Monday, 24 March 2014

New Facilities at Midgham Station

Network Rail has begun their spring work schedule at Midgham station. Work has included installation of on-platform cycle racks and rows of seats for passengers... well as bollards and painting lines for a disabled parking space.

Sadly there's no sight of the new shelter yet.

Friday, 7 March 2014

New Scout Group 1st in Aldermaston

Last month 1st Aldermaston Scout Group was officially invested by Pang Valley Scouts district commissioner, Simon Pickett.

1st Aldermaston Scout Group
18 Beavers and 19 Cubs have joined the expansion pack which will meet at the Alderbridge Waldorf Steiner School at Aldermaston Wharf on Tuesday evenings.

They will be joining 7 other packs in the Pang Valley group, among over 10,000 participants in 130 local Scout groups in 11 scouting districts across Berkshire. Over 500,000 Scouts meet in Britain, as part of more than 30 million involved in the worldwide scouting movement.

Pang Valley Backwoods Challenge
Group member Bruce Jackson explained that growing demand for places in the neighbouring Burghfield pack meant local children were losing the opportunity to develop their potential by having to wait to enrol or travel excessive distances to join other groups.

He said:  "this of course allows more young people to get into the things scouting offers; adventurous activities, nights away, challenges and lots of fun. We're really looking forward to getting out into the great countryside around Aldermaston."

Meanwhile the group is keen to raise funds to buy equipment to help them develop new skills for the benefit of the community.

If you can help or are interested in finding out more please contact Suzy Griffiths on 0118 9713441.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Network Rail Update on Frouds Lane Bridge

Many Aldermaston ward residents will be aware of ongoing plans for the electrification of the railway between Reading and Newbury, which involves some serious engineering work.
Frouds Lane bridge and engineering works

 However, the disruption caused to rail and road travel has also become a regular feature of local life.
Frouds Lane is closed

So it has been a relief to many to hear the latest progress report from Network Rail on the works.

Accordingly, NR reports that the final pre-cast bridge units were installed in place over the course of the weekend of 18/19 January, which allowed the concrete bridge deck to be set. This major structural stage was completed on 4th February.

The next steps are the waterproofing of the deck, followed by installation of the bridge aproaches and stabilisation of the road embankments.

Many thanks to Carrillion Team for the update - let's hope the work continues successfully apace, so that normality can return and we can enjoy the improvements!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Patience rewarded...

It's been a long time coming [1, 2, 3], but with thanks to your local Focus team these announcements have finally been posted:

Sadly the recent bad weather has caused a 6-week delay in the building schedule and the new shelter is expected to be in place for April showers... let's hope it's not needed in spring like it has been during winter!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Message from Antony Hook: Europe Means Business

Antony Hook is a Liberal Democrat MEP Candidate for South East England at the European Elections in May 2014. 

He was the guest speaker at the Newbury & West Berkshire local party AGM in December when he gave an inspirational speech on the role of the European Union as the guarantor of peace in Europe since the middle of the last century. 
Antony Hook with local campaigners

He is a long-standing campaigner for a stronger economy and development of a free market across the continent. Here he makes a compelling economic argument for Europe:

"My ten years as a barrister, prosecuting and defending in the criminal courts, taught me valuable lessons that can apply in politics.  One lesson is that to make your case and win you need good evidence.  This is it true whether the audience is 12 jurors in court or 6 million voters in this European Election.

Amongst the best evidence you can use is the opinion of recognised experts.

I am pleased to tell you that the Liberal Democrat case on Europe is being endorsed by experts left, right and centre.

Our case is that being in the EU is vital for economy.  It means jobs, trade and prosperity.

This is what recognised experts in business say:

Richard Branson – find here
I spoke to Nick Clegg about the business case for EU membership last week – he is right to say EU withdrawal would leave Britain "isolated and irrelevant in our own backyard" and not "taken seriously".

Roger Carr, President of the CBI – find here
UK membership provides unfettered access to a single market of 500 million people, which today is our largest export customer.... Departure would undermine jobs, dilute international relationships and damage national wealth.

Federation of Small Businesses – find here
The internal market offers easy access for first-time exporters with a market of 500 million customers and 23 million businesses on their doorstep. The internal market creates some legal certainty and a level playing field throughout competition rules and many harmonised rules. This means that businesses can save considerable cost when selling to EU countries. 

The outcome of this European Election will have a direct effect on our economy for years to come.  Nick Clegg spoke about this in his New Year message.  Nick said, "The Liberal Democrats are Britain’s Party of In... because being in Europe means jobs, trade and prosperity."

We must not stand by and let Conservatives & UKIP damage our economy by flirting with withdrawal from the EU.  Labour lacks our courage to make the case. This leaflet sets out the connection between jobs and Europe.

Could you give up something to help your side win this election and to stop the Conservatives and UKIP claiming to be the proper spokespeople for your neighbourhood?

Please donate online here or send a cheque for SE Lib Dems European Fund to Penny Hopkins, 60 Potley Hill Road, Yateley, Hampshire GU46 6AG.

As I travel around the region taking our message to public (yesterday Kent, today Oxford, Guildford later in week) the support and good wishes of all our party members sustains and motivates me.   

Thank you"

 @antonyhook  @ineurope2014

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Local News: Appeal After Break-in at Douai Abbey Car-park

On Saturday 28th December a blue Volkswagen Golf was broken into in the car-park of Douai Abbey in Aldermaston ward.

Police said an iPhone, purse and bracelet were stolen, and have made a public appeal for witnesses who may have been in the area of Cod's Hill, Upper Woolhampton from 1-3pm that day.

If you were there and saw anything suspicious please contact PC Goodfield at Newbury Police Station via the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101. Or if you'd prefer to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers by freephoning 0800 555 111 or online at

Although our villages are generally a very safe area a number of residents have expressed shock that an opportunist would stoop to commit a crime on church grounds let alone during daylight hours of the festive period. Let's makes sure it doesn't happen again.