Monday, 31 December 2012

Good news for Theale Primary School parents for the New Year

The project to narrow Church Street at the zebra crossing outside the primary is to go ahead at last. The scheduled date for the work to start is the week beginning 18th February 2013. This project is in response to a request by Theale Parish Council to West Berkshire Council and to the petitions that parents and myself raised.

The narrowing will:
  • make the crossing more obvious to drivers
  • help slow traffic
  • reduce the distance for children and parents to cross
  • give more space on the pavement
The work will almost double the width of the pavement on the school side of the road. This will also give more space for children and parents waiting to cross the road.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Temporary sewage pump has been installed at Church St/Lambfields sewage pumping station

My getting our MP involved has borne fruit. He contacted a Thames Water director he knows and a temporary pump was installed overnight. The temporary pump extracts sewage from the pumping station and pumps it along a temporary pipeline and into a manhole a couple of dozen yards down Church Street.

This means that the north side footway is closed between Lambfields and the Lamb pub. One lane of Church Street is closed for a shorter distance, with priority working for traffic. However, this seems a small price to pay for removing the tankers that were causing such a disturbance and that caused their own highways obstructions.

I am waiting for feedback from the affected residents, but the temporary pump seems much less noisy than the tankers when pumping.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Theale-based volunteer group urgently needs volunteer drivers and office helpers


The STANDBY volunteer group covers  Theale, Englefield,  Holybrook , parts of Tilehurst, Bradfield and Stanford Dingley. They are based at Theale Medical Centre

They are a group of volunteer drivers who use their own cars to help people, who do not have access to transport, to take them to hospital and surgery appointments.  This includes dentists and opticians. They pick up the client, take them to the appointment, wait for them and take them back to their home. 

Their office  is manned by volunteers on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10a.m. and 12 noon and requests are dealt with by a simple call to the office (Tel: 0118 930 6419).

A pick up time is agreed , which enables the patient to meet their appointment time.

An Answerphone  is available out of these hours.

Their drivers are all volunteers who receive a mileage allowance. A donation from the client to the Standby Group would be expected to help with this and other administrative costs.

All of the above will not function without volunteers who are prepared to give their time.

STANDBY URGENTLY NEEDS DRIVERS, with fully comprehensive insurance.

At present they have two volunteers who man the office, in turn, and a back up of one or two others who are prepared to step in at the last moment, when required. They are also looking for another willing volunteer or two to join thier back up team and become second reserves – to cover holiday or sickness.

If you are interested, please contact:

Peter and Marion Moulder (Co-Chairmen of Standby) on 0118 974 4439

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Public meeting to be held re Theale High Street gas mains replacement

The project to replace the gas mains  in Theale High Street will re-start soon (no actual start date has yet been scheduled).

A public meeting will be held at which Southern Gas Networks and the contractor, Foremost, will explain the plans for the project. The meeting will be held at Theale Village Hall in Englefield Road on the 10th January 2013 at 6 pm.

Kevin Horne, the SGN project manager, will be happy to answer any questions in the meantime. He can be contacted by email at kevin.horne@sgn.co.uk or by phone on 07831528205.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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MP now involved in Theale Church Street pumping station nuisance

I copied our MP, Alok Sharma, on my emails to the Thames Water CEO and his PA regarding the problems caused by the tankers pumping out the sewer at this pumping station. Alok has replied saying that he knows a Thames Water director that he has appraised him of the situation.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Emailed Thames Water CEO re noise and disturbance caused by tankers pumping out sewage from the Church Street pumping station, Theale

Prompted by an email from a Theale resident, I have sent the following email to the Chief Executive Officer of Thames Water (copied to our MP):

Dear Mr Baggs,

you have been copied on an email from Sandra Ilsley, a Theale resident, regarding the disturbance caused by the tankering of sewage from this pumping station.

I have received complaints from other residents about the disturbance caused by the noise and flashing lights from the convoys of tankers pumping from this station. As soon as a tanker is full, another takes over the pumping. Late at night, the noise can be heard, and the flashing lights seen, from several hundred yards away.

The tankers are also causing obstruction on the road, particularly when they park in Lambfields which is a single-lane street. They park with wheels on the footways, to reduce the obstruction, but this is damaging the kerbs and footways.

Problems at this pumping station have been occurring for several years, particularly after periods of heavy rainfall.

I would be grateful if you could inform us on the reasons for the latest problems and the plans that Thames Water have to fix them.

Kind Regards,
Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Road between Theale and Burghfield closed due to flooding

Dean Copse Road, that runs between the Burghfield Road and Hanger Road in Sunnyside, is closed due to flooding.

The alternative route between Theale and Burghfield is via the A4 in Calcot.

I'm not sure whether it is still possible to use Hose Hill (that runs between Sunnyside and Burghfield village).

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

West Berks & Reading Councils making poorest pay council tax

At the moment, the poorest in our society don't pay Council Tax. They get something called "Council Tax Benefit". The government has abolished that and given councils the ability to give council tax discounts to the poor instead. The government is giving an extra grant to councils to help them do that, but this is lower than the council tax benefit that would have been paid in the council's area. In West Berkshire's case it will be about 14% less.

Lib-Dems in government insisted that councils should also be able to reduce the discounts for second homes and empty homes. The extra income from these reduced discounts can largely make up for the reduction in government grant.

Councils therefore had a choice. They could either impose a proportion of council tax on poor families who do not pay it at present, or they could reduce the discounts on second homes, etc., to make up the shortfall in grant. Both Labour-controlled Reading and Conservative-controlled West Berkshire have decided to both reduce these discounts AND impose a proportion of council tax on the poor.

The proportion that the poor is not high, 8.5% in the case of West Berkshire, but will cause real difficulties for families already spending all of their limited income on rent, fuel and food. About half the 4000 families affected in West Berkshire have members in work, so it's not just the unemployed that are affected.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Arranged for watercourse at end of Volunteer Road to be cleared out

I noticed that this watercourse, that marks the boundary between the allotments and the public open space, now has water in it. I believe that it enters a culvert under Cavalier Close and Meadow Way and re-emerges behind the Co-Op. However, this latter section is still dry.

I investigated and found that the part behind Cavalier Close is choked with branches and other garden debris. The entrance to the culvert is completely covered. I suspect that some residents have been dumping their garden rubbish in it.

I have now arranged for the watercourse to be cleared by West Berkshire Council.

May I ask that, if you live near a watercourse, please do not dump rubbish in it. A watercourse may be essential for drainage even it is sometimes dry. If it gets blocked it nearby properties may get flooded if there is a heavy rainstorm.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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