Kennet Radio

Greenham Control Tower update

At my behest, Greenham Parish Council has been actively considering ways in which the Control Tower can be restored and put to community use since the summer. A formal letter has been sent to West Berkshire Council notifying them of a bid for the Control Tower to be listed as an Asset of Community Value under the provisions of the Localism Act 2011. This is the first application that WBC has received under this new legislation, so they are hurriedly working out what to do about it! Meanwhile, a Motion submitted to WBC Full Council last Thursday by Tony Vickers and seconded by me is pressing WBC to commend Greenham Continue reading

Council Tax Benefit Changes hit Working Families

At last Thursday’s WBC Full Council meeting, a new scheme replacing Council Tax Benefit was agreed. At the same time, the Council voted to end most (but not all) of the Council Tax discounts given to owners of empty homes. Last month’s Local Government Finance Act transferred the responsibility for providing Council Tax support to Councils under the banner “Localising Council Tax Support”: Needless to say, it’s not being fully funded (on average, only 90% is being passed on) so Councils have to either make up the shortfall somehow, or reduce Council Tax support for the poorest families. WBC will be short by about £1.13m (14% of the total needed). Continue reading

Greenham Control Tower Petition

Greenham Councillors Julian Swift-Hook and Billy Drummond are asking people to sign a petition to urge the Council to preserve the Greenham Common Control Tower for the community. The Council has put the historic cold war structure up for sale and a report to be presented to a meeting on Thursday evening confirms that the Council won’t sell the Control Tower for less than the “market value”. In 1997 the Council was handed the Control Tower for £1 by Greenham Common Trust, along with the rest of Greenham Common, on the strict understanding that the Council would hold it in trust for the community. The Council is now planning to Continue reading

Northbrook Street Robber is arrested and charged

Northbrook Street Robber is arrested and charged At 9.45am on Wednesday 15th May a 92-year–old man went to the Natwest Bank in the Market Place, Newbury, and withdrew a large sum of money. He victim walked back to his office, with his black canvas-style briefcase containing the cash. As he was about to open the door to his office, he was punched in the back of the head, before being pulled to the floor by an unknown male assailant. The offender stole the victim’s briefcase, before running along the canal path, towards Victoria Park.  The victim sustained injuries to his head and was admitted in Royal Berkshire Hospital for a 24-hour period. Continue reading

QR Codes will help residents to view planning applications

Plans announced today by WBC will give instant smartphone access to planning application details using QR codes. From February 2013, the familiar hi-visibility Orange Notice that is posted at the site of a planning application to alert passers-by about the application will include a 2-D barcode called a QR code (Quick Response Code). Scanning the QR barcode with a smartphone takes the user straight to the web page for the particular planning application.  Details of the app can then be viewed on the smartphone so people are able to see the details of the application whilst still at the site. A QR code scanning app is also needed; a suitable Continue reading

Onstreet Parking Charges in Newbury

Local residents are concerned about West Berkshire Council’s plans to extend on-street parking charges in Newbury. Newbury BID Manager Russell Downing is also concerned about the plans and has written to Council Leader, Cllr Gordon Lundie, and Chief Executive Nick Carter. Charging for on-street parking in the central area of Newbury would encourage a turn-over of the available parking spaces, according to the Council, which they believe could assist local traders. The Council is also claiming their plans have “road safety and traffic management benefits” that will discouraging all day commuter parking and give visitors more choice. The plans will also raise revenue that the Council claims will help it Continue reading

New Grit Bins

Do you need a salt/grit bin on your street? If so, please let me know and I’ll try and get one provided. Both Newbury Town Council and Greenham Parish Council are looking at paying for some extra salt/grit bins to cover the roads not properly covered by WBC’s bins.  As well as budget constraints there is a long drawn-out safety audit procedure to go through, so we can’t promise you a fast result, but we’ll do our best!  

Little Book of Big Scams

Are you clued up about fraud?  Read the Little Book of Big Scams Fraud costs the British economy £73 billion a year and criminals use a number of sophisticated scams to try and snare victims.  To ensure the public are informed about these scams and to help them to spot them, Thames Valley Police has produced a booklet which aims to reduce the risk of  becoming a victim of fraud. The Little Book of Big Scams, which includes a foreword from Esther Rantzen, includes sections on identity fraud, scam mail, door to door scams and internet scams.  As well as details on different types of frauds, there are a number Continue reading

Heating Oil Thefts

TVP is advising Greenham residents to check the security of their tanks in order to prevent them becoming victims of heating oil thefts.  Here are some simple tips to consider:- The position of your tank – Hiding the tank behind the garage, shed or some other type of outbuilding will add barriers and slow down and potentially put off a criminal. Padlocks – Close shackle padlocks are best as they offer most resistance to a bolt cropper. Try and make sure that the lock is to British Standard. Securing Your Oil Tank – Tank guard products are available which surround the existing storage tank with a metal enclosure.  This sheet Continue reading

Attempted house break-in

Sometime between 11th and 13th January, offenders have come into the rear garden of a property in Greenlands Road hand then used something to try and force the French doors. A lot of damage has been caused but they failed to get into the house.  (URN 204 14/1)