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   West Berks Covid Update +    26 September, 2020
 

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    THAMES VALLEY POLICE Coronavirus Update on New Regulations    17 September, 2020

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Thames Valley Police

 

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Coronavirus Update on New Regulations

 
 

On Monday (14/9), new measures will be put in place to help suppress the spread of coronavirus.

These new measures mean that people in England can only meet in groups of no more than six, indoors and outdoors.

Those that choose to congregate in larger groups will be dispersed and could be fined or even arrested.

Thames Valley Police officers will continue to work with our communities and will follow our approach to engage with, explain and encourage people to follow the new regulations.

Assistant Chief Constable Christian Bunt said: “Preventing the spread of coronavirus is a shared effort and we at Thames Valley Police will play our part.

“The new rules coming into place on Monday are very clear and we hope that all members of the public follow them.

“Our officers will be in the community engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the regulations. We will disperse groups of more than six people and will issue fines to those who refuse to comply.

“However, there are a range of enforcement options at our disposal, and this does not always involve fines being issued.

“Members of the public can expect to see officers out on patrol but we ask that everyone takes personal responsibility so police involvement is a last resort.”

Message Sent By
Emma Tarry (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley)

 
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   West Berks Covid -19 Update    17 September, 2020

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Face coverings - wear it right

Face covering advice

Face coverings are now required to be worn in many settings up and down the country as well as on public transport unless you are exempt. Wearing a face covering helps to keep others safe, but are you wearing yours correctly?

Face coverings should cover your mouth, nose and chin with no gaps at the side in order for it to be effective. You should also try to avoid touching your mask whilst wearing it and if using disposable masks please dispose of them carefully.

This YouTube video provides advice on how to wear a mask safely.

You can also find advice online about when to wear a face covering, exemptions, and how to make your own. 

 

Covid-19: local cases data

 
 

 

There have been 11 cases of Covid-19 in West Berkshire this week (24-30 August).  

On our website you will find a dashboard providing more data for the district including the total number cases since 7 March and the number of cases in your area. 

Visit our website to view more data.

 

Have you had your flu vaccine?

Flu vaccine

This year, with COVID-19 in circulation, it’s more important than ever that eligible groups are vaccinated to protect them from flu. The flu vaccination is free for a range of people including:

  • Those with a long-term health condition
  • People living with someone who’s at high risk for coronavirus
  • Children aged 2 and 3, pupils in Primary School and in year 7
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged over 65 – where capacity allows, it will be offered to those over 50 later in the year
  • Carers

Visit the NHS website for more information about who should have the flu vaccine. 

Don’t put it off. Protect yourself, protect your family and protect those you care for. Speak to your GP or your local pharmacist today.


Returning to school: Children with SEN & Disabilities

SEND return to school

We know that the last few months have been very difficult for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families.

We also know that it’s really important for children’s wellbeing and education that they now go back to school. Having said that, returning to school full time will be a big change and some children will find it hard to adjust at first.

We’ve been working closely with schools to ensure that learning environments are safe. Each school has developed its own plans, they will all differ slightly but may include measures such as grouping children and staff in ‘bubbles’, staggered start and finish times and social distancing where possible.

We’ve also been providing guidance on how to support children to get back on track with their learning and schools are well prepared to assess any gaps in children’s learning and adapt the curriculum to ensure that they can catch up.

If you have any concerns about how your child will be helped, please contact your school. You may also find this leaflet helpful, ‘Returning to school after a period of absence’.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, the school should now be delivering the provision in the plan. We’ve also produced some wellbeing guidance for parents with children returning to school..


West Berkshire Council Weeknotes

Weekly Update from Lynne and Nick

The Leader of the Council and Chief Executive continue to publish a weekly blog on key activities here at West Berkshire Council.

In this week's Weeknote, Lynne and Nick reflect on the work done to prepare for children to return to school, our ongoing support for the local economy and the importance of continuing social distancing. 

You can read the latest Weeknote here.  

 
 

 

Eat Out to Help Out

 

Eat Out to Help Out logoThe Eat Out to Help Out scheme was a huge success - both nationally and here in West berkshire. 

According to the Treasury, restaurants have so far made 130,000 claims worth £522m under the scheme.

Restaurants, cafes and pubs locally have been participating in the initiative. It's encouraged residents to begin eating out again, providing a chance to see the changes which have been introduced and to dine out in confidence. Although nationally the scheme is not being extended, there are local eateries continuing to provide the same or similar offers - look out for them and do continue to support our local hospitality sector.


And finally...

 
 
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   COVID 19 - Latest News from West Berks    11 September, 2020

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New 'rule of six' for social gatherings

Rule of six

New guidance announced this week introduces a new 'rule of six' limit on social gatherings.  

From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than six people. It applies both indoors and outdoors, including in private homes.

There will be a limited number of exemptions. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to six must not mix or form larger groups. Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30.

The new measures have been announced by the Government to help suppress the virus and keep the number of infections down.

For details of the new rules and a list of exemptions visit the GOV.UK website.

The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

 

Covid-19: local cases data

 
 

 

There have been 14 cases of Covid-19 in West Berkshire this week (31 August - 6 September).  

On our website you will find a dashboard providing more data for the district including the total number cases since 7 March and the number of cases in your area. 

Visit our website to view more data.

 

Covid-19 Testing

Swab

If you have any symptoms of Covid, you should isolate and seek a test by phoning 119 or booking online.  The symptoms to look out for are fever, a continuous cough and loss of taste or smell.  If you do not have symptoms you do not need a test unless you are part of a group of health and care workers who receive regular testing.


It's all about hands, face and space

Hands, Face, Space

As part of the government’s announcement on Wednesday about increasing coronavirus cases and introducing new measures coming into effect on Monday, they also sprovided a reminder of the key things we can all do to protect ourselves and others.

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

These key messages correspond with our local campaign “let’s all play our part to keep West Berkshire open.”

So to look after all our residents in West Berkshire please remember to wash your hands, cover your face and make space.

Check out this video explaining why these measures are so important with winter approaching


Kickstart job creation scheme

Kickstart scheme

A new, national Kickstart Scheme has been announced to fund the direct creation of high quality jobs for young people at the highest risk of long-term unemployment. It will give young people the chance to build their confidence and skills in the workplace, and to gain experience that will improve their chances of going on to find long-term, sustainable work.

The scheme will create hundreds of thousands of high quality six-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

As well as supporting young people, the grants will help smaller businesses recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Go online to find more information for employers and young people.  

Locally, Kickstart Tourism & Restart and Recovery SME grants open for applications from Berkshire businesses on Tuesday (15 September). They will be issued on a first come first served basis so check out the pre-app advice on the Berkshire Growth Hub website to help you get your application ready.


Looking after our mental health

Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic.

With children and young people now back at school or college, Public Health England (PHE)’s new Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS endorsed tips and advice to look after children and young people’s mental wellbeing.

Research reveals that the coronavirus outbreak has caused an increase in anxiety in young people4, and over a third of children report being more worried, sad and stressed than before lockdown5. New PHE survey data found that over half (52%) of parents said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.

The advice available on the Better Health - Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and show the actions they can take to support them. In addition to the advice for parents and carers the site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.

For more information visit the Every Mind Matters website - there is information for young people and for parents and carers.

 
 

 

Great British September Clean

 

The Great British September Clean launches today! 

If you're taking part in a local litter pick we want to say a huge thank you for helping to keep West Berkshire tidy. This year Keep Britain Tidy has published new coronavirus guidance to help keep you stay safe whilst taking part in the campaign. You can read the coronavirus advice online.

You can read more about the Great British September Clean here. If you're taking part why not snap a selfie and share it with us - we'd love to see your litter-picking efforts. Tag us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using @WestBerkshire.

Great September Spring Clean


And finally...

 
 
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   Parish Council Report for August 2020    4 September, 2020

Council Meetings

August is a quiet month for public meetings but this does not halt preparation for both Executive and Council following the return from summer breaks in September.

Yesterday evening (3 September) the Executive considered a number of papers on Council performance and budget outturns for Quarter 1 and the London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE) Development Brief, along with a plethora of public and member questions.

On 10 September full Council will consider, amongst other things, the Planning White Paper.

Links to all agendas etc are at http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk and all WBC public meetings are broadcast live on YouTube and recorded so that they can be viewed at leisure - West Berkshire Council YouTube Channel.

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   Information on Scams    24 August, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

Information on Scams

 
 

Hi everyone

 
There are a number of scams at the moment and some have been doing the rounds for a few years.


The Amazon Prime scam involves victims receiving an automated call informing them that they have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription and to press 1 to cancel the transaction.  They are then directed to a fraudster posing as an Amazon customer service representative who advise that their subscription was purchased fraudulently and that remote access to their computer is required in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from reoccurring.  They ask the victim to download a remote access application often Team Viewer which gives the fraudster access to their computer.  The criminal can then monitor the victim logging onto their online bank account, which allows the fraudster to see personal and financial details plus they often copy information on to their computer. Never press 1 as they will know that they have made contact with you and somebody will pick up the call.


Action Fraud has reported that they’ve received more than 5,000 reports about fake emails and texts pretending to be from TV licensing.  These fake messages contain links to false websites that are designed to capture banking, personal or security information.  If you receive an email like this or any other email that you’re not sure is genuine, do not click on any links.


HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which will tell you that they are filing a lawsuit against you, and to press 1 to speak to a caseworker to make a payment.  If you receive such a call, please put the phone down immediately.  Other scam calls may offer a tax refund and request you to provide your bank or credit card information.   If you cannot verify the identity of the caller, HMRC recommend that you do not speak to them.  If you have been a victim of this scam and suffered financial loss, please report it to Action Fraud.   The callers use a variety of numbers and HMRC would like you to report full details of the scam by email to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk including date of the call, phone number and content of the call.  More details of such scams in the link below. 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples

A Facebook post was headed up 'Police Bulletin' and claimed people were going door to door with masks, which would knock out the person who breathed in the chemicals and make them easier to rob.   This is a hoax and you can read the below article for further information.
https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/18522413.police-say-viral-knock-out-facemasks-facebook-post-hoax/

 
Very best wishes

Angela Money BEM
Neighbourhood Watch
 
 

 
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   District Councillor's Parish Council Report for July 2020    15 August, 2020

Parish Council Report for July 2020

Cllr Graham Bridgman (West Berkshire Council, Burghfield and Mortimer Ward)

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   WOKEFIELD PARISH COUNCIL ONLINE MEETING     22 July, 2020

Wokefiled Parish Council is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: WPC Zoom Meeting
Time: Jul 22, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89688222080?pwd=RnBrYXpHZnNKM0dxYVpZaHFNdE5tZz09

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    Are You Shopping Online?    20 July, 2020


Have you bought anything online recently?…

Almost 34% of all retail sales during May 2020 were carried out online, and new research suggests that only 16% of UK consumers intend to return to their old shopping habits post-lockdown. See below for advice from ActionFraud

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    *** NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE ONLINE **    14 July, 2020

Due to COVID outbreak, the next Parish meeting on 22nd July will be held online. .

Should any member of the public wish to attend or ask a question at the meeting, please write to the Clerk via email by 19:00 on 21st July.  Instructions on how to join the meeting will be forwarded in time for the meeting.

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   WB District Councillor's report for June     13 July, 2020

Follow this link to view June 2020 – Councillor Graham Bridgman monthly report. Older reports can be found by following the links found under WB District Reports on the Home page. 

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   Message from the Chief Constable Following the Incident In Reading    30 June, 2020

Following the tragic incident in Reading on Saturday night in which three innocent members of the public sadly lost their lives, I wanted to message our wider Thames Valley community to provide some reassurance at this difficult time.

At this time Thames Valley Police and Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), who are leading the investigation into the attack in Reading, do not believe there to be a wider risk to the public. I would like to reiterate that there is nothing to suggest that anyone else is involved in this offence and we are confident this is an isolated incident. In the past when there has been a terrorist attack, at home or abroad, we have seen the national terror threat level change increase. That has not happened in this case, which is confirmation of the security services assessment following this incident.

Nevertheless, I understand that this incident will have caused great concern and I would like to reassure you that my officers and staff continue to be present in your area, responding to emergencies and safeguarding the vulnerable. You may see more officers out and about during this time; do not be alarmed by this, they are there for your reassurance. Please do approach them if you have any questions or concerns.

Communities defeat terrorism; in times of adversity we must come together as one community because co-operation between each of us is our most powerful defence, and I am confident that the communities of Thames Valley will continue to do this.

You can play your part to protect yourself and your community. My advice, especially as the coronavirus restrictions ease and public spaces become busier, is to remain vigilant at all times and report any concerns, in confidence, to the police.

You can do that online, in confidence, via our Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) website at gov.uk/ACT.  Please do not worry you may be wasting our time. We would much rather hear from you than miss an opportunity to step in before it’s too late.

Support information and services are also available on the Government’s website if you have been affected by this incident and would like to seek advice and assistance.

We have been touched by the response we have had from the public over the last few days and appreciate your understanding and ongoing support. Thank you to you all.

Our thoughts remain with the victims’ family and friends and our Reading communities at this difficult time.  

Thank you



John Campbell QPM, Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police

 
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   Wokefield Parish Council Annual Return 2019 - 2020    22 June, 2020

Wokefield Parish has Published it's annual returns for the year 2019-2020. 

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   Coronavirus-Related Scams - How To Protect Yourself    21 June, 2020
Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.


How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:

There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 - Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 - Shopping online
If you're making a purchase from a company or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 - Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.



NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.


What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.



The NHS Test and Trace service will never:
  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone  
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS


If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.

 

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

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   NHS Track and Trace Scam    12 June, 2020
We have all been warned of possible scams in connection with the NHS Track & Trace Service.  Here are the details of a recent phone call where the recipient is noted as ‘X’.

Caller: Good morning.  I am calling from the NHS Track & Trace Service.  According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.  This means that you now need to self-isolate for 7 days and take a Covid-19 test.

X: OK.  Can you tell me who that person was?

Caller: I am not able to do that.  That is confidential information.

X: Right…….So?

Caller: But you do need to be tested within the next 72 hours.  So, can I just get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?

X: OK (gives address)

Caller: Thank you.  I just need to take a payment card so that we can finalise this and send the kit to you.

X: Sorry, a payment card?   I thought this was all free?

Caller: No, I am afraid not.  There is a one-off fee of £500 for the kit and the test results.  Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you are ready?

X: No, that’s not right.  This is part of the NHS so there is no charge. 

Caller: I am afraid there is.  Can you give me the card number please – this is very important and there are penalties for not complying.

X puts the phone down.

If you should encounter something like this, do not be fooled by it and make sure that your friends and neighbours are aware of it.  Dial 1471 to get the caller’s number and do feel comfortable to phone the details to the police on 101.
 
Message End
 

 

Message Sent By
Tracie Stone (Police, Neighbourhood policing admin, West Berks)

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   Scams and Local Neighbourhood Watch Information    12 June, 2020

A person called Tom or another name are phoning locally again wishing to check your loft insulation, saying that they have carried out loft insulation in the past and want to check that it is OK or some similar story.   They are using 01635 800 numbers so if that comes up, don’t answer then do 1471 to obtain their number and to check it is nobody you know, dial the number with 141 in front to remain anonymous and you will most probably find that the number will not be recognised. They buy blocks of numbers cheaply on the internet and are crafty with the 01635 code. They are not working for the Government or West Berkshire Council.  

Also, TV Licensing and HMRC scam emails are circulating again.

Always forward any scam emails or ones that you are not sure whether a scam or not to report@phishing.gov.uk as they are monitoring and closing down many email addresses and this is proving to be very successful at the moment.

Spam texts are also being received purporting to be from PayPal advising that someone has tried to log into your account and to unlock your account, you need to click on a link to resolve this issue.    If you do receive any spam texts you can report them directly to your mobile phone provider by forwarding the text message free of charge to 7726.  It would then be worthwhile blocking that number on your mobile.

National Neighbourhood Watch has a website: www.ourwatch.org.uk   It gives you the opportunity to list and map your NHW scheme and receive their newsletter, plus gives lots of other useful information.  

If you do not currently have a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your road, with all the lovely community spirit at the moment and neighbours getting to know one another, it is the ideal time to set up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in part or all of your road.   If you would like Angela Money to send you details of how to set up a scheme, please phone 01635 40866 or email ajmy5m7@inbox.com  and she will make contact with you.  With email now, it is so easy to forward the Police/NHW/Action Fraud Alerts on to your neighbours. Neighbourhood Watch signs, stickers and leaflets are free plus all neighbours receive various local discounts.  It is important for more schemes to be set up as this will help combat crime and make the community a safer place to live.

All members of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in West Berkshire are entitled to various discounts.   I am attaching details of all the discounts and codes that need to be quoted when contacting the relevant Companies including a new one for CCTV and other security products.
(Have just received a call to say that the ERA discount offer is no longer available).

 

Message Sent By
Angela Money (NHWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, West Berkshire Local Policing Area)


 

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   Parish Council Report for May 2020 rom Cllr Graham Bridgman (West Berkshire Council, Burghfield and Mortimer Ward)    5 June, 2020

Please see below Parish Council Report for May 2020 from 

Cllr Graham Bridgman (West Berkshire Council, Burghfield and Mortimer Ward)

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   Mental Health Awareness Week - Support For Children and Young People     25 May, 2020
While staying at home has been difficult for all of us, losing a sense of routine can be particularly challenging for young people.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re here to remind you of some of the support available to parents who are helping children deal with the uncertainty of our current situation.

The Mental Health Foundation has some useful tips for talking to children about coronavirus: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/talking-to-children

Their top tips:
1. Acknowledge that it’s OK to be concerned
2. Find the balance in consuming news
3. Let them know the facts and offer safety
4. Talk about vulnerability and responsibility

The charity Mind also have advice for looking after the wellbeing of older children: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/coronavirus/supporting-your-teens-wellbeing-during-coronavirus/

The NHS Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group have produced three short #Coping guides full of information and advice aimed at children and their parents. These are:
#Coping: Family life during the lockdown
#Coping: Five ways to wellbeing (primary and secondary)
#Coping: Young People’s Guide

The guides can be accessed here: https://www.berkshirewestccg.nhs.uk/coping

You could also point young people towards these resources which offer tips on how to look after their physical and mental health:

Mind - https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

Childline - https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/worries-about-the-world/coronavirus/

You can find out more about how we’re supporting Mental Health Awareness Week on our social media channels and join in the conversation using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Message Sent By
Ffion Jones (Police, Communications Assistant , HQ South)

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   Covid-19: latest news and information from West Berkshire Council    25 May, 2020

Extracted form an email from WB Councul:

 

We're working hard to continue delivering services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and to support our residents - and in particular those who most need our help.

On our website you will find information about where to find support as well as details of any changes we've had to make to services.

You can also keep in touch with us online, and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

We would like to wish all our residents a lovely Bank Holiday weekend.


Residents' Survey

Residents Survey

We have all experienced significant changes to our daily lives during lockdown, with the closures of businesses, schools and workplaces. Some will have also suffered the loss of a loved one to Covid-19, which will have made this time even more difficult.

We have launched a residents’ survey to gain insight into the impact of Covid-19 and would like your views on the local social, economic and environmental impact you have experienced.

The survey should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and your feedback will be used to shape the West Berkshire Recovery Strategy, which is being developed to outline how the district recovers from the current situation. We intend to repeat the survey at regular intervals in the next year to ensure that any changes our residents are feeling are considered.

Click here to take part in the survey.


Town centre to be temporarily pedestrianised

town centre pedestrianised

Newbury town centre will be temporarily pedestrianised from 1 June. 

We have issued a temporary traffic order which will see the north end of Bartholomew Street, Northbrook Street and the Market Square closed to traffic for 24 hours a day until further notice. 

We are continuing to work to support our town centres to reopen across the district so you may notice high streets in your area will also have restrictions for vehicle access.

This will help town centre businesses and shoppers to comply with social distance guidance as it will make additional floorspace available for queuing outside of shops and businesses who choose to re-open. 

Any businesses who need to receive deliveries by vehicle should email: Trafficandroadsafety@westberks.gov.uk to discuss.


Public Rights of Way

public rights of way

Our Rights of Way Rangers and Contractors are currently very busy clearing the paths of vegetation which is growing rapidly. Social distancing is extremely important in order to keep the operatives of the machinery and the public safe.

Before starting work they are displaying signs which ask residents to keep a social distance and where necessary to make sure the operatives see you before you proceed.

In a small number of cases where paths are very narrow and/or winding we are temporarily closing the paths whilst the clearance is taking place. Signs clearly state the path is temporarily closed.

Please take notice of these signs to keep everyone safe and also make sure you are following the Countryside Code.  

A special Coronovirus Countryside Code has recently been produced by Defra.


Car Parks

car parks

Since the end of March, car parks operated by us have been free to help make life easier for key and essential workers at this difficult time.

From 1 June we are starting to reintroduce charging again as the restrictions on lockdown are starting to ease with more people visiting towns. We will still accept all forms of payment but we are encouraging payment to be made on card using contactless payment and pay by phone where available, rather than handling cash.

Social distancing still needs to be adhered to and there will be plenty of signage across all car parks to highlight this, including advice on how many people to have in the car park lifts.  


Waste Update

bank holiday monday  

Bank Holiday Monday

Don’t forget with the bank holiday on Monday that bin collections will take place a day later than usual. You can find out what date your collection is due by using our handy online tool: https://citizen.westberks.gov.uk/binday.


excess waste

Traffic management at the Recycling Centres

A339 Newtown Road, Newbury

A lane closure was installed last week on this section of road near the Recycling Centre to slow and control traffic entering the site. It is felt that traffic is coping better with this new addition and both the 30mph speed limit and lane closure will remain in place until further notice.  

Padworth Lane, Padworth

Traffic is coping very well at this site and traffic volumes are less than expected, mainly due to the effective implementation of a booking system for Recycling Centre customers. As a result, the road closure on Padworth Lane and the 30mph speed limit on the A4 has been removed. All traffic for the Recycling Centre should still approach from the A4 wherever possible and bookings will now be checked at the access into the Recycling Centre.

Both locations will continue to be monitored and any further changes may be implemented with very little or no notice if and when necessary. Bookings are still necessary to visit both sites and trailers are not permitted at either site.

We would like to thank motorists and residents for cooperating with us to make the changes work successfully.  

We want to also please advise residents to read carefully what can and can’t be taken to the recycling centres to ensure the health and safety of our site buildings and staff is not compromised.


Berkshire Befriending and Buddying

befriending

We pleased to announce that a contract to deliver Befriending and Buddy support has been awarded to Age UK Berkshire

The scheme, which aims to prevent and reduce social isolation and loneliness in West Berkshire, will provide social and emotional support to residents aged 50 and over from a volunteer befriender or buddy. 

Due to Covid-19 the scheme is currently running as a telephone befriending service and face to face befriending and buddying will be introduced when it is safe to do so and in line with government guidance.

The Age UK Berkshire Befriending and Buddying scheme is now open for referrals. Enquiries should be made directly to Age UK Berkshire by emailing: info@ageukberkshire.org.uk or calling: 0118 959 4242.


Every Mind Matters

mental health week

Now, more than ever, Every Mind Matters. We’ll all be experiencing highs and lows and it’s perfectly normal to miss loved ones, get frustrated, or feel anxious or stressed.

It’s important to be able to strengthen your resilience and reduce stress as much as possible. To help with this, we have worked with our partners to actively promote the Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Every Mind Matters campaign.

You can get a free mind plan on our website designed to help you deal with stress, boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel in control. Try it out.


Schools Update

school reopening

Head teachers across West Berkshire covering all provisions have been working exceptionally hard in the background to fully understand the large volumes of guidance for the wider opening of schools that has been published by central government recently. 

The announcement focussed on welcoming more children back into schools, colleges and early year’s settings from Monday 1 June, if it remains safe to do so, whereas for some this might be from a later date.

We understand parents across the district have many questions on what this recent announcement means for them and their children going back to school. We want to assure parents that our Education team are continually working closely with the Head teachers and staff members in schools who have already been doing an amazing job supporting children of critical workers and vulnerable children since 23 March.

However, it is important to remember that what works for one school, may not work in another and Head teachers are keen to make sure parents are well informed and reassured their children will be as safe as possible. Schools will be in touch with parents and carers about local arrangements.

We all look forward to a time when schools can return to something that looks more normal but until then, safety has to be our collective top priority.


New discretionary business scheme launched

We have launched a new £1.225m discretionary business scheme. The new scheme, which was announced earlier this month and is funded by Central Government, follows on from the previous Small Business Rates Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants scheme.

It is aimed at businesses who have ongoing property costs and have experienced a significant fall in their income due to Covid-19. The previous scheme was launched in April and we distributed over £24.6m to almost 2,000 local businesses; placing us in the top 10% of local authorities in the country by percentage of eligible businesses paid. This new scheme is open for applications and will close when the council has distributed its allocation of £1.225m on a first come first served basis.

Full guidance and the grant form can be found on our dedicated Coronavirus business page.

 
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   Community Involvement in the Production of Conservation Area Appraisals    25 May, 2020

West Berkshire is a district with an impressive
heritage legacy. Reflecting this, there are 53
conservation areas in the district, most
designated in the 1970’s or 1980’s. However,
West Berkshire Council has a duty under
legislation, to define why an area has been
designated as a Conservation Area, and to do
this it is looking to the parish and town
councils, and local amenity societies for
assistance. Conservation Area Appraisals
act as a framework to guide future
development in the conservation area, and
help parish and town councils to recommend
ways to preserve and enhance their special
architectural and historic characteristics. They
are invaluable too, for parish and town
councils working to prepare a Neighbourhood
Development Plan.
Unfortunately, West Berkshire Council does
not have sufficient resources to carry out 53
individual appraisals quickly, but it is hoped
that the parish and town councils and local
residents (the people most involved in, and
concerned with, the preservation of their own
area of the district), will be able to carry out
the initial work.
Working with the West Berkshire Heritage
Forum, West Berkshire Council is developing
a ‘Toolkit’, which contains a variety of
guidance, list of resources, and an appraisal
report template, to assist parish councils and
volunteers in undertaking a Conservation
Area Appraisal. The West Berkshire Heritage
Forum and West Berkshire Council are also
offering all parish and town councils, and any
volunteer groups working with them, free
training sessions to help them understand
how to carry out the appraisal, and complete
the template.
The work will be supported by West Berkshire
Council, in terms of printing and publication,
and help and advice throughout. The final
document can then go forward for
consultation and Council adoption for use in
planning matters.
Parish and Town Councils can join in by
forming an Appraisal Group (where a
Heritage Working Group already exists, or the
parish is working on a Neighbourhood
Development Plan, such a group may already
exist in embryo). Such groups can ask for
volunteers; local historical and heritage
societies may already hold useful information
which can be included, so their volunteers
should be sought.
The Council’s Conservation Officer will
provide relevant local maps, a copy of any
existing Conservation Area information, a list
of designated assets, and the conservation
area appraisal ‘Toolkit’.
Community Involvement in the Production of
Conservation Area Appraisals
May 2020
Community Involvement in the Production of Conservation
Area Appraisals (continued) May 2020
Page 2
The work required will be a mixture of desk
top research, practical field trips to walk round
the area and take notes, and report writing.
Support, including training and practical
support from West Berkshire Council and the
West Berkshire Heritage Forum, will be
available throughout.
Once completed, Conservation Area
Appraisals help to inform decision-making in
the determination of planning applications by
the local planning authority and at planning
appeals. Their objectives can be summarised
as following:
• provide a clear definition of the area’s
special architectural and historical
interest;
• provide a framework against which
future development can be assessed;
• review the existing boundaries of the
conservation area;
• identify buildings, structures, and
green spaces that are desirable to
protect, preserve or enhance;
• identify and map archaeologically
sensitive areas;
• develop recommendations and a
management plan for the area;
• empower local communities to explore
the sense of their place;
• alert local communities to the
cumulative effects of minor change on
an area’s character;
• identify potential Assets of Community
Value.
The format, style and content of Conservation
Area Appraisals produced by different Local
Planning Authorities varies considerably. The
template for West Berkshire Council
appraisals has been drafted taking account of
Historic England guidance. While it is
anticipated that the appraisals published
following this template will set a ‘house style’
for Conservation Area Appraisals in West
Berkshire, there will be some scope for
variation, dependent upon individual
circumstances.
Two Conservation Area Appraisals have
already been carried out, for Streatley and
Peasemore. They can be found at
https://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/28789 or
by entering “Conservation Area Appraisals”
on the West Berkshire Council web site.
We look forward to working with you on this
important project.
Contacts:
Debra Inston, Principal Design and
Conservation Officer, West Berkshire Council
Email: debra.inston@westberks.gov.uk
Anthony Pick, Chair, West Berkshire Heritage
Forum
Email: Anthony.pick@newburyweb.net
Susan Ellis, Secretary, West Berkshire
Heritage Forum
Email: susancarveth@gmx.com

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   West Berks Recycling Centres to Open    14 May, 2020

Recycling Centres to open

West Berkshire Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are set to reopen to allow residents the opportunity to dispose of waste and recycling that cannot be safely stored at home. This follows publication by the government of updated guidance indicating that visits to recycling centres can be considered essential under certain conditions.

From Thursday 14 May both of our recycling centres, which are located at Newtown Road in Newbury and Padworth Lane, near Aldermaston, will be reopened. The sites were closed temporarily on 24 March following announcements by the government of lockdown restrictions. In order to manage demand, a booking system is in place and you will not be able to simply turn up at the recycling centres.

The booking system will be live on the morning of Wednesday 13 May and residents need to book their appointment here: https://citizen.westberks.gov.uk/clickandtip.

When the recycling centres reopen, and to stay within the government's Covid-19 guidelines on essential travel, please remember that journeys to these sites during lockdown should only be made if waste cannot be stored any longer at home without causing a risk to your health and safety. The sites will be open seven days a week from 9:00am to 6:00pm, with the last booking appointment available at 4:30pm.

Working with Veolia, who are our waste contractors, precautionary measures will be introduced to help maintain social distancing on our sites for our residents and staff protection. We will also implement a robust traffic management plan which will help us minimise impacts of traffic congestion on the local road network and to control the number of visitors to the site at any one time.

Residents need to book an appointment and be prepared for the possibility of long queues. We are advising delaying a visit until things are a bit quieter in a few weeks’ time or to only visit if you cannot safely store waste at home for the next couple of weeks. Our kerbside waste collections for recycling, rubbish, the garden and food waste subscription scheme and chargeable kerbside bulky waste collection service is still operating normally and residents are advised to make use of them, wherever practicable, in the meantime.


Making your visit run smoothly

The experience of visiting our household recycling centres will be different and you should only visit the recycling centres if you cannot safely store your waste at home.

Please ensure you:

  • Check travel times and any restrictions in place. Please arrive at your allocated time that you have booked online and not any earlier. There may be delays accessing the site and possibly queues of waiting vehicles. Please bear with us as we work safely on the site to limit contact between people.
  • Have your permit, or ID and proof of West Berkshire address with you.
  • Have a copy of your booking confirmation with you - either a print out or on your phone.
  • Only bring what you can physically carry as we are operating a one person per car restriction - our staff cannot help with your waste when you are unloading your vehicle. Under exceptional circumstances only, and at the sole discretion of site staff, two people may be allowed to leave the vehicle to dispose of the waste e.g. if they are removing a heavy or bulky waste item.
  • Please follow the instructions that site staff will give you and also be polite to members of staff.
  • All residents visiting the site will need to observe the social distancing measures in place by keeping at least 2 metres apart at all times.
  • In line with Public Health England guidance, residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.

For more in-depth information, please read our FAQs


Image removed by sender. Steve Ardagh-WalterCouncillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment at West Berkshire Council, said:

“In line with Government guidance, the decision to reopen the recycling sites has been a priority for the Council.  

“Staff at the recycling sites will ensure that social distancing guidelines of keeping at least 2 metres apart are adhered to. Therefore we urge all visitors to please be patient and leave plenty of time for their visit.

“The two sites that are reopening will be open from 9:00am to 6:00pm, seven days a week, and we intend to make as many appointment slots as possible available via the Council’s website. Please be patient if you don’t manage to get a booking initially due to high demand. We will collect as many of the typical household waste types as practicable at the sites when they reopen.

“With the reopening of both sites, it means that anyone with accumulated waste, that cannot safely be stored, can now dispose of it properly. Please remember to only use the sites if you have a valid booking.

“We are grateful to our residents for their patience and continued cooperation during these challenging times.”

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   RELIEF IN NEED - OVERCOMING HARDSHIP INDUCED BY CORVID-19 (Coronavirus)    28 April, 2020

In these difficult times, as the Government implements stronger and stronger measures to keep us all safe, there are undesired and unforeseen economic  impacts on individuals.

If the measures to contain the corvid-19 are having serious financial implications for you or your immediate family a local charity may be able to help.

Stratfield Mortimer Relief in Need Charity is an amalgamation of several ancient charities dating back to the sixteenth century.  It is a locally based charity covering residents in the parishes of Stratfield Mortimer, Mortimer West End and Wokefield and it’s mission is to provide Relief for those in Need.

 

For more information, click on the button Relief in Need Charity in the list on the left of this screen.

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   Coronavirus Update from Thames Valley Police Gold Commander    19 April, 2020
Hi, I’m Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt and I am the Gold commander for Thames Valley Police’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

I want to start by saying how much I and all of my officers appreciate how the vast majority of our communities are understanding of the importance of staying at home to protect our critical NHS resources and save lives, so thank you.

Given that, we can understand how frustrating it must be when you look around and see what you perceive to be people not following these guidelines as you have been at no small sacrifice to you and your way of life.

We are receiving hundreds of reports every day relating to COVID related breaches and over the last 7 days alone we have deployed officers to over 1100 incidents.

We must prioritise incidents as they come into us and that includes putting these reports alongside our normal calls for service including serious crime and responding to emergency and non-emergency calls. It is essential that we continue to protect our communities in line with our normal policing duties.

Where we have deployed for COVID-related reports, these are primarily to group gatherings that are happening at that time. That is because they pose the greatest health risks by gathering and then dispersing back into our communities. If you see this and it is happening now, call 101.  

With minor breaches, such as people reporting those who have taken multiple walks in a day, we may not be responding right there and then but that doesn’t mean we are ignoring them. Your reports help to provide vital information around patterns and hotspots which then go across to our local policing teams to inform their patrol plans. Please report minor breaches to us online.

We want to make sure we are visible, provide reassurance and be a deterrent to those who think these rules don’t apply to them. Encouraging or enforcing the social distancing measures is a priority for the force and we have dedicated patrols in place to do this. We keep this under constant review and where we need to apply more resources we have done that and will continue to do so.

Please be reassured that Thames Valley Police is playing its role in this public health emergency. To reiterate the Chief Constable’s message this week, we will always look to engage, explain and encourage people to comply but where we need to we will enforce - and we have been doing that. Thames Valley Police currently has issued the second highest number of fines in the country.

Thank you again for all that you are doing at this challenging time. You really demonstrate the community spirit of Thames Valley, an area we are so proud to police.

Thank you.
Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt, Gold Commander

To view the full video, please click the following link: https://youtu.be/gfyqB-cYH1I

Message Sent By
Emma Tarry (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley)

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   West Berks COVID-19: Waste and Recycling News    19 April, 2020

Follow this link for an update from West Berks on Waste and Recycling in light of COVID-19:

   https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKWESTBC/bulletins/285b3f8

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   Monthly Report from Cllr Graham Bridgman    6 April, 2020

 

 

Please use the link below to see Cllr Graham Bridgman’s monthly report for March which provides much information regarding West Berks Council’s actions to deal with Coronavirus and and update on Grazeley Garden Village,

 

March Monthly Report

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   Message from Superintendent Lindsey Finch Lpa Commander of West Berkshire    2 April, 2020

I understand that this is a difficult and worrying time for a lot people as we all make significant adjustments to our daily lives to follow the measures set out by the government. These measures have been put in place to stop the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.  

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   Thames Valley Police Update on Coronavirus    30 March, 2020
We understand that the new Government measures will undoubtedly have a major impact on you all and whilst this is difficult, it is a necessary adjustment. This is about protecting yourselves, each other and the emergency services working hard to keep you safe.

We ask you all to please take notice of the new direction from government and stay at home to help the national effort to stop the spread of the virus.

Thames Valley Police will, as always, police with respect and engagement and we will continue our day to day policing and we will be working with our communities so they understand the importance of complying with the government direction.

We continue to follow government, Public health England and the National Police Chief’s Council’s direction in the fight against Coronavirus.

We have tried and tested contingency plans in operation to enable us to continue to protect the most vulnerable in society and respond to where the need is most.

All precautions are being taken in order to protect our officers and staff so that we continue to police the Thames Valley.

Thank you for your support.

We will continue to share updates on social media and through Thames Valley Alerts. For more information on Coronavirus, you may want to visit the following sites:
  • NHS advice - How to avoid catching or spreading germs and when to seek medical help
  • PHE advice - Daily updates, signs and symptoms, current risk level
  • Government updates - Daily updates on the outbreak

Message Sent By
Emma Tarry (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley)

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   Padworth Parish Council Newsletter    4 March, 2020

Follow this link to see the current Padworth Parish Newsletter https://www.padworthparishcouncil.gov.uk/newsletter
 

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   Government announces the replacement warhead programme    4 March, 2020

On 25 February, the Government announced the replacement warhead programme in Parliament, reaffirming its commitment to maintaining the United Kingdom’s minimum credible independent nuclear deterrent, which exists to deter the most extreme threats to the UK and our NATO allies.

Follow the link for the full statement: https://www.awe.co.uk/2020/02/uk-warhead-replacement-programme/

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   98th Meeting of the AWE Local Liaison Committee Wednesday 18th March 09:30 AWE, Aldermaston    4 March, 2020

Please see below for AGENDA for 98th Meeting of the AWE Local Liaison Committee Wednesday 18th March 09:30AWE, Aldermaston

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   Thames Valley Police say: "Please Register Your Bikes"    12 February, 2020

Thames Valley Police no longer accept bikes that have been found by a member of the public or take reports of lost bikes.  If a person has had their bike stolen this needs to be reported online to TVP or by calling 101.  A lost or stolen bike needs to be reported with all details and serial numbers online to www.bikeregister.com.  It is important for all bike owners to register their bikes on this website, as besides helping to get your bike back if stolen and found abandoned, it also helps with finding out your identity if you are involved in an accident on your bike.  
 
TVP have access to search this site so they can check if a stolen bike has been found providing the owner knows the serial number.  The finder of a bike can go to this website to check if the bike has been reported stolen and if it has, it needs to be reported to the Police.  If the found bike has not been recorded on www.bikeregister.com  as lost or stolen, the finder needs to make reasonable attempts to locate the true owner via social media pages such as Lost and Found in our area.   Best practice for finders of bikes would be to hold on to them for a period of 4 weeks to give the owner chance to come forward but after this period the finder can decide how to dispose of the bike and would suggest giving to the Community Furniture Project.
 

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   Thames Valley Police - Important Notice - European Firearms Pass Efp    12 February, 2020

The implementation period for leaving the EU will continue until 31st December 2020. During this transitional period we will continue to issue EFP’s. 

Please note that Portugal no longer accepts UK EFP’s. In these circumstances you will need to check the firearms licensing requirements of this EU country ahead of your travel arrangements.  

For further advice on EFP’s please use the following link:  EFP Advice Link

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   Theft from Vehicle In Goring Lane Grazeley Green    12 February, 2020
Between 9.30pm and 9.45pm on 06/02, offender(s) broke into a van stealing various Milwaukee power tools, a climbing harness and a bag and suitcase containing clothing in Goring Lane Grazeley Green.   

If you have any information, please contact the Police Enquiry Centre on 101 (Ref 43200042922)
 

Message Sent By
Claire Williams (Police, Administrator, West Berkshire)

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   Padworth's February Newslatter    12 February, 2020

Please follow this link for Padworth February 2020 Newsletter

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   VACANCY FOR A PARISH CLERK    15 January, 2020

PARISH CLERK AND

RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER

 

Applications are invited for the post of part-time Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer to the Wokefield Parish Council.

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   M4 Smart Motorway project - weekend closures    4 January, 2020

M4 Smart Motorway project

There are two full weekend closures of the M4 coming up early in the new year, between junctions 6 and 8/9 over the weekend of 17-20 January and between junctions 4b and 5 over the weekend of 14‑17 February.  For more info go to http://www.highwaysengland.co.uk/m4j3to12.

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    James Lane, in the parishes of Wokefield and Burghfield closure    19 December, 2019

James Lane, in the parishes of Wokefield and Burghfield will be closed from  6th to 24th January 2020 between its junction with The Mearings and its junction with Goring Lane.

 

The alternative route for all vehicles affected is via Goring Lane, Hollybush Lane, Reading Road, Hermits Hill, and vice versa.

 

The purpose of this closure is so Thames Water can lay a mains supply for a new development.

 

Residential & Blue light access will be maintained throughout, and the diversion will be signed on site.

 

All enquiries should be directed to: KCD on 0793 9977 827

 

A plan of the closure can be found at: (click on link) https://one.network/?tm=115871143

 

 

Andrew Gatland

 

Streetworks West Berkshire Council Market Street Newbury RG14 5LD

01635 519106  Ext 2106 andrew.gatland1@westberks.gov.uk

www.westberks.gov.uk

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   Lamping and Organised Shoots - Please Read    9 December, 2019

Dear Land Owners/Game Keepers,
 
Please could you notify Thames Valley Police control room via the 101 number when there is  a shoot taking place or if you are out Lamping.
 
This will help with our resourcing when members of the public call in to inform us of persons on land with guns, vehicles and also reports of persons on land shining lights around.
 
When you do call in please can you inform the control room of the following –
 
Time & date – between times.

The area you will be in.
 
What vehicles you are in.
 
Names of persons involved.
 
Anything else you feel that Thames Valley Police should be aware of.
  
Thank you very much for you co-operation in this matter.
 
Kind Regards
  
PCSO Paul Smith  
paul.smith4@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

 

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   Thames Valley Police Advice on Avoiding Burglaries    7 December, 2019

Thames Valley Police will be sharing our home security advice with you all throughout this month, so please keep an eye on this space

Burglary-advice - 166.7 KB

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   Rural Policing Survey - West Berkshire    7 December, 2019

Thames Valley Police feel it is really important to have a clear understanding of rural crime within our community, and your feedback will help us shape our local response towards it.

If you live in a rural area in West Berkshire, please complete our short survey:

https://www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk/E5D465AE-748E-453E-A16D-43DCBD184357/QuickRegister

It will only take a couple of minutes of your time, but its findings will generate further engagement with the community.
https://assets.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk/317220976/email.gif

Message Sent By
Cristina Bratu (Police, Comms, HQ)

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   Padworth Parish Newsletter 132    1 December, 2019

Follow this link for latest Padworth Newsletterhttp://www.wokefield-pc.org.uk/userfiles/files/Document%20Archive/Public/Padworth%20Newletters/Padworth%20Newsletter%20132.pdf

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   Police Rural Crime Survey    29 November, 2019

TVP feel it is really important to have a clear understanding of rural crime within our community, and your feedback will help them shape their local response towards it.

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   Padworth Newsletter No 131    29 November, 2019

Use this link to view Padworth Newsletter 131

http://www.wokefield-pc.org.uk/userfiles/files/Document%20Archive/Public/Padworth%20Newletters/Padworth%20Newsletter%20131.pdf

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   Theft from Vehicle In Goring Lane Grazeley Green    27 November, 2019
Between 16.00hrs on Sunday 24th November and 09.00hrs on Monday 25th November, offender(s) smashed the passenger side window and stole the wheels belonging to a Mitsubishi Shogun in Goring Lane, Grazeley Green.

If anyone has information about this incident please fill out the online form or alternatively contact the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101 (Ref 43190368532)

Message Sent By
Claire Williams (Police, Administrator, West Berkshire)

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   Protect Your World - Top Cyber Tips     16 September, 2019
Over the next few weeks, Thames Valley Police will be publishing our top cyber security tips as part of our Protect Your World campaign.

Our Protect Your World campaign aims to encourage Thames Valley residents and businesses to protect themselves online.

The campaign is aimed at helping residents stay one step ahead of cyber criminals by producing top cyber security steps everyone needs to take.

It not only explains the risks of cyber crime, but also what steps you should be taking to stay safe and how you can complete them.

For more information on our seven top tips, visit the Protect Your World page and follow the campaign on our social media channels using #ProtectYourWorld.


 

Message Sent By
Ffion Jones (Police, Communications Assistant , HQ South)

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   Thames Valley Police is currently recruiting volunteer police officers    10 September, 2019

Special Constable (Volunteer Police Officer) - Application Advice


Thames Valley Police is currently recruiting for volunteer police officers.  You can find more information about becoming a Volunteer Police Officer, and apply for this volunteer role, at http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/joinus.htm.  Please ensure you read the guidance notes before completing any application.

 

The Special Constabulary welcomes and encourages applications from members of the public who wish to give something back to their community, develop their skills or just take up a challenging volunteering role at the heart of the community.

 

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   Message from Thames Valley Police re: Death Of PC Andrew Harper    24 August, 2019

We've been moved and would like to thank everyone for the condolence messages we have received since the tragic death of PC Andrew Harper.

We will at the right time be passing these to his family.

If you would like to send a message, please email PCAndrewHarperCondolences@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk and for this, please do not use 101 or our online reporting forms. 

Message Sent By
Alexandra Cross (Police, Communications, Thames Valley)

 
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   AWE Release July Local Liaison Committee Report    19 August, 2019

Follow this link for AWE’s LLC  July 2019 Report.

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   SCAM WARNING from Thames Valley Police    10 August, 2019
Action Fraud has received 63 reports about a scam in which fraudsters target people with offers of “low cost” loans or “free” government grants. What the victims aren’t told is that the money they’ll receive is actually an advance payment for Universal Credit. The criminals use the personal information they’ve obtain under false pretences to make an application in the victim’s name. After the fraudsters have taken their “fee” from the advance payment, the victim is then left to pay back the total amount once their repayments begin.


How you can protect yourself:
  • Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if it’s in response to an offer of “free money” or a “free grant”.
  • Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) staff will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media.
  • If you have concerns about your benefits, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
  • If you suspect your identity may have been stolen, you can check your credit rating quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months anyway, using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.




 

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

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   Fraudsters Targeting Social Media Influencers    7 August, 2019

Action Fraud Alert is provided by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau which is run by the City of London Police as a national service. They have issued the following bulletin:

Be Aware

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received intelligence to suggest that fraudsters are contacting social media influencers, based in the UK and abroad, offering them the opportunity to market a bogus product, service or investment opportunity.

Fraudsters will present professional and credible pitches to the social media influencers and try to convince them to feature the opportunity for a fee on their social media profiles in order to entice unsuspecting followers of the influencer to sign up or make a purchase.

Additionally, fraudsters are using the names of well-known public figures, implying that their opportunity or product is endorsed by the figure when it is not.

The public should be aware that any apparent endorsement by celebrities, influencers or personalities does not necessarily mean that an investment, product or service is genuine. The public is urged to exercise a cautious approach to any such offer of investment, product or service with the same caution they would at any other time.


What You Need To Do

  • If you are purchasing goods from a company you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, or ask friends or family for advice before completing a purchase.
  • Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts do not guarantee that an investment opportunity or product is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make them appear legitimate.
  • Avoid paying for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person or company. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use your credit card or payment services such as PayPal as they offer you greater protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

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   Thames Vally Police Warn about distraction Theft    20 July, 2019

Thames Valley Police are advising shoppers and drivers to be extra vigilant following a scam that happened yesterday (18/07) in a Supermarket car park in Newbury.

A male approached a driver saying that someone had hit their car and that the driver should get out and have a look. The driver got out and looked around the car. At this time, unbeknown to the driver, another male had opened the passenger door and had taken their wallet. The driver got back into their car and when they had realised what had happened, they followed and confronted the male, who then made a call to the other male and the wallet was returned to the driver with nothing missing.

Please check out the Thames Valley Police website for more information on scams and ways to prevent yourself from being a victim.

https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/thames-valley/fraud/little-book-big-scams.pdf
 

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   Drivers Targeted With Fake Fines    16 July, 2019
What you need to know

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.

Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.


What you need to do
  • If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
  • Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
  • If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

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   Dangerous structure adjacent to Lockram Lane    7 July, 2019

A local resident has brought the following to the Parish Councils' attention.:

 

"We live in Lockram Lane and during a recent dog walk we sheltered under trees close to the old reservoir opposite Lockram Cottage. We noticed that the old fence has collapsed and there is easy access to the top of the reservoir. There are several unprotected open manhole openings on the top of the reservoir which are a danger to animals and children who happen to venture into there. The tank is very deep and falling in would be easy with inattention."

 

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   Prevent Your Home From Becoming Hot Property This Summer    5 July, 2019
The summer is a time when Thames Valley Police, and other forces around the country, experience an increase in residential burglary. This is due to opportunist thieves taking advantage of doors and windows being left open in hot weather, and properties not being left secure while residents are away on holiday.

It only takes seconds to steal valuables that are within easy reach. Window opening restrictors can be fitted to ground floor windows to allow ventilation while preventing burglars from being able to climb through. If going out, even just in the garden, you should always close and lock your windows and doors.

The consequences of being burgled reach far beyond the cost and inconvenience of replacing stolen items. It is also the emotional impact of having your summer holiday ruined, and the feeling of being violated, after an uninvited stranger has been in your home.

If leaving your car at home when you go on holiday, remember to remove any valuables and check the windows are closed and doors are locked. If your vehicle is stolen you could lose your motor insurance excess and no claims bonus. You will still be responsible for any vehicle finance owed and likely to pay higher insurance premiums in the future.

Avoid checking-in on social networks at the airport and wait to post your holiday photos until you get home. Some home insurance policies become invalidated if you post that you are away from home.

Holiday Checklist:
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Check side gates, sheds and garages are locked and tools and ladders are not accessible for burglars to break into your home.
  • Store all keys out of sight and away from your letterbox.
  • Use a RFID pouch to store fobs for keyless entry vehicles.
  • Make your home look occupied by using a timer switch to turn on lights at night.
  • Ask a trusted friend to look after your home while you are away.
  • Invite a neighbour to park their vehicle on your drive while you are away.
  • Don’t post details of your holiday on social media until you return home.
For more burglary prevention advice, download your free Home Security Guide from the Thames Valley Police website here: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/thames-valley/advice/home-security-guide.pdf

By working together we can build community resilience to deter burglars from targeting homes in the area. 
 

Message Sent By
Aimee Hendley (Police, Corporate Communications Oficer, HQ South)


 

To reply or forward this email please use the buttons below or these links: Reply, Rate, Forward / Share.

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   Crime Prevention Advice    23 June, 2019
Help us to keep crime down and make life harder for criminals by following our
crime reduction advice.

• Cut back your shrubs and hedges to aid visibility.
• Secure access to the back garden. Are your gates and fences maintained?
• Consider a time switch for your radio and lights.
• Service/maintain your burglar alarm.
• Keep gardening tools locked away.
• Ensure sheds and garages are fully secured.
• Consider joining NHW – contact your Neighbourhood Police Team
 

Message Sent By
Claire Williams (Police, Administrator, West Berkshire)

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   Thames Valley police warn of Rogue Traders    13 June, 2019

Your local Neighbourhood Policing Team would like to make you aware of the following:
Rogue Doorstep Traders will use a trade as a means to extract large sums of money from people.

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   Thames Valley Police warn of theft of Catalytic converters from cars    6 June, 2019

There has been a spate of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles, in particular from Toyota Prius’.

Drivers can reduce the risk of theft by parking their vehicles in a garage, parking in a location that restricts access underneath the vehicle, park somewhere well-lit and also in a place that is covered by CCTV.

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   Thame Vally Police warn of bogus Police, Courier or Bank scams.     6 June, 2019

Courier Fraud, Bogus Police and Bank Officials Alert

What you need to know


Individuals have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer or banking official
 

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    FAKE TalkTalk emails about a refund    4 June, 2019

Watch out for these FAKE TalkTalk emails about a refund

Action Fraud has received over 100 reports this week about fake emails purporting to be from TalkTalk. The emails state that the recipient’s TalkTalk account is in credit and that they’re owed a refund. The links in the emails lead to malicious websites.

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.


 

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   Reports on Activities at AWE    13 March, 2019

Below can be found links to recent reports on the acivities of AWE compiled by the Environment Agency (EA) and Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

 

Environment Agency March 2019

 

Office of Nuclear Regulation

 

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   Proposed increase in Council Tax to support Thames Valley Police    5 January, 2019

The Thames Valley Police budget has been cut by £101 million over the last eight years which has resulted in significant cuts to police officer and staff numbers. This year the Government has encouraged all Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to raise the policing element of the council tax precept by £2 a month for a Band D property (the increase for other property Bands is set out in the below table). To prevent further damaging cuts to policing and restore some important frontline policing capability  Anthony Stansfield, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley would like to make use of this Government advice and raise the council tax precept accordingly.

 

More information & the opportunity to answer a survey on the subject can be found here:

 

http://sgiz.eu/s3/Policing-budget-council-tax-2019-20

 

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   VACANCY FOR A PARISH COUNCILLOR    16 November, 2018

 

PARISH COUNCIL OF WOKEFIELD

 

VACANCY FOR A COUNCILLOR

   There is a vacancy on the above Council caused by the resignation of Councillor V. Jerrom.

 

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   Help for Carers from West Berkshire Council     27 December, 2017

 

 

Help for Carers from West Berkshire Council

Carers assessments and working out what support you need

If you provide necessary unpaid care or support to an adult family member, friend or partner, you may be eligible for support. 
Adult carers that look after someone who lives within West Berkshire can request a carer's assessment by:

If you need help with completing your carers assessment please contact Adult Social Care  - we'll give you some advice on how to fill it out.

Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub provide support and information to carers.  If you would like further information please complete the  Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub Referral Form [64kb].

 

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   Notifying West Berks Council of litter problems    27 December, 2017

In order to make savings, West Berkshire Council is proposing changes to its street cleansing and litter picking services.  Specifically, for rural areas such as Wokefield it is proposing the following changes:

 

Type of Land                            Current Litter Picking                                       Current Street Cleansing                      Proposal

 Low Intensity  Use

Lightly trafficked areas, rural roads without housing

Between every four weeks and once a year

Every 12 weeks, or not at all if they have no kerb

Less proactive attention than Medium Intensity Use, supplemented by reactive work where land falls below an acceptable standard

 

However, the  public can them us about local issues, including problems with litter, litter bins and fly tipping at www.westberks.gov.uk/reportaproblem.

They  welcome the support of the community in identifying problem areas and will be extending the service to include the reporting of the build up of detritus.

 

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   Thames Valley Police Advice on Avoiding Burglaries    27 October, 2017

Thames Valley Police advise that typically at this time of year when the clocks go back, there is a increase in the number of homes which are broken into and burgled.

Their basic advice to reduce the risk of burglary is to remember to:

  • Close and lock all your doors and windows when going to bed.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Don’t advertise that you’re out, invest in a light timer switch.
  • Register your valuables with www.immobilise.com
  • Receive crime updates by signing up to www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk
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   Recent Advice from Thames Valey Police re: Terroist Threats    5 June, 2017

Please see below a message from the Deputy Chief Constable of TVP re Terrorism threat raised to critical:

 

Last night the Prime Minister confirmed that the national terrorist threat has been raised to critical.  This means that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent. At this time there is no intelligence to suggest a specific threat to the Thames Valley.

 

Our priority is to protect the communities of the Thames Valley and visitors to our area. Overnight we have put in place additional armed and unarmed officers at key locations. This is very much focused on crowded places, including transport hubs and shopping centres.

 

Do not be alarmed if you see more armed police officers both on foot and in vehicles.  For operational reasons we are not confirming details of locations, tactics and numbers of police officers on duty to ensure the effectiveness of our deployments.

 

We will continue to work with our partners and event organisers to assess the planned events where we may need to enhance our presence.

 

Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said:

“I would like to reassure you that the move to critical is something that we prepare for. We will continually review our deployments and take all possible steps to keep people safe within Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

 

“At this time we need everyone to remain alert but not alarmed.  We need your help to help us protect our communities and disrupt those who seek to harm us. I would urge you to contact the police straight away if you believe that someone is acting suspiciously.

 

“Our officers and staff will continue to provide a visible presence in our communities and we have the specialist resources in place to respond in an emergency.”

We have the following advice:

 

·         If you see anything that causes you concern then let us know immediately, if you have suspicions about someone’s behaviour call the police on 101, the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or in an emergency you should always call 999

 

 

  • The latest guidance on recognising the terrorist threat and remaining vigilant can be accessed via www.nactso.gov.uk

 

  • For further information about reporting suspicious behaviour visit https://act.campaign.gov.uk/. If you get caught up in the unlikely event of a weapons attack we urge you to follow the Run, Hide, Tell advice.
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   Victims First launches to support victims of crime    16 May, 2017

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, has  launched his ‘Victims First’ brand and website.

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   Volunteering for West Berkshire Library at Home Service    18 October, 2016

West Berkshire at Home Library Service

This Service provides an invaluable link to readers who are unable to get to their own branch library. We are looking for volunteers to take library material to people’s homes on a 3 week cycle. Having your own car is essential.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact:  gtaylor@westberks.gov.uk Tel:01635 519533

Apply online at www.westberks.gov.uk/volunteer

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   Parish Summer Newsletter now available    8 August, 2016

The latest Parish Newsletter can be found here: Summer 2016

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   September launch for new West Berkshire waste permit scheme    5 August, 2016

September launch for new West Berkshire wastepermit scheme

A new permit scheme for accessing West Berkshire household waste recycling centres will begin on Monday 26 September, 2016.

The scheme is being introduced to ensure West Berkshire residents do not have to pay for waste brought to the district from elsewhere through their council tax. Until recently, Hampshire County Council paid £200,000 a year to allow its residents to use West Berkshire facilities but stopped this funding earlier this year. Hampshire residents currently account for around 40% of waste taken to Padworth and 20% of waste taken to Newbury and the cost of disposing of this waste now falls to West Berkshire council taxpayers and puts an additional strain on the waste service. In March, West Berkshire Council also decided to cease funding towards the re3 waste partnership – funding which allowed residents to use the Smallmead recycling centre in Reading.

From 26 September West Berkshire residents will need to display a vehicle permit in order to access the household waste recycling centres in Newbury and Padworth. A permit will be posted to every household across the district in the coming weeks and must be clearly displayed in order to enter the recycling centres.

Each household will receive a single permit that can be used in domestic vehicles. Residents who only own a commercial-type vehicle will be able to apply online for a permit.

Neither site is registered to dispose of commercial waste so businesses, which are already prohibited from the centres, will not be issued with permits.

From Monday, waste collection teams will be leaving bin hangers on bins to tell homeowners about the changes.

As well as the introduction of a permit scheme West Berkshire Council intends, subject to planning permission, to extend Padworth so that it can accept general household waste. From the planning application being submitted it will take around six months to upgrade the site.

Speaking about the permit scheme Councillor Marcus Franks, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Public Protection, said: “This permit scheme will help us to ensure West Berkshire residents do not have to pay for the disposal of waste from other districts. At a time when our resources are tighter than ever it is important that we are using them wisely to protect our services as best as we can.

“We have worked hard to minimise any inconvenience to local people with permits, which will be posted out to residents. Anyone who only owns a commercial-type vehicle will soon be able to request one through an online form. We will now be working hard to communicate these changes to local residents to make sure everybody knows about these changes.”

The permit scheme has been introduced in response to changes to regional waste arrangements as local authorities respond to reductions in their budgets. This includes reductions in funding for cross-border arrangements which have compelled local authorities to introduce permit schemes – including one for Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell – to manage the costs of waste disposal.

Before West Berkshire Council decided to cease funding towards re3 discussions took place to explore how costs might be reduced while allowing residents to continue using the Smallmead site. These were unsuccessful and re3 subsequently chose to implement its permit scheme.

Councillor Marcus Franks has written to Andrea Leadsom MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to raise awareness of the impact reductions in local government funding is having on waste services. In his letter he highlights that similar choices will be made across the country and will only be solved if the government acts.

Speaking about the letter, Councillor Franks said: “I felt it important that I write and highlight to the government how ridiculous this situation is. District boundaries are important to councils but less so to our residents who simply want to use their nearest waste centre. We didn’t want to introduce a permit scheme but we were forced to because of decisions made by others and I’m sure this will be happening around the country. I believe the government should act and hope they will give the issues I’ve raised some serious consideration.”

More information about the new permit scheme will be available from Monday at www.westberks.gov.uk/hwrcpermit

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   BUILDING COMMUNITY TOGETHER    22 July, 2016

Building Community Together is an initiative to help people in West Berkshire help each other.

 

It aims to make our communities stronger, and less reliant on council services whilst still getting the things they need to thrive.

 

To support such initiatives, West Berkshire Council has established the “Building Community Together Fund” which will be available over the next two years and will close in November 2017. Local community groups can bid for funds from this pot to help them take responsibility for providing projects and services in their communities to meet local needs.

 

For more information and examples of current initiatives visit Building Community Together

 

If you have an idea as to how this initiative could benefit Wokefield, please contact the parish council via the Parish Clerk:  clerk@wokefield-pc.org.uk

 

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   Police and Crime Commissioner survey - seeking views on policing and crime    13 July, 2016

The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley would like your views on policing and crime.

This Summer, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is seeking views from the residents of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire on policing and crime.  This feedback will help inform the Police and Crime Plan which sets the priorities for Thames Valley Police for the next 5 years.

What concerns you about policing in your area?  What would you like Thames Valley Police to prioritise with regards to crime?  Have you been a victim of crime and would like to feedback your experience? 

To give your views, you can complete a short online survey at www.thamesvalley-pcc.gov.uk/survey.  It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and will be open until Friday 30th September 2016.

If you would like a copy of the survey posted to you, please contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on 01865 846780

 

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   Parish Audit Report for Year to March 2015    19 February, 2016

This latest audit report is filed as a series of pages which can be found here:

March 2015 Parish Audit

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   West Berks Cycle Working Group    12 December, 2015

The popularity of cycling is ever increasing and West Berks wants to see this growth in cycling within our District.  That’s why they’ve set up a working group, to identify which barriers are preventing cycling from becoming more popular for all residents and visitors for all journey purposes including commuting, recreational and health purposes.

Follow this link for more informtion West Berks Cycle Group

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   Avoiding Scams    30 July, 2015

Please follow the link below for advice from Chartered Trading Standards Institute on avoiding scammers

http://www.wokefield-pc.org.uk/userfiles/files/Document%20Archive/Public/POSTERS/poster.jpg

 

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   Thames Valley Police Launch Camapaign to prevent garden theft    13 April, 2015

Thames Valley Police have launched a campaign to prevent garden theft. Follow the the following link to view their poster.Garden Security

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   Neighbours asked to help in the crackdown on doorstep crime    5 November, 2014

Neighbours asked to help in the crackdown on doorstep crime

Local people are being asked to look out for their neighbours to help crackdown on doorstep crime as part of a national campaign 'Good neighbours stop rogue traders'

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   Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders    21 October, 2014

Are you a good neighbour? Do you want to protect vulnerable residents from rogue traders?

Follow the link below for advice on how to deal with unwanted doorstep callers either at your own home or that of a vulnerable neighbour

/userfiles/files/Document%20Archive/Public/Useful%20Information/Rogue%20Traders.pdf

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   Community Trigger to handle Anti-Social Behaviour in West Berkshire    9 October, 2014

Community Trigger  Launched across West Berkshire

The Community Safety Partnership, including West Berkshire Council and Thames Valley Police are working together to introduce Community Trigger as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The Community Trigger which comes into effect on 20th October 2014, is intended to enable victims of persistent anti-social behaviour to request a review of their case, and brings agencies together to take a joined up, problem-solving approach to find a solution.

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   Grazeley Green Team reaches Old Bell    4 May, 2014

After a year's effort, the Grazeley Green team achieved one of its objectives last Sunday. Namely to clear the verge between the Pightle and the Old Bell in Goring Lane to provide a safer pedestrian route to the pub and clear lines of sight around the bend by the pub.

 

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   Coronavirus Update from Thames Valley Poice Gold Commander    30 November, -0001
Hi, I’m Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt and I am the Gold commander for Thames Valley Police’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

I want to start by saying how much I and all of my officers appreciate how the vast majority of our communities are understanding of the importance of staying at home to protect our critical NHS resources and save lives, so thank you.

Given that, we can understand how frustrating it must be when you look around and see what you perceive to be people not following these guidelines as you have been at no small sacrifice to you and your way of life.

We are receiving hundreds of reports every day relating to COVID related breaches and over the last 7 days alone we have deployed officers to over 1100 incidents.

We must prioritise incidents as they come into us and that includes putting these reports alongside our normal calls for service including serious crime and responding to emergency and non-emergency calls. It is essential that we continue to protect our communities in line with our normal policing duties.

Where we have deployed for COVID-related reports, these are primarily to group gatherings that are happening at that time. That is because they pose the greatest health risks by gathering and then dispersing back into our communities. If you see this and it is happening now, call 101.  

With minor breaches, such as people reporting those who have taken multiple walks in a day, we may not be responding right there and then but that doesn’t mean we are ignoring them. Your reports help to provide vital information around patterns and hotspots which then go across to our local policing teams to inform their patrol plans. Please report minor breaches to us online.

We want to make sure we are visible, provide reassurance and be a deterrent to those who think these rules don’t apply to them. Encouraging or enforcing the social distancing measures is a priority for the force and we have dedicated patrols in place to do this. We keep this under constant review and where we need to apply more resources we have done that and will continue to do so.

Please be reassured that Thames Valley Police is playing its role in this public health emergency. To reiterate the Chief Constable’s message this week, we will always look to engage, explain and encourage people to comply but where we need to we will enforce - and we have been doing that. Thames Valley Police currently has issued the second highest number of fines in the country.

Thank you again for all that you are doing at this challenging time. You really demonstrate the community spirit of Thames Valley, an area we are so proud to police.

Thank you.
Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt, Gold Commander

To view the full video, please click the following link: https://youtu.be/gfyqB-cYH1I

Message Sent By
Emma Tarry (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley)

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   Covid-19: latest news and information from West Berkshire Council    30 November, -0001

We're working hard to continue delivering services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and to support our residents - and in particular those who most need our help.

On our website you will find information about where to find support as well as details of any changes we've had to make to services.

You can also keep in touch with us online, and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

We would like to wish all our residents a lovely Bank Holiday weekend.


Residents' Survey

Residents Survey

We have all experienced significant changes to our daily lives during lockdown, with the closures of businesses, schools and workplaces. Some will have also suffered the loss of a loved one to Covid-19, which will have made this time even more difficult.

We have launched a residents’ survey to gain insight into the impact of Covid-19 and would like your views on the local social, economic and environmental impact you have experienced.

The survey should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and your feedback will be used to shape the West Berkshire Recovery Strategy, which is being developed to outline how the district recovers from the current situation. We intend to repeat the survey at regular intervals in the next year to ensure that any changes our residents are feeling are considered.

Click here to take part in the survey.


Town centre to be temporarily pedestrianised

town centre pedestrianised

Newbury town centre will be temporarily pedestrianised from 1 June. 

We have issued a temporary traffic order which will see the north end of Bartholomew Street, Northbrook Street and the Market Square closed to traffic for 24 hours a day until further notice. 

We are continuing to work to support our town centres to reopen across the district so you may notice high streets in your area will also have restrictions for vehicle access.

This will help town centre businesses and shoppers to comply with social distance guidance as it will make additional floorspace available for queuing outside of shops and businesses who choose to re-open. 

Any businesses who need to receive deliveries by vehicle should email: Trafficandroadsafety@westberks.gov.uk to discuss.


Public Rights of Way

public rights of way

Our Rights of Way Rangers and Contractors are currently very busy clearing the paths of vegetation which is growing rapidly. Social distancing is extremely important in order to keep the operatives of the machinery and the public safe.

Before starting work they are displaying signs which ask residents to keep a social distance and where necessary to make sure the operatives see you before you proceed.

In a small number of cases where paths are very narrow and/or winding we are temporarily closing the paths whilst the clearance is taking place. Signs clearly state the path is temporarily closed.

Please take notice of these signs to keep everyone safe and also make sure you are following the Countryside Code.  

A special Coronovirus Countryside Code has recently been produced by Defra.


Car Parks

car parks

Since the end of March, car parks operated by us have been free to help make life easier for key and essential workers at this difficult time.

From 1 June we are starting to reintroduce charging again as the restrictions on lockdown are starting to ease with more people visiting towns. We will still accept all forms of payment but we are encouraging payment to be made on card using contactless payment and pay by phone where available, rather than handling cash.

Social distancing still needs to be adhered to and there will be plenty of signage across all car parks to highlight this, including advice on how many people to have in the car park lifts.  


Waste Update

bank holiday monday  

Bank Holiday Monday

Don’t forget with the bank holiday on Monday that bin collections will take place a day later than usual. You can find out what date your collection is due by using our handy online tool: https://citizen.westberks.gov.uk/binday.


excess waste

Traffic management at the Recycling Centres

A339 Newtown Road, Newbury

A lane closure was installed last week on this section of road near the Recycling Centre to slow and control traffic entering the site. It is felt that traffic is coping better with this new addition and both the 30mph speed limit and lane closure will remain in place until further notice.  

Padworth Lane, Padworth

Traffic is coping very well at this site and traffic volumes are less than expected, mainly due to the effective implementation of a booking system for Recycling Centre customers. As a result, the road closure on Padworth Lane and the 30mph speed limit on the A4 has been removed. All traffic for the Recycling Centre should still approach from the A4 wherever possible and bookings will now be checked at the access into the Recycling Centre.

Both locations will continue to be monitored and any further changes may be implemented with very little or no notice if and when necessary. Bookings are still necessary to visit both sites and trailers are not permitted at either site.

We would like to thank motorists and residents for cooperating with us to make the changes work successfully.  

We want to also please advise residents to read carefully what can and can’t be taken to the recycling centres to ensure the health and safety of our site buildings and staff is not compromised.


Berkshire Befriending and Buddying

befriending

We pleased to announce that a contract to deliver Befriending and Buddy support has been awarded to Age UK Berkshire

The scheme, which aims to prevent and reduce social isolation and loneliness in West Berkshire, will provide social and emotional support to residents aged 50 and over from a volunteer befriender or buddy. 

Due to Covid-19 the scheme is currently running as a telephone befriending service and face to face befriending and buddying will be introduced when it is safe to do so and in line with government guidance.

The Age UK Berkshire Befriending and Buddying scheme is now open for referrals. Enquiries should be made directly to Age UK Berkshire by emailing: info@ageukberkshire.org.uk or calling: 0118 959 4242.


Every Mind Matters

mental health week

Now, more than ever, Every Mind Matters. We’ll all be experiencing highs and lows and it’s perfectly normal to miss loved ones, get frustrated, or feel anxious or stressed.

It’s important to be able to strengthen your resilience and reduce stress as much as possible. To help with this, we have worked with our partners to actively promote the Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Every Mind Matters campaign.

You can get a free mind plan on our website designed to help you deal with stress, boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel in control. Try it out.


Schools Update

school reopening

Head teachers across West Berkshire covering all provisions have been working exceptionally hard in the background to fully understand the large volumes of guidance for the wider opening of schools that has been published by central government recently. 

The announcement focussed on welcoming more children back into schools, colleges and early year’s settings from Monday 1 June, if it remains safe to do so, whereas for some this might be from a later date.

We understand parents across the district have many questions on what this recent announcement means for them and their children going back to school. We want to assure parents that our Education team are continually working closely with the Head teachers and staff members in schools who have already been doing an amazing job supporting children of critical workers and vulnerable children since 23 March.

However, it is important to remember that what works for one school, may not work in another and Head teachers are keen to make sure parents are well informed and reassured their children will be as safe as possible. Schools will be in touch with parents and carers about local arrangements.

We all look forward to a time when schools can return to something that looks more normal but until then, safety has to be our collective top priority.


New discretionary business scheme launched

We have launched a new £1.225m discretionary business scheme. The new scheme, which was announced earlier this month and is funded by Central Government, follows on from the previous Small Business Rates Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants scheme.

It is aimed at businesses who have ongoing property costs and have experienced a significant fall in their income due to Covid-19. The previous scheme was launched in April and we distributed over £24.6m to almost 2,000 local businesses; placing us in the top 10% of local authorities in the country by percentage of eligible businesses paid. This new scheme is open for applications and will close when the council has distributed its allocation of £1.225m on a first come first served basis.

Full guidance and the grant form can be found on our dedicated Coronavirus business page.

 
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   West Berks Covid Update    30 November, -0001
 

Covid-19 newsletter header

 
 
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