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Your March edition of the Brickleton News will soon be arriving through your door, with details of the Fete, tree plating and the Open Gardens event, if you cannot wait for its arrival you can download it here:
Local elections set for 2 May, 2019
Elections are set to take place to elect councillors to the district council as well as town and parish councils.
West Berkshire Council has published its Notice of Election confirming the elections to be held on Thursday 2 May, 2019.
The nomination process is now open and anyone wanting to stand for election either to West Berkshire Council or their local council has until 4pm on Wednesday 3 April to submit their nomination to the Returning Officer. West Berkshire Council has produced a guide to the elections which includes more information on the nomination process and eligibility criteria for potential candidates. This can be viewed online: www.westberks.gov.uk/elections2019. A list of candidates standing for election will be published online by 4pm on Thursday 4 April.
Preparations for the district council elections are well underway with West Berkshire Council's Electoral Services team busy booking polling stations, arranging staff for polling stations and the count, as well as making sure everyone who wants to vote can do so.
Since the district council elections were held in 2015 there have been changes to the areas each district councillor represents. The review was conducted both to reduce the number of district councillors and to adjust ward boundaries so that each councillor represents a similar number of residents. Changes to towns and villages, and their populations, had led to disparity between how many residents councillors had been representing.
Following a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, there will be 24 wards across West Berkshire instead of 30 and 43 councillors instead of 52. Polling cards will begin to arrive from Tuesday 19th March and will show residents which will state their ward and the polling station to attend.
There is still plenty of time for residents to register to vote in the May elections if they have not already done so. Residents have until Friday 12th April and they can register to vote online in just a few minutes or opt to register to vote by post.
Residents are able to vote by post if they prefer to, or to apply for a proxy vote which allows another person to cast their vote for them. The deadline for new postal votes and changes to existing postal vote details is Monday 15th April, and the applications to vote by proxy must be submitted by Wednesday 24th April.
For more information about registering to vote visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. There is also more information about the elections elsewhere on our website.
West Berkshire Council - 15th March 2019
Press Release from West Berkshire Council - 14th March 2019
Council Budget confirms stable future
West Berkshire Council approved its Revenue Budget for 2019/20 at the recent meeting of Full Council. This will see £131.11 million spent delivering essential services to the people of West Berkshire.
A Council Tax increase of 2.99% was agreed which generates £97.87 million. The increase will raise £2.84 million which will go towards meeting the pressures the council is facing from inflation and service pressures, particularly in social care. Council Tax has now predominantly become a source of funding for Community Care, as 60% of the council’s resources are needed to support 3% of the population.
However, the council is working both creatively and commercially to develop new ways of funding services. These include property development and investment to provide significant income from rent and successfully lobbying to be part of the Government’s Business Rate retention pilot which will generate an additional £1.75 million income for the district.
The council’s Capital Programme will see new investment in West Berkshire’s schools, 95% of which are already good or outstanding, plus the provision of two brand new schools, one in Theale, the other in partnership with Newbury College.
Over the next three years, the Capital Programme has earmarked £38.million for investment in schools and £34 million on roads. This includes £16.1 million for schools and £12.6 million for roads in 2019/20 alone. Part of the £12.6 million for roads is as a result of the council’s successful bid for additional government funds to repair potholes and continue to improve the condition of our roads to ensure that West Berkshire continues to be one of the best connected districts in the country.
The Programme also sees significant investment in the council’s commitment to boosting West Berkshire’s 9000 businesses, to keep the local economy buoyant.
Graham Jones, Leader of West Berkshire Council said: “This budget marks the end of a transition period which sees this council move from government support to being entirely funded by the West Berkshire Council Tax payer and the proportion of Business Rates we’re now able to retain.
“Painful choices have had to be made over recent years, but we are now in a strong, stable position for the future.
“As a council, we are growing our income in creative ways, funded by our Transformation Fund. We are thinking and acting commercially, by adapting some of our services to be traded companies and growing our property portfolio, which will provide an additional £2 million of income.
Many of our town and parish councils have risen to the challenge of devolution, allowing us to provide services in co-operation with, rather than for, our communities.
This budget shows clearly the direction we are taking to generate more revenue with which to continue to serve the people of West Berkshire and to ensure that our district continues to thrive and improve.”
The spring edition of the West Berkshire Countryside Society Upstream magazine can be downloaded below.
Press Release - 13th March 2019 from West Berkshire Council
West Berkshire Council working to improve the local environment for wildlife
Roadside verges can be a real haven for nature. During the winter, West Berkshire Council promised to look at the best way of managing the district’s grass verges and protecting the flora, fauna and wildlife that inhabit them.
Some verges, such as those at busy junctions where visibility is key, have to be cut back for safety. Others have the potential to be precious linear nature reserves for flora and fauna. Those left to grow naturally can be a place where wild flowers, pollinators, birds and small mammals thrive.
This spring West Berkshire Council will trial a new approach by creating a wildflower verge in two areas. These are on the A4 near Halfway, between Newbury and Hungerford and the A4 between Ufton and Aldermaston. The results wont be visible immediately as the verges have to be prepared and sown over the spring and summer but they will hopefully bloom early in the following spring. Lessons learned from the trial will be used to inform our management of verges in the future.
Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire Council’s executive member for Transport and Countryside, visited one of the sites this weekend. Councillor Clifford said: ‘With hundreds of miles of verges in West Berkshire, this is an important project that we hope will enrich our environment. Not so many years ago, we could all witness the passing of the seasons in our roadside verges, and, of course, they were particularly glorious in spring and summer. We would like to see that diversity and complexity return and once again experience the colours, scents and buzz of living verges.’
Village Tree & Hedge Planting
Courtesy of the Woodland Trust we have received 135 tree and hedge saplings ready for planting.
Please join us for an hour on Saturday 23rd March at 10am on the playing field to help plant! Please bring spades and gloves - perfect activity for all the family!
We are intending to fill the hedge gaps around the playing field and add trees around
Dunmore Pond - if you have any other suggestions for areas within the village please come along with your ideas!
BRIGHTWALTON VILLAGE FETE
Sunday 5th May
1pm – 4pm
Brightwalton Villlge hall and field, RG20 7BN
• Wantage Silver Band
• Peasemore Ukulele Group
• Brightwalton School Maypole Dancing
• Garston Gallopers Morris Dancing
• Barbecue, Bar, Teas
• Fun Dog Show - enter on the day
• Grand raffle, Bottle stall
• Local produce and crafts, Cakes, Plants, Books
• Side shows, games and lots more for all the family
Free Parking & Entry
Lots under cover if it rains!
Unnamed Road from A338 Wantage Road to B4494 in the Parish of Chaddleworth will be closed on 15th March 2019, between the hours of 9.30am – 3.30pm, so that contractors can carry out drainage clearing
The closure will be in place from its junction with the A338, to its junction with the unnamed road from the A338 to Common Lane, Woolley.
Access will be maintained for residential access.
The diversion will be signed on site.
All enquiries to: West Berkshire Council: Highway Maintenance Team on 01635 519080
A plan of the closure can be found at: (click on link) Chaddleworth Road closure
Come along on for a stroll around some of the village’s gardens.
There are competitions to enter and then enjoy tea and cake at the village hall
£5.00 per adult, under 16s free
Raising money for the ASPIRE Project
What better way is there to spend a Sunday afternoon?
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.