Thursday 16 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes an anniversary, a festival, D-day, art, cats and solar panels – plus a new Mayor for Thatcham, success at the referendums in Cold Ash and Hermitage and the chalet proposals at Hambridge back on the table. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Thatcham area events include stick-dressing workshop and valuation day. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities. 

• Thatcham’s new Mayor

Last Sunday 12 May, Councillor Suzanne Adamantos was elected Mayor of Thatcham at a ceremony at Frank Hutchings Community Hall. Cllr Adamantos’ husband Micky Adamantos was chosen to be her Consort. Cllr Petra Pemberton was elected Deputy Mayor, and her husband Cllr Justin Pemberton was chosen to be her consort.

Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor first became Thatcham Town Councillors in 2023 and are “delighted to be able to serve their community” in such roles.

Mayor Councillor Adamantos says “I am so proud to have been elected Thatcham Mayor for this year. To be able to serve my community, attend events, and raise money and awareness for charities which mean so much to me is a special thing, and I am excited to get started!”

Mayor Adamantos has chosen Thatcham Youth and Cruse Bereavement Support to be this year’s Mayor’s Charities, and will be working hard throughout the year to raise funds and awareness for both.

See more here, including how to invite the Mayor or Deputy Mayor to a community event.

• Thatcham’s chalets

The plans for some angling chalets at Hambridge Lake on between Newbury and Thatcham have re-surfaced again, along with an appeal for the original application which was refused by WBC.

You can see details of the original application (for “Construction of nine holiday chalets and clubhouse with access from Hambridge Road, parking areas, new pedestrian links and ancillary works”) by clicking here. You can see details of the more recent application (for “Construction of five holiday chalets and clubhouse with access from Hambridge Road, parking, footpaths, fishing stations, bin/cycle stores and landscaping”) by clicking here. At the time of writing, this has already received seven objections.

One of the concerns that was raised at the time was that the development was a Trojan horse and that, far from being used merely as fishing chalets they would instead be used for more permanent occupation and perhaps as longer-term holiday lets for which the supporting infrastructure would be inadequate. The refusal notice for the 2023 application included amongst its reasons the fact that it would be harmful to the distinctive character of the area including the loss of trees and that it didn’t demonstrate a suitable biodiversity net gain. It’s hard to see that anything much has changed with then latest application, aside from the smaller size.

• Hermitage and Cold Ash’s referendum

The finishing line of Hermitage and Cold Ash’s neighbourhood development plan were crossed earlier this month when the residents approved the plan at referendum.

In Cold Ash, there was a turnout of 27% with 92% voting in favour and 8% against . In Hermitage, there was a turnout of 26% with 91% voting in favour and 9% against. The national averages are a 33% turnout with 88% voting in favour.

A purely formal stage for both plans is still to come with the ratification of the results at WBC’s Full Council meeting in July. The matches have been played, and won: all that remains is the presentation of the trophies.

Once ratified (or “made” as the technical phrase has it) the NDP becomes as much part of the district’s local plan as if WBC had created it itself. One immediate benefit is that the parish then receives a 25%, rather than a 15%, share of any CIL receipts on developments in the parish.

Congratulations to all concerned. These things take a lot of work and a lot of time. You can all have a couple of weeks off and then it will be time to start working on the refresh…

• Other news

• In other mayoral news, Thatcham Town Council will be holding a Meeting of the Mayors event, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Thatcham becoming a town. Mayors of both past and present will joining the public in a coffee morning to reminisce together. Taking place on Tuesday 28 May from 10am to 12pm at the Council Offices on Brownfield Road. Click here for more information.

• Thatcham Town Council have announced they will supporting two events marking the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. On Thursday 6 July, in the morning they will be joining the local British Legion for a service at the Thatcham Memorial Gardens. In the evening they will be attending the Beacon Lighting Event at Greenham Control Tower. For further details about these events, click here.

• For anyone interested in holding an event for the Thatcham Festival, a reminder that the deadline for applications is Friday 24 May. The Council are seeking a wide range of activities from workshops, talks and walks, performances, and exhibitions for a range of different interests. Thatcham Festival is the place to inspire people to get involved, educate, and entertain. The festival takes place between Friday 11 and Sunday 20 October 2024. Click here to learn more about how to apply.

• Please note some West Berkshire Libraries services will be temporarily suspended for one week while they make improvements to their library management system. From Sunday 26 May to Saturday 1 June the library catalogue will unavailable, you will not be able to reserve books or other items, the app will be unavailable as well as some other digital services. If you need to photocopy or print anything please bring cash. No items will be due for return and no fines will be charged during this period. This will affect all WB libraries including Thatcham, Newbury, Theale, Burghfield Common, Mortimer, Lambourne, Pangbourne and Hungerford. Click here for the latest updates.

• West Berkshire Council announced they will soon be installing solar panels on the roof of the Kennet Leisure Centre. This advancement is thanks to a £237,600 grant that has been awarded to them by the Government and Sport England‘s £60m capital investment program. More details to come soon.

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

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

• Quick reminder about Open Studios flagship exhibition INSIGHT 2024 featuringwork by over one local hundred artists at The Base, Greenham until Monday 27 May. Plus many working studios of local artists to visit across Thatcham, Newbury, Stockcross, Woolton Hill, Hungerford, Kintbury Holt, Bucklebury, Bradfield and Brimpton, Lambourn, East Ilsley and Wilton. There is also an exhibition of three artists at West Berkshire Museum open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm and a Trio of Talents exhibit drawing, printing, ceramics, sculpture, woodwork and textiles every weekend in May at the Bowls Pavilion at Stockcross House.

• Have you got old items you would like to know the value of? Well, the T.Baker & Co Roadshow’s Vintage Valuation Day is coming to Thatcham Town Council Office on Monday 20 May. If you have any items that you would like a free valuation on, no fees or commission and cash paid, then just turn up on the day or contact info@tbakerroadshow.co.uk to learn more.

• Quick reminder that Thatcham Town Council invite you to their Garden Party for Dementia Action Week, on Friday 17 May in the Jubilee Sensory Garden. There will be a creative mindfulness workshop designed to help you live in the moment, Jane Fletcher will share her touching experiences of caring for her father, there will also be tea, cake and lots of wonderful people to talk to. Click here to learn more.

Calleva Stickdressers promote and encourage the traditional craft of stick making (walking sticks, shepherd crooks & thumbsticks etc ). They hold monthly work days on the third Saturday of the month in Beenham Victory Hall, RG7 5NN. They always welcome new members and encourage anyone interested to attend a work day to find out more about this historic craft. Upcoming dates are Saturday 18 May and 15 June.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Thatcham Council has updated the Town Guide for 2024, which can be read here. It contains information about Thatcham’s history, annual events as well as local services.

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

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

• Latest local newsletters


Community notices

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

• Thatcham Community Larder in the Frank Hutchins Hall offers affordable food items (starting at £3.50 per week), refreshments, friendly chat and activities. Join their facebook group for more details. For more information contact 07500 764501 or victoria.roseblade1@westberks.gov.uk.

• Thatcham Town Council is looking for volunteers to help the Jubilee Sensory Garden. If you have an interest in sustainable gardening and want to develop your knowledge and skills with gardening expert Sally, please contact  enquiries@thatchamtowncouncil.gov.uk or 01635 863592. Dates are to be confirmed. See here for more details.

Thatcham Pharmacy now offers advice and prescribes NHS medicine for certain health concerns. Learn more about the ‘NHS Pharmacy First’ scheme here.

• Thatcham Volunteers Bureau provides transport to doctors, dentists, hospitals, shops or to visit friends and relatives for those who struggle with public transport. They are currently looking for drivers so please get in contact as this service is massively needed. 

• Citizens Advice West Berkshire advice about scams. There is no shame if you  get caught out by scamWImers and you must seek help and warn others.

• Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham has volunteering opportunities that range from litter picking, to helping in our shop, orchard work or being a Trailside Ambassador. Email hazelfell@bbowt.org.uk to discuss a specific role.

• Donations for West Berkshire Food Bank are gratefully received at Thatcham’s Co-ops, Waitrose and the Sainsbury’s Local. Donation bins are usually near the till.

• Do you or your child play an instrument and like to play with a group? Thatcham United Reformed Church is looking for new band members. They play every third Sunday, with a practice at 10am before the service at 10.30am to 11.30am (although there is no commitment to do every service), with additional practice optional. Get in contact if you would like to learn more at minister@thatcham-urc.org.uk.

• West Berks Warriors are an all-girls rugby team for 10 to 14 year olds currently looking for new players. All abilities are welcome and they train on Sunday mornings at Henwick sports ground. For more information, please contact Sam on thatchamrfcgirls@outlook.com.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Fri 17 May Dementia Action Week: Creative Mindfulness Workshop, Thatcham Council.

Fri 17 May Dementia Action Week: ‘Keeping Memories Alive’ Talk, Thatcham Council.

Fri 17 May Dementia Action Week: Garden Party, Thatcham Council.

Sat 18 May Traditional art of stick-making workshop, Beenham Village Hall.

Mon 20 May Vintage Valuation Day, Thatcham Council, Brownsfield Road.

Mon 27 May Newbury Pride Family Craft Morning, West Berkshire Museum.

Tue 28 May Meeting of the Mayors: 50 Years of Thatcham, Thatcham Council, Brownsfield Road.

Sun 2 June Newbury & Thatcham Repair Cafe, Thatcham

Thurs 6 June British Legion: D-Day Commemorative Service, Memorial Gardens, Brownsfield Road.

Thurs 6 June D-Day Lighting of the Beacon, Greenham Control Tower.

• Regular events

• Thatcham Refillable stall every Friday at Thatcham Market You can bring your empty bottles or adopt one. Their product range is plant-based and reduces single use plastic waste. Win win.

Silly Socks Childcare children’s holiday club is planning to open in time for April half term at Burdwood Community Centre (Station Road, Thatcham).

• Sport in Mind offers badminton sessions at Kennet Leisure Centre on Wednesdays from 6 to 7pm to help improve the lives of anyone with mental health issues. See here for details and how to book.

• The Corn Exchange spring/summer season of Ageing Creatively courses and classes for over 55s across West Berkshire. See details here – there really is something for everyone.

• A new monthly Board Games Club at Thatcham Library on the first Friday of every month, from 2 to 4pm. There is no need to book: just drop in and join the fun playing some familiar games and learning some new ones.

• Sport in Mind runs free badminton activities at Kennet Leisure Centre, Thatcham on Wednesdays from 6pm.

• Thatcham Rugby Club runs Mixed Walking Touch Rugby sessions for all ages and abilities on the top pitch (near the astro pitch) at Henwick Worthy Sports Ground, Thatcham on Wednesdays, starting at 7pm.

• Monthly Retirement Rebels group with Thatcham therapist Rob Donnelly meets on the second Monday of the month at the West Grange Hotel Thatcham, with speakers and mutual support for those approaching or in retirement. Click here to book.

• Barfield Handbell Ringers always welcomes new members and would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to try handbell ringing. No previous experience required, just contact Dianne on dianne@barfield.org.uk 01635 867421.

• Thatcham W.I. meets at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of the month at Catholic Hall (along the A4) with small groups for Book, Film, Craft, Walking, Coffee and Gardening. For more information please email thatchamwi@berkshirewi.co.uk or call Pauline on 01635 866904.

ASD Family Help for families of autistic children and adults hold free Teen Club sessions twice a month and a social club for adults once a month, at the Moorside Community Centre. See the facebook page here.

• Community Gardening sessions at Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre every Friday 2pm-4pm. Learn how to garden, create wildlife habitat or relax in a calming green space.

• Sing Louder Choir is looking for new voices for their adult community choir from 7.15pm to 8.15pm on Thursdays at Frank Hutchins Hall. Please contact singlouderchoir@gmail.com or their Facebook page.

• United Reformed Church coffee mornings every Tuesday from 10 till midday.

• Bucklebury Memorial Hall indoor bowls group meets twice a week on Mondays 10.30am to 12.30pm and Fridays 2pm to 4pm. More information here. Also you can check the venue diary here.

• Thatcham Library clubs and events information is on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page or contact Thatcham Library at thatchamlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Thatcham Baptist Church event and group information is on their What’s On web page.

• Glendale Church holds regular events for all ages. Further information can be found on their events guide page.

• Thatcham Youth Club activity details are on their Facebook page and website.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent meeting of Thatcham Town Council for which minutes are available was on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from Citizens Advice West Berkshire; a presentation from Community United; reports from the Mayor and the Deputy; committee minutes; the Cricket Club lease; reports from ward members; and office accommodation.
Note that the Council delegates much of its work to committees. Click here for more on these.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Midgham Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 22 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; planning matters; the annual parish meeting (23 May); and the Village Hall.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Hermitage Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 18 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the NDP (see separate section above); financial matters; the burial ground; highways; playgrounds; repairs and maintenance; the Village Hall; and the Youth Club.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereSee also this page for up-to-date information about Hermitage’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Cold Ash Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 9 April and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereInformation about the progress of Cold Ash’s neighbourhood development plan can be found here.

• The most recent meeting of Bucklebury Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 8 April and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here. 

• The most recent meeting of Brimpton Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 2 April and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Stanford Dingley Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 19 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Frilsham Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 13 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Woolhampton Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 24 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Copse; HGV parking; a new councillor; matters arising; speeding; financial matters; planning matters; Douai Park; the village shop; travellers’ activity; a report from the ward member; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates and agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings, please click here

• Thatcham area council contacts

Parishes: Thatcham Town CouncilHermitage Parish CouncilCold Ash Parish CouncilMidgham Parish CouncilBucklebury Parish CouncilBrimpton Parish CouncilStanford Dingley Parish CouncilFrilsham Parish Council and Woolhampton Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 9 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes an enforcement footnote, solar panels, road closures, dementia action and vintage valuation. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Thatcham area events include handbell concert. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities. 

• An enforcement footnote

I mentioned last week (see below) about the planning enforcement problems that West Berkshire Council seems to be facing and suggested that, without this being performed efficiently, the whole system risked being brought into disrepute. I’m sure WBC’s officers are doing as well as they can. The trouble seems to be that there aren’t enough of them.

I’ve recently learned that the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire (which perform many of their operations in tandem) have nine such officers. The combined population of the districts is about 280,000 as against West Berkshire’s 159,000. The latter is about 57% of the former so by this crude logic you’d expect WBC to have 57% of the number of officers: five, in round numbers. In fact, I understand that it has only two. If the Oxfordshire neighbours can recruit this number then presumably WBC can as well.

• Other news

• There are a few road closures coming up in the area. On Monday 13 May, the Close, Thatcham will be closed 7am to 5pm, from its junction of Bailey Avenue. While Bury’s Bank Road will be closed on Tuesday 14 May, between 9:30am and 3:30pm, from the junction with Greenham Road to its junction with Crookham Hill. Both closures are for Volker Highways to carry out maintenance.

• West Berkshire Council announced they will soon be installing solar panels on the roof of the Kennet Leisure Centre. This advancement is thanks to a £237,600 grant that has been awarded to them by the Government and Sport England‘s £60m capital investment program. More details to come soon.

• As of this week, the Thatcham WI have changed their normal meeting place to the Catholic Hall (along the  A4). This will be the new location of meetings going forward. If you would like to get involved the the local Woman’s Institute, they meet on Thursdays at 7:30pm. To learn more get in touch at thatchamwi@berkshirewi.co.uk.

• Quick reminder about Open Studios flagship exhibition INSIGHT 2024 featuringwork by over one local hundred artists at The Base, Greenham until Monday 27 May. Plus many working studios of local artists to visit across Thatcham, Newbury, Stockcross, Woolton Hill, Hungerford, Kintbury Holt, Bucklebury, Bradfield and Brimpton, Lambourn, East Ilsley and Wilton. There is also an exhibition of three artists at West Berkshire Museum open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am – 4pm and a Trio of Talents exhibit drawing, printing, ceramics, sculpture, woodwork and textiles every weekend in May at the Bowls Pavilion at Stockcross House.

• Come along to hear the delightful sound of the Barfield Handbell Ringers “Into the Limelight” show, with a programme featuring music from stage, screen and TV. Taking place on Sunday 12 May at 7pm, St Mary’s Church, Church Gate, Thatcham. Tickets will be available at the door (£6 full or £5 concessions, accompanied children free) and light refreshments will be available. For more information contact dianne@barfield.org.uk.

• Have you got old items you would like to know the value of? Well, the T.Baker & Co Roadshow’s Vintage Valuation Day is coming to Thatcham Town Council Office on Monday 20 May. If you have any items that you would like a free valuation on, no fees or commission and cash paid, then just turn up on the day or contact info@tbakerroadshow.co.uk to learn more.

• Quick reminder that Thatcham Town Council invite you to their Garden Party for Dementia Action Week, on Friday 17 May in the Jubilee Sensory Garden. There will be a creative mindfulness workshop designed to help you live in the moment, Jane Fletcher will share her touching experiences of caring for her father, there will also be tea, cake and lots of wonderful people to talk to. Click here to learn more.

Calleva Stickdressers promote and encourage the traditional craft of stick making (walking sticks, shepherd crooks & thumbsticks etc ). They hold monthly work days on the third Saturday of the month in Beenham Victory Hall, RG7 5NN. They always welcome new members and encourage anyone interested to attend a work day to find out more about this historic craft. Upcoming dates are Saturday 18 May and 15 June.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Thatcham Council has updated the Town Guide for 2024, which can be read here. It contains information about Thatcham’s history, annual events as well as local services.

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

• Quick reminder that Thatcham Community Larder in the Frank Hutchins Hall reopens Wednesday 15 May. They offer affordable food items (starting at £3.50 per week), refreshments, friendly chat and activities. Join their facebook group for more details. For more information contact 07500 764501 or victoria.roseblade1@westberks.gov.uk.

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

• Latest local newsletters


Community notices

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

• Thatcham Community Larder in the Frank Hutchins Hall offers affordable food items (starting at £3.50 per week), refreshments, friendly chat and activities. Join their facebook group for more details. For more information contact 07500 764501 or victoria.roseblade1@westberks.gov.uk.

• Thatcham Town Council is looking for volunteers to help the Jubilee Sensory Garden. If you have an interest in sustainable gardening and want to develop your knowledge and skills with gardening expert Sally, please contact  enquiries@thatchamtowncouncil.gov.uk or 01635 863592. Dates are to be confirmed. See here for more details.

Thatcham Pharmacy now offers advice and prescribes NHS medicine for certain health concerns. Learn more about the ‘NHS Pharmacy First’ scheme here.

• Thatcham Volunteers Bureau provides transport to doctors, dentists, hospitals, shops or to visit friends and relatives for those who struggle with public transport. They are currently looking for drivers so please get in contact as this service is massively needed. 

• Citizens Advice West Berkshire advice about scams. There is no shame if you  get caught out by scamWImers and you must seek help and warn others.

• Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham has volunteering opportunities that range from litter picking, to helping in our shop, orchard work or being a Trailside Ambassador. Email hazelfell@bbowt.org.uk to discuss a specific role.

• Donations for West Berkshire Food Bank are gratefully received at Thatcham’s Co-ops, Waitrose and the Sainsbury’s Local. Donation bins are usually near the till.

• Do you or your child play an instrument and like to play with a group? Thatcham United Reformed Church is looking for new band members. They play every third Sunday, with a practice at 10am before the service at 10.30am to 11.30am (although there is no commitment to do every service), with additional practice optional. Get in contact if you would like to learn more at minister@thatcham-urc.org.uk.

• West Berks Warriors are an all-girls rugby team for 10 to 14 year olds currently looking for new players. All abilities are welcome and they train on Sunday mornings at Henwick sports ground. For more information, please contact Sam on thatchamrfcgirls@outlook.com.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Sun 12 May The Barfield Handbell Ringers Concert, St Mary’s Church, Church Gate, Thatcham.

Fri 17 May Dementia Action Week: Creative Mindfulness Workshop, Thatcham Council.

Fri 17 May Dementia Action Week: ‘Keeping Memories Alive’ Talk, Thatcham Council.

Fri 17 May Dementia Action Week: Garden Party, Thatcham Council.

Sat 18 May Traditional art of stick making workshop, Beenham Village Hall.

Mon 20 May Vintage Valuation Day, Thatcham Council.

Sun 2 June Wantage Silver Band & Cold Ash Brass Concert, St Nichols Church, Newbury.

• Regular events

• Thatcham Refillable stall every Friday at Thatcham Market You can bring your empty bottles or adopt one. Their product range is plant-based and reduces single use plastic waste. Win win.

Silly Socks Childcare children’s holiday club is planning to open in time for April half term at Burdwood Community Centre (Station Road, Thatcham).

• Sport in Mind offers badminton sessions at Kennet Leisure Centre on Wednesdays from 6 to 7pm to help improve the lives of anyone with mental health issues. See here for details and how to book.

• The Corn Exchange spring/summer season of Ageing Creatively courses and classes for over 55s across West Berkshire. See details here – there really is something for everyone.

• A new monthly Board Games Club at Thatcham Library on the first Friday of every month, from 2 to 4pm. There is no need to book: just drop in and join the fun playing some familiar games and learning some new ones.

• Sport in Mind runs free badminton activities at Kennet Leisure Centre, Thatcham on Wednesdays from 6pm.

• Thatcham Rugby Club runs Mixed Walking Touch Rugby sessions for all ages and abilities on the top pitch (near the astro pitch) at Henwick Worthy Sports Ground, Thatcham on Wednesdays, starting at 7pm.

• Monthly Retirement Rebels group with Thatcham therapist Rob Donnelly meets on the second Monday of the month at the West Grange Hotel Thatcham, with speakers and mutual support for those approaching or in retirement. Click here to book.

• Barfield Handbell Ringers always welcomes new members and would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to try handbell ringing. No previous experience required, just contact Dianne on dianne@barfield.org.uk 01635 867421.

• Thatcham W.I. meets at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of the month at Catholic Hall (along the A4) with small groups for Book, Film, Craft, Walking, Coffee and Gardening. For more information please email thatchamwi@berkshirewi.co.uk or call Pauline on 01635 866904.

ASD Family Help for families of autistic children and adults hold free Teen Club sessions twice a month and a social club for adults once a month, at the Moorside Community Centre. See the facebook page here.

• Community Gardening sessions at Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre every Friday 2pm-4pm. Learn how to garden, create wildlife habitat or relax in a calming green space.

• Sing Louder Choir is looking for new voices for their adult community choir from 7.15pm to 8.15pm on Thursdays at Frank Hutchins Hall. Please contact singlouderchoir@gmail.com or their Facebook page.

• United Reformed Church coffee mornings every Tuesday from 10 till midday.

• Bucklebury Memorial Hall indoor bowls group meets twice a week on Mondays 10.30am to 12.30pm and Fridays 2pm to 4pm. More information here. Also you can check the venue diary here.

• Thatcham Library clubs and events information is on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page or contact Thatcham Library at thatchamlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Thatcham Baptist Church event and group information is on their What’s On web page.

• Glendale Church holds regular events for all ages. Further information can be found on their events guide page.

• Thatcham Youth Club activity details are on their Facebook page and website.


News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• The most recent meeting of Thatcham Town Council for which minutes are available was on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from Citizens Advice West Berkshire; a presentation from Community United; reports from the Mayor and the Deputy; committee minutes; the Cricket Club lease; reports from ward members; and office accommodation.
Note that the Council delegates much of its work to committees. Click here for more on these.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Midgham Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 22 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; planning matters; the annual parish meeting (23 May); and the Village Hall.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Brimpton Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 2 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Washing Estate; school warning signs; the litter pick; D-Day; repairs and maintenance; planning enforcement; planning matters; reports for the Chair, the Clerk and the ward member; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Hermitage Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 20 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereSee also this page for up-to-date information about Hermitage’s neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Stanford Dingley Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 19 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Frilsham Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 13 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Cold Ash Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 12 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click hereInformation about the progress of Cold Ash’s neighbourhood development plan can be found here.

• The most recent meeting of Bucklebury Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 11 March and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here. 

• The most recent meeting of Woolhampton Parish Council for which minutes are available was on 24 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Copse; HGV parking; a new councillor; matters arising; speeding; financial matters; planning matters; Douai Park; the village shop; travellers’ activity; a report from the ward member; and repairs and maintenance.
To see the dates and agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings, please click here

• Thatcham area council contacts

Parishes: Thatcham Town CouncilHermitage Parish CouncilCold Ash Parish CouncilMidgham Parish CouncilBucklebury Parish CouncilBrimpton Parish CouncilStanford Dingley Parish CouncilFrilsham Parish Council and Woolhampton Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.


News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Archives

To see earlier Thatcham & Surrounding Area Weekly News columns, please click here.

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