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ATTENTION ALL DOG OWNERS
The grass field which belongs to Malthouse Farm and lies to its immediate south will in a few days be home to 50 sheep.
Due to our wet summer, the excessive grass growth requires grazing down. This will ensure a fresh, young, healthy sward for this year’s hay crop.
Consequently, we are intending to graze the field in blocks, bound by a temporary electric fence. This will minimise poaching of the grass and facilitate efficient sheep management.
During this rotational grazing period which will last several weeks, we ask for the co-operation of all users of the footpath which crosses this field.
Most importantly, dogs must be kept on leads at all times. The ewes are pregnant, so must not be worried by dogs. The temporary fences WILL be electrified and WILL give any errant pets / children a nasty shock!
Please look out for the signs on the footpath gate.
Thanking you in advance.
Downland Gardening Club
The Downland Gardening Club, which is for anyone in the Downland Villages of Brightwalton, Chaddleworth, Leckhampstead and Fawley, would warmly welcome new members. Meetings are usually held in each of the villages in turn.
The Club is a very friendly and informal group, usually meeting on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7.30. with time for a raffle, chat, coffee and biscuits. Past programmes have included talks on bats, country crafts and canal boat painting as well as many varied gardening topics from experienced speakers. There are garden visits and both Winter and Summer Socials. Even if you have no garden or are unable to garden there is so much to enjoy.
Annual subscription is £10 but if you wish to make a trial visit, the charge is £2. Whether you are new to the villages, have been here for ever and thinking of coming but never quite made it, you will be warmly welcomed.
The Winter Social will be on Friday 16th February at 7PM in Chaddleworth Village Hall. As always, there will be a delicious hot meal of cottage pie, vegetarian options, cheeses, and scrummy deserts. Tickets will be £10 including a free glass of good wine. There will be a short fun quiz if you wish to join in. No need to be a member to attend. Please call Lea on 01488 638 488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for info. or tickets. If you do not have transport we will try to help you to come along for a most enjoyable evening.
The first main meeting of the club will be on Monday 19th March at 7.30 at Leckhampstead Village Hall when Tom Stone will talk on Hardy Geraniums.
The next Brightwalton Pop Up Drinks will be held Friday 2 February, 7pm, please see you Pop Up Drinks email or the Village Facebook page for the host details.
West Berkshire Heritage has a huge range of events and activities planned for 2018 from theatre, crafts, talks, special exhibitions and music - all designed to be entertaining and informative. Their aim is to provide a range of heritage activities for all ages at West Berkshire Museum and Shaw House with a programme that is designed to increase access to our local history and heritage.
Download your Spring / Summer guide to Whats On below
Consultation on proposed term dates for 2019/20
Term dates for community and voluntary controlled schools are set by West Berkshire Council following a consultation process. West Berkshire will ‘propose’ term dates and would recommend that schools consider aligning term dates with other schools in the area, for example, secondary schools with primary schools, in recognition of families with children at different schools.
In West Berkshire, the set dates traditionally include a common INSET at the start of the Autumn Term. Therefore, 191 days are set with recommendations for the remaining 4 INSET days.
The 2019/20 proposal for West Berkshire sets a common INSET day on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 with four further training days to be selected from outside specified pupil’s days.
The proposed dates for 2019/20 have been through our internal consultation process and are now available for public consultation. The consultation runs from 8 January until 16 February 2018. The deadline for feedback and comments is 16 February 2018.
There are 2 options proposed with the difference being a later holiday in October.
Take part in this consultation opens 9am on 8 January until 16 February 2018
Link to survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/terms1920
Please note that we cannot accept consultation responses from school by email, and your formal response to the consultation should be made via the online form (link above). We will however, clarify any points and maintain FAQS through the consultation period, based on feedback we receive.
Please share with your families/parents via your usual communication methods.
Survey on an increase in council tax to help protect operational policing is launched
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, has today launched a survey seeking public views on an increase in the police element of the council tax by £1 a month (for a band D property).
On Tuesday 19th December the Home Secretary announced a substantial £450 million increase in police funding across England and Wales. However, this funding package assumes that all PCCs will raise the police element of council tax by £1 a month (or £12 a year) for a band D property which, collectively, will raise £270 million of the £450 million increase. This settlement will allow forces to continue to provide an effective service in their critical work to fight crime and protect the public.
At present around 60% of Thames Valley Police’s £393 million annual policing budget is funded by central government, with the policing element of council tax making up the remainder. Since 2010/11 the police grant has been cut by around 38% in real terms which has resulted in Thames Valley Police (TVP) having to make £99 million of savings in order to balance the budget. These cuts have already led to a manpower reduction of over 1,000 full time equivalent posts, including more than 450 police officers.
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Setting the budget for 2018/19 needs to be considered in the context of an already constrained financial position as well as the additional pressures policing faces as demand in some of the most complex and challenging areas continues to increase.
“This includes rising reports and cases of hidden crimes such as domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual offences, serious violence and exploitation have all increased the pressure on police resources.
“Needless to say this is proving to be extremely challenging and without the increase of £12 per year in council tax, as recommended by the Home Secretary, we would have to make further significant reductions in police officers and staff which will affect the level and quality of policing service we are able to offer you.
“In November 2017 TVP was judged by the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to be ‘outstanding’ in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This includes an ‘outstanding’ for its understanding of demand and its use of resources to manage demand, and its planning for future demand was judged to be ‘good’. Thames Valley Police was one of only two forces nationally to have been awarded an overall rating of outstanding.
“Ideally I would not choose to consult over the busy Christmas and New Year period and particularly on such an important issue, however, the Chief Constable and I only received the provisional police grant settlement for 2018/19 from the Home Office on Tuesday 19th December.
“Unfortunately due to budget decisions needing to be finalised by the end of January I am only able to run the consultation until 11th January.
“I apologise for the timing and length of the consultation period but I hope you will take the time to complete the survey which will help the Chief Constable and I to make an informed decision on the budget for 2018/19.”
The short online survey and further background information can be found on the Thames Valley PCC website:
Closing Date: Midday Thursday 11th January 2018
Those residents who do not have access to the internet can write to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxon, OX5 2NX with their answers to the below questions.
Do you think an extra £12 per year in council tax, for a Band D property, to help protect operational policing in Thames Valley would be money well spent?
If not, please explain why and what annual increase you believe is justified and will enable Thames Valley Police to do their job effectively?
Please note that all postal responses needs to be received by midday on Thursday 11th January 2018
Impact on different Council Tax bands
The figures quoted are based on a Band D household. The impact on residents living in properties with a council tax banding of A to H are set out below.
Council Tax Band
A = £8.00
B = £9.33
C = £10.67
D = £12.00
E = £14.67
F = £17.33
G = £20.00
H = £24.00
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Thames Valley Police Headquarters
Kidlington OX5 2NX
Brand new safety surface installed at the playground. Many thanks for the 4 volunteers that removed the existing woodchip and spread 4 tonnes of the new rubber surface. This new surface is one of the safest available, it is durable will not rot away like the bark and deters animals from using it.
The new surface was purchased with the help from local developer contributions and a West Berkshire Council Parish Plan Grant.
Dates for the Christmas Rubbish & Recycling collections can be found here
The West Berkshire Countryside Society Winter Newsletter can be found here:
Rural crime update from Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Ross
Reports of rural crime in the Thames Valley have increased by five percent between October 2016 and September 2017.
I would like to reassure members of our rural communities of my commitment to investigating reports of rural crime. We rely on information from our local communities and take such reports very seriously. Incidents are robustly investigated by our local policing teams who have dedicated Rural Crime and Wildlife Officers based across the Thames Valley.
Rural crime can take many different forms including burglary, robbery, theft, criminal damage, fly tipping, poaching and hare coursing. We are continuing to work with local residents, businesses and partners to raise awareness of crime prevention techniques while developing problem solving solutions to tackle rural crime.
There are often fewer witnesses to rural crimes and greater opportunities for criminals to target isolated properties and businesses. The impact of these crimes can also be greater, with people feeling more vulnerable due to their remote location.
You can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of rural crime by taking a few simple steps including:
If you become a victim of rural crime or suspect that a crime has taken place, you should always report it to police by calling the non-emergency number, 101. If an incident is in progress, or there is an immediate threat to life, you should call 999.
You can receive the latest rural crime news from Thames Valley Police and their partners directly to your phone or inbox by signing up to CountryWatch at: http://www.thamesvalleycountrywatch.co.uk/
Update from Highways England:
After successfully lifting into position all six central reservation beams along the M4 between junctions 12 and 13, the remaining three weekend closures have now been cancelled (15 – 18 December, 12 – 15 January and 19 – 22 January 2018).
The scheme will still require occasional full overnight road closures, the dates for which will be advertised in advance on signs alongside the M4 and in the media.
The following is a list of all the Christmas Services and Carol Services taking place across the
West Downland Benefice:
10th December - 4pm Village Carols and Readings
18th December - 6pm School Carols by Candlelight
20th December - 10.20am School Christmas Assembly
Christmas Eve - 10pm First Communion of Christmas
Christmas Eve - 3pm Carols by Candlelight
20th December - 9am School Christmas Service
22nd December - 7pm Beer & Carols at The Ibex
Christmas Day - 10pm Family Communion
23rd December - 3pm Carol Service
13th December - 7pm Newbury & District Agricultural Society Carol Service
31st December - 10am United Benefice Holy Communion
3rd December - 3pm Chrisingle Service
17th December - 3pm Carol Service
21st December - 6pm Carols around the Tree
Christmas Eve - 11.30pm Midnight Communion
Christmas Day - 9.30am Family Communion
8th December - 6.30pm Christmas Party with Carols
10th December - 10am Nativity Play Service
Christmas Day - 8am Holy Communion
19th December - 7pm Carol Service
12th December - 5pm School Nativity Play
17th December - 11am Carol Service
Christmas Day - 11am Family Communion
Sunday 10th December 4pm at Brightwalton Church
With readings from Dickens and others, and rural village carols.
Mulled wine and festive refreshments will be served
We very much look forward to seeing you at this happy village Christmas gathering.
West Berkshire Council has begun a consultation on proposals affecting some frontline services as it prepares to set its budget for 2018/19.
Next year West Berkshire Council will have around £123m to spend on services in communities across the district. However, an increasing demand for these services and a reduction in central government funding means the council will have to find savings of around £10m in order to deliver a balanced budget.
The council began preparing the budget earlier this year and has worked hard to minimise the impact on frontline services. Most of the savings will be found through the council becoming even more efficient, generating additional income and through a possible increase in Council Tax. However, around £1m will impact on services delivered in communities across the district with proposals which include:
Speaking ahead of the consultation Councillor Graham Jones, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said: "Every year our communities are asking more from the services we provide but we are receiving less money to provide those services. We have looked first at how the council can work differently by becoming more efficient and by working more closely with other local authorities and with our communities. Our priority has been to protect those services which support the most vulnerable people in our communities but it's inevitable that there will be an impact on some other services. Although we have set out our proposals for next year it's important we give communities the chance to tell us how they will be impacted and what might be done to alleviate the impact of any decisions before we decide how to proceed."
How local authority funding is changing
Over the past eight years West Berkshire Council has had to find savings worth £55m while at the same time responding to an increase in demand for its services. This is because of a reduction in funding from central government which has seen the Revenue Support Grant (worth £33.7m to the council in 2011/12) fall to just £100,000 in 2018/19.
Read our infographic to see how West Berkshire Council is funded and how money is spent.
In finding the savings for 2018/19 the council has sought to protect frontline services as far as possible. This has primarily focused on becoming an even more efficient council, which over the last twelve months has included:
Shaw House Christmas Fair
3 Dec | Shaw House | 11am – 4pm
If you are looking for unique and creative Christmas gifts then the Christmas Fair is not to be missed! We have over 60 amazing local crafters, bakers, artists and photographers all brimming with bespoke wares that can’t be found on the high street. With mulled wine, hot food and Living Nativity with Miller’s Ark Animals.
£1 adults, children free.
Childrens Christmas Parties
3 Dec | Shaw House | 11.30am, 12.45pm, 2pm, 3.15pm
It’s party time at Shaw House! Featuring Mr Muddles the charming, if muddlesome magician, who captivates and amazes children with his comical slapstick magic. There will also be a special visit from Father Christmas and all children will receive a present.
Parties £4 per child. Tickets available from Shaw House 01635 279279.
For details of more December events at Shaw House click here
Lots of village news to catch up on in this months Brickleton News, copies will be delivered through your door in the next week, if you cannot wait please find a copy below!
Press Release from West Berkshire Council - 1st November 2017
With colder weather on the way, West Berkshire Council is ready to keep people on the move with its winter plan for key routes across the district.
From Monday 30 October the Council monitors the weather and will grit roads whenever road temperatures are forecast to fall below zero with a hoar frost.
Primary routes, which account for 40% of the district's almost 800 miles of road, will be gritted whenever a frost or ice is forecast. These routes include all A and B roads and some strategically important C roads, will be gritted when a frost or ice is forecast. Secondary routes, which make up 20% of the highway network, will be gritted once frosty or icy conditions have been experienced for an unbroken period of 72 hours or greater (i.e., sub-zero temperatures experienced through the period for 3 continuous days and nights)
In addition, there are currently 480 salt bins serving council offices and public buildings with daily access and the road network in general. Of these, 31 are owned and maintained by the council and 449 are owned and maintained by the Parish or Town Councils.
Councillor Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport said, “We’re ready to put our Winter Plan into action to ensure that our roads are as clear and safe for our residents as possible.
"While we treat key routes some roads will not be treated. Drivers should be prepared, allow more time for journeys during bad weather and take extra care when travelling."
Decisions about when to grit roads are triggered by cold and other weather alerts from the MeteoGroup and flood alerts from the Environment Agency. West Berkshire Council’s contractor, Volker Highways, have 1,500 tonnes of salt stockpiled at the Council’s Chieveley depot for the winter with plans in place to replenish this stock as required throughout the season.
However, should the need arise the Council have access to 1,000 tonnes of additional salt which is stored off site. When gritting does take place it is usually done either after the evening rush hour or before the morning rush hour in order to minimise disruption on the roads.
A snow clearance plan is also in place which aims to keep almost half (48.5%) of the highway network available when it snows with priority given to bus routes and access routes to schools and GP surgeries.
Information about routes which have been gritted is provided in real time on the council’s website once the winter weather plan is instigated.
You can read our Winter Service Plan – which includes maps of Primary and Secondary routes and find advice on staying safe this winter including while you travel.
RAF Welford has a tanoy system known as "Giant Voice", which is designed to get a message across the base to all personnel if an emergency situation arose.
The Giant Voice has recently been upgraded, and we are planning to test out the new system on Wednesday 1 November at 12:00 midday. The test will last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. Depending on the wind direction and weather during this time you may hear various tones and alerts that we are required to validate during the calibration phase of the new system install. These noises should cause no concern for alarm.
Once the new system is successfully tested, it is proposed that the National anthems of the UK and USA are played at the end of each working week. This is traditional across USAF bases, and national anthems are played at other USAF bases in the UK at the end of each working day. The weekly anthems will be played on a Thursday or Friday afternoon, at either 4:00pm or 5:00pm.
Please can you pass on this message to local residents, to prepare them both for the system testing on Wednesday and the ongoing playing of the national anthems. Thank you - RAF Welford
Please see below information from Highways England in relation to M4 closures. Any queries should be directed to Highways England – details below.
FROM Highways England:
Maintenance work to replace the beams and waterproofing material to the bridges which carry the M4 over the B4009 Hampstead Norreys Road near Hermitage, Brocks Lane near Frilsham and Burnt Hill Road has now started.
As previously advised, during work to demolish and install the bridge deck beams, specialist working methods and equipment will be required which will include larger cranes that will sit across all lanes of the motorway.
To allow this work to take place we will be fully closing the M4 east and westbound carriageways between junctions 12 and 13 over the following entire weekend periods (9pm Friday through to 5am Monday):
· Friday 24 to Monday 27 November 2017
· Friday 8 to Monday 11 December 2017
· Friday 15 to Monday 18 December 2017
· Friday 12 to Monday 15 January 2018
· Friday 19 to Monday 22 January 2018 (contingency)
During the closures a clearly signed diversion will be in place via the A4 (through Newbury, Thatcham and Woolhampton), however as we are expecting this route to be extremely busy alternatives routes will be suggested further afield.
Significant delays are expected during these weekend closure periods, and it is advised that you plan ahead of your journey to allow for extra time or avoid this route where possible.
We would like to apologise in advance for any disruption caused by these closures; if you have any questions, or if you’d like you know about our work please contact us on 0300 123 5000 or email email@example.com. Or you can visit our website at www.highways.gov.uk/roads
A summary version of the new Police & Crime plan 2017 for the Thames Valley has now been published detailing the five strategic priorities for policing and crime for the next five years. The summary can be downloaded below:
Thank you to all those that help at the Village Working Party last Sunday!
A lot was achieved with a big cutting back session around the War Memorial, weeding and cutting back at the Churchyard along with new gravel reinforcement mats at the Churchyard entrance to help stop the gravel spreading on the road. Lots of cutting back and clearance at the Old Churchyard, tidying up around the Village Hall and weeding in the Playground.
Thank to all the workers and to those that provided the refreshments and lunch and made this a successful day.
This is written by the Parish Clerk with input from the village.
Click here to find out more about the planning process and to view all the current planning applications in Brightwalton.
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