaning that these works should not now be going ahead. It’s expected that these will happen at some point in the future. Click here to visit the One.network website which has details of all road closures and other works which have been applied for. Be sure to use the date filter (top left) to ensure you’re looking at the appropriate period. As this episode has shown, information can change, sometimes only hours before the works are meant to start.

Walkers Lane in Lambourn will be closed on 18 and 19 July for Thames Water maintenance. The closure is expected to be between its junction with Goose Green and its junction with Oxford Street.The diversion route is expected to be via – Goose Green, The Broadway, Oxford Street, and vice versa. Residential and blue light access will be maintained throughout and the diversion will be signed on site. All enquiries should be directed to: Morrison Water Services on 08003 169 800. A plan of the closure can be found here.

Upper Lambourn High Street will also be closed on Monday 10 July, between the hours of 8am and 5pm from its junction with B4000 and UNR from High Street to Upper Lambourn. This closure is to enable Volker Highways to carry out permanent carriageway repairs on behalf of West Berkshire Council. Diversion will be signed on-site. A plan of the closure can be found here.

• All local Ukraine hosts and guests are invited by West Berkshire Council to an online Access to Information event on 6pm 20 July. Please register with [email protected] by 12 July for login details.

• If you have reported anti-social behaviour but no-one seems to be doing anything and the anti-social behaviour is continuing, the ASB Case Review has been designed for you. If you (or others with your consent) have reported 3 incidents (or more) within a 6 month period you can activate the ASB Case Review through your Local Authority.This has been designed to give you, the victim, the right to demand that agencies deal with persistent anti-social behaviour.

• Did you know you can save money with free eLibrary audio book loans from West Berkshire Libraries? For help call 01635 519900 or email [email protected].

You could have the opportunity to win a European City Break and at the same time support Friends of Lambourn Library. Click here for details.

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

News from the Woodlands

Thanks to Bob Truman for this update from Woodlands Village Hall and cricket pitch:

“Life in the Woodlands hasn’t changed much. We are now The Woodlands Bar but with no club membership required, which means less work for the committee. We had a face lift at the end of Covid, with an extension, new disabled loo, large dry chair store, separate beer delivery store, improved security system, a mower and maintenance garage jokingly called Bob’s office.

“Dave and Rose have decided to stop running the Monthly Country Music for personal reasons, so Av and Bob have run it ever since and will continue for how long bums on seats may well decide. We look forward to Travis Logan performing on Saturday 15 July.

“Bob has been able to keep the cricket pitch going with the help of Rooksnest Estate and we now have a team from Swindon using it as their home pitch on alternate Saturdays.

“We have meetings of the Woodlands Protection group once a month, which looks at planning and traffic problems (of which we have many) and anything else affecting the Woodlands.

“Everyone is welcome to Bingo in the Village Hall every Monday, and in the bar we have a darts and pool team, and a snooker table that anyone can use. The bar is open every Friday and Saturday evening from 7.30pm, and Sunday lunch time from 1pm till early evening, plus pool and darts evenings.

Please give us a visit – the beer’s good and folk are friendly. Give Bob a ring on 07702 892627 if you want to hire the hall or ask anything else.”

The future of primary care

Please click here for the third instalment of the Lambourn PPG’s explanation of the changes that will effect primary care in the area from 13 July. This includes new ways of making appointments at the Lambourn Surgery, a new website (though still with the same url) and four ways to request medication.

Solar deals

Did you know that more than a quarter of all carbon emissions comes from households? This means our homes play a crucial role in achieving carbon neutrality target. Switching to Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy is an excellent way to reduce carbon emissions and decrease electricity bills.

West Berkshire Council is partnering with Solar Together Berkshire to offer a group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage. The scheme enables West Berkshire householders and small businesses to install Solar PV systems and batteries at a competitive price with a trustworthy, pre-vetted installer. Any tenant, homeowner, small business or common hold association in Berkshire can register for the scheme. For more details, and how to register, please see here.

Community notices

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 15 July Garstonbury, East Garston.

Sat 15 July Country & Western Night with Travis Logan, Woodlands Village Hall.

Sat 22 July Happy’s Circus, Welford & Wickham Primary School.

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Allotment Flower & Produce Show

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Wednesday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 June and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; the Annual Parish Assembly report (you can read a summary of the event here); a CIL payment; financial matters; the Lambourn centre (see separate section above); the public toilets; the Surgery; and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; planning matters; a report from ward member Clive Hooker; the Chair’s report; flooding and sewage; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance work; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 29 June 2023

This week we look at donations, care navigators, an open morning, a dance night, a funeral and ducks – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for hoped-for improvements with the dog-bin service, further news (some good, some less good) regarding Thames Water and possible problems on the buses.

This week’s news

The Lambourn Junction would like to say a huge thank you to the supportive team from Motatos for their continued support with their donations of food, household and pet items.

Lambourn CofE Primary School sparks curiosity, nurtures creativity and fosters a love of learning in their pupils. It is holding an Open Morning for prospective families to visit the school on Monday 3 July from 10.30am to 11.30am.

Shefford & Chaddleworth PTA invite you to their Summer Fete on Saturday 8 July at the Shefford School Site from 12-3pm. They are excited to bring back the stocks this year, thanks to the repair by a very talented villager. They are grateful for donations of homemade cakes to be dropped into the school on Saturday morning. Please also bring alony your entry for ‘Beach on a plate’ competition. Open to both adults and children, grab a standard size paper plate and decorate with anything you like (except water please). Prizes for each age group.

Lambourn Surgery are introducing care navigation from Thursday 13 July. The reception team (now care navigators) have undergone extensive training to enable them to choose the right clinician in the appropriate time frame to help with your problem based on the information you supply. They will be introducing you to their members of staff over the coming weeks through their Facebook page which also has important information about the new system for ordering medication from 13 July.

National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire are hosting a craft club at their cafe, ‘The Barn by Little Grazey’, on Thursdays between 10am-2pm . Pop along and enjoy a tasty treat and try your hand at a new craft activity provided by the staff or bring your own. Open for all to enjoy and take part.

• East Garston Social Club is hosting A Country and Western open-air dance night this Saturday 1 July at 7pm. Tickets, adults £10, children £5, includes a Hog Roast. Pick up your ticket from the club or pre-book by emailing [email protected].

• Speaking of which genre, Bob and Avril Truman have taken over from Dave and Rose to run the monthly Country and Western music nights at Woodlands Village Hall, every third Saturday of the month. They have booked Travis Logan for Saturday 15 July, Hombre for Saturday 19 August, and Tony from Ridgeway country for Saturday 16 September.

• Quick reminder that the The Valley Film Society’s last film of the 2022-23 season in East Garston Village Hall is Living with Bill Nighy on Tuesday 4 July. The matinee starts at 2.30pm and evening screening at 7.30pm with bar and Nippy Chippy take-away at the interval.

Nicola Latchem would like to notify friends and relatives of Eric Wheeler, who passed away late May, that his funeral will be held at St Michael’s Church at 2pm on Thursday 29 June, followed by a get together at the Lambourn Legion. All welcome.

• Did you know you can save money with free eLibrary audio book loans from West Berkshire Libraries? For help call 01635 519900 or email [email protected].

You could have the opportunity to win a European City Break and at the same time support Friends of Lambourn Library. Click here for details.  

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

• Please can people drive very carefully through our villages because of the seasonal issue of ducks crossing the road, especially in Great Shefford and near the Plough in Eastbury and as you just go out of Eastbury towards East Garston by the national speed limit sign.

A qualified success

I’ve recently received the latest update from Martyn Wright of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum. One of the matters that he was trying to establish was how accurate the April readings from the East Garston pumping station are. The answer would seem to be not very: which in turn casts doubts over the usefulness of Thames Water’s EDM map, which has some problems of its own (such as the fact that it only displays the most recent discharge, however measured) If you would  like to see Martyn’s Q&A with Thames Water on this and receive further updates, please contact him on [email protected].

He also says that it’s good news that the discharges into the river are a lot less than might have been expected given the high groundwater levels, as are the number of tankering journeys. All of this suggests that the  repair work done in the area in 2021 have done their job. this is the first time since then that groundwater levels have been high enough to provide a proper test. One might therefore also assume that the more substantial work done this year in and around East Gaston will be similarly beneficial. So, that’s all right then, isn’t it?

Well, perhaps. This apparent success needs a few qualifications. Firstly, Thames Water is aware that there is still ingress into the system and is not entirely sure where these are coming from.

Secondly, the pressure on the system is only likely to get worse as development increases and extreme-weather events become more common. so the water company is running just to stay still.

Thirdly, there are other ways that foul water can get into the aquifer, or directly into the river, other then through controlled discharges. There are reports of manhole on private land near the river overflowing with sewage, and of Thames Water being unaware of this. Pipes that are poorly connected to the network, or not connected at all, will discharge water into the ground. There are a large number of private sewers which feed into Thames Water’s network but which Thames Water is not responsible for maintaining (enforcement action on any problems with these needs to be taken by the local authority but this system doesn’t work as smoothly as it might). Any leaks from there would end upon the aquifer and then the river. The same could be said of the myriad of digesters and septic tanks, the exact number and locations of which are not known, many of which may not have been maintained properly.

Finally, all this is against the backdrop of inadequate regulation and, more immediately, Thames Water’s current existential financial crisis. As Martyn Wright observed in his latest newsletter, until this “debacle is resolved, I fear that the issue of pollution of our rivers and seas will take a back seat.”

What we have, therefore, is a company which has a creaking infrastructure, defective discharge measurement systems and an unknown number of additional problems caused by third-party assets, operating under a weak regulatory system during a period of climatic change and being put under increasing pressure to invest at exactly the time when its financial problems make it increasingly hard for it to raise funds. It’s not a great time to be a duck.

A two-pronged approach

Last week, we mentioned that The Chair of Lambourn Parish Council (LPC) had been having a little chat with Countryside Services at West Berkshire Council (WBC) about the problems with emptying the dog bins in the parish. Just to make the position clear, this referred to WBC’s Countryside Services department, not Noll Countryside Services based in Lambourn, which has nothing to do with this arrangement. The dog bins in Lambourn, and many other parishes, are emptied – or sometimes not emptied – by a contractor employed by WBC. It was towards this company that LPC’s comments were directed.

LPC Chair Vicky Rieunier posted this article on the Lambourn PC website on 18 June to update residents on discussions with the WBC officer responsible for the issue (“a meeting with the number one of number twos,” as she put it. Wish I’d thought of that…). She reported that one of the results was that “robust systems have been put in place to ensure that bins are emptied on a weekly cycle.” Let’s hope so.

This problem has not been restricted to Lambourn, although LPC seems to have been particularly energetic in dealing with it. Whatever parish you’re in, if you see an overflowing dog bin, we recommend the following two-pronged approach.

  • Report the issue on this page of WBC’s website. This will ensure that the matter is recorded which makes it much more likely to be dealt with.
  • Send an email to the parish clerk. The chances are that, as in Lambourn, they are well aware of the issue and have been working to get it sorted. The more often they hear of problems, the more likely they are to pass these on the WBC, and them on to the contractors. Parish council contact details can be found at the foot of this column.

WBC’s “report a problem” page works pretty well and, as mentioned above, makes the issue official. If the matter is not WBC’s responsibility, it will pass it on to the relevant body. Please note that posting on social media does not constitute a complaint. By all means go ahead and do this, but after you’ve reported it officially and if it still hasn’t been fixed after a reasonable time has passed. Hopefully dog bins won’t be featuring in future complaints: but, even so, there’ll always be something else…

On the buses

You may have heard about a proposed strike by 10 out of 36 bus drivers at Newbury & District. The drivers, who were previously employed by Reading Buses and subsequently transferred to the Newbury & District operation when the company was acquired, will take action on 6, 7, 10, 14, 19, 20 and 21 July. 

We contacted Robert Williams, CEO of Reading Buses, who predicted that the impact will be “inconsequential” and that the company would be able to operate all services as normal. The action does not affect Reading Buses’ Jet Black 1 service that runs to Newbury, nor any school or corporate contract services: however, it may affect public services that are used by pupils going to and from school.

The problem stems from the fact that when the drivers moved between the companies their contracts were never fully harmonised with the others, particularly as regards sick pay. It is this that Newbury Buses is trying to resolve. Robert Williams said that “we continue to discuss ways forward with the employees in a positive manner to try and address their concerns.” A statement from the Unite union says that these drivers have not received a pay rise for four years and that this will only change “if they accept inferior contracts that will significantly reduce their sick pay.”

If there are any side effects from the industrial action, the company will alert customers through social media channels. This may not include putting notices on bus stops as any staff shortages will only be known on the day. As regards how little disruption there is, much will depend on whether any of the other drivers decide to take action in support of their colleagues.

Community notices

• For any club, organisation or individual, looking for a suitable venue, Lambourn Parish Council offers discount on hire of The Memorial Hall where you can book seven sessions and get the 7th session free, provided that the sessions are booked and paid for in advance and alldates booked must fall within the current financial year. The deal runs for the whole of this financial year (subject to there being enough time left to fit the dates in) and will then be reviewed. Contact [email protected] to book.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is back at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service, there is a selection of house plants, a couple of garden plants, the seed tin and a few sundries. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisherwho will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See herefor library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 1 July Country & Western Night, East Garston Village Hall.

Sat 15 July Garstonbury, East Garston.

Sat 22 July Happy’s Circus, Welford & Wickham Primary School.

Sun 27 Aug Lambourn Carnival

Sun 10 Sept East Garston Allotment Flower & Produce Show

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Wednesday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact [email protected] or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  [email protected].

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

Lambourn Royal British Legion follow them on Facebook for latest events.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 June and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; the Annual Parish Assembly report (you can read a summary of the event here); a CIL payment; financial matters; the Lambourn centre (see separate section above); the public toilets; the Surgery; and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; planning matters; a report from ward member Clive Hooker; the Chair’s report; flooding and sewage; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance work; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 May and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 2 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 22 June 2023

This week we look at surgery changes, dog waste, plant swaps, block printing and ducks – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below the “This week’s news” section for the latest update from the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum, current planning applications in Lambourn and a discussion about the future of the Lambourn Centre at the most recent Lambourn Parish Council meeting.

This week’s news

• Having listened to the feedback, Lambourn Surgery is making some changes to how you access appointments at the surgery. They hope to free up some clinician time to offer more appointments by doing this. Our aim is always to help you access the right person to support your care in the right timeframe for your condition or concern. From Thursday 13 July their website will look very different to reflect this change. Please see instructions here on how to book an appointment.

Lambourn Parish Council has been monitoring the dog waste bins twice a week for the last three weeks and confirmed that at the most recent check last week, the bins highlighted for emptying that Wednesday had been completed to a satisfactory standard.  They will continue to monitor the situation for the next few weeks but are hopeful that we shouldn’t be seeing overflowing dog waste bins again. If you see any which are overflowing, please contact the Parish Council: details can be found here.

Melanie Martin from Lambourn Growers reports there has been a fair amount of activity in the plant swap recently. Currently there are tomatoes, peppers, chilli, marigolds, rudbeckia, oriental poppy, cardoons, house plants on the shelf, pots outside, accessories in the cubbies and seeds in the tin.

• It’s nearly time for Garstonbury on Saturday 15 July. Headline acts include ABBA, Queen, Oasis & Beach Boys and the very best local bands. Free funfair for the youngsters, fully stocked bar for the adults! For more info or to book you tickets, please visit www.garstonbury.co.uk. No tickets sold on the day.

• Great Shefford Village Hall Committee ia seeking a replacement Chair and new members to the Committee. Click here for more information.

• Save the date for East Garston Allotment Flower & Produce Show on Sunday 10 September. Quick heads up that there will be a new class this year for Elderflower Cordial as well as Scarecrows, Children’s Pressed Flower Picture and many more…

• On Tuesday 11 July from 7pm to 9pm enjoy an Indian Block Printing Workshop at East Garston Village Hall. £30 per person. For booking and further information please visit artofjaipur.com.

• Did you know you can save money with free eLibrary audio book loans from West Berkshire Libraries? For help call 01635 519900 or email [email protected].

You could have the opportunity to win a European City Break and at the same time support Friends of Lambourn Library. Click here for details.  

• If you would like to share ideas about reducing your carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the valley, please contact [email protected] about a new monthly eco support group being set up.

• Please can people drive very carefully through our villages because of the seasonal issue of ducks crossing the road, especially in Great Shefford and near the Plough in Eastbury and as you just go out of Eastbury towards East Garston by the national speed limit sign.

Dirty water

As most local residents will be aware, the upper Lambourn Valley has increasingly suffered from two related problems with its sewage network: the discharge of foul water into the River Lambourn; and, in extreme cases, sewage overflowing into houses and streets. For a number of reasons, the sewerage network has become particularly overloaded in recent years. The long-term underlying problem is that of groundwater leaking into the pipes through cracks and overwhelming the system.

The last few years have seen an increasing level of popular national complaint about the problem of sewage discharge. In our area, one constructive result of this has been the establishment of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum (EGF&PF) by East Garston resident Martyn Wright. This not only to highlights local problems but also engages with relevant organisations to try to achieve solutions.

Click here for the latest EGF&PF report from 17 June 2023.

Lambourn’s plans

a reminder that every month or so, the excellent Lambourn.org publishes a list of the live (ie undetermined) planning applications in the parish. As WBC no longer sends letters to neighbours and as the orange notices don’t always get displayed as clearly as they might, this is probably the best way of keeping up to date with what plans have been submitted. This is the latest list, published on 11 June 2023.

As the preamble to L.org’s list explains, “in order to build or substantially modify a property a planning application has to be submitted and approved. The local planning authority, and decision maker for Lambourn, is West Berkshire Council. Lambourn Parish Council reviews planning applications and provides input to West Berkshire Council.

“The best place to check what applications have been made in your locality is by visiting the West Berkshire Planning Portal where you can search based on your postcode. Using the portal you can comment, object or support a planning application. The list [in the above-mentioned post] is an extract and only valid on the day published. Always check the West Berkshire Planning Portal to see the latest applications and status.”

Costing the centre

At its meeting on 7 June, Lambourn Parish Council considered its relationship with the Lambourn Centre (you can download the full minutes here).

The question asked was whether the £11,000-plus annual payment to the Lambourn centre (set to increase to £14,000 as a result of inflation) represents value for money. This is obviously very hard to measure, as someone who uses a service or a facility clearly values it more than one who doesn’t. It was pointed out that LPC is effectively locked into the agreement as it would need to buy itself out “at considerable cost”. It was also pointed out that without LPC’s support the Centre would be at risk of closure: not an outcome anyone wants on their watch. It was agreed that the Chair would provide details of the costs and the contract to LPC members.

Matters may be about to change, however. Not only was it suggested that a local community group might want to make use of the Centre but also, from 1 July, the facility will (along with all leisure centres in the district) be taken over by Everyone Active, Harwood’s contract having run its course. You can see a statement from WBC here (which we also reported on last week: see below). new management teams generally bring new ideas, so it will be interesting to see what plans EA has for the Lambourn Centre and how it plans to work with LPC and other local groups in order to help realise them

Community notices

• For any club, organisation or individual, looking for a suitable venue, Lambourn Parish Council offers discount on hire of The Memorial Hall where you can book seven sessions and get the 7th session free, provided that the sessions are booked and paid for in advance and all  dates booked must fall within the current financial year. The deal runs for the whole of this financial year (subject to there being enough time left to fit the dates in) and will then be reviewed. Contact [email protected] to book.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station is back at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service, there is a selection of house plants, a couple of garden plants, the seed tin and a few sundries. If there’s something you’d like but you have nothing to swap then pop a donation in the bear’s basket. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

Free dyslexia advice and help sessions are back at Lambourn Library. Are you concerned about a child who is struggling at school or a loved one who is struggling at work? Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher who will listen to your concerns on 07787 127771. Or book a FREE 30-minute telephone or Zoom call at www.a-new-way.co.uk and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction is supporting an increasing number of local families and requests donations. Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345 for any futher information. Cash donations also welcome.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid). If you’d like to read up on the history of the Lambourn Fire Brigade to potentially inspire you, click here.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff for an All Yours Box, no questions asked. See herefor library opening hours.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

Village Views provides further information (in printed format) about events in the Valley, including reports from community groups, and is available monthly from local retailers. For more information please send an email to [email protected].

4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 1 July Country & Western Night, East Garston Village Hall.

Sat 15 July Garstonbury, East Garston.

Sat 22 July Happy’s Circus, Welford & Wickham Primary School.

• Regular events

Lambourn Youth Junction for any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at Lambourn British Legion on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 8pm. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600 or message them on their Facebook page. New volunteers also very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club ; Art Group; Book Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Oxford Street, Lambourn. A great opportunity to meet up with or make new friends. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Wednesday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. The first two sessions are free and then the cost is just £1 per session.  Bats are provided and all abilities are welcome. Contact