Councillor Alan Macro
Blog for Alan Macro, Councillor for Theale on West Berkshire Council.
Alan is Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Housing, Planning, Environment and Culture on the Council.
Please also see Alan's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CllrAlanMacro
27/09/2017 04:14 PM
Issued media release re West Berks proposed cutback in litter picking and street cleaning:
I have issued the following media release regarding West Berks Council's proposed cutback in litter picking and street cleaning:
West Berkshire Council are consulting on proposals to change litter picking and street cleansing services to save money. However, Lib Dem environment spokesman Councillor Alan Macro branded the consultation “meaningless”. He said “roads in towns and villages outside town centres are currently litter picked every two weeks. The proposal is to replace that schedule with ‘routine work, supplemented by reactive work where land falls below an acceptable standard’. That phrase is meaningless to most people and that therefore makes the consultation itself meaningless. The council needs to withdraw this consultation and replace it with one worded in plain English”.
10/08/2017 07:54 PM
Another IKEA planning application for a "navigation tower" visible from Theale
IKEA have submitted another planning application for a "navigation tower" that would be visible from Theale High Street. This one would be 57 meters (187 feet high)!. The previous application (withdrawn) was for one 42m meters high. The application numbers are 17/02237/FUL and 17/02238/ADV. The plans, etc, can be viewed by clicking here.
08/08/2017 05:37 PM
Planning application to build 130 homes on Whitehart Meadow has been refused
Good news for Theale! The planning application to build 130 homes on Whitehart Meadow has been refused permission by #WestBerks Council. The reasons for refusal were:
I will not be surprised if the developer appeals, though.
- The site is outside the settlement boundary
- The site is in Flood Zone 2
- Insufficient consideration has been given to the management of surface water for the development
- No adequate justification for the absence of affordable housing in the proposal
03/08/2017 03:43 PM
Planning application submitted to build a new fire station in Theale.
Planning Application 17/02128/COMIND has been submitted to West Berkshire Council to build a fire station in Theale. The proposed site is at the A4/A340/Wigmore Lane roundabout in Theale. The plans can be viewed, and comments made, by clicking here
The plans can also be viewed at Theale Parish Council offices in the Recreation Ground, Englefield Road between 10 am and 1 pm Monday to Friday.Comments can also be sent by post to the Chief Planning Officer, West Berkshire Council, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD, or by email to email@example.com, quoting the application number. The application will normally be decided by Council planning officers unless at least 10 objections are received. In that case the application will be decided by the Eastern Area Planning Committee. Please see over the page for plans showing what is proposed. Theale Parish Council will be deciding on its comments on the proposal at its meeting at 7:30 pm this Monday, 7th August. The meeting will be held in: Peter Gooch Room The Pavilion Recreation Ground Englefield Road Theale
02/08/2017 02:37 PM
Bike and wheels stolen from Waterside Drive, Theale
Police Alert: Between 29/07 & 31/07 offender(s) stole a Rockhopper 2015 bike & wheels from another bike in Waterside Drive, Theale. If anyone has information about this incident please contact the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101 (Ref 43170226931)
02/08/2017 02:30 PM
Criminal damage in Theale High Street
Police Alert: Between 28/07 & 31/07 offender(s) smashed a window in High Street, Theale. No items stolen. If anyone has information about this incident please contact the 24 hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101 (Ref 43170225997)
28/07/2017 08:44 PM
Planning application to provide a new playing field approved
The planning application to provide a new playing field on the agricultural field near Theale Golf Club was approved by the West Berks Council Eastern Area Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 26th July.
The new field will partly compensate for pitches lost as a result of the new primary school being built (assuming the land is released by the parish council).
Unfortunately, Theale Parish Council has serious concerns about the plans, so I'm not sure whether they will be able to release the land for the school. TPC wasn't consulted on amendments to the plans that were required by West Berks' Highways and Footpaths officers.
22/07/2017 06:29 PM
Planning application 17/00743/FUL
The planning application to provide a new playing field on the agricultural field near #Theale Golf Club will be decided by the West Berks Council Eastern Area Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 26th July. The officer's recommendation is for approval.
If approved, the new field will partly compensate for pitches lost as a result of the new primary school being built (assuming the land is released by the parish council).
The meeting will be held at The Calcot Centre in Highview, Calcot, and will start at 6:30pm.
The officer's report can be read at http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/documents/s59052/17.00743%20Land%20north%20of%20Englefield%20Road.pdf
18/07/2017 01:18 PM
Number plates stolen from BMW in Station Rd Theale
Number plates stolen from BMW in Station Rd #Theale. Police Alert: On 17th July between 8am & 9pm offender(s) stole the number plates belonging to a grey BMW in Station Rd, Theale. If anyone has info, please call the Police on 101 (Ref 43170211384)
07/07/2017 11:52 AM
Theale Library Needs You!
Theale Library is open!
West Berks Council has decided to keep all its libraries open, except one branch on the outskirts of Newbury. This means that Theale Library is still open! Unfortunately, the threats of closure that were made by the Council mean that some people don't realise that the library is still open and usage has dropped off. If you are a registered user, then please continue to use the library. If you are not, why not pop along and see the wide range of books, DVDs, etc., that you can borrow? You can also use the computers in the library to access the Internet for free! The new opening hours can be found at http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/29655/Theale-Library
If people don't use the library then it may be threatened with closure again. Use it or lose it!
Do you like helping people? Do you have a couple of hours spare each week? Why not volunteer to help at Theale Library? Although there is a librarian at each branch library, the library service now relies on volunteers to make up the staff. If you want to know more, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll put you in touch with one of the existing volunteers so that you can have a chat. If you want to go straight ahead and apply, please use the form on www.westberks.gov.uk/volunteer
06/07/2017 08:58 PM
Council Ward Boundary Review - New Proposals for Theale
Last year West Berkshire Council decided to reduce its number of councillors from 52 to 42. The reduction will come into effect at the next council elections in May 2019. The reduction means that each councillor will represent about 25% more electors and this, in turn, means that the wards they represent will have to be bigger.
The Council proposed new boundaries for Theale ward in April that would have extended it to include Englefield, Tidmarsh and Sulham. Its proposals did not account for the extra housing that had been given planning permission or the housing sites that the council itself had allocated! In Theale, this would be an extra 450 homes! Both Theale Parish Council and I complained about this in our responses to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).
Our complaints bore fruit and the LGBCE are now consulting on revised electorate numbers for the whole district. West Berkshire Council are responding to this consultation with new boundary proposals. In the case of Theale the proposal is for the boundaries to be the same as now, i.e. just the parish of Theale. This is the area within the grey dotted lines on this map.
You can have your say on the consultation by clicking "Further consultation on warding arrangements" on www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-east/berkshire/west-berkshire
. The deadline for responses to the consultation is Monday 10th July.
29/06/2017 02:55 PM
Theale Medical Centre "requires improvement" - CQC
Result of the inspection by the Care Quality Commission in March 2017:
Letter from the Chief Inspector of General Practice
We carried out a short notice announced comprehensive inspection at Theale Medical Centre on 15 and 24 March 2017. We rated the practice as good for providing Effective, Caring and Responsive services and requires improvement for Safe and Well Led. Overall the practice is rated as requires improvement.
Our key findings across all the areas we inspected were as follows:
- Risks to patients were assessed and well managed, with the exception of those relating to recruitment checks and dispensary processes.
- There was a leadership structure but not all staff felt supported by management. The practice sought feedback from patients, which it acted on.
- Governance arrangements in respect to documentation and record keeping for organisational management were not always effective.
- Staff were aware of current evidence based guidance. Most staff had been trained to provide them with the skills and knowledge to deliver effective care and treatment. However, mental capacity act training was not offered to staff.
- Information about services and how to complain was available. Improvements were made to the quality of care as a result of complaints and concerns. However, governance arrangements had not included logging all verbal complaints and staff told us many of these had been dealt with ineffectively or not responded to in a timely way.
- Feedback from patients reported that access to a named GP and continuity of care was not always available quickly, although urgent appointments were usually available the same day.
- Results from the national GP patient survey showed most patients were treated with compassion, dignity and respect and were involved in their care and decisions about their treatment.
- The practice had good facilities and was well equipped to treat patients and meet their needs.
- There was an open and transparent approach to safety and a system in place for reporting and recording significant events.
- The provider was aware of the requirements of the duty of candour. Examples we reviewed showed the practice complied with these requirements.
The areas where the provider must make improvement are:
- The provider must ensure governance processes and systems are consistently applied in a timely manner to assess, monitor and improve the quality and safety of the services provided and in the management of risk. This includes ensuring that:
- All staff are aware of policies and procedures and are effectively embedded in practice. For example, not all staff were aware of the whistleblowing policy and how to access it.
- Governance arrangements include all necessary employment checks; training needs are met for all staff; dispensary governance processes identify risks and keep patients safe.
- The complaints management processes include documenting and responding to all verbal complaints in a timely way. Learning and trends from complaints must be shared with all staff.
The areas where the provider should make improvements are:
- Ensure all actions from the infection control audit have been documented.
- Continue to review the learning disability register and offer health checks to improve outcomes for this patient group.
Professor Steve Field (CBE FRCP FFPH FRCGP)
Chief Inspector of General Practice
28/06/2017 10:29 PM
Agenda for Theale Parish Council meeting 3rd July 2017
Apologies for absence & Declarations of Interest 1 Open Forum for members of the public (15 minutes) 2 Chairman’s remarks - notification of matters to be raised.
3 To adopt the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 5th June 2017. 4 Matters arising from the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of 5th June 2017 referred to at (3). 5 District Council Report 7 New Planning Applications – to include all received by meeting date
| |Additional drawings/ Amended plans | |Proposed change of use of land from agricultural to outdoor recreational & leisure facilities with parking. | |Land North of Englefield Road, | |
| |Two sets of Additional drawings/ Amended plans | |Outline application for residential development for up to 130 dwellings, associated access, car parking & landscaping. Matters for consideration: Access only | || |Central Corporation Projects Ltd
| || |Two storey side extension & single storey rear extension | || |
| || |Demolition of existing building & re-development of site to provide new building with an area of 12,517m² for use within classes B1(c), B2 & B8 plus ancillary offices, associated access, parking, servicing & landscaping. (Scheme 1) | |McKay Securities PLC Site, Former Kuehne & Nagel Site, | |
| || |Demolition of existing building & re-development of site to provide four new buildings with a combined area of 10,935m² for use within classes B1(c), B2 & B8 plus ancillary offices, associated access, parking, servicing & landscaping. (Scheme 2) | |McKay Securities PLC Site, Former Kuehne & Nagel Site, | | Members to consider the Grant Application Report provided by the clerk and RESOLVE accordingly. 9 *WBC’s Parish Council Clerks’ Devolution Workshop This event was held on 12th June, Members to consider the clerk’s written report. 10 *Electoral Review of West Berkshire The Local Government Boundary Commission is conducting a second review of warding arrangements in West Berkshire using the revised electorate forecast figures provided by WBC. The public can submit comments on the consultation portal at www.lgbce.org.uk . Members to discuss. 11 *Internal Financial Control Members to consider clerk’s report to council on improving internal financial controls and the appointment of an Internal Checker. Members to RESOLVE accordingly. Members to RESOLVE on renewing TPC’s membership of the Berkshire Association of Local Councils. TPC’s insurance is due for renewal on 1st August 2017, it has a long term agreement with Came & Company until July 2018. Members to RESOLVE on renewal premium of £1,671.15. 14 Theale Library Building - Update Members of the TPC Library working group met with West Berkshire Council on 13th July. Further meetings regarding the future of the Gateway centre are planned. Cllr Richardson to give an update. 15 *Policy on Recording of Meetings Members to consider and RESOLVE to adopt the TPC Policy on Recording of Meetings. 16 *Theale Primary School Sports Day Members to note the letter of response received from the school’s Headteacher. Following a recent increase in damage to the pavilion’s gable end roof, Members are asked to formalise the clerk’s previous requests to T&TCC for measures to be taken by the club to reduce the damage caused by cricket balls when people are using the nets. 18 *Marketing Training Event SLCC is holding a ‘How to Promote Your Assets, Venues & Facilities’ training event on 25th July in Newbury. In light of the council’s need to promote the Gateway, the Cumber Hall and, possibly, other facilities, the clerk would like to attend. Members to RESOLVE accordingly. 19 *Authorisation of payments
Council to authorise payments listed on sheet No.491 and dated 3rd July 2017.
For information only: Direct Debit sheet – May 2017
SECTI ON C
20 *Information Sheet
Correspondence and items of information received since 5th June 2017.
21 CHAIRMAN’S REMARKS
Chairman to issue any notice and to deal with any matter notified under (3) above. Pursuant to section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 it is resolved that, because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and the press leave the meeting during consideration of Part II. For information only: Payment sheet No. 492 and dated 3rd July 2017.
28/06/2017 05:25 PM
Corrected: New opening hours for Theale Library from 3rd July
New opening hours will come into operation for Theale Library from 3rd July. It will close an hour earlier on Thursdays and open 30 minutes later on Saturday mornings. The new opening hours will be:
1pm to 5pm*
10:30am to 5pm
2pm to 6pm
10:30am to 5pm
10:00am to 12:30pm
New staffing arrangements for all branch libraries also come into effect on 3rd July. The libraries will be staffed by one employee assisted by volunteers. More volunteers are needed for Theale. You can find out more or apply to be a volunteer here.
*Please note that West Berks libraries aren't open on bank holidays (including Good Friday
Longer opening hours may be possible in the future if more volunteers come forward.
20/06/2017 04:17 PM
House in Meadow Way, Theale, burgled while occupants slept.
I have been informed by the parish clerk that "a house in Meadow Way was burgled last night whilst the occupants were asleep. The offenders climbed in through an open upstairs window and made off with all the vehicle keys, wallets, driving licences etc. The occupants discovered the break-in when they woke up this morning.
You may wish to spread the word that people need to take care when leaving windows open - burglars love the hot weather."