Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Proposal for a BMX Track at Henwick Sports Ground

Potential site for BMX Track at the south side of the Sports Ground.
Earlier in this blog I reported on the family and friends of Tom Slater gathering at the sports ground on 19 May, to give 29 cyclists a big send off for the long fund raising ride to Paris. The Tom Slater fund has exceeded all expectations and has now reached well in excess of £30,000. The money will go to local projects including the desire for a BMX Track at the sports ground.

The Joint Management Committee (JMC) responsible for running the sports ground is expecting to consider a proposal to site a BMX Track on the south side of the sports ground.

 Henwick Sports Ground supports major sports activities for the community.


Pound Lane Play Area gets thumbs up for new public footpath!

From this!
To this!
Pound Lane Open Space has recently taken delivery of a brand new public footpath and Cllr Jeff Brooks was there to give it the thumbs up as soon as the tarmac was dry enough to walk on! Now parents can walk their children to school and visit the play area without walking through mud. The Mayor of Thatcham Cllr Gary Johnson has also been part of the hard working team turning the area into a major facility for the community. We now have a modern play area for the children, an adult gym, football pitch, dog walking area and a meadow for wild flowers to grow. A swing gate has also been installed at the eastern end of the footpath to make it easier for disabled access. After many years of planning and fund raising, Cllr Johnson is applying for the prestigious Green Flag award in recognition of the community facility and being Mayor of Thatcham of course he will be making arrangements to invite local parents and children to join him to celebrate the award by cutting a ribbon on site!      
Taking a few tips from the experts!

The tarmac is spread out evenly
Then rolled out

Friday, 3 October 2014

Residents campaign to 'Save Lower Way Field'

 Lower Way field, a green lung, looking across to the Nature Discover Centre, Moors reserve and SSSI. This field has been used to hold boot sales and fun fairs and dog walkers have also enjoyed the use of the field over many years 

West Berkshire Council has consulted residents living around Lower Way, asking for their comments on a proposal to build 87 houses on a greenfield site outside the settlement boundary between Lower Way and the Nature Discover Centre, close to the Moors reserve and SSSI in Thatcham. The residents have held campaign meetings and set up a web site www.stoplowerwayfield.co.uk and a facebook page - search "Lower Way Field", to keep everyone informed.
A 2,371 signature petition objecting to the development has been handed in to the Council and 269 letters of objection have also been received. My co ward member Cllr Jeff Brooks and I have been working closely with local residents supporting them in the campaign to save this green field from development.

Collecting petition signatures at Thatcham Broadway.
Another banner put up by a resident in Lower Way

Beautiflul scenery looking from the field to the Moors reserve and SSSI

Clear Streets Strategy!

So what exactly is a Clear Streets Strategy? The leaflet distributed by the Council states 'To help Motorists and residents of West Berkshire'. Seems like a good idea then.

The tricky bit!
Easy to follow instructions.
It is becoming much clearer now. This is the Clear Streets Strategy working efficiently in Faraday Road then!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Council Policy for repairing potholes - 'Give us a clue'!

Ok, the clue is a Pizza Box, by means of an illustration! The measurement inspectors use for repairing a pothole is around 300 x 300 x 50, which is pretty close to the size of a Pizza Box. This means as many residents point out to me, that anything smaller and close by, that will inevitably get larger very soon, will be ignored at the time!

This is one I made earlier!
Council Policy!

So they fix two potholes the size of a Pizza Box and leave the others!

But this morning more yellow markings arrived to repair more Pizza Box size potholes!

Residents are still wondering why the smaller surrounding potholes are not repaired at the same time as the Pizza Box size ones, as they are equally dangerous and can also cause expensive damage to your car or cycle. Why not repair the whole section in one go? 'Do if right first time' as the government guidance tells us!

But in respect of Tull Way, featured above, a highways department source told me 'this section will be prioritised along with other similar sections of road across the district for possible inclusion in this year's emerging machine patching programme'.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

We are 'blest' in 'Thatcham West' - Family Fun Day!

Henwick Worthy Sports Field hosts a wide variety of exciting sports activities for all ages. Each year we hold the Thatcham Family Fun Day at the end of sunny June!

All the fun of the fair!

Lots of interesting stalls to visit

'Service, Civility & Satisfaction' it says on the side of this van!

Vintage cars.

Triumphant cars!!

And of course, Lula our Maltese, getting ready for the dog show!!

We are 'blest' in 'Thatcham West' - Nature Discovery Centre!

If you go down to the Nature Discovery Centre, you are sure of a surprise!!

Education Centre - Coffee Shop - Meeting Room

Take the babies................

...................for a walk

.................and meet up with old friends and family!

Still asking drivers to slow down on BGR!

I don't want to see anyone caught speeding in BGR!
Residents are still demanding action against speeding motorists in Bowling Green Road. Hopefully these signs will attract the attention of some drivers and they will cut their speed down to 30 mph!

Four signs to go!


Why not do the whole job properly - Tull Way?

A Thatcham resident emailed me to ask if I had seen the way the contractors had part repaired the road surface on Tull Way, just above the Thatcham Garden Centre Roundabout. Well I had been keeping a keen eye on the repair process and took some photos!  Firstly, a large area of the road surface had been in a poor condition for some time. To my amazement only two small areas were marked out in yellow spray paint then nothing happened for a while. Then only two small areas were squared off and repaired. So the big question is...why didn't the contractor simply repair the whole of the damaged road surface at the same time because it will have to be done sooner or later? Meanwhile our tyres and suspension will receive a battering and add to the cost of motoring!

Tull Way south bound to Garden Centre Rounabout

Two small areas identified for repair
Only two small areas repaired.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pathway to success!

Pound Lane park in Thatcham has become a huge success story and attracts a wide range of users. The children's play equipment is both exciting and challenging. There is an adult gym to get your body into shape (over time), a teens football pitch and a grass path that winds its way through a colourful flower meadow for dog walkers to enjoy, or you can simply sit on one of the bench seats and take it easy for a while!

Children's Play Area.............

.................Adult Gym.

Football Pitch & Flower Meadow beyond.
The path across the park which is used by 70% of local residents to get to nearby schools and serves the children's play area, has had its day. It is worn out and in places floods and turns to mud when it rains. Thatcham Town Councillor Gary Johnson, is the driving force behind the success of the play park and has already asked West Berkshire Council to get some quotes to upgrade the path so that it can be used in all weathers. It will be costly but worth it and hopefully this will allow Gary to apply for the prestigious Green Flag status for the park.                                           
The worn out path across the park which is used by 70% of local residents to get to nearby schools and the children's play area. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Bowling Green Way?

At last Bowling Green Wait a minute, Way, gets a much needed makeover? Well that's what the diversion sign says!

Endless bits of machinery and manpower to resurface BGR!


...........and take it away!

At last the residents living close to BGR can get some peace from the shake, rattle and roll from lorries that were hitting the old rutted road surface for so many years!

Brownfield site indeed - Lower Way fills with sewage!

With a multi million pound sewage plant doing its bit the other side of the fence, the last thing you would expect is for the stuff to bubble up into the road but the heavy rain must have overwhelmed the system. So Cllr Jeff Brooks and I went to investigate with bated breath! Lower Way was closed for a time whilst the source of the problem was tracked down.
Cllr Jeff Brooks stopping traffic entering the substance in the distance.

Oh dear!
Cllr Jeff Brooks describes the scene as the cavalry arrive!

Think I will stay upwind and keep this post company!

Pedestrians expected to walk on water year after year!

We can expect some flooding on our roads after a very heavy downpour but when flooding takes place in the same location year after year, it's time to start asking questions. Either there is no drainage and it needs to be installed or the drainage is blocked and needs to be unblocked. Pedestrians using crossing points, underpasses or simply walking along a pavement can be badly affected.

Pedestrian crossing point in Newbury town centre.

One of the underpasses flooded in Newbury town centre.

Regular flooding in London Road.