title="Wokefield Parish Council in West Berkshire">


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   West Berks Residents Bulletin 20th March 2024    20 March, 2024
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   West Berks Flood prevention leaflet    21 January, 2024

Click here to view West Berks Flood prevention leaflet.

Flooding, Be pepared! (wokefield-pc.org.uk)

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   There is a vacancy on the above Council caused by the resignation of Councillor D. Fisher


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   Burghfield & Mortimer Volunteer Bureau    25 October, 2023







CONTACT US ON 01189 831 814 (MON–FRI 9:30-11:30am)


We at the Burghfield and Mortimer Volunteer Bureau give our time and our own private vehicles to get you to your medical appointments Hospitals, GP Surgeries, Dentists and Opticians.


You will be taken to your appointment from your home, we will wait with you and then return you home.


There is no charge. We simply ask for a donation to cover the office running costs and help with volunteer drivers for their fuel.






Have you recently retired? Have a car and enjoy meeting people and chatting? Looking for a way to give some of your time to your community?


CONTACT US ON 01189 831 814 (MON–FRI 9:30-11:30am)

or email bureauvolunteer@gmail.com


The Burghfield & Mortimer Volunteer Bureau needs more drivers and would welcome any of your time (daytime Mon-Fri). An allowance of 50p per mile is available to cover motoring expenses.



During the first 5 months of 2023 our volunteers have transported 473 clients to various destinations including John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals in Oxford, Royal Hampshire County Hospital Winchester, Frimley Park Hospital, Townlands Henley, West Berks Community Hospital and all the NHS and Private hospitals in Reading and all local GP surgeries, Opticians and Dentists in our area.


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   District Councillor's Report September 2023    18 September, 2023

Please use the following link to see District Councillor's Report September 2023 https://bit.ly/WBCSept23

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   District Councillors Report July 2023    18 July, 2023

District Councillors report – July 2023

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   Wokefield Parish Annual Return 2022-2023 now available    1 July, 2023

Wokefield  Parish Annual Return for the year  2022-2023   can be viewed by following this link:

Wokefield 2022-2023 Annual Return


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   Big Community Switch is back! Helping residents to see if they can save on energy bills    23 June, 2023

Big Community Switch is back! Helping residents to see if they can save on energy bills

The Big Community Switch is back, offering an opportunity for households to save on their energy bills by securing competitive tariffs with trusted energy suppliers. 

We understand that many households are frustrated with the high energy costs and have struggled over the last 18 months. That's why we're committed to seeking better deals through Big Community Switch.

What is the Big Community Switch? It’s a collective effort where community members come together to leverage their collective power to negotiate better energy deals with suppliers. The auction will be facilitated by iChoosr: an independent expert in group-buying.

In addition to financial benefits, the Big Community Switch also aligns with our shared commitment to the environment. By joining the auction, you contribute to the demand for clean energy and help drive transition to a more sustainable future.

Taking part in the West Berkshire Energy Switch is free, and there is no obligation to switch to the winning supplier once you receive your personal offer.

Read more and find out how to register here: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/communityswitch


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   WBC Parish Report for April 2023    3 May, 2023

WBC Parish Report for April 2023

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

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   WBC Parish Report for March 2023    4 April, 2023

WBC Parish Report for March 2023

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

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   Free Call Blockers for Vulnerable Residents    4 April, 2023

West Berks Trading Standards are  trying to promote getting these free call blockers installed for vulnerable people in our area. They’re proven to help reduce scam calls and they’ll help protect vulnerable residents.


Would you be able to share the following FB and Twitter post please? Or share the article shown in more info below?


Facebook link here


Twitter link here


More info here


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   WBC Parish Report for February 2023    3 April, 2023

WBC Parish Report for February 2023

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

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   WBC Parish Report for January 2023    9 February, 2023

WBC Parish Report for January 2023

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

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   WBC Parish Report for November/December 2022    25 December, 2022

WBC Parish Report for November/December 2022

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


This report is up to mid-December and, as with last year, there won’t be a further December report - the January report (published at the start of February) will include anything that arises during the rest of December.

So, best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

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   WBC Parish Report for October 2022    7 November, 2022

WBC Parish Report for October 2022

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

West Berkshire Council

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   Your West Berkshire    13 October, 2022

New newsletter header

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   WBC Parish Report for September 2022    7 October, 2022

WBC Parish Report for September 2022

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

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   Coming Soon - Cost of living Support Hub    5 October, 2022

Cost of Living Coming Soon

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   WBC Parish Report for August 2022    8 September, 2022

WBC Parish Report for August 2022

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

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   WBC Parish Report for July 2022    4 August, 2022

WBC Parish Report for July 2022

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

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   Landowner's Resposibility for maintaining hedgerows bordering roads, footpaths and footways    28 July, 2022


The Parish Council has received complaints that overgrown hedgerows throughout the Parish are making driving,cycling, walking,  and running around the Parish difficult or even dangerous – especially in Goring and Jame’s Lanes.

Reproduced below is an article from West Berks District Councillor's September  2021 report reminding landowners of their responsibilities to maintain their boundaries. 

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   Annual Parish Returns Available    11 July, 2022

Wokefield Parish Returns for 2021- 2022 are now available.  Follow the links below  to view the various documents.

Follow this link to view the Governance and Accountability Report  v2 2021-2022


Follow this link to view the Explanation of Variances 2021-2022


Follow this link to view the Governance and Accountability 2021-2022


Follow this link to view the Notice of Exercise of Public Rights 2021-2022


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   WBC Parish Report for June 2022    6 July, 2022

WBC Parish Report for June 2022

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

West Berkshire Council

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   West Berks Bus Services Survey 2022 now open until 3 July 2022     18 June, 2022

West Berks Council has been allocated funding from the Government to spend on local public bus services for next 3 years. Give us your views on the changes and improvements we would like to make and let us know how satisfied you are with services. Please read the consultation and have your say by Sunday 3 July 2022 www.westberks.gov.uk/ wbbussurvey2022 phone 01635 519394 or email transport@westberks.gov.uk for paper copy of survey.

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   Planning Application for Solar Farm at Bloomfield Hatch    6 June, 2022

West Berks Council have lodged a Planning Application  for a Solar Farm at Bloomfield Hatch Adjacent to Wokefield Park.  To view the full applicationj follow this link _ 22/01330/REG3

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   WBC Parish Report for May 2022    3 June, 2022

WBC Parish Report for May 2022

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

West Berkshire Council

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   WBC Parish Report for April 2022     6 May, 2022

WBC Parish Report for April 2022

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

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   WBC Parish Report for March 2022    8 April, 2022

WBC Parish Report for March 2022

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

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   West Berkshire Co-production Steering group for Environmental services    7 March, 2022

West Berks Council is  looking for up to seven local people to join a 'Co-production Steering Group'. The group will be shaping a new approach to providing public services in West Berkshire called Co-production, which is about local people and professionals working together in equal partnerships. The initial focus of the group will be the Council’s Environment Strategy, which includes supporting green growth and businesses, energy efficiency, protecting and enhancing biodiversity, and sustainable transport.


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   WBC Parish Report for February 2022     5 March, 2022

WBC Parish Report for February 2022

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

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   Parish Council Report for January 2022    14 February, 2022

Parish Council Report for January 2022

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


A reminder that there was no report in December and that November’s report covered matters up to the meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board on 6 December - this report covers matters since then.

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   Dementia Cafe    18 January, 2022

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   Parish Council Report for November 2021    9 December, 2021

Parish Council Report for November 2021

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

West Berkshire Council


This report includes a report on the Council and Local Outbreak Engagement Board meetings in early December.  There won’t be a further December report, and the January report will include any matters arising during the rest of December, so (if I don’t see you in the next few weeks) Happy Xmas and New Year!

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   Parish Council Report for October 2021    2 November, 2021

Parish Council Report for October 2021

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

West Berkshire Council

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   Parish Council Report for September 2021    19 October, 2021

Parish Council Report for September 2021

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

West Berkshire Council

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   Parish Council Report for August 2021    1 September, 2021

Parish Council Report for August 2021

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

West Berkshire Council

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   District Councillor's Parish Council Report for July 2021    8 August, 2021

Parish Council Report for July 2021

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

West Berkshire Council

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   AWE Local Liaison Reports Available    24 July, 2021

Go to the AWE folder in the Document Archive  section (in left sidebar) to see AWE Local Local Commuity News, Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Site Report for AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield  and Environment Agency Report to the AWE Local Liaison Committee.

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   Sling Your Hook Campaign Launched By Neighbourhood Watch To Tackle Scams    18 July, 2021

We are excited to tell you more about our SLING YOUR HOOK campaign running throughout July to help tackle scams

The campaign taps into the psychology that scammers use to hook people in, helping you stay one step ahead and protect yourself and your loved ones against the increasing variety of scams happening every day. We’ve identified the following five behaviours scammers commonly use:

  • They imply they’re doing you a favour (reciprocity)
  • They indicate everyone else is doing this (social proof)
  • They say your only chance is to act now (urgency)
  • They act like they’re similar to you, so you like them and want to please them (connection)
  • They ask you to do one little thing which makes you do more (commitment).

We also know that often victims of scams report that in hindsight they felt something wasn’t quite right at the time.  This campaign aims to raise awareness of the tactics scammers use and encourages people to ‘stop and think’ if something doesn’t FEEL, SEEM, LOOK or SOUND right.  This allows them time to trust your gut instinct and help prevent becoming a scam victim.

“Everyone likes to feel special. But watch out! If a stranger is going out of their way for you, something fishy may be going on instead. Scammers like to offer one-off deals and favours. Don’t be afraid to tell them no.” John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network

How can you support this campaign?

  • LEARN: Visit our scams website pages to learn more about common scams, preventing scams, reporting scams, supporting victims and a scams campaign toolkit
  • SHARE: Follow us on our Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn channels and share our posts       
  • JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Join us for an online talk (details below)

We are delivering a series of scams awareness online talks in partnership with the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), the National Trading Standards Scams Team (NTSST) and Avast.

Anyone can attend, but we are now running waiting lists only for all the webinars apart from one! Last week we ran an online talk on ‘Exploring the psychology behind scams and how scammers are so effective at their crimes’. It was so popular we have decided to re-run it on 27th July, 5pm.  Click here to book your place. Please note – this event will not be recorded.

Keep safe,

Follow us.. ourwatch.org.uk / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn
Neighbourhood Watch Network is a charity registered in England & Wales, CIO no: 1173349
Email tracking gif

Message Sent By
Central Support Team (NWN, Neighbourhood Watch Network, England and Wales)

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   Hate Crime and Incidents     15 June, 2021

A hate crime is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

Hate crime comes in many different forms and strikes at the heart of our communities. With your help, we can tackle those responsible for hate crime and keep our communities safe. We're here and ready to help anyone who has been affected by someone else's prejudice, ignorance or violence.

West Berkshire Local Police Area and partnership agencies are united in tackling hate crime and building safer communities for all and would encourage reporting of any hate crimes / incidents

Supt Aziz head of West Berkshire local police area states “I am committed to making West Berkshire an area where people can live and go about their business without fearing being subjected to crimes or incidents of hate. No one should suffer from these types of incidents. I encourage people to report incidents if they experience or witness such crimes so that we as the police, working with our partners, can investigate and support the victims, and prevent further offences. My officers are working hard to identify trends, repeat victims and offenders and locations and prevent further offences, and the senior management team at Newbury Police Station review all hate crimes and incidents on a daily basis to get the best possible outcome for victims”.

Please Click here to report any crime.

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

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   Parish Council Report for the period to 31 May 2021    3 June, 2021

Parish Council Report for the period to 31 May 2021 

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


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    Press Release from Trading Standards    14 May, 2021

I have been asked to send the attached press release from the Public Protection Partnership (Trading Standards) to Watch Schemes and Residents listed on the TVP/NHW database.  

Over the past 12 months Trading Standards have seen an increase in complaints about rogue traders and have laid down some guidelines in the attached document.

Please forward this Alert to your neighbours, family and friends to avoid them becoming a victim of a rogue trader.

Best wishes

Angela Money BEM
Neighbourhood Watch


PPP - Traders.pdf - 159.0 KB

Email tracking gif

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   Current Scams - May 2021    14 May, 2021

There are a huge number of scams circulating at the moment via phone, text or email and some have been doing the rounds for a number of years but also many new ones and updates on others that I have previously notified in my March Alert.

I have also included contact details as to the reporting of texts, scams and how to report if you have been a victim of fraud.

I have detailed these on the attachment and would be grateful if you could forward this Alert to your neighbours, friends and family to avoid them becoming a victim.  Apologies that it is such a big document and you may like to print this out for future reference.

Best wishes

Angela Money BEM
Neighbourhood Watch

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   Parish Council Report for the period to 4 May 2021    5 May, 2021

Parish Council Report for the period to 4 May 2021

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

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   12 April - Step 2 of Roadmap to Recovery begins    10 April, 2021

View this in browser



Covid-19 newsletter header

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   Cyber Security and Thank You from West Berkshire Council    7 April, 2021

I am attaching a document with news of a Neighbourhood Watch new Cyber Security Development with links to a Cyber Action Plan which is quick and easy to use.


A great number of Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators, Deputies and Residents have helped their neighbours and local Community Hubs during the Covid-19 pandemic with shopping, collecting prescriptions etc.   I have received the below message of appreciation from West Berkshire Council.  I am also attaching a Letter of Thanks and a Certificate.

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   Neighbourhood Watch Launches Protect Your Car Campaign    5 April, 2021

Neighbourhood Watch Launches Protect Your Car Campaign

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   2021-22 Budget for West Berkshire    4 March, 2021

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West Berkshire General news header



2021-22 Budget for West Berkshire

Investment to Build Back Better


For the coming year our priority is to continue providing good essential local services while supporting our community during these challenging economic times.

Our wide-ranging Budget to invest in West Berkshire's future was approved at a full Council meeting held last night (2 March). The 2021-22 budget features planned investments for schools, the environment, waste collection, transport, community projects, and other infrastructure to build back better.

Council tax contributes to paying for essential services, and in this year's budget we have managed to contain an increase in the tax to just 1.99%. 

Read more about the 2021-22 Budget

Facebook Live – Your Local Plan Review questions answered

Facebook Live LPRGreen strip

Thank you to all who participated in our recent emerging draft Local Plan Review 2020-37 consultation, which has now closed.

Join us on Monday, 8 March at 6pm on our Facebook page, where Councillor Hilary Cole (Executive Member for Planning, Housing & Public Protection) and Bryan Lyttle (Planning Policy Manager) will be myth-busting and providing an update on the proposed West Berkshire Local Plan Review 2037. 

If you have any questions that you would like Hilary and Bryan to answer, please do submit these via email on: pr@westberks.gov.uk before 4pm on Monday. You will also have the opportunity to post a question on the Facebook chat during the Live session.

Follow the West Berkshire Council Facebook Page to keep up to date on news and important information.

Sports Ground Update - online event

Newbury Sports Ground Webinar

Newbury Rugby Club has been identified as the preferred site for the new sports ground which would include a high-quality artificial grass pitch, stadium, floodlights, a changing room and function room. The site would also be available for community use for rugby and other sports and activities.

We are hosting a webinar (online event) on Tuesday, 16 March at 5pm to update residents and answer their questions. Book a ticket

New mental health fund for community projects

Surviving to Thriving

Read more information and start your registration

Support local causes by playing West Berkshire Lottery

Chance to win a £1000 Currys PC World Voucher if you enter before 24 April

<img width="182" height="181" data-cke-saved-src="https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/fancy_images/UKWESTBC/2021/03/4209981/3435469/currys-nb-mar2021-website-image_crop.png" src="https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/fancy_images/UKWESTBC/2021/03/4209981/3435469/currys-nb-mar2021-website-image_crop.png" align="right" hspace="7" style="-ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic; outline: none;max-width:100%;border-bottom-style:none;border-left-style: none;border-right-style:none;border-top-style:none;float:right; height:auto;line-height:1;text-decoration:none;width:182px" '="" alt="Lottery curry's voucher" class="govd_template_image" v:shapes="_x0000_s1027">Now is your chance to WIN £1,000 to spend at Currys PC World while supporting your local community by playing the West Berkshire Lottery.

Enter today for £1 per ticket. Not only will you be in with the chance of winning weekly cash prizes up to the £25,000 jackpot, but also for tickets purchased by 24 April, you will be entered into a national prize draw for a £1,000 Currys PC World Gift Voucher.

The draw is on 24 April at 8pm and the results will be announced at that time on the lottery website.

For just £1 a week, the West Berkshire Lottery is a fun and easy way to support your local community - 50% of the ticket sale goes directly to support your chosen good cause and 10% goes into the Good Causes fund.

West Berkshire Elections

elections polls

West Berkshire Elections for the Thames Valley Police Crime Commissioner and four By-Elections will be held on Thursday, 6 May 2021.

See more information about the local elections

Register to vote

Choose your voting option
You can vote safely at our polling stations on 6 May. Or, if you prefer to vote by post, you will need to fill out an application form to be able to do so. Applications for postal votes must be received at our Market Street office in Newbury by 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.

Print off or download an application form for your postal vote 

Please send your completed application form to: West Berkshire Council, Market St, Newbury RG14 5LD 



At Home Library Service



At Home Library Service

Are you unable to collect books from the library because of age, disability or other special circumstance? Then you may be interested in our ‘At Home’ service, a vital link for customers who have difficulties getting to their local library.

Once you have registered, a member of our friendly and professional team will contact you to find out what sort of books you enjoy and will then deliver these to your door step at a safe distance.

Help us spread the word! If you know someone who isn’t a computer user but would enjoy the At Home service, then please do let them know how to get in touch.

Please telephone West Berkshire Libraries on 01635 519827, email library@westberks.gov.uk or visit www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries.

Get more news from West Berkshire Libraries

To receive the monthly Libraries Bulletin direct to your inbox, please update your subscriber topics to include "West Berkshire Libraries."

Sign up now as the next edition is planned for tomorrow, 4 March.


Libraries news



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   Parish Council Report for February 2021 - version 2    4 March, 2021


Parish Council Report for February 2021

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

(This report has been deliberately delayed to include an update on the
WBC budget for 2021/22, passed at the full council meeting yesterday, Tuesday 2 March)

West Berkshire Council



Council met yesterday (Tuesday 2 March) to consider a number of things, but principally the Revenue Budget (and thus level of council tax), and the Capital Strategy and Programme, for the financial year 2021/22.

There is more about both below, but the headline news is that (excluding parish, Fire and Police precepts) council tax will increase by 1.99% and there will be no Adult Social Care precept in 21/22.  According to the Daily Mirror, this makes WBC one of only five councils in England limiting rises next year to less than 2%.  So far as the other unitary authorities in Berkshire are concerned, one (Bracknell Forest) is increasing council tax by 3.49% and the remaining four (Reading, Slough, The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham) by 4.99%.


At its meeting on 11 February, as well as considering the budget papers on their way to the council meeting referred to above, the Executive considered and approved a (cost neutral) restructure in the Strategy and Governance Service which will see 7.5 posts added to the staffing complement (21.5 posts are being created with 14 deleted).

The next meeting of the Executive will be on 25 March.

Remote Meetings

Links to all agendas and public meeting papers are here, 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.  Guidance for anyone attending a remote public meeting (eg a parish representative at a planning committee) is here.

With regard to remote meetings generally, The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 cease to have effect on 7 May.  There is a debate in local government legal circles about what “place” means in respect of place of meeting in Sched 12, LGA 1972 - there has been (or will be?) an application to court for a declaration that the existing legislation (ie once the meetings regulations fall by the wayside) allows for remote meetings without further primary legislation.  WBC is currently looking at how hybrid meetings might be held.

The Budget

The WBC Revenue Budget and Capital Strategy for 2021-22, passed at the council meeting yesterday (Tuesday 2 March), sets out the planned investment in the district within the context of the current pandemic.

As detailed above, the council tax increase has been limited to 1.99% without any increase in the Adult Social Care precept, and also without any cuts to essential services.

The budget treads a careful path between affordability, core infrastructure, and new investment to support our council strategies - the decreased (immediate) demand for adult social care services, due to Covid-19, alongside the extensive financial support from central government and the continued strong financial control of the council, means that we are able to support our residents’ finances as well as investing in vital services.

WBC has received significant Government support during the pandemic, meaning that there can be continued  investment in services, promoting the priorities set out in the Council Strategy, with key investments outlined in the budget including:

  • £12.5m investment in the WBC Environment Strategy;
  • £900k to introduce separate weekly food waste collections (principally purchasing additional vehicles);
  • £40m investment in the People Directorate with a focus on Education projects;
  • £11.9m for the Highways improvement programme, including funding towards widening the footway to St Mary’s School in Mortimer;
  • £500k allocated from Community Infrastructure Levy(CIL) to fund 16 community bids for improvements, including a new Multi Use Community Hub in Calcot, a pond restoration in East Ilsley and several new and enhanced community halls – this includes the Burghfield Village Hall project bid mentioned below.


The Roadmap Out Of Lockdown

With the early signs of spring beginning to show, residents are no doubt heartened by the Government announcement setting out the roadmap for the easing of lockdown, and the prospect of a summer with greater freedoms.

Whilst it is natural for us to wish to see normality returning with eagerness we must never the less continue to observe the current rules until the gradual relaxation commences which starts with our schools from 8 March.  Meanwhile, and until a larger number of the adult population has been vaccinated we must all continue with Hands, Face, Space, to help protect others.  Better days are coming…

The Government has outlined the four tests of Pace, Efficacy, Pressure on the NHS, and Risk of Variants - further information about the easing of lockdown can be found in the Four Step Plan.

Vaccinations – Local Position

The Covid vaccination rollout is now being handled in two tranches – cohort 6 (those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions) are being called to the PCN (Primary Care Network) hubs at Newbury Racecourse and Pangbourne, with cohorts 5 and 7 receiving NHS letters to go to the mass vaccination centres, such as the one that opened at the Madejski Stadium on 22 February.

It is anticipated that all over 50s will have been offered their first vaccine by the end of April, alongside the delivery of second doses within twelve weeks of the first.

If the pace and supply can be maintained the remaining adult population will have been offered vaccinations by the end of July.  Further information regarding vaccination can be found on the Berkshire Public Health website here.

Vaccinations – National Position

Weekly reports on the vaccine rollout are being published by NHS here, giving data at an Integrated Care System (ICS) level – in our case at the level of the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (“BOB”) ICS.  Additionally, Government data can be found here.

Local Infection Rates

West Berkshire is seeing a sharp decline in infection rates although there remain a number of new cases being reported daily.  The current rolling weekly rate is now down to just over 60 per 100,000 but is hoped to continue to decrease significantly over time.

As previously referred to, Berkshire local Covid information about the daily reported cases in the district (and across Berkshire), and the weekly per 100,000 rate (one of the principal factors in any decision making) can be accessed from Berkshire Public Health website.

Community Testing

Rapid widespread testing – also known as lateral flow testing or community testing - is a key tool in the fight against Coronavirus.  Lateral flow testing can identify people who don't have any Covid-19 symptoms (referred to as asymptomatic) and may be spreading the virus without knowing it.

During February the district has opened four sites where tests can be carried out for key workers, these can be found at Highwood Copse Primary School, Thatcham Rugby Club and sites at Hungerford Rugby Club and Burghfield Community Sports Association.

Around one in three people who are infected with Covid-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading the disease without knowing it.  Broadening testing to identify people showing no symptoms will mean that positive cases can be found more quickly, helping to break the chain of transmission.

Testing is available to critical and keyworkers and those who have to travel for work or care for others.  However the Council is also inviting the self-employed and those in small businesses to get tested as well.  Testing is only for those without any symptoms - anyone who does have symptoms should book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, or by calling 119, or at Lateral Flow Testing - West Berkshire Council.

Community Support Hub

Our support hub can still be contacted on 01635 503579 if needed.

Local Outbreak Engagement Board

The Local Outbreak Engagement Board meets on alternate weeks in private and in public.  Thus, each fortnight, there is a live broadcast meeting to update residents of the current activities relating to Covid-19 in and around the district (and beyond).  Public meetings are available on the Council’s YouTube channel and further information about the Board can be found here.

Covid Marshalls

In addition to Marshalls stationed at local testing centres (see above), six WBC Covid Marshalls started work across the district during February.

The Marshalls will undertake a range duties including advising and supporting members of the public and businesses to follow social distancing rules.

They travel across the district, working in shifts to cover seven days a week, using their local knowledge to cover priority areas such as supermarkets and other shops, markets, parks and open spaces.  The cost will be met by Covid-19 funding provided to the Council by central government.

Coronavirus Information On The WBC Website

The Council keeps up to date information for residents and businesses on the website.

Winter Hardship Grant Scheme

Support continues to be available for residents who are in need of help with food, utility bills and other essentials - for more information and applications, go here.

Financial Support for Businesses

West Berkshire Council is administering a further series of grant schemes to support local businesses that have been affected by the national coronavirus restrictions (and details of the new grant for Early Years Education Providers are set out below).

Information about eligibility, and how businesses who have not received support previously can apply, can be found here.

'Surviving to Thriving’ - £200k Covid-19 Mental Health Fund

WBC and Greenham Trust have each pledged £100k to set up a joint fund to enable voluntary and community sector organisations in West Berkshire to apply for grants of between £500 and £30k to fund projects aimed at helping improve the mental health and wellbeing of local residents impacted by Covid-19.

Requests for grants made via The Good Exchange (Greenham Trust’s online funding and fundraising platform) will reviewed weekly so organisations are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

This partnership initiative is designed to enable not-for-profit organisations to carry out small, meaningful projects that can help mitigate the impact that Covid-19 has had on mental health and wellbeing in the district. It also means that smaller organisations will also have the opportunity to apply for funds to carry out their activities (possibly online), one-off purchases or new initiatives.


Back To School

In line with the Government’s recent announcements regarding the first stage of easing lockdown, schools will open to all pupils on Monday 8 March.  As ever, safety is paramount and WBC is working hard with schools to ensure that appropriate measures and testing facilities are in place (see above on Community Testing).

The reopening of schools will be welcomed by children and parents alike, and a huge tribute needs to be paid to all the parents, grandparents, other carers and teaching staff who have worked tirelessly educating children at home and in school through the variety of teaching methods.

Young People Not In Education, Employment Or Training (NEET)

Young people have been among the hardest hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, but in West Berkshire the number of those counted as NEET remains low - with 97.5% of all of our young people in education, employment or training our figures are not currently only the highest in Berkshire but the highest in the whole of the South East.

Grant For Early Years Education Providers

Grants of up to £3k are available to Early Years education providers to help them with the challenges of the pandemic – all providers will have been contacted by WBC with details of the application process

Adult Social Care

Care Home Visiting Policy

Following the announcement that, from next Monday (8 March) every care home resident will be allowed one regular indoor visitor, permitted (subject to having a negative lateral flow test) to hold hands with the resident, WBC Adult Social care is awaiting publication of the full guidance in order to re-publish its visiting policy and guidance.

Walnut Close Care Home

All the residents from Walnut Close have now moved to their new surrounding (see November’s report), with most moving into WBC’s Birchwood care home, and Walnut Close has closed.

Leisure and Culture

Newbury Sports Ground

The consultation referred to last month has now closed and there will be a report to the Executive later this month.

A summary of the responses and details of any decision taken will then be posted on the WBC website.  If further steps to develop  the new sports ground are then to be taken, there will be a need to apply for planning permission, in turn open to scrutiny and comment.


West Berkshire Libraries are anticipated to reopen on 12 April subject to the Governments lockdown easing tests being met.

The easiest way to continue to borrow titles is via the apps BorrowBox and Libby, which can be downloaded from the Apple app store and Google Play store, and anyone with a Kindle tablet can download the apps from Amazon.  Anyone who has these apps can then search for West Berkshire Libraries and login using their library card number and PIN (members can reset their library PIN here).  Customers who need help with this can drop an email to the library, where staff will be happy to help: library@westberks.gov.uk.

Customers who are not already members of the library can join online to get free, instant access to the e-library by registering.

Residents are encouraged to check out the extensive programme of activities for children and adults, which will continue online, and follow the library Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages (@WBerksLibraries).

West Berkshire Lottery’s Community Fund Awards Nearly £14k To Twelve Local Charities

WBC has announced that the West Berkshire Community Fund, standing at £13,957 as at January 2021, is being distributed to twelve local charities registered with the West Berkshire Lottery following application bids from these organisations.  The awards were determined by an independent panel who meet annually to consider applications from eligible causes.

All of the successful bid applicants to the Fund are undertaking vital work for the community, including young people and the disadvantaged.  The independent judging panel was delighted to award the community funding to these deserving organisations to support their services or facilities to improve the lives of others, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The successful applicants in the January 2021 round have been awarded as follows:

  • 1st Theale & Calcot Scout Group - £1,500 in running costs, including the national scouts membership fee, to continue to offer participating children a varied programme of events and badges.
  • Action for Pangbourne Toilets Charitable Trust - £500 to maintain the building and help towards the cost of the contract cleaners.
  • Citizens Advice West Berkshire - £750 to continue providing Spending Diaries and financial capability support to clients who are now faced with a much smaller income due to the pandemic and desperately in need of budgeting advice.
  • City Arts Newbury - £500 to offer free-to-access activities for children as part of its developing Community Outreach programme.
  • Home-Start West Berkshire - £2,140 towards a new project called Preventing Poverty.  This project will help enable a Family Coordinator to support 20-25 volunteers who are helping families to alleviate the stress that come when they can’t make ends meet.
  • Love Lane Pre-School, Donnington - £2,000 to develop further the school’s outside learning area with the installation of an awning to protect the children from sun and rain as they learn and play outside.
  • St Mark's Church of England Schools Association - £1,000 to provide the school with laptops to benefit all pupils and support them in reaching their full potential when used in the classroom environment.
  • Swings & Smiles, Thatcham - £947 to help fund a tactile wall panel for children with special needs.
  • Thatcham Park School Parents and Friends Association - £1,000 to fund a ramp from the school’s main playground onto the playing field.
  • The Downs School, Compton - £1,500 to create a therapeutic garden for pupils to meet with teachers and support workers in a safe open space, when feelings become too overwhelming and a therapeutic approach is required.
  • Time To Talk - £2,000 to use towards a digital transformation project to enable the charity’s mental health counselling services for young people to continue to expand and become increasingly more efficient.
  • West Berkshire Therapy Centre - £120 towards an annual Pro license for Zoom Conferencing to allow trustees to meet to discuss support the development and executing plans for trust members.

Local, not-for-profit organisations or groups who would like to sign up to raise funds for free through the West Berkshire Lottery are invited to visit West Berkshire Lottery for further information and to register.

Transport and Countryside

Active Travel

WBC has launched a set of draft measures to help the public safely make walking or cycling part of their daily travel choices, and is inviting feedback from the community to help shape these plans.  The public consultations can be found at Active Travel Consultation.

Designed to encourage 'active travel' by introducing more walking and cycling opportunities throughout the district, the draft proposals include:

  • West Berks Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).  This emerging draft transport policy is about making streets work for everyone, thus helping to make West Berkshire a better place to live, work and visit.
  • Crown Mead Cycleways.  The emerging LCWIP has identified the A4 as a primary route with high potential for increased cycle trips if appropriate infrastructure were to be provided.
  • Western Avenue Cycleways.  The A4 Western Avenue in Speen, Newbury has been identified as a high priority corridor for cycling and walking routes.  The plan proposes permanent measures to create and improve travel routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • West Berks Active Streets.  These are various smaller scheme draft plans to help improve facilities and grow walking and cycling opportunities in West Berkshire including proposals for restricted access on Lawrence's Lane and Deadman's Lane in Thatcham and Theale respectively.  In addition, if any resident would like to submit a specific walking and cycling proposal of their own, or comment on a location which falls outside of the currently identified schemes, they can do so via the Active Travel Heat Map within the West Berks Active Streets section of consultation portal.
  • Calcot Schools Streets.  This pilot School Zone/School Street Scheme is designed to make the streets around the schools safer and suitable for more walking and cycling, as well as improve the air quality.

The Crown Mead Cycleways and Western Avenue Cycleways proposals are each open for consultation until on Friday, 9 April.  The remainder are eight week consultations that will finish on Friday 23 April.

With the exception of the LWCIP, the implementation of the Active Travel proposals will be funded through the £495,000 award from the Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund, following the Council's bid to further develop a lasting, safe environment for walking and cycling.

With their emphasis on promoting health and wellbeing, maintaining a green district and enhancing sustainability, the proposals support the WBC Council Strategy, Environment Strategy, Health and Wellbeing Strategy, Local Transport Plan and Covid-19 Recovery Strategy.

Other Matters

AWE Burghfield DEPZ Judicial Review

WBC has won the judicial review in relation to the AWE Burghfield Detailed Emergency Planning Zone mentioned in previous reports.

Developers had claimed that the Council hadn’t properly overseen the regulatory designation process, but the Judge rejected that argument and gave judgment to the Council.

In also awarding costs to the Council, and refusing the developers leave to appeal, The Hon Mrs Justice Thornton DBE said “The objective of the rationale is to enable the local authority to set the boundary of the DEPZ.  Given the nature of the present challenge it is important to emphasise that the local authority does not have any statutory responsibility for the operator’s performance of its duties or a regulatory role in reviewing the operator’s work.” and “The local authority’s role is limited to deciding how to translate the operator’s recommendation into a workable emergency plan on the ground.

WBC’s position all along had been that the determination of the DEPZs for AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield had been undertaken with a great deal of diligence and strictly in accordance with the legislative requirements.  The judgment has confirmed this.

Census - March 2021

A reminder that the Census will take place on 21 March and that is It is a statutory obligation to complete it.

The Office of National Statistics is leading the planning and delivery of the Census, with local authorities such as WBC being key beneficiaries of the resulting data.

WBC will be supporting the work to ensure that the Census 2021 is a success (defined by achieving a 95% response rate nationally whilst ensuring that no local area achieves a rate below 80% and, for the 2021 Census, to receive 75% of responses on line).

May Elections

Elections for the Thames Valley PCC and for town and parish council vacancies are to be held (delayed due to Covid-19) on 6 May 2021:

  • Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner;
  • Lambourn Parish Council (one seat in the Lambourn Ward and one seat in the Upper Lambourn Ward);
  • Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council (three seats);
  • Newbury Town Council Clay Hill Ward (one seat).

Polling Stations will be subject to stringent Government Covid safety measures to ensure electors can vote safely.  However, WBC is aware that many people will prefer to vote by post, particularly if they are vulnerable or shielding.  Applications for postal votes must be received at WBC’s Market Street office in Newbury by 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.

If residents haven’t registered to vote (eg if they have recently moved to the district) they will need to do so here.

Residents can ensure that their electoral details are up to date by emailing vote@westberks.gov.uk

Parish Matters


AWE B DEPZ JR and the Grazeley Garden Settlement

Just the odd acronym…

Whilst important in its own right to uphold the WBC processes on determining the DEPZs, this judicial review (at least in my opinion) cements the position regarding the Grazeley Garden Settlement project.  If the failure of the Housing Infrastructure Fund bid, the expansion of the DEPZ, the objection to the Wokingham Borough Council draft local plan by the MoD, and the removal of Grazeley as a proposed site from the WBC draft local plan together put the project in the coffin and nailed the lid down, this (in my view) buries it.

Community Infrastructure Levy Fund Bids

As can be seen above, the passing of Capital Strategy as part of the budget has cemented the funding for the Burghfield Village Hall and footway widening to St Mary’s School projects.

Surge Testing

WBC recently emailed community volunteer groups and parishes via the Community Support Hub because all councils have been asked to prepare in case surge testing in relation to an incidence of a Covid variant/mutation is found locally.

WBC has been developing a framework to use should we be asked to carry out surge testing and as part of that planning an option would be to deliver and collect completed test kits in the local community.  Depending on the size of the area selected for testing, this process may be resource intensive, particularly as testing is carried out over a short period of time (normally 4-5 days).

It is important to emphasise that we are making preparations just in case the need arises, not because we know it will.

At this stage WBC is not asking that anyone does anything specific since we hope we never have to activate the framework and develop a detailed plan.  You may however wish to consider the potential request within each parish to ensure those who need to be aware are..

If there are any queries, please email the Community Support Hub: hubmanager@westberks.gov.uk.

Four Houses Corner

Although this is within the Stratfield Mortimer parish it is no doubt of general interest.

After a very lengthy process, all residents have now left the site and WBC has vacant possession.  Officers are working on a detailed project plan – the timings will be dependent on planning permission, site investigation and clearance work.  The overall project is likely to take in the region of 22 months (site clearance > planning permission > refurbishment > residents return to site).

Beech Hill

Members’ Covid Bid – 154 Bus Service

As Cllr Plank knows, the bid regrettably failed: “The funding must be utilised within 6 months. As the bus service is not currently running and both the duration of the current lockdown, and the nature and timescales for any subsequent restrictions, being unknown it was considered that this bid should be declined”.


Planning Application for Energy Resource Centre and Data Centre (20/02029/COMIND)

This application was not listed for the Eastern Area Planning Committee on 10 March, so we wait to see when (assuming that officers propose that permission is granted) it will be debated.

Planning appeal - 1 Kirton Farm Cottages, Pingewood, RG30 3UW

A note that the appellant’s appeal against refusal of permission for a two storey rear extension was recently dismissed.

Footway between Man’s Hill and The Collection

WBC’s contractor Volker Highways were due to start works to improve the footway on the south side of Reading Road as above from yesterday (Tuesday 2 March).

The first phase of work involves the clearance of vegetation, saplings and branches on the road side of the ditch sections, followed by installation of post-and-rail fencing and edgings under the fence line.  A further phase of work to widen the footway will then follow on.

Stratfield Mortimer

Members’ Covid Bid - Defibrillator

Last month I reported that this bid had fallen away.  However, BHPC’s loss is SMPC’s gain, and with the rejection of the 154 Bus Service bid referred to above it was resurrected and will be funded.




Graham Bridgman

Council Member for Burghfield and Mortimer

Deputy Leader of Council and Executive Member for Adult Social Care

3 March 2021


[+ read more...]

   Grazeley Garden Village & Burghfield DEPZ - Judicial Review    3 March, 2021


“A very important milestone with regard to the future (or not) of the Grazeley Garden Settlement happened on Friday (12 Feb), when judgment in the case of Crest Nicholson Operations Limited and Others v West Berkshire District Council was handed down, following a two day hearing in December.


“The action was an application for judicial review brought by a group of developers against WBC in relation to the extent of the AWE Burghfield DEPZ (Detailed Emergency Planning Zone), with AWE plc, the Secretary of State for Defence, Public Health England, and the Office for Nuclear Regulation all having joined the action as Interested Parties to support the WBC position. The Developer Applicants argued that WBC’s regulatory oversight of the designation process was deficient, but the Judge rejected those arguments and gave judgment for the Council.


“In dismissing the application, awarding costs to WBC, and refusing permission to appeal, The Hon Mrs Justice Thornton DBE said “The objective of the rationale is to enable the local authority to set the boundary of the DEPZ. Given the nature of the present challenge it is important to emphasise that the local authority does not have any statutory responsibility for the operator’s performance of its duties or a regulatory role in reviewing the operator’s work.” and “The local authority’s role is limited to deciding how to translate the operator’s recommendation into a workable emergency plan on the ground.


“So, the scope of the DEPZ, and the objection by the Defence Nuclear Organisation (part of the MoD) to the draft Wokingham Plan (and thus to development at Grazeley) has been given judicial support.”

[+ read more...]

   Grazeley Garden Village & Burghfield DEPZ - Judicial Review    19 February, 2021


“A very important milestone with regard to the future (or not) of the Grazeley Garden Settlement happened on Friday (12 Feb), when judgment in the case of Crest Nicholson Operations Limited and Others v West Berkshire District Council was handed down, following a two day hearing in December.


“The action was an application for judicial review brought by a group of developers against WBC in relation to the extent of the AWE Burghfield DEPZ (Detailed Emergency Planning Zone), with AWE plc, the Secretary of State for Defence, Public Health England, and the Office for Nuclear Regulation all having joined the action as Interested Parties to support the WBC position. The Developer Applicants argued that WBC’s regulatory oversight of the designation process was deficient, but the Judge rejected those arguments and gave judgment for the Council.


“In dismissing the application, awarding costs to WBC, and refusing permission to appeal, The Hon Mrs Justice Thornton DBE said “The objective of the rationale is to enable the local authority to set the boundary of the DEPZ. Given the nature of the present challenge it is important to emphasise that the local authority does not have any statutory responsibility for the operator’s performance of its duties or a regulatory role in reviewing the operator’s work.” and “The local authority’s role is limited to deciding how to translate the operator’s recommendation into a workable emergency plan on the ground.


“So, the scope of the DEPZ, and the objection by the Defence Nuclear Organisation (part of the MoD) to the draft Wokingham Plan (and thus to development at Grazeley) has been given judicial support.”

[+ read more...]

   Parish Council Report for January 2021    5 February, 2021

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

A belated happy new year, although not the start to 2021 that any of us would all have wished for a year ago!  Despite the pandemic, we have a very fully agenda in the coming twelve months and, now that the vaccination roll out is fully underway, look forward to life getting back to something near to normal as soon as possible.

[+ read more...]

   Minutes of the 100th AWE Local Liaison Committee Meeting Wednesday 18th November 2020 AWE, Online Meeting    19 January, 2021

Please find linked here the minutes from last month’s LLC meeting.


Wishing you a safe Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.


Best wishes



Suzanne Chenery

LLC Secretary
Aldermaston, Reading, RG7 4PR

( 0118 98 52020

[+ read more...]

   Garden & Food Waste Collections Temporarily Suspended    14 January, 2021

Garden and Food Waste Service - Temporary Suspension



Like many other Local Authorities across the country, we are facing a difficult January with significantly increased volumes of waste after Christmas and a number of collection crews self-isolating. This has unfortunately impacted parts of our waste collection services meaning we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend garden and food waste collections to prioritise rubbish and recycling.

The garden and food waste collection service will be suspended from Monday 18 January until Friday 29 January 2021.

We are asking residents whose garden waste is due for collection during this time to not put their green bin out until the service can be resumed again. 

Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment at West Berkshire Council, said:

We have received tremendous support from West Berkshire residents over the past few weeks and I want to thank everyone for their understanding during this challenging time.

We have not taken this decision lightly to put garden and food waste collections on hold and understand that some residents may be disappointed by this service disruption.

Our aim is that all waste collection services will be able to continue as normal once the service is reinstated by the end of January. Our contractor’s collection crews have continued to work hard throughout, keeping our waste services running and we would like to thank them for doing a great job.”

If your rubbish (black bin) or recycling (boxes and bags) is not collected as expected, please continue to leave it out and we will collect it as soon as possible.

We are grateful to residents for their continued patience and we ask residents to kindly avoid calling our Customer Services colleagues, unless necessary, because they are very busy helping various residents with other urgent queries at this time. 

You can find out more information on the temporary suspension of the garden and food waste service online and some helpful FAQs.

Our household waste recycling centres are still open for essential visits but you need to book an appointment.

[+ read more...]

   Alert - Coronavirus Vaccination Scams    11 January, 2021

As of 7 January 2021, Action Fraud had received 57 reports from members of the public who have been sent text messages claiming to be from the NHS, offering them the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations. The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form has looked very similar to the real NHS website.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: 
“Remember, the vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.”

How to protect yourself:

In the UK, coronavirus vaccinations will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a local GP surgery or pharmacy, to receive your vaccination. Remember, the vaccinations are free of charge and you will not be asked for a payment.

The NHS will never:

  • ask for your bank account or card details
  • ask for your PIN or banking passwords
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 *Please forward this email to any friends, family members, or colleagues that may find this information useful*

 Email tracking gif

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

[+ read more...]

   Parish Council Report for December 2020    8 January, 2021

Parish Council Report for December 2020

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

West Berkshire Council

[+ read more...]

   West Berkshire Council - Review of 2020    8 January, 2021

West Berkshire Council - Review of 2020

Councillor Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council


A Year of Caring for our Communities, Public Engagement, Action,

Supporting, Consultation and Strategies, and Achievements,

all whilst dealing with a Global Pandemic!

Councillor Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council

[+ read more...]

   Scam Warning - Fake Dpd Emails and Texts    3 January, 2021

Scam warning: Fake DPD emails and texts.

Action Fraud has seen a surge in reports relating to fake emails and texts purporting to be from DPD. The messages claim that DPD was “unable to deliver your parcel today” and provide instructions on how the recipient can arrange another delivery. The links in the emails and texts lead to fake websites that are designed to steal money, as well as personal and financial information.

Victims of this scam have reported losing over £242,000 since June. For more information, please visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/fake-dpd-messages-lead-to-over-200000-in-losses-since-june

How you can protect yourself:

  • If you’re unsure whether the email or text is genuine, then don’t use the link. Instead, visit the DPD website by entering the official web address directly into your browser’s address bar, or search for it and follow the search results.
  • Remember, your bank will never ask you to transfer money to another account, or contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN or full password.
  • If you have received an email which you’re unsure about, you can report it by forwarding it to report@phishing.gov.uk. You can report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to 7726.

For more information about how to protect yourself from fraud and cyber crime, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/cybercrime
 Email tracking gif

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

[+ read more...]

   Coronavirus Tier Changes In the Thames Valley    19 December, 2020

Following a government announcement yesterday (17/12), it was announced that the whole of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire will move into tier three of coronavirus restrictions from 00:01 this Saturday (19/12). Oxfordshire will remain at tier two.

Guidance on what you can and cannot do in each tier can be found on the government website.

During the Christmas period (23 to 27 December) different rules on social contact will apply.

Coronavirus guidance and information from your local authority can be found on the following pages:

Buckinghamshire Council
Milton Keynes Council
Reading Borough Council
Slough Borough Council
Bracknell Forest Council
Wokingham Borough Council
West Berkshire Council
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Oxfordshire County Council

Thames Valley Police continues to protect our communities and we are patrolling and talking to people if we think they are doing something which is against the guidelines.

If there is a problem we want to resolve it by communicating clearly and encouraging everyone to behave responsibly, and as a last resort we can enforce the coronavirus law.

More information on this including how much someone can be fined, as well as how and what to report when you suspect someone is breaching the guidelines can be found on the Thames Valley Police website.

Message Sent By
Luke Stratford (Police, Comms, HQ South)

[+ read more...]

   Increase In Catalytic Converter Thefts Across the Thames Valley    13 December, 2020

Warning To Vehicle Owners Following Increase In Catalytic Converter Thefts Across the Thames Valley

[+ read more...]

   Scams and How To Contact the Police    13 December, 2020

Scams and How To Contact the Police

[+ read more...]

   Parish Council Report for November 2020 Cllr Graham Bridgman (West Berkshire Council, Burghfield and Mortimer Ward)    5 December, 2020

Parish Council Report for November 2020

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

West Berkshire Council


Whilst there is disappointment that West Berkshire, with a relatively low (and reducing) transmission rate, has not returned to Tier 1 (medium), we must continue to be vigilant to ensure the infection rate continues to reduce.  The decision on which tier each area goes into is based on an assessment of a number of factors, such as how quickly cases are rising or falling, case detection rates, the Cov+ rate per 100,000 of the population, the Cov+ rate per 100,000 of the 60 plus population, and the pressure on the NHS.  WBC continues to help lead the local response to coronavirus - not least in helping the residents and businesses who have been most affected.

We have recently been reminded what a difficult and fragile balance this is and we have seen some larger localised outbreaks (an outbreak is two cases or more) at two sites in the east of the district - Ikea and Little Heath School.

You will be aware of the Christmas arrangements across the UK, with provision for up to three households to form ‘bubbles’ for up to five days between 23 and 27 December.  This will come as welcome news for many but consideration should still be carefully taken for individuals and households with high risk factors (so although there may be some small cause to celebrate with a drop of fizz there is to be no bursting of the bubbles!).  Keep up to date at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know.

The Council is supporting the NHS, which will be creating high capacity centres for the roll out of both mass testing and the vaccination programme over the coming months.  Currently we expect this to be at Newbury Racecourse and may be coming as soon as mid-December.  More details will follow on this as it becomes clearer.

Covid Winter Grant Scheme

WBC has just announced a new Covid Winter Grant, making £279k available for families and individuals in need of financial support.  It will help pay for food, utility bills and other essential items, and provide Free School Meal vouchers for eligible children during the Christmas and February half-term holidays.  The scheme will run from 1 December until 31 March 2021.

We know some people have it tougher than others right now, and that Covid has had a devastating effect for some families.  People who have already come to us for help have said they never dreamed they would be in the position of having to ask for help towards essential items but Covid had changed everything for them.  The last thing we want is for people to be struggling in silence so if you know of residents who need help do please get in touch with our Community Support Hub on 01635 503579.

To identify those most in need for the Scheme, the Council will work closely with professionals, statutory partners, Parish Councils, Citizens Advice West Berkshire, Newbury Resource Centre and other community and voluntary groups.  DWP Job Centre Plus will also be playing an active role to support those newly in financial hardship, such as through a recent job loss.

Local data

Various statistics, including information about daily reported cases, current weekly rate, etc for all Berkshire districts including WBC can be accessed from the Berkshire Public Health website.

Community Support Hub

Our support hub can still be contacted on 01635 503579 if needed.

Local Outbreak Engagement Board

A reminder that the Local Outbreak Engagement Board meets on alternate weeks in private and in public.  Each fortnight there is a meeting to regarding current activities relating to Covid-19 in and around our locality.  As with all of our public meetings, the meeting can be viewed live or at a later date via the WBC YouTube channel.  Further information about the Board can be found here.

Test and Trace £500 Support Payment

Please see last month’s report for more about this, but a reminder that anyone who meets the eligibility criteria and has been asked to self-isolate (on or after 28 September) will be entitled to make a claim once every 14 days, for each period of self-isolation required.  All eligibility criteria must be met and supporting evidence provided.  The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.

Council Meetings

A reminder that links to all agendas and public meeting papers are here, 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.  Guidance for anyone attending a remote public meeting (eg a parish representative at a planning committee) is here.


The Executive met on 19 November (a recording of the meeting can be viewed on the YouTube channel referenced above) and considered a number of papers including publication of the final draft of the London Road Industrial Area post public consultation and the closure of Walnut Close care home (more below).

The next meeting of the Executive is scheduled for 17 December, with a proposal to adopt a new Housing Allocations Policy amongst other matters.


The next meeting of Council is on 3 December and papers will include the draft consultation of the district Minerals and Waste Local Plan and timetable for public meetings in 2021/22.  There are also a number or responses to previous motions as well as new motions being brought.  There is also a paper and proposal based on the recent (four-yearly) review of councillors’ allowances by an independent panel.  This will be the penultimate Council meeting of the fiscal year with the 2 March 2021 meeting seeing the setting of the Council budget for 2021/22.

The Local Economy

Saturday 5 December is Small Business Saturday - a chance for us to celebrate the local shops, businesses and services which we enjoy here in West Berkshire.  There are many ways you can support our small businesses and not just by shopping with them.  Leaving them a review, mentioning them on social media or buying a gift card to use later can make a big difference to them.  You could even shop online with local business and donate to the Council’s Christmas appeals!

Grants for businesses

Further grants are being made available to those businesses who have to close, as well as to some who are experiencing particular hardship as a result of the new restrictions.

Local Restriction Support Grant

The Local Restrictions Support Grant will support businesses that pay business rates on their premises, who have been forced to close.

Additional Restrictions Grant

The Additional Restrictions Grant is a discretionary grant administered by WBC to support businesses who have been affected by restrictions and who have not received other grant support, or require further assistance.

Please refer to the Local Restriction Support Grant queries page for more information.


Giving Tree / Community Santa Christmas Appeals

In addition to the annual Giving Tree Appeal for victims of domestic abuse, this year the Council is running Community Santa to recognise those in our communities who have had a particularly difficult time, perhaps through isolation or bereavement.

Nominations have been sought through our A2 Dominion partners for Giving Tree and Community Groups, and Adult Social Care for Community Santa.

This year ‘gift tags’ can be selected electronically via our event website page and the parallel schemes will run until 11 December.  Due to the lockdown we are only able to accept online deliveries during office hours to the Council Office at Market Street - more information is available on the WBC website at https://info.westberks.gov.uk/Christmas.

Christmas cards for care home residents

Care home residents love getting messages and cards through the post.  During the first lockdown, local schools sent letters from the children which brought real joy and our homes welcome Christmas Cards from the public, particularly for residents who may not have loved ones to send letters to them.

People can send a card to our care home residents this year via any of our care homes: Birchwood in Newbury, Notrees in Kintbury, Willows Edge in Newbury or Walnut Close in Thatcham.  Cards should be addressed to ‘WBC Christmas Card Initiative’ (we always quarantine envelopes to ensure that they are safe to handle when they are opened in our homes).  Find the care home addresses here Care Home Addresses or visit our web page Christmas Cards.


WBC, Newbury College Academy Trust (NCAT) and Feltham Construction Ltd have confirmed the completion of the building work for the brand-new Highwood Copse Primary School.

Having identified a need for additional primary school provision in the area, WBC selected NCAT to run the school, which has been built on the College campus.  NCAT and the Council have been working together to ensure the provision meets the needs of the local community and have thanked Feltham Construction Ltd for their work in creating such an outstanding building.

Find out more about Highwood Copse Primary School, which will be welcoming its first Reception class (aged 4-5) intake in September 2021 at www.highwoodcopse.co.uk.

Children and Family Services

A ground-breaking scheme to protect vulnerable children in West Berkshire is being hailed a success by an independent evaluation commissioned by the Department for Education.

Under the new ‘Family Safeguarding Model’, the number of children entering care has dropped by more than 40%.  In the first year of the new model, 20 fewer children from West Berkshire went into care, a drop of 41%.  In the second year, another 14 fewer children went into care, a drop of 29%.

The programme brings groups of professionals together under one roof to provide intensive support to parents whose problems with substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse put their children at risk of harm.  Based on the Family Safeguarding Model pioneered in Hertfordshire, teams of skilled professionals work together with families and with the support of a clinical psychologist to tackle the root causes of these issues.

Reports of missing young people within West Berkshire also dropped by 26% in the first year.


WBC has submitted an application to HMG on behalf of local businesses which could see up to 60 new jobs created for under 25s through the 'Kickstart' scheme - in order to apply directly businesses must offer 30 new roles, so where smaller local businesses cannot offer so many roles WBC is acting as a gateway organisation, to bring together a group of employers and support them to create new roles.

The placement will offer six months of high quality paid work experience, and the council has partnered with West Berkshire Training Consortium to offer CV writing, interview and other workplace skills to every candidate, which will maximise their chances of finding long term employment.

The Council is taking a lead role by creating 13 internal Kickstart placements across teams such as Planning, Children's Services, Legal and HR.  It will also continue to support as many businesses as possible to utilise the scheme and looks to submitting further applications on an ongoing basis.

Adult Social Care

Care Homes

WBC is working hard to ensure that residents in their care homes can stay connected with their relatives and friends during the coronavirus pandemic, and recently revised their care home visiting protocol to take account of Lockdown 2 and the latest Government guidance.

All of the council’s care homes now have a dedicated room to allow visits to take place, each situated near the entrance of the building and set up with screens to ensure that everyone can see each other face-to-face whilst distancing safely.  You can see the revised protocol here: Revised Care Home Visitor Protocol.

HMG has also recently announced a rollout of lateral flow testing kits to care homes to allow more face to face visiting, subject to negative tests – we await supplies and training.

Closure of Walnut Close Care Home

The proposal to close the Walnut Close care home in Thatcham was given the go ahead at the Council’s Executive meeting on 19 November.

WBC has sufficient and suitable spaces at the Birchwood care home, just under two miles away, to accommodate all of the residents from Walnut Close in a more modern setting with enhanced facilities such as ensuite bathrooms.

All of the care staff from Walnut Close are being offered like roles at Birchwood, so that there will be a continuity of friendly faces when residents arrive in their new surroundings, and there is no anticipation that there will be any need for redundancies.  Moreover, the intention is that a currently empty wing at Birchwood will be re-named Walnut, and staffed by current Walnut Close staff, so there should be a little home-from-home for the Walnut Close residents moving in.

No moves will take place until after Christmas.

West Berkshire Directory

A reminder that the directory – to be found here – contains a wealth of information about (eg) accessing support in local communities, help at home, leisure activities, financial guidance, care homes and voluntary organisations.

Transport and Countryside

WBC has been awarded £495k from the Department for Transport's Active Travel Fund, following the Council's bid to further develop a lasting, safe environment for walking and cycling.  The grant is in addition to the £124k awarded in the first phase of allocations in July that went towards temporary active travel measures in response to the pandemic.

The latest Active Travel proposals for the next phase primarily consist of permanent measures to create and improve travel routes for cyclists and pedestrians on the A4 corridor within Newbury and Thatcham as well as a pilot School Zone/School Street Scheme in Calcot.

The proposals are designed to enhance the safety of pedestrians and cyclists; promote health and wellbeing; improve the environment, air quality and sustainability; and play a key role in Covid economic recovery plans.  The proposed schemes have factored in resident feedback through previous community consultation.  In addition, the Council will be launching a series of consultations starting in January 2021 so that residents can have their say on how each of the proposed Active Travel plans are implemented.

Other Matters

Thames Valley Police – Local Area Commander

Lindsay Finch, the acting LAC for West Berkshire, has decided not to apply for the permanent role which will be filled by Supt Zahid Aziz from 4 January 2021, with Lindsay reassuming her Deputy Commander role.


The MOD has triggered a successor arrangements clause in its agreement with AWE Management Limited such that AWE will revert to a direct Government ownership model as an arms-length body – with the transition anticipated to be completed by the end of June 2021.

Parish Matters

School Parking

This from a recent email from Jon Winstanley (the WBC Service Director, Environment) regarding parking near schools (happened to be in Burghfield but should be of interest more widely):  “Sadly this is a problem across the District and indeed across the Country which has no doubt been exacerbated under the current circumstances.  It will come as no surprise that my Civil Enforcement colleagues’ presence is very much in demand at a great number of the 90 schools in West Berkshire.  It is also unfortunate that the CEO team is not immune from the impacts of Covid, with the need for several staff to self-isolate having a further impact on our responsiveness.

I will ask my CEO colleagues to ensure Burghfield Schools are visited, but I mention the above to set the expectation around our limitations in terms of frequency.  I would also add that whilst Civil Enforcement is effective in controlling parking offenses whilst officers are present, parking problems can return soon after civil enforcement officers leave the area. 

I will take this opportunity to clarify the legal powers of our Civil Enforcement Officers.  CEOs do not have powers to direct vehicles to move on the highway nor to penalise speeding traffic, only the police have this power.  No Waiting restrictions such as single and double yellow lines are also subject to a mandatory 5 minute observation period prior to us being able to issue a penalty charge notice. Also, if the vehicle is alighting passengers it is legal to stop on a single or double yellow line for a reasonable amount of time for the alighting to happen.

Tree Preservation Orders

I have also recently looked into the law regarding appeals in respect of TPOs (this enquiry related to Mortimer) and thought that the following might be of interest:

This from Naturenet:

“If you're wondering how you can get a TPO taken off a tree, or removed, or anulled [sic], or lifted or whatever, then read on carefully. You might be able to get what you want, but revoking the TPO is almost certainly not the way it is going to happen. Note for a start that the only way to completely remove a TPO is for the council to revoke it. Revoking a TPO is a tiresome business, as much work as making a new one, and it is very rare indeed. If it happens at all, the usual reason is if there has been some mistake in the making of the Order and a new one is needed to correct it. It is very, very unusual for councils to revoke TPOs because a landowner asks them to do so. And there's a reason for that. Lifting a TPO at the request of a landowner is rare because the law intentionally provides other far easier and simpler methods of achieving what the landowner wants. If you choose not to use those methods you will need to explain to your council why you will not. And you'd better have a good reason.”

This from Gov.uk (although referenced as relating to conservation areas, it appears to be a decent analysis of TPOs generally):

“Is there a right of appeal against made or confirmed Tree Preservation Orders?

The legislation provides no right of appeal to the Secretary of State against an authority either making or confirming an Order. There is, however, a right of appeal to the Secretary of State following an application to carry out work on trees protected by an Order that is refused, granted subject to conditions, or not determined.

Can the validity of a Tree Preservation Order be challenged?

The validity of an Order cannot be challenged in any legal proceedings except by way of application to the High Court on a point of law. The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 set out the application process.

Anyone considering challenging the validity of an Order in the High Court is advised to seek legal advice.

Finally, and perhaps the best general overview, this from Tree Preservation Orders: A Guide to the Law and Good Practice:

“High Court Challenge

3.45 The legislation provides no right of appeal to the Secretary of State against a TPO, either when made or confirmed. An appeal to the Secretary of State can be made, however, following an application to cut down or carry out work on trees protected by the TPO (for more details see Chapter 7 of this Guide).

3.46 The validity of a TPO cannot be challenged in any legal proceedings except by way of application to the High Court.40 An application to the High Court may be made by any person who is 'aggrieved' by a TPO on the grounds:

(1)          that the TPO is not within the powers of the Act, or

(2)          that the requirements of the Act or Regulations have not been complied with in relation to the TPO.

To be 'aggrieved' applicants should be able to show that they have a sufficiently direct interest in the matter.

3.47 An application must be made within six weeks from the date of confirmation of the TPO. The High Court may quash the TPO or suspend its operation wholly or in part. Failure by the LPA to comply with the requirements of the Act or Regulations may not be sufficient for the Court to quash the TPO; the Court should also be satisfied that the interests of the applicant have been 'substantially prejudiced' as a result; any would-be applicant may first wish to consider whether the LPA's decision would have been more favourable if made in accordance with the statutory requirements.

3.48 Anyone thinking about making an application to the High Court is advised to take legal advice on the procedures involved and the likely costs that might be incurred if the application failed.

… 40 See section 284 of the Act for the rule and section 288 for provisions about applying to the High Court.”

(The legislation referred to is s.284 and s.288, Town and Country Planning Act 1990.)


Graham Bridgman

Council Member for Burghfield and Mortimer

Deputy Leader of Council and Executive Member for Adult Social Care

2 December 2020




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   Do Not Give Burglars A Sneak Preview of Your Gifts This Christmas    4 December, 2020

Do Not Give Burglars A Sneak Preview of Your Gifts This Christmas

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    Information on Current Scams    1 December, 2020

Hi everyone

Warning to Royal Mail customers over new e-mail scam (information from Trading Standards)

Royal Mail customers are being warned about a new convincing scam email that has been circulated.  It is asking people to pay just a £1.99 fee for an undelivered item of mail - but while the sum might seem small, what the criminals actually want is bank account details. more (click on more to read the full article)

If clicking on the links does not work, please put the headings in your browser and the articles should easily be found.

Martin Lewis and City of London Police have not warned about a scam involving banks and mobile networks (information from Trading Standards)

A repeatedly shared post on Facebook has claimed that City of London Police are warning people about a scam claiming to involve banks and mobile network operators that’s been warned about on Martin Lewis’ show. more  (click on more to read the full article)

COVID-19 vitamin pill cold calls (information from Which)

With the rollercoaster of restrictions taking place, so many of us are determined to stay as fit and healthy as possible. Unfortunately, this attracts trouble. A go-to tactic for cold callers that’s been on the rise this year is pretending to be from the NHS or local health services offering low quality, cut-price vitamins and supplements.
It’s a ruse to take your bank details and regular payment without your permission, here’s how it works. (click to read the full article)

Fake sellers online are a growing problem (information from Which)

Which are continuing to investigate the scale of online scams and found that 1 in 10 people have fallen victim to a purchase scam through a fake social media ad. 1 in 10 also have fallen victim to a scam ad via a search engine. (click below to read the full article)
Here’s Christine’s experience of dealing with a fake Facebook ad, other scam victims’ experiences and how it affected them.

An email with an attached letter purporting to be from DPD has been circulating in West Berkshire with the letter addressed to the person’s email address and they are all quoting your parcel number as 87708730645534 and advising that they had tried to deliver your parcel today but you weren’t in or there was no safe place to leave it.   To schedule a new delivery, a shipping fee must be paid and to click on the link to reschedule the delivery.   DPD have confirmed that this is a scam and not from them.

Parcel Delivery Thefts

In another TVP area, they have been aware of criminals stealing identity papers from external letterboxes and from paper recycling bins with identity theft being the unfortunate consequence.   They now have further evidence that the postman and parcel delivery drivers are being followed by criminals with a view to stealing packages left on doorsteps of houses where the occupants are out.  So, do take care regarding deliveries so that they aren’t left on your doorstep any longer than is necessary.  Perhaps a neighbour can be asked to accept delivery on your behalf and you can add special delivery instructions to your online orders if you wish.

There are still Accident calls and Virgin Media (advising that broadband has been hacked) scam calls.  Also a resident received a call from Amazon, which was very convincing and got to the stage where the caller nearly took their money and he knew their last purchase and that this person had a new bank card and advised that unusual purchases had been made on their account.  Fortunately, this resident then put the phone down.  

Consumers have been warned not to fall prey to criminals who are targeting Amazon Prime customers, many of whom became members for the first time during the Covid-19 crisis.  Victims are being tricked into downloading software that lets criminals access their bank accounts. more (click on more to read the full article)

An advanced HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax rebate scam is targeting UK residents via text messages (SMS).  The smishing campaign is concerning as it employs multiple HMRC phishing domains and tactics, with new domains added every day as older ones get flagged by spam filters. more (click on more to read the full article)

Celebrity scam alert as criminals use rich and famous to lure online victims

Between August 2019 and August 2020, Action Fraud received over 400 reports a month, from victims of romance fraud in the UK. Losses reported by victims during this time totalled £66,335,239, equating to an average loss per victim of just over £10,000.  For more information go to the following website links:



Best wishes

Angela Money BEM
Neighbourhood Watch

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   Crime Prevention - Winter Burglary    26 November, 2020

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Thames Valley Police


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Crime Prevention - Winter Burglary


How to reduce the risk of becoming a burglary victim this winter
Now that the clocks have gone back and the evenings are darker, there are a few simple steps you can take to help protect your property- 

  • Lock your doors and windows, if you have a UPVC door make sure you have double locked it by lifting the handle and locking it with the key. Make sure the key is removed from the lock and out of reach.
  • Think about purchasing a Video Doorbell Camera - This will send the footage of anyone approaching your home, to your mobile phone.
  • Keep valuables out of sight from doors and windows.
  • Remember to mark your valuables using a UV pen and register them on the national property register at www.immobilise.com .
  • If you are leaving the house, you can deter burglars by making your home appear occupied:
  • Double check that you have locked your windows and doors before leaving.
  • Light up your living room using timer switch. A TV simulator can also be used to make give the appearance of a TV screen being used.
  • Invite a neighbour to park on your drive while you are away.

You can find more information on how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary by downloading your FREE Home Security Guide from the Thames Valley Police website here:

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

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   Live Chat Improves Access To Support For Victims of Crime    20 November, 2020

Victims First which supports victims of crime and abuse across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, has launched a Live Chat service to improve access to support for victims.

The Live Chat service which is now live on Victim First’s website www.victims-first.org.uk, offers a new way to access support, enabling victims to talk online with a Victims First Officer, safely and in confidence.

Live Chat enhances the existing Victims First service, providing an additional and valuable route to support. It offers a discreet way for victims to access support, which is especially important for victims of domestic abuse who may be living with their abuser, and will be of particular benefit to people who prefer using online channels to reach out for help.

Anyone needing support can get in touch via the Live Chat button on the Victims First website www.victims-first.org.uk or by calling Victims First on 0300 1234 148 to speak to a trained Victims First Officer who will be able to provide free confidential emotional and practical support.  

Live Chat will be staffed by trained Victims First Officers during Victims First opening hours

Victims First is managed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  It offers free support to any victim or witness of crime in the Thames Valley regardless of the crime, when it took place or whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

Message Sent By
Emily Boneham (Police, Campaigns Officer, Thames Valley)

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   Courier Scams    12 November, 2020

Hi everyone

Courier Scam and Courier Delivery Scam.  Two very different scams and there are variations of these, which have both happened locally over the last few weeks.
Courier Scam.  In most cases of courier fraud, a fraudster phones their victim and claims to be from their bank, the police or other law enforcement authority. They then con the victim into revealing their PIN and credit or debit card details.   

Examples of courier fraud:  A scammer calls you, claiming to be from your bank or a police officer. They tell you either that a fraudulent payment has been spotted on your card that needs sorting out, your card has been cloned or that someone has been arrested using your details and card.  You may be asked to call your bank using the phone number on the back of your card.  This convinces you that the call is genuine but the scammer has kept the line open at their end, so when you make the call, you are unknowingly connected straight back to them or their friends.  They’ll either ask you for your PIN or ask you to key it into your phone. No bank or other legitimate service will ever ask you for your PIN.  The scammer then sends a courier or taxi to pick up the card from your home. Even the driver may not know they’re being used as part of the scam.  Once the scammer has both your card and PIN they can withdraw cash and spend in retail outlets or online. 

If you should receive a similar call and they ask you to phone your Bank, come off the line and use another phone to contact your Bank.   These people are crafty as they put a recording of the dialling tone by the phone so that you are fooled into dialling your Bank but the call has not been disconnected.  Please remember that your Bank or the Police will never arrange to collect your bank card and would never ask for your PIN.  If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via their website. In an emergency, dial 999.

The Courier Delivery Scam.  You receive a phone call, either before, or just after the delivery of a parcel, usually containing new mobile phones, laptops etc., which you did not order.  The person on the phone explains that there has been a terrible mistake and the parcel has been delivered to you in error.  He/she will send someone to collect it immediately and ask you to leave it outside your front door, so that they do not have to disturb you.  A person arrives, collects the parcel and drives off.
The fraudster has created an account in your name using your card details and ordered the product(s), they can track their delivery online and be outside your house for when they arrive.  In one case, the victim took down the car registration number of the man who collected the parcel.  The Police checked the vehicle details and the owner’s address but the householder was completely innocent. There was no way to track or trace the offenders and the poor victim got the bill.
A local resident recently had a delivery of a laptop and shortly afterwards had a knock on the door to say it had been delivered to them in error and they had not received a phone call.  It appears that this had been ordered from Amazon using their address and their credit card but the fraudster had given his mobile number so that they would know when it was going to be delivered.  Fortunately, the resident acted quickly and stopped the card transaction being made.

If this happens to you and you are not expecting a parcel, phone the Police on 101 or tell the Courier that you have taken the package to the Police Station and he can collect it from there!  
Best wishes

Angela Money BEM
Neighbourhood Watch


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   Information on Current Scams    12 November, 2020

Hi everyone

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

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.  Do not press 1 or any other number mentioned on any of the automated scams.

Fake emails and texts pretending to be from TV Licensing or DVLA. 

HMRC 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.   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. 

Halifax, TSB, Lloyds and other banking scams are being sent by text, automated phone call or email, so do not respond and always go to the genuine websites or phone your bank if you wish confirmation that this is a scam. 

BT scam via email advising “our payment processor has detected incorrect or out of date billing information which needs updating immediately. Please log into your MyBt account by clicking the buttton below, and update your billing information to prevent suspension or termination of your service(s)”.

Cadbury’s competition on Facebook asking you to like or share this post to other people.  By sharing, tagging, and commenting, you’ll be spamming on behalf of the scammers and exposing your friends and family to the scam as well.  This time of year there are Supermarket voucher scams and other competitions on Facebook, so please do not fall for them.

Trading Standards and Action Fraud are making people aware of the following email scam, which is a hoax and the email asks you to circulate this around especially as Christmas is fast approaching - and that it has been confirmed by Royal Mail:
“A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number).  DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize.  If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.”

PhonepayPlus, is aware that a chain e-mail about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus' former name).

PhonepayPlus appreciates that recipients of the email may want to find out more information about the alleged scam and has therefore issued the following statement:   The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 6611911) that was shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005.  PhonepayPlus subsequently fined the company that was operating the service, Studio Telecom (based in Belize), £10,000.

If you receive this email just delete it and do not forward it to anyone.

Best wishes

Angela Money BEM
Neighbourhood Watch

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   Protect Your Passw0rd National Campaign Launched By Neighbourhood Watch     12 November, 2020

Dear Deborah

Neighbourhood Watch launches PROTECT YOUR Pa$$W0rD campaign with 3 quick and easy steps

As we spend more time at home and on our online devices, over one third (34%) of people say that they’re more concerned about cybercrime than physical crime and a startling 1 in 5 people are a victim of cybercrime!* You could be more at risk than you might think.

If strengthening your passwords is something you keep putting off, or you feel overwhelmed by the sea of online security information, you’re not alone.

As part of our Cyberhood Watch initiative, launched in 2019 in partnership with Avast, we have launched a PROTECT YOUR Pa$$W0Rd campaign that targets both the overwhelmed and complacent, providing everyone with 3 easy steps to be more secure online.

PROTECT YOUR Pa$$W0Rd in 3 easy steps

  1. Create a separate password for your email account
  2. Use 3 random words
  3. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)

To find out more about how to do each step visit our Password Protection page on our website .

But we won’t stop there!  Whilst taking those 3 easy steps will go a long way to protecting yourself online, we want to protect not just you but your whole community! To do this, we are asking you to spread the word and help protect your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours by sharing these 3 easy steps with 3 others.

To share with others you can forward this email to at least 3 of your friends, share the information from our Password Protection page in your local newsletter, or share our campaign on your social media channels using our Protect your Pa$$W0Rd Campaign Pack,

More about the campaign
Our campaign will run on social media for 4 weeks from 9th November 2020. We are targeting both Neighbourhood Watch members and non-members alike with two different attitudes to online security.

For those that are unsure and overwhelmed by an abundance of advice, we want to cut though the noise and simplify the confusion, so they feel empowered to take action.

And for those that think ‘it won’t happen to me’ we want to shock them into action, so that they realise how prevalent the problem is, even amongst young people.

We have created social media animated and still graphics targeted to both those audiences, supported by further information detailing how and why to take each step on our dedicated Password Protection page.

Download our Protect your Pa$$W0Rd Campaign Pack to share the campaign across your networks using email, whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and in newsletters.

Why not go one step further and share our Protect your Pa$$W0Rd Press Release locally and don’t forget to let us know about any local press you are able to generate.

Visit our Protect your PA$$word campaign page to find out more.

*Perceptions of cybercrime in the UK report produced in partnership with Avast, surveyed over 14,000 Neighbourhood Watch members: https://press.avast.com/hubfs/media-materials/kits/Avast%20Cyberhood%20Watch/Avast_CyberHood_Watch_Report%20FINAL.pdf?hsLang=en

For more information contact Deborah Waller on deborah.waller@ourwatch.org.uk.

Kind regards


Follow us..
Website: ourwatch.org.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/ourwatch
Twitter: twitter.com/N_watch
Instagram: neighbourhood.watch.insta
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/neighbourhood-watch/


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   WB District Councillor's Graham Bridgman's report for October    5 November, 2020

Parish Council Report for October 2020

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

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   Did You Know That You Can Report Rural Crimes Online?    26 October, 2020

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Thames Valley Police


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Did You Know That You Can Report Rural Crimes Online?


Rural crime is an issue for large areas of the Thames Valley and we know that it can have a huge impact on our rural communities.

However, these crimes tend to go unreported.

We’re reaching out to our rural communities and encouraging you to report anything you’ve seen, however big or small, which can help us tackle agricultural, equine, wildlife and heritage crime.

Did you know that you can report a crime in your area, or pass on any information that you may have, on our website?

It’s quick and easy to do and it can be done whenever is most convenient for you.

After all, you know your community best and you’re most likely to know when something doesn’t feel right.

Whether it’s something suspicious you’ve spotted in your local area or something you’ve overheard which may point to organised crime, we want to hear about it.

It can sometimes be difficult to know whether something that you’ve seen is a crime and whether you should get in touch. But we’d encourage you to contact us, as we can use this information to build a better picture and to target our resources effectively.

By working together, we can prevent opportunistic and organised crimes taking place in our communities.

If you see something, report it on our website: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

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

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   West Berks Covid-19 Update    26 October, 2020

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Help for families this half-term

Covid-19: Here to help

We're here to help families who are struggling and need assistance with food or other forms of support.

There is no reason for any children in West Berkshire to be going hungry this half-term. West Berkshire Council is here to help families who are struggling and need assistance.

Anyone who needs help should contact the Community Support Hub on 01635 503579 or by email at westberksbct@westberks.gov.uk.

The Community Support Hub is open during office hours; call between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Thursday, or between 8.30am and 4.30pm on Friday. As well as providing support directly, the team can also provide advice about other local groups and organisations that might be able to help. For more information and to contact the team via the website visit www.westberks.gov.uk/SupportHub

Leader of West Berkshire Council, Lynne Doherty said:

"We're here to help anyone who is worried about being able to feed their children or access food this half-term. It's a difficult time for families but we want them to know they are not alone and that support is available if they need it.

"We remain committed to ensuring that residents are supported during what is a very difficult time for many people. I want to reassure everyone that we have arrangements in place which means that no child needs to go hungry in West Berkshire. Throughout the pandemic we have worked proactively with local community groups, charities, West Berkshire Volunteer Centre and Greenham Common Trust to ensure that those facing hardship as a result of the coronavirus are supported. I have regularly met with these groups and I would publicly thank them for their work to date."

Update from the Leader and Chief Executive

Coronavirus Weeknote

Every week Council Leader Lynne Doherty and Chief Executive Nick Carter write an blog post about events at West Berkshire Council. In the latest edition, published today, they talk about the support being provided for families facing financial hardship.

Over the weekend there has been debate in the media and in our communities around the extension of free school meals during the holidays. It’s an important issue and one which has prompted residents to write and ask what we are doing here in West Berkshire.

As residents would expect from us, we are fully committed to ensuring people are supported during this difficult period and we already have in place arrangements which mean that no child needs to go hungry in West Berkshire.

You can read the full Weeknote here



Thank you to local businesses



Over the weekend local restaurants, pubs and shops have also come forward offering to help feed families who are struggling this half-term. Thanking them on behalf of West Berkshire Council, Leader Lynne Doherty said:

"It's been fantastic to see local businesses coming out and offering food to families in need. It's a further demonstration of the passionate community spirit we've seen in recent months and something which is to be admired. To all those who have been willing to help I express my heartfelt gratitude, I know this can also help to make a difference."

And finally...

You may have seen an open letter to the Leader of the Council calling for additional funding to be spent on extending the Free School Meal scheme throughout the Christmas holidays. You can read our response to the letter here

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   Parish Council Report for September 2020 Cllr Graham Bridgman (West Berkshire Council, Burghfield and Mortimer Ward)    8 October, 2020



Parish Council Report for September 2020

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

West Berkshire Council

Council Meetings

Links to all agendas and public meeting papers 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.


The Executive met on 3 September (a recording of the meeting can be viewed on the YouTube channel referenced above) and considered a number of papers on Council performance and budget outturns for Quarter 1, agreed that the draft London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE) Development Brief should go to public consultation (see more below), and received a plethora of public and member questions.


Council met on 10 September (a recording of the meeting can also be viewed on the YouTube channel).  There were 21 public questions - all of which will have received a written answer in accordance with the Resolution on public remote meetings passed in April (more about public questions below) – and 13 questions from Members answered on the night.

Planning White Paper

The main paper discussed at the meeting was presented in order to formulate the WBC response to the HMG Planning White Paper published in August which is currently out for consultation (closes on 28 October).  The response was agreed, having previously been discussed at a cross-party briefing and the Property Advisory Group (which contains opposition members).

Parish Councillors involved in planning may be interested in the response - it is contained in the meeting agenda pack, which can be read here, as amended by a notice of corrections.

Public Engagement in Remote Meetings

A major change to the way in which we conduct remote public meetings was introduced by a Conservative motion, supported by Members unanimously.  This allows the public into meetings on a restricted basis, eg to receive the answers to public questions (and ask supplementaries if desired), and to answer questions on planning submissions.

Thus (for example and amongst others) town and parish councils can now put forward a representative to an area planning committee to answer any questions that the committee members might wish to ask regarding a submission made regarding a planning application on the agenda.

WBC has published guidance for the public wishing to engage in remote meetings.

Future meetings

The next scheduled meetings of the Executive and Council are on 15 October and 3 December respectively.

Local Economy

London Road Industrial Estate Consultation

Regeneration of the area has been a long-held ambition for the Council and, in December 2019, WBC commissioned a report from independent consultants on the redevelopment.  The report has found that regeneration remains a viable prospect and puts forward possible options for developing a new masterplan for the area.

Regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate will deliver new office and light industrial space in the area.  West Berkshire already offers excellent opportunities for businesses but the Council is committed to doing more to support start-ups and business growth.  A strong local economy will better serve local residents' needs and redevelopment will help West Berkshire keep its competitive edge.

As well as meeting a commitment made in the Council Strategy, regeneration also supports a wider regional effort to create more opportunities for businesses looking to move into the area as well as providing space for start-ups looking to get off the ground.  A recent study by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership identified a need for more affordable innovation spaces within town centres in Berkshire - and regeneration of the London Road Industrial Estate will help.

The consultation has begun to provide local people with the opportunity to have their say on the plans.  You can find the consultation on our consultation portal and it is open until 20 October.

Housing and Planning

Housing Strategy Consultation

West Berkshire Council is inviting residents and stakeholders to provide their views on its draft Housing Strategy 2020-26, which details how the council intends to support residents with access to good quality housing while preventing homelessness and rough sleeping.


This public consultation of just over six weeks will close at midnight on Sunday, 1 November.

The Housing Strategy sets out West Berkshire Council’s strategic housing priorities and the range of actions that the Council intends to take in partnership with relevant partners and stakeholders.  In addition, the draft strategy explains how a thriving housing market – within both the local and national context - can positively influence and support the delivery of the Council’s vision through the following twin priorities:

  • Priority 1 - Enable every resident to have access to a home that meets their needs
  • Priority 2 - Reduce homelessness

The draft strategy looks at the demographics and anticipated demand for housing across the District for the future.  Overall, the population is projected to grow by just under 5% by 2036, but the modelled shift by age groups is stark, with the 0 – 60 population predicted to fall by (rounded) 5.5% and the 60+ population predicted to rise by 33%.

Thus, while West Berkshire has a relatively young population at present, the population is forecast to become older with household sizes reducing.  These factors will impact on the future requirements for the type and size of housing across the district and the need for appropriate affordable housing.

To read the policy residents and stakeholders go here.  Those unable to participate online can request a hard copy by calling 01635 519530 and selecting option 1.

Funding award to help rough sleepers

West Berkshire Council has been awarded £184k from the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme.

This successful bid for funding is part of a range of financial assistance made available by central Government to help local authorities get through the worst of Covid-19.

When Covid-19 began to take hold earlier in the year, WBC worked swiftly with partners to make sure that rough sleepers in West Berkshire were safe and had somewhere to go at a time when we were all being asked to stay at home.  Together with local partners, a task force was set up to help and find accommodation for them.

Reducing rough sleeping is a key Council priority and this money will enable the Council and partners to continue with this work.  It will help provide accommodation in the private rented sector, secure interim accommodation and allow the assessment of the wider support needs for vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.  As colder weather approaches the good this funding will do in keeping people off the streets cannot be underestimated.


West Berkshire Community Climate Bond

The Community Municipal Investment remains open until 15 October so there is still opportunity for those who have not yet done so to invest if they wish.  The Bond which aims to raise £1m for photovoltaic panel installation has currently reached £680k.

Investments start from £5 and will earn a return of 1.2 percent over a five year term, with capital returned in instalments across the investment term.

Further information can be found here.


West Berkshire Council to invest £43m over next three years on schools and education services

We have announced our Education Capital Programme for 2020-23, with an investment of £43 million on new builds, expansion and improvement of schools, and the refurbishment of education-related care facilities across the District – including provision for new equipment and services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Willink

Included, as one of the projects scheduled for completion through 2021–2, is a £2.9m expansion project for the Willink, to increase the size of the sports changing rooms (completed), build a new English studies block with seven classrooms and associated facilities, and refurbish several other rooms.

Other Projects

Recent major successes include the £8.8 million site purchase and new build of Theale Primary School, refurbishment of the Castle Gate respite care home in Newbury (£128k), Hungerford Primary School kitchen expansion (£417k), and extensive repairs carried out at Falkland Primary School, Newbury (£474k).

Projects scheduled for completion over the next six months include a new primary school at Highwood Copse, Newbury (£7.7m), increased accommodation to cater for a greater number of pupils at Winchcombe Primary School, Newbury (£341k); and an extension to the main school building to provide a new science classroom at Trinity Secondary School, Newbury.  Beyond six months, there is a £1.5m project to  is a rationalise accommodation in line with pupil demand, with the renovation and expansion of outdoor play areas, at Parsons Down Partnership, Thatcham.

Culture and Leisure

Draft Cultural Heritage Strategy

The draft Cultural and Heritage Strategy sets out the Council’s vision for the next 10 years to ensure that culture and heritage continues to be an important part of everyone's daily life in West Berkshire.

The vision is to have a sustainable, resilient and thriving cultural heritage sector that supports creativity and innovation, while bringing significant benefits to the economy and all our communities.  This draft strategy aims to build on its existing strengths and has identified a number of high-level objectives to be achieved by the council and key stakeholders working together.

To promote and develop our cultural heritage, the Council has worked with stakeholders to develop the following five objectives as part of the draft strategy - to:

  • Ensure our cultural and heritage organisations thrive and are as sustainable as possible;
  • Contribute to the improvement of the health and well-being of all our residents;
  • Improve access to cultural education, learning and employment;
  • Protect and promote our unique cultural history, heritage and environment; and
  • Increase domestic and international tourism to generate income, investment and increase economic resilience.

With the pandemic proving to be a threat to cultural organisations large and small, regionally, nationally and internationally, a clear strategy and plan is needed now more than ever.

The consultation on the draft strategy has opened for six weeks, closing on Sunday 18 October.

Libraries re-open to public from 21 September

West Berkshire Libraries are delighted that the initial phase of restoring the service has proved a great success.  The Order & Collect service which have been running for the past couple of months allows customers to reserve books online or to tell the service about the sort of books they like to read and for staff to choose a selection for them.

As well as continuing with this, the library service is now moving forward with the next phase, which will enable public access to all our library buildings across the district from Monday 21 September

Customers will not need to book a time to visit, but the number of people within each building will be limited and so you may need to queue to get in.  Library staff will ask you to keep your visiting time to about 30 minutes and to use the hand sanitiser provided on entry and exit.  Test and Trace contact details will be collected at the door.

Computers and printing/photocopying facilities will be available, but there will be fewer computers in order to ensure adequate social distancing.  Customers will be able to use a computer for one session of 45 minutes per day.  There will be no other seating or study areas available within the libraries and no access to toilets, baby changing facilities or refreshments.

The fines amnesty has also been extended and there will be no fines charged on items due for return between 20 March and 30 September.

Please remember that wearing face coverings is now mandatory in public libraries.

Waste Services

Putting Waste in Its Place

Food waste makes up nearly 25% of the rubbish in a black bin but it can easily be recycled in the green bin without the need to subscribe to the green waste scheme.

Over the coming weeks, WBC will be placing stickers on black bins to remind residents to recycle their food waste and put it in the green bin.

For more information on food waste recycling, go here.

Recycling Permits

WBC green recycling permits with an expiry date of 30 September 2020 are still valid at the Council's recycling centres in Padworth and Newbury - residents do not need to order a new permit as the green permits will continue to be accepted until further notice, although the permit needs to be displayed to allow entry into our recycling centres (and a booking made).

Transport and Countryside

A339 road improvements at Newbury to start on 5 October

Work on improvements along the A339 between the Pinchington Lane Roundabout in Newbury and the entrance to the Household Waste Recycling Centre will start on Monday, 5 October and last until early Spring 2022.

Volker Highways has been contracted to carry out the works where the A339 will be widened on both sides to make room for two lanes in both directions and a new traffic light controlled junction installed.  The new junction will connect the A339 to a link road to the new Highwood Copse Primary School and will include a pedestrian crossing to allow users to safely cross the A339.

The project, which is part funded by Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Deal Funding, also includes relocation of underground pipes and cables on both sides of the A339, significant surface water drainage works and footway construction.

Once the work is underway, weekly progress updates will be posted on the project blog at www.westberks.gov.uk/a339.

Please contact Network Improvements team by tel.  01635 551111 or email a339@westberks.gov.uk with any questions, comments or for further information.

Ultra Low Vehicle Emissions Strategy (ULEV)

The Government’s 2018 Road to Zero Strategy sets out the ambition that by 2040, no new petrol or diesel cars, or vans will be sold.  Last February the Government announced its intention to bring this forward to 2035, and sooner if possible.  Hybrid vehicles would also be banned, and only new full electric or hydrogen vehicles would be sold from 2035.

The West Berkshire Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) Strategy seeks to map out a programme for supporting ULEV uptake in the district.  It is the intention that this document informs the general direction for West Berkshire, with more detailed policy or guidance documents produced where appropriate.  Whilst some improvements have already been implemented, it is recognised that we are at the start of the transition, there remains uncertainty for the future to the technical advances we are seeing and the resulting changes to driver behaviour, therefore this strategy will be regularly reviewed, at least biannually, to ensure it is kept current.

Other Matters

District/Parish Conference – Tuesday 20 October

The next conference, to be held virtually via Zoom, will include topics such as Low Power Wide Area Network (LORAWAN) gateways and the Smart Cities project; Community Engagement and Covid-19 recovery; and the Planning White Paper (see more above).

Details about booking a place have been distributed via Parish Clerks.



Local outbreak control planning

The Council has distributed an information leaflet on the Local Outbreak Control Plan, also available here.

The leaflet explains how we will aim to protect residents and communities by minimising further spread or recurrence of Covid-19 across West Berkshire.

Social Distancing

Whilst community transmission rates are comparatively low, as lockdown is eased and those in the shielded and vulnerable groups are able to leave their home (if they so wish) it is as important as ever that social distancing is observed – see the latest HMG advice.

Covid-19 testing advice for Berkshire West residents

Residents across western Berkshire are being asked to only request a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms, or have been asked to get a test.

There is currently a high demand on the Covid-19 testing system, caused by capacity at the labs (and not at local testing centres).  The Department for Health and Social Care is prioritising tests in areas where there are higher rates of Covid-19 (Berkshire having lower case numbers than elsewhere in the country – with 97% of tests on Berkshire residents last month coming back negative for Covid-19).

If you have been identified as a contact of a case then you should isolate for 14 days.  Two weeks covers the incubation and infectious periods of the infection.  You do not need a test unless you have symptoms but if you do have a test and it comes back negative, you still need to isolate for the whole period.  The same applies if you are isolating having returned from overseas.

Residents can play their part by maintaining social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering where it is required to do so.

Local Covid-19 outbreak

Nationally there has been an increase in cases of Covid-19, and we are likely to see more local cases and outbreaks over the coming months.

Agencies are working together to manage an outbreak of Covid-19 within a workplace in Newbury.  In recent days a number of police officers from Thames Valley Police have tested positive for Covid-19.  Those officers, and a number of other people they have been in close contact with are now self-isolating in line with national guidelines.

Agencies including West Berkshire Council and Public Health England are working with Thames Valley Police to ensure that appropriate steps are being taken to minimise the spread of the virus in line with our local outbreak control plan.

Parish Matters

Local housing numbers

Although things are somewhat up in the air with the Planning White Paper, mentioned a couple of times in this report, it is interesting to note the initial assessments very recently advised (last Friday, 2 October) in relation to indicative housing requirements for the designated Burghfield and Stratfield Mortimer Neighbourhood Areas within the West Berkshire Local Plan Review to 2036.

The draft plan will include an indicative housing requirement for each designated Neighbourhood Area.  Using that requirement, the neighbourhood planning groups in the district can then (as necessary) commence site selection work to determine which site(s) they want to include as allocations in their neighbourhood plans.

(It is important to note that the requirements are indicative at this stage because they are subject to change as work on the Local Plan Review progresses, for example during the independent examination.  A requirement may also change as a result of any changes that the Government make to the standard methodology which is used for calculating the overall housing need for a district – hence the reference to the Planning White paper.

The Government are currently consulting on proposals to amend the standard methodology for calculating housing need – it is important to note that the draft proposals result in an increased housing need in West Berkshire.)

The current outcome is that the indicative housing number for both Neighbourhood Areas is zero, but with different reasoning in each case:

  • Stratfield Mortimer - the NDP includes an allocation for up to 110 dwellings, the allocated site has outline planning permission, and the first phase of development (28 dwellings) is progressing.  Given the outstanding dwellings still to deliver, officers consider that there should not be any additional allocation in the plan period.  It is however recognised that windfall development may come forward over the plan period.
  • Burghfield – the parish falls within the recently revised AWE Burghfield DEPZ and residential development is unsuitable in this zone.  However an Offsite Plan is being produced and this may allow a limited amount of development - the housing requirement for Burghfield will be reviewed following the publication of the Offsite Plan.





Graham Bridgman

5 October 2020






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   Parish Council Report for January 2021    5 October, 2020

Parish Council Report for January 2021

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

West Berkshire Council


A belated happy new year, although not the start to 2021 that any of us would all have wished for a year ago!  Despite the pandemic, we have a very fully agenda in the coming twelve months and, now that the vaccination roll out is fully underway, look forward to life getting back to something near to normal as soon as possible.
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   WEST BERKS COVID NEWS    3 October, 2020

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Self-isolation guidance

self- isolation

The Government announced on 28 September that residents in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This law has been introduced to ensure compliance with self-isolation rules and to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Two key pieces of guidance have been updated to include the new legal requirements for self-isolation:

  • Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection here
  • Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus infection who do not live with the person here

Covid-19: local cases data



There have been 27 cases of Covid-19 in West Berkshire this week (21 - 27 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.

Public health teams across Berkshire have recently joined together to create a new website providing local data across Berkshire. You can find the website here: https://berkshirepublichealth.co.uk


Protect your loved ones. Get the app.

appWe want to say thank you to everyone who has already downloaded the NHS Test and Trace App.

We’re encouraging all of our residents to download the app which is available on Apple or Google Play stores. 

If you’re unsure on how the app works, you can watch the video of Council Leader Lynne Doherty walking you through it or visit the NHS website

Let’s keep West Berkshire safe together.

Last chance to invest in Green Bonds

CMI bond

Our new Community Municipal Investment has raised around £800k from over 550 investors, with just two weeks left to invest, and is part of our plans to help build back better after the pandemic. We were delighted to take part in this year’s Green Fest, with an online event featuring Councillor Ross Mackinnon and Bruce Davis from Abundance speaking about the CMI’s benefits for investors who want to combine a low risk financial return with an immediate positive local impact.

That impact is already being felt across the district. With kids get back in their classrooms, Aldermaston primary and the Willink secondary schools are generating their own green electricity thanks to panels funded by the CMI. The recent bout of sunny weather isn’t just boosting our mood despite the challenges of Covid, it's cutting our carbon footprint too.

We’re now looking at a range of exciting ecological initiatives to benefit from the next tranche of capital. Be a part of it and make an immediate difference to your community.

Spot our banners in Newbury

bannerIf you're walking around Newbury Town Centre, see if you can spot our new lamp post signs.  

We have worked with Newbury Bid to arrange the lamp post signs in Newbury high street, to help reinforce the national messages. These are:

  • Wash you hands
  • Wear a face mask
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Get a test if you have symptoms

If you see them, please take a picture and tag us on our social media. 



Students’ views on Covid-19


We spoke to students from St Bartholomew's and Trinity School to hear their responses and views on Covid related issues, such as the rule of 6, wearing a face mask and social distancing.  You can watch these two videos here and here.

And finally...



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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)

[+ read more...]

   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


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. 

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.

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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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

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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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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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   Libraries are Open    13 July, 2020

West Berks Libraries are open

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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


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
• 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
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
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.
Debra Inston, Principal Design and
Conservation Officer, West Berkshire Council
Email: debra.inston@westberks.gov.uk
Anthony Pick, Chair, West Berkshire Heritage
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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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:


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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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   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




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


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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  


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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:


It will only take a couple of minutes of your time, but its findings will generate further engagement with the community.

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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   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.


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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:




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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 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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   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



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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


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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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   Neighbourhood Watch Launches Protect Your Car Campaign    30 November, -0001

Neighbourhood Watch Launches Protect Your Car Campaign

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