Header Image for Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council
M4 closure this weekend 31 March to 3rd April
Please note that the M4 will be COMPLETELY CLOSED between Junctions 12 (Theale) and 13 (Chieveley) from 9 pm on Friday 31st March to 6 am on Monday 3rd April for bridge maintenance work. This is the first of a series of closures - details here

Vacancy for an Administrative Assistant
The Council wishes to appoint an administrative assistant to work 15 hours per week. Details are here and the closing date is 18th February 2017.

OTHER NEWS
Footpath / Cycleway between Mortimer and Burghfield

In view of the concern and comments on the Parish Council's decision to suspend consideration of this project for one year, the background paper considered at the November Full Council meeting is available here and the decision is in minute 16/518 of the minutes.

Christmas Tree
The lighting of the Christmas tree on the Fairground  took place at 7 pm on Sunday 27th November following the Advent Service at St John's Church.  A letter of thanks from Deacon John Foley has been received.  Carol singing around the tree took place at 5 pm on Saturday 17th December.

 

Reminder - WBC Library Consultation ends on 11th December
As detailed further down this page, the WBC consultation on the three options for the future of the library service ends on 11th December at:

http://info.westberks.gov.uk/libraryservicereview
The Parish Council strongly supports option A which maintains one member of staff in each branch library. If option B is chosen the council will support Mortimer library being one of the two 'hub' libraries. Do take the opportunity to express your views.

West Berkshire Budget Consultations
In addition to the library consultation, WBC have put seven 2017/18 budget proposals out for consultation with a closing date of 11 December 2016. The topics are Citizen's Advice Bureau; Highway and Drainage Maintenance; Highway Fees and Charges; Home to School Transport for Post 16 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Restructure of Youth Support, Family Resource, help for Families and Young Carers Services; Road safety; Urban Grass Cutting.

War Memorial Records (November 2016)
Major John Kemp carried out research on the servicemen listed on the Parish War Memorial. This has been available for reference in Mortimer Library but the Parish Council has now made it available online. Each name has Major Kemp's short notes and hyperlinks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records.

Parish Clerk
The Council is pleased to say that Haydn Selywn-Jones is the Council's Clerk. You are welcome to visit him or call him (o118 9331955). Haydn is normally available in the Parish Council office (behind the library) between 09:30 and 17:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Library News
Following the executive meeting referred to below, West Berkshire Council have put the three options for the future of the library service out for public consultation at: http://info.westberks.gov.uk/libraryservicereview
As well as the three options, there is information on proposed increased contributions from Parish Councils, the need for volunteers to contribute to running the service and a link to the Needs Assessment commissioned by WBC. There is a link to an online survey to seek the views of the public, so please respond. It is likely that the Parish Council will finalise its response at the Parish Council meeting on 1oth November.

Executive to consider Library Proposals:
West Berkshire Council have published the papers for the Executive meeting on Thursday 20 October which will consider options for the library service. The papers are at
http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/documents/g3587/Public%20reports%20pack%2020th-Oct-2016%2017.00%20Executive.pdf?T=10

It is expected that following this meeting the three options will be put out for a six week public consultation and the final decision taken in January.

Neighbourhood Development Plan (11 Nov 2016)
West Berkshire Council have received the examiner's report regarding the Stratfield Mortimer Neighbourhood Development Plan. Following discussions between WBC and Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council, the latter at its meeting last night (10 November) passed a resolution requesting WBC to make a decision on the Examiner's report by 1st May 2017, to allow time for full consideration of the recommendations and issues raised in the report 

Parish Council Newsletter
The October 2016 newsletter was delivered over the weekend of 1st/2nd October. You can read it here or follow the tab on the left.   

Neighbourhood Development Plan
As you may be aware the Stratfield Mortimer Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted for Examination. The Inspector carrying out the Examination wishes to hold a hearing session into the Neighbourhood Plan to aid with the Examination process.

Usually examinations of draft Neighbourhood Plans are undertaken without a public hearing, however, a hearing can be used where an examiner considers that the consideration of oral representations are necessary to ensure adequate examination of the issues.

The hearing will take place on Wednesday 24th August at 9:30am (with Thursday 25th August as a reserve day if required) at the Market Street Council Offices in Newbury.

The Inspector has produced a note setting out the issues he wishes to cover at the hearing session, the note, and further information regarding the hearing can be found at www.westberks.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning.

If you would like to attend the hearing session please contact a member of the planning policy team by emailing planningpolicy@westberks.gov.uk or phoning 01635 519111 | Ext 2111 to confirm your attendance. Please note that permission to speak at the hearing will be at the discretion of the Inspector.

Co-option of a Councillor
We are pleased to announce that, at the Full Council meeting held on Thursday 14th July, Mick Johnson was co-opted to fill the vacancy on the Parish Council following the resignation of Angie Philips.

Exercise of Electors Rights
A notice of appointment for the dates for the exercise of electors rights in relation to the accounts for the year ending 31 March 2016 was published on 27th June 2016.

Parish Council Newsletter 
The June 2016 newsletter was delivered over the weekend of 11th/12th June. You can read it here or follow the tab on the left.

Vacancy for a Councillor (May 2016)
There is a vacancy for a Councillor, following the resignation of Cllr Angie Philips.  The official vacancy notice is here.

Party in the Park
This free event is from 4pm Saturday 4th July on the Fairground.  It is planned to have children's entertainment including a bouncy castle, face painting and comedy jugglers/unicyclists Shane and Alex.  The Shinfield Shambles Morris dancers will perform at 16:30 and 18:45 and the South Berks Concert band at 5 pm followed by patriotic singing . The evening includes the All-Stars Dance Troupe and live music includes Izzilee Jewel and State 51 from the Willink school, Nicolette Street and a finale by guitarist Andrew Middleton.  Come and enjoy.

The Fair
Burnett's Fair were scheduled to be open on the Fairground from Thursday 5th May to Sunday 8th May.  Because of unexpected conditions at their next site, they asked to extend their hire agreement for another week.  The Fair is now closed but will open again on Thursday 12th May until Sunday 15th May after which they will depart.

Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting will take place in St John's Hall from 7 pm on Wednesday 27th April.    The agenda is here.

Meetings
The next committee meeting is Planning Committee at 6:30 pm on Tuesday 3 May in the Parish Council Office.

The next ordinary Full Council meeting is at 7:30 on Thursday 10th March in the Methodist Church

 

WBC Phase 2 Budget - News on Libraries
District Councillor Graham Bridgman reports that the agenda papers and background reports for the meetings of the West Berkshire Council Executive and Full Council (to follow the Executive meeting) next week (24th March) have just been published, and these include a proposal that £475,000 of the £1.4m transitional funding provided by the Government is to be used to mitigate the Phase 2 library savings that went out to the consultation that ended last week.

Whilst it is very important to note that everything is subject to the vote to be taken – until then no decisions have been formally taken - the intention is for seven affected libraries, including Mortimer, to move to a self-service model, with the mobile library to also continue.   The precise details still need to be worked out, and further information will follow in due course, but hopefully this news will be welcomed by all users and those who engaged in the consultation regarding the library service (and thank you to those for taking part).

Locum Clerk  (january 2016)
The Council is pleased to say that Haydn Selywn-Jones is now the Council's part time Locum Clerk.  You are welcome to visit him or call him (o118 9331955).  Haydn is normally available in the Parish Council office (behind the library) between 09:30 and 17:30 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Neighbourhood Development Plan
The Parish Council has approved the plan and submitted it to West Berkshire Council who have opened it for consulation.  See details.

Budget Responses Phase 2
After the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting of 18th February responses were made to West Berkshire Council.

Response on Library Proposals
Response on Children's Centres
Response on Public Transport
Response on Smallmead Recycling Centre  

Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting
The Chairman has called an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting at 7:30 on Thursday 18th February in the Methodist Church.  The main item is to consider West Berkshire  Council's proposed phase 2 budget proposals which were published on Monday 15th February and will be open for public consultation until  Monday 7th March. 

There are 16 proposal topics.  Particularly relevant to Mortimer are the proposals:
to close 8 branch libraries  and withdraw the mobile libraries (leaving only the Newbury library open) and Public transport which includes cutting completely the 75 bus from Beech Hill to Newbury.  There are proposed cuts in services in many other service areas, including Children Centres.  Funding from WBC towards the Smallmead Household Recycling Centre in Reading will be withdrawn so that this will no longer be available to West Berkshire residents.

Lighting in Strawberry Fields
The possiblity of dimming the LED lighting in the Strawberry Fields development was discussed at the December and January Council meetings. At the later the Council agreed in principle to request dimming of the lights between midnight and 5:30 am, subject to consultation with the residents.  A leaflet has been delivered to each house on the development asking for comments and questions.  Please read this and respond.

Co-option of a Councillor
No request for an election to fill the Councillor vacancy following the sad death of Cllr A. Colaco has been received, therefore the Council must fill the vacany by co-option.  Please see the Notice of Casual Vacancy for information.  The closing date is 29th February 2016. Response to WBC Budget Proposals (December 2015)
Following a number of meetings and walking the proposed Mortimer to Willink  School walking route, the Parish Council met on Thursday 10th December 2015 for a Full Council meeting to discuss West Berkshire Council's Budget Proposals for 2016/17 and our response to them.

This was helped enormously by very informative and positive statements from members of the public with regard to their concerns, especially about the Mortimer to Willink School Home to School Transport Proposal.

WBC Budget Proposals 2016/17: Home to School Transport - Mortimer to Willink School:
After full discussion, it was unanimously agreed that The Parish Council  is strongly opposed to the proposed alternative Walking Route and the withdrawal of the current Home to School Transport service. 
The full text of our response, submitted before close of business on 14th December 2015, can be found at SMPC response to WBC Budget Proposal 2016/17: Home to School Transport.

WBC Budget Proposals 2016/17: Public Transport - withdrawal of the 75 Bus Service:
Again after full discussion, it was unanimously agreed that The Parish Council  is strongly opposed to the proposed of the withdrawal of the current 75 Bus service. 
The full text of our response, submitted before close of business on 14th December 2015, can be found at SMPC response to WBC Budget Proposals 2016/17: Public Transport.

WBC Budget Proposals 2016/17: Rural Highways Grass Cutting:
After further full discussion, it was unanimously agreed not to oppose the proposal to reduce the grass cuts from 3 to 2 per annum, subject to both emergency and statutory  being fully carried out.
The full text of our response, submitted before close of business on 14th December 2015, can be found at SMPC response to WPC Budget Proposals 2016/17: Rural Highway Grass Cutting

It was also unanimously agreed to submit an update on the School Crossing Patrol proposal for St John's School, Mortimer.
The full text of our response, submitted before close of business on 14th December 2015, can be found at SMPC response to WPC Budget Proposals 2016/17: School Crossing Patrols.

Parish Clerk (December 2015)
The Council has a vacany for the post of Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer.  Please see the job advertisment for details. The closing date is 25th January 2016.

Community Award 2016 (November 2015)
Nominations are sought for the 2016 Stratfield Mortimer Community Award, which is an annual award given to a person who has devoted outstanding time and energy over a substantial period for the benefit of the community of Stratfield Mortimer. Nomination forms are available as a PDF or in WORD. Closing date is 15th January 2016.

Austin Colaço (November 2015)
It is with great sadness that the Council informs the Parish of the death of one of our councillors, Austin Colaço, who passed away on the 17th November 2015. Austin was elected to the Council in May 2007 and apart from a brief absence in 2011 has been a councillor since then. Austin served on various committees during this period, in particular Planning, Roads Footpaths and Commons and Communications.

Austin always took a keen interest in Parish matters and his insights and cheerful manner will be much missed by all fellow councillors. The Council sends their sincere condolences to Bella and their children Danny, Angie and Tilly. The funeral will take place at St Oswalds Catholic Church, Burghfield on 1st December.


NDP Pre-submission consultation 
The Stratfield Mortimer  Neighbourhood Development Plan  has been approved by the Parish Council to go out to pre-submission consultation. You may wish to comment on the plan.  The 6 week consultation commences on the 9th November 2015 and closes at midnight on Monday the 21st of December 2015. The plan can be found at:- 
http://www.mortimer-ndp.org.uk/assets/NDP_Document/NDP_for_pre_submission_consultation.pdf
and paper copy can be seen in the Mortimer Library.
Responses to this consultation can be submitted either electronically at mortimerndp@gmail.com  or by letter addressed to:- The Clerk, Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council, 27 Victoria Rd,  Mortimer, Reading, RG7 3SH


West Berkshire Council will considering the 'West Berkshire Housing Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD): Proposed Submission' at an Extraordinary Council meeting in Newbury on 5th November.  This sets out proposed housing allocations and settlement boundary changes throughout West Berkshire.  The public agenda pack is available here (all 134 pages!).  The proposal regarding Mortimer is that 110 houses will be allocated through the Neighbourhood Development Plan (see pages 22 and 73) of the papers.

NDP PUBLIC MEETING - MONDAY 21 SEPTEMBER
ST JOHN'S HALL AT 7:30PM
This is a Public meeting to which eveyone is invited to see the initial design ideas for the development site behind St. John's Infant School and contribute their comments and ideas. 

 

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTION RESULT
The Declaration of Result of Poll issued by West Berkshire Council is here.
Dudley Richard George Ives is duly elected.

 

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTION
Voting will take place in the Community Centre on Thursday 13 August 2015 for the one vacancy. The Notice of Poll showing the candidates and details of the poll issued by West Berkshire Council is here.

ELECTION OF A PARISH COUNCILLOR
There will an election for the one vacancy on the Parish Council on Thursday 13 August 2015.  The Statement of Persons Nominated issued by West Berkshire Council can be seen here.  Note that the deadline for applying for a postal vote is 5 pm on 29th July- see notice of election below.

NOTICE OF ELECTION OF A PARISH COUNCILLOR
A notice of election for one Parish Councillor has been issued by the Returning Officer at West Berkshire Council on 9th July 2015. You can see it here.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
The Annual Parish meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on Tuesday 16th June 2015 in St John's Hall, West End Road.  This meeting was originally scheduled for April but had to be postponed because of the Parish Council elections. The agenda is here.

VACANCY ON THE PARISH COUNCIL
There is currently a vacancy on the Parish Council. The notice of the vacancy has been published today (1st June 2015) and can be seen here.

STATEMENT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
The Council would like to clarify the current situation.  The Proper Officer (The Clerk) is the only person who can issue statements on behalf of the Council. If the Clerk is not available the Chairman can temporarily act as the Clerk which is the current  situation.
The Council held its Annual Parish Council meeting, following the election, last Thursday 21 May 2015.  This elects the Chairman Vice- Chairman and Chairmen of the Committees.  Full details will be in the minutes and the details on the website will be updated, but for information Cllr Dennett and Cllr Earl were re-elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively.

At that meeting the Council was informed that one of the recently elected councillors was not taking up the office because of ill health. The Council agreed to consult West Berkshire Council as to the correct procedure to follow to fill this vacancy and will follow this advice.

For information, the Clerk is an employee of the Parish Council and not elected by the Council as has been suggested.

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS
These have been published by West Berkshire Council and are available here.
What happens next? Councillors, except the Chairman and Vice-chairman, retire on the fourth day after the election (Monday 11 May). The Chairman and Vice-Chairman hold office until the Chairman for 2015/16 is elected at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council which is at 7:30 Thursday 21 May in the Methodist Church.

NDP QUESTIONNAIRE
Have you done yours yet?  Any person over 16 living or working the Mortimer can complete one and we need your views. CLOSING DATE 22 MAY 2015

It can be completed on line by clicking here.

If you wish to obtain another paper copy please phone the helpline on
07435 301319 or visit the Mortimer NDP website

ELECTION 
West Berkshire Council have announced that there will be a contested election for the Parish Council in Stratfield Mortimer on 7th May 2015. The list of persons nominated is available here (NB it is 2 pages long).
 
Comments have been received asking the Council to provide more details of the candidates.  This is not possible. During the run up to the election the Parish Council is not allowed to publish publicity relating to particular individuals involved directly in the election (Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity).

NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN QUESTIONNAIRE
A paper copy of this has been delivered to every house and business in the Parish. The questionnaire is open to everyone over 16 resident or employed in Mortimer, so members of a household or business can each complete their own  questionnaire. It is not restricted to one per household.
It can be completed on line by clicking here.

If you wish to obtain another paper copy please phone the helpline on
07435 301319
or visit the Mortimer NDP website



Archived News Items

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING POSTPONED
The Annual Parish Meeting will be held in late May / early June 2015 on a date to be announced    

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS CALLED
West Berkshire Council have today (23 March) issued the Notice of Election for Parish Councillors.  Stratfield Mortimer has 15 Parish Councillors to be elected.  Nominations must be submitted in person to The Returning Officer at West Berkshire Council Offices between 9am Monday 23 March and 4pm on Thursday 9 April 2015.  Nomination papers can be obtained from the Parish Clerk on 0118 9331955, from the Parish Council Office (open 1030 to 1230 on Tuesday and Thursday) or from West Berkshire Council Offices Market Place Newbury RG14 5LD.
Please see the article in the March 2015 SMPC newsletter for for information.

STRATFIELD MORTIMER NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP)
From  14th February there will be a series of events for everyone in the village to see how the NDP is progressing, discuss their views and input their ideas. Some sessions will focus on particular topics, others will be more general. Exhibitions and Presentations will be at the Old Budgens Shop, Victoria Road - more information and times of events here

Link to NDP Website http://www.mortimer-ndp.org.uk/

NEW BROADBAND CABINETS OPERATIONAL
Information from the Superfast Broadband project confirms that the two new fibre cabinets in Mortimer, which serve over 1000 premises, are now operational. Click here for  the details 

Parking Restrictions on the Lower Part of the Street in Mortimer (Oct 2013) 
The restrictions on parking on the Lower Part of the Street have been formally approved by West Berkshire Council.  Please click to see the Decision Notice and a map of the restrictions.  
The report on the consultation can be found by clicking on this link

Parking at Mortimer Station (Oct 2013)
Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council raised the issues of parking at the station with West Berkshire Council earlier in the year and has been involved in discussions.  The Parish Council has received a note on progress from WBC.  Given the current interest in this subject, WBC have agreed that this information should be widely available and may help inform debates on the subject.
The note (written before the cessation of the Minibus service) summarises the background and issues, gives an update on possible solutions and lists potential actions.  One of these actions was a survey of commuter parking to be carried out during the week commencing 23rd September (the last full week of the Minibus service).  The results show the occupancy of each space in the car park and on sections of The Street on each day of the week.  The 'heat map' shows the utilisation of spaces within the car park.

Mortimer Link Mini Bus ceased to operate from 30 September 2013. Please read our Newsletter article on this service.

Declaration of the result of the By-Election of a Parish Councillor 1st August 2013  more info.

New Swings in Junior Play Area (Sept 2013)
A replacement set of swings has been installed in the play area on The Fairground.

The Gyro Spyro which had been out of action has recently been repaired.

Playground Playground