Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Complained to the Chief Constable about lack of police action on traveller sites in Theale

I was frustrated that the police did not use their powers to move travellers on from sites in Theale so I complained to the local Chief Inspector. She was away, as was her Chief Inspector colleague and her Superintendent. I therefore complained to the Chief Constable. After an interim holding reply from a Chief Superintendent, I got the following from Inspector Ward (based in Pangbourne):

Dear Mr Macro,

I am aware that Chief Superintendent Wong contacted you yesterday regarding your email about the current encampments in Theale.

Prior to the current incursion, there was a similar incident earlier in May and those involved finally moved on the 21st May after the Local Authority had given a direction to leave. They are barred from returning to the land for three months by S77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. A new group moved on to the same land on the 28th May whom it was suspected had come from the Reading area. The Local Authority again gave a direction to leave the land by tomorrow morning at which point they would then apply to the court for a summons. Clearly the local residents are very frustrated that after the previous group left it has been possible for other people to come on to the same land. However, the process has to start again as regards their removal.

The lead agency for unauthorised encampments is the Local Authority. The role of the police is to support the Local Authority in a proportionate manner. Whilst we have powers under S61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to direct immediate removal, we must take note of guidance from the National Police Chief’s Council and Authorised Professional Practice in determining when to exercise these powers. Up to this point, it has been decided that the exercise of those powers is not necessary or proportionate in Woodfield Way. We do work closely with the Local Authority in relation to these incidents and there is a shared understanding of our respective roles and responsibilities. This morning officers have attended the location again with Jean Pimley. I am aware that staff from the Local Authority have also been liaising with local residents to keep them informed.

There has been a large number of unauthorised encampments in Berkshire recently involving different groups moving around. We are doing our best to manage these within the legislation available to us.

Yours sincerely,
Chris Ward

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Planning application submitted to extend second floor of TA Fisher offices

Planning application 18/01126/FUL has been submitted to extend the second floor of the TA Fisher offices behind 11- 13 Theale High Street. The extension would be visible from Crown Lane.

Proposed elevations:

Full plans:

Monday, 21 May 2018

Travellers in Theale Ordered to Move

An order has been granted by magistrates instructing the travellers in Woodfield Way to move by midday tomorrow. They are expected to move before then. If they don't then the order will be enforced by the council, supported by the police.

I have asked for the security of the site to be improved and officers will be meeting on site this week to discuss how this can be done.

In the meantime, the bollard that protected the entrance to the site will be repaired.

The travellers that were on the Theale Technology site in Station Road moved off over the weekend.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Travellers in Woodfield Way

The travellers on the green area in Woodfield Way were given a direction to move by West Berkshire Council on Monday. The direction required them to move by 10am yesterday (Wednesday). They ignored the direction, so the Council are laying a complaint in the magistrates court.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Clint "Shugs" Rolfe elected to Theale Parish Council

The results of the parish council by-election, held on 3rd May, have been announced:

Clint Rolfe            524 votes (Elected)
Cleone Wright      411 votes

The turnout was 40.2%, very high for a parish council election.

Published Result

Roadworks on A340 Pangbourne Road 8th to 10th May


A340 Unnamed Road Known As Pangbourne Road, Englefield, West Berkshire
08 May — 10 May
Delays likely Traffic control (two-way signals)
Works location: From the main roundabout to the overbridge of the M4.
Works description: Drainage Investigation
Responsibility for works: West Berkshire
Current status: Planned work about to start
Works reference: JV00500008760

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Theale Parish Council given deadline by West Berks Council for new primary school

West Berkshire Council has given Theale Parish Council a deadline of end of July to complete legal work to allow the new primary school to be built on the North Street Playing Field.

Letter on the subject from West Berks Council Chief Executive: