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.

Slow down you're going too fast!

East of the entrance to Thames Road
'Slow down you're going too fast' may have been a good title for a song in the 1960's but it certainly applies to Bowling Green Road today!  The highways department at West Berkshire Council responded to my request for temporary Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) that flash up '30 SLOW DOWN' when vehicles exceed the 30 mph speed limit. The VAS signs were erected in different locations along Bowling Green Road following continued concerns from local residents about the speed of traffic in the area. I hope the signs will remind drivers to slow down and keep to the 30 mph speed limit.

This sign was placed just west of the entrance to Mersey Way.

East of Ashmore Green entrance.

Celebrating 35 years as local councillor in West Berkshire!

And I really mean celebrating!  It has been an absolute pleasure representing the residents of Thatcham West over the last 35 years. The role of a councillor is certainly a challenging one but the role is quite simple, listen and respond to the best of your ability.

I have driven past the Houses of Parliament on many occasions and I could not think of a better way to celebrate than to pop down to 'head office' to see what they were up to! Through our local MP I got a ticket to observe Prime Minister's Questions or PMQ's from the public gallery.  

Michael Meacher Labour MP for Oldham West & Royton was first up and asked the Prime Minister.......

"Is the Prime Minister aware that according to the Economist, Britain is now 159th lowest in the world, in terms of business investment, just behind Mali, Paraguay and Guatemala, can he therefore please tell the house when, under his esteem leadership and that of the chancellor, Britain can now expect to catch up with Mali?"

The response from the Prime Minister was less than complimentary. Through the Speaker, Mr Meacher won a point of order and gained an apology from Mr Cameron saying that he apologised for any offence that he may have caused!

I met Mr Meacher in the cafe later and complimented him on gaining an apology from the Prime Minister! Mr Meacher declined to have a selfy photo with me for this blog, as I was from another political party and he was concerned about where the photo could end up.

Party politics aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the time observing PMQ's at the House of Commons. There were over 100 members of the public looking down on the chamber through a glass security panel following the attempt to shower Tony Blair with pink powder. The wit and humour in the chamber was outstanding and the audience was laughing to the point of bursting. The important point though was that the message in each question was very clear if the answer was less palatable!