Thursday 26 May 2022

This week we take a look at yet another case of a vehicle crashing into a house in West Ilsley and suggest what solutions might be looked at by West Berkshire Council and others. We also cover local jubilee celebrations, an appeal from the local school’s Friends of group, Chaddleworeth’s fête and Compton’s annual parish council meeting.

Scroll down for this and other news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• You may be aware that there will be some celebrations taking place between 2 and 5 June. Click here for our guide to jubilee events across the area.

• The Autumn Group incorporating the Hobbies Club meets at The Willinks Centre in Compton and has released the latest programme for spring and early summer. Starting with a bingo night on 7 June you can see the full list of events here. For more details please contact Patricia on 07786 856440.

Friends of Compton Primary School is asking local residents in the area to sign up for Easy Fundraising which makes donations to the school based on your normal shopping without costing you a penny. If you’re interested please click here to sign up.

• Women from all walks of life across the county are invited to join West Berkshire Council’s Women in Politics webinar on Wednesday 1 June to find out how to get involved in local decision-making panels or becoming a Councillor. WBC also would like to invite any and all local residents interested in what happens behind the scenes at the Council or how decisions are made, to join them for this event. Details can be found on the council website.

• Keep your eyes on the skies on Thursday 2 June for the spectacular military flyby in celebration of the Jubilee. Over 70 aircraft will be participating, including the Red Arrows, Spitfires and Hurricanes, taking off in the east of the country, flying over Buckingham Palace, London and then heading the South and West. If all goes according to plan, Berkshire should see the aircraft overhead roughly between 12:50pm and 1:30pm – so keep your eyes peeled. More information can be found here.

See here for the latest (May 2022) Chaddleworth Newsletter. Please contact chaddnews@gmail.com if you want to be added to the circulation list for the digital edition.

• Speaking of Chaddleworth, there will be a village fete held on Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June. Hosting a dog show, brass band, face painting and more, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area. More information can be found here.

• Details for Hampstead Norreys local celebrations from 2 to 5 June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are available to view online and include community lunches, parties, choirs, parades and a barn dance. Please keep an eye on the Hampstead Norreys village website and Hampstead Norreys Community Facebook page for future event details.

• For the latest West Ilsley newsletter please see here.

Crash bang

Imagine a minor road which runs downhill into a village. At the other end of it, about two miles away, is a junction with a trunk road. For most of the minor road’s length there’s a 60mph limit. Just as it enters the village it curves slightly and the limit drops to 30. Pretty soon afterwards there’s a Y-junction, with the road continuing to the right and a street to the left. Dead ahead, right in the cleft of the Y, are two houses. It’s easy to see what could go wrong with this picture.

In fact, you don’t have to imagine anything: what I’ve just described is the eastern approach to West Ilsley. The trunk road is, of course, our old friend the A34. The two houses have been seriously hit by vehicles at least four times since 2001. After one incident a few years ago, the then owners of the one directly facing the road put some sturdy planters in the front to act as buffers. This brought them into conflict with West Berkshire Council and needed the granting (for a fee) of a stopping up order to make the technical change to the highway. The most recent incident – which resulted in the destruction of one of the planters, about four metres of hedge and the porch of the other house – took place last week. It’s perhaps lucky that both houses are still standing. When the next incident will come no one can say: but come it will. The statistics don’t lie.

So, what might be done about this? I met the owner of one of the houses as well as a local resident and District Councillor Carolyne Culver at the scene on Friday afternoon to discuss this. There are a number of options.

  • Install bigger and more robust planters, perhaps re-inforced. There are two problems. If not robust enough, they would make no practical difference; if too robust, they might place the homeowner/s in a position of legal liability if death or injury to a driver could be proved to have been caused by collision with these rather than with the house. Insurance companies have some smart lawyers on their books and a claim which could run into millions would be worth defending. There may be specially designed barrier planters available but, if so, they might fall foul of West Berkshire’s regulations (West Ilsley is in a conservation area).
  • Change the speed limit. Options here including starting the 30mph zone sooner; reducing the 60mph section to 50; and having a “buffer” 40mph limit between the two. Changing speed limits is notoriously difficult (ask residents of Eastbury, or the Town and Manor in Hungerford). In any case, what the limit says is one thing: the reality is something else. Which leads us to…
  • Get motorists to obey the speed limit. This seems easy but actually it’s not. Every parish council minute I’ve read (and I’ve read a few) mentions speeding. No solution or solutions seem to work. If they’re being candid, many drivers would want a 5mph limit outside their home and 90mph everywhere else. In any case, in many cases our willingness to abide by a law is directly proportionate to our chances of being caught. As there’s no speed camera and police patrols there might happen every few years, the risk of detection for speeding is almost nil.
  • There are also other problems with this stretch of road. If you’ve just come off the A34 doing 70 or so and ease off a bit as you turn onto the minor road, your new speed can seem slower than it really is. Going downhill, as happens here, makes it worse. Factor in things like drunkenness, tiredness, ice and poor visibility – which I understand variously played a part in the previous incidents (it’s not yet sure what caused the most recent one) – and you’re really in trouble. The A34’s frequent closures mean traffic may be diverted onto this side road so you’ve also got people who’re cross, frustrated, late and still fiddling with their satnavs. All in all, this stretch of highway could be featured, and may yet be, in a video by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
  • Install a fake speed camera. This was done in one village very close to us and seems to have worked. It does for me, as the sight of a speed camera, or something that resembles one, makes me check my speed limit and, if necessary, break before I’m really aware of what I’m doing. As well as needing someone with good carpentry or metalworking skills, this also requires the agreement of a local landowner as they need to be placed on private land (and with an unobstructed view of the road).
  • Install a real speed camera. Even better. There would seem a good case for this. The fines here would probably cover the install costs within about five days.
  • Install other traffic-calming measures. Rumble strips, sleeping policemen and chicanes are some of the possibilities but some can replace one problem with another. The blue-light services don’t like the last two either.
  • Move the road or move the houses. Sorry, I was only interested in practical suggestions. Mind you…

Several of these issues fall into the lap of West Berkshire Council and Carolyne Culver has said that she’ll be pressing for all options to be explored. One thing that would help is a precedent: so, if anyone knows of a location where vehicles have regularly been in collision with buildings, please contact her on Carolyne.Culver1@westberks.gov.uk. Until some relief can be found, every time the residents of these houses hear traffic coming towards them part of them will be bracing themselves for what could be The Big One. Given the topography and the current regulations and enforcement, this would seem only to be a matter of time.

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.

• 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.

• Yattendon Classic Vehicle Day is looking for volunteer first aiders for their 2022 event on 26 June. Please contact Lyn on 07774 257539 or email yattendonclassicvehicle@outlook.com.

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

• Aldworth Parish Council would still like to hear from any residents who may have ideas or wishes for what the parish can do to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. An online survey can be answered.

Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Wed 1 June Women in Politics Webinar with WBC.

Thu 2 June Military Flyby across West Berkshire.

Sat 17 and Sun 18 June Chaddleworth Village Fete.

• 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 Crown and Horns in East Ilsley Quiz Night 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 Compton Parish Council took place on 9 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; formal matters; an update from ward member Carolyne Culver; dates of future meetings; reports from the committees and working parties; planning matters; and financial matters. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. Please click here for the latest on Compton’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Chaddleworth Parish Council took place on 3 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The re-election of the Chair for the coming year; no planning applications (for there were none to consider); financial matters; various formal business; the jubilee; and an unused bridleway. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Beedon Parish Council took place on 21 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from District Councillor Clive Hooker; planning matters; the parish’s emergency plan; the jubilee; parish council assets; dog bins; cherry trees; financial matters; a possible youth club; and the annual assembly (Thursday 21 April – click here to read the minutes of this). To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Please click here for details of the planning applications currently active in the parish.

• The most recent meeting of Aldworth Parish Council took place on 16 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: potential measures to make the B4009 through Westridge Green safer (see also separate section above); potholes (ditto); planning matters; the playground inspection; the Pangbourne Neighbourhood Action Group; the jubilee; financial matters; and the risk assessment. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of West Ilsley Parish Council took place on 14 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Brightwalton Parish Council took place on 14 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.

• The most recent meeting of East Ilsley Parish Council 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 here.

• The most recent meetings of Ashampstead Parish Council took place on 7 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Hampstead Norreys Council took place on 31 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.

• The most recent meeting of Peasemore Parish Council took place on 19 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas 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 ValleyNewburyarea; Thatcham area; Theale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 19 May 2022

Scroll down for local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• The Heelan family from Compton has been participating in a ground-breaking research study into life-threatening allergic reactiosn in children with peanut allergies. Two of their children have been going to London fortnightly to received controlled doses of peanuts under medical supervision. As a result of the slowing increased exposure, their reactions have reduced in severity. For more see p3 of today’s Newbury Weekly News.

• A soil conditioner giveaway is taking place at Padworth IWMF this Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May. For more information,see here on the Compton PC Facebook page or here for the frequently asked questions regarding the giveaway.

• A final reminder for all those interested, that the Compton Annual Parish Council Meeting is taking place next Tuesday 24 May in the village hall. There will be a presentation from Greenham Trust and reports from the Council Chairman and District Councillor. See more here.

• Reminder that Brightwalton village prescription service has re-started with prescriptions available to collect between Wednesday and Friday between 9am and 5pm. Prescriptions can be sorted by the Downland Practice.

Beedon Parish Council held its annual assembly on 21 April and you can click here to read the minutes, which includes the full text of the Chair’s address.

• Women from all walks of life across the county are invited to join West Berkshire Council’s Women in Politics webinar on Wednesday 1 June to find out how to get involved in local decision-making panels or becoming a Councillor. WBC also would like to invite any and all local residents interested in what happens behind the scenes at the Council or how decisions are made, to join them for this event. Details can be found on the council website.

• Keep your eyes on the skies on Thursday 2 June for the spectacular military flyby in celebration of the Jubilee. Over 70 aircraft will be participating, including the Red Arrows, Spitfires and Hurricanes, taking off in the east of the country, flying over Buckingham Palace, London and then heading the South and West. If all goes according to plan, Berkshire should see the aircraft overhead roughly between 12:50pm and 1:30pm – so keep your eyes peeled. More information can be found here.

See here for the latest (May 2022)  Chaddleworth Newsletter. Please contact chaddnews@gmail.com if you want to be added to the circulation list for the digital edition.

• Details for Hampstead Norreys local celebrations from 2 to 5 June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are available to view online and include community lunches, parties, choirs, parades and a barn dance. Please keep an eye on the Hampstead Norreys village website and Hampstead Norreys Community Facebook page for future event details.

• For the latest West Ilsley newsletter 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.

• 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.

• Yattendon Classic Vehicle Day is looking for volunteer first aiders for their 2022 event on 26 June. Please contact Lyn on 07774 257539 or email yattendonclassicvehicle@outlook.com.

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

• Aldworth Parish Council would still like to hear from any residents who may have ideas or wishes for what the parish can do to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. An online survey can be answered.

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 21 May Hampstead Norreys WI Plant and Cake Stall at St. Mary’s Church.

• 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 Crown and Horns in East Ilsley Quiz Night 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 Chaddleworth Parish Council took place on 3 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The re-election of the Chair for the coming year; no planning applications (for there were none to consider); financial matters; various formal business; the jubilee; and an unused bridleway. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Compton Parish Council took place on 4 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from CPC’s working parties; the jubilee; planning matters; confirmation of a grant for CCTV for Thames Valley Police; financial matters; a tree survey; a proposed 20mph speed limit; and rights of way. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. Please click here for the latest on Compton’s neighbourhood development plan (which has now been ratified).

• The most recent meeting of Beedon Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from District Councillor Clive Hooker; planning matters; the parish’s emergency plan; the jubilee; parish council assets; dog bins; cherry trees; financial matters; a possible youth club; and the annual assembly (Thursday 21 April – click here to read the minutes of this). To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. Please click here for details of the planning applications currently active in the parish.

• The most recent meeting of Aldworth Parish Council took place on 16 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: potential measures to make the B4009 through Westridge Green safer (see also separate section above); potholes (ditto); planning matters; the playground inspection; the Pangbourne Neighbourhood Action Group; the jubilee; financial matters; and the risk assessment. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of West Ilsley Parish Council took place on 14 March and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Brightwalton Parish Council took place on 14 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.

• The most recent meeting of East Ilsley Parish Council 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 here.

• The most recent meetings of Ashampstead Parish Council took place on 7 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Hampstead Norreys Council took place on 31 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.

• The most recent meeting of Peasemore Parish Council took place on 19 January and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas 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 ValleyNewburyarea; Thatcham area; Theale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon 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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