Tuesday, 29 May 2012

New high pressure water main to be built past Theale

Thames Water have told Theale Parish Council that they are going to build a new water main between Tilehurst and Hermitage. It will run under the M4, across the old sewage works, behind the gardens in Chestnut Close, Kathleen Sanders Court and North Street, and then beside the footpath to North Street.

It may be installed past Theale by putting it in an excavated trench and then covering it with earth, or by "directional drilling". The latter would cause less disturbance to residents but would require a "reception pit" to be dug in the playing fields. It would also require a narrow area along the edge of the field to weld the plastic pipes together.

The project will probably start in about a year's time, after the football tournament.

The purpose of the 12-inch high pressure (170 psi) main is to reduce the amount of water abstracted from the ground in the Kennet and Lambourn valleys to supply Thatcham. The water would come from the waterworks at Fobney in Reading instead. Abstraction is currently causing abnormally low ground water levels in those valleys and this is starting to affect wildlife.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A pleasurable day marred by tragedy

Theale Parish Council submitted my name for a ballot for parish councillors to attend a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace. I "won" and the party was yesterday.

We decided to go by train. When checking the National Rail "departure board" for Theale, I found that the train we planned to travel on had been cancelled. The previous train was displayed as 5 minutes late, so I thought we might just be able to catch that. When we got to Theale station we discovered that all services were suspended because a person had been hit by a train. This turned out to be the fatality at Ufton Nervet level crossing. We therefore decided to drive to Reading station.

When we got to Reading station we discovered that services were seriously disrupted by another incident where someone had been hit by a train. The next "main" train was therefore 55 minutes late. Fortunately another 3-car train was about to depart. We got on that and even found seats. The train left and proceeded at a snails pace as far as Maidenhead because a track defect had closed the main "fast" line.

We got to Paddington just after 3 pm, which still gave us enough time. We shared a taxi, which took 40 minutes to get to the palace because of very heavy traffic.

We enjoyed a warm, sunny, afternoon in the beautiful palace gardens. We got close to a few royal family members.

Our return journey was also eventful. It took ages to catch a taxi. Then the return train was delayed by a signal problem that closed the "slow" relief lines.

However, it was still a pleasurably memorable day with a few good photographs (cameras are not allowed in the palace grounds).

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
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Monday, 21 May 2012

IKEA planning application latest

My request for the IKEA planning application to be "called in" to be decided by the Secretary of State has been rejected. Therefore, provided that IKEA sign the Section 106 legal agreement by August, their planning permission will be granted.

A statement on this planning application in Theale's Future's newsletter is rather misleading. If the IKEA application does not go ahead and another company submits a planning application for the site, then they will have to fund any highways improvements that their application requires. These may be more (unlikely) or less than those required from IKEA. What was said at the planning committee meeting was that road improvements would be required to cope with rising traffic in any case and that the council would be unable to afford them without the contribution from IKEA.

In the meantime, there are rumours that the developers who put in the (refused) application to build 750 homes on Pincents Hill may put in another planning application. It is difficult to see how the road system could be improved to cope with the traffic from both that and IKEA.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Reported flytipping in Theale High Street to West Berks council

Noticed on Sunday that this furniture had been dumped in Theale High Street:



It was still there today, so I have reported it to streetcare@westberks.gov.uk

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Handed out flyers for young people's activity survey at Theale Green School

I have been handing out flyers to students going home from Theale Green School this afternoon.

The flyers "advertised" Theale Parish Council's survey to find out what kind of activities are wanted for young people.

Councillor Alan Macro

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Warning signs had been stolen at fatal tragedy ford

Warning signs had recently been stolen from the West Berkshire approach to the ford across the river Enborne where a man and a dog drowned yesterday.

The car in which they were passengers entered the ford when the water was over 5 feet deep.

It is possible that the tragedy may not have occurred if the signs had not been stolen.

West Berkshire Council were in the process of replacing the stolen signs. They are also reviewing the signage to see if the warnings could be made clearer.

Councillor Alan Macro

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