Thursday 13 May 2021

• The May Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published on Saturday 8 May and you can click here to read it if you didn’t receive it. This covers the recent Lambourn PC meeting, the Lambourn Junction CIC, the lasts from Shefford Primary School, 4 LEGS Radio’s third birthday, the Carnival and the community orchard. We also have the latest update from ward member Howard Woollaston, from John O’Gaunt head Richard Hawthorne and from the Friends of the Library. There’s an appeal for East Garston’s bells and a special offer from the Five Bells in Wickham, as well as our usual range of other news, jobs, property, events and features. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if there’s anything you’d like to see included in the June issue.

Click here for Pat Murphy’s monthly racing column, looking back at the National, Irish domination, female success and the ageing process (or, in many cases, the lack of it).

• Did you know that in the 13th century, Upper Lambourn was known as UpLambourn? Did you know that Berkshire’s oldest windmill dates from 1273? No, nor did I. Lambourn.org did, however. Read more here.

Click here to read the latest report from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston. This will be being updated by Saturday 8 May.

• You might also be interested in the most recent newsletter from Lambourn.org which covers a wide range of stories and issues in and around the village.

• Front Street in East Garston will be closed from 8am to 6pm from 17 to 21 May while Thames Water does some work on the sewerage system. Click here for more information about the closures. This is part of a larger and ongoing programme of works to deal with groundwater infiltration in the network. I recently received a statement from Thankes Water about what it had accomplished in the area of the past few months, which you can read here. We’ll be doing a brief video with representatives of Thames Water on site next week in which they’ll be explaining exactly what they’re up to with with the doubtless peculiar looking bits of equipment that will be employed. We’ll hope to have this cut and edited ready for next week’s newsletter.

• Residents of East Garston who with to join the recently-established village Flood Forum (EGFF) and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• This week’s NWN has a long letter from a spokesman for the Woodlands Action Group which is active on behalf of planning and other issues which affect the three communities on the B4000. The main current issue is the recent approval granted to Walkers Logistics, which we covered in detail over the last couple of weeks (see below). The writer, Tony King, points to the “flawed principle” of the application, the “last-minute submissions and statements,” the fact that the site is “probably the most unsustainable in the region,” the fact that the proposed museum was a “red herring”, that the decision has “overridden” the consultation into the local plan and that the Western Area Planning Committee was “poorly briefed.” I spoke to him briefly on 13 May and we also discussed the effect of the traffic on the B4000 and the increasingly perilous nature of its junction with the A338 in Shefford Woodlands.

The real problem with Membury is that it’s already a bit of a blot on the landscape from an AONB point of view and so, the reasoning goes, a little more won’t make the problem any worse. As for the traffic, the site (and probably the service station) should have been built around J14, a few miles to the south west. There’s nothing that can be done about that now. Whether or not there’s anything that can be done about this approval and, if it goes ahead, the enforcement of any conditions, remains to be seen.

• No further news on the continuing CIL saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn, which dates back to 2018. I’m still surprised that a matter which proved 3,600 emails is not being looked into for this reason alone; also what the delay is in deciding what the net step should be.

• A reminder about last week’s promising news from Superfast Berkshire which might see the end for the problem of non-broadband that has blighted Upper Lambourn since…well, forever. She confirms that “the final addition to the scope of the SFBB Project has been approved and that Upper Lambourn is part of it. Openreach will commence its build programme with a final delivery date of Q4 2021/2022. The build is subject to survey so we cannot guarantee 100% of properties that are currently in scope will be delivered to as there is much that is unknown until full surveys are done. However, I hope you will agree that his is very good news.” I spoke to as local resident whose “broadband” has never exceeded dial-up speed, who told me that the next hurdle would be crossed by about this time next month when Openreach’s website will (hopefully) confirm a start date for the work.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 1 April and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 4 March and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• Click here or here for the latest news from Lambourn Surgery.

Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests, which are available at four sites across the district (Hungerford, Newbury, Thatcham and Burghfield), and home-testing kits.

• 4 Legs Community Radio Station (which recently celebrated its third birthday – more on this in the latest Valley of the Racehorse newsletter, see above) will continue broadcasting during the pandemic – click here for more.

Lambourn Valley area council news

Parishes: click here for Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford 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; Marlborough area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Theale area; Wantage area; Swindon area.

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

Thursday 6 May 2021

• The May Valley of the Racehorse newsletter will be published on Saturday 8 May. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if there’s anything you’d like to see included.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read my report of the meeting here. items covered included: the election of a new Chair; the Lambourn Junction CIC (see below); committees and working groups; the problems caused by the enforced return to in-person meetings; ASB problems; and the Lambourn neighbourhood development plan.

• Christan Noll explained to the above meeting that the Lambourn Junction CIC had recently been set up to help provide the framework and the structure to support local community groups. It already is involved in running the food hub, the Covid volunteers and Lambourn.org. It doesn’t have any intention to take over any organisation it becomes involved with but but can help with matters like insurance, health and safety advice, grants and banking. It can offer this to groups, whether new or established and to those organising events, whether one-off or regular. Full details can be found on the Lambourn.org website.

Click here to read the latest report from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston. This will be being updated by Saturday 8 May.

• You might also be interested in the most recent newsletter from Lambourn.org which covers a wide range of stories and issues in and around the village.

• This week’s NWN covers on p22 the deliberations of the WBC’s Western Area Planning Committee in deciding narrowly in favour of the Walker’s Brothers application for a 12,578 square metre warehouse in Membury. As we mentioned when covering this last week, the matter really came down to deciding whether the needs of the AONB or of economic development ranked the higher, the committee narrowly deciding in favour of the latter. Local ward member Howard Woollaston admitted that the applicant was a “responsible local employer” but otherwise was unimpressed with the scale and nature of the scheme and the precedent it would set. Councillor James Cole commented that the scheme didn’t meet the “exceptional standards” test for building in an AONB (a notoriously difficult matter to establish). It also seems clear, as Councillor Adrian Abbs put it, that the horse as already bolted on this one. The trading estate, the motorway services and the motorway itself have made the area neither outstanding nor natural nor beautiful. Further applications will inevitably be made. There would seem to be benefits in trying to create some strategic plan for the whole site, if this can be done, to constrain and control further development; and, perhaps, lobby the DfT to turn the services into a motorway junction (though I think that it’s more likely that I’ll be elected Pope). That would at least help with the traffic issue on the B4000, a road that’s scary enough at the best of times and likely to become more so with every permission at Membury that’s granted.

• Residents of Lambourn may have wondered why two people in a cherry picker were examining the Market Cross a couple of weeks ago. Were they retrieving a cat? Adding a 5G mobile phone mast? Was it even an audacious attempt to steal it (one hears of metal theft: stone theft may be next). As Lambourn.org explains here, it was merely a visit from Historic England following reports that the structure may have become unsafe. The report will say that it’s structurally sound and doesn’t require any immediate work but will warn that there is some damage and that a stone conservation expert should be called in (rather like those “advisories” on your car’s MOT which you immediately forget about and then, a few months later, wish you hadn’t). I doubt that such experts work for the minimum wage so expect to see a reasonably hefty invoice on Lambourn PC’s accounts in the next year or so.

• And talking of hefty invoices, the long saga of the CIL payment arising from the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn, which dates back to 2018, continues. These developer contributions are triggered by certain kind of applications (or, as it turns out, by any kind of application if the correct paperwork isn’t done), something which the then Council Leader Gordon Lundie described as amounting to a policy of “gotcha.” (See this post for more on this.) An invoice for £60,000 was in this case the unwelcome result of an administrative oversight (of the kind that even HMRC would later be able to adjust were the error with them) and even though it was clear that the development should have been exempted from paying any CIL at all. The applicant’s latest defensive tactic was to issue a FoI request to see the relevant emails at West Berkshire Council. As the NWN reports on p23 of this week’s issue, the request has recently been rejected as being “manifestly unreasonable” as it would involve looking at “in excess of 3,600 emails” a process which would “exceed the appropriate limit (18 hours)…and place a disproportionate burden on the authority.”

If an issue stretching back three years has led to 3,600 emails then there’s clearly something that seriously needs looking into. It also shows that we’re way past the stage of worrying about “appropriate” time spent by officers as the matter has clearly soaked up hundreds of hours’ work already. What on earth could all these emails have been about? If anything, the the terms of the refusal has sharpened my curiosity. There seems, however, to be simple way out of this. WBC has long claimed it has a watertight case and that the money is fairly owed. If it still feels this, it should crack on, sue the applicant and let the courts decide. If it doesn’t, it should cancel the payment (as it has the power to do). The current situation doesn’t work for anyone.

• An email just in from Lynne Wilson at Superfast Berkshire marks, hopefully, the beginning of the end for the problem of non-broadband that has blighted Upper Lambourn since…well, forever. She confirms that “the final addition to the scope of the SFBB Project has been approved and that Upper Lambourn is part of it. Openreach will commence its build programme with a final delivery date of Q4 2021/2022. The build is subject to survey so we cannot guarantee 100% of properties that are currently in scope will be delivered to as there is much that is unknown until full surveys are done. However, I hope you will agree that his is very good news.”

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 1 April and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 4 March and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• Residents of East Garston who with to join the recently-established village Flood Forum (EGFF) and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• Click here or here for the latest news from Lambourn Surgery.

Click here for details of Covid lateral flow tests, which are available at four sites across the district (Hungerford, Newbury, Thatcham and Burghfield), and home-testing kits.

• 4 Legs Community Radio Station (which recently celebrated its third birthday – more on this in this weekend’s Valley of the Racehorse newsletter) will continue broadcasting during the pandemic – click here for more.

Thursday 29 April 2021

• The April Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published earlier this month. Click here to read it if you didn’t get it. The May issue will be published on Saturday 8 May. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if there’s anything you’d like to see included.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read Lambourn.org’s report of the meeting here.

• The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place on Wednesday 5 May at 7.30pm. Please click here for the agenda. If you want to receive the Zoom link, please email lambournpc@btconnect.com by noon on Wednesday 5 May.

Click here to read the latest report from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston.

• You might also be interested in the most recent newsletter from Lambourn.org which covers a wide range of stories and issues in and around the village.

• The application for a 12,578 square metre warehouse (getting on for the size of two football pitches) at the Walker Logistics site in Membury was decided by the Western Area Planning Committee (WPC) on 28 April and resulted in a narrow approval by five votes to four. The discussion really turned on whether the economic benefits outweighed compromising the AONB and the increased traffic levels. The committee decided that they did. 33 conditionals and nine informatives were attached to the approval. The conditions included matters such as hours of work, light, tree screening and – perhaps most significantly – the fact that the building be carbon neutral. I asked Hilary Cole, the portfolio holder for planning and a member of WAPC, if WBC was under its present policy able to insist on such a condition. She assured me that it could, and pointed me to policy CS15 regarding the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). “We were well ahead of the game with regard to carbon neutrality in our Local Plan” she told me, “but this was scuppered by central government which wanted reduced targets.  Now they are waking up to climate change new policies are being demanded by them.  So, as an authority, we are extremely disappointed that we were not allowed to pursue our policies.”

I also spoke to Charlie Walker of Walker Logistics about this. He said he was “delighted” with the decision and stressed that he looked forward to working with officers at WBC and with local residents on developing the project and addressing any concerns. Those who remain uneasy about the decision might take comfort from the difference between a developer which builds properties to sell and then moves on and one which is building something foe itself and plans to stick around. Walker Logistics is in the second category – Charlie Walker confirmed that they “weren’t going anywhere” – and is therefore likely to be much more responsive to concerns raised by a community which it is a part of. This might contrast with a developer building, say, 100 homes in, say, Hungerford which want to be in and out as soon as possible and for whom any local ill-will is fairly irrelevant.

Some of the conditions, like the tree screening, will be fairly to enforce: others, like the working hours, will require ongoing monitoring. With currently only two enforcement officers, WBC is perhaps understaffed in this area. The accusation that an office has closed ten minutes after the specified time may not qualify as the kind of major infringement to which the officers’ time would be devoted. This then also puts the onus on the local parish council and residents to gather information which may not be done objectively and which can become divisive. Every time an ongoing condition like this is agreed it gets added to the pile of all the other ones, so surely causing fewer and fewer to be monitored if the number of staff doesn’t increase. Enforcement officers are important if a planning authority’s decisions are to be taken seriously.

• This month’s Village Views has an article (with peas and photographs) on skylarks and other ground-nesting birds.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 1 April and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• A reminder that Lambourn will be going to the polls on Thursday 6 May with two Parish Council seats (Lambourn and Upper Lambourn) up for grabs.

• A further vacancy has arisen on Lambourn PC (making five in all). For more information, see here.

• A further reminder concerning the broadband (or lack of) in Upper Lambourn. It appears that a further government scheme, Project Gigabit, is about to be launched to help those whom the communications advances of the 21st century have forgotten. More information will be available when know: in the mean time, if any residents with awful broadband need help, please contact Lynne.Wilson1@westberks.gov.uk.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 4 March and the draft minutes can be downloaded here.

• Residents of East Garston who with to join the recently-established village Flood Forum (EGFF) and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• The previous minutes of Lambourn PC and other related documents now available in a more complete form on the excellent Lambourn.org site than they are on the PC’s official site.

• Click here or here for the latest news from Lambourn Surgery.

• 4 Legs Community Radio Station will on continue broadcasting during the pandemic – click here for more.

See below for previous Weekly News sections for this area.

Thursday 22 April 2021

• The April Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published last week, giving you the low down and a heads up on life in the upper reaches of the Lambourn Valley. Click here to read it if you didn’t get it.

• You might also be interested in the most recent newsletter from Lambourn.org.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read Lambourn.org’s report of the meeting here.

Click here to read the latest report from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston.

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are now available in Hungerford, Newbury, Thatcham and Burghfield.

• The application for a 10,000 square metre warehouse (slightly larger than a football pitch) at the Walker Logistics site in Membury will be decided by Western Area Planning Committee on 28 April: the planning officers are recommended approval but a sufficiency of objections have been received meaning that it will be looked at by councillors as well. I spoke to Charlie Walker about this today and he stressed a point, also made in an article on p21 of this week’s NWN, that efforts had been made to mitigate the downsides of this and that the project would continue to provide local jobs. I’m also aware that there a number of people feel differently. This is only to be expected for a development of this nature and on this scale.

The major concern seems to be that the scheme, if approved, would lead to “development creep” at Membury. It could be argued that this point was passed some time ago. The impact on the AONB has clearly not been positive; then again, it’s right next to a motorway and a service station, which don’t do much for it either. The big problem, and the big unknown, is the impact on traffic. The B4000 is a terrifying thing to cross or turn on to and the road between it and the industrial area is prone to flooding. It’s impossible to argue that such a facility, which the applicant claims, will create 200 more jobs and will include an aviation museum, will not increase traffic. It’s for the Western Area Planning Committee if this is acceptable given the benefits. As most of the non-local traffic presumably goes onto the M4, this would seem to be ideal moment to look again at the idea of creating a junction 14a at memory Services. The expensive part, the slip roads, are already in place. People might argue that this would attract even more development there. This might not be a bad thing as at least it wouldn’t clog up local roads.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 1 April and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the proposed farm shop at The Great Shefford pub; financial matters; the fence at the bottom of Hungerford Hill; repairs to the playground equipment; dog-waste signage; the PC’s communications; the latest developments in the four-way discussions between GSPC, WBC, the Environment Agency and Thames Water about trying to get the long-delayed flood alleviation scheme off the ground (or, rather, into the ground); the Annual Parish Meeting (on Thursday 6 May); HGVs in the village; litter on the verges of the bottom road between the village and East Garston; and the proposed community garden in the recreation area.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• A reminder that Lambourn will be going to the polls on Thursday 6 May with two Parish Council seats (Lambourn and Upper Lambourn) up for grabs.

• A further vacancy has arisen on Lambourn PC (making five in all). For more information, see here.

• A further reminder concerning the broadband (or lack of) in Upper Lambourn. It appears that a further government scheme, Project Gigabit, is about to be launched to help those whom the communications advances of the 21st century have forgotten. More information will be available when know: in the mean time, if any residents with awful broadband need help, please contact Lynne.Wilson1@westberks.gov.uk.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 4 March and the draft minutes can be downloaded here.

• Residents of East Garston who with to join the recently-established village Flood Forum (EGFF) and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• The previous minutes of Lambourn PC and other related documents now available in a more complete form on the excellent Lambourn.org site than they are on the PC’s official site.

• Click here or here for the latest news from Lambourn Surgery.

• 4 Legs Community Radio Station will on continue broadcasting during the pandemic – click here for more.

Thursday 15 April 2021

• The April Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published last week, giving you the low down and a heads up on life in the upper reaches of the Lambourn Valley. Click here to read it if you didn’t get it. Items covered included a Lambourn.org’s report on the latest Lambourn PC meeting, an appeal from Lambourn Junction which is looking for a new home, Trindledown’s online pet show, the budding of the HS2 refutrees, District Councillor Howard Woollaston’s monthly report, an accolade for a Lambourn camera Club member, a local book of condolences for the Duke of Edinburgh, racing news, re-openings in the Valley, local courses and classes, a good book, a good bottle of red and a good short story.

• This week’s Newbury Weekly News reports, on p22, that WBC had decided that the proposal for a free-standing kiosk at The Great Shefford pub would indeed require planning permission (the applicants were seeking a certificate of lawfulness which would have enabled work to have proceeded without a formal application). You can see the details of the application on WBC’s planning portal here. The landlord, Joshua Khan, has yet to decide if an application will be made. He has long claimed that the pub needs to diversify to survive. (see also below.)

• As mentioned above, the most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read Lambourn.org’s report of the meeting here.

Click here to read the latest report from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 1 April and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the proposed farm shop at The Great Shefford pub (see paragraphs below); financial matters; the fence at the bottom of Hungerford Hill; repairs to the playground equipment; dog-waste signage; the PC’s communications; the latest developments in the four-way discussions between GSPC, WBC, the Environment Agency and Thames Water about trying to get the long-delayed flood alleviation scheme off the ground (or, rather, into the ground); the Annual Parish Meeting (on Thursday 6 May); HGVs in the village; litter on the verges of the bottom road between the village and East Garston; and the proposed community garden in the recreation area.

• As might be expected, there was a fair bit of discussion about application 20/02245/FUL for the proposed farm shop at The Great Shefford. The changes to the proposals have led to two parish councillors now being minded to support the application, although it was agreed that concerns remained about the impact on traffic and parking. One solution would be for WBC to insist (as has been proposed) that the shop only be open when the pub was not. I understand that this is not welcomed by the applicant. I also understand that WBC is reluctant to impose conditions which it does not have the resources to enforce. The matter will ultimately be decided by WBC’s Western Area Planning Committee, to which the PC, objectors, supporters and the applicant can all make representations.

The discussion also touched on the general question of supporting local businesses: which, as the Chairman pointed out, risked crossing the line between policy and emotion. The PC makes its comments (and WBC its decisions) on the basis of policy: and, he pointed, out, in this case there was a real obstacle to the application in that any new development needed to have sufficient on-site parking. He also mentioned WBC’s own policy with regard to farm shops which “encouraged their provision and retention…provided that they do not adversely affect the vitality of nearby village shops.” This is a matter which, whether GSPC drew attention to it or not, would surely be picked up by WBC’s own officers. The question of deciding what might constitute an “adverse effect” is, of course, debatable. No one can say for sure, as the extent of the threat depends entirely on what the two shops decide to sell and at what price. WBC’s decision – and at the risk of labouring the point, it is WBC’s call, not Great Shefford’s – will ultimately depend not only on how worried WBC is by the parking issues but also whether it chooses to give more weight to the first part of the farm-shop policy or to the second. I wish both the pub and shop well (we live in the next village) and hope that some way will be found that can satisfy both their aspirations.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the purchase of a new dog bin; the wording for a notice to deter skateboarders from using the MUGA; approval of a donation to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; the possibility of the parish acquiring white gates (which several villages have near the speed-limit signs and which seem to contribute to a reduction in speeding); financial matters; fly tipping; the Wickham settlement boundary (discussion on which was deferred due to the amount of documentation); work to be done at Marsh Common; the village website; and a forthcoming playground inspection.

• I note from placing at the “history” section on Weston’s village website that “Wickham chapel is famous for its papier mâché elephants in the roof of the north aisle.” I think you’ll agree this isn’t a sentence you read every day.

• A reminder that Lambourn will be going to the polls on Thursday 6 May with two Parish Council seats (Lambourn and Upper Lambourn) up for grabs. Anyone wishing to stand must complete their nomination papers and deliver these (by hand only – not by post – and by appointment) to the Returning Officer at WBC by 4pm on Thursday 8 April. More information on these inflexible procedures can be found here. Further information about putting yourself forward as a candidate can be found on the Electoral Commission website here.

• A further vacancy has arisen on Lambourn PC (making five in all). For more information, see here.

• A further reminder concerning the broadband (or lack of) in Upper Lambourn. It appears that a further government scheme, Project Gigabit, is about to be launched to help those whom the communications advances of the 21st century have forgotten. More information will be available when know: in the mean time, if any residents with awful broadband need help, please contact Lynne.Wilson1@westberks.gov.uk.

• East Garston’s Garstonbury Festival will be returning on Saturday 17 July 2021, all being well. Click here for details of the hoped-for great day.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 4 March and the minutes will appear here in due course.

• Residents of East Garston who with to join the recently-established village Flood Forum (EGFF) and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 March and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent Lambourn Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can read my summary of it here.

• The previous minutes of Lambourn PC and other related documents now available in a more complete form on the excellent Lambourn.org site than they are on the PC’s official site.

• Click here or here for the latest news from Lambourn Surgery.

• 4 Legs Community Radio Station will on continue broadcasting during the pandemic – click here for more.

Thursday 8 April 2021

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 7 April and you can read Lambourn.org’s report of the meeting here. The official minutes will also appear on Lambourn.org: for some reason they do not seem to be being added to LPC’s “official” site and nor are agendas published there (for those you also need to use the regularly-updated Lambourn.org). Matters discussed at the meeting included: two planning applications; the refusal by the landowners to sell LPC the site it had identified for an extension of the cemetery (which leaves open the question, not discussed, of how long it will be before the existing one is full); a discussion about the government’s proposed plans to dictate to local councils how their meetings are to be conducted after 7 May; litter picking; speeding; the state of repair of the Market Cross; the latest news from the NDP group (including a recent drone survey of the River Lambourn); and (in closed session, discussions about the resignation of the Assistant Clerk).

Click here to read the latest report from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston.

• A reminder that Lambourn will be going to the polls on Thursday 6 May with two Parish Council seats (Lambourn and Upper Lambourn) up for grabs. Anyone wishing to stand must complete their nomination papers and deliver these (by hand only – not by post – and by appointment) to the Returning Officer at WBC by 4pm on Thursday 8 April. More information on these inflexible procedures can be found here. Further information about putting yourself forward as a candidate can be found on the Electoral Commission website here.

• A further vacancy has arisen on Lambourn PC (making five in all). For more information, see here.

• A further reminder concerning the broadband (or lack of) in Upper Lambourn. It appears that a further government scheme, Project Gigabit, is about to be launched to help those whom the communications advances of the 21st century have forgotten. More information will be available when know: in the mean time, if any residents with awful broadband need help, please contact Lynne.Wilson1@westberks.gov.uk.

• Local residents (and not just in Lambourn) have been expressing dismay that the dog bins don’t seem to be being emptied as often as they should be. Judging my comments made at other parish council meetings around the area and also in the letters’ page of this week’s NWN, this seems to be a district-wide problem. You can report problems to WBC through its website. You might also want to tell your ward member (see list here) or your local parish council (links for most of these can ben seen at the top of the relevant sections below).

• East Garston’s Garstonbury Festival will be returning on Saturday 17 July 2021, all being well. Click here for details of the hoped-for great day.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 4 March and the minutes will appear here in due course.

• Residents of East Garston who with to join the recently-established village Flood Forum (EGFF) and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 March and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent Lambourn Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can read my summary of it here.

• The previous minutes of Lambourn PC and other related documents now available in a more complete form on the excellent Lambourn.org site than they are on the PC’s official site.

• Click here or here for the latest news from Lambourn Surgery.

• 4 Legs Community Radio Station will on continue broadcasting during the pandemic – click here for more.

Thursday 1 April 2021

• Latest news from Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.

The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place on Wednesday 7 April at 7pm. If you want to participate by Zoom, please email the clerk at lambournpc@btconnect.com.

• A reminder that Lambourn will be going to the polls on Thursday 6 May with two Parish Council seats (Lambourn and Upper Lambourn) up for grabs. Anyone wishing to stand must complete their nomination papers and deliver these (by hand only – not by post – and by appointment) to the Returning Officer at WBC by 4pm on Thursday 8 April. More information on these inflexible procedures can be found here. Further information about putting yourself forward as a candidate can be found on the Electoral Commission website here.

• A further vacancy has arisen on Lambourn PC (making five in all). For more information, see here.

• A reminder concerning the broadband (or lack of) in Upper Lambourn. It appears that a further government scheme, Project Gigabit, is about to be launched to help those whom the communications advances of the 21st century have forgotten. More information will be available when know: in the mean time, if any residents with awful broadband need help, please contact Lynne.Wilson1@westberks.gov.uk.

• Local residents (and not just in Lambourn) have been expressing dismay that the dog bins don’t seem to be being emptied as often as they should be. I spoke to Lambourn Parish Council’s Clerk on 31 March who assured me that she was on the case of this with West Berkshire Council.

• East Garston’s Garstonbury Festival will be returning on Saturday 17 July 2021, all being well. Click here for details of the hoped-for great day.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 4 March and the minutes will appear here in due course. Items covered included: the postponement of the planned Annual Parish Meeting in April, due to Covid; WBC’s Survive to Thrive fund (more information here: you can also contact the PC if you have any suggestions regarding local projects); flooding and sewage issues (please see paragraph below); the need to contact WBC to ensure the dog bins are emptied regularly; the village design statement (which will not be being pursued for the time being); and the co-option of Peter Smith as a new councillor.

• Residents of East Garston who with to join the recently-established village Flood Forum (EGFF) and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the flood alleviation scheme (which provoked considerable discussion – see last week’s column); speeding issues; a decision notice on one planning application (there were no new ones to consider); the fence at the bottom of Hungerford Hill; the playground inspection report; financial matters; signage at the recreation ground; and the railings at Station Road.

• The most recent Lambourn Parish Council took place on 3 March and you can read my summary of it here.

• The previous minutes of Lambourn PC and other related documents now available in a more complete form on the excellent Lambourn.org site than they are on the PC’s official site.

• Click here or here for the latest news from Lambourn Surgery.

• 4 Legs Community Radio Station will on continue broadcasting during the pandemic – click here for more.

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale