Thursday 22 July 2021

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire (note that the site at the Burghfield Community Centre has closed).

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a co-option onto Theale PC; decision-making at meetings; planning matters; financial matters; formal ownership and future maintenance arrangements of the grass area at the end of Roundhead Road; the John Cumber Hall; the community engagement policy; and staff salaries.

• Theale Parish Council’s Environmental Working Group is looking for volunteers to help with a community litter pick on Sunday 1 August at 10.30am. More information here.

• West End Road in Stratfield Mortimer will be closed until 16 August while repairs are carried out by Thames Water. See here for more information.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 19 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Village Hall; free use of the field; a suspected water leak; financial matters; Four Houses Corner; speeding; planning matters; wildflower planting; and the Padworth and Aldermaston show.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council took place on 13 July and you’ll be able to download minutes here in due course. Items covered included: a minute’s silence for former Parish Councillor Carla Keyser-Booth who died in June; one planning application (which was objected to following APC’s policy of doing this for any application which is likely to increase traffic on the A340); a discussion about the proposed industrial estate on Paices Hill; the skate ramp; a new village sign; and PC communications.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a vacancy for a councillor; planning applications and decisions; a planning enforcement matter; funding for the Beenham Victory Hall; speeding; the salt bin at Mallard Way; concerns about the proposed housing development at Thatcham. (District Councillor Boeck advised that there will be a consultation on the matter); road-light problems on the A4; the Beenham Primary School relaunch working party; PC assets and projects; the play area; the mobile phone mast; grant awards; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council took place on 24 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: questions about a proposed incinerator site in neighbouring Burghfield; the telephone box defibrillator; a report from the planning committee regarding four applications; reports from other committees and working parties; financial and governance matters; the neighbourhood development plan (see also below); a decision to pause the discussions concerning the proposed transfer of the library building to SMPC; The Street footway widening; the Neighbourhood Action group; an accident at the children’s play area; and a suggestion that WBC’s speed indicator devices needed re-calibrating. (I’m reminded of a story during the early days of speed guns, as they were then known, when  a motorist challenged the Police’s assertion of the speed he’d been doing. The speed gun used was produced in court and the judge suggested it be pointed at a stationary object such as him as a control experiment. On being activated, the device recorded that the judge was moving at 45mph. The case was dismissed.)

• As mentioned last week, Neighbourhood development plans take a formidable amount of work but they need to be refreshed every now and then to bring them up to date. Stratfield Mortimer was the first parish in West Berkshire to have an NDP made, in 2017. A statement on SMPC’s website says that “the Parish Council has agreed that it is now appropriate to initiate a new NDP as West Berkshire is developing its new Local Plan to run through till 2037.  There is a lot we can do through an NDP to encourage the village to develop in the way residents want. Local policies that help with climate change and the way development looks are some examples of what the NDP can influence.” The next step is to create a steering group which will run the process. See this  page on SMPC’s website for more information.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 28 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; two planning applications; the opening of the Village Hall (on Sunday 17 July) and a grant of £500; winter road gritting; and re-painting the phone box in North Street (for which there was no available budget).

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 10 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: a disturbance at the meeting; the skate park; committee reports; and financial matters.

• A reminder that we recently interviewed former Aldermaston PC Chair Dave Shirt shortly after he stepped down from 14 years in the hot seat. You can read this here.

• Still in Stratfield Mortimer, District Councillor Graham Bridgman reports in his latest newsletter that “WBC has made an order to record a public footpath running between Stephens Firs and Stephens Road/Victoria Road – the culmination of, and reward for, a lot of effort by SMPC.”

• Click here to see the July 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies and, in a pleasing display of trans-border co-operation, notes on PC meetings from neighbouring parishes.

Theale area council news

Parishes: click here for Theale Parish CouncilAldermaston Parish CouncilPadworth Parish CouncilStratfield Mortimer Parish Council, Englefield Parish CouncilBeenham Parish Council, Bradfield Parish Council and Burghfield 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 Valley; Marlborough area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Wantage area; Swindon area.

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

Thursday 15 July 2021

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire (note that the site at the Burghfield Community Centre has closed).

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a co-option onto Theale PC; decision-making at meetings; planning matters; financial matters; formal ownership and future maintenance arrangements of the grass area at the end of Roundhead Road; the John Cumber Hall; the community engagement policy; and staff salaries.

• Theale Parish Council’s Environmental Working Group is looking for volunteers to help with a community litter pick on Sunday 1 August at 10.30am. More information here.

• West End Road in Stratfield Mortimer will be closed until 16 August while repairs are carried out by Thames Water. See here for more information.

Neighbourhood development plans take a formidable amount of work but they need to be refreshed every now and then to bring them up to date. Stratfield Mortimer was the first parish in West Berkshire to have an NDP made, in 2017. (Pat Wingfield, who was closely involved in this, gave a presentation to Hungerford Town Council and it was his lucid description of the process and its advantages that helped convince the town to start work on its own, which is now nearing completion.) A statement on SMPC’s website says that “the Parish Council has agreed that it is now appropriate to initiate a new NDP as West Berkshire is developing its new Local Plan to run through till 2037. This time it may well be that the village is not asked to take a large new development, but there are likely to be many small developments and other pressures which a new NDP could influence. There is a lot we can do through an NDP to encourage the village to develop in the way residents want. Local policies that help with climate change and the way development looks are some examples of what the NDP can influence.” The next step is to create a steering group which will run the process. See this  page on SMPC’s website for more information.

• A headline on p27 of this week’s Newbury Weekly News caught my eye: “Beenham scaffold depot greenly by council.” One hears of public buildings being illuminated with appropriate colours to celebrate NHS workers, St Patrick’s Day, major sporting triumphs and many other events: but a scaffold depot? And why green? Reading the article quickly cleared up this confusion – in fact it was just a shorthand for planning permission having been granted. I’m rather disappointed by this.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 5 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a vacancy for a councillor; planning applications and decisions; a planning enforcement matter; funding for the Beenham Victory Hall; speeding; the salt bin at Mallard Way; concerns about the proposed housing development at Thatcham. (District Councillor Boeck advised that there will be a consultation on the matter); road-light problems on the A4; the Beenham Primary School relaunch working party; PC assets and projects; the play area; the mobile phone mast; grant awards; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 28 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; two planning applications; the opening of the Village Hall (on Sunday 17 July) and a grant of £500; winter road gritting; and re-painting the phone box in North Street (for which there was no available budget).

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 10 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: a disturbance at the meeting; the skate park; committee reports; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council took place on 13 July and you’ll be able to download minutes here in due course. Items covered included: a minute’s silence for former Parish Councillor Carla Keyser-Booth who died in June; one planning application (which was objected to following APC’s policy of doing this for any application which is likely to increase traffic on the A340); a discussion about the proposed industrial estate on Paices Hill; a new village sign; and PC communications.

• A reminder that we recently interviewed former Aldermaston PC Chair Dave Shirt shortly after he stepped down from 14 years in the hot seat. You can read this here.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council (also the annual meeting) for which minutes are available took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• See last week’s entry below for Stratfield Mortimer PC’s al fresco meeting on 24 June.

• Still in Stratfield Mortimer, District Councillor Graham Bridgman reports in his latest newsletter that “WBC has made an order to record a public footpath running between Stephens Firs and Stephens Road/Victoria Road – the culmination of, and reward for, a lot of effort by SMPC.”

• In the same newsletter, Councillor Bridgman referred to the successful members’ bids in the ward.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here to see the July 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies and, in a pleasing display of trans-border co-operation, notes on PC meetings from neighbouring parishes.

Thursday 8 July 2021

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire (note that the site at the Burghfield Community Centre has closed).

• Hose Hill and Theale Road in Burghfield will be closed between 8.00am and 5.00pm each day until 14 July, between Deans Copse Road and Reading Road to enable Volker Highways to carry out highway improvements on the behalf of WBC. The actual work will take place on Hose Hill, but Theale Road will be closed to through traffic. Access to properties on Theale Road, Folly Lane and Bennetts Hill (officially“Bennetts Lane”) will be possible via Theale Road from Burghfield, but not via Hose Hill. A plan of the closure and diversion route can be found here. For all enquiries please contact WBC on 01635 519 080.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the new open spaces committee, including its responsibilities and membership; and tree planting in the parish and the funding for this.

• Theale Parish Council’s Environmental Working Group is looking for volunteers to help with a community litter pick on Sunday 1 August at 10.30am. More information here.

• West End Road in Stratfield Mortimer will be closed until 16 August while repairs are carried out by Thames Water. See here for more information.

• A considerable amount of speeding has been reported on St Catherine’s Hill in Stratfield Mortimer and the Neighbourhood Action Group plans to deploy the speed gun in this area shortly.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 28 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; two planning applications; the opening of the Village Hall (on Sunday 17 July) and a grant of £500; winter road gritting; and re-painting the phone box in North Street (for which there was no available budget).

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 10 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: a disturbance at the meeting; the skate park; committee reports; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council took place on 8 June and you’ll be able to download minutes here in due course. Items covered included: parking in Church Road; five planning applications; the Lidl appeal; resurfacing on the street; speeding; the skateboard ramp; and the proposed boundary changes; and a comment from the former Chairman about the wisdom or otherwise on the government’s continued insistence that all council meetings revert to in-person events, regardless of local circumstances.

• We mentioned a few weeks back that Aldermaston PC Chair Dave Shirt recently stepped down from the top job after 14 years in post. This seemed like a good moment to ask him to explain what kind of things the role involves and to reflect on some of the main issues with which he has had to grapple. Here’s what he had to say.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council (also the annual meeting) for which minutes are available took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Stratfield Mortimer PC also held a meeting on 24 June. This was conducted al fresco in the grounds of the Mortimer Scout Hut. This was because of the change in regulations, which I’ve mentioned many times, preventing meetings from being held remotely after 7 May. This statement from the PC said that “we could not meet indoors”, presumably because no premises were available that could safely accommodate all the participants. The meeting was conduced successfully and nothing appeared to have blown away. As well as various governance matters, the council agreed to initiate a new neighbourhood development plan (Stratfield Mortimer was the first parish in West Berkshire to have one adopted). There will be more news about this in the coming months including a call for volunteers to get involved. The PC also agreed to jointly fund The Street pavement widening project with West Berkshire Council. The minutes will appear on the PC’s website in due course.

• Still in Stratfield Mortimer, District Councillor Graham Bridgman reports in his latest newsletter that “WBC has made an order to record a public footpath running between Stephens Firs and Stephens Road/Victoria Road – the culmination of, and reward for, a lot of effort by SMPC.”

• In the same newsletter, Councillor Bridgman referred to the successful members’ bids in the ward. “I joined with [Lib Dem District Councillor] Royce Longton to create the principal bid we applied for, Solar Panels and Battery Storage for The Scout Hut on Hollybush Lane (1st Burghfield & Sulhamstead Scouts) and was very pleased to see it succeed (I sit on the Bids Panel but took no part in this discussion). The total project comes in at just over £16,830 and our joint bid has produced £8,415.00 towards this. That left me with a little under £800 which I succeeded in getting as a contribution to an Stratfield Mortimer PC project for adult outdoor exercise kit.”

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here to see the June 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies and, in a pleasing display of trans-border co-operation, notes on PC meetings from neighbouring parishes.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 4 May and you can read the minutes here.

Thursday 1 July 2021

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire (note that the last operational day of the site at the Burghfield Community Centre was 29 June).

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the new open spaces committee, including its responsibilities and membership; and tree planting in the parish and the funding for this.

• Theale Parish Council’s Environmental Working Group is looking for volunteers to help with a community litter pick on Sunday 1 August at 10.30am. More information here.

• West End Road in Stratfield Mortimer will be closed until 16 August while repairs are carried out by Thames Water. See here for more information.

• Windmill Road in Stratfield Mortimer will be closed on the 5 to 8 July 2021 between its junctions with Spring Lane and with Kings Street. See here for more information.

• A considerable amount of speeding has been reported on St Catherine’s Hill in Stratfield Mortimer and the Neighbourhood Action Group plans to deploy the speed gun in this area shortly.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 28 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; two planning applications; the opening of the Village Hall (on Sunday 17 July) and a grant of £500; winter road gritting; and re-painting the phone box in North Street (for which there was no available budget).

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 10 June and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: a disturbance at the meeting; the skate park; committee reports; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council took place on 8 June and you’ll be able to download minutes here in due course. Items covered included: parking in Church Road; five planning applications; the Lidl appeal; resurfacing on the street; speeding; the skateboard ramp; and the proposed boundary changes; and a comment from the former Chairman about the wisdom or otherwise on the government’s continued insistence that all council meetings revert to in-person events, regardless of local circumstances.

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

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here to see the June 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies and, in a pleasing display of trans-border co-operation, notes on PC meetings from neighbouring parishes.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 4 May and you can read the minutes here.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Click here for information about lateral flow tests available in West Berkshire (note that the last operational day of the site at the Burghfield Community Centre will be 29 June).

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the new open spaces committee, including its responsibilities and membership; and tree planting in the parish and the funding for this.

• Theale Parish Council’s Environmental Working Group is looking for volunteers to help with a community litter pick on Sunday 1 August at 10.30am. More information here.

• West End Road in Stratfield Mortimer will be closed until 18 August while repairs are carried out by Thames Water. See here for more information. (However, according to this FB page, this might not in fact be happening…)

• A considerable amount of speeding has been reported on St Catherine’s Hill in Stratfield Mortimer and the Neighbourhood Action Group plans to deploy the speed gun in this area shortly.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council took place on 8 June and you’ll be able to download minutes here in due course. Items covered included: parking in Church Road; five planning applications; the Lidl appeal; resurfacing on the street; speeding; the skateboard ramp; and the proposed boundary changes; and a comment from the former Chairman about the wisdom or otherwise on the government’s continued insistence that all council meetings revert to in-person events, regardless of local circumstances.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here to see the June 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies and, in a pleasing display of trans-border co-operation, notes on PC meetings from neighbouring parishes.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 4 May and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

Thursday 17 June 2021

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

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

• Theale Parish Council’s Environmental Working Group is looking for volunteers to help with a community litter pick on Sunday 1 August at 10.30am. More information here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council took place on 8 June and you’ll be able to download minutes here in due course. Items covered included: parking in Church Road; five planning applications; the Lidl appeal; resurfacing on the street; speeding; the skateboard ramp; and the proposed boundary changes; and a comment from the former Chairman about the wisdom or otherwise on the government’s continued insistence that all council meetings revert to in-person events, regardless of local circumstances.

• It seems that there is a cat burglar in Burghfield which seems to be obsessed with stealing gloves. Ours just bring in the usual half-eaten carrion (apparently they do this because they sense we’re not very good hunters and want to help teach us).

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here to see the June 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies and, in a pleasing display of trans-border co-operation, notes on PC meetings from neighbouring parishes.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 4 May and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. You can also read the Chairman’s report at the annual parish assembly here and the Clerk’s report here.

Thursday 10 June 2021

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow tests have 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 most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and you can read the minutes here.

• Theale Parish Council’s Environmental Working Group is looking for volunteers to help with a community litter pick on Sunday 1 August at 10.30am. More information here.

• A consultation on a proposal to develop a specialist education centre for young people with complex social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs is nw open and will remain so until 13 June (so not long now). This further asks for views on the development of the old Theale Primary School site at Church Street, Theale, Berkshire RG7 5BZ as a potential location.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council took place on 8 June and you’ll be able to download minutes here in due course. Items covered included: parking in Church Road; five planning applications; the Lidl appeal; resurfacing on the street; speeding; the skateboard ramp; and the proposed boundary changes.

The former Chair, Dave Shirt (who had served in the post for 14 years), also had the following comments to make about council meetings in general. “We met face-to-face in the Parish Hall for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19.  We were compelled to meet this way following the Government’s decision not to extend the period of remote meetings. Despite additional precautions, there were still additional health risks, and we remain unconvinced that this justified the greater scope for public participation.” I think many other councils would agree with these sentiment.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here.

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

• In his latest newsletter, which you can read here, Councillor Graham Bridgman said that he was supporting plans for a Community Fibre Partnership to improve broadband in Stratfield Mortimer.

• In the same newsletter, he also referred to the fly tipping at Budgens (“evidence has been gathered and enquiries are under way”) and the hope that the “rather expensive” footway proposal at St Mary’s school can be made a bit less so.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here.

• Click here to see the June 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies and, in a pleasing display of trans-border co-operation, notes on PC meetings from neighbouring parishes. It also has a photo of the inside of Aldermaston Parish Hall, which I’ve never been to. What an attractive building it appears to be. You don’t see too many minstrels’ galleries these days.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 4 May and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. You can also read the Chairman’s report at the annual parish assembly here and the Clerk’s report here.

Thursday 3 June 2021

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow testshave 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 most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 6 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman; various financial and year-end matters; the district councillor’s report; the proposed specialist education centre (see paragraph below); traffic calming at the A4/A340 roundabout; planning applications; the recreation ground survey; the member’s bid; and the community litter pick (on Sunday 1 August).

• A consultation on a proposal to develop a specialist education centre for young people with complex social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs is nw open and will remain so until 13 June. This further asks for views on the development of the old Theale Primary School site at Church Street, Theale, Berkshire RG7 5BZ as a potential location.

• Work has started on the 375-home development at Lakeside in Theale. One of the odder aspects of the plan seems to be that the developers, Ridgepoint, will cut down several 15-year-old trees (or, at least, they have “marked these for felling”) which provide valuable screening and then replant saplings in more or less the same place. On the face of it this doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense and discussions are currently taking place to try to resolve this. Perhaps the developers want to claim that they’ve planted trees.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 6 May and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: graffiti; five questions from members of the public; election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman; confirmation that the PC now has general powers of competence; confirmation of delegated powers for decision-making until 30 June; committee appointments; reports from the district councillors; the Community Committee; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer 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; councillors’ responsibilities and memberships of committees and working parties; the settlement boundary review; tree works; an additional CIP payment from WBC (parish councils receive a higher percentage of CIL payments in the Paris if a neighbourhood development plan is in place, which it is in SM); footpaths; pavement widening; the Mortimer to Burghfield footpath and cycleway; the nature of meetings until 21 June 2021 (with more powers being delegated to the Clerk); the phone box; moving the table-tennis table; community broadband; WBC members’ bids; financial matters; planning decision; and the neighbourhood development plan.

• In his latest newsletter, which you can read here, Councillor Graham Bridgman said that he was supporting plans for a Community Fibre Partnership to improve broadband in Stratfield Mortimer.

• In the same newsletter, he also referred to the fly tipping at Budgens (“evidence has been gathered and enquiries are under way”) and the hope that the “rather expensive” footway proposal at St Mary’s school can be made a bit less so.

• Something else Councillor Bridgman might want to get involved with in his capacity of Deputy Leader is explained in the letter on p17 of this week’s NWN (“What can we do about this situation?”) which concerns the problems caused to the writer and their neighbours by having a half-finished building site at the end of the gardens in Tilehurst. This seems to be case of lack of enforcement about something that may, or perhaps may not, be WBC’s responsibility but which is clearly causing grief to several council-tax payers. I look forward to writing about a resolution to this problem next week…

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 11 May and you can download minutes here. Items covered included: the resignation of Dave Shirt as Chairman, after 14 years, and his replacement by Sophie Crawford; the development at Paices Hill; parking in Church Road; the continuing issue (related to both of these matters) of traffic on the A340; three planning applications; the co-option of a new councillor; and the problem of dog mess (which seems to be increasingly affecting every corner of the district).

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of a new member; the Village Hall; the local water supply; fencing; the changed ownership of the field near the Hall; financial matters; car parking; speeding; planning matters; footpaths; possible sewerage problems; the village newsletter; and the village’s conservation assessment.

• Click here to see the May 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 4 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman; councillors’ responsibilities and memberships of committees and working parties; various year-end matters; a councillor vacancy; planning applications; fading white lines on the A4/Beenham Hill junction; the WI bench; a request to Google about road names on the maps; the Primary School; the mobile phone mast; repairs to and the re-opening of the Community Room; litter bins; financial matters; and the nature of meetings until 21 June 2021 (with more powers being delegated to the Clerk).

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. You can also read the Chairman’s report at the annual parish assembly here and the Clerk’s report here.

Thursday 27 May 2021

• The timetables for the West Berkshire Council’s mobile community collect service for lateral-flow tests have 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 most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here.

Theale held its annual meeting on 26 April and you can read the minutes here. These mainly comprise reports from the Thames Valley Police, Theale PC, Dr Ellerton’s charity, Holy Trinity Church, the Scouts, Theale Green School, the Primary School, Theale Help, the Cricket Club and WBC member Alan Macro.

• A consultation on a proposal to develop a specialist education centre for young people with complex social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs is nw open and will remain so until 13 June. This further asks for views on the development of the old Theale Primary School site at Church Street, Theale, Berkshire RG7 5BZ as a potential location.

• Work has started on the 375-home development at Lakeside in Theale. One of the odder aspects of the plan seems to be that the developers, Ridgepoint, will cut down several 15-year-old trees which provide valuable screening and then replant saplings in more or less the same place. On the face of it this doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense and discussions are currently taking place to try to resolve this.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer 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; councillors’ responsibilities and memberships of committees and working parties; the settlement boundary review; tree works; an additional CIP payment from WBC (parish councils receive a higher percentage of CIL payments in the Paris if a neighbourhood development plan is in place, which it is in SM); footpaths; pavement widening; the Mortimer to Burghfield footpath and cycleway; the nature of meetings until 21 June 2021 (with more powers being delegated to the Clerk); the phone box; moving the table-tennis table; community broadband; WBC members’ bids; financial matters; planning decision; and the neighbourhood development plan.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) took place on 11 May and you can download minutes here . Items covered included: the resignation of Dave Shirt as Chairman, after 14 years, and his replacement by Sophie Crawford; the development at Paices Hill; parking in Church Road; the continuing issue (related to both of these matters) of traffic on the A340; three planning applications; the co-option of a new councillor; and the problem of dog mess (which seems to be increasingly affecting every corner of the district).

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of a new member; the Village Hall; the local water supply; fencing; the changed ownership of the field near the Hall; financial matters; car parking; speeding; planning matters; footpaths; possible sewerage problems; the village newsletter; and the village’s conservation assessment.

• Click here to see the May 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 4 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman; councillors’ responsibilities and memberships of committees and working parties; various year-end matters; a councillor vacancy; planning applications; fading white lines on the A4/Beenham Hill junction; the WI bench; a request to Google about road names on the maps; the Primary School; the mobile phone mast; repairs to and the re-opening of the Community Room; litter bins; financial matters; and the nature of meetings until 21 June 2021 (with more powers being delegated to the Clerk).

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

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. You can also read the Chairman’s report at the annual parish assembly here and the Clerk’s report here.

Thursday 20 May 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

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

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here.

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.

• A consultation on a proposal to develop a specialist education centre for young people with complex social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs is nw open and will remain so until 13 June. This further asks for views on the development of the old Theale Primary School site at Church Street, Theale, Berkshire RG7 5BZ as a potential location.

• Work has started on the 375-home development at Lakeside in Theale. One of the odder aspects of the plan seems to be that the developers, Ridgepoint, will cut down several 15-year-old trees which provide valuable screening and then replant saplings in more or less the same place. On the face of it this doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense and discussions are currently taking place to try to resolve this.

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

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) tool place on 11 May: the minutes will appear here in due course (until then you can listen to a recording of it). Items covered included: the resignation of Dave Shirt as Chairman, after 14 years, and his replacement by Sophie Crawford; the development at Paices Hill; parking in Church Road; the continuing issue (related to both of these matters) of traffic on the A340; three planning applications; the co-option of a new councillor; and the problem of dog mess (which seems to be increasingly affecting every corner of the district).

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of a new member; the Village Hall; the local water supply; fencing; the changed ownership of the field near the Hall; financial matters; car parking; speeding; planning matters; footpaths; possible sewerage problems; the village newsletter; and the village’s conservation assessment.

• Click here to see the May 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. You can also read the Chairman’s report at the annual parish assembly here and the Clerk’s report here.

Thursday 13 May 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here.

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.

• A number of improvements are planned to Theale station – see here for more.

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

• In his most recent newsletter (which you can read here in full) Councillor Graham Bridgman writes “Discussions continue with the school and WBC Education service about the land earmarked within the neighbourhood development plan site and I have been in email correspondence with the Englefield Estate about what was said about the land at the public examination of the (then draft) Plan.”

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council (also the annual meeting) tool place on 11 May: the minutes will appear here in due course (until then you can listen to a recording of it). Items covered included: the resignation of Dave Shirt as Chairman, after 14 years, and his replacement by Sophie Crawford; the development at Paices Hill; parking in Church Road; the continuing issue (related to both of these matters) of traffic on the A340; three planning applications; the co-option of a new councillor; and the problem of dog mess (which seems to be increasingly affecting every corner of the district).

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of a new member; the Village Hall; the local water supply; fencing; the changed ownership of the field near the Hall; financial matters; car parking; speeding; planning matters; footpaths; possible sewerage problems; the village newsletter; and the village’s conservation assessment.

• Click here to see the May 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here.

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

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

Thursday 6 May 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-social behaviour; councillors’ surgeries on Saturday mornings; planning matters; changes to hire charges; the possibility of the PC becoming the sole trustee of the John Cumber Hall; objections to the proposed settlement boundary; a new fence; a grant of £2,842 to West Berkshire Library Service; a grant of £100 to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; and the installation of a bench in memory of Peter Sollis.

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.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here.

• A number of improvements are planned to Theale station – see here for more.

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

• In his most recent newsletter (which you can read here in full) Councillor Graham Bridgman writes “Discussions continue with the school and WBC Education service about the land earmarked within the neighbourhood development plan site and I have been in email correspondence with the Englefield Estate about what was said about the land at the public examination of the (then draft) Plan.”

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 4 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council tool place on 13 April and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: concerts at Englefield House in July; financial update; approval of the 2021-22 budget; the confirmation of a grant to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; traffic at the junction of The Street and the A340; planning applications; the Village Hall; and the risk and asset registers.

• Click here to see the May 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies.

 

Thursday 29 April 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 19 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: anti-social behaviour; councillors’ surgeries on Saturday mornings; planning matters; changes to hire charges; the possibility of the PC becoming the sole trustee of the John Cumber Hall; objections to the proposed settlement boundary; a new fence; a grant of £2,842 to West Berkshire Library Service; a grant of £100 to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; and the installation of a bench in memory of Pete

• The same council produced this chart showing how its precept is spent.

• It appears that the long-running uncertainty about the Lakeside development in Theale – planning permission for which was first granted back in the 20th century – may be about to take a step forward due to the interests in the scheme having been recently acquired by a new developer. The current permission is for 375 homes.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 12 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the pergola at the pub; a councillor vacancy; planning matters; the PC’s concern at the withdrawal of the ReadiBus service (for more on this, see our Weekly News for Newbury); salt bins; the Primary School’s relaunch working party; quotes for various PC projects; the refurbishment of the toilets at the Community Room; a grant of £300 to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; re-surfacing the car park; and financial matters.

• A number of improvements are planned to Theale station – see here for more.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 4 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council tool place on 13 April and you can read the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: concerts at Englefield House in July; financial update; approval of the 2021-22 budget; the confirmation of a grant to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; traffic at the junction of The Street and the A340; planning applications; the Village Hall; the risk and asset registers; and the the Annual Meeting (23 May) and the Annual Parish Meeting (28 April).

• Click here to see the April 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies.

Thursday 22 April 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

• It appears that the long-running uncertainty about the Lakeside development in Theale – planning permission for which was first granted back in the 20th century – may be about to take a step forward due to the interests in the scheme having been recently acquired by a new developer. The current permission is for 375 homes.

• A number of improvements are planned to Theale station – see here for more.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 4 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 22 March which was only concerning with wildflower sowing and the award of the grounds maintenance contract.

• Theale parish’s annual meeting will take place remotely on Monday 26 April 2021 at 7:30pm.

• The same council produced this chart showing how its precept is spent.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 1 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council tool place on 13 April. The minutes will appear here in due course and until then you can watch a Zoom recording of the meeting. This was also the Annual Parish Meeting at which the PC reviewed its activities over the past year and received similar reports from local organisations. In a masterly under-statement, the Chairman described the last 12 months as “unusual”. Despite the challenges posed by Covid, he mentioned some solid achievements (including the play equipment at the Recreation Ground and the purchase of speed monitoring equipment), summarised the main planning issues reported that the PC was financially bound. Reports were also received from several local groups and the neighbourhood policing team. A PC meeting then followed the APM. Items covered included: the PC’s policy towards Lidl’s appeal against its planning refusal; and two other planning applications. The meeting concluded with the observation from the Chairman that “in its wisdom, the government has decided not to extend the law that allows Parish Councils to meet remotely. This conflicts with its other advice not to meet indoors. We decided to continue our meetings via Zoom until it is safe to meet face-to-face.”

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: concerts at Englefield House in July; financial update; approval of the 2021-22 budget; the confirmation of a grant to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; traffic at the junction of The Street and the A340; planning applications; the Village Hall; the risk and asset registers; and the the Annual Meeting (23 May) and the Annual Parish Meeting (28 April).

• Click here to see the April 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter, which includes information on local groups and societies. It also has a message of congratulations to Hazel Ewart who has been nominated in the 2020-21 Berkshire High Sherrif Awards for her community work over many years.

Thursday 15 April 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

• A number of improvements are planned to Theale station – see here for more.

• In his latest newsletter, Councillor Graham Bridgman has confirmed some aspects of the Highways Improvement Plan affecting Burghfield, Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer over the next three years.

• He also reports the progress on three possible changes to two public footpaths in Stratfield Mortimer and one in Wokefield.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 4 March and you can read the draft minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the minutes here. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 22 March which was only concerning with wildflower sowing and the award of the grounds maintenance contract.

• The same council produced this chart showing how its precept is spent.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 1 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can see the minutes here. Items covered included; a resignation from the PC; the Padworth and Aldermaston Wharf Show on 4 July; the possible Red Sky music event in August; the Village Hall; financial matters; one planning application; the parish’s conservation area; litter picking; rapid response to a fallen tree; and the annual parish meeting on 5 May.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council tool place on 13 April. The minutes will appear here in due course and until then you can watch a Zoom recording of the meeting. This was also the Annual Parish Meeting at which the PC reviewed its activities over the past year and received similar reports from local organisations. In a masterly under-statement, the Chairman described the last 12 months as “unusual”. Despite the challenges posed by Covid, he mentioned some solid achievements (including the play equipment at the Recreation Ground and the purchase of speed monitoring equipment), summarised the main planning issues reported that the PC was financially bound. Reports were also received from several local groups and the neighbourhood policing team. A PC meeting then followed the APM. Items covered included: the PC’s policy towards Lidl’s appeal against its planning refusal; and two other planning applications. The meeting concluded with the observation from the Chairman that “in its wisdom, the government has decided not to extend the law that allows Parish Councils to meet remotely.  This conflicts with their other advice not to meet indoors.  We decided to continue our meetings via Zoom until it is safe to meet face-to-face.”

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council took place on 17 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: concerts at Englefield House in July; financial update; approval of the 2021-22 budget; the confirmation of a grant to Citizens Advice West Berkshire; traffic at the ruction of The Street and the A340; planning applications; the Village Hall; the risk and asset registers; and the the Annual Meeting (23 May) and the Annual Parish Meeting (28 April).

Thursday 8 April 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

• A number of improvements are planned to Theale station – see here for more. There was also an extraordinary meeting on 22 March which was only concerning with wildflower sowing and the award of the grounds maintenance contract.

• In his latest newsletter, Councillor Graham Bridgman has confirmed some aspects of the Highways Improvement Plan affecting Burghfield, Beech Hill and Stratfield Mortimer over the next three years.

• He also reports the progress on three possible changes to two public footpaths in Stratfield Mortimer and one in Wokefield.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: St Catherine’s Hill lay-by; the Openreach Community Fibre Partnership; several planning applications; reports from committees and working parties; councillor allowances (which will not be taken); the cricket nets; the need for a new councillor; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 4 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the NDP; reports from the various committees; financial matters; and refurbishment work at the Village Hall.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of two new councillors; anti-social behaviour; planning applications; and the grounds maintenance contract.

• The same council produced this chart showing how its precept is spent.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 1 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can see the minutes here. Items covered included; a resignation from the PC; the Padworth and Aldermaston Wharf Show on 4 July; the possible Red Sky music event in August; the Village Hall; financial matters; one planning application; the parish’s conservation area; litter picking; rapid response to a fallen tree; and the annual parish meeting on 5 May.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council tool place on 9 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 January and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Click here to see the March 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter.

Thursday 1 April 2021

• See here for details of the Covid lateral flow tests that are available in Burghfield.

• A number of improvements are planned to Theale station – see here for more.

• The most recent meeting of Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council took place on 11 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: St Catherine’s Hill lay-by; the Openreach Community Fibre Partnership; several planning applications; reports from committees and working parties; councillor allowances (which will not be taken); the cricket nets; the need for a new councillor; and financial matters.

• The most recent meeting of Burghfield Parish Council took place on 4 March and you can read the draft minutes here. Items covered included: the NDP; reports from the various committees; financial matters; and refurbishment work at the Village Hall.

• The most recent meeting of Theale Parish Council took place on 8 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the co-option of two new councillors; anti-social behaviour; planning applications; and the grounds maintenance contract.

• The same council produced this chart showing how its precept is spent.

• The most recent meeting of Beenham Parish Council took place on 1 March and you can see the minutes here.

• The most recent meeting of Padworth Parish Council took place on 15 March and you can see the minutes here. Items covered included; a resignation from the PC; the Padworth and Aldermaston Wharf Show on 4 July; the possible Red Sky music event in August; the Village Hall; financial matters; one planning application; the parish’s conservation area; litter picking; rapid response to a fallen tree; and the annual parish meeting on 5 May.

• The most recent meeting of Aldermaston Parish Council tool place on 9 March and you can see the minutes here. Items discussed included: the co-option of a new councillor; a small number of planning applications; grants agreed from the PC to local organisations; and the problems of the broadband service in some parts of the parish.

• The most recent meeting of Englefield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 January and you can read the draft minutes here.

• Click here to see the March 2021 edition of the Padworth newsletter.

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