Monday, 27 October 2014

Work about to begin on pedestrian refuge on the A4 near Wigmore Lane, #Theale

I am pleased to see that work is about to begin on the pedestrian refuge on the A4 near the end of Wigmore Lane, Theale.

The refuge will make it much easier for Wigmore Lane residents to cross the A4 to get to Theale village or the bus stop. The work is being done as a result of the petition I raised a few months ago.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Graffiti cleaned off #Theale Church, then it was graffitied again

The graffiti in the archway under the tower of Holy Trinity Church was cleaned off, and the walls painted, on Friday. More graffiti was then written on the newly painted walls on Friday afternoon:

If you saw anyone acting suspiciously around the church at that time, please inform the police on 101.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Building of 30 flats on Trafalgar Court site in Play Platt, #Theale, starts in earnest

A tower crane has now been erected on the old Trafalgar Court site in Play Platt, Theale:

This should mean that building work is now starting in earnest. Many residents in Englefield Road thought that the foundations were being put in in the wrong place as they were much closer to their back garden fences that the plans suggested. The West Berkshire Council Planning Enforcement Officer investigated at my request and found that they were in the correct position in relation to the houses. He said that the plans did not show the correct position of the fences.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Start made on improving disabled access to Holy Trinity Church, #Theale

The handrails on the first slight of steps have now been extended:

They used to stop before the top step was reached.

The top flight does not have any handrails at all. Handrails will soon be installed, however, thanks to a grant I got from West Berkshire Council.

Alan Macro
Councillor For Theale

Sorry, no #Theale High Street walk-about today. Alan Macro will be on a training course

Sorry, but I will not be doing my regular Theale High Street walk-about today. I will be on a training course in Reading.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Friday, 17 October 2014

What has happened to the planning application for 6 flats in St Ives Close, #Theale

I hadn't heard anything for a while about planning application 14/00549/FULD to build a block of six flats on the old Le Claire Precision/Not Just Cleaning site in St Ives Close. A resident said that he had not been able to find it on the West Berkshire Council. I couldn't find it, either. I therefore asked the Eastern Team Leader in the Council's Planning Department about the application. He has replied that the application was ruled invalid and there is no current application for the site.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Six new apprenticeship posts announced by #WestBerks Council

Date: 14 October 2014

Six new apprenticeship posts announced

The autumn round of apprentice recruitment has been launched by West Berkshire Council. The council works in partnership with West Berkshire Training Consortium (WBTC) to help apprentices achieve an Intermediate Apprenticeship award during their year in employment.

Alan Law, West Berkshire's Executive Councillor for Human Resources,  said: "I'm delighted by the continued success of West Berkshire's apprenticeship scheme. Our scheme is a great way to earn while learning and get young people on the ladder to real career opportunities."

The apprenticeships on offer are for the roles of:

Parking officer;
Activity worker;
Trading Standards Administrator;
Library Assistant;
Waste Management;
Licensing Administrator.

Visit for further information and details on how to apply.
Applicants are advised to search using the term ‘Apprentice’ in the keyword section on the West Berkshire Council vacancy home page.

From October 1 2014, apprentices will receive the National Minimum Wage; £3.79 per hour if under 18, increasing to £5.13 per hour if aged 18 to 20 years old.

Please note due to government funding restrictions, West Berkshire Council will only accept applications from those aged 16 - 19 years old on the start date of apprenticeship.
WBTC can provide applicants with advice and guidance on:
1.     How to apply on line
2.     The best way to present your skills and experience
3.     What is involved in a West Berkshire Council Apprenticeship
4.     How to prepare if you get an interview with West Berkshire Council
 Contact Jaskiran at WBTC on 01635 35975 or email her on to arrange.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Expressed concern to Lloyds about #Theale Pharmacy

There were long queues in Theale Pharmacy again yesterday.

The queue got up to nine people while I was there and three people turned away. One lady had been waiting half an hour.

Things work well when the regular pharmacist and staff are present but do not work well when temporary staff are on duty. This was the situation yesterday.

I am concerned about the effect that the poor service is having on Theale residents. I am also very concerned that customers who have transport may instead choose to go to the pharmacy at Sainsburys to avoid the queues. This could put the future of Theale Pharmacy at risk. If it closed then people who do not have transport would be put in difficulties.

I therefore called Customer Services at Lloyds to express these concerns.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A #Theale resident asked why one pothole in his road was filled, but not the one next to it!

I did a resident's survey in The Crescent in Theale this evening. One resident replied to the question on potholes as following:

"why did they fill one hole outside our house and left the one next to it"

I expect that we have all wondered that!

The following is a set of potholes in The Crescent that I reported this evening:

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

#Theale police station to be sold

Thames Valley Police have announced that the closed Theale Police Station is to be sold. A story in the Reading Chronicle says that the closure will save £24,000 per year, which seems unlikely given the size of this modest building. 

The station was closed several years ago and has been used since by the TVP property department.The building is sandwiched between Theale Library and the main entrance to Theale Green School, so the possible future uses for the building must be limited.

What is annoying is that there have been several community uses proposed for the building over the years:
  • new office for Theale Parish Council 
  • more room for the extension to Theale Library and car park
  • base for the neighbourhood police team and neighbourhood wardens
However, the police refused to release the building.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

New bin in green area at end of Mulberry Way, #Theale

A new litter bin has been installed by the Council on the green area at the end of Mulberry Way.

I have had several complaints about the dog waste bins alongside the footpath that leads from Station Road to the end of Mulberry Way being full. I have often encountered this problem with these bins myself, also the one at the end of Volunteer Road. I therefore asked for an additional bin to be be provided in this area. West Berks Council have therefore installed this bin near the end of Mulberry Way:

Litter bins, including this one, can be used for disposing of bagged dog waste as well as litter.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Consultation event NOW for new rail unloading and concrete plants in Wigmore Lane, #Theale

A consultation event is currently taking place describing Hope Cement's proposals for new facilities to import aggregate by train, and for making concrete, at its depot in Wigmore Lane, Theale.

Some of the information dispalyed at the event can be viewed at:

The unloading of trains and movement of aggregate around the depot will be done by tractor shovel. I have therefor asked them to provide dust supresion equipment.

The event will be open until 7pm this evening (8th October)

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Planning application for 27 retirement homes behind #Theale High Street to be decided by planning committee

I have "called in" planning application 14/02110/FULEXT to be decided by West Berkshire Council's Eastern Area Planning Committee, rather than by planning officers. The application is to build 27 retirement homes behind 40 to 58 High Street, Theale. This is the land behind Kaya's (the old Cumbers butcher's shop), Lloyds Bank, Courts Newsagent, etc.

I have done this because of concerns raised by residents and parish councillors at the recent special meeting of Theale Parish Council. This meeting was called to discuss this application.

You can view plans and documents about this application here.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

Planning application for 7 houses at end of St Ives Close, #Theale, to be withdrawn?

The West Berkshire Council planning officer dealing with planning application 14/02195/OUTD to build 7 houses on land at the end of St Ives Close has advised the applicants to withdraw it.

He told them that the application is contrary to policy because it it is outside the current settlement boundary. He is also concerned about the effect on the "amenity space" (garden) of an existing house at the end of the close

The officer advised the applicant to withdraw the application and that his recommendation was likely to be that the application be refused.

The email to the applicant can be viewed here.

It often advantageous for an applicant to with draw an application rather than have it refused.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Friday, 3 October 2014

Delighted that my bid for a grant to improve disabled access to Holy Trinity Church, #Theale, was granted

Access to Holy Trinity Church for those have difficulty climbing steps is difficult as they have to climb two flights of worn stone steps. There are handrails for the bottom set, but these stop short of the top step:

There are no handrails at all for the top step:

The Church has a project to extend the handrails for the bottom steps and to provide handrails for the top steps. The new handrails will be in the same style as the existing ones. A grant to help pay for them was agreed by the Dr Ellerton Trust. However, this still left about £1,500 to find. I therefore made a "member's bid" to West Berkshire Council to make up the difference. I am delighted to tell you that this has been agreed.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale

Position of new flats being built at end of Play Platt, Theale

I had a complaint about a month ago that these flats were being built much closer to the back gardens of properties in Englefield Road than suggested on the plans.

The 30 flats are being built for Sovereign Housing Association and will accommodate people over 55 years old. They are being built on the site of the old Trafalgar Court care home, which has been demolished.

I asked the West Berkshire Council Planning Enforcement Officer to investigate. He made several visits to the site and discussed the situation with the developers and with the Planning Officer who dealt with the planning application. After taking several measurements he came to the conclusion that the flats were being built in the correct location. His main concern was their location in relation to the surrounding houses. It appears that either the plans submitted with the planning application were not correct regarding the rear boundaries of the gardens or that the gardens had been "extended". The latter seems unlikely!

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

Please see what is happening in Theale by:

Following me on Twitter: @alanmacro
Liking my Facebook Page: CllrAlanMacro
Reading my Blog: //
Subscribing to my Theale news list: send an email to

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Just took part in  the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Relief

I am going to nominate Julian Swift Hook, Lib Dem Councillor for Greenham, to take part.

Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

Please see what is happening in Theale by:

Following me on Twitter: @alanmacro
Liking my Facebook Page: CllrAlanMacro
Reading my Blog: //
Subscribing to my Theale news list: send an email to

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Proposed development of Theale Cement Depot - consultation event

Hope Construction Materials are holding a consultation event for residents to find out about their plans for their site. The event will be held at their depot in Wigmore Lane, Theale, between 4pm and 7pm on 8th October. They are proposing:
  • a concrete batching plant
  • importation of aggregates by rail
  • storage space
  • research laboratory
  • staff and vehicle parking
This is their letter to residents: