News

The latest local news.

contents

local news updates

West Berkshire Council InfO

police update and scams

Building restrictions

library

climate change

school news

playing field news

INKPEN village hall

Other inkpen News

useful links






Local news updates

For your latest local and regional news, as provided by the BBC, click here. Hungerford and area news can be found here.

Parish Council Election was held on 17th August 2023 for the remaining unfilled post for the Parish Council. James Fisher, resident of Lower Green, Inkpen, was elected as a Councillor with 149 votes. The Parish Council now has 7 councillors to represent the interests of residents. Councillors are in post for a period of 4 years- a list of those in post is on the village notice boards for reference and on this website here. Councillors are all custodian and corporate Trustees of the Inkpen Memorial Playing Field.

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Mental Health Support for those of 11-18 years
West Berkshire Council has set up a dedicated telephone helpline for young people experiencing issues and concerns relating to the pandemic - 01635 503587.

The helpline, which is linked to its Emotional Health Academy (EHA), will offer the district’s young people self-help support, advice and guidance from trained EHA workers. It came into operation on 6 April, and will be open between 09:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday, providing an opportunity for children and young people (aged 11 to 18) to express their concerns and talk about issues directly affecting them during the current Coronavirus crisis. EHA workers will use active listening skills to support young people in dealing with difficult feelings around Covid-19 and provide signposting and self-help support for their general wellbeing.

This local helpline is a short-term service and will be available only during the pandemic, to provide ‘in the moment’ support to children and young people. It will provide access to trained EHA workers who can offer advice and self-help tools and provide support to manage ‘low level’ problems. It is not a crisis line and does not replace other services such as the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

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The latest West Berkshire Council weeknote is available here.

RiM, Recovery in Mind is a community organisation, where adults living in West Berkshire get the opportunity to learn life long skills and tools to improve and manage their mental health and wellbeing. Details can be found here.

West Berkshire Council are asking residents across the district/borough to think of others and not light bonfires. Anyone having a domestic bonfire that causes a nuisance  may be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. To report an incident of a bonfire please use our on-line reporting form here.

Fly tipping
is the illegal dumping of any waste or rubbish on public land or sites which are unauthorised to accept waste. If the rubbish is dumped on private land, the landowner is responsible for removing it. If you find or receive notification of fly tipped material on private land you will need to inform the landowner. Landowners unfortunately will have to pay for the cost of disposal of fly-tipped materials. To report an incident of fly tipping please see links on PPP website here.

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Police report



A message from the Police and Crime Commissioner is available here.

Online Fraud. New scams are coming to light all the time. Police guidance is given here.

Local Police News.
As we approach the end of Harvest, we find this is the time of year when we see an increase in rural crime offences. Particularly hare-coursing and poaching. We are already receiving reports of this nature in other areas not far from here. Please be mindful of this when driving through open countryside and report suspicious behaviour to Police. Ideally a vehicle make, model and index.

Recently in the local area there have been reports of cooking oil being stolen from rural businesses as well as small amounts of metal, mainly lead. Please keep an eye out for vehicles / persons acting suspiciously and report to the Police.

Have you heard about THAMES VALLEY TEXT ALERT? Sign up today www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk/ to receive free texts or emails about crime in your local area and relevant safety advice.

You can now follow us on twitter @TVP_westberks.
If you would like any further information or advice please contact me on 07814852137 or email Joanna.king@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

SCAMS

Be aware of scams. Download "The Little Book of Big Scams".  For home security, download "Secure your home".

Message shared on behalf of Thames Valley Police -  We have been informed by Thames Water that a number of “Contractor” Identification Cards have been lost in transit. The cards have been deactivated so they cannot be used to gain access to any Thames Water sites but there are concerns that they could be used for criminal activity known as “Distraction Burglaries.” Please be very cautious and verify with Thames Water any Thames Water person’s details before letting anyone into their property?

The real NHS will not ask you to:    1) provide bank details or payments, 2) give details of any other accounts, such as social media, 3) set up a password or PIN number over the phone, or 4) call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

People who shop at Tesco have been warned not to fall for a scam email claiming to give them free shopping and vouchers. In emails addressed to customers of the supermarket, scammers have attempted to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis by offering them the chance to shop for free online or in store and to click on a link to register their details.

Similar scams too purporting to be from Morrison offering free vouchers and other scams such as free Dettol or Gillette samples or competitions. They are all trying to get you to like or share which gives them details on your contacts etc. Never click on any links from uninvited emails. If in doubt on any scams, please contact your Bank or other organisations to check whether they have been sent by them.

Other recent scams are a text from O2 saying that a payment had failed and to avoid fees, visit the website using the link in the text and to then sign on using another screen asking for all the security details that the person used followed by credit card and bank account details. The fake website looked exactly like the O2 official site so some people could easily fall for this scam.

Royal Mail scams via email advising that your parcel has arrived but the Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you. The email then asks you to pay £3.95 for this to be re-delivered and to click on a link to give your bank and other details.

Also Emails saying that the recent payment for your vehicle tax failed because there is not enough money on your debit card and that your vehicle is no longer taxed. They suggest you use a credit card instead to avoid any other consequences and again this is a way of trying to obtain your Bank details.

There are various ways of reporting scams.

A new initiative called Cyberawaregov has launched SERS – the suspicious email reporting service. They say that if you have received an email which you are not sure about, to forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk There is further information on the website: www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails

Scams can also be notified to Action Fraud on 03001232040 or via their website or to the National Trading Standards Scams Team on 03454 040506.

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Out of hours Building works

The law - and frequently planning permission as well - regulates the hours during which construction can be carried out, typically between 8am and 6pm weekdays, 8am and 3pm on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays. Outside those hours you have the right to complain to the council, who will come and investigate and may take action against persistent offenders. Contact WBC at ehadvice@westberks.gov.uk (Tel. 01635 519192) or planningenforcement@westberks.gov.uk (Tel. 01635 519111).

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Library - Pass It on

Mobile Library Dates are 6th & 27th February 2024 and 19th March 2024. The mobile van stops at: Craven Rd. Inkpen 2.20-2.50pm and at Inkpen School at 3.05 – 4pm. Please visit the library as we are lucky the service has continued to be supported by West Berkshire Council in view of the budget considerations for 2024.  .

If you need large print books, please contact library services on  01635 519900

The Libraries Service are also offering a new online service to residents so that they can continue to enjoy new books and to share their love of reading without leaving the house. They have set up a new Facebook group called West Berks Reads, which is a useful, alternative way for people to share their thoughts and pick up ideas for what to read next.

Meanwhile, the digital resources and e-library services are continuing 24/7 and understandably being very well used at this time. Why not go to the Libraries page on our website and discover a new book or magazine?

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Climate change

Did you know?
It will cost around £160 to capture 1 metric tonne of carbon from the atmosphere. Forty mature oak trees (or Beech, Ash, Willow etc.) do that if you just leave them alone. Each tree is doing a payback of £4 a year. They pay for their keep.

Silent forests devoid of life are a possibility within a generation in our already deforested nation, according to a panel of British experts.

"Ecosystem collapse", where trees suddenly fade and die, could happen within 50 years, they warn. But the 42 experts said if we act now we can avert the catastrophe. The large-scale loss of forests hit by "wind, fire, pests and disease" has already happened in continental Europe and North America. "A collapsed forest would be heart-breaking, devoid of its essential life and all the joy and benefits it gives to humanity," said Dr Eleanor Tew of Forestry England and Cambridge University.

But she said we have time to make a difference and we know what to do to make our forests more resilient "so they can continue to thrive for future generations".

39 Ways to Save the Planet

Radio 4 BBC Radio Four, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society, presents 39 ideas to relieve the stress that climate change is exerting on the planet. To tune in, click here.

Official reports suggest that our climate decline is rapidly accelerating. Although we are a small community and many feel that we are too insignificant in the grand scheme, there are things that we can do to make a positive impact.

Obviously we can plant more trees and hedging and the IMPFT  is this month planting more than 300 hedging plants along Post Office Road. But individually we can make a difference by leaving some of our gardens to become wild spaces. We can be more careful in our use of pesticides and herbicides and hopefully use insect friendly alternatives. Remember, Your Climate Needs You.

Following on from the work of Bob May and Bernard Harris, to encourage wild flowers on the Lower Green Triangle, we are hoping to transform other areas of public land in Inkpen in the coming years, with an emphasis on natural flora and their insect inhabitants. Why not set aside a small patch in your garden for beautiful, natural, wild flowers. Have a look at  this  to get a bit of encouragement.

These links might also be of some interest. Trees and Insects. Remember, insects are at the bottom of the food chain - if we lose them we lose all that depends on them!

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school news

I always find myself wanting to start these messages with “What a busy term it has been ...” and this month is no exception. It has been an incredibly busy month and everyone is looking forward to a lovely half term next week.

Last week, the Year 6 children went away for their residential at Grittleton house and took part in a range of exciting activities such as crate stacking, buggy building and escape the room. We were really impressed with their enthusiasm and resilience throughout the week, especially as for many children, this was their first big trip away from home.

We were also really impressed with the Year 3 and 4 children who represented our school brilliantly at a Tag Rugby tournament at Hungerford Rugby Club. The theme for this tournament was “World Cup” and each school was asked to represent a country; we were proud to represent Portugal. The children worked incredibly hard as a team and demonstrated an excellent understanding of the rules. For many of these children, this was their first ever tournament and they certainly did us proud. We were particularly delighted to be awarded one of four trophies as a result of our enthusiasm and determination.

I wish everyone a happy half term and am looking forward to one of the busiest periods in the school calendar: Christmas! Miss Buck

INKSPOTS

The children have been thinking about their coordination, of how they bounce the balls of the tub.

‘Force and Motion’ is a wonderful thing to learn - developing anticipation and reaction when working with balls.

Ball play builds hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, spatial awareness, grasping skills, problem-solving.

The children have also really enjoyed story mapping Stick Man this week.
Storytelling will help develop listening and communication skills, improve concentration and memory, bring experiences alive, create a sense of wonder and help sequence events.
Story mapping allows a child to visualise story characters, events and settings. It is a way to increase a child's ability to comprehend and to organise their thoughts and sequencing of main events. Great job

Daisy Chains
Contact Jenny on 07775883318 or Anna on 07785 184808.

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playing field trust (impft) news

‘POP-IN’ CAFÉ - 15th Feb,  7th and 21st March
The next Pop In Café mornings are February 1st and 15th, followed by March 7th and 21st at the Inkpen playing field pavilion. All are welcome at whatever age. Visitors from outside Inkpen are requested to donate towards the cost of refreshments but all are very welcome.

The café is a good place to meet with friends or make new friends, discuss problems or just pass the time of day. The heating is on, plenty of parking, a choice of coffee, tea or hot chocolate with cake and biscuits. What’s not to like? Make a date in your diary. If you’re on your own, please do give it a try.

INKPEN PLAYING FIELD & PAVILION -  Members of ‘Sport England’

URGENT: Calling All SPORTSMEN and SPORTSWOMEN - can you lead on Football, Netball, Tennis, Running, Basketball? We are starting to bring about change at Inkpen Playing Field as access to sport and physical activity is still not a level playing field. A person’s gender, whether they have a disability or not and most importantly of all, where you live, all play a significant impact on how you are likely to be active. Furthermore, less than half of all children and young people are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of being active at least 60 minutes a day.

In Inkpen we have never been in a stronger position, as we have the tools available to us - a new sports pavilion and a great recreation field so you should be able to take advantage and play sport and be active. Please get in touch and let us know what you sport you have experience of and could lead a session at Inkpen Playing Field.

The pavilion is available to book on 7 days of the week: and there is a regular Pop-in-Café on first and third Thursday mornings of each month, and the History Group would welcome more members.
Meeting Room at the pavilion: for up to 60 people with access to a TV screen.
Party bookings: have been popular this summer – football parties, tennis parties and playground parties- there is still time to book a place if you are having a family event. A fully stocked kitchen with double oven, dishwasher, fridge/freezer and microwave. All the benefits of a home kitchen.
For more details: and booking information please contact the Parish Clerk: parishclerk@inkpenvillage.co.uk

THE INKPEN HISTORY GROUP
A big thank you to all those that braved the freezing conditions to come to our meeting on the evening of the 19th January at the Inkpen pavilion. We had more than a dozen apologies for absence but even so, we ran out of chairs with standing room only. A good turnout.

And thank you to our two excellent main speakers, David Russell and Stephen Smallbone. And thank you to those who have offered to help with projects. Our next meeting is likely to be in May, when we have significantly more to report. If you would like to join us, just email david@inkpenhistory.uk and tell us what kind of project you would like to work on.

Currently, we have projects relating to climate change over the last few decades, to deciphering old documents, helping us with our oak tree survey, finds analysis, and much more. Our next meeting will be end of April/beginning of May.

If you have, or come across photos of bygone Inkpen, please let us know. Old photos easily get destroyed, lost for ever and left unrecorded. We would like to get as full a record of old photos as possible. Many thanks.

YOGA IN INKPEN
Inkpen Village Hall - Tuesday mornings 9:30-10:30am
Inkpen Pavilion - Thursday evenings 7.00-8.00pm

Yoga which is suitable for beginners and experienced. Classes are £10 pay as you go. Contact oliviaboydall@gmail.com 07554446502 for additional info and requests to book on to a class.

Yoga classes not only bring strength, and a sense of freedom and mobility to our physical bodies, they also leave us feeling calm, aligned, with a settled mind. Through movement, postures, breathwork and meditation you will leave the mat with a new sense of energy and a permeating feeling of deep rest physically and mentally.


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evENTS AT INKPEN village hall

INKPEN STITCH AND KNIT
We started 2024 by sharing our makes from last year - some finished and some yet to be started. From rope bowls to faux chenille to tapestry - the talents in our friendly group were lovely to see.

In February we meet on Wednesday 7th when Beverley will be showing us how to stitch fabric designs which can be applied to hand made greeting cards. All materials will be supplied so please come along and give it a go.

Our March meeting will be on Wednesday 6th when the focus is on knitting and various ways to ensure a neat cast on edge.

Our meetings are always the first Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm in Inkpen Village Hall and the cost is £3 including tea/coffee and biscuits (sometimes wine!). Further details from jan@honeydesign.co.uk 07584 122 388

INKPEN Quiz Night - Saturday 24th February, 7:30
Quiz night at the village hall. £2.50 per person, licensed bar and snacks. To book phone Inkpen 757918, email mark@pond-cottage.co.uk

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Other inkpen news

INKPEN COMMON
It’s been a busy summer on the Common with lots of projects to improve access as well as the wildlife habitats. The Cattle pen and ‘crush’ were moved to the Rooksnest Lane side to make it easier to catch and load the cows and to reduce the winter mud at the previous location across the public footpath.

Volunteers have started to lay sleepers along the paths that get muddiest and will continue this once the ground is a bit softer. BBOWT has replaced the boardwalk and refenced the ‘Mire’ using natural and recycled materials where possible. This was funded by contributions from several agencies and individuals and huge thanks go to the people of Inkpen that contributed to this project. Most recently our intrepid Friends of Inkpen Common have been installing ‘shuttering’ in 2 parts of the ‘Mire’ (the fenced off boggy area) to hold back some of the water from the seasonal stream and keep the area wetter for longer. Not only will this benefit the rare species that are part of our SSSI status, but this wet area acts as a giant sponge and should reduce downstream flooding in times of heavy rainfall.

Friends of Inkpen Common meet on the first Saturday of each month and new volunteers are extremely welcome. Please drop me a note if you would like to be added to our mailing list (hughes.s@hotmail.com). No previous experience required and all tools are provided.

Choral Singing
Choral singing is enjoying a boom in popularity thanks to Gareth Malone and others. Here is an opportunity to participate with local chamber choir, OPUS2, directed by Kintbury church organist, Chris Lambert. Together with the Friends of St Mary’s Church, OPUS2 is putting on a Come & Sing Day in Kintbury church on Saturday 23 March. This is to raise funds for the church at the same time as bringing music to the community.

We are looking for anyone interested (some experience of singing is expected) to join us and Come and Sing. For those participating, the day will comprise rehearsals culminating in what we are sure will be a stunning performance in the evening of Rossini’s fabulous Petite Messe Solonnelle (it is neither particularly petite nor solonnelle). We hope this will appeal to many who wish to enjoy the experience of choral singing and find their voices again. If you are interested, please go to the QR code on the ad in this magazine or email comeandsingrossini@hotmail.com

The resulting performance will take place in St Mary’s Church and tickets for this event will be available for purchase from The Corner Shop, Kintbury or on-line at www.ticketsource.co.uk/opus2/t-avolvyq from 1 February.

Crown and Garter 

As usual, our popular quiz nights run on the last Wednesday of every month. It is important to note that you need to book ahead as they are filling up early in the month. Also this month, we have a special Valentine's Day menu and wine pairing, please do call up to book for the evening.

NATIONAL SCHOOLREADERS

National children’s literacy charity, Schoolreaders, is looking for volunteers to listen to children read in primary schools in the West Berkshire area. 1 in 4 children are leaving primary school unable to read well so our service is in great demand. No qualifications are required to join Schoolreaders, just a love of reading, a few hours each week in term time and a willingness to go where children need you most. Apply now and you could be ready to start in September. To find out more go to www.Schoolreaders.org

RAMBLERS’ WELLBEING WALKS
The Kintbury group of Wellbeing Walks meets every Tuesday morning at 10am. On the 1st, 3rd and 5th Tuesday of a month the walk starts from the Kintbury Coronation Hall and ends with coffee at the Bowling Club. On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, the walk starts at 10am from the Crown & Garter Pub at Inkpen and ends with coffee at the Honesty Bakery.

If you would like to start walking, explore the local footpaths and meet new people just come along or to find out more contact John Noble on 07895 034552 or Janet Taylor on 01488 658225.

Kennet Valley Wetland Reserve
The Town and Manor of Hungerford charity would like your thoughts on its proposal to create a wetland reserve on a site known as Undy's Meadow, between Charnham Park road and the river Kennet. The proposed wetland will be within walking distance of Hungerford town centre, will be open to the public and will include an Education & Information Centre. As a village close to Hungerford, we would like your thoughts on this proposal.

Your feedback is important to ensure we make this project as relevant and appealing as we can. Your responses to our survey (https://tinyurl.com/hungerfordwetland-Survey) will remain anonymous – only the statistics from the surveys will be used. It will only take 5 minutes or less to complete. Thank you.

If you would like to find out more about out proposal do visit our website page on: https://townandmanor.co.uk/wetland-reserve 

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Useful links

Many thanks to Tim and Ali des Forges, editors of the Inkpen and Combe bulletin, for providing bulletin copy for this website.  You can contact Tim and Ali by phone or email thus - aliedesforges@yahoo.co.uk or ring them on 01488 668496. You can also  download a copy of the Inkpen and Combe bulletin here

To report potholes, go to www.westberks.gov.uk/pothole. For other road or pavement issues including overgrown verges, go to www.westberks.gov.uk.

To join Laine's heating oil delivery club, email Lanie.

To report a water leak, go to www.thameswater.co.uk and for loss of electricity, go to www.ssen.co.uk. Both Thames Water and SSE provide priority services for those needing help to cope should there be a loss of service. This includes the elderly and those with special health needs.  Thames Water priority  service can be accessed on-line, here and for SSEN, the details are provided here.


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