Compton & Downlands Weekly News, Thursday 15 June 2023

Compton & Downland Weekly News header

Thursday 15 June 2023

This week we cover fêtes, heatwaves, footballers, drama, tea and a quiz night– plus our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Scroll down below “This weeks news” for switching and saving energy suppliers and a new logo at the district’s leisure centres from 1 July.

This week’s news

• Don’t miss Chieveley Fete this Sunday 18 June at Chieveley Manor from 2pm to 5pm. Lots of stalls, face painting bouncy castle, games and much more. All welcome. No dogs or bikes please.

• Are you involved with a community gardening group? BBC 1’s The One Show in partnership with the RHS are recognising new growers who have transformed a green space in their area in their Growing Together Award 2023 for Community Gardening. They are particularly keen to hear about projects that involve a diverse range of people who are traditionally under-represented in gardening and have really benefited from starting to garden or having a new outdoor space to use. The winners will receive National Garden Gift Vouchers, a plaque and certificate. Apply here by Tuesday 11 July.

• Many people enjoy this kind of heat but fewer animals do. There is lots of advice for pet owners and wildlife lovers during a heatwave. Some people think it’s okay to leave their dog in the car if they’re parked in the shade or the windows are open, but a car can become as hot as an oven even when the weather doesn’t feel that warm. If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, this is what the RSPCA recommends that you do.

Compton Village Fete is on Saturday 1 July from 1pm to 4pm. They will be holding a children’s fun run, a dog show, car boot sale, bouncy castle, tea room and much more.

• Enjoy a Quiz Night at Compton Village Hall on Saturday 17 July at 7.30. £10 per ticket includes a pork bap and a drink of your choice.

• West Berkshire Council invites suggestions on how to improve the lives of people with autism living in this area. If you are a person on the autistic spectrum or know someone who is and would like to share your experiences of the challenges faced by people with autism with local services, including education, health, employment, social care and local community resources, please complete the Council’s online Autism Survey 2023. The deadline to have your say is midnight on Wednesday 19 July.

• Organically grown salad leaves and lettuces can be bought from Chantal Cornelius at Appletree Cottage, Coombe Road in Compton. See details on her facebook page here.

Brightwalton Village Hall welcomes footballers on the field next door on Wednesday evenings. Kick off at 7pm for all players over 15 years old.

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.

• For road closures and other news visit Hampstead Norreys Parish Council‘s facebook page.

• Quick reminder about Citizens Advice West Berkshire and the Public Protection Partnership’s advice about scams and how to protect yourself and what to do if you get caught. There is no shame if you do get caught out by scammers and you must seek help and warn others.

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.

• 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.

A new splash

West Berkshire Council has appointed Everyone Active as the new leisure management operator to manage the leisure facilities across the district. From 1 July 2023, Everyone Active (EA) will begin a 10-year contract run Northcroft Leisure Centre and Lido, Hungerford Leisure Centre, Kennet Leisure Centre, Cotswold Sports Centre, Willink Leisure Centre, Lambourn Sports Centre and the Downland Sports Centre.

“The new contract will have a strong focus on community outreach,” a statement from WBC says, “providing a variety of creative and physical activities in local venues such as community halls, churches, centres and outdoor locations to increase accessibility.

“We are delighted to officially begin our partnership with West Berkshire Council and are looking forward to many successful years ahead,” Steve Salwa, Area Contract Manager at Everyone Active said.  “The sports and leisure centres within this contract are so important for the health and wellbeing of the local communities and we look forward to supporting the council’s vision for leisure across West Berkshire. We would like to reassure existing customers that all memberships, classes, lessons and club bookings will carry over and continue as normal during the transition.” I understand (and hope) that this will also include that any direct debits are seamlessly transferred across from Parkwood Leisure to EA.

“The contract is the start of a very exciting period for leisure in West Berkshire,” Janine Lewis, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure, Sport and Countryside added. “Increasing participation in active leisure for all, especially those currently less active, is a key focus of our new leisure strategy. We are delighted to be working with EA. Our centres are about so much more than leisure activities. They are community hubs where people can socialise while keeping active and well.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our current provider, Parkwood Leisure, for their hard work over the last 19 years and their excellent contribution to improving health and wellbeing across the district.”

All the staff will be transferring over so there will still be the same friendly and familiar faces at Hungerford (which I use) and elsewhere. One thing that the new management might want to look at is the website. Certainly as regards pool sessions in Hungerford, the online information doesn’t always accord with reality and it seems the staff don’t have as much control over the content as they should. This may also be an issue elsewhere. If you have any suggestions of your own then let your local centre know.

Switching and saving

Over the last 18 months, many households have grappled with high energy costs and financially struggled due to the increasing energy price cap and no decent fixed deals. Through West Berkshire Council’s partnership with the Big Community Switch scheme, residents can now save money by getting a better energy deal as a group, and switching to a trusted energy supplier. This will not only save money but also support a greener future and the move to 100% renewable energy tariffs.

You can register to switch here by 21 June. Personal offers will then be sent out from 4 July where you have time to decide if you want to go ahead and switch or not. Your decision to accept or decline the new offer needs to be made by 31 July. For more information, please click here.

As many of us know, switching energy suppliers can be a daunting task. However, the Big Community Switch does all the hard work for you and provides guidance throughout the entire process. Moreover, there is no obligation to switch to the winning supplier once you receive your personal offer.

“I’ve always believed in the principle of Save Money and the Environment (SMATE),” Councillor Adrian Abbs, WBC’s Executive Member for Climate Action, Recycling and Biodiversity said. “Now, during this cost of living crisis, having a chance to do just that with the Big Community Switch makes perfect sense.”

The more people who participate in the scheme, the better the deal that will be reached – so do spread the word and tell your family, friends and neighbours.

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 meetings of Ashampstead Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of a Chair and Deputy; and other formal business. You can also click here to read the minutes of the annual parish meeting, also held on 22 May, which includes a statement from the Chair summarising aPC’s work over the previous 12 months.
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 22 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; formal business; financial matters; committees; dog bins; and Gigaclear.
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 18 May and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; planning matters; and financial matters. 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 East Ilsley 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 a Chair and Deputy; other formal business; planning matters; 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 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 West Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of a Chair and Deputy; the WIPC Trust; planning matters; 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 Aldworth Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election 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 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 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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