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LATEST NEWS 

For information of interest pertaining to a wider spectrum of issues, please visit the new "Community Information" page.  

 

PARISH COUNCIL OFFICE CLOSED FOR EASTER WEEKEND 2019

Please note that the Parish Council office will now be closed for the Easter weekend and re-open at 9.30am on Tuesday, 23rd April.

 

 

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

The next meeting will be:

Planning- Thursday, 25th April 2019 at 5.15m in the Parish Council office (behind the library), 27 Victoria Road, Mortimer.

Members of the public and press are welcome to attend.


 

PHASE ONE OF THE RESTORATION OF THE PONDS ON THE FAIRGROUND

A small group of councillors started work on the ponds in January, under the guidance of Simon from Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. At the time the water level was comparatively low, so, equipped with waders, they were able to drag a lot of unwanted vegetation out. The more stubbornly rooted plants, like the iris, were dug out with a fork. During other visits, all the willow branches that were shading the water were trimmed off, along with invasive laurel and holly, and sorted for use in a log pile, the smaller branches put aside for burning. Having cleared all they could from the larger ponds, a start was made on the smaller pond by the War Memorial. This has a lot of bull rushes in it which took more effort to dig out, but a third of it was cleared before work had to stop at the end of February to avoid disturbing hibernating creatures re-entering the ponds to breed. A magnificent bonfire was lit to clear the large pile of unwanted brash. This has provided good quantity of potash, and a clear burnt off area that could be reseeded with a wild flower mix.

A lot of the plant roots have been put aside for the regular plant sales run by local charities.

The next phase will be the removal of most of the larger willows for fire wood. An application will be made to install a dipping platform for use by the schools and visitors to the area. It’s hoped that a company could sponsor an annual clearance of the ponds which will allow the small team of councillors and friends to tackle the other suggestions listed by Acorn and the bio diversity group.

 

STRATFIELD MORTIMER ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 

The Annual Parish Meeting will take place on:

Monday, 29th April, at St. John’s Hall, West End Road, from 7.30 pm.

Refreshments will be available from 7.00pm together with an opportunity to see:

a) Displays from local organisations and charities;

b) Material relating to “Crime and Anti-Social Behaviors in the Local Area”.

The agenda can be found here.

It is anticipated that Anthony Stansfield, the Police and Crimes Commissioner (PCC) for the Thames Valley, and representatives from Thames Valley Police and Project Servator will be attending and contributing to discussions.

All are invited to attend and take part.

 

 

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

The next meeting will be:

Full Council - Thursday, 11th April 2019 at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, West End Road, Mortimer.

Members of the public and press are welcome to attend.

 

WORKS TAKING PLACE IN THE PLAY AREA ON THE FAIRGROUND

Please be aware that from today, Thursday, 4th April, for the next few days into early next week, remedial works will be taking place on the ball court and around some of the climbing frames and equipment on the play area on the Fairground.

These areas will be fenced off during the concreting works for safety.

Please exercise caution and keep children and pets away from the works until the fencing is removed.

 

TENNIS COURTS - ELECTRONIC GATE

The new gate, which is part of the work on setting up a new electronic booking system for the tennis courts on the Fairground, was installed on the 27th March.

Until the online booking system is ready, bookings for the tennis court should continue to be made via Budgens, who continue to hold the diary and also have copies of the new keys.  

 

LOCAL ELECTIONS SET FOR 2nd MAY 2019

Elections are set to take place to elect councillors to the district council as well as town and parish councils.

West Berkshire Council has today (Friday 15March) published its Notice of Election confirming the elections to be held on Thursday 2 May, 2019.

The nomination process is now open and anyone wanting to stand for election either to West Berkshire Council or their local council has until 4pm on Wednesday 3 April to submit their nomination to the Returning Officer. West Berkshire Council has produced a guide to the elections which includes more information on the nomination process and eligibility criteria for potential candidates. This can be viewed online: www.westberks.gov.uk/elections2019. A list of candidates standing for election will be published online by 4pm on Thursday 4 April.

For more information, please visit the new "Council Elections" page.  

 

MAKE A CHANGE, BECOME A LOCAL COUNCILLOR

Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council (SMPC) is calling on residents, passionate about their community to stand in the local elections in 2019.

What do councillors do?

Councillors are the champions of their community and give residents a voice on the decisions the council makes. Becoming a councillor will allow you to make a real difference in your community by engaging with residents, local groups and businesses to find out their needs; making decisions on which services and projects the council should take forward; and getting involved locally to ensure the services are meeting your community’s needs.

How long does it take?

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Local Councillor Census Survey found that councillors put aside, on average, three hours a week for council work. This often includes attending meetings, engaging with residents and speaking on behalf of the council to other bodies.

Can I stand?

There are only a few rules to stand for election. You must be:

· A British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth, or the European Union

· 18 years of age or older

· Not be disqualified by any statute

· Meet ONE of the following four qualifications:

o You are an elector of the parish, or

o During the whole of the last 12 months you have either occupied as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the parish, or

o Your only principal place of work is in the parish, or

o You live within 4.8km (3 miles) of the parish boundary.

How can I get involved?

To find out more visit www.nalc.gov.uk/elections or contact the Clerk:

  • By calling in or writing to the Parish Council office, 27 Victoria Road, Mortimer, Reading, RG7 3SH   
  • Phoning on 0118 9331955
  • Emailing the.clerk@stratfield-mortimer.gov.uk 

 

CRAZY NELLIE THE ELEPHANT

The replacement elephant rocker for the play area on the Fairground was scheduled to be installed by the end of February. Unfortunately, ‘Crazy Nellie’ the elephant was stolen a few days prior to work taking place but has been safely recovered and will be appearing in the play area shortly. 

 

CASUAL VACANCY AND ELECTIONS

Back in January, due to the resignation of a councillor, a casual vacancy occurred on the Parish Council. This would usually be filled through co-option. However, the statutory implications of the local elections, that will be taking place on May 2nd, mean that the term of office of a newly co-opted councillor would be less than eight weeks.

This, along with the requirements of the co-option process, led the Parish Council to take the decision not to co-opt on this occasion. It is hoped, however, that the vacancy will be filled by the elections in May.

Have you ever thought about becoming a councillor? More information will be availability shortly or visit https://beacouncillor.co.uk/

 

DEVELOPMENT BEHIND THE HORSE & GROOM (MOR006)

OUTLINE PLANNING PERMISSION HAS BEEN ISSUED

Last year West Berkshire Council granted outline planning approval, subject to the agreement of certain conditions, for 110 homes on the site behind the Horse and Groom. Last week it was confirmed that these conditions had been agreed and as such the outline planning permission has now been issued.

The developers, T. A. Fisher, are now working on a detailed planning application for Phase 1 of the development. Phase 1 is at the top of the site.

 

RESIGNATION OF CLLR. TINA READE

We are sorry to announce the resignation of Cllr. Tina Reade as a Parish Councillor.

Tina has been a very active member of the SMPC, including being Chairman since May 2018 and the Council would like to thank her for all of her hard work and extend their best wishes to her.

As Vice Chairman, Cllr. Mike Dennett will be acting Chairman until the next Full Council meeting on Thursday 14th February, when a new Chairman will be appointed.

This year is Parish Council election year with elections for the whole Council on 2nd May. Because of the closeness of the election, the vacancy does not have to be declared and advertised, though the Council may co-opt to fill the vacancy until May. The Council will consider whether to co-opt at its meeting in February.

 

RIGHTS OF WAY

How many paths in Mortimer do you think are protected? By protected we mean the public have a legally protected right to pass and re-pass. There is a definitive map that is held by West Berkshire that marks all paths that are protected but we think there are others. So why are we telling you this. As we all know building space is becoming a premium in the area and developers will try and use as much space as possible. If they fence off or move a border to close a path if it is not on the definitive map, then there is little that can be done to stop it. Across the UK the Country Side Agency estimate that over 10% of paths are not registered. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 states that paths that are not recorded on this map by 2026 will automatically be deemed not a footpath.

The Parish Council has been made aware of three footpaths which are not on the definitive map. These are:

1) Between 2 and 4 Windmill Road through to The Bevers,

2) The junction of Victoria Road and Stephens Road through to Stephens Firs,

3) Between 34 and 35 Stephens Close through to Alfred Palmer Memorial Ground.

The relevant test is whether there is satisfactory evidence that for a period of at least 20 years there has been uninterrupted use by the public. In order to acquire the necessary evidence for West Berkshire Council, the Parish Council, therefore, requests that if any members of the public are able and willing to sign a statement to this effect they should contact the Clerk.

If you know of any other paths that are not marked on the definitive map, then please let the Parish Clerk know. https://gis1.westberks.gov.uk/ApplicationTemplates/OnlineMap/?vln=PUBLIC%20RIGHTS%20OF%20WAY

 

PLASTIC FREE MORTIMER

The Parish Council was approached by Plastic Free Mortimer, one of a growing number of nationwide groups aiming to encourage local residents and businesses to dispose of plastic waste responsibly and remove the amount of "single use" plastic used. 

Andrea Kim of Plastic Free Mortimer spoke and took questions at the recent Full Council meeting on July 12th.

Afterwards the council unanimously passed a resolution of support, in which it was agreed to:

  • lead by example and where possible reduce its own use of single use plastics 
  • Support plastic free initiatives and encourage West Berkshire Council to improve recycling facilities.
  • Nominate a Parish Councillor as a named representative on the Plastic Free Mortimer Group, who will attend at least one Plastic Free Mortimer meeting a year.
Councillor Nick Carter, a keen recycler and environmentalist, was duly nominated as the Parish Councillor representative.

NOTICE OF ELECTORS RIGHTS TO INSPECT ACCOUNTS

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No.234) require that The Notice of Electors Rights to Inspect the Annual Accounts for 2016-17 should be publicised on the Parish Council Website and can be found below, along with Sections 26 and 27 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014:

Notice of Electors Rights - 2016.2017 and Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014

Section 1 - Annual Governance Statement 2017/18

Section 2 - Accounting Statements 2017/18 and Unaudited Declaration

SITE DESIGN BRIEF (SDB) FOR MOR006  

A further updated version of the SDB for The Site MOR006 can be found here. In particular, changes have been made with regards to Lifetime Homes (LTH), ecology and drainage in accordance with the policies and objectives of the NDP.

The webpage will continue to be updated as necessary.