Monday, 31 March 2014

Planning application submitted to expand Theale Medical Centre and car park

A planning application has been submitted to West Berkshire Council for Theale Medical Centre and car park to be extended to provide:

  • Two extra consulting rooms
  • Six extra car parking spaces

You can see the plans, etc., by clicking here. The applcation number is 14/00354/FUL.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Reported the travellers camped on a car park in Station Road, Theale, to the council and the police

About five caravans are camped on the car park outside The Forum office block in Station Road. The site is opposite the Theale Station car park
 
Unusually, three of them are motor caravans.
 
I have reported the incursion to the West Berkshire Council traveller liaison officer and to the police (reference number 999 with today’s date).
 
I have also contacted British Transport Police and tweeted First Great Western in a effort to get the height restrictor in the station car park locked. In the past, I have found it almost impossible to contact the station manager.
 

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Lambfields sewage pumping station to be refurbished

I have received the following information about the Lambfields sewage pumping station at the corner of Lambfields and Church Street:


27 March 2014
Our Ref: 33111775
Lambfields sewage pumping station in Theale
Dear Councillor Macro
Thank you for speaking with me last week. Further to my email of 10 December, the proposed solutions have been reviewed at our risk review meeting and I am pleased to confirm the site has been approved for refurbishment. The scope of work is still to be finalised, however, this includes new pumps, a new control panel and a new valve chamber.
At this stage, I am unable to confirm when the refurbishment will be done but as soon as I have further information I will update you.
I hope you find this information useful. However, if you would like to speak to me about this matter, please call me on 08456 410016, extension 69649. I am available from 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Yours sincerely 
Shazia Zeb

Customer Resolution

The work is different from what I was originally told was planned. I will ask Shazia for reassurance that the refurbished pump will be able to cope with the high levels of groundwater ingress that the sewer suffers.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Friday, 28 March 2014

Leaflets hanging out of letterboxes in Theale could be an invitation to burglars

A concerned resident has told me that advertising leaflets have been left hanging out of letterboxes in Meadow Way. These could be an invitation to burglars as they suggest that no-one is at home.
I suggest that you check your letterbox and remove any offending leaflet. If you know that a neighbour is not at home, then please check their letterbox too.
The leaflet is advertising the services of a company based in London. I wouldn’t have thought that a reputable company would have to tout so far afield for business.

I have complained to the advertiser.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Businesses in West Berkshire affected by flooding can apply for grants

Businesses in West Berkshire affected by flooding can apply for grants.

Deadline 31 March

Details: http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=27200#Grants

I am trying to contact as many businesses in Arrowhead Road as I can as I know many were affected by flooding.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Work on new building at Theale station progressing

Work on the new "amenity building" at Theale Station is progressing, as the following picture shows:


This building will contain the new booking office and "retail unit".

It has been re-sited since the consultation event as it was not possible to re-site the access to the Network rail maintenance area. The following plan shows its location:


The new station building will look like the following:


There is still no news on the approval  for the new footbridge and lifts required from the Department of Transport. The approval is required because the tenders for the work came in over the budget.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Highways Agency News Release re so-called "Smart Motorway" scheme for M4

HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release issued 13 March 2014


Road users, local residents and businesses can find out more next week about proposals to transform the M4 into one of the longest stretches of ‘smart motorway’ in England by 2021.

The improvement, between junction 3, Hayes in London, and junction 12, Theale in Berkshire, would increase capacity, improve journey reliability and maintain safety.

The proposals are part of the Government’s investment into England’s motorways and major A-roads, which will see up to £3 billion a year pumped into improving the roads by 2021, underpinning economic growth and high quality jobs across the region.

Lynne Stinson, Highways Agency Project Manager said:

“The M4 is an important corridor in and out of London for those who live and work in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, as well as those further afield in the South West and Wales, with around 130,000 vehicles using this stretch every day.
“Based on proven benefits elsewhere, we have produced outline proposals that would see 32 miles of the M4 transformed into a ‘smart motorway’; we’re planning extra capacity by converting the hard shoulder into an additional traffic lane and introducing variable mandatory speed limits displayed overhead to help smooth the flow of traffic and reduce congestion, and to provide traffic information, with safety bays in place to maintain safety.

“We’re inviting members of the public to come along to their nearest public exhibition to find out more about the scheme and give the project team their initial thoughts on the proposals to feed in to the ongoing scheme development. We will host further exhibitions later this year when assessments are complete and our proposals are nearing finalisation.”
Subject to gaining consent, construction would be carefully planned to be carried out in phases from 2016.

As part of the proposals to convert the 32 miles of the M4 between junction 3 and 12 into a ‘smart motorway’:

* There would be 64 miles of new traffic lane taken from the existing hard shoulder, increasing capacity.
* The initial scheme design also includes 131 new gantries, with 32 existing gantries remaining.
* 11 bridges would be rebuilt to provide space for the additional traffic lane and provide safe journeys over the M4 for decades to come.
* 32 refuge bays are proposed alongside the carriageway for use by drivers in an emergency.
Seven public exhibitions are being held:

Tuesday 18 March between 2pm and 8pm – St Giles Hotel, Hounslow Road, Feltham, TW14 9AD.
Wednesday 19 March between 2pm and 8pm – Hillingdon Baptist Church, 25 Hercies Road, Uxbridge UB10 9LS.
Friday 21 March between 2pm and 8pm – Theale Village Hall, Englefield Road, Reading, RG7 5AS.
Saturday 22 March between 10am and 4pm – Holyport War Memorial Hall, Moneyrow Green, Holyport, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2NA.
Thursday 27 March between 2pm and 8pm – Copthorne Hotel Slough, Cippenham Lane, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2YE.
Friday 28 March between 2pm and 8pm – Winnersh Community Centre, New Road, Wokingham RG41 5DU.
Saturday 29 March between 10am and 4pm - St Martin’s Church Hall, Church Road, West Drayton UB7 7PT.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Updated: M4 J12 - J3 "Smart Motorway" scheme - public information event Friday 21st March 2-8pm

An event will be held in Theale Village Hall to inform residents about the so-called "Smart Motorway" scheme for the M4.  This will allow "all-lane" running between junctions 3 and 12 of the A4 by allowing vehicles to run on the hard shoulder. This will be controlled by signal gantries. There will be lay-bys at intervals to allow vehicles to pull off the road in emergencies. There is likely to be variable speed limits enforced by cameras.

The event will run from 2pm to 8pm next Friday, the 21st March.

Information from the Highways Agency on "Smart Motorways" can be found here.

UPDATE 14/03/14: The event is from 2pm to 8pm (not 9pm as previously advised)


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Lambfields sewage pumping station in Theale broken down again

One of the pumps at the sewage pumping station at the corner of Lambfields and Church Street had been taken away for repair. Now the other one has broken down. A Thames Water employee that I spoke to on-site told me that they cannot repair the pump until the level of effluent has been reduced by pumping into tankers. This may take a couple of days.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Planning permission refused for plan to build 8 houses at the end of St Ives Close, Theale

The planning application to build eight detached houses at the end of St Ives close (off The Green) has been refused for the following reasons:

  1. The site is outside the settlement boundary of Theale. 
  2. It would have a harmful effect on the amenity of existing properties, particularly 26 and 28 Volunteer Road, and 13 St Ives Close
  3. St Ives Close is substandard to deal with the additional traffic. This leads to concerns about the effect on traffic flow and road safety. There is also concern about the ability of refuse vehicles to safely access the site
  4. No mitigation measures to deal with the impact of the development on local infrastructure or services.

(Please note that the above is my precis of the reasons given in the Refusal Notice).

Reason 1 is a surprise as the site formed part of the Lakeside site, which was a "Special Site" in the old Local Plan. It is also adjacent to the North Lakeside site (also outside the settlement boundary) that has planning permission for 350 homes.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Theale Library celebrated the 25th anniversary of it's opening today

This week saw the 25th anniversary of the opening on Theale Library. A specially baked cake was cut this morning to celebrate. A special newspaper was published by the old Berkshire County Council to announce the opening:



Before the library was built, Theale was served by a container library. This was housed in a container on a lorry trailer that was brought to the village once a week. It had no windows and you had to climb several steps as it was almost two metres (six feet) above ground level. It did have air conditioning to prevent it getting too hot in the sun.

This year will also be the 10th anniversary of the library's expansion.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Work starting on Theale Station improvements

It looks like construction work on the improvements to Theale Station has started. However, there is still no news on the much needed lifts to the platforms.


Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

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Mad Hatter's Tea Party at Theale Library 3:30 to 5pm on March 6th. Free!

Mad Hatter's Tea Party at Theale Library 3:30 to 5pm on March 6th. Free!


Get your free tickets by phoning 0118 930 3207 or email thealelibrary@westberks.gov.uk