District Councillor Bridgman Report July 2016

Padworth Parish Council – Meeting 11 July 2016

Report

Cllr Graham Bridgman (Mortimer Ward, West Berkshire Council)

Bill Goudge

It would be remiss if I failed to begin this report with anything other than a tribute to Bill.  Cllr Warner and I attended Bill’s funeral on 10 June along with many others, and the service reflected the esteem in which he was held.  His valuable contributions to this parish council, and local government generally, will be hugely missed.

West Berkshire Council

On 19 May WBC held its annual meeting when the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council were elected (Cllr Quentin Webb and Cllr Jeanette Clifford respectively), the Leader of Council (Cllr Roger Croft) was re-appointed, the Executive was announced and the various committee chairmen and vice-chairmen were elected by their committees in what are the shortest committee meetings ever (stand up, elect a chairman, take apologies for absence, elect a vice-chairman, sit down!).

I have now come off the Schools, etc, Liaison Panel, but have joined the Licensing Committee as its Chairman.  My other appointments remain, so I am now on the Licensing Committee (Chairman), Eastern Area Planning Committee, Governance & Ethics Committee and the Appeals Panel, along with the AWE Local Liaison Committee, the Padworth Common Advisory Panel and the Wokefield Common Advisory panel (substitute).

On 31 May there was a special meeting of WBC to review the budget decision regarding short breaks for disabled children in the face of a Judicial Review – the budget decision was confirmed.

As part of the Governance & Ethics Committee I am on a task group looking at the Code of Conduct, and the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol, etc.  This is a long slow process but we hope that a streamlined Code will emerge to the benefit of WBC and Parish Councils that might choose to adopt it (amended to suit).

On a previous report I mentioned the boundary commission review of WBC, and an initial briefing for members took place on 16 June.  The process will not affect parish boundaries, only WBC ward boundaries, but I am happy to expand on the process should councillors wish.

Local Issues

Various local issues have arisen, or developed, since you last met, some of which were anticipated at your last meeting.  In respect of many of these I have been liaising with Cllr Warner.

Padworth Waste Site

You may have seen press reports regarding plans to include domestic waste disposal at the site.

I have to draw a careful line here for two reasons.  First, I sit on the planning committee so I must be circumspect in any views expressed because there will be a planning application in due course (see below).  Second, whilst there are understandable concerns being raised locally, there is also enthusiasm for the plans in other parts of the ward following the removal of access to Smallmead.  I must represent all views.

To put some flesh on the issue, I have spoken to Cllr Marcus Franks (the relevant portfolio holder) and in essence the WBC position is that when the Padworth waste site was first established, (a) WBC could give residents access to the full services available at Smallmead within the council budget, and (b) WBC was being paid by Hampshire CC for their residents to use the waste/recycling facilities at Padworth and Newbury.  There was thus, then, no thought that there was any reason that Padworth might need to be extended to a full waste facility.

However, with the Government’s austerity measures and resultant reduction in income, as you know WBC had to make difficult budgetary decisions, one of which was to cancel the RE3 contract that allowed access to Smallmead (and had been costing £460k pa).  This meant that WBC had to revise its view of the Padworth facility and make the decision to seek an extension to allow the site to accept domestic waste.

Having said this, there are some pertinent points to make:

Hampshire CC has cancelled its contracts with WBC and as a result WBC will be introducing a scheme to restrict the use of WBC waste facilities, including Padworth, to WBC residents only (unless non-residents pay a fee).  Given that Hampshire residents currently account for 40%+ of Padworth usage, it is anticipated that the use of the Padworth site will drop by a similar amount – giving a leeway for the increased use of the site for domestic waste by WBC residents (and I understand that the indications are that actual traffic levels are lower than originally anticipated even before taking into account the expected Hampshire drop-off).

The fact that the WBC Executive has adopted this proposal does not circumvent the planning and scrutiny processes.  Any change of this nature will require planning permission and Padworth PC and local residents will have their opportunity to make their views known within the planning framework upon any application that comes forward from Veolia.  Whatever transpires, it is not going to happen immediately.

Marcus is very willing to come and meet the parish council to expand upon WBC’s position and proposals, and to answer questions.

 

Chevrons and road signage at the end of Rectory Road

 

Promised improvements have been carried out.

 

Trees at A Clump, Padworth Common

 

Following very short notice of a road closure at the neck of Rectory Road, tree works were carried out by WBC contractors following which Cllr Warner and I inspected the aftermath with Simon Barnet of BBOWT.  In essence the work and clearance left something to be desired, which I raised with WBC’s Countryside Manager.  There is more tree clearance to be undertaken and proper site clearance should be carried out then.

 

Obstructed footpath in Padworth Lane

 

Cllr Warner can expand, but I raised an issue regarding a blocked footpath with both WBC and the police.  However the police found no obstruction when they attended.  If further obstructions take place evidence (eg photographs over a period of time) would be useful.

 

Speeding

 

I have noted Cllr Lacon’s email regarding SID results and her communications with the WBC Head of Highways and Transport, and the need for police enforcement.  This is clearly a very important issue and I look forward to discussions as to next steps.

 

 

Energy Switching

 

WBC have introduced a scheme to enable energy switching for householders.  In brief this is a collective energy switching scheme along the lines of an oil buying club and involves a group of consumers joining together to collectively negotiate a better deal on their utility bills.  This process is facilitated by a third party within West Berkshire’s scheme – iChoosr (the same scheme used in many council areas).  Householders sign up on the Big Community Switch website, which is accessed via the West Berkshire specific link, and a pool of potential customers, along with local authorities, will group together and energy suppliers come up with a price based on the group buying scheme.  Once that bidding process is completed, those that are registered receive an email providing the best offer available.  They don’t have to take that offer, but they have about four weeks to decide whether they wish to switch.  If so, the switching happens and it is done on their behalf.

 

Out of the completed registrations for West Berkshire, 97.7% of those are able to save on their energy bills when compared to their existing deals, with indicative figures for dual fuel online monthly direct debit, providing an average annual saving of £323.94.  Electric only paper billing monthly direct debit, averages an annual saving of £160 and dual free prepayment – £100.27 average annual saving.

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Bridgman

10 July 2016

 

Padworth Parish Council – Meeting 11 July 2016
Report
Cllr Graham Bridgman (Mortimer Ward, West Berkshire Council)

Bill Goudge

It would be remiss if I failed to begin this report with anything other than a tribute to Bill. Cllr Warner and I attended Bill’s funeral on 10 June along with many others, and the service reflected the esteem in which he was held. His valuable contributions to this parish council, and local government generally, will be hugely missed.
West Berkshire Council

On 19 May WBC held its annual meeting when the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council were elected (Cllr Quentin Webb and Cllr Jeanette Clifford respectively), the Leader of Council (Cllr Roger Croft) was re-appointed, the Executive was announced and the various committee chairmen and vice-chairmen were elected by their committees in what are the shortest committee meetings ever (stand up, elect a chairman, take apologies for absence, elect a vice-chairman, sit down!).

I have now come off the Schools, etc, Liaison Panel, but have joined the Licensing Committee as its Chairman. My other appointments remain, so I am now on the Licensing Committee (Chairman), Eastern Area Planning Committee, Governance & Ethics Committee and the Appeals Panel, along with the AWE Local Liaison Committee, the Padworth Common Advisory Panel and the Wokefield Common Advisory panel (substitute).

On 31 May there was a special meeting of WBC to review the budget decision regarding short breaks for disabled children in the face of a Judicial Review – the budget decision was confirmed.

As part of the Governance & Ethics Committee I am on a task group looking at the Code of Conduct, and the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol, etc. This is a long slow process but we hope that a streamlined Code will emerge to the benefit of WBC and Parish Councils that might choose to adopt it (amended to suit).

In a previous report I mentioned the boundary commission review of WBC, and an initial briefing for members took place on 16 June. The process will not affect parish boundaries, only WBC ward boundaries, but I am happy to expand on the process should councillors wish.
Local Issues

Various local issues have arisen, or developed, since you last met, some of which were anticipated at your last meeting. In respect of many of these I have been liaising with Cllr Warner.

Padworth Waste Site

You may have seen press reports regarding plans to include domestic waste disposal at the site.

I have to draw a careful line here for two reasons. First, I sit on the planning committee so I must be circumspect in any views expressed because there will be a planning application in due course (see below). Second, whilst there are understandable concerns being raised locally, there is also enthusiasm for the plans in other parts of the ward following the removal of access to Smallmead. I must represent all views.

To put some flesh on the issue, I have spoken to Cllr Marcus Franks (the relevant portfolio holder) and in essence the WBC position is that when the Padworth waste site was first established, (a) WBC could give residents access to the full services available at Smallmead within the council budget, and (b) WBC was being paid by Hampshire CC for their residents to use the waste/recycling facilities at Padworth and Newbury. There was thus, then, no thought that there was any reason that Padworth might need to be extended to a full waste facility.

However, with the Government’s austerity measures and resultant reduction in income, as you know WBC had to make difficult budgetary decisions, one of which was to cancel the RE3 contract that allowed access to Smallmead (and had been costing £460k pa). This meant that WBC had to revise its view of the Padworth facility and make the decision to seek an extension to allow the site to accept domestic waste.

Having said this, there are some pertinent points to make:

• Hampshire CC has cancelled its contracts with WBC and as a result WBC will be introducing a scheme to restrict the use of WBC waste facilities, including Padworth, to WBC residents only (unless non-residents pay a fee). Given that Hampshire residents currently account for 40%+ of Padworth usage, it is anticipated that the use of the Padworth site will drop by a similar amount – giving a leeway for the increased use of the site for domestic waste by WBC residents (and I understand that the indications are that actual traffic levels are lower than originally anticipated even before taking into account the expected Hampshire drop-off).

• The fact that the WBC Executive has adopted this proposal does not circumvent the planning and scrutiny processes. Any change of this nature will require planning permission and Padworth PC and local residents will have their opportunity to make their views known within the planning framework upon any application that comes forward from Veolia. Whatever transpires, it is not going to happen immediately.

• Marcus is very willing to come and meet the parish council to expand upon WBC’s position and proposals, and to answer questions.

Chevrons and road signage at the end of Rectory Road

Promised improvements have been carried out.

Trees at A Clump, Padworth Common

Following very short notice of a road closure at the neck of Rectory Road, tree works were carried out by WBC contractors following which Cllr Warner and I inspected the aftermath with Simon Barnet of BBOWT. In essence the work and clearance left something to be desired, which I raised with WBC’s Countryside Manager. There is more tree clearance to be undertaken and proper site clearance should be carried out then.

Obstructed footpath in Padworth Lane

Cllr Warner can expand, but I raised an issue regarding a blocked footpath with both WBC and the police. However the police found no obstruction when they attended. If further obstructions take place evidence (eg photographs over a period of time) would be useful.

Speeding

I have noted Cllr Lacon’s email regarding SID results and her communications with the WBC Head of Highways and Transport, and the need for police enforcement. This is clearly a very important issue and I look forward to discussions as to next steps.

Energy Switching

WBC have introduced a scheme to enable energy switching for householders. In brief this is a collective energy switching scheme along the lines of an oil buying club and involves a group of consumers joining together to collectively negotiate a better deal on their utility bills. This process is facilitated by a third party within West Berkshire’s scheme – iChoosr (the same scheme used in many council areas). Householders sign up on the Big Community Switch website, which is accessed via the West Berkshire specific link, and a pool of potential customers, along with local authorities, will group together and energy suppliers come up with a price based on the group buying scheme. Once that bidding process is completed, those that are registered receive an email providing the best offer available. They don’t have to take that offer, but they have about four weeks to decide whether they wish to switch. If so, the switching happens and it is done on their behalf.

Out of the completed registrations for West Berkshire, 97.7% of those are able to save on their energy bills when compared to their existing deals, with indicative figures for dual fuel online monthly direct debit, providing an average annual saving of £323.94. Electric only paper billing monthly direct debit, averages an annual saving of £160 and dual free prepayment – £100.27 average annual saving.

Graham Bridgman
10 July 2016

Padworth Parish Council – Meeting 11 July 2016

Report

Cllr Graham Bridgman (Mortimer Ward, West Berkshire Council)

 

 

 

Bill Goudge

 

It would be remiss if I failed to begin this report with anything other than a tribute to Bill.  Cllr Warner and I attended Bill’s funeral on 10 June along with many others, and the service reflected the esteem in which he was held.  His valuable contributions to this parish council, and local government generally, will be hugely missed.

 

 

West Berkshire Council

 

On 19 May WBC held its annual meeting when the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council were elected (Cllr Quentin Webb and Cllr Jeanette Clifford respectively), the Leader of Council (Cllr Roger Croft) was re-appointed, the Executive was announced and the various committee chairmen and vice-chairmen were elected by their committees in what are the shortest committee meetings ever (stand up, elect a chairman, take apologies for absence, elect a vice-chairman, sit down!).

 

I have now come off the Schools, etc, Liaison Panel, but have joined the Licensing Committee as its Chairman.  My other appointments remain, so I am now on the Licensing Committee (Chairman), Eastern Area Planning Committee, Governance & Ethics Committee and the Appeals Panel, along with the AWE Local Liaison Committee, the Padworth Common Advisory Panel and the Wokefield Common Advisory panel (substitute).

 

On 31 May there was a special meeting of WBC to review the budget decision regarding short breaks for disabled children in the face of a Judicial Review – the budget decision was confirmed.

 

As part of the Governance & Ethics Committee I am on a task group looking at the Code of Conduct, and the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol, etc.  This is a long slow process but we hope that a streamlined Code will emerge to the benefit of WBC and Parish Councils that might choose to adopt it (amended to suit).

 

In a previous report I mentioned the boundary commission review of WBC, and an initial briefing for members took place on 16 June.  The process will not affect parish boundaries, only WBC ward boundaries, but I am happy to expand on the process should councillors wish.

 

 

Local Issues

 

Various local issues have arisen, or developed, since you last met, some of which were anticipated at your last meeting.  In respect of many of these I have been liaising with Cllr Warner.

 

Padworth Waste Site

 

You may have seen press reports regarding plans to include domestic waste disposal at the site.

 

I have to draw a careful line here for two reasons.  First, I sit on the planning committee so I must be circumspect in any views expressed because there will be a planning application in due course (see below).  Second, whilst there are understandable concerns being raised locally, there is also enthusiasm for the plans in other parts of the ward following the removal of access to Smallmead.  I must represent all views.

 

To put some flesh on the issue, I have spoken to Cllr Marcus Franks (the relevant portfolio holder) and in essence the WBC position is that when the Padworth waste site was first established, (a) WBC could give residents access to the full services available at Smallmead within the council budget, and (b) WBC was being paid by Hampshire CC for their residents to use the waste/recycling facilities at Padworth and Newbury.  There was thus, then, no thought that there was any reason that Padworth might need to be extended to a full waste facility.

 

However, with the Government’s austerity measures and resultant reduction in income, as you know WBC had to make difficult budgetary decisions, one of which was to cancel the RE3 contract that allowed access to Smallmead (and had been costing £460k pa).  This meant that WBC had to revise its view of the Padworth facility and make the decision to seek an extension to allow the site to accept domestic waste.

 

Having said this, there are some pertinent points to make:

 

  • Hampshire CC has cancelled its contracts with WBC and as a result WBC will be introducing a scheme to restrict the use of WBC waste facilities, including Padworth, to WBC residents only (unless non-residents pay a fee).  Given that Hampshire residents currently account for 40%+ of Padworth usage, it is anticipated that the use of the Padworth site will drop by a similar amount – giving a leeway for the increased use of the site for domestic waste by WBC residents (and I understand that the indications are that actual traffic levels are lower than originally anticipated even before taking into account the expected Hampshire drop-off).

 

  • The fact that the WBC Executive has adopted this proposal does not circumvent the planning and scrutiny processes.  Any change of this nature will require planning permission and Padworth PC and local residents will have their opportunity to make their views known within the planning framework upon any application that comes forward from Veolia.  Whatever transpires, it is not going to happen immediately.

 

  • Marcus is very willing to come and meet the parish council to expand upon WBC’s position and proposals, and to answer questions.

 

Chevrons and road signage at the end of Rectory Road

 

Promised improvements have been carried out.

 

Trees at A Clump, Padworth Common

 

Following very short notice of a road closure at the neck of Rectory Road, tree works were carried out by WBC contractors following which Cllr Warner and I inspected the aftermath with Simon Barnet of BBOWT.  In essence the work and clearance left something to be desired, which I raised with WBC’s Countryside Manager.  There is more tree clearance to be undertaken and proper site clearance should be carried out then.

 

Obstructed footpath in Padworth Lane

 

Cllr Warner can expand, but I raised an issue regarding a blocked footpath with both WBC and the police.  However the police found no obstruction when they attended.  If further obstructions take place evidence (eg photographs over a period of time) would be useful.

 

Speeding

 

I have noted Cllr Lacon’s email regarding SID results and her communications with the WBC Head of Highways and Transport, and the need for police enforcement.  This is clearly a very important issue and I look forward to discussions as to next steps.

 

 

Energy Switching

 

WBC have introduced a scheme to enable energy switching for householders.  In brief this is a collective energy switching scheme along the lines of an oil buying club and involves a group of consumers joining together to collectively negotiate a better deal on their utility bills.  This process is facilitated by a third party within West Berkshire’s scheme – iChoosr (the same scheme used in many council areas).  Householders sign up on the Big Community Switch website, which is accessed via the West Berkshire specific link, and a pool of potential customers, along with local authorities, will group together and energy suppliers come up with a price based on the group buying scheme.  Once that bidding process is completed, those that are registered receive an email providing the best offer available.  They don’t have to take that offer, but they have about four weeks to decide whether they wish to switch.  If so, the switching happens and it is done on their behalf.

 

Out of the completed registrations for West Berkshire, 97.7% of those are able to save on their energy bills when compared to their existing deals, with indicative figures for dual fuel online monthly direct debit, providing an average annual saving of £323.94.  Electric only paper billing monthly direct debit, averages an annual saving of £160 and dual free prepayment – £100.27 average annual saving.

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Bridgman

10 July 2016

 

Padworth Parish Council – Meeting 11 July 2016

Report

Cllr Graham Bridgman (Mortimer Ward, West Berkshire Council)

 

 

 

Bill Goudge

 

It would be remiss if I failed to begin this report with anything other than a tribute to Bill.  Cllr Warner and I attended Bill’s funeral on 10 June along with many others, and the service reflected the esteem in which he was held.  His valuable contributions to this parish council, and local government generally, will be hugely missed.

 

 

West Berkshire Council

 

On 19 May WBC held its annual meeting when the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council were elected (Cllr Quentin Webb and Cllr Jeanette Clifford respectively), the Leader of Council (Cllr Roger Croft) was re-appointed, the Executive was announced and the various committee chairmen and vice-chairmen were elected by their committees in what are the shortest committee meetings ever (stand up, elect a chairman, take apologies for absence, elect a vice-chairman, sit down!).

 

I have now come off the Schools, etc, Liaison Panel, but have joined the Licensing Committee as its Chairman.  My other appointments remain, so I am now on the Licensing Committee (Chairman), Eastern Area Planning Committee, Governance & Ethics Committee and the Appeals Panel, along with the AWE Local Liaison Committee, the Padworth Common Advisory Panel and the Wokefield Common Advisory panel (substitute).

 

On 31 May there was a special meeting of WBC to review the budget decision regarding short breaks for disabled children in the face of a Judicial Review – the budget decision was confirmed.

 

As part of the Governance & Ethics Committee I am on a task group looking at the Code of Conduct, and the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol, etc.  This is a long slow process but we hope that a streamlined Code will emerge to the benefit of WBC and Parish Councils that might choose to adopt it (amended to suit).

 

In a previous report I mentioned the boundary commission review of WBC, and an initial briefing for members took place on 16 June.  The process will not affect parish boundaries, only WBC ward boundaries, but I am happy to expand on the process should councillors wish.

 

 

Local Issues

 

Various local issues have arisen, or developed, since you last met, some of which were anticipated at your last meeting.  In respect of many of these I have been liaising with Cllr Warner.

 

Padworth Waste Site

 

You may have seen press reports regarding plans to include domestic waste disposal at the site.

 

I have to draw a careful line here for two reasons.  First, I sit on the planning committee so I must be circumspect in any views expressed because there will be a planning application in due course (see below).  Second, whilst there are understandable concerns being raised locally, there is also enthusiasm for the plans in other parts of the ward following the removal of access to Smallmead.  I must represent all views.

 

To put some flesh on the issue, I have spoken to Cllr Marcus Franks (the relevant portfolio holder) and in essence the WBC position is that when the Padworth waste site was first established, (a) WBC could give residents access to the full services available at Smallmead within the council budget, and (b) WBC was being paid by Hampshire CC for their residents to use the waste/recycling facilities at Padworth and Newbury.  There was thus, then, no thought that there was any reason that Padworth might need to be extended to a full waste facility.

 

However, with the Government’s austerity measures and resultant reduction in income, as you know WBC had to make difficult budgetary decisions, one of which was to cancel the RE3 contract that allowed access to Smallmead (and had been costing £460k pa).  This meant that WBC had to revise its view of the Padworth facility and make the decision to seek an extension to allow the site to accept domestic waste.

 

Having said this, there are some pertinent points to make:

 

  • Hampshire CC has cancelled its contracts with WBC and as a result WBC will be introducing a scheme to restrict the use of WBC waste facilities, including Padworth, to WBC residents only (unless non-residents pay a fee).  Given that Hampshire residents currently account for 40%+ of Padworth usage, it is anticipated that the use of the Padworth site will drop by a similar amount – giving a leeway for the increased use of the site for domestic waste by WBC residents (and I understand that the indications are that actual traffic levels are lower than originally anticipated even before taking into account the expected Hampshire drop-off).

 

  • The fact that the WBC Executive has adopted this proposal does not circumvent the planning and scrutiny processes.  Any change of this nature will require planning permission and Padworth PC and local residents will have their opportunity to make their views known within the planning framework upon any application that comes forward from Veolia.  Whatever transpires, it is not going to happen immediately.

 

  • Marcus is very willing to come and meet the parish council to expand upon WBC’s position and proposals, and to answer questions.

 

Chevrons and road signage at the end of Rectory Road

 

Promised improvements have been carried out.

 

Trees at A Clump, Padworth Common

 

Following very short notice of a road closure at the neck of Rectory Road, tree works were carried out by WBC contractors following which Cllr Warner and I inspected the aftermath with Simon Barnet of BBOWT.  In essence the work and clearance left something to be desired, which I raised with WBC’s Countryside Manager.  There is more tree clearance to be undertaken and proper site clearance should be carried out then.

 

Obstructed footpath in Padworth Lane

 

Cllr Warner can expand, but I raised an issue regarding a blocked footpath with both WBC and the police.  However the police found no obstruction when they attended.  If further obstructions take place evidence (eg photographs over a period of time) would be useful.

 

Speeding

 

I have noted Cllr Lacon’s email regarding SID results and her communications with the WBC Head of Highways and Transport, and the need for police enforcement.  This is clearly a very important issue and I look forward to discussions as to next steps.

 

 

Energy Switching

 

WBC have introduced a scheme to enable energy switching for householders.  In brief this is a collective energy switching scheme along the lines of an oil buying club and involves a group of consumers joining together to collectively negotiate a better deal on their utility bills.  This process is facilitated by a third party within West Berkshire’s scheme – iChoosr (the same scheme used in many council areas).  Householders sign up on the Big Community Switch website, which is accessed via the West Berkshire specific link, and a pool of potential customers, along with local authorities, will group together and energy suppliers come up with a price based on the group buying scheme.  Once that bidding process is completed, those that are registered receive an email providing the best offer available.  They don’t have to take that offer, but they have about four weeks to decide whether they wish to switch.  If so, the switching happens and it is done on their behalf.

 

Out of the completed registrations for West Berkshire, 97.7% of those are able to save on their energy bills when compared to their existing deals, with indicative figures for dual fuel online monthly direct debit, providing an average annual saving of £323.94.  Electric only paper billing monthly direct debit, averages an annual saving of £160 and dual free prepayment – £100.27 average annual saving.

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Bridgman

10 July 2016

 

Padworth Parish Council – Meeting 11 July 2016

Report

Cllr Graham Bridgman (Mortimer Ward, West Berkshire Council)

 

 

 

Bill Goudge

 

It would be remiss if I failed to begin this report with anything other than a tribute to Bill.  Cllr Warner and I attended Bill’s funeral on 10 June along with many others, and the service reflected the esteem in which he was held.  His valuable contributions to this parish council, and local government generally, will be hugely missed.

 

 

West Berkshire Council

 

On 19 May WBC held its annual meeting when the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council were elected (Cllr Quentin Webb and Cllr Jeanette Clifford respectively), the Leader of Council (Cllr Roger Croft) was re-appointed, the Executive was announced and the various committee chairmen and vice-chairmen were elected by their committees in what are the shortest committee meetings ever (stand up, elect a chairman, take apologies for absence, elect a vice-chairman, sit down!).

 

I have now come off the Schools, etc, Liaison Panel, but have joined the Licensing Committee as its Chairman.  My other appointments remain, so I am now on the Licensing Committee (Chairman), Eastern Area Planning Committee, Governance & Ethics Committee and the Appeals Panel, along with the AWE Local Liaison Committee, the Padworth Common Advisory Panel and the Wokefield Common Advisory panel (substitute).

 

On 31 May there was a special meeting of WBC to review the budget decision regarding short breaks for disabled children in the face of a Judicial Review – the budget decision was confirmed.

 

As part of the Governance & Ethics Committee I am on a task group looking at the Code of Conduct, and the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol, etc.  This is a long slow process but we hope that a streamlined Code will emerge to the benefit of WBC and Parish Councils that might choose to adopt it (amended to suit).

 

In a previous report I mentioned the boundary commission review of WBC, and an initial briefing for members took place on 16 June.  The process will not affect parish boundaries, only WBC ward boundaries, but I am happy to expand on the process should councillors wish.

 

 

Local Issues

 

Various local issues have arisen, or developed, since you last met, some of which were anticipated at your last meeting.  In respect of many of these I have been liaising with Cllr Warner.

 

Padworth Waste Site

 

You may have seen press reports regarding plans to include domestic waste disposal at the site.

 

I have to draw a careful line here for two reasons.  First, I sit on the planning committee so I must be circumspect in any views expressed because there will be a planning application in due course (see below).  Second, whilst there are understandable concerns being raised locally, there is also enthusiasm for the plans in other parts of the ward following the removal of access to Smallmead.  I must represent all views.

 

To put some flesh on the issue, I have spoken to Cllr Marcus Franks (the relevant portfolio holder) and in essence the WBC position is that when the Padworth waste site was first established, (a) WBC could give residents access to the full services available at Smallmead within the council budget, and (b) WBC was being paid by Hampshire CC for their residents to use the waste/recycling facilities at Padworth and Newbury.  There was thus, then, no thought that there was any reason that Padworth might need to be extended to a full waste facility.

 

However, with the Government’s austerity measures and resultant reduction in income, as you know WBC had to make difficult budgetary decisions, one of which was to cancel the RE3 contract that allowed access to Smallmead (and had been costing £460k pa).  This meant that WBC had to revise its view of the Padworth facility and make the decision to seek an extension to allow the site to accept domestic waste.

 

Having said this, there are some pertinent points to make:

 

  • Hampshire CC has cancelled its contracts with WBC and as a result WBC will be introducing a scheme to restrict the use of WBC waste facilities, including Padworth, to WBC residents only (unless non-residents pay a fee).  Given that Hampshire residents currently account for 40%+ of Padworth usage, it is anticipated that the use of the Padworth site will drop by a similar amount – giving a leeway for the increased use of the site for domestic waste by WBC residents (and I understand that the indications are that actual traffic levels are lower than originally anticipated even before taking into account the expected Hampshire drop-off).

 

  • The fact that the WBC Executive has adopted this proposal does not circumvent the planning and scrutiny processes.  Any change of this nature will require planning permission and Padworth PC and local residents will have their opportunity to make their views known within the planning framework upon any application that comes forward from Veolia.  Whatever transpires, it is not going to happen immediately.

 

  • Marcus is very willing to come and meet the parish council to expand upon WBC’s position and proposals, and to answer questions.

 

Chevrons and road signage at the end of Rectory Road

 

Promised improvements have been carried out.

 

Trees at A Clump, Padworth Common

 

Following very short notice of a road closure at the neck of Rectory Road, tree works were carried out by WBC contractors following which Cllr Warner and I inspected the aftermath with Simon Barnet of BBOWT.  In essence the work and clearance left something to be desired, which I raised with WBC’s Countryside Manager.  There is more tree clearance to be undertaken and proper site clearance should be carried out then.

 

Obstructed footpath in Padworth Lane

 

Cllr Warner can expand, but I raised an issue regarding a blocked footpath with both WBC and the police.  However the police found no obstruction when they attended.  If further obstructions take place evidence (eg photographs over a period of time) would be useful.

 

Speeding

 

I have noted Cllr Lacon’s email regarding SID results and her communications with the WBC Head of Highways and Transport, and the need for police enforcement.  This is clearly a very important issue and I look forward to discussions as to next steps.

 

 

Energy Switching

 

WBC have introduced a scheme to enable energy switching for householders.  In brief this is a collective energy switching scheme along the lines of an oil buying club and involves a group of consumers joining together to collectively negotiate a better deal on their utility bills.  This process is facilitated by a third party within West Berkshire’s scheme – iChoosr (the same scheme used in many council areas).  Householders sign up on the Big Community Switch website, which is accessed via the West Berkshire specific link, and a pool of potential customers, along with local authorities, will group together and energy suppliers come up with a price based on the group buying scheme.  Once that bidding process is completed, those that are registered receive an email providing the best offer available.  They don’t have to take that offer, but they have about four weeks to decide whether they wish to switch.  If so, the switching happens and it is done on their behalf.

 

Out of the completed registrations for West Berkshire, 97.7% of those are able to save on their energy bills when compared to their existing deals, with indicative figures for dual fuel online monthly direct debit, providing an average annual saving of £323.94.  Electric only paper billing monthly direct debit, averages an annual saving of £160 and dual free prepayment – £100.27 average annual saving.

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Bridgman

10 July 2016

 

Padworth Parish Council – Meeting 11 July 2016

Report

Cllr Graham Bridgman (Mortimer Ward, West Berkshire Council)

 

 

 

Bill Goudge

 

It would be remiss if I failed to begin this report with anything other than a tribute to Bill.  Cllr Warner and I attended Bill’s funeral on 10 June along with many others, and the service reflected the esteem in which he was held.  His valuable contributions to this parish council, and local government generally, will be hugely missed.

 

 

West Berkshire Council

 

On 19 May WBC held its annual meeting when the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council were elected (Cllr Quentin Webb and Cllr Jeanette Clifford respectively), the Leader of Council (Cllr Roger Croft) was re-appointed, the Executive was announced and the various committee chairmen and vice-chairmen were elected by their committees in what are the shortest committee meetings ever (stand up, elect a chairman, take apologies for absence, elect a vice-chairman, sit down!).

 

I have now come off the Schools, etc, Liaison Panel, but have joined the Licensing Committee as its Chairman.  My other appointments remain, so I am now on the Licensing Committee (Chairman), Eastern Area Planning Committee, Governance & Ethics Committee and the Appeals Panel, along with the AWE Local Liaison Committee, the Padworth Common Advisory Panel and the Wokefield Common Advisory panel (substitute).

On 31 May there was a special meeting of WBC to review the budget decision regarding short breaks for disabled children in the face of a Judicial Review – the budget decision was confirmed.

As part of the Governance & Ethics Committee I am on a task group looking at the Code of Conduct, and the Gifts and Hospitality Protocol, etc.  This is a long slow process but we hope that a streamlined Code will emerge to the benefit of WBC and Parish Councils that might choose to adopt it (amended to suit).

 

In a previous report I mentioned the boundary commission review of WBC, and an initial briefing for members took place on 16 June.  The process will not affect parish boundaries, only WBC ward boundaries, but I am happy to expand on the process should councillors wish.

 

 

Local Issues

 

Various local issues have arisen, or developed, since you last met, some of which were anticipated at your last meeting.  In respect of many of these I have been liaising with Cllr Warner.

 

Padworth Waste Site

 You may have seen press reports regarding plans to include domestic waste disposal at the site.

I have to draw a careful line here for two reasons.  First, I sit on the planning committee so I must be circumspect in any views expressed because there will be a planning application in due course (see below).  Second, whilst there are understandable concerns being raised locally, there is also enthusiasm for the plans in other parts of the ward following the removal of access to Smallmead.  I must represent all views.

To put some flesh on the issue, I have spoken to Cllr Marcus Franks (the relevant portfolio holder) and in essence the WBC position is that when the Padworth waste site was first established, (a) WBC could give residents access to the full services available at Smallmead within the council budget, and (b) WBC was being paid by Hampshire CC for their residents to use the waste/recycling facilities at Padworth and Newbury.  There was thus, then, no thought that there was any reason that Padworth might need to be extended to a full waste facility.

 

However, with the Government’s austerity measures and resultant reduction in income, as you know WBC had to make difficult budgetary decisions, one of which was to cancel the RE3 contract that allowed access to Smallmead (and had been costing £460k pa).  This meant that WBC had to revise its view of the Padworth facility and make the decision to seek an extension to allow the site to accept domestic waste.

Having said this, there are some pertinent points to make:

Hampshire CC has cancelled its contracts with WBC and as a result WBC will be introducing a scheme to restrict the use of WBC waste facilities, including Padworth, to WBC residents only (unless non-residents pay a fee).  Given that Hampshire residents currently account for 40%+ of Padworth usage, it is anticipated that the use of the Padworth site will drop by a similar amount – giving a leeway for the increased use of the site for domestic waste by WBC residents (and I understand that the indications are that actual traffic levels are lower than originally anticipated even before taking into account the expected Hampshire drop-off).

 

  • The fact that the WBC Executive has adopted this proposal does not circumvent the planning and scrutiny processes.  Any change of this nature will require planning permission and Padworth PC and local residents will have their opportunity to make their views known within the planning framework upon any application that comes forward from Veolia.  Whatever transpires, it is not going to happen immediately.

 

  • Marcus is very willing to come and meet the parish council to expand upon WBC’s position and proposals, and to answer questions.

Chevrons and road signage at the end of Rectory Road

Promised improvements have been carried out.

Trees at A Clump, Padworth Common

Following very short notice of a road closure at the neck of Rectory Road, tree works were carried out by WBC contractors following which Cllr Warner and I inspected the aftermath with Simon Barnet of BBOWT.  In essence the work and clearance left something to be desired, which I raised with WBC’s Countryside Manager.  There is more tree clearance to be undertaken and proper site clearance should be carried out then.

Obstructed footpath in Padworth Lane

llr Warner can expand, but I raised an issue regarding a blocked footpath with both WBC and the police.  However the police found no obstruction when they attended.  If further obstructions take place evidence (eg photographs over a period of time) would be useful.

 

Speeding

 

I have noted Cllr Lacon’s email regarding SID results and her communications with the WBC Head of Highways and Transport, and the need for police enforcement.  This is clearly a very important issue and I look forward to discussions as to next steps.

 

 

Energy Switching

 

WBC have introduced a scheme to enable energy switching for householders.  In brief this is a collective energy switching scheme along the lines of an oil buying club and involves a group of consumers joining together to collectively negotiate a better deal on their utility bills.  This process is facilitated by a third party within West Berkshire’s scheme – iChoosr (the same scheme used in many council areas).  Householders sign up on the Big Community Switch website, which is accessed via the West Berkshire specific link, and a pool of potential customers, along with local authorities, will group together and energy suppliers come up with a price based on the group buying scheme.  Once that bidding process is completed, those that are registered receive an email providing the best offer available.  They don’t have to take that offer, but they have about four weeks to decide whether they wish to switch.  If so, the switching happens and it is done on their behalf.

 

Out of the completed registrations for West Berkshire, 97.7% of those are able to save on their energy bills when compared to their existing deals, with indicative figures for dual fuel online monthly direct debit, providing an average annual saving of £323.94.  Electric only paper billing monthly direct debit, averages an annual saving of £160 and dual free prepayment – £100.27 average annual saving.

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Bridgman

10 July 2016

 

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