parish council

inkpen parish council news

Annual Parish Meeting, Parish Council Chairman's Report for 2023 can be found here.

A List of Councillors and the Archive of Minutes and agendas of meetings can be found
here. Also, the register of Councillor's interests, Council financial reports, Code of Conduct, and application forms for village group grants are available here.

Inkpen Parish Council Meetings:
Planning meetings are arranged to meet target dates set by West Berkshire Council. Council meetings are all advertised on the village notice boards and the Agenda and Draft Minutes placed on this official Parish website.  Gloria Keene, Clerk to Inkpen Parish Council Mobile 07704 718475 Email: parishclerk@inkpenvillage.co.uk


Parish Council
Planning
19th Feb 2024 Agenda
Agenda
Previous meeting
31st Jan 2024
Agenda Minutes Agenda
Minutes
Parish Council Report issued by our ward members is available here.

Inkpen Annual Parish Meeting:
The Inkpen Annual Parish Meeting was held on Tuesday 25th April 2023 – this is an annual meeting as advertised on the notice boards and website, when Councillors meet residents in the Parish to review the activities over the past year and respond to questions. A copy of the reports on activities of the Parish Council and the Inkpen Memorial Playing Field Trust, for which the Parish Council is both the Corporate and Custodian Trustees, are placed on this website for reference following the meeting.






Speeding and changes in the Highway Code:
Speeding continues to be a problem in all rural areas including Inkpen. WBC will be carrying out some monitoring in Inkpen  shortly. Please keep your speed down and be alert to the wildlife, dog walkers, children going to school, older residents, ramblers and horses that are also using the road.

The next Parish Council meeting:
It will be held in February 2024 depending on the availability of Councillors. Planning meetings are arranged to meet target dates set by West Berkshire Council. All meetings are advertised on the village notice boards and on this website, in advance of the meeting.

Planning Applications considered by Councillors:
23/02904/FUL Manor Farm, Lower Green, Inkpen - Alterations to existing barn, and associated bat migration.

Planning application decisions by West Berkshire Council planning department were:
23/01260/House – Kate’s Cottage, Craven Rd. – additional vehicular access and new workshop building – Granted planning permission.

Details of the above applications can be viewed on the West Berks. Council website – the link is www.westberks.gov.uk

Election Year 2024:
Please make sure you are registered to vote – proxy voting this year can be registered online. Identification will be required by all those voting at the polling station. There will be elections in May 2024 for the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner and a General Election within 12 months as well as election of local MPs.

Great British Spring Clean is the 25th March 2024.
Please be ready to join in and help in the village in any way you can. We are fortunate to have this stunningly beautiful landscape on our doorstep, making it the perfect place with the North Wessex Downs National Landscape. Please don’t let anyone spoil our countryside by littering and fly-tipping and spoiling our green spaces and amazing views by discarding food scraps, tin cans, plastic bottles and wrappers thrown into bushes, where our wildlife, pet dogs, horses or farm animals can be injured or can choke on litter. Please help if you can.

Litter:
If you spot a problem with litter in a public place please report to: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/litter

Flooding:
Have you been affected by recent flooding? Please report any blocked road gulleys to WBC Emergency Planning section www.westberks.gov.uk and make sure the ditch adjacent to your property is clear of leaves and debris and allows the water to flow away.

WBC Local Plan:
The housing minister Lee Rowley has ordered WBC not to withdraw its local plan for examination, as the council had planned, and thus causing further delays. It has been eleven years since the Local Authority had last adopted a development strategy.

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.

The next Parish Council meeting: will be held 19th February 2024, depending on the availability of Councillors. Planning meetings are arranged to meet target dates set by West Berkshire Council. All meetings are advertised on the village notice boards and the Inkpen website, in advance of the meeting http://inkpenvillage.co.uk/pc2.html

Potholes
T
he government has announced an £8.3b boost for roads - the WBC funding package includes £679,000 additional road repair funding. If you are aware of potholes that need fixing, please contact WBC directly by email: streetcare@westberks.gov.uk

Riparian Ditches:
More work is needed to clear the ditches on the roadside. If the ditch borders your property, then you are the ‘riparian landowner’ who is responsible for the watercourse and drainage to channel water and prevent flooding. There needs to be a clear passage for water to flow and pass along without flooding. Please make sure the ditch is clear and will not cause flooding to occur to you or your neighbour.

Hedgerows:
Roadside hedgerows are the responsibility of the landowner and if you have hedge bordering the roadside, please ensure that it does not affect visibility for drivers and avoids reducing the narrow road for passing cars. We value all our hedges and should avoid cutting in the nesting season from March to August; please check first if you have nesting birds.

Farming/Hedgerows and Climate Change
A new report will be launched in December highlighting the importance of hedgerows in the countryside and their vital contribution to the effects of climate change; a year-round habitat for nesting and hibernation and an abundance of plant life, insects, birds and other wildlife. Hedgerows are characteristic of Inkpen ref. Inkpen Village Design Statement.

Flooding of Roadside Ditches
We are already experiencing areas of flooding in Inkpen where work is needed to clear the ditches on the roadside. If the ditch borders your property, you are the Riparian Ditch landowner’ who is responsible for the watercourse and drainage, to channel water to prevent flooding. The ditches must not be used for dumping rubbish or fallen trees. Full details and a leaflet on Riparian ditches is available are on the WBC website: www.westberks.gov.uk

Cost of living support for pensioners through Household Support Fund
WBC is also £200k to four local charities to help pensioners with the significantly rising costs of living. Available via the Household Support Fund, which is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). his funding forms part of a bigger grant of £694k received during the pandemic to support vulnerable households most in need of help with rising living costs and free school meal vouchers (with pensioners among those likely to be most affected, some of the grant stipulates that money needs to be set aside specifically for residents of pensionable age). www.westberks.gov.uk

Ash dieback
Ash dieback is prevalent across most of West Berkshire. With nearly 10,000 ash trees across the district, an annual summer survey is carried out to monitor the Ash population and, where trees are identified as needing work, this is then carried out. If you are concerned about an Ash tree or group of trees, please contact WBC.

Conservation Area Appraisal:
The Parish Conservation Area appraisal was discussed at the Parish Council meeting to update and identify special areas and those of historic interest of the conservation area is required in conjunction with the Inkpen History Group. This appraisal details what makes an area special and will guide the character and appearance of development in the area and inform the determination of planning applications.

Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group:
The Paddington direct IET off-peak services are permanently being axed from May and replaced by diesel shuttle services to Newbury. It represents a significant downgrading of the train services from Kintbury & Hungerford to possibly as few as two direct London services a day and at other times the very real prospect of being stranded at Newbury for an hour when the evening connection back fails. If you use the local rail service and wish to know more, please contact Steve Smith and be added to the email list: info@bedwyntrains.org.uk

Mobile Library Dates:
14th November 2023; 16th January 2024; 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.

Land Grabbing in Inkpen:
There have a few cases notified recently to the Parish Council where residents seek to extend their garden curtilage into the Inkpen open countryside/paddock land. Inkpen is located within the AONB and conserving the open landscape and scenic beauty is of paramount importance – any development needs to respect and enhance the character and appearance of the area. All applications for extension of the curtilage requires planning permission and must be referred to West Berkshire Council. Any incidents of encroachment will be notified to West Berkshire Council for investigation and enforcement. Effective planning enforcement is important to maintain public confidence and to ensure that we ‘enhance and conserve’ the open aspect of the Inkpen countryside for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors to the area.

Fire Safety
The Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service (rbfrs) has recently updated its website (www.rbfrs.co.uk ) with fire safety content and gives handy hints on what to do in an emergency situation – we all hope it will never happen but if a fire starts in your home, you need to know what to do – it could save your life ! Don’t investigate the fire or try to tackle it; dont look for valuables, jewellery, documents, photographs or whatever; only open the doors you need to; crawl out if there is smoke – smoke is poisonous and can kill and keep low where the air is cleaner. Call 999 and don’t go back in leave it to the professional fire and rescue service.

Thames Valley Police
Thames Valley Police are keen for your help in reporting any areas where you feel unsafe in the District. There is a new pilot service called StreetSafe hosted via the Met Police website where issues can be reported. StreetSafe is a service for anyone to anonymously tell the police about public places where you have felt, or feel unsafe, because of environmental factors e.g. vandalism and/or because of certain behaviours e.g. being followed or verbally abused.

Please make reports via the following link: StreetSafe | Metropolitan Police (see at the end the home page where is says: ‘No – Continue to StreetSafe’) Please note that StreetSafe is not a replacement for reporting crime or incidents this should still be done via 101 or online.

Fly tipping:
Fly tipping has not ceased & is illegal: the trees in Folly Rd. are covered by a Tree Protection Order and are in danger of disease affecting the roots due to decomposing vegetation. Please help to protect the environment by not fly-tipping and disposing of waste responsibly. Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence. Cases of fly-tipping need to be reported to the local authority.

New Government Planning Policies:
New requirements have been set out by Government in the updated and published NPPF 2021 (National Planning Policy Framework) and in the new National Model Design Code documents, which sets out that new development needs to reflect local character, as well as protecting and enhancing the environment and mitigate climate change. Improvements to biodiversity should also be integrated into design. Development, which is not well designed or fails to reflect local character/design is liable to be refused. Permission should be refused for major development within the AONB other than in exceptional circumstances. An important insertion is the contribution that trees make to the character and quality of the environment. For reference www.gov.uk

Dog Warden:
If anyone has issues with dog fights, dog fouling etc etc. the Public Protection Partnership has arranged for the animal warden to be contacted on 01635 519171 to discuss specific issues or problems that you may have.

Gloria Keene - Clerk to Inkpen Parish Council. Mobile 07704 718475. Email: parishclerk@inkpenvillage.co.uk


The agendas and minutes of past council meetings, financial information, details of the council Code of Conduct, register of Interests of councillors, grant application forms etc. can be found here.

defibrillator awareness

If you can't attend the Inkpen training event, visit the St. John's Ambulance website.

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climate change

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