Compton & Downlands Weekly News, Thursday 25 May 2023

Compton & Downland Weekly News header

Thursday 25 May 2023

This week we cover a sale, a fête, fibre, drama, open studios and wildlife in the verges – plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

There will be a table-top sale on Saturday 27 May at Compton Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon. To book a table call Clare Morris on 07879 415631. Set up from 9am.

• Friends of Compton Primary School have an online silent auction from Friday 26 May to 7 June with some amazing items to bid on. Register and bid here.

The Downs School invites you to host a stall at their upcoming  Summer Fete on Friday 14 July. £15 charge per vendor, email contact@thedownsschool.org to register your interest.

• Citizens Advice West Berkshire and the Public Protection Partnership are promoting Scam Awareness Week but in truth we need to be scam aware every week. These people are so clever and there is no shame in being caught out. Penny once fell for a facebook messenger scam and would have lost money if her internet banking app wasn’t down. See advice here on how to protect yourself and what to do if you get caught.

• Are you over 65? If so, West Berkshire Council are interested in how you travel around the district by walking or takng the bus and any challenges or issues affecting your ability to travel, and the things you find most helpful when walking or using buses. Please complete this Active Travel survey by midnight on Friday 16 June.

• West Berkshire Council also wants to hear from people aged 16 and over who either currently live in West Berks or have done so in the last three years, and have experienced any form of domestic abuse. They’d like to know whether you received the support you needed, and what improvements you think could be made. The Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment Survey closes at midnight on Monday 12 June 2023.

East Ilsley Parish Council has advised that Gigaclear are planning on delivering full fibre infrastructure in the community of East Ilsley and have identified parcels of land that are unadopted and unregistered on HM Land Registry (electronic) and ask if you know of any registered owners of these sections of land:

  • GWA-261910 – Narborough Lane, Stanmore Road, East Ilsley, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 7LX
  • GWA-261908 Road leading to Summerdown Stables, East Ilsley, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 7LB

Please let Network Access Officer/ Central Region, Lauren Goddard know if you have any enquires on the above, or if any light can be shed on the registered owner/s by phone 01865 411980/ 07866172013 or email lauren.goddard@gigaclear.com

The Compton Players are looking for new recruits to join their fun and friendly local dramatic group. No experience required. They do two productions a year, rehearsing for about 12 weeks before each on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Compton Village Hall. Email chair@comptonplayers.co.uk for more information.

Open Studios West Berkshire and North Hampshire 2023 runs until May 29 with local artists opening their studios and exhibitions free of charge. They make entering any art space a comfortable experience, to encourage and promote accessibility to art and artists. See their website for details. Work by all participating artists is also exhibited at the wonderful INSIGHT exhibition at The Base, Greenham until 29 May 2023.

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

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

• For the latest Chaddleworth newsletter please see here.

On the verge

Now is the time of the year when the 1,700km of rural road verges in West Berkshire are bursting into life, with clouds of cow parsley, oxeye daisies and yellow rattle. Traditionally, our roadside verges were given regular number-one haircuts but now things are changing.

The main reason is that it’s become clear just how important these habitats are. By their nature, verges tend to connect to other verges and to hedges and woods, so providing vital wildlife corridors; much as the roads they follow are vital corridors for us and our vehicles. The West Berkshire Wild Verges project is a collaboration Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) and West Berkshire Council to support the use of verges to “make a space for nature.” There are certainly plenty of rural verges to work with in West Berkshire. If all of them were joined end to end they would stretch from Newbury to Madrid. If they were stacked side by side they’d cover over 700 football pitches.

Another reason is cost. Some verges are maintained by councils, which are perennially short of cash. Many private landlords may also see no cutting, or less of it, to be a good way of saving money.

However, there’s also the matter of road safety. If vegetation is obscuring road signs or visibility at junctions then it’s the landowner’s responsibility to deal with it and the council has the power to enforce them to do so.

We contacted WBC on 23 May to ask what its policy was. “Rural grass cutting tends to take place between end of Aug and March to avoid this kind of issue,” a spokesperson told us, “and we concentrate on urban routes during the summer. We have reduced verge cutting in urban areas which is allowing dandelions, cuckoo flower and buttercups to flourish. We are totally cognisant of the value of verges for wildlife.”

You can also click here to listen (from 7′ 20″) to the recent Sheepdrove Eco Show on 4LEGS Radio to see how Sheepdrove Organic Farm manages the verges by the side of the tracks and paths on its land.

The new team and its shadows

Click here for details of who’s on the Executive and the Shadow Executive at the new-look West Berkshire Council following the 4 May elections.

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.

Marcham Cricket Club welcomes new cricket players and officials.

• 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 Brightwalton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair; financial matters; the playground; the notice board; road signage; and the Clerk’s report.
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 9 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: appointment of the Chair and Deputy; two vacant seats on the council; actions from the previous meeting; formal year-end matters; financial matters; and  the Village Hall access path.
To see the dates, agendas and mintues 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 17 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member; planning matters; financial matters; rights of way; and congratulations;ations to Compton FC. Note that the most of the meeting was concerned with considering five planning applications relating to the former Institute for Animal Health. See the separate section above.
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 meeting of Hampstead Norreys Council for which minutes are available  took place on 23 March and you can read the minutes here. You can also click here to see the minutes of the annual parish meeting held on 27 April.
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 14 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 East Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 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 West Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 March and you can read the minutes here.
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 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 Beedon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 March 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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One Response

  1. The article on Registered Land is interesting as not all land is registered. If land has not been sold since registration came in then it will not be registered.
    Pinching land because it is unregistered has become a horrible habit by local authorities and infrastructure companies. Often the landowner is completely unaware of what is going on. When I was an estate agent I managed to rescue a piece for an elderly person that a Council planned to take just because it was unregistered.

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