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Press Release from West Berkshire Council -
With mornings already turning chilly, West Berkshire Council has activated its Winter Service Plan to keep the District on the move and our network as safe as possible. Since the beginning of this week, we have been ready to grit key routes whenever road temperatures are forecast to fall below zero.
West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Transport and Countryside, Jeanette Clifford, said: “Each year, the council gears up for winter weather. We have 1500 tonnes of rock salt to hand at our Chieveley Depot (and I can tell you that it’s an impressive sight), a further 1000 tonnes on standby and our gritting fleet fully serviced and ready for action. I’d like to thank our gritting teams for the difficult work they do, often in the worst of weather, covering, when needed, a full 60% of our network. However, it’s impossible to treat every minor road, so when winter sets in, I encourage everyone to allow more time for journeys and take extra care.”
Primary routes, accounting for 40% of the district's almost 800 miles of road, are gritted whenever ice or a frost is forecast. These routes include all A and B roads and some strategically important C roads. Secondary routes, making up 20% of the highway network, are gritted once frosty or icy conditions are 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)
There are also 480 roadside salt bins to help keep the road network and council offices and public buildings accessible. Of these, 31 are owned and maintained by West Berkshire Council and 449 by the Parish or Town Councils.
The decision on when to grit roads is triggered by weather alerts from the MeteoGroup. We try to grit after the evening rush hour or before the morning rush hour to keep disruption on the roads to a minimum.
Our Preparing for Winter pages offer advice on keeping safe this winter including while you travel.
Press Release from West Berkshire Council -
A major road improvement project for Newbury will start on 7 January 2019.
The £1.8 million project, funded by developer’s contributions from the Newbury Racecourse development and Local Transport Plan capital grant funding recognises the need to create more capacity on the busy town centre network. The opportunity will be taken to resurface the roads during these works.
The works will take place in three phases (detailed below).
The introduction of traffic lights at the junction of the A339 and Cheap Street to allow traffic to turn right from the dual carriageway into Cheap Street. There will be off peak lane closures and pedestrian diversions.
Work starts 7 January 2019 and will complete in March2019.
Upgrading of Cheap Street junction with Market Street. This phase will include the removal of the existing pedestrian crossings and the installation of new traffic lights with pedestrian crossings. Traffic will no longer be allowed to turn into Cheap Street South and access to the railway station car park will be via the new A339/Cheap Street junction. Temporary traffic lights will be installed outside the Vue Cinema while the work is in progress.
Work starts March 2019 and completes in May 2019.
Upgrading of the Sainsbury’s roundabout and traffic light system. Traffic will no longer be allowed to turn off the roundabout into Bear Lane and will instead be routed via the new A339/Cheap Street junction.
There will be off peak lane closures.
Work starts May 2019 and completes in September 2019.
Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport said, “This is a large but vital project. Our town centre roads are extremely busy and we must not only create more capacity, but keep them in good order, and we now have the finance in place to do this. However, it will take the best part of next year to complete. The works are phased and resurfacing will take place at night to minimise disruption. We ask that motorists bear with us during the works which, ultimately, will prove great long term benefits for the town.”
Keep up to date with this project at www.westberks.gov.uk/A339
Don't forget the Brightwalton Walk this coming Sunday - raising money for Brightwalton School and the ASPIRE Project. Tickets can be purchased from Miranda Cooper (email@example.com) or Clare Draper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is a 1.5mile and a 5 mile option, across wonderful countryside.
Double match funding has been recieved for this event so if you cannot make the walk but would like to make a donation, it will make a real difference, please contact Miranda or Clare.
Thank you to all those that turned out for a bright and fresh Sunday morning for the Village Working party. It was great to see new faces and also lots of children helping. A huge amount was achieved and workers were rewarded with sausage rolls, cake, biscuits and beer! Thank you to all those that made it happen and took part.
We have received the following advanced notice - "Due to water utility works, in half-term week 22nd-26th October, they will need to divert the off-peak minibus route 5a within Brightwalton as shown by the green line on this map.
This will mean the minibus cannot serve the Village Hall bus stop in that week. They plan to site a temporary bus stop sign at the other end of Ash Close, south of Old Forge.
Thames Water/Balfour Beatty have been told that they have to get the bit shown in red sorted during half-term week, so that all can then go back to normal for when school resumes.
Received from West Berkshire Public Transport Officer - 05/10/18
The autumn edition of the West Berkshire Countryside Society newsletter can be found here:
West Berkshire Highways have just notified us of the following closure:
These works are taking place so that Thames Water can renew the water main safely.
ROAD - Unnamed Rd from A338 Wantage Rd to Common Ln
EXTENT - Between Unnamed Rd from A338 Wantage Rd B4494 and Common Ln
DIVERSION (or by this route reversed) -Unnamed Road From A338 Wantage Road to B4494, B4494 Wantage Road, Common Ln
PROPOSED CLOSURE DATE - 08/10/18 To 02/11/18
Please note that access will be maintained for residential access, and the diversion will be signed on site.
All enquiries should be directed to: Thames Water on:- 0800 316 9800
A plan of the closure can be found using the following the link:- Common lane closure
Soon to be delivered through your door, but if you can't wait that long you can download it here...
Please join us for the annual village working party, Sunday 7th October meeting at the village hall from 10am. Lunch and refreshments for all the workers, tasks for all ages and abilities, please bring tools and gloves.
Shaw House and the West Berkshire Museum have a number of events planned over the next few months, please see the attached flyers for details:
Take Pride in your village and join us for the annual village working party!
This will now be held on Sunday 7th October from 10am. Please join us for this successful annual event, which helps keep the village tidy.
Lunch and cake provided for all the workers!
Activities for all ages - hedge cutting, litter picking, weeding and general tidying, please bring tools.
Litter Picking competition planned for the children, more details to follow.
Update from the Shaw House team on the events for September:
"Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival. It celebrates our fantastic history, architecture and culture; offering people the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.
Heritage Open Day - West Berkshire Museum
Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 September | 11am – 3pm | Free
Explore a normally closed off part of the museum, the attic of the Cloth Hall. Please be aware that only a small number of people will be allowed into the attic at any one time and that that the attic is accessed via a fairly steep and narrow staircase. Members of Kennet Valley Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers will be on hand to demonstrate traditional skills such as spinning and weaving, giving you a flavour of the original purpose of the Cloth Hall.
Heritage Open Day - Shaw House
Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September | Free
Join us in the Great Hall for introductory talks about the history of the House at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Visitors will be able to self-navigate their way through the rest of the House. No need to book, just drop in."
For details of Talks and Exhibition please click here to view the full newsletter.
The August update from the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley Police, Mathew Barber can be viewed here
The update includes news on the Force Open Day, The Herbert Protocol, Rural Crime Online Reporting, and the Importance of Local Policing.
Welcome to the Ridgeway National Trail summer newsletter –
We hope that you enjoy the read – and if you’d like to contribute to the next newsletter, please contact the team at email@example.com
National Trails Team
West Berkshire Council has advised that the Waste Collections will start an hour earlier at 6am
Recycling and Rubbish collections will start at 6am from Wednesday 25 July until the end of the week.
This is due to the very hot weather and so the collection crews can avoid being out in the heat during the hottest part of the day.
Please put your bins out before 6am and let your neighbours, friends and family know that we’ll be collecting earlier.
West Berkshire Council
The Pew Sheet for Sunday 22nd July can be downloaded here
Services in the West Downland Benefice this Sunday will be:
8.00am Holy Communion (BCP) at Leckhampstead
9.30am Holy Communion at Shefford Woodlands
10.00am Holy Communion at Brightwalton
There will not be a 5.00pm service this week - the next will be on Wednesday 1st August at Leckhampstead.
This year’s Thames Valley Police Open Day will be taking place on Saturday 18 August, celebrating 50 years since the formation of the force.
The event will be taking place at TVP’s Training Centre in Sulhamstead, Berkshire (post code RG7 4DX).
From 10am – 4pm (last entry 3.30pm), stalls will be promoting the very best of what TVP has to offer and showcasing the work that the force has carried out for the past 50 years.
Some of the highlights include:
· Arena displays, including the public order team combined with the mounted section
· Children’s fancy dress competition – come dressed in a police themed costume to be in with the chance of winning a fabulous prize
· Pat and chat with the mounted section – A chance to meet officers and their horses
· See the force helicopter and meet the pilots
· Learn about different departments
· Visit the police museum
This year there will be two entrances for visitors at South Drive and White Lodge.
Due to this, it is important that you follow the signs to the event. The roads will be busy and narrow country lanes can make it difficult to turn around if you go the wrong way.
Car parking is available on a first come, first served basis. Assistance dogs are permitted, other visitors with dogs will be turned away and dogs must not be left in vehicles.
On entry to the event bag searches will be taking place.
This is a free event.
Address to Brightwalton Parish Council Assembly – July 2018 – Clive Hooker
Thank you for inviting me to address your Parish Assembly to report on the activities and achievements of West Berkshire Council.
The government continues to concentrate on reducing the country's debt. In order to help achieve this, Councils, the Fire Service and Police have had funding reductions. Whilst there is no doubt that there was quite a lot of room for economies, there is really little or no scope for further economies without impacting the services received.
So finance has again been a severe problem with the further reduction by the Government of the Revenue Support Grant to near zero and the cap on any increase in the Council Tax. Social services and in particular the needs of an increasing elderly population are straining resources.
Educational achievements are improving.
There have been extensions to schools and new schools planned to cope with the rising number of children.
The local plan is being rolled forward together with a transport plan to take them up to 2036.
The roads are in good shape although the recent snow and ice has caused some damage
In line with government policy the reduction in the Revenue Support Grant continued with a reduction from £34M in 2013/14 to £3.7M this year. Next year, 2018/19, it will effectively be zero. With the increasing pressure on social services caused by the increase in longevity of the population, the health services keeping us alive and the population increase, pressure on expenditure has increased. There has also been pressure from inflation and pay increases. However, new housing has increased the revenue from the Council Tax. Thus the reductions in expenditure and seeking new sources of income have continued. The changes have included staff reductions, reductions in grants to local charities and good causes, finding cheaper ways of providing services, sharing services with other councils (for example trading standards) and investing in property. The reduction in staff has led to some non-essential services being severely stretched – for example planning enforcement. A council can borrow money very cheaply, so in common with many other councils, West Berkshire is borrowing to buy commercial properties as a way of generating income. This should yield about £500K per year.
To balance the books the Council raised the Council Tax in 2017 – 18 by 4.99%.
3% of this was dedicated to social services. This year, 2018 - 19 it raised it by 5.99% again with 3% for social services. From time to time the government has come up with grants for special purposes, recently one for road maintenance.
The Council has joined a government scheme for the retention of the business rate. This in reality is the forthcoming increase in the business rate. 70% of this will go to the Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership to fund large infrastructure projects across the county and 30% will come to the Council and this is estimated to be £1.6M. This is most welcome and led to the increase of the grant to the Citizens Advice Bureau from £40K to £80K and that together with a grant from the Greenham Trust of £80k has preserved this vital service. CAB will therefore now receive a total of £160,000, which is a considerable increase from the £40,000 available following the budget review.
With the restrictions on funding the Council is concentrating on helping communities to help themselves by devolution. Much of this work has been with parish and town councils.
An example of this is the transfer of the Hungerford library building to the town council, where in addition to providing a library, it is used by the local community led by the Friends of Hungerford Library. In Thatcham the play areas are being transferred to the town council.
Incidentally all the libraries apart from Wash Common are open. In many cases the local communities have put in a lot of voluntary effort and grants from parish councils. A group has been set up to try and reopen the Wash Common Library which shows some sign of success.
The numbers of volunteers at libraries, Shaw House, Newbury Town Museum, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program and other areas has risen from about 200 to over 500. As a by-product, many people get a lot of enjoyment and fulfilment from volunteering.
The Civil Contingencies Team now have a Vulnerable People Plan to help identify vulnerable people if there is a major incident.
Locally the ‘kitchen garden’ at Shaw House is being developed to allow and encourage local residents to enjoy healthy eating.
The Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults has been simplified with a single telephone number for help. There was an encouraging Ofsted inspection that there had been a lot of progress in working with partner organisations to improve the safeguarding of children. The priority is to ensure a quick and appropriate response.
A previous Care Quality Commission inspection had found the Willows Edge adult social care home as ‘inadequate’ a recent inspection now shows it to be ‘good’.
There has been a problem with recruiting and retaining social workers with 50% vacancies. This caused a lot of expense in employing agency staff. This has now improved to a 10% vacancy rate.
The Council’s priority is to improve educational attainment.
Currently, the schools judged by Ofsted to be at least ‘good’ has risen to 95%. The remaining four schools are improving. Some of the schools are Academies and therefore not under the Council’s control. Further capacity has been and will be needed to meet the growing population.
There has been a good improvement in attainment of learning of disadvantaged pupils and this is an area of priority for the Council.
£4.8M has been spent on school improvements. At Fir Tree Primary School additional places for Autistic children have been provided. At Speenhamland School there are 60 new places for reception children. A new primary school will be built at Highwood Copse and next year there is hope that the Theale primary school will be replaced. Also a new school is expected as part of the North Newbury development.
About £6M has been spent on the District’s roads with a further £6M next year. About 100 roads were resurfaced. The roads are in good condition although the recent snow caused quite a lot of damage that is taking time to repair.
A new road from the A339 into the London Road Estate had been built in preparation for the Estate’s redevelopment. Next year a link should be provided from the A339 into the expected Sandleford development. These were financed from the Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
17 more flood alleviation schemes have been completed with the remaining work being of a more minor nature.
95% of Berkshire now enjoys super-fast broadband with 99% still being the target.
WBC will charge an annual subscription (yet to be confirmed of £50 per household) for the collection of garden waste.
Residents will be able to opt in or out to receive the service.
Subscribers will continue to use the green bin and will receive a bin sticker to show that the service for the collection of garden waste has been paid for. The green bin can be put out with the recycling every fortnight.
Subscribers will also be able to put food waste in the green bin for recycling.
Non-subscribers will stop receiving a garden waste collection. However, household food waste may be put in the green bins for collection every fortnight.
Residents will be able to request additional bins as part of this subscription service and additional charges will apply.
There will be no service concessions.
It is estimated this proposal will create an income of up to £600,000 this year and £900,000 every year thereafter. This additional income will assist in paying for the rubbish and recycling collection service.
The Council believes in being a plan led according to the Council’s Development Plan Document. To this end, the plan takes us up to 2026 and defines where development should take place and what polices are required to control that development. Several developers have tried to claim in appeals with Her Majesty’s Inspectors that we do not have a 5 year land supply for housing but, in all but one case, the Council has won the appeal. There is a rule that 30% of dwellings on a brown field site and 40% on a greenfield site should be affordable. Regretfully government decided that if developers could claim that proving the affordable housing would make a development unviable they could omit it. There is now an industry exploiting this loop hole and therefore the provision of affordable housing is disappointing. The expected delivery was 1000 units by 2020 that now looks more like 685. As an aside, government edicts are littered with “unintended consequences” with viability being one, and the conversion of offices to housing without the need for permission another.
Disappointingly the Sandleford development still does not have planning permission following two refused planning applications due to disagreements between the two developers and the Council insisting that it should be done according to the local plan. A third planning application has recently been submitted, which will be considered by Officers shortly. Should the disagreement continue after the third application has been submitted, the Council will seriously consider a compulsory purchase of the site.
It was a pleasure to see a start being made on the Stirling Cables site. It is heavily contaminated and it will take some time to clear this prior to development.
Plans for the redevelopment of the site between Market Street and the railway station are in place and the first visible sign of this will be the move of the bus station to the Wharf later this year.
There is now a proposal for a very large development at Grazley on the West Berkshire Wokingham border. This straddles the two districts. If this goes ahead, it will take a lot of the development pressure in the future.
All the Berkshire councils are rolling forward their local plans and transport plans to 2036. The policies have just completed consultation. There has been a call for sites that has ended and the results are being analysed and will go out to consultation in a few months, after which a decision will be taken as to where development will take place. It is understood that the Christmas Tree Field and land north of Vodafone are being put forward.
During the past year my Council responsibilities have included:-
Chairman for the Western Area Planning Committee
Deputy Portfolio Holder for Planning
Member of the District Planning Committee
Member of the Planning Advisory Group
Member of the Development Industry Forum
Outside duties include:-
Trustee of the Saunders Wynn and Coventry Trust at Chaddleworth
I have attended most of the West Ilsley, East Ilsley, Beedon, Brightwalton, Chaddleworth, Leckhampstead Parish Council meetings and the Farnborough Parish assemblies.
District Councillor for Downlands Ward
The West Berkshire Museum and Shaw House have just published their Autumn / Winter programme of adult craft workshops, including ceramics and flower arrangements. Full details can be found here:
The summer newsletter from West Berkshire Countryside Society is available to download here:
Sunday Services in the West Downland Benefice
Services in bold print have activities for children
3rd June 8am BCP Holy Communion Chaddleworth
10am Together@Ten Great Shefford
10am Holy Communion Fawley
11am All Age Communion Wickham
8am BCP Holy Communion Brightwalton
9.30am Holy Communion Great Shefford
10am Holy Communion Leckhampstead
11am BCP Holy Communion Wickham
8am BCP Holy Communion Fawley
10am Café Church Great Shefford
10am Holy Communion Chaddleworth
11am Matins Welford
8am BCP Holy Communion Leckhampstead
9.30am Holy Communion Shefford Woodlands
10am Holy Communion Brightwalton
Revd Miri Keen writes
I’ve been enjoying the sort of simply glorious summer afternoon that vicars in books always seem to have! We have been drinking tea in the shade of an apple tree while the sun shines in a cloudless blue sky. The birds are singing at the tops of their voices and the breeze is scented with lilac. The garden is lush, green and bursting with new growth. The beauty of the day and the sense of well-being that I feel remind me of one of God’s promises:
“If you do away with the yolk of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed ...
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Isaiah 58: 10&11
How wonderful it is to know that we can be confident that our individual life and the life of our community can be as fruitful and inspiring as the most lush and well-tended garden because God has promised that he will care for us and help us to grow if we care for one another and seek justice and goodness.
Songs of Praise at Shefford Woodlands: Sunday 1st July at 6pm
Followed by refreshments by kind invitation of Mrs Anne Hewson
Do you have a favourite hymn or song that brings back previous memories or has helped you through difficulties and challenges? Would you be willing to write a few lines to tell others why it is so special, or even share a few words at our Songs of Praise? Please contact Miri
01488 6499927 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our services and events please contact our Administrator Lindsay Hardy email@example.com
or follow our new Facebook page West Downland Churches
Your May edition of the Brickleton News will soon be dropping through your door... for those that can't wait.
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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