Compton & Downlands Weekly News, Thursday 6 July 2023

Compton & Downland Weekly News header

Thursday 6 July 2023

This week we cover the Addams Family, a green army, hosts and guests, coffee and tea – 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 a look at how the Parish Council is keeping an eye on the clean-up at the Pirbright site in Compton and solar deals.

This week’s news

• Don’t miss the Downs School production of The Addams Family this Saturday 8 July at 7pm. Click here for tickets.

• Last year a very successful Macmillan Coffee Morning in Compton Village Hall, raised money for this great charity and this year it will be repeated on Saturday 30 September. There will be full range of delicious bakes, cakes, cookies and more. They will also have a number of stalls selling locally made, brewed and sewn goodies. If you’d like a table to sell your wares (in return for a small donation to Macmillan) please get in touch. Come along on the day to chat with your friends. Bring a cake (it doesn’t have to be home made!) for others to share. Collection of baked donations can be arranged the week before. 10-12pm on Saturday 30 September.

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.

• 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 ukraine@westberks.gov.uk by 12 July for login details.

Compton FC ‘Green Army’ will begin pre season training on Tuesday 18 July. Send them a message on facebook if you would like more information.

The Downs School is holding a Summer Fete on Friday 14 July from 4pm. An inflatable assault course, stalls, a barbecue and Beer and Pimms Tent are there to entertain you. Free to enter.

• 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.

• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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.

Cleaning up in Compton

The Redevelopment of the former Institute for Animal Health in Compton is under way. The first step is a thorough clean-up of the site by Homes England. There would seem to be some nasty stuff in the ground there and there was a good deal of discussion about this when it was approved at WBC’s Western area Planning Committee in January 2022. Anthrax and radio-active materials were both mentioned, neither of which traditionally do much for house prices. Many of us have seen the film Poltergeist. No one wants to live in an estate where evil spirits flood out of the TV or which is over-run with three-headed cats.

The clean-up process leaves Compton Parish Council with something of a problem. It isn’t the planning authority, has no powers of enforcement and lacks expertise in the highly technical work required and so has no way of being sure if it’s being done correctly. None the less, all this is happening on its patch. It can’t just sit back and assume that between them Homes England and WBC will cover all the bases – well, it could, but has decided not to.

The PC has therefore adopted a two-pronged strategy. The first is to employ a specialist lawyer to check every statement from both organisations and ensure that all the details and supporting documents are provided and that everything is being done as it should be.

The second is to ask the ward member Carolyne Culver to call in any application for a particular condition to be discharged where it is even slightly unhappy with what is proposed. This means that each one gets looked at in detail: a time-consuming business for all concerned but one that’s using the system in the best way. These call-ins are on each occasion at the discretion of the Chair of WAPC, currently Adrian Abbs. However, he expressed some concerns at the meeting in January 2022 about clean-up plans so it’s unlikely he’ll refuse any. Few planning matters can be as important to get right as this one.

So, residents of Compton, if you wonder what a larger than usual figure for legal expenses on the PC’s accounts means, this is why. It seems to me this is a pretty good use of the money.

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

• 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 West Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; financial matters; and repairs and maintenance.
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 Compton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: call-ins confirmed at Pirbright; planning matters; financial matters; and the Recreation Ground.
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 22 May 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 18 May 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 17 May 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 East Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 May 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 Brightwalton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 May 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 9 May 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 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 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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