Friday, 28 October 2016

Letter about planning application for 88 homes on the old Theale sewage works site is premature

Many residents received a letter from Savile's about a week ago. The letter told them that planning application 16/02850/OUTMAJ for 88 homes on this site had been submitted by Thames Water. However, that application has not completed validation and is not available on the West Berkshire Council website. I am waiting for a call back from Saviles for an update on the situation.

Monday, 24 October 2016

West Berkshire Council has started a public consultation on the future of its public libraries, including Theale

The Council engaged consultants to carry out a "Needs Assessment" into its public library service. The Needs Assessment suggests a number of efficiency, and income generating, options. It also suggests that all branch libraries, with the exception of Wash Common, could stay open with the support of the community and town and parish councils.
The Council has identified three options for the library service, each one assuming:
  • the closure of Wash Common library
  • the retention of Newbury library with a restructured team of employees
  • the effective integration of the mobile library and 'At Home' services. The current two vehicle service will be amalgamated into one and the schedule of stops reviewed accordingly
  • increased income generation
  • a financial contribution from Town and Parish councils of at least £150,000 in total
  • community volunteers sharing the front line work in branch libraries.
Option A
The other seven branch libraries to be run by staff working alongside community volunteers. We currently estimate that this will allow the retention of one employed member of staff at each branch.
This would save approximately £580,000 per year.

Option B
This, and Option C below, is referred to as a 'Hub and Spoke' model.
Of the other seven branch libraries, two (possibly one in the west and one in the east of the district) would be staffed as in Option A above (Hubs) and five would be volunteer run only (Spokes), but receive professional support from the Hubs. This would save approximately £620,000 per year.

Option C The other seven branch libraries to be volunteer run (Spokes) with staff only in Newbury (Hub). This would save approximately £645,000 per year.
You can take part in the consultation by going to

Monday, 10 October 2016