Compton & Downlands Weekly News, Thursday 23 March 2023

Compton & Downland Weekly News header

Thursday 23 March 2023

This week we cover an award, an open morning, a spring clean, a bus and a petition. We also take a look at the new Liftshare scheme which is being introduced in the area – plus our round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Newbury Lane, Compton, will be closed for road works from the 3 April to 22 May. This closure is expected to be carried out in 3 phases to ensure residential access throughout. The signed diverstion route will be via Ilsley Road, unnamed road from Ilsley Road to Newbury Hill, and vice versa. The purpose of this closure is for Thames Water to carry out works to upgrade and maintain the water supply network. Blue light access will be via the diversion route.

• Quick reminder for Chaddleworth and Leckhamstead residents, the Handybus is re-launching its service to Wantage, picking up residents from their homes every other Tuesday morning starting in March. The next trip on Tuesday 28 March will be free and then the round trip will cost £4. See here for more details and how to book.

• The Aldworth Saturday Market is now open again every Saturday at Aldworth Village Hall, RG8 9SE from 10.30 a.m. to midday.  The volunteer-run market sells fresh fruit and vegetables, groceries, stamps and cards; and also offers freshly-brewed tea or coffee and biscuits to customers for only 50p. For further details please contact Kathy on 01635 578090 or e-mail kathyneville@outlook.com

• The Good Life Hub in Hampstead Norreys is providing an Interactive Workshop for Teens  on Monday 27 March and Monday 3 April to provide young people with a greater understanding of the brain and why they feel the way they do when under pressure. BRIYM have skilled therapists with over 50 years experience. For further details and tickets visit www.goodlifehub.co.uk

• Congratulations to Hugh Macaulay, landlord of the Bell at Aldworth, who was awarded West Berkshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2023 this week by West Berkshire CAMRA Chair, Andy Pinkard. Andy said ‘The Bell, under Hugh’s most excellent stewardship, represents the very essence of a traditional pub; welcoming, inclusive and sociable’.

• On Sunday 7 May there will be a fantastic afternoon on the Recreation Ground in Compton to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III. Picnic on the Rec will include circus entertainers, dance bands, a bring and share cake table and flower arranging competition. For further details keep an eye out on the Compton Facebook page.

Yattendon Tennis Club are hosting an open morning on Sunday 1 April from 10am to 12 noon. Everyone is invited to come down and have a hit.

Faye Harland is planning BBC Radio Berkshire’s coverage of the King’s Coronation and is keen to speak to people with memories of the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. If that’s you or someone you know,  drop her an email faye.harland@bbc.co.uk

Keep Britain Tidy and join the Great British Spring Clean and take action for a greener Britain. Picking up litter can make a huge difference in protecting your local outdoors and wildlife. Find out how your local council can support your Spring Clean here .

• Hampstead Norreys Community Shop and Café are hosting a free children’s activity on Tuesday 4 April from 4pm to 5.30pm. Easter Art invites you to come and decorate your own egg. Volunteers are always needed at at the shop so if you can help, please contact Avril Mason on 07796 985218 0r 01635 201307. For more about the shop, please follow them on facebook here.

The Downs School is petitioning West Berkshire Council to make the area at the top of gate 3 a safer place for parents, staff and local residents during busy times of the school day – by adding a “drop & go” space that parents can pull into, off the road, to safely drop off and collect their children. They ask for your support by signing the petition below so West Berkks can consider the sometimes dangerous conditions created by vehicles, that students, staff and local residents face daily. Sign the petition here.

Compton Parish Council are pleased to announce that works have started this week on the installation of some commemorative benches in the Recreation Ground. This is part of a project to commemorate the Jubilee and the Coronation and as a memorial to Queen Elizabeth II.

• There is a Drop Off/Drop In Coffee Morning every Wednesday during term time at Brightwalton Church from 8.45 to 10am.

• On Sunday 7 May, come and celebrate the Coronation with a Coronation Picnic at the Compton Rec. from 11am onwards. All activities are free and you can book a gazebo by contacting shelleybowdery@btinternet.com.

Now we are officially in spring, dog walkers need to be mindful of their impact on ground-nesting birds. Of course dogs love to romp but skylarks and nightjars are endangered species and if an adult is disturbed they will not return to their nest, leaving their chicks to die. Dog walkers are requested to keep dogs on leads less than 2 metres long when walking in potential bird nesting areas. Please see more details here about national requirements for dog walkers between 1 March and 31 July.

The cost of living support hub on West Berkshire Council website explains the different types of support available if you are struggling with rising living costs and are concerned about paying your household bills. You can also click here to read this article about the Hub and what help and support you can expect from it.

• Quick reminder about support available to get you through the cost of living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• For the latest West Ilsley newsletter please see here.

• For the latest Chaddleworth newsletter please see here.

Becoming Liftshare-aware

Many experts think that transport solutions such as lift sharing and on-demand buses are the best way forward to reducing our carbon emissions and air pollution problems. These schemes are particularly appropriate for rural communities such as ours but they are different to what we’re used to, namely jumping in a car, hiring one for our exclusive use or looking up a bus timetable.  They also require a critical mass of users before the benefits are truly felt. But the time for these schemes has definitely arrived: the climate emergency is forcing us to change some of our transport habits and digital communications now enable such solutions to work in a way that would have been impossible even a decade ago.

West Berkshire Council is currently piloting the Liftshare scheme for residents in Chaddleworth, Great Shefford, East Garston and Hungerford. As we are down to one car these days, we will occasionally be looking for lifts ourselves and Brian is also happy to offer lifts on his regular trips from East Garston, via Great Shefford to Hungerford so they will be on the system soon. It’s easy to register so hopefully we can get used to the idea of planning ahead a bit more before we travel. Of course there will still be many times when we grab the car keys and rush out of the door but if we need any motivation to change our habits, it’s worth reading this week’s report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

If you are often travelling alone and wondering how inefficient it is when others are probably doing similar journeys, or you don’t have a car and could do with a lift, then this could be for you. You only share with people who you choose to connect with so you remain in complete control.  Only residents with West Berkshire postcodes can sign up to the group so it’s very much a local initiative which will give residents the confidence to try it out.

This is a positive step for the community, the environment and your bank balance too. Please find out more and give it a go by signing up for free here. For it to work, those who are happy to share their journey need to sign up as well as those who would benefit from receiving a lift, otherwise the matching up doesn’t happen.

Community notices

• See Compton Parish Council’s website for a list of current scams going around in the area that you should be aware of.

St Mary & St Nicholas, Compton has a drop-in café from 2.30pm to 4pm on the last Wednesday of every month at the Village Hall in Compton on the last Wednesday of every month. Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits are on offer and the chance for a friendly chit-chat. Open to anyone.

• Recovery in Mind and The Downland Practice host a free one hour introduction session for local adults wishing to further their knowledge on wellbeing and mental health. Please contact pm.downland@nhs.net to book your place.

• Free tea, coffee, cake and biscuits at The Wilkins Centre in Compton from 9.30 am to 11 am every Monday.

• Compton Karate based at Aldworth Village Hall is a small and friendly dojo that welcomes new members.

• 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.

• 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.

• Regular events and groups

• Stay, Play and Learn at Compton Village Hall on Thursday mornings during term for children 0-4 years to socialise with others, exploring a variety of play activities and crafts. Book online with West Berkshire Council here.

• The Gents Breakfast Club created by The Downland Practice – Social Prescribing is proving popular. If you would like more information please contact nicky.ager@nhs.net.

Compton Tots on the first and third Thursday of every month at Compton Village Hall from 9.30am to 11am. Providing a safe, fun and educational space, in partnership will Compton Pre-school for 0-5 years and costs £2 per family (cash only).

• Quiz night at The Crown and Horns in East Ilsley every Thursday from 7pm with prizes to be won. You can reserve a table by calling 01635281545 and see more information here.

• Brickleton Babes Baby and Toddler Group in Brightwalton Village Hall. Join their facebook group for details.

• Autumn Group regular meetings include the Hobbies Club at the Wilkins Centre, Compton. Visit their facebook page for details. Anyone from surrounding villages very welcome.

• Aldworth Art/Painting Group at the Aldworth Village Hall on first and third Tuesday of every month from 9.30am to noon. Details on the East Ilsley Communicator (issue 105, p 21) here.

 Aldworth Craft Group meet at Aldworth Village Hall on the second and fourth Monday of every month (within the school term time) from 10am to noon. More details in the East Ilsley Communicator (issue 105, p 16), which you can download here.

• Hampstead Norreys Village Hall club and event information is on Hampstead Norreys Community website.

• Ilsley Under Fives meet every Wednesday between 10am to 11.30am at various locations throughout the Ilsley villages. Please join their Facebook group  or a see details here.

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 West Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 March (the date at the top currently says 16 January but I think that’s wrong) and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member; the co-option of a new councillor; planning matters; financial matters; the Village Hall; a possible neighbourhood development plan; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see minutes from past meetings please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Brightwalton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 March and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: the Community Co-ordinator; the Village Hall; rats on the playground; the annual parish meeting (15 May); the coronation; planning matters; financial matters; repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The most recent meeting of Compton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: discussions with Sovereign Housing about parking in Gordon Crescent; committee reports; working party reports; planning matters; financial matters; dogs on the Rec; the coronation; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes click herePlease click here for the latest on Compton’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meetings of Ashampstead Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from ward member Alan Law; a report from the Police; roads, footpaths and byways; planning matters; open spaces; the CIL reserves; and the coronation.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chaddleworth Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 February and you can read 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 East Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 January and you can read 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 Hampstead Norreys Council for which minutes are available  took place on 19 January and you can read 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 Aldworth Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and mintues for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Beedon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereTo see minutes from past meetings please click here. Please click here for details of the planning applications currently active in the parish.

• The most recent meeting of Peasemore Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• Compton & Downlands area council contacts

Parishes: Hampstead Norreys Parish Council, Compton Parish CouncilAshampstead Parish CouncilBeedon Parish CouncilChaddleworth Parish CouncilBrightwalton Parish CouncilPeasemore Parish Council, Aldworth Parish CouncilWest Ilsley Parish Council and East Ilsley 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; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Archives

To see earlier Compton & Downlands & Surrounding Area Weekly News columns, please click here.

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