Compton & Downlands Weekly News, Thursday 23 May 2024

Compton & Downland Weekly News header

Thursday 23 May 2024 

Our usual round-up of  local news includes football, bees, a closure, books and business grants – plus a look at another busy month for a local ward member and a swimming-pool appeal from a local school.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Compton area events include Charity Football Match and Dance Night. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• The ward member writes

The following is taken from the contribution of Ridgeway ward member Carolyne Culver to the most recent issue of the magazine Compilations.

“This has been another busy month. I visited the Compton Animal Health Institute site to speak to Homes England, the owner of the site, and Cognition, the company overseeing the demolition. They have removed some hardstanding at the bottom of the site to assist with drainage. I have received complaints about parking congestion outside the primary school and the WBC traffic team will be going out to do checks.

“Last week I attended ordinary parish council meetings in Compton and Yattendon, and annual parish council meetings in West Ilsley and Frilsham, to give reports on my work. I attended a training session about adult social care. I also showed a representative of Project Groundwater around East Ilsley who spoke to Compton’s flood warden, Peter Callard. Project Groundwater supports communities to be more resilient to groundwater flooding. It is a six-year programme working with communities in nine high-risk flood areas of the Chiltern Hills and Berkshire Downs.

“I also attended a meeting in Hampstead Norreys with Thames Water. The village flood warden, parish chairman, residents and I asked a lot of questions and received some very useful information. I have several pages of notes.

“When the minutes of the 25 April Scrutiny Commission are published on the WBC website you will be able to see a lengthy report that I gave about flooding and sewage in the district. Newbury Town Councillor Steve Masters requested that WBC issue an ‘abatement notice’ against Thames Water for the ‘statutory nuisance’ caused by sewage on the streets. The council then issued a press release to say it was going to look for evidence again (residents, parish councillors and flood wardens have been sending them evidence for months).

“It appears that the council will not be issuing an abatement notice. It has said instead it they will ask Thames Water to “provide details of investment in sewage infrastructure since the floods in 2014’ and that ‘an action plan be put into place across West Berkshire to urgently resolve the sewage flooding and overflows into our waterways”.

“It is not clear what this “action plan’”will look like, who will write it, and by when. When Thames Water has come to Scrutiny (last October, and the autumn the previous year) they have told us about their plans. There are a lot of problems including the fact Victorian pipework was deliberately porous to allow groundwater to flush the system, and it is no longer fit for purpose; they can’t line pipes and seal manhole covers to stop groundwater inundating the sewers when the groundwater is so high; and they are on the brink of bankruptcy. Meanwhile some roads and pavements are still covered in the scum of dried-up sewage and nobody will come and clean it.

“I think this issue is going to continue to dominate my work for some time to come…”

• A pool appeal

A water story of a different kind, also from Compton.

The Downs School Trust is in urgent need of funds to refurbish a key community pool at the school. It is a older outdoor pool that has been covered many years ago and now requires serious repair to remain consistently open for the hundreds of children and adults that use it.

Currently, the Trustees explain, “we are having to close the pool on some days due to the pump system not working and we cannot always confidently book summer camps in advance. When in working order our community and school swimming pool is used for a variety of uses.

“These vital lessons and activities include: swimming lessons during the school day for the Downs School students; a weekly swim lunch club to help sixth formers manage the stress and anxiety of exams; after-school swimming lessons for the younger children in our community; morning and after-school swim sessions for staff to manage their well being; swimming lessons for SEN children with 1:1 or 1:2 staff; holiday camps for local children throughout the year; and local primary school introductory lessons

“The funds will go some way to repair the pump and technical aspects. We thank you sincerely, for your consideration.”

More more information and to make a donation, please visit The Good Exchange website here.

• Other news

• The Compton Swan Charity Football Match this Saturday 25 May is not to be missed. Girls vs Boys, with no rules for the girls and boys wearing wellies…All proceeds in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support in loving memory of Kevin Francis. See more details here.

• Compton Parish Council warns residents that Coombe Road will be closed from Monday 3 to Friday 7 June, the between its junction with Aldworth Road and its junction with Unnamed Road from Ilsley Road to Unnamed Road from Ilsley Road to Newbury Hill. For full details check here. 

• As the weather warms up we get into the swarming season for honey bees. If you see a swarm of honeybees please do not try to move them on by squirting them with a hose or throwing things at them.They may sound scary when there is such a large amount of them but, they are quite placid. They gorge themselves on honey before leaving the hive and are just resting while looking for a new home. Please don’t kill them, just call your local swarm collector who will remove them. See more details here.

West Berkshire Council is still assisting the local community through the Household Support Fund until autumn 2024. This could help if you’re struggling to afford energy and water bills, food or other essential items. They also offer food vouchers to families during the school holidays.Don’t suffer in silence, reach out for assistance if they need it.You can find out more by following this link.

Your West Berkshire is a new magazine bringing you news and events from West Berkshire Council. It’s a good opportunity to find out more about some of things they are doing for the community. They will be sharing news, events and stories about their work and the services which they provide. You can read it online here.

• A reminder for those of you with felines in the family, that from Monday 10 June, your cat must be microchipped. This new law cites that if you do not microchip and register your cat on a database by the time they are twenty weeks old, you can be fined up to £500. See full details here.

• If you know someone who finds it difficult to visit the library, through age, disability or other special circumstances, they may be able to come to you. Contact West Berks Libraries’  ‘At Home’ service by phoning 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk

Hampstead Norreys WI is in search of books in good condition, fiction, non-fiction or children’s. If you can help please call 07393 299938 and a pick up can be arranged.

• West Ilsley Willows ladies cricket team is inviting newcomers to join them for this Summer. All abilities welcome, and no previous cricket experience is necessary.  Please contact Danni on 07825 819355 for further info.

• Would you like to help inspire the future workforce? Education Business Partnership helps prepare our local young people for the world of work, and to do this EBP relies on the support of local businesses and professionals. If you would like to volunteer your expertise please see here for more details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choicescollectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• The Rural Business Grant Scheme funds micro and small businesses located in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

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

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Drop-in café at St Mary & St Nicholas, Compton on the last Wednesday afternoon of the month at Compton Village Hall. Refreshments and friendly chit-chat. Open to anyone.

• Downland Volunteer Group has a new electric HandeBus. For those wishing to use the HandeBus or volunteer to help the DVG’s work, contact 07713 813 523; dvg.handebus@btinternet.com; or at www.downlandvolgroup.org. More information can also be found here.

U6, U7 and U16 footballers are welcome at FC Cougars. Please contact graham on graham@fccougars.com.

• Compton Parish Council is keen to remind residents to please take rubbish home with them if litter bins are full.

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

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice. There is no shame if you do get caught out by scammers (Penny has) and you must seek help and warn others.


Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 25 May Charity Football Match, The Compton Swan.

• Fri 7 Jun Friday Night Dance  East Illsley Sheepfair

• Sat 6 Jul Compton Fete Recreation Ground.

• Sat 13 Jul Beer, Cider & Ale Festival The Swan, Compton.

• 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.

Tea and a Chat on Mondays from 9.30am to 11am at the Wilkins Centre in Compton: all welcome.

Downland Practice – Social Prescribing reminds patients that Hillier’s Garden Centre is delighted to be able to host the Ladies Breakfast Club on the second Wednesday of every month.

Wellbeing and mental health free one hour introduction session with Recovery in Mind and The Downland Practice. Please contact pm.downland@nhs.net to book your place.

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

Free coffee and cake morning at The Wilkins Centre in Compton from 9.30 am to 11 am every Monday.

Aldworth Saturday Market at Aldworth Village Hall, RG8 9SE from 10.30am to midday sells fresh fruit and vegetables, groceries, stamps and cards; tea and coffee. 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 01635 281545 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 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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

.• The most recent meeting of West Ilsley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; financial matters; two councillor vacancies; and thanks for the well readings during the period of high groundwater.
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 28 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 27 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 Brightwalton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 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 Aldworth Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 March and you can download 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 5 March and you can read the minutes here. There was also a short meeting on 2 April to consider one planning application.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meetings of Ashampstead Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 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 Compton Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 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 meeting of Beedon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 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. 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 14 November and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.


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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