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Please join us at the Village Hall from 10am this Sunday - 20th October - for the annual village working party. Please bring what tools you have available.
Refreshments and lunch for the workers
You may have already seen the flyers around the village for our big fundraiser. We managed to raise a fabulous £5,000 last year from ticket sales, donations and various match funding. This amount made a real difference to our school, enabling the construction of the Wellbeing Garden and it is also shared with the Church’s ASPIRE project.
The stunning route is about 5km, part of which goes through the privately owned Woolley Estate. There is a shorter walk for those with younger children, a nature trail and odd sweet treat en-route. There will be a BBQ and refreshments at the village hall pre and post walk.
The walk will start from the village hall from 10.30 to 11.00. Tickets are £5.00 per person or £15 for a family ticket. Please contact Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are unable to attend and would like to make a donation, you can make a BACS payments via the Brightwalton Friends Account: - Lloyds TSB – A/C 63857860 – Sort Code: 77-95-05. Please quote Walk
We look forward to meeting as many people as possible and thank you in advance for your support. Do spread the word and help us make this the memorable event of October.
Annual Working Party – Sunday 20th October 10am at the Village Hall
We are keen to see some new faces along with the regular supporters for the Annual Village Working Party on Sunday 20th October from 10am.
Even if you can only spare an hour, please join us and take pride in the village in which we share. It is a family occasion where all help is welcome, with refreshments, cake and hot dogs for all the workers.
Tasks include hedge cutting, weeding, sweeping and general tidying at the War Memorial, Dunmore Pond and Playground. Please bring what tools you have available.
Tasks can be found for all abilities!
We look forward to seeing you there – thank you
Brightwalton Parish Council
Reporting Speeding Traffic
The Parish Council has been made aware of this link on the West Berkshire Council website where anyone can report speeding vehicles. West Berkshire Council do not have the powers to enforce speed, so all incidents involving excess speed should be reported to the Police as normal too, but this does record the frequency and provide the evidence needed to engage the District Council and Thames Valley Police for problematic areas.
The web address is: www.westberks.gov.uk/speedingtraffic
The Autumn issue of Upstream can be downloaded here:
West Berkshire Climate Conference - Tickets available on 16 September
West Berkshire Council will host a Climate Conference on Monday 28 October at Newbury College from 10am until 4pm.
The event has been organised by West Berkshire Council following its declaration of a climate emergency last month.
It's one of the first initiatives to come from a new Environment Board established by the Council which will create a new Environment Strategy and coordinate and oversee environmental projects to help work towards carbon neutrality in West Berkshire by 2030. The conference also supports the Council's priority to maintain a green district as set out in the new West Berkshire Council Strategy 2019-23.
It will look at how residents, communities, organisations and the council can help tackle the climate crisis and will be opened by Richard Benyon MP for Newbury, former Parliamentary Secretary at the Department of Environment and Wildlife Minister (DEFRA).
The Keynote speaker is Tom Heap, the Rural Affairs Correspondent of BBC News. The television and radio reporter and presenter is best known for his contributions to the BBC One programme Countryfile, the Panorama programme, and the BBC Radio 4 programme Costing the Earth. Tom will be speaking specifically around the challenges facing West Berkshire.
There will be break-out sessions covering the Science of Climate Change, Climate and Land use, Sustainable Transport, Renewable Energy, Green District, Circular Economy and Waste and more. There will also be an exhibition and a chance to shop with some of West Berkshire's eco-friendly businesses.
A number of speaker led session and information exchanges will take place throughout the day.
West Berkshire residents are invited to attend the conference by booking admission in advance but numbers will be limited to four tickets per application. Tickets will be available from noon on Monday 16 September on our West Berkshire Climate Conference - Tickets page.
Speaking about the conference, Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, West Berkshire's Executive Member for the Environment said:
"We're excited to be hosting this event, which will bring together academics, industry figures, local organisations and residents to discuss how we can tackle the climate crisis here in West Berkshire.
"Climate change is an important issue that affects us all and about which our community feels very passionately. For this reason, we feel that the conference will be a great opportunity for local people to be involved with our work and to contribute their views, ideas and experiences as we look at shared solutions we can adopt in the district.
“We have an impressive line-up of speakers for the day and a great chance for everyone to join together to enable real change. I would encourage people to book their places as soon as possible."
Steve Masters, Councillor for Newbury Speen said: "I welcome the conference and would encourage members of the public to attend. The challenges we face locally and internationally are grave and only through wider understanding and action can we move forward.
"If we as a council are to take the public with us on this journey we must engage in a two way dialogue. Communication is vital and this conference not only allows the council to speak to the residents of West Berkshire but also offers an opportunity for residents to speak directly to the council. As a council we must first listen and then act."
Adrian Abbs, Shadow Environment Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats seconded the motion to declare a climate emergency. He said: “The conference is an essential step in what needs to be a rapid program of both near term tactical steps and the setting of a strategy that will have implications across West Berkshire for the coming decade.
“To achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, it is essential to engage the public and business and I want to encourage as much participation in this event as possible.”
More information about the conference will be published in the coming weeks on our website at www.westberks.gov.uk/climateconference and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Cllr Clive Hooker (West Berkshire Council, Downlands Ward)
Report for period to 31 August 2019
PC Andrew Harper
I am sure that everyone, like me, was shocked and saddened by the death of PC Harper when responding to a report of a burglary near to Sulhamstead earlier in the month. The matters are now part of a criminal investigation and I cannot add any additional comment.
West Berkshire Council along with many other organisations observed a minutes silence and the flag at our Market Street office was lowered to half-mast. There is a book of condolence in the Council reception area for anyone wishing to sign.
West Berkshire Council has a good working relationship with Thames Valley Police and this has continued through this difficult time.
West Berkshire Council
August is generally a quiet month whilst many holidays are taken and there were no significant public meetings of the Executive or Council. During the month as Chairman of the Western Area Planning Committee, I attended residential sites with other Committee members to better acquaint ourselves with applications to be presented at the Western Area Planning Committee for decision. I also sat on one District Planning Committee meeting.
As usual my inbox has been busy, most of the issues I have addressed and have been resolved.
The next Council meeting will be held on Thursday 12 September at 7pm in the Council Chamber.
Four Houses Corner
Four Houses Corner is a WBC run gypsy and travellers’ site located on the boundary between Burghfield and Mortimer in the south east of the district. It has featured in the investigations by TVP following the death of PC Harper.
As you will no doubt be aware, WBC has a statutory duty to provide sites within the district for gypsy and travelling families.
The portfolio holder for Housing is meeting fortnightly with TVP, assessing the difficult relationship which continues with the residents at Four Houses Corner and various authorities. The situation is kept carefully monitored.
There remain half a dozen or so occupied properties, however some residents have over a period of time been found alternative accommodation. It is intended that in due course the site will be cleared, cleaned and refurbished.
Planning permission granted to Newbury College
Plans to establish the University Centre at Newbury (UCN) took a significant step forward with the recent granting of planning permission for the multi-million pound development. The Centre will provide degrees and other higher level qualifications in the key sectors of digital technology, business and finance, engineering, health and social care and construction.
The original timescales for the completion of the building have been extended to focus on the state-of-the-art digital facilities and achieve the demanding zero-carbon standard; constructing the first public building in West Berkshire to achieve this new level in sustainability.
A Level results
The results for this year’s A levels were announced on 15 August.
2,478 A Level entries between them more than a fifth of results (22%) were either grade A* or A and 71% results were grade C or above. Many congratulations to all (and to their parents!).
Picking up their results on 22 August was the culmination of two years of hard work by more than 1,700 students and the school staff.
West Berkshire secondary schools have performed above the national average in all key measures. In English, the pass rate is provisionally 14% above national, and 16% above in higher grades, and in Mathematics the results exceeded the national average by 11%. In two schools, combined English and Maths results improved by five or more percentage points from 2018.
Updated Local List of Heritage Assets
Following a six-week public consultation period, which ended on 22 August 2019, a further six heritage assets were added to the Local List of Heritage Assets. Detailed information can be found on the link https://info.westberks.gov.uk/locallist
West Berkshire Climate Conference
The West Berkshire Climate Conference will explore different ways residents, businesses, local organisations and the Council in West Berkshire can help tackle the climate crisis.
The free conference will be held on Monday 28 October at Newbury College. Tickets will go on release on 16 September via the Council’s website. More information about the conference will be published in the coming weeks on our website, on our Facebook page and our Twitter page.
Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster project funding
WBC has awarded Berkshire-based company Thingitude a grant of £100k from the Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster project (funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP) to deliver an innovative real world trial until next February, to address the issues and impacts that slips, trips and falls have on the elderly, help them to look after themselves better and provide valuable information to help with care planning.
The award is one of four to be made in the first round of competitive calls and gives WBC the opportunity and innovation to work directly with local businesses to improve services for our residents - preventing falls among our most vulnerable residents and, more widely, providing excellent adult social care are among our top priorities as a council and this ground-breaking project is enabling us to do that.
Local Matters - New train timetable
West Berkshire Council welcomes the announcement by Great Western Railway (GWR) that there will be a new timetable serving the Thames Valley from December 2019.
On the popular Reading to Newbury route, passengers will benefit from an increase to three trains an hour, journey time improvements of around five minutes, and a more consistent service throughout the day with up to two fast services an hour running through to London Paddington. There will also be a third train each hour during peak periods on the Reading to Basingstoke line improving links to Mortimer Station.
With improved links, more seats and faster and more frequent journeys from West Berkshire stations to popular destinations like Reading and London, residents and businesses can celebrate these upcoming changes.
Following the Full West Berkshire council meeting on the 2nd July, our Downlands Ward Councillor - Clive Hooker - has produced a full report and update.
A copy can be downloaded here:
Press Release - Issued 3rd July 2019
West Berkshire Council declares Climate Emergency
"West Berkshire Council declared a Climate Emergency yesterday evening (Tuesday 2 July).
There was unanimous support for a motion to declare the Climate Emergency at a meeting of West Berkshire's Full Council.
The declaration follows discussion at a meeting of Council last month and a petition put forward by Councillor Steve Masters (Green Party) requesting the declaration of a Climate Change Emergency.
Climate Change is high on the agenda for the council and features in a number of the new Council Strategy priorities.
Steve Ardagh-Walter, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for the Environment said: “It is the responsibility of government at all levels to limit the negative impact of climate breakdown, and we need to start working on this right now.
“We are responding to this urgent call for change by making a firm pledge to do everything we can to deliver carbon neutrality by 2030.
“However, we do realise that it will take time for the level of change we need to take place. That is why we have created an Environmental Board that will work with residents, businesses and neighbouring authorities to create a strategic plan for change.
“As a council, we have been making positive steps towards change and will continue to work with business and communities to find and use greener options. There are clear benefits but this will require hard work from everyone in the community and changes in individual’s lifestyles.”
The newly formed Environment Board will provide an interim report to the council’s Executive in September 2019 with the progress made to date"
SUNDAY 23rd JUNE 2019
2pm – 5pm
Entry £5.00/adult, under 16 yrs/free
Start at Brightwalton Village Hall
to collect your programme.
Home produce to buy in gardens
There are a few local events coming up in the West Downland Benefice villages:
Saturday 15th June, the Beenham Wind Quintet is at Leckhampstead church assisting in raising funds for the St James roof appeal 7.15pm for 7.30-9.30pm. £10, children free; drinks and canapes in the interval, with an update on the project. RSVP 01488
Saturday 15th June is the Chaddleworth Vintage Fayre in the paddock of Chaddleworth House 12-4pm.
Sunday 23rd June Brighwalton Open Gardens, Walk and Games take place from 2 - 5pm starting from the village hall, £5 entry (under 16's free).This supports the Brightwalton ASPIRE project.
Please be aware that we have had the following alert / request for information from Thames Valley Police..
Spate of Crimes in the local area
There has been a spate of crimes in the Chaddleworth, Chieveley, Boxford, Hampstead Norreys and Hermitage areas over 10th – 11th June including burglaries, attempted burglaries, criminal damage, theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles.
If anyone has information relating to these spate of crimes, please contact the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101.
If you don’t want to speak directly to police you can contact the independent charity “Crimestoppers” anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are asked for, and your call is not traced or recorded, and you wouldn’t be expected to attend court.
Please feel free to share this message with friends and neighbours.
For more advice on how to keep your home and vehicle safe, please visit the Thames Valley Police website.
The West Berkshire Countryside Society Summer edition of Upstream can be downloaded here:
Press Release from West Berkshire Council - dated 30th May 2019
West Berkshire residents invited to take part in National Highways & Transport Survey
Local people are being asked for their views on West Berkshire's highways and transport services – from the condition of roads and footpaths to the quality of cycling facilities.
West Berkshire is one of 111 councils to sign up to a special survey on highways and transport. The survey, run by National Highways and Transport, is the largest collaboration between Local Authorities offering the opportunity to compare results, share in best practice and identify future opportunities to work together.
Their answers will be compared with the views of other members of the public across England and Scotland, as part of the National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey, a unique collaboration between Local Authorities across England and parts of Scotland with a common agenda – service improvement.
The questionnaire will be sent to a minimum random sample of at least 3300 West Berkshire residents from 7June, followed by a reminder, with local and national results to be published in late-October 2019. Since the survey is based on a sample, residents that receive a copy are being urged to take part.
The results will enable National Highways and Transport to find out what people in West Berkshire think about these important services and help the Council to assess how it is performing.
Richard Somner, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport said: “We are pleased to be taking part in this survey as it is a clear way for us to hear and react to the views of our residents.
"It provides the opportunity for them to say which services they think we should prioritise and improve which will help us to better understand the needs of local people and work to deliver the most satisfactory and efficient outcomes for them.”
West Berkshire Council
The May Brickleton News will soon arrive through your door, in case you cannot wait, you can download a copy here.
Saturday 29th June at 10am
Following all the tree work at the Old Churchyard, we need some help to tidy up. All volunteers are welcome to take firewood in return for their help!
Please meet at the Old Churchyard with tools - chainsaws, strimmers, rakes, gloves etc. All help appreciated.
Brightwalton Parish Council
2018 – 2019 Parish Council Summary – Shaun Orpen, Chairman
The backdrop to the year is that we are seeing more cuts in services from West Berks as they continue to need to find creative ways to operate within their shrinking budgets.
This has a knock-on effect on Parish Councils who are required to be more self-sufficient on some of the services, such as topping up salt bins.
The priority at the start of the year was finding a cost-effective solution to the maintenance of the playing field. The new Scofell contract seems to be working well (all be it with a recent hiccup). Thanks should also go to the Breadmore’s who have kindly taken on the mowing of the playground which has been a great help.
Considerable time has been spent in supporting the Holt with their bid to get traffic calming measures in place on the road through the Holt. By using Section 106 money we were able to get the Council to install “entrance gate” signage at each end of the Holt. Regrettably, on advice, the case to get a further reduction in speed limit was not compelling enough for us to take forward at this time; however, we continue to push the case.
We helped find a new chairman to take on the leadership and revitalisation of the village fete. This has led to a very successful re-invigoration of energy and enthusiasm, which translated, into greater attendance and a significant increase in takings for the village hall. A big thank you to Jeremy Snow and his team.
We continue to actively support the ASPIRE project, as the single largest and most significant project being undertaken in the village at this time. This is progressing to final approvals from the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee). A launch plan for the major fundraising has been prepared and is in the process of being finalised. Importantly this plan is as much about “getting more people engaged in the village community” as it is about “fundraising”. If anyone is interested in getting involved in whatever capacity please let us know.
There has been some significant tree maintenance at both Dunmore Pond and the Old Church Yard, which will need to be continued over the next few years on a managed basis.
We are very sorry to announce that Jackie Boxall has decided to step down from the Parish Council after 20 years’ service as Councillor, Clerk and Chairman. We are hugely grateful for her time and dedication to the village for so many years. She has been a great asset and will be sorely missed.
To replace Jackie. I am very grateful to Annie Agnew who has kindly stepped forward. To that end, I would like to welcome Annie who has now been co-opted onto the Parish Council.
In conclusion, we ended the year £160 under our budget plan of £6,700. We have either spent or have plans in place for spending the remaining Community Infrastructure Levy money.
Finally, as we turn our attention to the next year, we continue to focus on the plans and objectives outlined in the ongoing Parish Plan.
The usual team effort of setting up marques ready for the fete will take place Saturday 4th May from 10am on the playing field.
If you are available please come along to help - many hands make light work!!
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.’
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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