Compton & Downlands Weekly News, Thursday 13 April 2023

Compton & Downland Weekly News header

Thursday 13 April 2023

This week we cover lunch, a vacancy, a sale, benches and a chat. We also take a look at Chaddleworth’s poor broadband service (offering some hope from a similar long-running problem in Upper Lambourn) and issue an invite to tune in to the next election special on Kennet Radio – plus our round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Hampstead Norreys Shop currently has a display for the Coronation of King Charles III. If you are coming to The Big Coronation Lunch on Sunday 7 May please fill in the form on the display table where the Broadsheet, with all relevant details will also be on the view shortly

• Enjoy a Table-Top Sale on Saturday 22 April at Compton Village Hall from 10 am to 12noon. To book a table call Claire Morris on 07879 415631.

TVP West Berkshire Thames Valley Alert is a community messaging system which provides targeted messages to be sent out to the communities, such as – Witness appeals -Community events such as ‘Have Your Say’ meetings – Crime Prevention Advice – Crime Updates. To register click here

• One of the most significant barriers to people seeking help, is fear of others knowing about their difficulties. Read Easy Swindon & West Berkshire exists to help those who have trouble with reading, whatever age. Find out more about the support they provide adults who want to learn to read by visiting their website here.

• If you have a project about nature restoration, nature connectedness and pro-environmental behaviours or community cohesion and connection, the RSPB are excited to announce the launch of the Save Our Wild Isles Community fund, supporting communities around the UK that are helping to bring nature back to life. Only 5% of UK land is protected for nature, and communities across the UK play a crucial part in helping to restore nature, whether it’s creating community gardens, or protecting local wildlife. Find out how to apply here.

The Downs School Trust’s fundraiser to create an engaging environment to provide sixth form students with much needed space to engage with their peers, socialise and relax has now raised £10,855 of £18,000 required. If you can help them reach their target, the fundraiser closes on 23 May 2023.

• There is currently a vacancy on Compton Parish Council caused by a resignation. As it is within six months of the next election, which takes place on 4 May 2023, the council is able to co-opt to fill the vacancy. If you would like to apply or for more information, please use the contact form on their website here.

• Do you know a vulnerable person who receives scam or nuisance calls and would like to be able to protect them from such calls? If so you can apply to have a call blocker fitted for free from the Trading Standards team. To qualify for a call blocker residents need to live in West Berks, regularly receive scam & nuisance calls and have care or support needs due to factors such as age, mobility or mental health. Contact Public Protection Partnership now to ask for more information on 01635 519930 for Trading Standards or email tsadvice@westberks.gov.uk

• A quick reminder that all are welcome to enjoy Tea and a Chat on Mondays from 9.30 to 11am at the Wilkins Centre in Compton.

• Newbury Lane, Compton, will be closed for road works until 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.

• 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.

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.

• For the latest Chaddleworth newsletter please see here.

Chaddleworth’s narrowband

At the March meeting on Chaddleworth Parish Council, the members discussed a problem which the village suffers from and which, these days, is about as troublesome as not having a proper water supply: slow internet speeds. The relevant part of the discussion was as follows:

“Councillor Woodroffe updated on the frustrating lack of high-speed internet provision in Chaddleworth, seeming to fall just outside other areas benefitting from this, that the existing speed is only just sufficient to support home-working and that the length of copper from the exchange/cabinet is likely to be a significant limitation. Councillor Wilson updated that Gigaclear Ltd probably did not provide service to Chaddleworth as the Openreach exchange is already located here and further suggested that the Parish Council make contact with Openreach regarding the current situation. A member of the public noted that neighbouring Brightwalton Parish has had some success and share a contact there. Councillors Woodroffe and Stanley will seek to progress this.”

Residents of Chaddleworth who are thus afflicted can, perhaps, take heart from the similar problems experienced by a number of residents of Upper Lambourn whose internet connections were until last year at dial-up speeds, if that. Their problems seem now to have been solved. I followed this story quite closely for about 18 months and here is the summary of the whole saga, written in February 2023. I don’t know if the two cases are comparable but even if not, the happy ending might be of some encouragement. Good luck to all involved with sorting it out.

Kennet Radio’s Local Election Special

I’ve been asked by Jeremy Sharp from Kennet Radio to join him for a series of election specials which will be broadcast on Kennet Radio. In each programme we shall be covering a different theme and to discuss this Kennet Radio has invited representatives of each of the main political parties contesting seats in the elections in West Berkshire..

The first Local Election Special was on Friday 7 April from 4pm to 5pm and the theme was the environment, transport and the countryside. The guests were David Marsh (Green Party); Adrian Abbs (Liberal Democrats); Suzie Ferguson (tbc) ((Labour); and Steve Ardagh-Walter (Conservatives). You can listen to the programme by clicking here.

The next one will be on Friday 14 April and will cover planning, development and housing. The guests will be Caroline Culver (Green Party), Alan Law (Conservative Party), Clive Taylor (Labour Party) and Tony Vickers (Liberal Democrat Party).

You can tune in on 106.7FM if you’re in the coverage area: for other options, please visit the website. The programme will also be available as a listen again from about ten minutes after the show has finished.

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 Handybus service to Wantage picks up Chaddleworth and Leckhamstead residents from their homes on the second and fourth Tuesday morning. The round trip will cost £4. See here for more details and how to book.

• The Aldworth Saturday Market at Aldworth Village Hall, RG8 9SE from 10.30am to midday 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 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 Aldworth Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the playground inspection; the defibrillator; a report from the Clerk; the ownership of the Village Hall; grit bins; and potholes.
To see the dates, agendas and mintues 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 14 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: public questions; financial matters; the Monday Club; broadband (see separate section above); reports from councillors and the Clerk; 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 East Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from ward member Carolyne Culver; village beehives; grants; the shared SID; the playground; tree work; financial matters; the village magazine; courtesy lights; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• 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.
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.
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 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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