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Community Information  

 

Home Office County Lines Awareness Campaign

County lines gangs use children and vulnerable people to courier drugs and money. A young person who is involved in county lines activity might exhibit some of these signs:

· Persistently going missing from school or home, or being found out-of-area

· Unexplained acquisition of money, clothes or mobile phones

· excessive receipt of texts or phone calls

· Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries

· Parental concerns

· Significant decline in school performance

· Significant changes in emotional well-being

· Relationships with controlling, older individuals or gang association

· Leaving home or care without explanation

If you see something that doesn't feel right, or looks suspicious, concerning a child or young person you should report it to Thames Valley Police, online or call 101, or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Poster available here

 

 

 

Burghfield and Mortimer Neighbourhood Action Group

The next meeting of the Burghfield and Mortimer Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) is on Wednesday, 16th October 2019 at 7.00 pm in the Meeting Room at Burghfield Village Hall.

A copy of the agenda is available at here and from the Burghfield & Mortimer NAG tab on the left.

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH MEETING – 25th NOVEMBER

The next Neighbourhood Watch Meeting is being held on Monday 25 November 2019 at 7.30 pm in West Berkshire Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury and we shall be having a talk by Mark Godsland who is the Thames Valley Police Cyber Protect Officer on Fraud and Cyber Crime.

Representatives from the Police and Fire Service will be giving crime updates and both will be available to answer any questions. If you have any particular issues that you would like comments on, please let Angela know so that they can do some research and report back at the meeting.

There will be refreshments, a raffle, crime prevention literature and a handout giving various information worth passing on to your neighbours. There is parking close by and the evening charge is £2 in the car parks but there is free parking in the parking bays after 6.00 pm (closest is Bartholomew Street and Cheap Street).

For security reasons, and as the Security person has to check round the building at regular intervals, the main door to West Berkshire Council Offices will be locked at 7.45 pm so please arrive at the latest by 7.30 pm.

We shall be having a stand in the Kennet Centre at the Healthwatch West Berkshire event on Friday 1 November from 10.00 am – 3.00 pm so please come and see us.

The Minutes of the last meeting are attached here.

A reminder for Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators and Deputies to please let Angela know, either by email or phone (Newbury 40866), your contact details and properties you cover so that your record on the database can be updated. If you have already provided this information, very many thanks but sadly so many people have still to advise their details.

Meeting dates for next year are: Monday 3 February, Monday 18 May, Monday 10 August and Monday 23 November. Can you please make a note of these in your diary.

Members Guides and other leaflets can be downloaded via the Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch Association website: http://www.tvnhwa.org.uk/downloads.php and can be forwarded on to your neighbours.


RHYMETIME FOR THE UNDER 3s

Rhymetime for under 3s takes place every Tuesday during term time at Mortimer Library from 2.30pm to 2.50pm

To see the West Berkshire Library calendar for this event – as well as upcoming half-term and Christmas events - please go to http://info.westberks.gov.uk/35205

For more information call 0118 933 2882 or email mortimerlibrary@westberks.gov.uk

 


Launch of Community Champion Awards 2019

The search has begun to find this year’s Community Champions.

The Community Champion Awards recognise the valuable contribution of local residents to communities across the district. Organised by West Berkshire Council, the awards are an opportunity to say thank you to people who have done something special for their local community.

Nominations for Community Champions can be made in four categories:

  • The Pat Eastop Junior Citizen of the Year. This recognises someone 18-years-old or under, lives in West Berkshire and has made an outstanding contribution to the district and its residents. This could be through helping or caring for someone disadvantaged, performing an act of bravery, making the district a better place to live or work or having achieved excellence in education, training, employment or another outside activity.
  • Volunteer of the Year. This recognises someone living in West Berkshire who has made an outstanding contribution and shown exceptional commitment to an unpaid activity.
  • Community Group of the Year. This award recognises and rewards a community group (based within West Berkshire) which has made an exceptional contribution to the district and its residents. Small or large, all groups will be considered in relation to the impact they have had.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognises someone who has demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment either in an unpaid role, involved in a project or other initiative or delivered long-lasting benefit to the community. The nominee must live in West Berkshire.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s awards, Councillor Howard Woollaston, on behalf of the Executive Committee, said: “Every day and across the district there are residents giving up their time, energy and ideas to make their community that extra bit special. At West Berkshire Council we recognise the tremendous efforts of these volunteers and the difference they make. These awards are our opportunity to reflect on their efforts and show our appreciation what they have done.”

To nominate someone or find out more about the awards (including more information on the criteria for each award category) visit www.westberks.gov.uk/communitychampion.

Nominations close on Friday 25 October.

 

 

BOARD GAMES ARE BACK IN THE LIBRARY THIS FRIDAY

The weekly Friday afternoon Board Games for children (between 3.45pm and 5.45pm) is back in action. These games sessions are free and all children aged 8+ are welcome.

See you there for some new challenges!



Put your musical talents to good use…

Alzheimer’s Society is the only UK charity that campaigns for change, funds research to find a cure and supports people living with dementia today.

Singing for the Brain is one of the Society’s most popular services for people affected by dementia. It offers the opportunity for everyone to socialise and take part in a good old-fashioned sing-song within a safe and supportive environment.

The Burghfield Singing for the Brain group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month between 1.30pm and 3.00pm at Burghfield Common Methodist Church Hall.

We urgently need a new volunteer who would be happy to lead the group as our current volunteer will shortly be moving on. This would involve putting together a singing programme to meet the needs and tastes of those who attend and then leading the singing on the day.

We’re looking for someone who can sing well and ideally play an instrument too. We run several Singing for the Brain groups in Berkshire so there’s the opportunity to visit any of these and learn from other Lead volunteers plus we provide other training for the role.

The best way to find out whether this is the volunteering role for you is by going along to the group to see for yourself what’s involved! Please contact Jane Penton (jane.penton@alzheimers.org.uk or 07540 921 221) if you would like to arrange to visit.

 

Protect Your World - Top Cyber Tips

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.

https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/police-forces/thames-valley-police/areas/c/2018/protect-your-world/

 

 

VOLUNTEER WITH HOME-START WEST BERKSHIRE

Home-Start West Berkshire need volunteers who can spare 3 hours a week. If you are organised, calm and caring you could offer support to a family experiencing hardship.

Contact https://home-startwestberks.org.uk/ (01635 760310) to find out more.

 

 

 

West Berkshire Climate Conference set for October

West Berkshire Council is gearing up to host a climate conference in October.

The West Berkshire Climate Conference will explore different ways residents, businesses, local organisations in West Berkshire, and West Berkshire Council, can help tackle the climate crisis. The conference will be opened by Rt Hon Richard Benyon MP. A number of speaker led session and information exchanges will take place throughout the day. A conference agenda will be published in the coming weeks.

The free event will be held at Newbury College from 10am until 4pm on Monday 28th October.

West Berkshire residents are invited to attend the conference by booking admission in advance but numbers will be limited to 4 tickets per application. Tickets will be available from noon on Monday 16 September at the West Berkshire Climate Conference - Tickets page.

The event has been organised by West Berkshire Council following its declaration of a climate emergency last month. It’s one of the first initiatives to come from a new Environment Board established by the Council which will create a new Environment Strategy and coordinate and oversee environmental projects. The conference also supports the Council’s priority to maintain a green district as set out in the new West Berkshire Council Strategy 2019-23.

Speaking about plans for the conference, Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment, said:

“We’re excited to be hosting this event, which will bring together academics, industry figures, local organisations and residents to discuss how we can tackle the climate crisis here in West Berkshire. Climate change is an important issue that affects us all and about which our community feels very passionately. For this reason, we feel that the conference will be a great opportunity for local people to be involved with our work and to contribute their views, ideas and experiences as we look at shared solutions we can adopt in the district.”

More information about the conference will be published in the coming weeks on the West Berkshire Council website, on Facebook and Twitter.

https://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/36339

 

 

WEST BERKSHIRE Council welcomes improved rail timetable

Faster journeys and more frequent services will be coming West Berkshire’s way thanks to the biggest timetable change in over 40 years!

West Berkshire Council welcomes the announcement by Great Western Railway (GWR) that there will be a new timetable serving the Thames Valley from December 2019.

On the popular Reading to Newbury route, passengers will benefit from an increase to three trains an hour, journey time improvements of around five minutes, and a more consistent service throughout the day with up to two fast services an hour running through to London Paddington. There will also be a third train each hour during peak periods on the Reading to Basingstoke line improving links to Mortimer Station.

With improved links, more seats and faster and more frequent journeys from West Berkshire stations to popular destinations like Reading and London, residents and businesses can celebrate these upcoming changes.

Richard Somner, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Transport and Countryside said “We welcome the new timetable, which builds on the unprecedented investment made by the rail industry and also the efforts of the Council and the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership who have worked in tandem with GWR to support electrification on the Newbury to Reading, improvements to Newbury and Theale railway stations, and the provision of new faster and less polluting trains.

“These new services will provide residents with greater choice and seats, plus shorter travel times to Reading and London, helping to boost our links with these important economic centres and meeting the council's priorities of developing local infrastructure and supporting businesses to start, develop and thrive in West Berkshire. I urge residents to consider taking advantage of these improved services and use the train wherever possible.”

 

REMINDER:  WBC GARDEN WASTE COLLECTION 2019-2020

If you would like to have your garden waste collected in your green bin you will need to subscribe to the service. This is an opt-in, paid for service.

The 2019/20 garden waste collection service starts on 2 September 2019 and runs until 28 August 2020. If you are renewing your subscription, to ensure your garden waste service continues after the 31 August, with no gaps in collections, you will need to renew your subscriptions by 11 August 2019.

 

 

ANNUAL CRICKET MATCH - The Alan Thorpe Trophy

The annual Alan Thorpe Trophy match, sponsored by the Parish Council, will be played on the Fairground on Sunday, 11th August, between Mortimer Cricket Club (MCC) and Mortimer Villages. The match starts at 1.00pm.

 

 

 

Subscribe to 2019/20 garden waste collections

West Berkshire residents can subscribe to the 2019/20 garden waste collection service from today (Tuesday 16 July).

Residents signing up will have their garden waste – including grass cuttings, prunings, plants and weeds – collected every fortnight. Full details of what can be collected are available online

Around 29,700 households across the district signed up for the 2018/19 collection service. Current subscribers will soon receive an email or letter with details about how to renew. To ensure collections continue without interruption residents should subscribe before 11 August 2019.

The 2019/20 subscription period runs from 2 September 2019 to 28 August 2020 and costs £50 for the first bin. Residents can subscribe to the service at any time until 30 June, 2020. The price is fixed for the period, (there will be no part year charge) so residents are encouraged to sign-up early to get the best value from their subscription.

Garden waste can also be taken to one of the recycling centres in Newbury and Padworth, or can be composted at home. Opening times for the recycling centres are:

  • Newbury: 8.30am - 7.30pm, 7 days a week
  • Padworth: 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week

Food waste will continue to be collected from green bins at non-communal properties, even if they have not subscribed to a garden waste collection service.

To subscribe online or for more information about the service and to read our Frequently Asked Questions visit www.westberks.gov.uk/gardenwaste.

It takes only a few minutes to subscribe and can be done on computer, tablet and smartphone. As well as signing up themselves, residents are also able to subscribe on behalf of family, friends and neighbours.


 

West Berkshire Council declares Climate Emergency

West Berkshire Council declared a Climate Emergency yesterday evening (Tuesday, 2nd July).

There was unanimous support for a motion to declare the Climate Emergency at a meeting of West Berkshire's Full Council.

The declaration follows discussion at a meeting of Council last month and a petition put forward by Councillor Steve Masters (Green Party) requesting the declaration of a Climate Change Emergency.

Climate Change is high on the agenda for the council and features in a number of the new Council Strategy priorities.

Steve Ardagh-Walter, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for the Environment said:

“It is the responsibility of government at all levels to limit the negative impact of climate breakdown, and we need to start working on this right now.

“We are responding to this urgent call for change by making a firm pledge to do everything we can to deliver carbon neutrality by 2030.

“However, we do realise that it will take time for the level of change we need to take place. That is why we have created an Environmental Board that will work with residents, businesses and neighbouring authorities to create a strategic plan for change.

“As a council, we have been making positive steps towards change and will continue to work with business and communities to find and use greener options. There are clear benefits but this will require hard work from everyone in the community and changes in individual’s lifestyles.”

The newly formed Environment Board will provide an interim report to the council’s Executive in September 2019 with the progress made to date.

 

 KEEP BURGLARS OUT THIS SUMMER


Whether you are staying at home, or going away on holiday, here’s a reminder of our top tips to protect your home against burglary this summer:

At Home

· Fit window opening restrictors to all ground floor and other easily accessible windows. This will allow ventilation while restricting access.

· Close and lock all windows and doors, even if just out in the garden.

· Remove window and door keys from the locks, store out of reach and away from your letterbox.

· Keep valuables out of sight, along with any visible signs including charging cables.

· Hide the keys to your vehicle, and if you have a keyless entry, store the fob in a RFID pouch to block the signal. 

Going Away

· Lock all windows and doors.

· Check side gates, sheds and garages are locked and tools and ladders are not accessible to break into your home.

· Store all keys out of sight and away from your letterbox, doors and windows.

· 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 about your holiday on social media until you return home.

For more tips to protect your home, 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

  

 ROGUE TRADERS

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

  • Offering services such as driveway re-surfacing, block paving, roofing, fascias, gardening or selling goods such as furniture, alarms or mobility aids.
  • They may claim you have a loose roof tile or that a tree you have is unsafe and needs to be trimmed.
  • They will often give a very low quote that will increase when work begins.
  • Sometimes they will drive victims to the bank and will often come back on future occasions to get more money.
  • They may come across friendly to begin with but then quickly become demanding and adding pressure which can be intimidating.
  • Trying to convince people that work carried out was previously agreed.
  • Please warn your elderly and vulnerable residents by:
  • Make the person aware that they are never required to open their door to unexpected callers and that it is not rude to send someone away.
  • Reinforce the message "IF YOU'RE NOT SURE DON'T OPEN THE DOOR".
  • Encourage the person to set up passwords with their utility companies.
  • Try to ensure that the outside of the property is well maintained, including the garden. Properties that are poorly maintained may be targeted.
  • Advise the person not to keep money in the house and to keep credit cards, debit cards, cheque books, savings books and any other valuables in a safe place.

To report Rogue Trading in progress call 999. If you see any suspicious vehicles or incidents in your neighbourhood call the non-emergency number on 101 or visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk and report on-line.


For Trading Standards please ring Citizen Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506.

 

TEA AND COFFEE AVAILABLE AT MORTIMER LIBRARY

Tea and coffee is now available for £1 a cup when you visit Mortimer Library. Come along and enjoy a hot drink whilst you browse the shelves or take part in activities based in the Library.

 

 

 

West Berkshire residents invited to take part in National Highways & Transport Survey

Local people are being asked for their views on West Berkshire's highways and transport services – from the condition of roads and footpaths to the quality of cycling facilities.

West Berkshire is one of 111 councils to sign up to a special survey on highways and transport. The survey, run by National Highways and Transport, is the largest collaboration between Local Authorities offering the opportunity to compare results, share in best practice and identify future opportunities to work together.

Their answers will be compared with the views of other members of the public across England and Scotland, as part of the National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction survey, a unique collaboration between Local Authorities across England and parts of Scotland with a common agenda – service improvement.

The questionnaire will be sent to a minimum random sample of at least 3300 West Berkshire residents from 7th June, followed by a reminder, with local and national results to be published in late-October 2019. Since the survey is based on a sample, residents that receive a copy are being urged to take part.

The results will enable National Highways and Transport to find out what people in West Berkshire think about these important services and help the Council to assess how it is performing.

  

New Insulation and Heating Grants for West Berkshire Residents

A new range of grants has been launched for residents who live in the West Berkshire area, to help towards the cost of boiler upgrades, full central heating, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. Heat Berkshire has already been offering these grants in other areas of the county, and last year more than 500 Berkshire residents received a new boiler through the service.

Steve Ardagh-Walter, West Berkshire Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, said: “In West Berkshire you are likely to be eligible for a grant if you are on benefits, or if your household income - after tax and after deducting your mortgage or rent and energy bills - is less than £35,000. This means that residents of poorly insulated homes, or people who have inefficient and expensive heating, may be able to save money through a grant.

"As well as helping to lower household expenditure and reduce fuel poverty, this scheme is a welcome step in reducing the district's carbon footprint, and I encourage residents who meet the qualification criteria and are looking to improve or update their home heating or insulation to apply."

Grants are available for people who own their home for boiler upgrades, first time central heating installation and insulation. Tenants and landlords of privately rented properties are also eligible for grants for central heating and insulation (regardless of the tenants’ income) provided that the home has an energy performance certificate rating of A to E, however rented homes are not eligible for boiler upgrades. In many cases the works are completely free of charge, although central heating grants are likely to require a partial contribution from the property owner.

The central heating grants are available for people who currently have no heating system. This includes using open fires or plug in electric heaters, or for people who wish to switch from electric storage heaters to a full radiator heating system. Grant funding can also be provided towards the cost of a new mains gas connection or, in rural areas, the new heating system can be fuelled from bottled gas, and in some cases, by a ground source heat pump.

Residents of West Berkshire wishing to know more or looking to take advantage of these heating and insulation grants can call Heat Berkshire on 01344 515 045, or go to www.heatBerkshire.co.uk. All works are subject to survey, eligibility criteria and the total pot of funding available.

 

West Berkshire Libraries - FREE PRESS READER

Read or download your favourite title via PressReader – another free service for West Berkshire library members.

It really is very simple to use. Just download the Press Reader app from your app store, or if using on a computer access it from: http://info.westberks.gov.uk/35201

You will then just need your library card number and PIN to get started.

 

Volunteer Organiser Needed at the Mortimer LibrarY

With the library service having a reduction in staff, the branch libraries rely on volunteers to help. In most branches there is a volunteer called a ’Community Organiser Volunteer.’ They play a key role in supporting the library by ensuring that the library has adequate cover to be able to maintain a high level of service and to be able to open. This role has proven a success in the libraries who have a volunteer covering this opportunity.

The role covers:

· Organising the volunteer rota to ensure there is adequate cover for the opening hours.

· Be the point of contact for volunteers and staff to create a sense of a team.

· Arranging cover for volunteers if they are unavailable due to sickness or holiday.

West Berkshire Council are now looking for a Community Library Volunteer Organiser to play a key role in supporting front line volunteer cover and day to day activities.

Apply online at www.westberks.gov.uk/volunteer. For more information call 01635 519533

 

FOCUS ON STRATFIELD MORTIMER EXHIBITION

4th December 2019 – 5th July 2020

West Berkshire Museum is working on a series of exhibitions focusing on towns, villages and parishes in the region, and would like to hear from Stratfield Mortimer residents.

Do you have any interesting items which represent Stratfield Mortimer’s history that you would like to loan for the exhibition?

Would you be interested in coming to look at the items from the Collection that may be included, to give feedback and maybe provide more information?

After the exhibition closes, some of the items will form a Pop-Up exhibition in Mortimer library. Are you interested in advising on the items to include?

If you would like to get involved, please contact the Museum’s curator, Janine Fox, by email at Janine.fox1@westberks.gov.uk or by telephone (01635) 519532 or 07787 828189.

 

REPORTING CRIME TO THE POLICE

Further to the discussion at the Annual Parish Meeting on 29th April, this is to remind members of the public the importance of reporting incidents / crimes to Thames Valley Police.

Call 999 if:

  • a serious offence is in progress or has just been committed
  • someone is in immediate danger or harm
  • property is in danger of being damaged
  • a serious disruption to the public is likely

Call the Non-emergency 101:

  • Call 101 for non-emergency enquiries. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service on 18001 101.

Anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321:

  • Call the UK Anti-Terrorism Hotline on 0800 789 321 if you've seen or heard something that you think could suggest terrorist activity.

Stay anonymous – Crimestoppers:

Reporting each and every crime is really important as this helps the police build a bigger picture of what’s happening in your area. The crime data assists in the deployment of our officers based on the locations of where the crimes have been committed.

I understand that sometimes there is a delay in our operators answering 101, but please bear with us as we are working hard to reduce waiting times. Certain crime types can be reported via our website using the online reporting tool.

If you have any other information or concerns you would like to share with your local Neighbourhood Policing Team, please visit https://www.police.uk/ insert your postcode and e-mail your local team.

Many thanks

Inspector 212 Alan HawkettPangbourne, Hungerford and Downlands Neighbourhood Inspector, Thames Valley Police, Mill Lane, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5QU

 

Volunteering Opportunities in West Berkshire 

There are many opportunities for volunteering in the local area be it a Handybus Driver, a volunteer engineer or a group fundraiser. Details of all the new and current volunteering opportunities can be found at: http://www.volunteerwestberks.org.uk/current_vacancies.htm

 

Thames Water Free Priority Services

Thames Water offer a free Priority Service to customers who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances. By registering for this service Thames Water aim to provide free support in the unlikely event you have no water, by prioritising the most vulnerable first.

Thames Water can tailor their services to meet your needs, from using your preferred means of communication to delivering water to your door, giving you peace of mind at a time when you need it most.

Thames Water work with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks to help customers register for priority services once and benefit from support during both power cuts and water supply interruptions. Amongst the eligibility criteria are poor mobility, sight or hearing loss, dialysing at home, speech or hearing difficulties, mental health issues.

To ask for leaflets or to request a speaker to visit your local groups, email tania.christie@thameswater.co.uk.

For more information, email ecs@thameswater.co.uk, call the Extra care Team on 0800 0093652 option 3, or visit www.thameswater.co.uk/priorityservices. Financial support is available as well: search ‘help paying your bill’ on the Thames Water website. 


 

MORTIMER LIBRARY - MEMBERSHIP DETAILS

Are your membership details up-to-date? Check your details are correct and don’t miss out on the latest library offers.

New from April 2019: no late return fees for anyone aged 75 and over.

 

PADWORTH RECYCLING CENTRE

Padworth Recycling Centre will be open 8am – 6pm, 7 days a week from Monday 1st April. This is a pilot scheme until 30 September 2019.

Padworth Recycling Centre also now accepts general rubbish and bulky waste. 

Residents are reminded to display their permit in the windscreen of the car to help minimise queuing. A list of materials accepted and a user guide for the site can be found at www.westberks.gov.uk/recyclingcentres

  

New West Berkshire Facebook Page

A new Thames Valley Police Facebook page has just been launched for West Berkshire.

Please follow the page to keep up to date with local activity and crime prevention advice in our area.  Feedback is important to TVP, so please comment and share on their posts.

You can follow TVPWestBerkshrie on Twitter: @TVP_WestBerks and Facebook: www.facebook.com/TVPWestBerkshire

 

WEST BERKSHIRE EVENT CALENDAR

Do you want to find out about events and when they are happening around West Berkshire? There is a searchable online calendar available on West Berkshire Council’s website which lists up-coming events and activities with links to information and booking details.

https://booking.westberks.gov.uk/all_events.html#/event

 



Every day is different when you Care

West Berkshire Council is supporting a new Government recruitment campaign to help fill the 110,000 vacancies nationally in Adult Social Care.

Every day is different launched this week and will run during February and March, focusing on promoting the wide range of career opportunities in the sector and highlighting that, in Adult Social Care, no two days are the same. The campaign invites people to consider whether a career in this field is for them, and offers a short quiz to help them decide.

Graham Bridgman, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Adult Social Care, says: "We’re very keen to support and actively promote this campaign because recruiting carers is vitally important. Working in the care sector is very rewarding and 96% of care professionals feel their work makes a difference to people’s lives. The flexibility of the work is also a draw for parents who can work during school hours, but need to be available to drop off and collect their children.

"If you, a family member or a friend are considering a career in Adult Social Care there are a variety of rewarding care roles here at the council that provide careers with plenty of progression opportunities and professional development to enable you to follow a clear career path."

See more information about Working for Care in West Berkshire, and our Adult Social Care vacancies.

 

West Berkshire Libraries’ At Home Library Service

Can’t come to them? They’ll come to you.

Do you find it difficult to visit your local library, possibly because of age, disability or other special circumstance? Perhaps you are a carer yourself and cannot get to a library?

Maybe the Library could deliver the Library Service to you in your own home.

What can the Library offer?

A member of staff from the At Home Library Service will visit you to discuss your requirements, what sort of books you enjoy, and whether you prefer large print books, or perhaps spoken word items. They will enrol you as an At Home library member, but will keep your library membership ticket.

A Library Volunteer will choose and deliver books, spoken word cds or cassettes to your home at an arranged time and day, usually every three weeks. Library volunteers are friendly and enjoy a chat. They have been CRB (police) checked. You can request particular books or spoken word items. Ask your Library Volunteer or contact the At Home Library Staff. There will be a charge for this service if the item is not already in the library.

For more information, call 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk

www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries

 

£8.6 million upgrade for Theale Railway Station

West Berkshire Council and Great Western Railway (GWR) are to receive funding from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) for additional investment in Theale Railway Station.

The £8.6 million upgrade is planned to start within the next two years and will see Theale Station benefit from a new pedestrian bridge and lifts, a cycle hub, electric vehicle charging points and a significant number of additional car parking spaces.

It will be funded with the recently announced £4m through the LEP’s investment of Local Growth Funds; £4m from Network Rail; £450,000 from West Berkshire Council specifically ringfenced for Theale station plus a further £20,000 from West Berkshire Council via other successful funding bids.

The plans will also see the new ticket office finally brought into use and deliver new waiting shelters for passengers. Initial plans also include taking the opportunity to generate energy through the installation of solar panels. GWR estimate 114 panels would enable the station to become carbon neutral from an electricity perspective.

Last May, the Council joined with GWR and submitted an outline proposal for additional investment at Theale Station. The LEP were going through a process of prioritising schemes to receive funding from the Local Growth Deal. The scheme scored well, but came below the line for imminent funding.

However, funding for the scheme has been reallocated to the next worthy schemes on the list because an MRT scheme Reading was promoting is not now able to be delivered in the planned timescales, therefore West Berkshire was asked to progress their ideas for Theale Station and develop a full business case.

There is confidence that the Theale Station upgrade will lead to more jobs in the area as businesses are drawn to local premises such as in Arlington Business Park due to a much improved station with smart, modern facilities. The increased capacity and creation of a quality transport hub will also help to support new homes in the area. The outline proposal states that “Good quality transport provision will be a significant factor in delivering the sustainable development of additional houses and the creation of new jobs.”

Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for highways and Transport said: “We are delighted that this opportunity has opened up and that we are in a position to be able to take it forward. It will have a powerful effect on the station, enabling it to become a significant interchange and Park & Rail site and also the area around it. This investment will help to provide the long term benefits of more jobs and housing which are vital to grow and to future proof economic prosperity.”

Work will need to start on the Theale Station project by March 2021 as a condition of this funding.

 

Neighbourhood Alert – COURIER FRAUD

Elderly and vulnerable residents in West Berkshire Police Area have been targeted by courier fraudsters.

Courier fraudsters phone and trick victims into handing over their bank cards and associated PIN (number) to a courier that arrives at their home.

Thames Valley Police is calling on friends and family to help tackle the problem by talking to elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives.

The talk should cover:

  • Never deal with cold callers on the phone or in person, no matter how polite or friendly they are. Saying "No thank you" and shutting the door or hanging up the phone is not rude.
  • Your bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to your home to collect your bank cards, your money and they will never ask for your PIN number. Close the door, lock it and call 101 to speak to the police.
  • Keep a mobile phone next to your landline, and if you want to make a phone call, immediately after hanging up the landline, always use the other phone.
  • If you do hand over your bank details or card, don't panic. Call your bank immediately using another phone, such as a mobile phone, explain what's happened and cancel your cards.
  • Legitimate callers will never try to rush you, scare you, or force you into anything. If you feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the door and tell someone you trust, what's happened.

There are many variations of the Courier Scam, but it usually follows this method:

  • A fraudster will cold call the victim on a landline, often claiming to be from the victim's bank, the police, or to be a fraud investigator.
  • The fraudster states their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment in the victim's account, or that they need the victim's help in investigating fraudulent activity at the bank.
  • In order to reassure the victim that they are genuine they suggest that the victim hangs up and rings the bank/ police back straight away. However, they don't Hang up at their end to disconnect the call from the landline so even when the genuine bank/ police number is dialled the victim is still talking to the fraudster.

Finally, the fraudsters will send a courier to collect the card and PIN, cash or in some cases take the victim to a bank to withdraw cash.

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.

 

 

GET YOUR TICKETS FOR THE NEW WEST BERKSHIRE LOTTERY!

Tickets for the new West Berkshire Lottery are now on sale! From every ticket sold 60% goes to good causes in the area – and you could win prizes up to £25,000. There are more than 35 good causes have signed up - which will you choose to support? Buy tickets and find out more at www.westberkshirelottery.co.uk


 

HERE4ME – Independent Visitor, Mentoring & Advocacy Scheme

Could you make a positive difference to a young person?

The Action for Children Here4me project is looking to recruit volunteer Independent Visitors and Advocates to support children in care and on the edge of care. They are looking for people who are genuinely interested in the welfare of children, who will focus on meeting their needs and who can develop a good working relationship with them. Full training is given for both roles and all volunteers will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check.

Please note that the minimum age for a volunteer is 21.

Action for Children is a leading children’s charity which has been supporting vulnerable children and young people for over 130 years. They are based in Thatcham and provide, manage and train Independent Visitors, Mentors and Advocates throughout Berkshire and Bracknell Forest.

Information on what being an Independent Visitor, or Advocate is all about is available on the attached leaflet.

If you are interested in training to becoming an Independent Visitor, Mentor or Advocate, please complete the online application form and call them on 01635 873739 or email here4me@actionforchildren.org.uk for more information.

 

WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGE AGENTS

The Community Connectors – do you need help finding the right information and advice? Do you, or someone you know, have problems that are affecting health, well-being or an ability to remain independent?

This service is free of charge and a trained and trusted Volunteer Village Agent will call and provide face to face support. They have the time and the knowledge to be able to solve some of life’s problems and assist you to get the hard to find help.

Tel: 01635 581 001

Email: gillian@vcwb.org.uk

www.villageagentsweb.org.uk 

 

BOARD GAMES FOR CHILDREN

(Aged 8 and above)

Pop into Mortimer Library any Friday afternoon between 3.45pm and 5.45pm for this free session open to all children aged 8+.

For further details, contact the library on 0118 933 2882 or via mortimerlibrary@westberks.gov.uk

 


 

DOLLY PARTON IMAGINATION LIBRARY COMES TO WEST BERKSHIRE

West Berkshire's Family Hubs are being supported by Greenham Common Trust and Sovereign Housing to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to eligible children in West Berkshire.

It's a free book gifting organisation devoted to inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children. Each month, enrolled children (from birth to age five) receive a high quality, age appropriate book in the post, free of charge.

Book selections in the UK include popular characters such as Peppa Pig and beloved authors and illustrators including Lynley Dodd. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) assists in the conversion of select titles to braille and audio books for children who are blind or partially sighted.

Rick Jones, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Culture and Leisure said: "We are delighted to bring this brilliant service to West Berkshire and very grateful for GCT and Sovereign for their help in making this happen. There are few things that offer so many benefits and so much enjoyment to children as reading, but finance can sometimes be a barrier to getting them started. The Imagination Library ensures that as many children as possible in West Berkshire will be given the opportunity to begin their lifelong journey of enjoying books."

Check your eligibility and apply online now!  https://imaginationlibrary.com/uk/affiliate/WBKSENEWBURY/

 


 

DON’T LET YOUR HEDGE BE A HAZARD

Overgrown hedges next to footpaths and roads pose a real hazard to people who are disabled or who are visually impaired and young children or other pedestrians who risk injury or damage to their faces or clothing from thorns and branches. If the pavement (footway) is narrow or the obstruction is excessive, they may be forced into the road. This is particularly dangerous for wheelchair users or for people pushing a pram or buggy.

On junctions and bends overgrown hedges may obstruct sight lines and the clear view of motorists. They may also obscure traffic signs or streetlights, increasing the risk of accidents.

It is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 to allow trees, hedges, shrubs and so on to obstruct the highway.

· Cut back your hedges and trees etc to within your boundary to or above the heights previously specified.

· Regularly maintain them so they do not become an obstruction.

· Seek advice if you have any doubts.

West Berkshire Council are happy to discuss any problems with you. Please telephone Customer Services on: 01635 519080

Don't let your hedge be a hazard leaflet 

 

COMMUNITY CHAMPION AWARD WINNERS

The winners of this year's Community Champion Awards have been announced and the awards were presented on Thursday, 6 December.

The four awards recognise the valuable contribution local residents make to West Berkshire.

Pat Eastop Junior Citizen Award

Winner: Kieren Nailer.

Kieren has been helping at Partners for Active Leisure Service (West Berkshire) for over a year, completing over 100 hours of service in that time.

Highly Commended: Emily Curtis for her hard work looking after her local environment.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Winner: Janet Wood.

Janet has been heavily involved with three local community groups, the Brownies, St Mary's Church Shaw and the Shaw-Cum-Donnington Village Hall.

Highly Commended: Sue Bennett who works at the front line of West Berkshire's local NHS community service.

Community Group of the Year

Joint winners: Burghfield Santas and Pangbourne Dementia Friends.

The Burghfield Santas organise numerous fund-raising events in the community and Pangbourne Dementia Friends actively facilitate social interaction for older people living in our communities.

Highly Commended: Kennet District Scout Council and the Newbury Street Pastors.

The Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Graham Reeves.

Graham has provided 30 years of devoted service providing transport for the elderly and disabled and has dedicated the last thirty years to the running of the Carebus.

Again, the judges were highly impressed with the nominations and gave three Highly Commended awards: Helen Relf, Mike Hart, and Graham Plank who have all contributed to the support of communities within West Berkshire.

Award winners' details will also be recorded in an exclusive book called the "Roll of Civic Award".

West Berkshire Council reported that the number and standard of nominations for 2018 were outstanding. For information on this year's criteria and winners visit www.westberks.gov.uk/communitychampion .

 


WHY NOT JOIN THE MORTIMER LIBRARY BOOK GROUP OR SET UP YOUR OWN?

Have you ever read a brilliant book and wanted to talk with others who have read it too?

Loved it or loathed it – why not get together with others and share your views.

Book groups are a great way to get to know people and make new friends and to discover new books that you’d never have thought to read. It doesn’t matter if you don’t manage to finish the book, just come along and hear what others have to say.

Join one of West Berkshire Library Book Groups or set up your own and borrow a book group set of books from West Berkshire Libraries for a small annual subscription charge from our collection of 200 titles.

For more information: check out the website www.westberks.gov.uk/bookgroups or contact the library in Mortimer ((0118) 9332882 http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/35192


WEST BERKSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL REPORT

Please find attached the West Berkshire District Councillors’ Report for the period up to 15 November 2018. Topics covered include the Budget Proposals, West Berkshire Local Plan Review to 2036, Winter Service Plan, plastic recycling and other local matters in and around Mortimer.

 

MORTIMER LIBRARY BOOK GROUP

Did you know that book groups meet on the first Monday of every month between 2pm and 3pm, and on the first Tuesday of each month between 10am and 11am, in Mortimer Library, 27 Victoria Road?

If you are interested and would like to join the book group, please do pop along to the Library to find out more.

 

LOST YOUR LIBRARY CARD? NO WORRIES!

Between now and the end of December you can get a replacement for free!

Pick it up from Mortimer Library and at the same time see what else is going on – Rhyme Time; Craft and Chatter; children’s craft sessions; book groups; photocopying; internet access; films and magazines to borrow; newspapers to read; information galore; battery recycling; Foodbank drop off and so much more!

Mortimer Library is open at the following times:
Monday 1pm to 5pm
Tuesday 9:30am to 5pm
Friday 1pm to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 12:30pm
Excluding Bank Holidays

 

GET IN TO TENNIS

From now until the end of March, play tennis for free:

Monday, 10.00-11.00 a.m. Over 55’s

Monday, 11.00-12.00 p.m. Adults of all abilities

To find out more: info@mortimertennisclub.co.uk or just turn up on the day.

 


REMOVAL OF UNWANTED GREEN BINS

West Berkshire Council will be arranging collection of unwanted green bins over the next few months. 

Residents who do not wish to subscribe to the garden waste service or use their green bin to recycle food waste can request a collection online to have their green bin removed from their property

We would encourage residents to use their green bin to recycle food waste or to use them for something other than garden waste. Some residents have chosen to use them for extra storage, or to convert them into a water butt, wormery or composter.

Request for a green bin to be collected at www.westberks.gov.uk/unwantedgreenbin

 

BORROWBOX 

BorrowBox App allows you to borrow and read eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines from West Berkshire Libraries directly from your device. 

The App is available for Android (Google Play), iOS Apple (App Store) and Kindle (Amazon).

More information on the Digital eBook services and links to the App downloads at West Berkshire libraries is here.  (http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/35201)

 

SATURDAY MORNING CHILDREN’S CRAFTS

West Berkshire Libraries and Made in Mortimer run a Children’s Craft morning in Mortimer Library every second Saturday of the month from 10.30am-12pm

For more information call Mortimer Library on 0118 933 2882 or email mortimerlibrary@westberks.gov.uk 

 

BURGHFIELD AND MORTIMER NEIGHBOURHOOD ACTION GROUP 

The Burghfield and Mortimer Neighbourhood Action Group (BMNAG) has been in operation for many years now, looking at local policing and revised police activities in a combined effort to reduce local crime and also the fear of crime. According to its Terms of Reference, the BMNAG "is a multi-agency problem solving group, consisting of appointed representatives from the Thames Valley Police, Local Government, Educational Establishments and Government Agencies".

Representatives from local schools and other organisations, as well as interested groups or individuals within the community are welcome to attend meetings and get involved.

 

HOW TO KEEP YOUR VEHICLE SAFE AND SOUND

Due to the recent spate of theft from vehicles in our area, here is a link to a few simple steps you can take to keep your vehicle, and what’s in it, safe.

 

TENNIS ON TUESDAYS FROM 4th SEPTEMBER

Mortimer Tennis Club has arranged for adult and junior coaching sessions, run by a qualified tennis coach, to run on Tuesdays from 4th September for all who would like to take up this opportunity.

There will be three sessions each Tuesday:

4.30pm for under 8s

5.15pm 8-12 years

7.00pm Adults

Contact: tony@ctc-tennis.co.uk  

 

WEST BERKSHIRE LIBRARIES ANNUAL REPORT

The first Annual Libraries Annual Report has just been launched and is intended to give you an idea of what West Berkshire libraries do, who uses the libraries, the staff and volunteers, what the service costs and how much town and parishes contributed to them in the financial year April 2017 to March 2018.

West Berkshire Council have also recently launched their new web pages for the service, with information on each branch library and the mobile library service, and where you can keep up to date with what’s going on at the libraries.


PRIORITY SERVICES REGISTER

Following the power cut affecting parts of Mortimer and its surrounds on 2nd March, here are some tips provided by Scottish and Southern Electricity’s (SSE) helpdesk to help those in greatest need during such incidents. Please pass them on to friends and family who are not on social media:

1) dial 105, in a power cut, to log it and provide a contact number, ideally mobile, for them to provide you updates. If possible, check your fusebox has not tripped and that a neighbour is also affected before logging an incident.

2) Consider registering those in greatest need for the "priority service register"

The scheme is described here:
https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/extra-help-energy-services/priority-services-register-people-need

To register for our local provider's (SSE) scheme click here: https://sse.co.uk/help/accessibility/priority-services-register

New West Berkshire Council Wards

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England proposals for West Berkshire Council are published today (16 January), setting out the new warding arrangements for the May 2019 elections (subject to approval in Parliament). 

Locally, for Mortimer and Burghfield, the Commission has accepted the representations that we four local Conservative councillors (Graham Bridgman, West Berkshire Member for Mortimer; Keith Chopping, Member for Sulhamstead; Carol Jackson Doerge, Member for Burghfield and Ian Morrin, Member for Burghfield) made, supporting the West Berkshire Council response - agreeing the Commission’s proposal for a new three member Burghfield & Mortimer Ward, but (importantly) to exclude the southern part of Sulhamstead that the Commission originally proposed as part of the new ward.

The new ward will be comprised of the parishes of Beech Hill, Burghfield, Stratfield Mortimer and Wokefield and will have an anticipated variance from the predicted average number of electors per councillor in 2023 (3,028) of -1%.

The other local changes are that the Commission has accepted the criticism (which we joined in with) of its proposed vast new Aldermaston, Bradfield and Bucklebury ward and instead there will be three new one member wards: Aldermaston (Aldermaston, Beenham, Brimpton, Padworth and Wasing parishes; +4% variance from the predicted average number of electors per councillor in 2023), Bradfield (Bradfield, Englefield, Sulhamstead and Ufton Nervet; +2%), and Bucklebury (Bucklebury, Midgham, Stanford Dingley and Woolhampton; -1%).

For the report, maps, summary etc. visit https://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-east/berkshire/west-berkshire


MORTIMER LIBRARY

Did you know that you could use the library outside opening hours for meetings of small groups such as a book club, bridge club, games evening etc. If you would like to know more about how to go about arranging this please email lisa.richardson@westberks.gov.uk