Thursday 14 October 2021

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

• Our Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter was published last weekend and was, as ever full to bursting with all sorts of topical and local stuff. Click here to read it if you didn’t get it.

Click here for updates on Thames Water’s sewerage repairs in the area until the end of November.

• It seems that the M4 closures are not yet over. Work has not finished on the eastern carriageway so this will closed between J14 and J13 from 9pm on Friday 15 October to 6am on Monday 18 October. See more here in Newbury Today.

• An item on p20 of this week’s NWN caught my eye: green light for solar panels, referring to a Grade II house in Great Shefford. WBC’s Conservation and Design Officer is quoted as saying that he has “great difficulty with solar panels” as they obviously impact on the appearance of a building but are also supported by government policy. He approved these ones, which is surely the right decision. We, and he, may need to worry a bit less about appearance in the future.

• Also in Great Shefford, the parish magazine is looking for a new Editor – click here for details on how you can help keep this much-loved publication alive.

• Click here for the latest (updated on 9 October) report from Lambourn Ward member Howard Woollaston. Topics covered include parking at the Primary School, traffic on the local roads, the Membury Estate, planning issues and the parish’s neighbourhood development plan.

• For the last couple of weeks I’ve had what felt either like a chipped tooth or something stuck between it the one next door. To my finger, it was undetectable. To my tongue, it seemed to be like part of a hack-saw blade. Eventually I could take it no longer and went to see Fatima at Lambourn Dental, who was able to fit me in very quickly on Thursday. She took one look and reminded me that one of the teeth in that area was false and was braced to its neighbours by a metal flaps, one of which had come slightly adrift. This is what I could feel. She couldn’t fix it there and then: but here’s the strange thing. Although I left with it in just the same condition, as soon as I knew what it was my tongue stopped bothering about it. Now it’s as if there’s nothing wrong.

• Many tributes have been made to honour the life of  racehorse owner Trevor Hemmings CVO who sadly passed away on 11 October 2021 at the age of 86. Trevor achieved great success as a three-time Grand National-winning owner and also became the owner of Preston North End in 2010 after the club was given a winding-up petition. This Newbury Weekly News article highlights his success by saying “Hemmings created history in 2015 as Many Clouds handed him his third success in the Grand National as he became one of five owners to win the Aintree steeplechase three times.” As mentioned in the article “Many Clouds, who was trained by Lambourn’s Oliver Sherwood, also gave Hemmings a memorable day at Newbury Racecourse in 2014 as he won the Ladbrokes Trophy, formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup.” You can also read these articles written by The Guardian and BBC, which both honour Trevor’s life and legacy.

• 4LEGS Radio Lockdown Hero Award Winners will be announced on-air this Friday 15 October. In the meantime, click here to see the upcoming 4LEGS Radio programme schedule. And if you would like to get involved with the station as a presenter or administrator, please see details here.

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

• Lambourn Environmental Group is looking for volunteers to help plant hundreds of saplings in November. For how you can help please see here.

• We recently reported (see below) that work on Great Shefford’s flood alleviation scheme has finally been green-lighted by the Environment Agency with the work due to start in earnest in the next 18 months. Given the slow and fitful progress that has been made on this, nothing can be celebrated until it’s actually happened but a major and seemingly impassable hurdle seems to have been cleared. Hats off to Steve Ackrill and all those involved in keeping the project going. See this separate post for the background to this story.

• The application for the farm shop at The Great Shefford pub is due to come before the Western Area Planning Committee at some point in the next month or so. You can see more on the application here.

• Lambourn.org updates, roughly once a month, a useful list of live planning applications in the parish. These range from conversions to demolitions, from homes to commercial properties and from new builds to tree felling. Click here for details.

• Click here for the latest (8 October) edition of East Garston News.

• Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

The B4000

• The great thing, and the bad thing, about this road is that it’s very straight. It runs, in the stretch that causes problems, from M4 junction 14 to the Membury Industrial Estate, passing through the Woodlands villages en route. With the constant use of the former and the expansion of the latter, the problem is how traffic speeds and usage can be mitigated.

I’d like to intrude a personal anecdote at this point. I passed my driving test in 1976 and have never had an accident that’s been my fault. I’ve been in some odd situations behind the wheel but the only time I was genuinely scared was about six years ago when, while looking for a private house, I took a wrong turning off the B4000. This ended in a barred gate. It might help if I explained that the B4000 curved away from this entrance in both directions, that it was dusk and that I had two of my children in the car. Why such an entrance existed and how the owners got out of it were interesting, though not relevant, questions. I had to get out of it now.

Having learned to drive in central London, the necessary 16-point turn was no problem. The problem that remained was that I had no view at all of what was coming beyond the curve on my right and not much more of what was coming from the left. Now and then, vehicles of all sizes raced past at what seemed like, and probably were, motorway speeds. We were not, however, on a motorway with a gentle slip road and clear signs. We were on our own.

It was an awful moment. One part of me wanted to get the boys out of the car while I pulled out but that would have left the problem of pausing on a blind corner while they got back in. We seriously thought of waiting for an hour or so until it was sufficiently dark that the drivers could be trusted to be using headlights. Eventually, we wound down the windows and calculated that we had about four seconds’ warning of the noise of an oncoming vehicle. I was, I told myself, a good enough driver to make an exit in this time. After about five minutes of this, I did it. A car appeared behind me about ten seconds after we’d pulled out. I now use the B4000 as seldom as I can, terrified lest I might end up making the same mistake again.

I can’t pretend that this is everyone’s experience – but it is a truly terrifying road. For those who live on it, a milder version of this story must be a daily occurrence. What can be done? Changing the speed limit is, even if it possible, largely pointless as this would require enforcement. Adding an extra junction 14a at the services has been dismissed by Whitehall. Regardless of either of these vanishing unlikely solutions, its nature and location tends towards high speeds. The traffic to and from Membury is important for the local economy although various conditions are attached to working hours. These depend on the co-operation of the companies concerned and, if necessary, the enforcement officers from West Berkshire Council (of whom there are fewer than there might be). WBC’s Lambourn Councillor Howard Woollaston (through whose ward much of this stretch of road runs) is aware of this issue, as you can see from the frequent references to it in his regular ward report. He admits, though, that “it’s a very difficult problem.” My advice is to take it easy, be alert and expect the unexpected. Probably not bad advice for any road but, based on my experience, particularly so for this one.

Local events and activities

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

• Wednesday 20 October Friends of Lambourn Library talk at 8pm on Zoom with local farmer Sally Ann Spence who will be talking about dung beetles, research and conservation. Please register (for free) here. The talk will follow the Friends of Lambourn Library’s AGM at 7.45pm which everyone is also welcome to join.

• Thursday 28 October Trindledown Animal Welfare Trust’s Halloween Quiz Night. Call 01488 638584 to book your ticket and to see more information, visit the Facebook page.

• Friday 29 October East Garston Coffee Club 10.30am to noon in the Village Hall.

Saturday 30 October Halloween Disco for all starts from 7pm at Lambourn British Legion, see here for details.

• Saturday 6 November East Garston Bonfire Night. More details coming soon.

• Saturday 6 November Lambourn Community bonfire and firework party at Lambourn Sports Club. Click here for times and ticket prices.

• Saturday 6 November Great Shefford Village Hall invites all to its first pop-up café from 10am. Join them for a coffee, bacon butty or a slice of cake with fun and games for all. All donations of cakes or prizes for tombola are gratefully received.

Lambourn Market will be open every Friday between 8am and 4pm at the Lambourn Market Square. If you wish to stay up to date on future market events, please click here.

Lambourn Camera Club meets at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact the group at 07752 175909 or lambourncameraclub@outlook.com.

• Lambourn Playgroup is on every Monday in term time in St Michael’s church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children.

• Lambourn British Legion is looking for more crib players. If you are interested please call 01488 73474.

• Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

Teacup Tuesdays 1.30pm to 3.30pm on the second Tuesday of the month at Oaksey House. All welcome to drop in for a cuppa and a chat – a great way for anyone (ages from 16 to 116) to meet friends or make new ones. For further information, call Sharon at 01488 72176.

• East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) mornings will now begin again on the last Friday of the month, the next two being on 29 October and 26 November. We look forward to welcoming members, old and new, to East Garston Village Hall 10.30 to noon. There is a nominal charge for refreshments and donations of raffle prizes are always welcome. Contact Jackie on 01488 648851 for more information.

• To stay updated on all the activities, clubs and groups throughout the week at East Garston Village Hallclick here.

• See Lambourn Growers Facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

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 Lambourn Parish Council took place on 6 October. To see the agenda, click here to visit the Lambourn.org website. Items up for discussion included several planning applications (21/02057/OUTMAJ – Linkslade Stables, Wantage Road, Lambourn; 21/02245/HOUSE – 7 Walker Lane, Lambourn; 21/02254/PACOU – Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Warren Farm. Lambourn; 21/02160/HOUSE – 1 and 2 Lane End Cottages, Ermin Street, Woodlands St Mary; 21/02303/HOUSE – 49 Child Street, Lambourn); a large number of planning decisions; reports from the PC’s committees; financial matters; the possible co-option of a new councillor; library funding; and a report from the Clerk. The minutes of the meeting will be published in due course.

• The most recent previous meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and was mainly concerned with planning matters. You can download the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 15 September and you can read the minutes here. Items discussed included: paths, benches and maintenance on the Marsh Common; footpaths elsewhere in the parish; a diseased willow; a vacancy for a councillor; financial matters; reports from District Councillors James Cole and Dennis Benneyworth; planning applications; and a matter for the monitoring officer. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 2 September and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

Lambourn Valley area council contacts

Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council (this website is currently experiencing technical problems: in the mean time, you can find basic information at this page on WBC’s site).

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 7 October 2021

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

Click here for the latest (updated on 9 October) report from Lambourn Ward member Howard Woollaston. Topics covered include parking at the Primary School, traffic on the local roads, the Membury Estate, planning issues and the parish’s neighbourhood development plan.

• As mentioned last week, Lambourn Pharmacy is now a low-volume (ie not too many people) Covid vaccine centre with Pfizer as the recommended booster jab. The vaccines will be administered on Saturdays 2pm to 6pm and Sundays 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 6pm. Please note you cannot drop in: you have to wait to be invited by the NHS. Pharmacist Graham Jones chats here to Suzi Cairns about how it will work. If you want your flu jab at the same time, you need to book your Covid one first with the NHS then call the pharmacy to say you want your flu jab as well.

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

• We recently reported (see below) that work on Great Shefford’s flood alleviation scheme has finally been green-lighted by the Environment Agency with the work due to start in earnest in the next 18 months. Given the slow and fitful progress that has been made on this, nothing can be celebrated until it’s actually happened but a major and seemingly impassable hurdle seems to have been cleared. Hats off to Steve Ackrill and all those involved in keeping the project going. See this separate post for the background to this story.

• The application for the farm shop at The Great Shefford pub is due to come before the Western Area Planning Committee at some point in the next month or so. You can see more on the application here.

• Lambourn.org updates, roughly once a month, a useful list of live planning applications in the parish. These range from conversions to demolitions, from homes to commercial properties and from new builds to tree felling. Click here for details.

• The final weekend M4 closure between Junctions 13 and 14 is this weekend from 9pm Friday 8 October to 6am Monday 11 October. So prepare for heavy traffic on local roads including the A4, A34 and A338. The closures have been required for repairs to the motorway bridge at Welford.

• Baydon Road in Lambourn will have two sets of roadworks between 6 and 12 October 2021, both to be fulfilled by Thames Water. For more details please click here for Baydon Rd notice and here for Old Coach Works/Baydon Rd emergency notice. A post to the Lambourn Community Facebook page shows a photo of the work that is being done: there is also a NWN article on the emergency road closure due to “a leak”. 

Click here for the latest (8 October) edition of East Garston News.

• Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

CIL payments in the valley (and elsewhere)

• We’ve mentioned several times about a couple of cases where CIL payments were demanded of residents as a result not of an actual liability but due to a muddle with paperwork. The practice of seeming to wait for a transgression and then pouncing on it once the technical infringement had been incurred has been described as one of “gotcha.” This is not , I should stress, my word but the one chosen by former WBC leader Gordon Lundie. I also wrote an article about this in December 2020 which you can read here.

The sums of money can be life-changing. Two cases have been rumbling on for some time in West Berkshire, involving about £100,000 in total and goodness knows how much more in officer and legal costs. The larger of these relates to Roger McCabe who has re-developed the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. These were referred to in an item on Meridian News last week in which Lib Dem Councillor Jeff Brooks, who has long championed their cases, made yet another request that the payments be cancelled.

WBC issued its own statement on the matter which points out that in both cases the developer was “represented by professional agents and architects and in both cases the developer failed to submit the correct forms saying they were going to start work” and that all appeals to Ombudsman were rejected. The fact remains that CIL should not have been charged in the first place: a technical breach is doubtless admitted but if one has made an error with VAT or income tax resulting in an over-payment, this can be adjusted.

Three years on, Mr McCabe has yet to pay the charge. WBC’s Planning portfolio holder Richard Somner said that WBC had “given Mr McCabe every opportunity to appeal the Council’s decision and settle the debt.” (I presume he means “or”.) He goes on to say that “after three years the Council must draw the matter to a close” and enforce it. If WBC had the watertight case it believes, I’m surprised that this hasn’t happened before now.

This isn’t a happy story. I’m inclined to agree with the assessment of Gordon Lundie, and several other current WBC councillors, that it falls some way short of best practice in terms of fair play to residents. We all make mistakes with paperwork. If there’s cost or damage incurred as a result then recompense is in order. However, it’s impossible to see what cost or damage WBC incurred from the original oversight. There have been costs since, of course. Unless WBC is going to go after Mr McCabe for these as well, it’s possible that the whole episode won’t show much of a profit. If the wheels of justice haven’t started turning by the time new CEO Nigel Lynn takes over on 18 October, it may well be at the top of his in-tray. Perhaps a fresh look might produce a solution to what has been a deeply unedifying nightmare for all involved.

Local events and activities

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

Saturday 9 October: The first of the Lambourn Royal British Legion’s events in October – from 8pm and 11.30pm the club will host a ‘Reflections‘ night. To stay up to date with any future events at the RBL, click here to visit its Facebook group.

Sunday 10 October: East Garston’s annual clean-up day from 10am. See this post for more information.

Tuesday 12 October: Lambourn Camera Club at the Memorial Hall from 7.30 to 9.30pm. For contact details and more information on the club, click here.

Tuesday 12 October: Teacup Tuesday, 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House.

Wednesday 20 October: Friends of Lambourn Library’s next talk at 8pm on Zoom with local farmer Sally Ann Spence who will be talking about dung beetles, research and conservation. Please register (for free) here. The talk will follow the Friends of Lambourn Library’s AGM at 7.45pm which everyone is also welcome to join.

Thursday 28 October: Trindledown Animal Welfare Trust’s Halloween quiz night is back. Call 01488 638584 to book your ticket and to see more information, visit the Facebook page.

Friday 29 October: East Garston Coffee Club 10.30am to noon in the Village Hall.

Saturday 6 November: East Garston bonfire night. More details coming soon.

Saturday 6 November: Lambourn Community bonfire and firework party at Lambourn Sports Club. Click here for times and ticket prices.

Saturday 6 November: Great Shefford Village Hall invites all to its first pop-up café from 10am. Join them for a coffee, bacon butty or a slice of cake with fun and games for all. All donations of cakes or prizes for tombola gratefully received.

• As usual, Lambourn Market will be open every Friday between 8am and 4pm at the Lambourn Market Square. If you wish to stay up to date on future market events, please click here.

Lambourn Playgroup is on every Monday in term time in St Michael’s church from 10am to 11.45am – snacks provided and a chance for the oldies to make new friends as well as the children

Lambourn British Legion is looking for more crib players. If you are interested please call 01488 73474. (You’ll be a lot smarter than me to play this game – several times Val and Monty have tried to teach me the rules in the East Garston Social Club and I just can’t get them straight in my head. Think I’ll stick to snap…).

Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• A reminder that Teacup Tuesdays have made a return in Lambourn from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on the second Tuesday of the month at the new venue of Oaksey House. All welcome to drop in for a cuppa and a chat – a great way for anyone (ages from 16 to 116) to meet friends or make new ones. For further information, call Sharon at 01488 72176.

East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) mornings will now begin again on the last Friday of the month, the next two being on 29 October and 26 November. We look forward to welcoming members, old and new, to East Garston Village Hall 10:30 to noon. There is a nominal charge for refreshments and donations of raffle prizes are always welcome. Contact Jackie on 01488 648851 for more information.

• To stay updated on all the activities, clubs and groups throughout the week at East Garston Village Hallclick here to visit the East Garston Parish Council activities page.

• Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the September 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

4LEGS Radio thanks everyone who nominated their Lockdown Hero. The awards will be announced shortly. In the meantime, click here to see the upcoming 4LEGS Radio programme schedule. And if you would like to get involved with the station as a presenter or administrator, please see details here.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

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 Lambourn Parish Council took place on 6 October. To see the agenda, click here to visit the Lambourn.org website. Items up for discussion included several planning applications (21/02057/OUTMAJ – Linkslade Stables, Wantage Road, Lambourn; 21/02245/HOUSE – 7 Walker Lane, Lambourn; 21/02254/PACOU – Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Warren Farm. Lambourn; 21/02160/HOUSE – 1 and 2 Lane End Cottages, Ermin Street, Woodlands St Mary; 21/02303/HOUSE – 49 Child Street, Lambourn); a large number of planning decisions; reports from the PC’s committees; financial matters; the possible co-option of a new councillor; library funding; and a report from the Clerk. The minutes of the meeting will be published in due course.

• The most recent previous meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and was mainly concerned with planning matters. You can download 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 Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 2 September 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.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here.  There was also an extraordinary meeting on 4 August, mainly to discuss the appointment of a new locum Clerk. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

Thursday 30 September 2021

• Lambourn Pharmacy has been commissioned as a low-volume Covid vaccine centre (that means it doesn’t see too many people rather than you get a short measure) starting from this Saturday 1 October 2021.  They will be administering the Pfizer vaccine as the recommended booster jab. This requires people to wait for 15 minutes after their jab, so the pharmacy needs to be re-configured out of opening hours to make space. The vaccines will be administered on Saturdays 2pm to 6pm and Sundays 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 6pm. But please note you cannot drop in: you have to wait to be invited by the NHS. Pharmacist Graham Jones chats here to Suzi Cairns about how it will work. If you want your flu jab at the same time, you need to book your Covid one first with the NHS and then call the pharmacy to say you want your flu jab as well (in the other arm).

• After months – make that years – of seeming inaction, it has recently been announced that work on Great Shefford’s flood alleviation scheme has finally been green-lighted by the Environment Agency with the work due to start in earnest in the next 18 months. The recent intervention of local MP Lara Farris has been most useful in this: the serious pushing, from the moment the scheme was first proposed, has been done by the Flood Alleviation Association’s Chair (and Parish Council Chair) Steve Ackrill. He (and many others, including former local Postmaster Ray Plowman) was also much involved in a number of fundraising events so that the village could raise its agreed contribution of £80,000 towards the scheme: this target was achieved over two years ago. See this separate post for the background to this story.

• The application for the farm shop at The Great Shefford pub was due to come before the Western Area Planning Committee in September but was withdrawn at the last minute after new evidence was presented by the applicant. A new date has yet to be fixed. The main objections appear to turn on concern from the Highways Department about the risk of overspill car parking. On 29 September, the Highways Department added two additional documents which supported this fear. The pub is in this respect a victim of its own success as the car park is often full and the addition of a shop could only increase the risk of cars parking on the S bend which also forms a junction between the A338 and the bottom road. You can see more on the application here.

• See the section below for details of the forthcoming meeting of Lambourn Parish Council.

• Lambourn.org has recently updated its list of live planning applications in the parish. These range from conversions to demolitions, from homes to commercial properties and from new builds to tree felling. Click here for details.

Yoga has re-started in East Garston Village Hall on Mondays 9.30am to 10.30am with Olivia Boydall Yoga.

East Garston’s Macmillan Morning on Tuesday was a huge success raising an impressive £1,800. Well done to all the organisers and supporters.

• Latest news from Chaddleworth St Andrew’s and Shefford Primary Schools includes upcoming Open Days this week for September 2022 starters. Click here for details.

• Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the September 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

• The Royal British Legion, Lambourn (RBL) is hosting two events next week starting with a talk and signing of Neil Clark’s new book ‘Champion Jump Jockeys‘ on Thursday 7 October 2021 which begins at 7pm. Then on Saturday 9 October 2021 between 8pm and 11.30pm the club hosts a ‘Reflections‘ night. To stay up to date with any future events at the RBL, click here to visit their Facebook group.

• 4LEGS Radio thanks everyone who nominated their Lockdown Hero. The awards will be announced shortly. In the meantime, click here to see the upcoming 4LEGS Radio programme schedule. And if you would like to get involved with the station as a presenter or administrator, please see details here.

• The local Neighbourhood Policing Team is offering free ‘Tool & Tack’ Security Marking on Sunday 3 October 9am to 4pm at The Ploughing Match Event at Fishers Farm, B4000 Shefford Woodlands RG17 7AU. There will also be Crime Prevention Advice.

• A reminder that Teacup Tuesdays have made a return in Lambourn. Their next day will be Tuesday 12 October 2021 at the new venue of Oaksey House. All welcome to drop in for a cuppa and a chat. For further information, call Sharon at 01488 72176.

Great Shefford Social Club is pleased to be opening on Friday afternoons from 4.30pm starting this Friday 1 October 2021.

To stay updated on all the activities, clubs and groups throughout the week at East Garston Village Hall, click here to visit the East Garston Parish Council activities page.

As usual, Lambourn Market will be open on Friday 1 October 2021 between 8am and 4pm at the Lambourn Market Square. If you wish to stay up to date on future market events, please click here.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

• Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

News from your local council

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 1 September and the minutes will appear on the PC’s website at some point. You can see the agenda hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here

• The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place in hybrid form from 7.30pm on Wednesday 6 October. You can join the meeting via Zoom by clicking here: to see the agenda, click here to visit the Lambourn.org website. Items up for discussion include several planning applications (21/02057/OUTMAJ – Linkslade Stables, Wantage Road, Lambourn; 21/02245/HOUSE – 7 Walker Lane, Lambourn; 21/02254/PACOU – Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Warren Farm. Lambourn; 21/02160/HOUSE – 1 and 2 Lane End Cottages, Ermin Street, Woodlands St Mary; 21/02303/HOUSE – 49 Child Street, Lambourn); a large number of planning decisions; reports from the PC’s committees; financial matters; the possible co-option of a new councillor; library funding; and a report from the Clerk.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 2 September and you can read the minutes here. items covered: two planning applications; planning decisions; financial matters; bin collections; the PC’s website (which has been experiencing problems recently); the future of the village newsletter; the flood alleviation scheme (see above for some recent good news on this, announced since the meeting); flooding at Trindledown; and fly-tipping. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here.  There was also an extraordinary meeting on 4 August, mainly to discuss the appointment of a new locum Clerk. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent minutes of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 June and you can read the minutes hereTo see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

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

Thursday 23 September 2021

• The latest Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter was published on Saturday 11 September and as ever provides the best round-up of what’s happening in the upper reaches of this beautiful valley. You can click here to read it if you didn’t receive it.

• Lambourn.org has recently updated its list of live planning applications in the parish (there are currently 37 of them). These range from conversions to demolitions, from homes to commercial properties and from new builds to tree felling. Click here for details.

• I recently received an email from the petition website Change.org asking me to demand the re-start of face-to-face GP appointments and that the government needs “to direct GP surgeries to immediately reopen their doors in a safe way.” This seemed strange to me as about five minutes before Penny was telling me about a friend of hers who’d recently come back from an appointment at Lambourn Surgery. So, I put in a call and spoke to Lambourn’s Practice Manager.

She told me that such appointments have been available throughout the pandemic when people really needed them and that currently the surgery was seeing about half its patients in this way. She reassured me that if patients really wanted to see a doctor in person every attempt would be made to accommodate this. I suggested that for many people, a phone or online session is an adequate and often more convenient replacement (I’ve used these successfully a couple of times) and she agreed that this was an option that would persist. Sometimes you just need a quick reassurance that your leg isn’t about to fall off and it’s not always necessary to drive however many miles and hang around in a waiting room with people possibly a lot sicker than you to accomplish this. She also pointed out the amount of cleaning work that is demanded of surgeries after every appointment. With the costs and disruption and delay that causes, you can understand why surgeries want to encourage remote engagement where this is appropriate.

Just as medical professionals doubtless now do many courses in how to deal with patients, the rest of us perhaps need some training in how to deal with medical professionals. Let’s face it, they can be a scary lot. The act of consulting a doctor or trying to do so only happens because you need their help: as soon as you pick up the phone or enter a consulting room, they’re in charge – say “aaah”, take your trousers off, do this with your arm and all of the rest of it. They deal in long words most of us have never heard of and acronyms whose meanings we can only nervously guess at. The pandemic has, of course, made us even more reliant on these skilled and dedicated people. It’s possible that all this has slightly made us loose the knack of polite assertion that we might employ when making a similarly reasonable request of our partner or a business colleague. So, if you want to see a doctor, at Lambourn or anywhere else, state your case and you may well get what you want. Failing that, as Mick Jagger has wisely pointed out many times in the key of C major, you might instead get what you need; which could be even better.

• This week’s Village Views has just arrived and, stapled booklets being what they far, naturally fell open at the centre spread which looked at swallows which are to be found in the valley during the summer. A few facts the article revealed are (i) their migrations to and from Southern Africa are about 6,000 miles; (i) they  cover 200 miles a day at 20mph; and (iii) it takes them about 1,200 journeys to bring back all the materials for their nest. This is a bit like moving home twice a year, from one side of the world to another, on a moped; and, on arrival, having to build a house which required hundreds of visits to a builders’ merchants, each time bringing the materials back in your mouth. Put like that, who’d be swallow: but it seems to work for them. Village Views is, as ever, for sale in shops and other outlets throughout the valley.

• The bell ringers of St Michael & All Angels are hosting a Lambourn open tower afternoon on Saturday 25 September from 2 to 5pm. This is an opportunity to visit the ringing chamber and watch the restored bells in action. Tea and coffee (with cakes, of course) will also be served in the church. Click here for more information.

• As mentioned last week (see below), a revised application for the conversion of the “unlucky” training yard at Mabberleys in East Garson has been submitted (click here to see it).

• A reminder of the remaining consultation date for the next phase of the Lambourn neighbourhood development plan which is on Saturday 25 September, 10am to noon, Lambourn Church.

• See the August/September update from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston. Items filling his local in-box recently have included restrictions at Membury, the asphalt plant application, speed limits, Fulke Walwyn Way, vaccinations, rural crime and the parish’s NDP (see above for more on this). He’s on holiday for the next week or so you might need to wait a bit longer than usual for a reply.

• Thames Water has announced its sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: see here for details.

Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the September 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

• The last thing I want to do is spread despondency but we can’t avoid the fact that floods do happen in this part (and, increasingly, in every part) of the world. This excellent series of articles on Lambourn.org looks back at five that were inflicted on the village between 1947 and 2014.

• On the same theme but moving a few miles down-river, there’s still no further news about the progress of the Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association’s attempt to resolve the problem of when these defences (for which the village has raised over £80,000 some time ago) will get built.

• A reminder of Teacup Tuesdays that made a return. Their next day will be Tuesday 12 October 2021 at the new venue at Oaksey House. For further information, call Sharon at 01488 72176.

• A reminder that the Lambourn Carnival Horse Show is taking place on 26 September 2021 in Park Farm. More information on this event can be found on their Facebook page.

Click here for information about the Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Still no news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn.

News from your local council

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 1 September and the minutes will appear on the PC’s website at some point. You can see the agenda here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• This PC has a vacancy for a councillor – click here for details.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here.  There was also an extraordinary meeting on 4 August, mainly to discuss the appointment of a new locum Clerk. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent minutes of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 June and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

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

Thursday 16 September 2021

• The latest Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter was published on Saturday 11 September and as ever provides the best round-up of what’s happening in the upper reaches of this beautiful valley. You can click here to read it if you didn’t receive it. We look at 4 LEGS Radio’s lockdown hero award, take a peek into Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston’s in-tray and share an appeal for volunteer drivers and administrators. There’s also Pat Murphy’s racing column, the latest from the surgery, a look back at the Lambourn Carnival, a bells appeal, news about ongoing sewerage works and the start of a new season for a local arts festival. Then there are events, gardening tips, offered and wanted, yoga, art classes, a writing competition, an apple-cake recipe, several jobs, several properties, a lovely white wine, a mythical book, a gaze into the heavens, wise words from Raymond Chandler and a short story. The bag was bursting at that point so we stopped. Enjoy.

• As mentioned last week (see below), a revised application for the conversion of the “unlucky” training yard at Mabberleys in East Garson has been submitted (click here to see it). Aside from the continued fantasy of the traffic assessments (which doesn’t matter as long as the access isn’t into Front Street), this seems sensible. Over to WBC to decide.

• As this week’s NWN reports on p24 (as as we have reported in the past), the history of the knacker’s yard and horse incinerator between Great Shefford and Chaddleworth has been a complex one. The application was refused by WBC but the applicant won on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and then put in another application to have some of the conditions set aside. This WBC has recently rejected. It’s not yet known if the applicant will appeal against this decision as well. It seems that other questions still remain about the original development, including what incinerator was installed. A Valcon 1000 was permitted but its been claimed that a larger Valcon 2000 is in fact being used. Neighbouring Chaddleworth Parish Council has raised the matter with WBC but to date it appears that no inspection has been made. (WBC currently has fewer planning enforcement officers than many feel it should have. I believe there is one full-time and one part-time inspector: the budget exists for another full-time officer but whatever reason this role has not yet been fixed. I believe that the Vale of White Horse Council has six.)

• A reminder of the remaining consultation dates for the next phase of the Lambourn neighbourhood development plan. These are: Wednesday 22 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Woodland St. Mary Village Hall; Saturday 25 September, 10am to noon, Lambourn Church.

• See the August/September update from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston. Items dominating his local in-box recently have included restrictions at Membury, the asphalt plant application, speed limits, Fulke Walwyn Way, vaccinations, rural crime and the parish’s NDP (see above for more on this).

• Thames Water has announced its sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: see here for details.

Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the August 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

• There’s no further news about the progress of the Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association’s attempt to resolve the problem of when these defences (for which the village has raised over £80,000 some time ago) will get built. I can’t help feeling that if the Environment Agency’s schemes were as unreachable as their bureaucracy then the national flood problem would be solved for good. If you’ve made a donation, your money is safe.

Teacup Tuesdays have made a return, their first day back was on the 14 September. Note that it will now be held on the second Tuesday of every month in the new venue at Oaksey House. For further information, call Sharon at 01488 72176.

• The Lambourn Carnival Horse Show is taking place on 26 September 2021 in Park Farm. More information on this event can be found on their Facebook page.

Click here for information about the Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Still no news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 1 September and the minutes will appear on the PC’s website at some point. You can see the agenda here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here.  There was also an extraordinary meeting on 4 August, mainly to discuss the appointment of a new locum Clerk. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent minutes of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 June and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

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

Thursday 9 September 2021

• This week’s NWN reports that a revised application for the conversion of the “unlucky” training yard at Mabberleys in East Garson has been submitted (click here to see it). As we reported earlier this year, the original application was refused on the grounds that insufficient justification had been made for the change of use away from providing horse-training facilities. I’m no expert in equine matters but the appears that these have been addressed, hopefully to WBC’s satisfaction. What I’m more expert in, however, is driving on Front Street past Mabberleys to and from the junction out of the village by the Queens Arms. The original plan assumed access onto Front Street but the new plans, far more sensibly, now have this onto the valley road via a separate route (which already largely exists) from the rear of the site. This access was a condition of the original application several decades ago but for some reason was never enforced. If this application succeeds, hopefully it will be.

What does remain firmly in the realm of fantasy is the assessment of traffic movements. These assume a fully-occupied yard, which Mabberleys has never been in my 22-year time in the village. 53 vehicle movements a day is suggested in the application. 0 a day would be closer to the truth these last few years and not a lot more before then. Any active use of the site would thus generate more traffic than currently. However, given there above-mentioned this is largely immaterial, for users of that part of Front Street at least.

Whether the region needs this number of office units is a commercial issue for the owners to worry about. What the district does need is new homes and this would probably be an ideal location for them (as long as some were affordable and as long as the flooding problems can be overcome). Some might disagree. For all I know this might be the eventual aim. It’s not unknown for planning ambitions to proceed in this grandmother’s-footsteps kind of way. Time will tell. As for this one, unless there are 10 or more objections or it’s called in by the ward member the matter will be decided by officers probably ion the next couple of months.

• The next Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter will be published on Saturday 11 September.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 1 September and the minutes will appear on the PC’s website at some point. You can see the agenda here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

Sheepdrove Yoga is pleased to be re-starting in-person yoga classes for all abilities including community classes on Monday evenings and classes for healthy lower backs on Friday mornings.

• A reminder that the East Garston Bell Appeal invites you to an East Garston Walking Treasure Hunt on Sun 12 Sept. Entry by donation. Please see more details here and email eastgarstonbells@gmail.com to express interest.

• A reminder also of the consultation dates for the next phase of the Lambourn NDP (see last week’s section below for more). These are: Saturday 11 September, 10am to noon, Eastbury Church; Thursday 16 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Lambourn Memorial Hall; Wednesday 22 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Woodland St. Mary Village Hall; Saturday 25 September, 10am to noon, Lambourn Church.

• For news of the final Lambourn Carnival festivities, see the facebook page.

• See the August /September update from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston. Items dominating his local in-box recently have included restrictions at Membury, the asphalt plant application, speed limits, Fulke Walwyn Way, vaccinations, rural crime and the parish’s NDP.

Lambourn Camera Club is at Memorial Hall on Tuesday 14 September 2021 for all to improve their photographic knowledge. More information can be found here or email lambourncameraclub@outlook.com.

• The Ridgeway Run has been cancelled this year; it will be taking place again in 2022. More information on the Facebook page.

• Thames Water has announced its sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: see here for details.

Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the August 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

Click here for information about the Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Still no firm news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn: the saga drags on.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent minutes of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 June and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

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

Thursday 2 September 2021

• The next Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter will be published on Saturday 11 September. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk by Thursday 9 September if there’s anything you’d like to see included in this.

• The long-awaited matter of the planning application for the farm shop at The Great Shefford was due to come before West Berkshire Council’s Western Area Planning Committee on 1 September but was withdrawn by the Chairman at the last moment. It appears that new agents have been appointed and that fresh information has been provided to West Berkshire Council which the members of the committee had not had time to consider. There’s currently no news of when it will return to the agenda of the committee which will, barring an appeal, make the final decision.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 1 September and the minutes will appear on the PC’s website, if the current speed of publishing these things is maintained, some time in early November. You can see the agenda here. I wasn’t able to attend this but was told it was quite long: unsurprising considering the number of planning applications being considered (see last week’s entry below for a list of these and the other main matters up for discussion). To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The East Garston Bell Appeal invites you to a East Garston Walking Treasure Hunt on Sun 12 Sept. Entry by donation. Please see more details here and email eastgarstonbells@gmail.com to express interest.

• A reminder of the consultation dates for the next phase of the Lambourn NDP (see last week’s section below for more). These are: Wednesday 8 September, 5pm to 7.30pm, JCE, Mandown Farm, Upper Lambourn; Saturday 11 September, 10am to noon, Eastbury Church; Thursday 16 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Lambourn Memorial Hall; Wednesday 22 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Woodland St. Mary Village Hall; Saturday 25 September, 10am to noon, Lambourn Church.

• For news of the final Lambourn Carnival festivities including last Sunday’s Picnic on the Porch, see the facebook page. See also p23 of this week’s Newbury Weekly News for a report and photos.

• Click here for the July/August update from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston. This will be updated with his August/September report next week.

• Thames Water has announced its sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: see here for details.

Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the August 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

Click here for information about the Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Still no firm news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn: the saga drags on. Sorry that this keeps on coming up but I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten about it.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here. (The was no meeting in August and the next one took place on 2 September).

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent minutes of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 June and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

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

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

Thursday 26 August 2021

• The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place in hybrid form at 7.30pm on Wednesday 1 September and you can join the meeting on Zoom by clicking here. There’s a pretty full agenda including 11 planning applications: 21/01865/HOUSE – 12 Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn; 21/02022/CERTE – Land at Coldborough Hill, Eastbury; 21/01896/MDOPO – Windsor House, Crowle Road, Lambourn; 21/01879/HOUSE – Tamarisk Cottage, The Broadway, Lambourn; 21/02026/HOUSE – The Old Farm, Road Known as Newbury Road, Eastbury; 21/02011/HOUSE – Mayfield House, Hungerford Hill, Lambourn; 21/02013/HOUSE – 4 Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn; 21/02070/FULMAJ + 21/02071/LBC – Bockhampton Manor, Newbury Road, Lambourn; 21/01988/LBC2 – Weathercock House, Road known as Upper Lambourn Road, Upper Lambourn; 21/02038/FUL – Uplands, Road known as Drain Hill, Upper Lambourn; and 21/05045/FUL – Land West of Four Acres Yard and South of Ermin Street, Lambourn Woodlands. Other items will include the neighbourhood development plan (see paragraph below); burials, open spaces and allotments; financial matters; committee structures; and the Clerk’s monthly updates.

• A reminder of the consultation dates for the next phase of the Lambourn NDP (see last week’s section below for more). These are: Wednesday 8 September, 5pm to 7.30pm, JCE, Mandown Farm, Upper Lambourn; Saturday 11 September, 10am to noon, Eastbury Church; Thursday 16 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Lambourn Memorial Hall; Wednesday 22 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Woodland St. Mary Village Hall; Saturday 25 September, 10am to noon, Lambourn Church.

• For the latest on Lambourn Carnival festivities and this Sunday’s Picnic on the Porch follow the facebook page.

• Laura Fisher is appealing for people to sign her petition calling for speed cameras in Lambourn after several cats, including her own, have been killed by a cars driving too fast in the village.

• Click here for the July/August update from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston.

• Thames Water has announced its sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: see here for details.

• Lambourn used to have six pubs, two of which (plus Valentines) survive. You can read more on Lambourn.org here.

Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the August 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

Click here for information about the Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Still no firm news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn: the uncertainty drags on.

Click here to read the latest (17 August) edition of East Garston News. Items covered include a Macmillan coffee morning on 28 September, roadworks, the save the bells appeal and news from Lambourn Surgery.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded here. .

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent minutes of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 June and you can read the minutes here.

• The planning application lodged by The Great Shefford pub for the proposed farm shop will come before WBC’s Western Area Planning Committee on 1 September. Click here for the agenda.

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

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

Thursday 19 August 2021

• The August Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published on Saturday 7 August and contains the best round-up of life in the area. Click here to read it if you didn’t receive it.

• Laura Fisher is appealing for people to sign her petition calling for speed cameras in Lambourn after several cats, including her own, have been killed by a cars driving too fast in the village. Cars can, of course, kill other things too. There are four main approaches to the village so which roads would you put them on? In the past residents have called for traffic calming infrastructure like on the approach to Baydon but it hasn’t happened, perhaps because it would make life hard for horse boxes.

• Traffic calming measures were proposed in Eastbury a couple of years ago which a 20mph speed limit receiving almost unanimous support from residents. Many of the houses open directly onto the bottom road which is often barely wide enough for one car to pass a bike. Not sure where this project has got to but will find out.

• The A338 is, as the letter at the front reveals, an A road but anyone using it through Great Shefford might rate it E or F. The bit on the hill from Shefford up to the M4 is pretty scary as well with a couple of tight squeezes and some rather suspect verges. The other day I was treated to a spectacle I’m surprised I’ve never seen before: half way down the hill, a 40-tonne lorry: half way up it, a lorry with a trailer with what looked like an even bigger lorry strapped on the back. The 40-tonner had no choice but to reverse perhaps 300 yards up the hill with about ten cars behind it. It seemed to be doing this very reluctantly and I could see heads leaning out of the two windows and gestures being made. The novelty began to flag. Having learned to drive in London, the ten-point turn holds no terrors for me so I went back up the hill and came home via Goodings. For all I know the two lorries could be there yet.

• Marcelle Monument is Braving the Shave this Saturday at Market Hair in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. Please donate here.

• Click here for the July/August update from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston.

• We’ve recently received details from Thames Water of its proposed sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: see here for details.

• A reminder of the consultation dates for the next phase of the Lambourn NDP (see last week’s section below for more). These are: Wednesday 8 September, 5pm to 7.30pm, JCE, Mandown Farm, Upper Lambourn; Saturday 11 September, 10am to noon, Eastbury Church; Thursday 16 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Lambourn Memorial Hall; Wednesday 22 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Woodland St. Mary Village Hall; Saturday 25 September, 10am to noon, Lambourn Church.

• This year’s Lambourn Festival offers lots of events and competitions to enjoy this August. Remaining events include the Scarecrow competition is Super Heroes and entry deadline is 27 August; everyone from Upper Lambourn to East Garston is welcome to enter the Sunflower Growing Competition (entry deadline 13 August) and Stop-motion Movie Maker Competition (entry deadline 22 August). Entry forms for all the Lambourn Festival competitions can be picked up at The Sports Club or Universal Stores or links to download them can be found here.

• We were at the Lambourn produce show last Saturday which was as well attended as ever – congratulations to all those who organised this and grew things. Actually, that also includes us as we won third prize in the tallest sunflower competition. I pinned the rosette on the sunflower which has continued to grow. I can see it at more or less eye-level from my first-floor study window. Lord knows how tall the gold and silver medal ones were.

Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the August 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter.

Click here for information about the Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Still no firm news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn but I’m told that the seemingly endless stand-off will have some resolution soon. I know I’ve said that before.

Click here to read the latest (17 August) edition of East Garston News. Items covered include a Macmillan coffee morning on 28 September, roadworks, the save the bells appeal and news from Lambourn Surgery.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; two planning decisions by WBC (there were no applications to consider); financial matters; the Hawthorne Way woodland area; playground equipment; the flood alleviation scheme (“Councillor Ackrill said there was nothing further to report but is persisting to find an answer to how the funds can be passed over for a community-led project.”); trees in the recreation ground; and the matter of Laura Farris’ comments about flooding following her visit to Trindledown NAWC, which appeared to suggest that dealing with the problems there was more immediate than the risk the village faces (see last week’s entry below).

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council took place on 8 July and the minutes can be downloaded here. Items covered included: sewage and river flooding; financial matters; the proposed new cricket wicket; various governance issues; emergency co-ordination and Covid response; one planning application; village maintenance issues; dog bins; speeding; and bonfires.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• I understand that the planning application lodged by The Great Shefford pub for the proposed farm shop will be coming before WBC’s Western Area Planning Committee on 1 September.

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

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

Thursday 12 August 2021

• The August Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published on Saturday 7 August and contains the best round-up of life in the area. Click here to read it if you didn’t receive it. As well as a link to our regular weekly news round-up for the Valley we have an announcement about a lockdown hero award for 4LEGS Radio, wildflowers tips from local expert George Dowling, the latest on the Lambourn Carnival, Pat Murphy’s racing column, Thames Water’s forthcoming sewerage repairs in the Valley (see below), Lambourn Ward member Howard Woollaston’s latest report (see also below) and pending planning applications from Lambourn.org. It also has appeals to animal lovers, landlords, food-sharers and the unjabbed. We recommend a book, a wine, half a dozen properties, several jobs, recollections of a trip to Brussels and a thought by PJ O’Rourke. Anything we’ve missed? Email penny@pennypost.org.uk and we’ll do our best to include it in next month’s, published in early September.

• Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston has been as busy as ever and we’re pleased to bring you his July/August update.

• We’ve recently received details from Thames Water of its proposed sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: see here for details.

• As many of you will be aware, Lambourn is connecting a neighbourhood development plan. This long-running and complex process is the way that the local community and the planning authority (West Berkshire Council in this case) can work together to help the define future development in the parish. There are times when the work is invisible and others where, like a train emerging from a long tunnel towards a junction, public involvement is required. Lambourn’s is about to reach one such stage. To enable parishioners to have a say and receive feedback, the LNDP Steering Group (SG) has arranged for a series of pop-up events across the parish during September. Members of the SG will be present to answer questions and discuss ideas. Information about how the plan is progressing will be available. The dates are:

Wednesday 8 September, 5pm to 7.30pm, JCE, Mandown Farm, Upper Lambourn; Saturday 11 September, 10am to noon, Eastbury Church; Thursday 16 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Lambourn Memorial Hall; Wednesday 22 September, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Woodland St. Mary Village Hall; Saturday 25 September, 10am to noon, Lambourn Church.

• This year’s Lambourn Festival offers lots of events and competitions to enjoy this August. For example: the Garden Competition for residents within three miles of Lambourn market place will be judged on 13 August; this year’s theme for the Scarecrow competition is Super Heroes and entry deadline is 27 August; everyone from Upper Lambourn to East Garston is welcome to enter the Sunflower Growing Competition (entry deadline 13 August) and Stop-motion Movie Maker Competition (entry deadline 22 August); and the popular Village Show on Saturday 14 August has lots of great horticultural, cooking and craft classes to enter. Entry forms for all the Lambourn Festival competitions can be picked up at The Sports Club or Universal Stores or links to download them can be found here.

Click here to visit Lambourn.org to read the August 2021 Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter. This includes the results of the national GP survey in which Lambourn Surgery performed very well. I certainly have no complaints about the Surgery. There’s one remark in the summary I don’t quite get, however: “According to the results no areas were highlighted where the patient experience [at Lambourn] could improve since ‘this practice has scored higher than its CCG average in every question’.” This seems to assume that the CCG average is all any surgery needs to aspire to.

Click here for information about the Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Still no firm news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; two planning decisions by WBC (there were no applications to consider); financial matters; the Hawthorne Way woodland area; playground equipment; the flood alleviation scheme (“Councillor Ackrill said there was nothing further to report but is persisting to find an answer to how the funds can be passed over for a community-led project.”); trees in the recreation ground; and the matter of Laura Farris’ comments about flooding following her visit to Trindledown NAWC, which appeared to suggest that dealing with the problems there was more immediate than the risk the village faces (see last week’s entry below).

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) for which minutes are available took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• I understand that the planning application lodged by The Great Shefford pub for the proposed farm shop will be coming before WBC’s Western Area Planning Committee on 1 September. One of the main issues is likely to be WBC’s Highways Department’s concern that the car park (which is already often full) would, were a shop to be opened, cause overspill and lead to parking on the A338 which runs through the village.

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

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

Thursday 5 August 2021

• The August Valley of the Racehorse newsletter will be published on Saturday 7 August. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk by Friday 6 August if there’s anything you’d like to have included in this.

• Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston has been as busy as ever and we’re pleased to bring you his July/August update so you can check this assertion for yourself. As well as his executive and portfolio responsibilities, he’s been involved with green bins, rural broadband, the NDP, CIL grants, planning issues and the Flood Forum. He even finds time to chuck in a quick long-range weather forecast.

• We’ve recently received details from Thames Water of its proposed sewerage works in the Lambourn Valley over the next few months: details will be in the Valley of the Racehorse (see above).

• This year’s Lambourn Festival offers lots of events and competitions to enjoy this August. For example: the Garden Competition for residents within three miles of Lambourn market place will be judged on 13 August; this year’s theme for the Scarecrow competition is Super Heroes and entry deadline is 27 August; everyone from Upper Lambourn to East Garston is welcome to enter the Sunflower Growing Competition (entry deadline 13 August) and Stop Motion Movie Maker Competition (entry deadline 22 August); and children and their carers are invited to collect chalk from Lambourn Marketplace on Sat 7 Aug to enter the Children’s Chalk Drawing competition and the popular Village Show on Saturday 14 August has lots of great horticultural, cooking and craft classes to enter. Entry forms for all the Lambourn Festival competitions can be picked up at The Sports Club or Universal Stores or links to download them can be found here.

• Congratulations to the organisers of the charity cricket match at Welford Park last Tuesday 3 August that raised a whopping £25,000 for Macmillan Cancer Care. Welford lost by 13 runs; MCC declared on 185-9, Welford 172 all out. Denise Herrington thanks Zest4.tv for the live broadcast and Mrs Puxley’s team for delicious food and organisation.

Click here for the latest newsletter from the ever-excellent, ever-alert Lambourn.org. This covers rewinding, current planning applications and local bus services.

• The same website reports that KWA Architects is seeking feedback from the community in relation to the proposed development at Linkslade Stables. Please note that any comments you leave on the site are submitted to KWA Architects and are not part of the planning application or decision process which will follow if an application is made.

Click here for information about the recently formed Lambourn Environmental Group.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

• The Watermill Theatre’s production of The Hound of the Baskervilles is coming to East Garston on 10 and 11 August. Tickets cost £12 and can be booked through the Watermill website.

Still no firm news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; two planning decisions by WBC (there were no applications to consider); financial matters; the Hawthorne Way woodland area; playground equipment; the flood alleviation scheme (“Councillor Ackrill said there was nothing further to report but is persisting to find an answer to how the funds can be passed over for a community-led project.”); trees in the recreation ground; and the matter of Laura Farris’ comments about flooding following her visit to Trindledown NAWC, which appeared to suggest that dealing with the problems there was more immediate than the risk the village faces (see last week’s entry below).

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 7 July and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: public comments about the Common; financial matters; power-cable works in the village; grass cutting; painting the phonebook; dog bins; grit bins; rights of way; CIL grants; Elton Lane; planning applications; and the playground inspection.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) for which minutes are available took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• I understand that the planning application lodged by The Great Shefford pub for the proposed farm shop will be coming before WBC’s Western Area Planning Committee on 1 September.

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

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

Thursday 29 July 2021

• The August Valley of the Racehorse newsletter will be published on Saturday 7 August. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk by Friday 6 August if there’s anything you’d like to have included in this.

• The Health on the Move bus will be visiting Lambourn’s Market Square from 11am to 4pm on 4 and 5 August to provide Covid jabs for anyone over 18. They’ll be administering Pfizer vaccinations (first or second doses – if you’re going for your second your first must have been a Pfizer jab and administered at least eight weeks before). These will be drop-in sessions so there’s no need to book. Up-to-date information can also be found here.

• The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place in hybrid form at 7.30pm on Wednesday 4 August. Please email clerk@lambourn-pc.gov.uk before noon that day for the Zoom code. There isn’t normally a meeting in August but this has been convened mainly to look at five planning applications: 21/01718/HOUSE – Dormer House, Greenways, Lambourn; 21/01756/HOUSE – Sheepdrove Cottage, Sheepdrove, Lambourn; 21/01778/FULMAJ – Neardown Stables, Neardown, Road Upper Lambourn; 21/01766/COMIND – 1,3,4,5 and 9 Lambourn Business Park, Lambourn Woodlands; and 21/01878/HOUSE – Ragnall Cottage, Woodlands St Mary.

• This year’s Lambourn Festival offers lots of events and competitions to enjoy this August. For example: the Garden Competition for residents within three miles of Lambourn market place will be judged on 13 August; this year’s theme for the Scarecrow competition is Super Heroes and entry deadline is 27 August; everyone from Upper Lambourn to East Garston is welcome to enter the Sunflower Growing Competition (entry deadline 13 August) and Stop Motion Movie Maker Competition (entry deadline 22 August); and children and their carers are invited to collect chalk from Lambourn Marketplace on Sat 7 Aug to enter the Children’s Chalk Drawing competition and the popular Village Show on Saturday 14 August has lots of great horticultural, cooking and craft classes to enter. Entry forms for all the Lambourn Festival competitions can be picked up at The Sports Club or Universal Stores or links to download them can be found here.

Click here for the latest newsletter from the ever-excellent, ever-vigilant Lambourn.org.

Click here for details of all pending planning applications in the parish of Lambourn.

Click here for information about the recently formed Lambourn Environmental Group.

Click here for the July Lambourn ward report from District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• What are your map-reading skills like? There’s a fun team orienteering event this Sunday to raise funds for Time2Talk. It starts at the Plough in Eastbury at 9.30am, returning in time for lunch. In fact, you don’t need to be an Olympic-level expert: “simple map reading skills for beginners with fun clues to solve along the way,” is how this page on the T2T website describes it.

• Lambourn.org reports that KWA Architects is seeking feedback from the community in relation to the proposed development at Linkslade Stables. Please note that any comments you leave on the site are submitted to KWA Architects and are not part of the planning application or decision process which will follow if an application is made.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

• The Watermill Theatre’s production of The Hound of the Baskervilles is coming to East Garston on 10 and 11 August. Tickets cost £12 and can be booked through the Watermill website. I went to see it last month in the Watermill gardens and can confirm that the show is very good.

• Several cricketing legends including Gladstone Small and David Gower will be taking part on a charity match at Welford Park CC on Tuesday 4 August to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Further details here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Still no news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 15 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included; two planning decisions by WBC (there were no applications to consider); financial matters; the Hawthorne Way woodland area; playground equipment; the flood alleviation scheme (“Councillor Ackrill said there was nothing further to report but is persisting to find an answer to how the funds can be passed over for a community-led project.”); trees in the recreation ground; and the matter of Laura Farris’ comments about flooding following her visit to Trindledown NAWC, which appeared to suggest that dealing with the problems there was more immediate than the risk the village faces (see last week’s entry below).

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

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

Thursday 22 July 2021

• The July Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published last weekend, providing the best round-up of life between Membury and Shefford Woodlands and between Upper Lambourn and East Shefford. You can click here to read it if you didn’t receive it.

• The Health on the Move bus will be visiting Lambourn’s Market Square from 11am to 4pm on 4 and 5 August to provide Covid jabs for anyone over 18. They’ll be administering Pfizer vaccinations (first or second doses – if you’re going for your second your first must have been a Pfizer jab and administered at least eight weeks before). These will be drop-in sessions so there’s no need to book. Up-to-date information can also be found here.

• Plans are progressing for this year’s Lambourn Carnival. See here for a heads up on the fun activities and events you can look forward to this summer.

Click here for details of all pending planning applications in the parish of Lambourn.

Click here for information about the recently formed Lambourn Environmental Group.

Click here for the July Lambourn ward report from District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• This year’s Garstonbury festival was given an eleventh-hour go-ahead which gave organiser Freddie Tulloch just enough time to cook up some proper summer sunshine. Around 2,000 people attended and were entertained by Queen, ABBA, The Spice Girls, Michael Jackson and Tom Jones (or, where the original artists were unavailable, tribute bands) as well as a number of more local acts. “This was a particularly nerve-wracking event to organise,” Freddie told Penny Post, “as it wasn’t certain until a couple of weeks before that it could even go ahead. We’d like to thank all the people who kept the faith and helped make this such an excellent day. See you again in 2023!”

• An item I missed wast week was local MP Laura Farris’ pledge to ensure that the flooding problems at Trindledown National Animal Welfare Trust should be “sorted.” That’s great news for them, of course: but I’m sure Ms Farris is aware that a flooding risk of far greater severity exists a couple of miles to the south in Great Shefford. As mentioned several times, most recently last week (see below), matters have been stuck for about three years. The Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association (GSFAA) has raised £80,000 towards the cost of the scheme but the Environment Agency has so far been unable to come up with any schedule for the work, or to agree that the GSFAA take this on on its behalf (which, it’s claimed, it can do far more cheaply and quickly than can the EA). I understand that a few months ago she agreed to help set up a meeting between the GSFAA, WBC, the EA, Thames Water and herself to try to clear the log jam. This has yet to happen. When it does, perhaps Trindledown’s problems can be considered as part of this. Were that to be solved in isolation, it could make Shefford’s problems even worse.

• Lambourn.org reports that KWA Architects is seeking feedback from the community in relation to the proposed development at Linkslade Stables. Please note that any comments you leave on the site are submitted to KWA Architects and are not part of the planning application or decision process which will follow if an application is made.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

The Hound of the Baskervilles can be found in East Garston on 10 and 11 August: this is, I should make clear, not advance warning of an escape from a local menagerie but a performance of a play based on the Conan Doyle story which will be performed in the Village Hall car park from 7pm. Tickets cost £12 and can be booked through the Watermill website. I went to see it last month in the Watermill gardens and can confirm that the show is very good, as the Watermill’s shows invariably are.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Still no news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. I said last week that there might be something to report this week but all I can say, once again, is that discussions continue on this difficult and emotive issue.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 24 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included two planning applications, governance and financial matters, repairs to the playground equipment, parish communications, litter picking, the flood alleviation scheme (see below), footpaths, and possible tree planting at Hawthorne Way/Blakeney Fields.

• Lest it be thought that community-driven flood alleviation schemes are impossible when faced with such sturdy bureaucracy, click here for a post from February 2020 about the project a few miles upstream in Eastbury which was opened in June 2015 (and has done its job) and which was also party funded by village contributions. It can happen…

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

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

Thursday 15 July 2021

• The July Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published last weekend, providing the best round-up of life between Membury and Shefford Woodlands ands between Upper Lambourn and East Shefford. You can click here to read it if you didn’t receive it. items covered include the wildflowers in Great Shefford, the plans for Lambourn’s Carnival, Pat Murphy’s racing column news from Shefford Pre-school and the Friends of Lambourn Library, East Garston’s Save our Bells lottery and the latest update from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston. There’s also the wine of the month, the book of the month, local jobs, classes and courses, local walks, news from local societies and associations, gardening tips, offered and wanted, jobs and property. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk by the end of the month if there’s anything you’d like to see included in the August edition.

Click here for information about the recently formed Lambourn Environmental Group.

• Plans are progressing for this year’s Lambourn Carnival. See here for a heads up on the fun activities and events you can look forward to this summer.

Click here for details of all pending planning applications in the parish of Lambourn.

• This year’s Garstonbury festival has been given the go-ahead by WBC’s Public Protection Partnership. If you haven’t booked tickets then you’re too late: if you have then the organisers will be in touch very soon to confirm how the arrangements will differ in the light of Mr Covid. The weather forecast looks pretty good to me…

• Lambourn.org reports that KWA Architects is seeking feedback from the community in relation to the proposed development at Linkslade Stables. Please note that any comments you leave on the site are submitted to KWA Architects and are not part of the planning application or decision process which will follow if an application is made.

• Welcome Break is finally cleaning up its act at Membury, probably due to pressure put on them by motorway service station litter campaigner Kevin Doherty who Penny recently interviewed on 4LEGS Radio Listen here (from 11′ 10″).

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

The Hound of the Baskervilles will be spending two days in East Garston on 10 and 11 August: this is, I should make clear, a performance of a play based on the Conan Doyle story which will be performed in the Village Hall car park from 7pm. Tickets cost £12 and can be booked through the Watermill website. I went to see it last month in the Watermill gardens and can confirm that the show is very good, as the Watermill’s shows invariably are. If you haven’t read the book or haven’t done so for a long time, I think that your enjoyment will be all the greater for having the story in your mind. (The book is very good as well.)

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Still no news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. I’m hopeful there might be something to report next week.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council took place on 24 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included two planning applications, governance and financial matters, repairs to the playground equipment, parish communications, litter picking, the flood alleviation scheme (see below), footpaths, and possible tree planting at Hawthorne Way/Blakeney Fields.

• The flood alleviation scheme in the village has stalled but this is in no way due to inaction or indifference by the Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association or the PC. The ball is in the Environment Agency’s (EA) court and it has two possible shots to play: start the work itself, armed with the £80,000 that the parish has provided as part of its agreed contribution; or permit the GSFAA to conduct the work, which it claims it can do more cheaply. the GSFAA is trying, as the PC minutes report, to arrange a meeting with the interested parties (including Laura Farris MP and West Berkshire Council as well as the EA) to resolve matters but this has not yet been possible to organise. The scheme, and any money donated towards it, is not dead, but merely stuck in a process-driven system over which the GSFAA and the PC have virtually no control.

• Lest it be thought that community-driven flood alleviation schemes are impossible when faced with such sturdy bureaucracy, click here for a post from February 2020 about the project a few miles upstream in Eastbury which was opened in June 2015 (and has done its job) and which was also party funded by village contributions. It can happen…

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

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

Thursday 8 July 2021

Lambourn.org reports that there have been cases of bark being stripped off mature trees in the Lynch wood area of Lambourn. It appears to be a wilful act of vandalism with the result that “there is a high probability that the trees will die.” This seems like a particularly pointless thing to do but I guess if you’re off your face on something or other then it suddenly seems like a very good idea. Actually, of course, it isn’t, as the perpetrators will hopefully have realised the following day. As the trees take a long time to die, it doesn’t even provide the immediate gratification that chopping them down or setting fire to them would provide: not that I’m proposing these as alternatives.

• Britain 28, Ireland, 6 USA 1 – that’s not the number of Oxford-educated leaders each country has had nor their average temperature in April (though either or both of these might be true) but the winners’ table after last month’s Royal Ascot meeting. “Normal service resumed” local trainer Pat Murphy wryly observes in this month’s Downland Racing column: in previous months he’d been celebrating a sustained period of Irish successes.

Click here for information about the recently formed Lambourn Environmental Group.

• Plans are progressing for this year’s Lambourn Carnival. See here for a heads up on the fun activities and events you can look forward to this summer.

• This would seem to be a good moment to look back at some past Lambourn Carnivals: the time machine is ready and waiting for you in this section of the Lambourn.org site.

• The mobile breast cancer screening unit has now left the Lambourn Surgery and it seems that over 25% of those with an invitation did not take up the offer this time. The Surgery will write again to each person who is eligible and did not attend but in the meantime would like to stress the importance of attending any cancer screening you are offered. Louise Murray-Clarke, the Practice Manager, said she was “unsure why the uptake has been so low this time – in 2018, the take-up rate was over 92%. This might be due to uncertainty over Covid-safe procedures but please be assured the breast screening team are working to the same infection control protocols as the rest of the NHS. If you received an invitation and did not attend, you can still book by calling 0118 322 8282 and you will be screened in the West Berks Community Hospital. Breast cancer when diagnosed early has one of the best success rates in terms of treatment, so it really is worthwhile taking up the offer, and could just save your life.” For more information about breast cancer screening, click here.

East Garston’s Bell Appeal for All Saints Church has launched a fund-raising Ball Lottery. The first three winners in June won hundreds of pounds so it’s definitely worth being in it to win it. You can also make donations that will be match funded by Greenham Trust. See here for more details.

• The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place at 7.30pm on Monday 12 July (postponed from this week as it clashed with the football). This will be in hybrid form with the councillors meeting at the Memorial Hall and others being able to join by Zoom (please email lambournpc@btinternet.com by noon on the day for the Zoom link). Click here to see the agenda. Items up for discussion include five planning applications: 21/01275/HOUSE (The Old Farm, Road Known as Newbury Road, Eastbury); 21/01417/HOUSE (6 Sheep Fair Way, Lambourn); 21/01530/FULMAJ + 21/01531/LBC2 (8 Chapel Lane, Lambourn); 21/01627/House + 21/01628/LBC2 (Hawthorne Cottage, Road Known as High Street, Upper Lambourn); and 21/01540/FUL (Lambourn Church of England Primary School, Edwards Hill, Lambourn). Those of you who attended last month’s hybrid meeting via Zoom and were unable to hear anything should give it another go this time as I’m assured that some better equipment is about to be installed.

Click here for details of all pending planning applications in the parish of Lambourn.

• The East Garston fête will took place on 4 July and was as excellent as always. Well done to all the many people involved in organising it (and for booking the weather which, as so often happens, fortunately bore no resemblance to that forecasted).

• This year’s Garstonbury festival has been given the green light to proceed by WBC’s Public Protection Partnership. If you haven’t booked tickets then you’re too late: if you have then the organisers will be in touch very soon to confirm how the arrangements will differ in the light of Mr Covid.

• Welcome Break is finally cleaning up its act at Membury, probably due to pressure put on them by motorway service station litter campaigner Kevin Doherty who Penny recently interviewed on 4LEGS Radio Listen here (from 11′ 10″).

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

• Great Shefford Pre-School has places from September for children aged two years and nine months and above.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here.

• And we come once more to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. I mention this again not because there’s any news – the uncertainty still hangs over the applicant – but because the delay in resolving this seems to be turning into an abuse in itself.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• On the same day, Great Shefford Parish Council held its annual assembly which included a review of the year from the chairman and updates from various local groups. You can see this in full here.

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

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

Thursday 1 July 2021

• Local MP Laura Farris’ Facebook page includes this criticism of Thames Water’s handling of the recent water problems in Woodlands St Mary’s. I wasn’t personally affected by these so am not sure how fair these are. On 7 June, a Thames Water spokesperson confirmed to Penny Post that, in respect of a similar problem in Hungerford Newtown, they were “in touch with affected customers and we’ve also delivered bottled water to the area as a precaution.” However , Laura Farris asserts that a similar problem in Woodlands the following week led to no such reaction until she intervened and which have “laid bare a number of very real concerns about Thames Water’s care of its residents.” If TW’s statement about Hungerford Newtown was true, as I believe it to be, it seems odd that the company should have acted so differently with a similar problem a few miles away and a few days later. Do any local residents have any views on how this was handled?

• Plans are progressing for this year’s Lambourn Carnival. See here for a heads up on the fun activities and events you can look forward to this summer.

• The mobile breast cancer screening unit has now left the Lambourn Surgery and it seems that over 25% of those with an invitation did not take up the offer this time. The Surgery will write again to each person who is eligible and did not attend but in the meantime would like to stress the importance of attending any cancer screening you are offered. Louise Murray-Clarke, the Practice Manager, said she was “unsure why the uptake has been so low this time – in 2018, the take-up rate was over 92%. This might be due to uncertainty over Covid-safe procedures but please be assured the breast screening team are working to the same infection control protocols as the rest of the NHS. If you received an invitation and did not attend, you can still book by calling 0118 322 8282 and you will be screened in the West Berks Community Hospital. Breast cancer when diagnosed early has one of the best success rates in terms of treatment, so it really is worthwhile taking up the offer, and could just save your life.” For more information about breast cancer screening, click here.

East Garston’s Bell Appeal for All Saints Church has launched a fund-raising Ball Lottery. The first three winners in June won hundreds of pounds so it’s definitely worth being in it to win it. You can also make donations that will be match funded by Greenham Trust. See here for more details.

• The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7 July. This will be in hybrid form with the councillors meeting at the Memorial Hall and others being able to join by Zoom (please email lambournpc@btinternet.com by noon on the day for the Zoom link). Items up for discussion include five planning applications: 21/01275/HOUSE (The Old Farm, Road Known as Newbury Road, Eastbury); 21/01417/HOUSE (6 Sheep Fair Way, Lambourn); 21/01530/FULMAJ + 21/01531/LBC2 (8 Chapel Lane, Lambourn); 21/01627/House + 21/01628/LBC2 (Hawthorne Cottage, Road Known as High Street, Upper Lambourn); and 21/01540/FUL (Lambourn Church of England Primary School, Edwards Hill, Lambourn). Those of you who attended last month’s hybrid meeting via Zoom and were unable to hear anything should give it another go this time as I’m assured that some better equipment is about to be installed.

• The East Garston fête will take place on Sunday 4 July. Click here for more.

• The Lambourn Surgery is running a brief online consultation about how appointments are made. Click here to take part.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

• Great Shefford Pre-School has places from September for children aged two years and nine months and above.

• The Great Shefford and Shefford Woodlands Open Gardens helps support and maintain local churches. A wide range of beautiful gardens will be open on the weekend of 3 and 4 July: at the Village Hall, where you will collect your map, there will be jams, jellies, chutneys and plants for sale.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here.

• No further news about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. It now seems that a decision will be taken by WBC by the end of the month (which is what was said last month). As mentioned before, if you feel that you have suffered from what you feel is an unfair CIL demand (which can run into five figures) or if you have had any dealings, good or bad, with West Berkshire Council about the way an exemption from a CIL charge has been handled, please let us know.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• On the same day, Great Shefford Parish Council held its annual assembly which included a review of the year from the chairman and updates from various local groups. You can see this in full here.

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

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

Thursday 24 June 2021

• If you’re over 18 and yet to be vaccinated, you can take advantage of the “Health on The Move” bus that will be stationed at Oaksey House on Tuesday 29 June. Appointments will be between 10am and 4pm and must be booked in advance. This is for first vaccination doses only and will return on 8 September to offer second doses to all people given their first vaccine next week. The team at Racing Welfare is taking bookings for this service – please only call during office hours 9am to 5pm to book your first appointment on 01488 670034. There are limited spaces and are on a first-come first-served basis. 

• Plans are progressing for this year’s Lambourn Carnival. See here for a heads up on the fun activities and events you can look forward to this summer.

• Martyn Wright from the East Garston Flood Forum is trying to establish just how much foul water has been discharged into the Special Area of Conservation and SSSI-protected River Lambourn recently, and just how foul it is. The issue is twofold: specifically, what kind of discharges are made into the Lambourn at East Garston; and, more generally, whether the permit system operated by the Environment Agency was followed (there’s also the far larger question of the extent to which the conditions for granting these need to be tightened up, but that’s a governmental matter).

On the first of these, Martyn posed some specific questions to Thames Water and earlier this month received a detailed reply (which you can read in full here). One of these was “how the discharge from the East Garston pumping station is treated before it goes into the river?” The answer, which he and I found rather shocking, is none at all; indeed, the water is not even filtered. It seems there is “no requirement to screen the discharge” and so it doesn’t happen. Although the pipe into the river doesn’t seem to discharge solids, this may be because there is a settling tank into which these sink. The water pouring into the river from the pipe by the pumping station is therefore untreated sewage, which might be worth bearing in mind.

The TW spokesperson added that, as a result of this discharge, “a clean-up is required, which I know has been carried out previously.” If gravity is doing its work in the settling tank and all the discharge in liquid, what is there to clean up? What flowed out of the pipe is probably in the Kennet at Newbury within a few hours. If there has been any clean-up in the past, I’ve never heard of it and nor has Martyn. I’m not holding my breath on this (though I certainly would if I fell into the river downstream of the pumping station).

There’s then the question of whether Thames Water’s discharges are being done in accordance with the EA’s permits. At a meeting of the Lambourn Valley Flood Forum in April 2021, an Environment Agency spokesperson said that sewage pumping stations “should only discharge during an emergency and that the EA is aware that Thames Water breached the permit in Spring 2020.” It appears it has done so several times since. (The fact that, as mentioned above, there is “no requirement” to filter the discharge adds weight to the view that the permit was breached as it presumably was designed to allow the pumping away of floodwater in an emergency, in which case the requirement to filter solids wouldn’t apply.) It’s not yet clear what action has been taken, though the question has been asked. However, to repeatedly commit a breach strongly suggests that any punishment is going to be fairly minor, certainly compared with the cost of fixing the problem. The EA also tends to move at a glacial pace so any penalties might take years to be enforced. All this looks like a system which doesn’t work very well.

Residents of East Garston who wish to join the group and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com. You can also keep up to date by clicking here to visit the Flood Forum’s page on the East Garston PC website.

• The mobile breast cancer screening unit has now left the Lambourn Surgery and it seems that over 25% of those with an invitation did not take up the offer this time. The Surgery will write again to each person who is eligible and did not attend but in the meantime would like to stress the importance of attending any cancer screening you are offered. Louise Murray-Clarke, the Practice Manager, said she was “unsure why the uptake has been so low this time – in 2018, the take-up rate was over 92%. This might be due to uncertainty over Covid-safe procedures but please be assured the breast screening team are working to the same infection control protocols as the rest of the NHS. If you received an invitation and did not attend, you can still book by calling 0118 322 8282 and you will be screened in the West Berks Community Hospital. Breast cancer when diagnosed early has one of the best success rates in terms of treatment, so it really is worthwhile taking up the offer, and could just save your life.” For more information about breast cancer screening, click here.

• Thames Water tells me that the water-pressure problems in Woodlands St Mary’s have been solved – let me (or, better still, Thames Water) know if you disagree.

• Still in East Garston, it’s recently been confirmed that the village fête on Sunday 4 July will definitely be going ahead after a period of Covid-related uncertainty. Click here for more.

• The Lambourn Surgery is running a brief online consultation about how appointments are made. Click here to take part.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

• Great Shefford Pre-School has places from September for children aged two years and nine months and above.

• The Great Shefford and Shefford Woodlands Open Gardens helps support and maintain local churches. A wide range of beautiful gardens will be open on the weekend of 3 and 4 July: at the Village Hall, where you will collect your map, there will be jams, jellies, chutneys and plants for sale. If you would like to open your garden, please contact Linda Forrester 07720 432651.

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire.

Click here to read the latest report (updated on 5 June) from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston. This includes his assurance that he is working with local groups and employers to try to mitigate the likely effects of extra traffic movements on the B4000 as a result of the recent decision to grant planning permission to Walkers Logistics at Membury.

• 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 most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here.

• I haven’t forgotten about Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. It seems that other people may also have fallen foul of West Berkshire Council’s “gotcha” policy on this matter – not my phrase, but a remark made by former WBC Council Leader Gordon Lundie. If you feel that you have suffered from what you feel is an unfair CIL demand (which can run into five figures) or if you have had any dealings, good or bad, with West Berkshire Council about the way an exemption from a CIL charge has been handled, please let us know.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• On the same day, Great Shefford Parish Council held its annual assembly which included a review of the year from the chairman and updates from various local groups. You can see this in full here.

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

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

Thursday 17 June 2021

• The June issue of the Valley of the Racehorse newsletter can be read here. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk by the end of the month if there’s anything you want to see included in the July edition.

• Plans are progressing for this year’s Lambourn Carnival. See here for a heads up on the fun activities and events you can look forward to this summer.

• Residents of the Valley may want to follow the efforts of Martyn Wright from the East Garston Flood Forum to establish just how much foul water was discharged into the SSI-protected River Lambourn recently, and just how foul it was. See here for there latest on this. Residents of East Garston who with to join the group and receive email updates should contact martynwright345@btinternet.com.

• On which subject, local MPs Laura Farris and Danny Kruger will be hosting a public consultation via Zoom at 2pm Thursday 24 June to hear your views on the pressures and issues our chalk streams are facing.

• And still with water, and pressure, there have been reports of low pressure in some properties in Woodlands St Mary’s. Thames Water is looking into the problem and a spokesperson told Penny Post on 8 June that this “is not related to the ongoing issue in Hungerford Newtown [caused by a leaking pipe under the M4: see the Hungerford Area Weekly News section].” The latest (17 June) news is that the work is still ongoing and was slowed slightly by another burst pipe in the area, though this one has since been fixed. Water is still being delivered into the local system by tankers.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

• Great Shefford Pre-School has places from September for children aged two years and 9 months and above.

• The Great Shefford and Shefford Woodlands Open Gardens helps support and maintain local churches. A wide range of beautiful gardens will be open on the weekend of 3 and 4 July: at the Village Hall, where you will collect your map, there will be jams, jellies, chutneys and plants for sale. If you would like to open your garden, please contact Linda Forrester 07720 432651.

• A reminder that the Queens Arms in East Garston now has a new, big outdoor TV, all set up for the Euros, Ascot and Wimbledon – click here for more, including a special Wimbledon offer in conjunction with East Garston-based Sporting Agenda.

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow tests recently changed – details can be found here.

Click here to read the latest report (updated on 5 June) 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 most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here.

• I haven’t forgotten about CIL saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. No news yet that I’ve been made aware of. What an uninspiring fiasco this is turning into. Sue or refund.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• On the same day, Great Shefford Parish Council held its annual assembly which included a review of the year from the chairman and updates from various local groups. You can see this in full here.

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

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

Thursday 10 June 2021

The June issue of the Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published last weekend and you can click here to read it if you didn’t get it. Items covered (some of which are separately referred to below) included Lambourn’s most recent PC meeting, news from Shefford Primary School and the monthly reports from local trainer Pat Murphy, District Councillor Howard Woollaston and John O’Gaunt School Head Richard Hawthorne. There’s also a special offer from The Five Bells, the re-opening of East Garston’s Social Club, local walks, classes and societies, property, for sale and wanted, protecting your catalytic convertor, gardening tips, a short story and some wise words from Katherine Mansfield. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk by the end of the month if there’s anything you want to see included in the July edition.

• Planning matters, parking at the school, open spaces and the NDP were discussed at the Lambourn Parish Council meeting on 2 June 2021. Lambourn.org was on hand to take notes.

• Plans are progressing for this year’s Lambourn Carnival. See here for a heads up on the fun activities and events you can look forward to this summer.

• There’s a letter in this week’s NWN from Martyn Wright from the East Garston Flood Forum and an article on p23, both of which consider “permitted discharges” of sewage into the River Lambourn. There are four separate but related issues. The first is to what extent the sewage pumped into the the river at the east of East Garston  during the winter and spring of 2020-21 was untreated, albeit with the solids filtered out, as Martyn Wright asserts. The second is to what extent the sewage discharged into the river at Lambourn, four miles upstream was treated, which is what Thames Water’s comment in the article refers to. The third is, if Martin Wright is correct about the sewage, why an ATAC filtration unit was not installed in East Garston, as he requested. The fourth – a much wider question – is whether or to what extent such permitted discharges should be allowed at all, the accusation being that the Environment Agency has been too lax with its permissions so allowing water firms to use this not as an emergency measure but as increasingly normalised procedure. This was subject of a private member’s bill in January which was withdrawn as the proposer was assured that a tightening up of the regulations would be included in proposed government environmental legislation. How long this will take to become law and how well observed (and well enforced) it will be remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the water table will rise and fall as it has always down, infiltrating the sewage systems and causing the same problems.

I spoke to Charlotte Hitchmough, the Director of Action for the River Kennet. She confirmed that the data she had showed that in 2020 there had been about 214 hours of discharges at East Garston. This was, she pointed out, only a pumping station and so would do little more than basic filtration and dilution (which serves no particular purpose – you take in same amount of alcohol from drinking a double scotch neat as you do from diluting it). The ATAC system, such as was used in Lambourn, also provides some chemical treatment and so gives a better (but by no means pure) result. The ATAC was not installed in East Garston because TW claimed that tinkering it away could cope: Martyn Wright’s point is that this was not the case.

It’s to be hoped that the recent repairs in East Garston will have helped but constant such work is needed on the ageing an increasingly over-used network. There’s also no one solution – good pipes are vital but there also has to be a system for dealing with emergencies which gives more weight to the environment and less to the convenience of water firms. We have our role to play as well by not putting anything except the three Ps (pooh, pee and paper) down our toilets. We’re all in this together…

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

• On which subject, local MPs Laura Farris and Danny Kruger will be hosting a public consultation via Zoom at 2pm Thursday 24 June to hear your views on the pressures and issues our chalk streams are facing.

• And still with water, there have been reports of low pressure in some properties in Woodlands St Mary’s. Thames Water is looking into the problem and a spokesperson told Penny Post on 8 June that this “is not related to the ongoing issue in Hungerford Newtown [caused by a leaving pipe under the M4: see the Hungerford Area Weekly News section]. We are however, having to use tankers to boost the supply to Woodlands St Mary due to an ongoing repair at the local reservoir.  Our engineers have confirmed that customers are in supply but may have slightly lower pressure than normal. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this is causing.” We’ve been promised further updates as soon as possible.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

• Great Shefford Pre-School has places from September for children aged two years and 9 months and above.

• The Great Shefford and Shefford Woodlands Open Gardens helps support and maintain local churches. A wide range of beautiful gardens will be open on the weekend of 3 and 4 July: at the Village Hall, where you will collect your map, there will be jams, jellies, chutneys and plants for sale. If you would like to open your garden, please contact Linda Forrester 07720 432651.

• The Queens Arms in East Garston now has a new, big outdoor TV, all set up ready for the Euros (starting this weekend), Ascot and Wimbledon – click here for more, including a special Wimbledon offer in conjunction with East Garston-based Sporting Agenda.

• I see in this week’s NWN, on p22, that a planning application has been lodged in Eastbury for a conversion on the site of a former pub, The Plume of Feathers. I never knew there was a pub of that name there – one is always leaning in this game. This is all I could find out about it. It includes the reference to the fact that in 1891 the licensee was “a publican and pork butcher,” which would have solved the problem of sourcing the Sunday roasts.

• The closure of the M4 eastbound between J15 and J14 is for 10 nights from 7 June 9pm to 6am, Monday to Friday nights only. This is for resurfacing work required along a section of the carriageway near Liddington. During the closure, a signed diversion will be in place via the A346, A4 and A338 which will result in more traffic through Baydon.

• Two by-elections were to have been held for two seats on Lambourn Parish Council on Thursday 24 June (one for Upper Lambourn, one for Lambourn). Please email lambournpc@btconnect.com to find out more about these vacancies (there are vacancies for five parish councillors in total).

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow tests recently changed – details can be found here.

• The Great British Spring Clean takes place between 28 May and 13 June and many events will be organised by local councils. Click on the relevant link below to see how you can get involved with what’s happening in your town or village.

Click here to read the latest report (updated on 5 June) 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 most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the appointment of the Chair and the Vice Chair; financial matters; a clean bill of health from the auditor (who judged “the administration and procedures of the Council to be carefully planned, controlled and well documented.”); the fixed-asset register; protecting the surface of the multi-use games area; a new dog bin in Easton; local footpaths, including the proposed on on the B4000 in Wickham; the settlement boundary; clearance works on the Marsh Common; and plans for the phone box (see last week’s entry below).

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

• Still no news on the continuing CIL saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn, although I understand that a decision was to have been taken by now. A letter from a former WBC councillor in this week’s Newbury Weekly News re-states the point that CIL should not have been charged, that the error could be adjusted and that this is “an underhand way of extracting money.” If WBC doesn’t cancel the payment, there are three possibilities. Number one: it sues and wins, which wouldn’t be a great look as the applicant will possibly be bankrupted over a payment that the development was exempted from. Number two: it sues and loses, which would unleash a number of other complaints, each of which would have a precedent to call one. Number three: it continues to leave the matter in suspension, which not only causes costs and stress for officers and applicant alike but also raises the question as to why, if the sum is fairly owed, it is not being collected and used for community infrastructure purposes, some in the parish and the rest throughout the district.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and the minutes can be downloaded here. Items covered included: formal year-end matters; a new councillor; sewage and flooding (see also above); financial matters; the parish’s Covid response; planning applications; improvements at the Jubilee meadow; dog bins (an issue echoed by many other parishes); village maintenance; speeding; the nature and dates of future meetings; the village welcome pack; and the cricket nets.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the chairman and vice chairman; two planning applications; financial matters; the village’s Team leaders; the asset register; the cost of repairs to the damaged fence at the bottom of Hungerford Hill; dog waste signage; PC communications; and the continuing impasse (a stronger term is needed) regarding the flood alleviation scheme.

• On the same day, Great Shefford Parish Council held its annual assembly which included a review of the year from the chairman and updates from various local groups. You can see this in full here.

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

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

Thursday 3 June 2021

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council took place on 2 June and Lambourn.org was on hand to take notes. Items covered included planning matters, parking at the school, open spaces and the NDP.

• Local MPs Laura Farris and Danny Kruger will be hosting a public consultation via Zoom at 2pm Thursday 24 June to hear your views on the pressures and issues our chalk streams are facing.

• Great Shefford Pre-School has places from September for children aged two years and 9 months and above.

• The Great Shefford and Shefford Woodlands Open Gardens helps support and maintain local churches. A wide range of beautiful gardens will be open on the weekend of 3 and 4 July: at the Village Hall, where you will collect your map, there will be jams, jellies, chutneys and plants for sale. If you would like to open your garden, please contact Linda Forrester 07720 432651.

• There have been reports of low water pressure in some properties in Woodlands St Mary’s. Thames Water is looking into the problem and a spokesperson told Penny Post on 8 June that this “is not related to the ongoing issue in Hungerford Newtown [caused by a leaving pipe under the M4: see the Hungerford Area Weekly News section]. We are however, having to use tankers to boost the supply to Woodlands St Mary due to an ongoing repair at the local reservoir.  Our engineers have confirmed that customers are in supply but may have slightly lower pressure than normal. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this is causing.” We’ve been promised further updates as soon as possible.

• See Lambourn Growers facebook group for info on a seed and plant swap in Bockhampton Road.

• The Queens Arms in East Garston now has a new, big outdoor TV, all set up ready for the Euros, Ascot and Wimbledon.

• The closure of the M4 eastbound between J15 and J14 is for 10 nights from 7 June 9pm to 6am, Monday to Friday nights only. This is for resurfacing work required along a section of the carriageway near Liddington. During the closure, a signed diversion will be in place via the A346, A4 and A338 which will result in more traffic through Baydon.

• Two by-elections were to have been held for two seats on Lambourn Parish Council on Thursday 24 June (one for Upper Lambourn, one for Lambourn). Sadly, no one put themselves forward for election in either seat, so new elections will have to take place within 35 days of Thursday 24 June. The election process will keep repeating until candidates are found and the Parish Council will incur charges each time. This is required because, for the parish’s neighbourhood development plan to be completed  (“made” is the official term) at least two-thirds of the councillors have been elected, even if  unopposed, rather than co-opted. Please email lambournpc@btconnect.com to find out more about these vacancies (there are vacancies for five parish councillors in total).

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow tests recently changed – details can be found here.

• The Great British Spring Clean takes place between 28 May and 13 June and many events will be organised by local councils. Click on the relevant link below to see how you can get involved with what’s happening in your town or village.

Click here to read the latest report (updated on 5 June) 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.

• Front Street in East Garston was closed earlier this month while Thames Water executed some work on the sewerage system. You can click here to see the video which Penny made on 18 May which explains what was going on there.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the appointment of the Chair and the Vice Chair; financial matters; a clean bill of health from the auditor (who judged “the administration and procedures of the Council to be carefully planned, controlled and well documented.”); the fixed-asset register; protecting the surface of the multi-use games area; a new dog bin in Easton; local footpaths, including the proposed on on the B4000 in Wickham; the settlement boundary; clearance works on the Marsh Common; and plans for the phone box (see last week’s entry below).

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

• Still no further news on the continuing CIL saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn, although I understand that a decision was to have been taken by now. As mentioned before, there seem to be only two options – sue or cancel the debt.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the chairman and vice chairman; two planning applications; financial matters; the village’s Team leaders; the asset register; the cost of repairs to the damaged fence at the bottom of Hungerford Hill; dog waste signage; PC communications; and the continuing impasse (a stronger term is needed) regarding the flood alleviation scheme.

• In the same day, Great Shefford Parish Council held its annual assembly which included a review of the year from the chairman and updates from various local groups. You can see this in full here.

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

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

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

Thursday 27 May 2021

• The June Valley of the Racehorse newsletter will be published on Saturday 5 June. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if there’s anything you’d like to see included.

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow tests recently changed – details can be found here.

• The Great British Spring Clean takes place between 28 May and 13 June and many events will be organised by local councils. Click on the relevant link below to see how you can get involved with what’s happening in your town or village.

• The next meeting of Lambourn Parish Council will take place in hybrid form at 7.30 on Wednesday 2 June and you can see the agenda here.

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).

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.

• Two by-elections were to have been held for two seats on Lambourn Parish Council on Thursday 24 June (one for Upper Lambourn, one for Lambourn). Sadly, no one put themselves forward for election in either seat, so new elections will have to take place within 35 days of Thursday 24 June. The election process will keep repeating until candidates are found and the Parish Council will incur charges each time. This is required because, for the parish’s neighbourhood development plan to be completed  (“made” is the official term) at least two-thirds of the councillors have been elected, even if  unopposed, rather than co-opted.

• Front Street in East Garston was closed earlier this month while Thames Water executed some work on the sewerage system. You can click here to see the video which Penny made on 18 May which explains what was going on there. 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 Thames Water about what it had accomplished in the area of the past few months, which you can read here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council took place on 5 May (also its annual meeting) and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the appointment of the Chair and the Vice Chair; financial matters; a clean bill of health from the auditor (who judged “the administration and procedures of the Council to be carefully planned, controlled and well documented.”); the fixed-asset register; protecting the surface of the multi-use games area; a new dog bin in Easton; local footpaths, including the proposed on on the B4000 in Wickham; the settlement boundary; clearance works on the Marsh Common; and plans for the phone box (see next para).

• It was only a few decades ago that public phone boxes were an essential part of life. Even as recently as the 1980s the waiting times for getting a phone connected (certainly in London) were insanely long and I rarely used to go out without a supply of 2p and 10p coins to use in the call boxes that you found in every pub, tube station and main streets. Things have changed a bit since then, of course. In 2017, it was reported that a third of the then 40,000-odd functioning telephone kiosks were never used to make a call while the rate of calls made from the rest was declining by 20% a year. BT is encouraging local communities to adopt their boxes – on payment of £1, it can be yours. What then to do with it? Many now house defibrillators, provide tourist information or act as a book or seed exchange. Here are a few other uses to which some have been put. The parish of Welford mentioned at its above-mentioned meeting that it was still looking for ideas as to what should be done with its red kiosk. If you have any thoughts, contact the Clerk Sonia Coyle at welfordparish@yahoo.com.

• And still in Welford, the PC took over the maintenance of Marsh Common in November 2020. Since then this wet woodland habitat has undergone a “considerable transformation,” as this article on the PC’s website explains.

• Last week’s NWN reported that that Sovereign’s tenants in its “run-down” Grade II buildings in Lambourn will be re-housed (in the village if they wish to be) and the properties will then be sold, the proceeds being re-invested in “additional affordable housing in West Berkshire.”

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

• Still no further news on the continuing CIL saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn. If the money is fairly owed then by not prosecuting him, WBC is doing a disservice to WBC’s council tax payers. If the money is not fairly owed then it is doing a disservice to the applicant. If matters carry on in this limbo then it is doing a disservice to both.

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

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

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

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

Thursday 20 May 2021

• The May Valley of the Racehorse newsletter was published on 8 May and you can click here to read it if you didn’t receive it. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if there’s anything you’d like to see included in the June issue.

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow tests is changing from Monday 24 May – details can be found here.

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).

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 Electoral Returning Officer has announced that by-elections will be held for two seats on Lambourn Parish Council on Thursday 24 June (one for Upper Lambourn, one for Lambourn). Nomination papers for candidates for these seats have to be hand-delivered (not posted – don’t ask me why) to West Berkshire Council by 4pm on Thursday 27 May. Anyone interested in being elected can download the nomination papers from the Electoral Commission or request them from Electoral Services at WBC. The Electoral Commission also has details of who is eligible to stand.

• Front Street in East Garston will be closed from 8am to 6pm on 20 and 21 May while Thames Water completes some work on the sewerage system. You can click here to see the video which Penny made on 18 May which explains what’s going on there. 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.

Lambourn Surgery was clearly piqued by a statement that implied it had been closed for many months and only re-opened on 17 May. “We have been open throughout the pandemic,” a spokesperson said, “offering patients telephone and face-to-face appointments as appropriate. During April alone we saw 1,071 patients face-to-face while 704 patients had telephone consultations. This does not include the 910 first- and second-dose Covid jabs we have provided at the racecourse during April alone.  We are now being encouraged to offer patients a choice of remote or face-to-face consultations. We ask that patients continue to contact us online or by phone as they have been doing: please also explore options such as NHS 111 online  if you are able. We are facing unprecedented demand for our services and will need to continue to adjust how we use our clinicians’ time to best support our patients, particularly those who need us the most.”

• This week’s NWN reports on p26 that that Sovereign’s tenants in its “run-down” Grade II buildings in Lambourn will be re-housed (in the village if they wish to be) and the properties will then be sold, the proceeds being re-invested in “additional affordable housing in West Berkshire.”

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

• Still no further news on the continuing CIL saga (see below) regarding the re-development at the former Malt Shovel in Upper Lambourn.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available 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 for which minutes are available 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.

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.

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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