Remembrance Parade & Service
Thank you to all those who attended the Theale Remembrance Parade and Service yesterday to remember those who had lost their lives serving our country.
Particular thanks are due to those residents who volunteered to assist with the necessary road closures - your assistance and support is greatly appreciated.
Note of Thanks
The Chairman of Theale Parish Council would like to express her sincere gratitude to Cllr Coker, his wife Lisa and the employees of Cresswell Construction for their hard work and time spent producing three silent soldiers. Each soldier will be placed in a location within the village as a mark of true respect and thanks to all those who served in War as the country commemorates this centenary year.
Cllr Becky Williams
Meeting of Theale Parish Council
The next meeting of Theale Parish Council will be held on Monday 12th November 2018, 7.30pm at The Pavilion, Englefield Road, Theale RG7 5AS.
All residents are welcome to attend.
Agenda 12th November 2018
Theale Primary School Update
In September 2018 Theale Parish Council agreed to surrender a lease on land that would enable West Berkshire Council to build a new Primary School on land at North Street Playing Fields (subject to contract and lease terms).
Work continues with all parties working together to finalise a suite of documents for formal approval. Further updates on progress will be provided here as the process continues.
Notice of Conclusion of Audit 2017/18
The appointed External Auditors PFK Littlejohn LLP have now completed their review of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return provided by Theale Parish Council.
You can find the Notice of Conclusion of Audit along with the Annual Return and opinion here
Notice of Theale Parish Council Meeting on 17th September, 2018
The next meeting of Theale Parish Council will be held on Monday 17th September at 7.30 pm. The meeting will take place at theTheale Parish Council Office, The Pavilion, Englefield Road, Theale.
Agenda 17 September2018
Outcome of Extraordinary Meeting
At the Extraordinary Meeting of Theale Parish Council, held on the evening of Tuesday 11th September 2018, the decision was taken by the Parish Council (by 6 votes to 5) to surrender the lease on land that would enable West Berkshire Council to progress plans to build a primary school on land at North Street Playing Fields, subject to contract and lease terms.
The Parish Council will release a more detailed statement in due course.
Notice of an Extraordinary Meeting
The Chairman of Theale Parish Council, Cllr. Becky Williams, has called an Extraordinary Meeting of Theale Parish Council.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday 11th September at 7.30pm.
The purpose of the meeting is for Theale Parish Council to decide on whether to surrender the lease that will enable West Berkshire Council to build a new Primary School on land at North Street Playing Fields, Theale.
The meeting will be held at the Theale Parish Council Office, Englefield Road, Theale in the Peter Gooch Room.
The public are welcome to attend and observe but there will not be an open public forum and only the business set out in the agenda will be transacted.
Agenda: Extraordinary Meeting
The agenda for Theale Parish Council's meeting on 13th August 2018 has been published.
Residents will note that the decision regarding the possible release of land at NSPF is not on this agenda.
Communications are ongoing between the three parties involved - Theale Parish Council, West Berkshire Council and Englefield Estates. An extraordinary meeting will be called by the parish council Chairman in order that Theale Parish Council may vote on this matter. The date of this meeting is yet to be determined but will be announced in the usual way, on the parish council website.
Theale Primary School Project - Update
Theale Parish Council has issued a statement providing an update to residents on the matter of the Primary School project. Please see link below.
Residents can also view the letter from West Berkshire Council to Theale Parish Council, dated 31st July 2018, and the West Berkshire Council press release which was issued on social media on 1st August 2018.
West Berkshire Council letter 1-8-18
West Berkshire Council Press Release
Theale Parish Council Statement 3-8-18
Thames Valley Police Open Day
Saturday 18th August sees the Police Training Centre at Sulhamstead open its grounds for the annual TVP Open Day.
The event runs from 10am to 4pm and admission is free.
TVP Open Day Poster
West Berkshire Libraries - Annual Report
The library service in West Berkshire has faced significant challenges and undergone some major changes during the past 18 months. The library and the community in Theale have risen to these challenges and this has enabled our village library to thrive.
West Berkshire Council has produced a Libraries Annual Report to inform residents throughout West Berkshire of the progress made across the service:
Travellers in Theale - Update
12th July 2018
Thames Valley Police, Theale Parish Council and West Berkshire Council have today issued a joint statement regarding the trespass that occurred on North Street playing fields, a parish council site, earlier this week:
Joint Statement - TVP, TPC, WBC
Public Notice - Proposed New Primary School
Legislation requires the parish council to publish a Public Notice regarding the possible sale of public open space land at North Street playing fields. The Public Notice must appear in a local newspaper for 2 weeks. Theale Parish Council has issued a Public Notice which will appear in the Newbury Weekly News on 12th July 2018 and 19th July 2018.
This stage of the decision making process must be undertaken before the parish council can make a final decision on whether or not it will agree to release the lease on five acres of land at North Street playing fields.
Any objections to the sale must be received by Theale Parish Council by Monday 30th July 2018. The Council will then consider any objections received.
The Public Notice and an accompanying Information Sheet can be viewed here:
Information Sheet - Public Notice
Theale Parish Council Meeting - Monday 9th July 2018
Recently there has been an increase in the number of malicious and personal attacks on Theale parish councillors and staff, all arising from the issue of the proposed new primary school.
We are now aware that a group of residents and non-residents are intending to disrupt Monday's parish council meeting and not abide by the rule of the Chairman.
Theale Parish Council, its Members and its officers, will not tolerate bullying or intimidation.
The Chairman has therefore cancelled the meeting due to take place on Monday 9th July 2018. The business due to be conducted under that agenda will now have to be dealt with at a later date.
We feel that the majority of Theale residents will support the parish council's firm stance against such unacceptable behaviour and will agree that neither parish councillors nor parish council staff should be subjected to bullying or intimidation.
The matter of the proposed new primary school was not on the agenda for Monday's meeting and no discussion or decision was scheduled to take place on Monday so the parish council's work to progress that issue will continue, unaffected.
WBC Communications re Primary School Project
The public will be aware that West Berkshire Council has today published a letter sent to Theale Parish Council in relation to the proposal to build a new primary school on North Street playing fields.
Please note that although the letter is dated 26th June 2018, it was not received by Theale Parish Council until 10.55am today, 29th June 2018, by email from Nick Carter's PA.
The parish council will respond to the letter once parish councillors have had opportunity to read and discuss its contents.
As previously explained, parish councillors are volunteers who do not 'work' at the parish council offices. They are not in a position to instantly access parish council communications nor to immediately discuss those communications with fellow parish councillors.
The links below are:
Copy of the email sent by TPC to WBC informing them that the parish council would not be meeting the latest 22nd June deadline Email TPC to WBC
Copy of WBC letter to TPC received 29th June Letter from WBC
Anti-Social Behaviour - Recreation Ground and Skate Park
Recently there have been repeated incidents of anti-social behaviour on and around the skate park area. Groups have been drinking alcohol and smashing the bottles on the skate park, writing graffiti on it and there is evidence of drug taking. The park and the facilities in it are there to be enjoyed by all but this behaviour is frequently leaving the skate park and surrounding area in an usuable condition.
Reports have been made to the police who have urged residents to call 101 when these activities are taking place in order that they can attend. Please quote URN number 867260618 when you call.
Music Events at Englefield Estate
Most residents will be aware of the concerts being held at the Englefield Estate on Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July 2018.
In order to deal with the 10,000 people attending each evening, West Berkshire Council has published its traffic management plan for the three days:
Traffic Management Plan - Englefield Events
M4 Smart Motorway - Public Information Event
Permission has been granted for the M4 between junctions 3 and 12 to be converted into a Smart Motorway (four lane running, no hard shoulder, emergency areas).
Highways England is holding a drop-in event for local residents and businesses so people can find out more. Plans will be available to view and members of the design and construction teams will be available to discuss the scheme and answer your questions.
When: 3pm - 8pm on Friday 13th July 2018
Where: Theale Village Hall
M4 Junctions 3-12 Smart Motorway leaflet
Public Meeting - Travellers
There will be a public meeting in Theale Village Hall to discuss the issue of traveller incursions in the village and their impact on local residents and businesses.
Date: Thursday 7th June
Senior officers from West Berkshire Council and Thames Valley Police will be attending.
Parish Council Response to Traveller Issue in Theale
Over the past few weeks, Theale Parish Council has been in regular communication with West Berkshire Council regarding the traveller incursions on land within the village and other attempted incursions in Theale.
The parish council is acutely aware of the impact these encampments have on residents and businesses in the village and it supports the residents' demands for permanent measures to be put in place to deter such events in the future.
A summary of a letter sent by the parish council to West Berkshire Council can be viewed here: TPC letter to WBC re Travellers in Theale
Theale Library - Craft Sessions
The staff and volunteers at Theale Library are running craft sessions for adults and for children and they have asked us to spread the word:
Craft & Chat - weekly sessions for adults
Big Kids' Crafts - monthly sessions for 8 -11 years of age
Update - Primary School Issue
Following the taking of legal advice, the parish council has responded to the Chief Executive, West Berkshire Council, reference his letter of 24th April 2018.
The parish council has asked for clarification of the process to be followed and for a full draft of documents relating to the proposed transaction.
The councillors have decided that it is not appropriate to publish the parish council's letter at this point in time but can assure residents that they are trying to progress matters with West Berkshire Council. As always, the parish council will follow due process and will abide by all its legal obligations in this matter.
Annual Assembly of Theale Parish
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Assembly of Theale Parish will be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 22nd May 2018 in the Peter Gooch room, The Pavilion, Englefield Road, Theale.
Annual Assembly agenda
Draft Minutes: 22nd May 2017
15th February 2018
Parish Council By-Election Result
The results of the parish council by-election, held on 3rd May, have been announced:
Clint Rolfe 524 votes (Elected)
Cleone Wright 411 votes
The turnout was 40.2%, the highest election turnout for some years.
Declaration of Result of Election
Thames Valley Police Museum
Owing to the current refurbishment work taking place at the TVP Training College at Sulhamstead, the TVP Museum has moved into the old police station building in Theale, behind the library in Church Street.
Visits to the museum are by appointment only but the curator is keen to show local people around so do contact him at TVPMuseum@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk or on 01865 542704 to arrange a visit.
Further details on the museum and on talks offered by museum volunteers can be found on the Thames Valley Police website.
Proposed New Primary School - update
At a Full Council meeting on 9th April 2018, parish councillors resolved on the following course of action:
'Agreement in Principle to Discuss Terms of Sale'
Further updates will be provided to residents in due course.
Parish Council Vacancy - Notice of Election
Two nominations have been received for the vacant parish councillor position therefore a by-election will be held on Thursday 3rd May 2018.
The two candidates are:
Statement of Persons Nominated
Polling cards will be issued and voting will take place at the usual polling stations, Theale Village Hall and John Cumber Hall.
Closure of Station Road - Northbound **UPDATE**
Unfortunately, the works detailed below have been temporarily suspended owing to issues with subcontractors. West Berkshire Council are working hard to resolve the issues as soon as possible.
The northbound lane of Station Road will be closed for 2 weeks from Monday 9th April to allow for the installation of a new footway on the western side of the road.
The closure will remain in place overnight but will be removed in the intervening weekend.
Plans of the proposed works and the recommended diversion route can be accessed here:
General Arrangement Scheme Overview Diversion
Englefield's Five A Day Market Garden
Englefield's Five A Day Market Garden will be starting their community gardening project for the over 60's again this April. If you are interested in taking part then further information and contact details can be found in their press release:
Five A Day Market Garden - Over 60's Community Gardening Project
Amners Farm Lambing Open Days
Amners Farm will be holding its annual lambing open days later this month.
For details check out the press release: Amners Farm Lambing
The Volunteer Centre West Berkshire has issued its latest bulletin detailing some of the current volunteering opportunities available:
Volunteer Centre bulletin - April 2018
Railway Upgrade Works
Network Rail has announced further dates on which work to electrify the lines will be carried out. Services in the Theale area will be affected.
Further details can be found at: Network Rail
Parish Poll and beyond...
As most residents in Theale will be aware, the Parish Poll was held on 15th March, asking the following question:
Should Theale Parish Council relinquish the lease on the land at North Street Playing Fields to allow a new primary school to be built on that site as per planning consent?
According to a West Berkshire Council press release, the result of the Poll was:
Yes: 499 votes
No: 440 votes
The turnout was 39.8% of those eligible to vote.
Residents can be reassured that, since the poll result, the parish council has continued working on this matter and is currently consulting with its solicitor and with the Valuation Office Agency to confirm the best way forward. The date for the parish council's decision meeting will be announced as soon as possible.
Pipelines and NSPF
Some residents have expressed concern over what pipelines may run through or near the proposed new school site on North Street playing fields. The parish council is in possession of some information on the subject:
1. Councillor Dan Baker submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Defence, regarding the decommissioned AWE pipeline - "Can you provide a map detailing the route of this pipeline running from Aldermaston to Pangbourne? Alternatively, can you provide a map for part of the route as it passes by and through or by Theale?"
This map was received in response: Envirocheck Map
2. The parish council is aware that there is a Government oil supply pipeline running through the proposed school site:
Oil Pipeline Map Oil Pipeline Information
The route of this oil pipeline is clearly shown on WBC's site plan of the new school, it is the hatched band to the left of the school building:
WBC Site Plan
West Berkshire Council Primary School Project Board Minutes
The parish council has consistently maintained that, despite WBC's claims to the contrary, the parish council was not consulted on site selection for the proposed new primary school, it was presented with the selection of the Project Board.
Theale Parish Council is pleased therefore that the publication of the WBC Project Board Minutes 3/3/2014 - 21/9/2015, released under a Freedom of Information request, have proved this to be the case.
Minutes 3-3-14 Minutes 10-6-14 Minutes 15-9-14 Minutes 17-10-14
Minutes 17-12-14 Minutes 21-9-15
Theale Parish Council was not aware of the Project Board meetings, what was being discussed at them nor did it have a representative attending them. The regular attendees of the Project Board meetings were:
- Cllr Irene Neill (West Berkshire Council)
- Cllr Alan Macro (West Berkshire Council)
- Rebecca Clifford (Governor, Theale Primary School)
- Catherine Morley (Head, Theale Primary School)
- Lynn Park (Finance Manager, Theale Primary School)
- Mark Lewis (West Berkshire Council)
- Michael Rutherford (West Berkshire Council)
- Bill Bagnell (West Berkshire Council)
There has been some confusion amongst residents and others about the capacity in which Cllr Macro attended the meetings. During this time, Cllr Alan Macro held two separate local government positions:
- West Berkshire Council District Councillor for Theale
- Theale Parish Councillor
Each position serves a different council, West Berkshire Council or Theale Parish Council, the two are not related, they are separate tiers of local government.
The parish council can confirm that both prior to and during this time, WBC did not invite or request TPC to provide a representative to sit on the Project Board, nor did TPC appoint any councillor to be its representative on the Board. Cllr Macro was not attending the meetings as a representative of Theale Parish Council.
'Kiss and Drop' facility at proposed new school
As part of the proposed new primary school layout, West Berkshire Council are intending to install a 'Kiss and Drop' facility for parents/carers delivering children to school in the morning and collecting them in the afternoon.
The name explains how a 'Kiss and Drop' works:
- the parent/carer pulls up in their vehicle
- the child gets out of the vehicle (or is removed from the vehicle by a school staff member)
- the parent/carer drives away
A key feature is that 'Kiss and Drop' spaces are not used as parking spaces, the driver doesn't leave the vehicle but simply pulls up temporarily. The opposite happens at pick-up time in the afternoon:
- the parent/carer pulls up in the vehicle
- the child gets in (or is put in the vehicle by a school staff memebr)
- the parent/carer drives away
The new primary school will have 12 'Kiss and Drop' spaces, a figure arrived at by the architect rather than via supporting evidence (WBC highways email 2/6/16 Bob Turner to Lloyd Jones).
As has been reported, representatives from Theale Parish Council accompanied representatives from WBC on a visit to see a 'Kiss and Drop' facility at a comparable primary school in Bray, Maidenhead. Whilst this visit certainly gave observers a good insight into how 'Kiss and Drop's work, it is difficult to compare the two schemes as the Bray facility has more spaces, approximately 30 spaces; the access road has a filter lane into the school thus freeing up the highway of queuing traffic; and, there is a formal zebra crossing for pedestrians.
Vehicles on proposed school site:
The site plan shows the swept path of vehicles entering the school site (via the left hand access) and then exiting the site (via the right hand access). The first section is the 'Kiss and Drop' and beyond that is the staff car park and area for delivery and waste vehicles. The plan indicates how many parking spaces there are as well as motorbike, cycle and scooter spaces.
On a day to day basis there will be no on site parking for parents/carers delivering to or collecting children from the new primary school - the overflow car park area indicated on the plan will be gated and used for parking only on special occasions, ie school plays etc. (WBC highways email 8/4/16 Bob Turner to Lloyd Jones).
PARISH POLL - 15th March 2018
Notice of Parish Poll
Don't forget - the Theale Parish Poll will be held on Thursday 15th March 2018 on the following question:
Should Theale Parish Council relinquish the lease on the land at North Street Playing Fields to allow a new primary school to be built on that site as per planning consent?
All Theale residents who are registered to vote in local government elections are entitled to vote in the poll - if you are on the electoral roll, you can vote. Postal votes and proxy votes are not available in a parish poll, residents are required to vote in person.
The hours of voting for a parish poll are different to that of regular elections - the polling stations will only be open between 4pm and 9pm on Thursday 15th March.
To vote, visit your regular polling station (Theale Village Hall or John Cumber Hall) anytime between 4pm and 9pm on the day.
Polling cards are not issued for parish polls - if you are unsure of which polling station to attend then look for your postcode on one of the following lists:
Theale Village Hall John Cumber Hall
Compulsory Purchase Order on NSPF - Update
Some residents have queried why West Berkshire Council hasn't proceeded with the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on the parish council's land at North Street playing fields, as announced in 2016.
In principle, West Berkshire Council could make a CPO on the land at NSPF and, in fact, the parish council was served with a 'requisition for information form' by WBC's agent in August 2016. However, as WBC has stated on its website, a CPO is a lengthy procedure and one that can incur considerable costs.
Another factor in this case is that the land in question is 'open space' and therefore it is afforded special protection under section 19 of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981. It would be reasonable to assume that WBC would have been aware that this 'special protection' means that a different plot of open space land would have to be given in exchange for the land being taken by CPO. The legislation requires the replacement land to be at least the same size and quality of the land being taken, ie it would have to be 5 acres of recreation quality land in exchange for 5 acres of NSPF.
The parish council was initially offered one acre of replacement land and this offer has now been increased to 2 acres (agricultural land, converted into sports recreation land and available in approximately 2 years time). The parish council has never received any offer of a like for like replacement such as that which is required under CPO legislation.
Update - New Primary School Project
The parish council has been asked by residents to respond to information being put out by West Berkshire Council on the issue of the proposed new primary school.
The parish council notes that, in a highly unusual move, West Berkshire Council is now publishing emails and correspondence received from TPC, and emails and correspondence between TPC and other parties. The parish council confirms that WBC did not seek permission, nor inform TPC as a matter of courtesy before publishing these communications.
Unfortunately, the parish council does not have the staffing levels of WBC, the staff needed to comb through the many hundreds of items of correspondence and documents between itself and WBC on this long-running subject, in order to adequately respond to each posting. The parish council is also aware that single items of correspondence published out of context can sometimes be misleading and give an incorrect impression.
However, the parish council is keen to assist its residents with navigating the minefield of this very complex issue and so will do its best to post items on the Theale Parish Council website which may hopefully prove useful to residents (see below).
Information for residents - Football Pitches on NSPF
The parish council currently has four full size (adult) football pitches plus a parking area (surfaced with a grasscrete type product to enable year round use) on North Street playing fields.
If approx. 5 acres were to be released, as requested by West Berkshire Council, then, contrary to WBC's claims, it would not be possible to retain four full size pitches on NSPF. When working out how many full size pitches will fit on the remaining land (probably two) , it is neccessary to view the site and terrain as it actually is rather than just looking on a map or a plan. WBC Site Plan
1. The parish council would insist that on site parking will be as essential in the future as it is now. The impact on the surrounding roads and residents if no on-site parking were available would be unacceptable and the playing field facilities would be of a lower standard than currently enjoyed.
2. As part of a larger project, in 2013 Thames Water installed a major water supply pipeline along the eastern boundary of the site. This area is very uneven and thus not suitable for use as football pitches.
3. WBC plans to install a 2m wide footpath along the southern boundary of the site, separated from the public open space by a post and rail fence. This would stretch from Englefield Road to Play Platt. This 2m strip of land would therefore be lost as public open space and any pitches would have to be a suitable distance from the fence simply for safety reasons. New WBC Path
4. Any pitches will have to be a reasonable distance from the properties lining the southern boundary of the site - purely to stop the balls from being repeatedly lost over the fences.
5. There are hedges and shrubs along the boundary line of the site, especially the northern boundary. The removal of these would be controversial and out of keeping in a rural setting, and would reduce the security of the site. The ground here is also very uneven and not suitable for football pitches.
6. There is a telegraph pole on the site (marked X).
7. The teams that play at NSPF are in various leagues and are expected to provide home pitches of an acceptable size and quality. The FA Guide shows the recommended pitch size for an over 18, ie full size, pitch plus the run offs and layout gaps for multiple pitches.
When the above factors are taken into account, it is clear that four full size pitches plus parking cannot be accommodated on the remaining land and that the parish council would be left with fewer full size pitches than it has now. Aerial Map
'Replacement' Land/Football Teams - an update
As part of the proposed new primary school project, the parish council will be given the option to lease a 2 acre site on the northern side of the golf club road. A lot of misinformation appears to surround this issue so here are some facts:
1. The 'replacement' site will not be available for use for at least 2 years. It is currently agricultural land and it will take this long for the land to be converted and made suitable for use as a sports pitch. During this time there will be no 'replacement' land available.
2. The proposed pitch will be suitable for Under 15 or Under 16 teams (or younger) only. It will not be useable by adult teams as it will be 9metres too short and 9 metres too narrow. SITE PLAN FA Guide
3. West Berkshire Council's Highways department have dictated the number of parking spaces as being the required number of spaces for this one pitch. In addition they have included the GrassProtecta surfacing to ensure the area can be used in bad weather. WBC's recent statement on its website contradicts this by stating that the parish council could have specialist parking surfaces at one site or the other - it will actually be required at both. Planning Officer's Report
4. WBC stated recently that the 'replacement' land could be used for parking if the parish council so wished (the parish council has not expressed a wish to use it for parking). The conditions applied to the planning permission restrict the use of the playing field to 'outdoor sport and no other purpose' in order to protect the playing field from loss, damage and to maintain the quality of the pitch. WBC's own conditions therefore do not permit what they are suggesting the parish council do. Planning Officer's Update Report
Football Teams at NSPF:
2017-18 season =
Englefield Eagles Mens Calcot Royals Blues Under 18s
Calcot Royals Warriors Under 18s Calcot Royals Mens
The Bull (mens) Theale Tigers U14s
Theale Tigers U16s Tilehurst Panthers U15s (girls)
It has been claimed by some that Theale Tigers is the only 'Theale' team, perhaps because it is the only one with Theale in its name? The reality is that The Bull is a Theale pub, Theale residents and pupils of Theale Green school have always played for Englefield Eagles and, Tilehurst Panthers FC was set up to cater for girls who had to leave Theale Tigers after a certain age because of their gender.
The parish council does not ask for team members' addresses each season to ensure that a certain proportion of their players live in Theale, nor, to the best of its knowledge, does any other local council. This would simply be unworkable.
Application for Events Licence at Englefield Estate
Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd has applied for a licence to stage up to 4 major events a year at Englefield Estate, with expected attendance figures to be 9,999 people at each event.
Further details are available at Englefield Estate Application . A consultation on the application is open until Monday 2nd April 2018 - email email@example.com to have your say.
By-election - Parish Council Vacancy
West Berkshire Council has confirmed that sufficient residents have called for a by-election to be held to fill the vacancy following Cllr Alan Macro's resignation from the parish council. The costs of the by-election will be in the region of £3,500 - £4,000 and must be borne by the parish council.
WBC are in the process of determining an appropriate date for the by-election, this will be announced in due course. At that time, guidance will be issued for those electors wishing to stand for the position of parish councillor.
Guidance on Parish Meetings and Parish Polls
Parish meetings and parish polls are quite rare occurrences and the legislation around them is very specific and can be quite complicated.
The parish council has published another guide to Parish Meetings and Parish Polls and hopefully this will prove useful to anyone wishing to attend the Parish Meeting tomorrow (15th February).
Parish Meetings and Polls
Primary School Project - further clarifications
The parish council is aware there is some confusion amongst residents as to the role Theale Parish Council played in the selection of NSPF as the proposed site for a new primary school in the village.
Hopefully, by providing extra information and publishing documents, it will be clear that Theale Parish Council was not consulted whilst West Berkshire Council carried out its site selection process.
In March 2014 members of the WBC Project Board met with TPC to discuss WBC's proposals for expanding Theale Primary School. WBC provided the parish council with a large document "Feasibility Study for the Expansion of Theale C of E Primary School", outlining six options for expanding the school on the current site. WBC proposed that the football training pitch, adjacent to the school boundary, be turned into a Multi Use Games Area for use by the school and the community. The parish council had many questions for WBC about the project and one of the parish council's concerns was that the outside space being provided to pupils seemed insufficient for a village primary school. Parish councillors asked the Project Board if it would investigate alternatives before they considered relinquishing part of the recreation ground.
This is a link to a parish council statement made one year later. The statement was read out at the parish council meeting of 30th March 2015:
WBC released the following documents to inform residents of its site selection process:
Theale Site Options
Theale Sites Evaluation
Vacancy for a Parish Councillor
Following the resignation of Councillor Alan Macro there is a vacancy on Theale Parish Council: Notice of vacancy
New Primary School Project - clarifications
Theale Parish Council is aware that some of the facts surrounding West Berkshire Council's proposal to build a new school on North Street playing fields are in need of clarification.
It is important that all residents can make an informed choice when deciding their position when, and if, a parish poll is called.
To that end, at its meeting on 5th February 2018, the parish council decided to start publishing 'informative statements' which, hopefully, may correct some of the confusion and misinformation currently in the public domain.
The first link below is to a plan of highways improvements recently published by West Berkshire Council.
The second link is to the same plan as annotated by the parish council, giving clarity on some of the most frequently asked questions.
Highways Improvements - annotated version
Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish of Theale
The agenda for the above meeting, to be held on Thursday 15th February 2018 in Theale Village Hall, has now been published.
Do please note the section at the bottom of the agenda which covers the rules governing a person's eligibility to vote and the measures that will be put in place at the meeting to ensure compliance with the legislation.
Parish Meeting Agenda
At the extraordinary parish council meeting on 30th January 2018 the chairman called for a Parish Meeting to be held to discuss the matter of the proposed new school.
This Parish Meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 15th February 2018 at Theale Village Hall.
In accordance with legislation, the parish council chairman, Cllr Becky Williams will preside. Alok Sharma MP will be in attendance and will assist with the conducting of the meeting.
A formal notification of the Parish Meeting will be published but, in the meantime, the parish council has produced a guideline document to aid residents' understanding of the purpose and procedures of Parish Meetings and any subsequent Parish Poll.
Parish Meetings - a guide
Clarification re 30th January Meeting
The parish council has been made aware that there is confusion on some social media sites about this evening's extraordinary Parish Council meeting.
At the meeting of 30th January 2018, the parish council will discuss calling a "parish meeting". It is at this "parish meeting" that the matter of whether or not to call a parish poll on the subject of the proposed primary school will be decided.
There can be no vote at this evening's meeting on whether or not a parish poll will be called.
Following a meeting, chaired by Alok Sharma MP and organised by Theale Parish Council, to which representatives of West Berkshire Council were invited, Theale Parish Council has decided to hold an Extraordinary meeting to vote on the commissioning of a Parish Poll.
The question on the Poll will relate to the relinquishing of the parish council's lease on North Street playing fields for the purposes of building a new primary school.
This extraordinary meeting will be held in the Peter Gooch room at 7.30pm on Tuesday 30th January 2018, the agenda is available on the parish council website.
Parish Council Statement - 19th January 2018
Theale Parish Council has been asked by numerous media outlets to provide a response to West Berkshire Council's press release of 18th January 2018:
Theale Parish Council Statement 19th January 2018
Parish Council Statement - 17th January 2018
Theale Parish Council would like to provide a brief update on the issue of the proposed new Primary School:
- Contrary to many reports, Theale Parish Council has not made its decision nor had a vote on whether or not the lease at North Street Playing Fields will be relinquished
- Theale Parish Council's letter of 30th November 2017 to Nick Carter, CEO, West Berkshire Council, contained a clear offer of further discussions between the two parties. No response or acknowledgement to this letter has ever been received
- Theale Parish Council has now managed to arrange for a private meeting to be held between themselves and representatives from West Berkshire Council. This meeting will be chaired by Alok Sharma MP. In light of several incidents that have occcurred since West Berkshire Council issued its press release on 4th January 2018, the time and date of this meeting will not be made public beforehand in order that all parish councillors can attend the meeting free from intimidation or abuse
Clerk to Theale Parish Council
Christmas and New Year
The parish office will be closed from 2pm on Friday 22nd December 2017 until 9.30am Tuesday 2nd January 2018.
Owing to reduced staffing levels, the parish office will be delivering a limited service from Tuesday 2nd January 2018 until Monday 15th January 2018.
Normal office hours will resume on Monday 15th January 2018.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
Theale Parish Council's popular Christmas event returns to the village this Saturday.
Highlights include the Christmas Market which will line the High Street, and Father Christmas in his Grotto at the John Cumber Hall.
The traditional Nativity play takes place at 5pm in the rear garden of The Falcon pub, featuring children from Theale C of E Primary School and, of course, the donkeys.
We are pleased to be welcoming back Alok Sharma MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, our seasoned 'Best Christmas Window' judge who will present the winner's shield to the best 'Pantomime' themed window.
Come and join us!
Saturday 2nd December 2017
3pm - 7pm
High Street, Theale
** Santa's Grotto (£2 per child) open 3.15pm - 6.45pm. Book a time slot at the Booking Station at the front of the John Cumber Hall **
Theale Christmas 2017
On Sunday 12th November the annual Remembrance Parade will process from Hoad Way, down the High Street and along Church Street until it reaches Holy Trinity Church where a Service of Remembrance will be held. The church service starts at 10.10am and will be followed by the laying of poppy wreaths around the War Memorial.
Please note: High Street & Church Street will be closed to all traffic from 9.20am until 10.15am whilst the parade takes place.
Theale Christmas Event!
Theale Parish Council is pleased to announce that the annual Christmas event will be held on Saturday 2nd December, from 3pm until 7pm.
Attractions include a Christmas Market which will line the High Street, and the ever popular Santa's Grotto. Children can visit Father Christmas and his helpers in their grotto at the John Cumber Hall.
Holy Trinity Church will be organising a Nativity play which children will perform at 5pm in the rear garden of The Falcon public house.
Christmas Window Competition - all shops, businesses and homes along the High Street are welcome to take part in the Christmas Window competition - this years' theme is 'Pantomime'.
The 'Window Judge', Alok Sharma MP, will be presenting the coveted 'Best Christmas Window' shield to the winnner!
Theale Christmas Poster
The Volunteer Centre West Berkshire is looking for more volunteers in the Theale area to join its Befriending project.
This successful scheme carefully matches a volunteer to a person over the age of 55, and has been shown to be an effective way of tackling social isolation and improving well-being.
Anyone interested in volunteering can find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01635 49004.
New Theale Fire Station
The planning application for a new fire station in Theale has been submitted.
It can be viewed on West Berkshire Council's website under planning application
Theale Parish Council will be discussing the plans at their next parish council meeting:
7.30pm on Monday 7th August 2017 at the Peter Gooch room
Members of the public are welcome to attend.
WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL - New Contact Number
With immediate effect the new contact number for West Berkshire Council is
01635 55 11 11
The out of hours emergency number remains 01635 42161.
Theale C of E Primary School Sports Day
It has come to the parish council's attention that a letter has been sent by the primary school to all parents stating "Following concerns from the Parish Council regarding children playing dangerously both on the recreation ground and play area, please can we ask that when children have finished eating with their adult they are returned to the playground where they can play in a safe environment supervised by school staff."
The parish council wish to make it clear that at no time has it expressed such concerns to the school nor has it requested that children refrain from playing in the recreation ground or on any play equipment in the park during Sports Day.
The Red Lion Planning Appeal
The Planning Inspectorate has granted the two appeals on the Red Lion PH:
15/01312/FULD Change of use to residential plus extension comprising of an additional 7 dwellings
16/00853/FULD Change of use to residential plus extension comprising of an additional 8 dwellings
The full report can be read on West Berkshire Council's planning portal.
Lakeside Planning Appeal
The Planning Inspectorate has published the Appeal Decision for the two outstanding planning applications on the Lakeside site in Theale.
The Inspector has granted permission for the development of up to 325 dwellings on Lakeside and the development of 25 dwellings on North Lakeside. In addition, the Inspector ruled that the developer did not have to pay the £1.4m education contribution that West Berkshire Council was requiring in order to expand the new Theale primary school, deeming the contribution to be "unjustified, unnecessary and inappropriate".
The full report can be read on West Berkshire Council's planning portal under planning application reference 15/02842/OUTMAJ.
Theale Library - the future
Most residents will be aware of West Berkshire Council's proposed budget cuts to the library service and its plans to increase the involvement of local communities in the day to day running of the service.
West Berkshire Council will be holding meetings in local library branches to hear the views of potential volunteers. So, if you may be interested in helping out at your local library, do go along and find out what's on offer.
The 'Community Volunteer Meeting' at Theale library will be held at 10am on Friday 3rd February 2017.
Further information on this scheme can be found at:
Former Theale Sewage Treatment Works - Planning Application
Theale Parish Council will be holding an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting on 20th December 2016 to discuss the following planning application:
16/02850/OUTMAJ - Outline application for up to 88 residential units (Class C3), Public open space & associated highway works, with all matters reserved except access
Site: Former Theale Sewage Treatment Works, Blossom Lane, Theale
Theale Christmas Lights Event 2016
Sadly, Theale Parish Council has had to make the decision that it will not be able to stage the Theale Christmas Lights Event this year.
Following the loss of the entire Neighbourhood Wardens team, the loss of other key volunteers involved in the organising and staging of the event, plus the demands, in terms of time and effort, made on parish councillors and staff by recent issues, the council just isn't able to deliver the event this year.
We know many will be disappointed by this decision, many stall holders had already expressed an interest in attending the Christmas Market and Father Christmas was busy preparing to meet the children of Theale. The parish council are intending to bring the event back next year, December 2017, and to make it even better.
Theale Parish Council will still be installing Christmas Lights along the High Street this year.
Parish Council By-Election
The full results of the by-election held on 3rd November can be viewed here:
The parish council is liable for the costs of a by-election. Details of costs resulting from by-election on 3rd November 2016 can be viewed here:
Theale Primary School Project
West Berkshire Council has today (21st) announced its decision to proceed with a compulsory purchase order on the land at North Street playing fields.
Theale Parish Council has issued the following press release in response to West Berkshire Council's statement on its website:
TPC press release 21-9-16
Mr Charles Bateman
Chairman, Theale Parish Council
Theale Parish Council is sad to announce that Charles Bateman passed away on 18th July 2016.
Charles served as a parish councillor for Theale since 2008 and held the position of Chairman since May 2014. Until recently he also sat on the Theale Village Hall Committee.
Charles gave a lot to his community. He attended many training events, conferences and meetings on behalf of the parish council and was a dedicated and strong campaigner for Theale and its residents. He was instrumental in developing the popular annual Christmas Lights Night and volunteered many hours of his time to the organising of the event. Charles also played a major role in delivering the Theale Skate Park project, listening to the youngsters involved and ensuring that they got the facility they wanted.
Charles was a generous and selfless man and he will be sorely missed by all his friends and colleagues in Theale.
Theale Primary School Project -
Theale Parish Council letter to West Berkshire Council 24/6/16
Theale Primary School Project - Update
Theale Parish Council has informed West Berkshire Council of the decision taken at the parish council meeting on 26th April 2016.
For more details click on the link: Parish Council Letter to WBC
*** New Theale Primary School - UPDATE ***
For the full transcript of Theale Parish Council's press release, issued in response to West Berkshire Council's statement on negotiations with the parish council, please click on the link below:
/Theale-PC/UserFiles/Files/Press release - Primary School Project.docx
Theale Christmas Lights Event – Saturday 5th December 2015
The parish council would like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to everyone who supported our Christmas event last Saturday. Despite the high winds hundreds of people turned out to support the market stalls, watch the Nativity play and visit Santa in his Grotto. The Christmas lights were switched on (eventually) and everyone enjoyed another successful community event.
The Christmas Window Competition was a very difficult one to judge as the standard of entries was so high and the imagination of shopkeepers so impressive. Frame Direct came out on top and were awarded the coveted Best Christmas Window shield by Alok Sharma MP. Close runners up were Croppers Florists and Mercy in Action, the charity shop.
Thanks go to:
· all the volunteers, without whom the event would not be possible
· the parish councillors and parish council staff who put so much time and effort into organising and running the event
· our judging panel, Alok Sharma MP, Jeannie Tynan and Chris and Julia (students at Theale Green school)
· the Neighbourhood Wardens
- The Falcon pub, hosts of the Nativity play
· Sansome & George Estate Agents who generously handed over their office for the evening in order that Father Christmas would have somewhere warm and dry for his grotto! And to David Sansome and his staff who supplied endless sweets and coffee to all who visited the Grotto
· And thanks go to the main man himself, Father Christmas, who once again delighted over 120 children with gifts and did a grand job with the switching-on of the lights!
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