The Parishes of the West Downland Benefice will be holding
A Service in Commemoration of
His Late Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
on Friday 16th April 2021
in Welford Churchyard
Parking will be available at Welford Park
The service will be organised in line with current Covid-19 regulations for outdoor worship.
No physical Books of Condolence are being made available.
If you would like to view the online Book of Condolence you may do so here:
If you would like to write your own message of condolence you may do so here:
West Berkshire Council is committed to encouraging active travel by introducing more walking and cycling opportunities throughout the district.
The council is taking action to help the public safely make walking or cycling trips part of their daily travel choices. Please click on the following link for further details Have Your Say Today – West Berks AT Schemes – Commonplace or scan the QR code below, to learn more about the scheme and provide feedback on the measures put in place. Some schemes are not yet defined so this is a great opportunity to make your feelings known at the early planning stages.
WBC is opening a Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) site at the Hungerford Rugby Club in Priory Road from Monday (22 February) offering tests to key workers and others (see below) unless they are already in a testing programme.
So, those to whom testing is offered include key workers, carers, and business service providers such as tradespeople entering people’s houses on a regular basis.
The offer does not include:
Please note that:
If you are eligible, please book a test at Hungerford Rugby Club or one of WBC’s other sites using the link below.
The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) is asking for people to take part in a star count.
Star Count is now open for submissions!
Doing a count is simple - whether you live in town or country, just look to the night sky on a clear night from tonight until 14 February and tell us how many stars you can see within the constellation of Orion.
It's an activity you can do at home and a great way to connect to nature during lockdown. Will you take part?
Click the button below to find out everything you need to know.
All you need to know
We think that everyone deserves the opportunity to view a pristine night sky, filled with stars, and dark skies are a defining characteristic of our countryside.
But sadly, light pollution means most people in England can’t see many stars at all, especially if you live in or near a big town or city.
Less than 3% of people that took part last year enjoyed ‘truly dark skies’.
Star Count helps us find out where is best and worst for seeing the stars, and by showing on a map where light pollution is most serious, we can work with local councils and others to tackle it.
So, your count could help others to enjoy the stars in the future!
Yes, I'll take part
Here are 5 simple steps you can follow to take part in Star Count
1. Try to pick a clear night for your count, and wait until after 7pm so the sky is really dark. Please do your Star Count from home only. This could be your garden, balcony, doorstep or bedroom window.
2. Turn off all the lights in your home and let your eyes adjust (the longer you wait, the better).
3. Look south (the way satellite dishes point) and find the Orion constellation, with its four corners and three-star 'belt’.
4. Count the number of stars you can see within the rectangle made by the four corner stars. Don’t count the corner stars, but you can count the three stars in the middle – the belt.
5. Make a note of the number of stars seen with the naked eye (not with telescopes or binoculars) and then submit your count on our website.
Share your experiences (and any photos) with others on social media using #StarCount.
We hope you enjoy taking a moment to stare up at the stars and ponder the beauty of the night sky.
Dark skies campaigner
PS Please don’t travel to do a Star Count. We’d like you to take part from home only.
Here's an image to help you find Orion.
Our community testing programme (Lateral Flow Testing) will begin on Monday,
8 February for critical and key workers, who will be contacted directly for appointments.
Community testing helps identify people who may be infected with Covid-19 but don't have any symptoms, referred to as 'asymptomatic.'
Anyone testing positive will be requested to self-isolate to help stop the spread of the virus. See details
If you own a business in West Berkshire and wish to obtain Lateral Flow Device tests for yourself and your employees, you must register directly with the Government. Find out more
Free mental health course for adults
Recovery in Mind teaches adults the '5 Ways to Wellbeing.' The free online sessions teach how to think more positively, learn ways to overcome anxiety, develop skills in self-compassion and more during Lockdown and beyond.
The course is available to adults 18 years and over living in West Berkshire, and a GP referral is not required. To find out more and register for this month, visit www.recoveryinmind.org
Additional resources for mental health support
You can find a list of information and help available for people struggling with mental health and anxiety on the West Berkshire Council website
Please comment below by the end of February with any suggestions. These will then be presented to the Parish Council at the meeting on the 10th March.
In December 2020 West Berkshire Council announced the appointment of a multi-disciplinary team to undertake a major new study into the future uses of Newbury Town Centre. Led by HemingwayDesign, the team includes New Masterplanning, GL Hearn and Urban Movement.The study started with an online survey (details below) to engage with the local community and enable them to give their views on how Newbury town centre could be improved to make it a better place for residents, businesses and over stakeholders. Around 2,500 people have already completed the 10 minute survey and the Council is keen to hear more views of younger people, so that the town can be shaped to incorporate their needs – now and for the future.
Following the results of the survey, the study will be developed over nine months to outline a vision for Newbury’s future and a proposed masterplan of how the town centre can evolve to meet this aim. This study forms a key part of the Council's robust response to the pandemic and will have a unique role to play for businesses, residents and other stakeholders.
The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of strong community links, and the council has invited everyone with an interest in the town to have their say and be part of the conversation about its future. The study will take into account the significant changes in the retail and hospitality industries and the impact of Covid-19 in accelerating the review of alternative uses for town centres and public spaces.
Speaking about the upcoming and future work, Councillor Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said:
“West Berkshire Council and HemingwayDesign need to further understand and provide solutions for some of the most important issues that affect Newbury’s local communities. These factors include a stronger economy, improved public health, protection of the most vulnerable, equality of opportunity, better stewardship of the natural environment, and a stronger sense of community.
“I’m delighted that so many people have already taken the time to complete the online survey – providing us with valuable insight into the views of the local community.
“Newbury has a lot to offer already, with its mix of green spaces, independent shops and strong cultural heritage. The majority of respondents thought that Newbury has the potential to be an even better place to live work and learn. We are really keen to hear the views of younger people so we can ensure that future planning takes into consideration their needs – that’s why we have extended the deadline to complete the survey to 31 January 2021.”
The Newbury town centre masterplan survey will be open until 23:59 on 31 January. The team will then review the feedback and report back and outline next steps in this process.
The Newbury town centre survey can be found at www.newburytowncentremasterplan.co.uk/
With the New Year underway, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is supporting this month’s Fire Kills smoke alarm purchasing campaign, urging households across the County to make sure they fit smoke alarms on every level of their home. Many people see January as an opportunity for a fresh start, making it the perfect time to ensure you are prioritising fire safety in 2021.
The latest fire statistics reveal that one smoke alarm may not be enough to provide you with the best chance of escaping a fire in the home. Despite the majority of homes (91%) having at least one working smoke alarm in their home, smoke alarms alerted householders to a fire in England in only 45% of cases.
The most common reason a smoke alarm failed to activate was because the fire was outside its range. For this reason, we are supporting the smoke alarm purchasing Fire Kills campaign, encouraging people in Berkshire to think about the smoke alarms in their home.
Ian Barks, Central Hub Prevention Manager, said: “The vast majority of us now have at least one smoke alarm in our homes, but early detection and warning is vital to reduce the devastation a fire in the home can cause. If you don’t have enough, or they’re not in the right place, you might not be alerted in time. That’s why it’s so important that you have enough smoke alarms, they are in the right place and they are working to have the best chance of alerting you and your loved ones to a fire.
“You should make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in hallways and landings. Placing smoke detectors near to sleeping areas and in rooms where there are electrical appliances could give you the extra warning you need. It’s also important to remember that smoke alarms don’t last forever. So whether they are battery operated or wired to the mains, it is important to check the batteries weekly to ensure that if the worst should happen, they can function correctly.”
To help keep you and your loved ones safe, follow these smoke alarm safety top tips:
Keeping you up to date with Parish news and events. If you have an event or news item you would like to share please email the Parish Clerk
Mobile: 07810 443122
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