Am-Dram in Theale on Saturday 14th May

Tilehurst Amateur Dramatics Society (TADS) presents a Murder Mystery Supper Evening at the Theale Village Hall on Saturday 14th May 2016!

tads

The Tilehurst Amateur Dramatic Society (TADS) was established in February 2014 and since then has performed ten productions at the Tilehurst Village Hall. This event will be TADS “on tour”!

To book tickets and find out more about TADS, please visit their website:
http://tilehurstamateurdramaticsociety.webplus.net.

Theale Library Closure – Email Your Disgust!

As you may have seen previously, West Berkshire Council had run a consulation relating to its proposal to close all libraries in West Berkshire apart from Newbury.

With the consultation complete, WBC made the judgement to fund all libraries APART FROM WASH COMMON and THEALE!!

Alan Macro, the WBC councillor for Theale, has already written to West Berkshire Council and our Local MP, Alok Sharma, and suggested everybody else who also wants the library to remain open does the same. Below is the letter he has written to residents encouraging others to follow suit:


 

Dear Fellow Resident,

you probably remember that West Berks Council was proposing to close all of its branch libraries to save money. After intervention by government ministers, the council is now proposing to keep seven branch libraries open, but not Theale! I can’t see any rationale or justification for this in the papers going to the Executive and special Council meetings on 24th March. I have set the following in an email to Steve.Broughto@westberks.gov.uk (Head of service for Culture), Hilary.Cole@westberks.gov.uk (Executive Member for Culture) and alok.sharma.mp@parliament.uk (our MP). Please send an email to them expressing your outrage!:

I am very perturbed at the proposal to close Theale library, while keeping all the other branch libraries except Wash Common open. I have found no rationale or justification in the Executive papers for singling Theale out in this way. It also appears that it is now proposed to keep Burghfield library open, despite the fact that it was proposed to be closed in the “phase 1” savings proposals on the grounds that it is only two miles from Mortimer library. If Theale is closed, the nearest library accessible to Theale residents by public transport would be Thatcham which is nine miles away. Calcot residents would have an even longer journey. Again, there are no reasons given in the papers as to why Burghfield and most of the other branch libraries are proposed to be kept open and Theale closed.

If this closure goes ahead, there will be no public library on the “A4 corridor” between Reading and Thatcham. A large number of West Berks residents live in this area and would be affected by closure, not just Theale residents.

The fact that 383 users of Theale library, and 504 signed my petition to save the library, shows how unpopular closure would be. The 383 consultation responses for Theale was the fourth highest, after the much larger communities of Newbury, Thatcham and Hungerford.

Theale is a growing community. Sites for 400 homes have been allocated in the Housing Site Allocations DPD by the Council. 57 flats for the over 55s are in the process of being constructed. The Council is also planning to build a new primary school to accommodate the increasing numbers of children in Theale.

Theale library is shared with Theale Green School, yet there is nothing in the report about whether or how the school would continue to use the library. If the school continues to use the library, would they be amenable for the community to continue using it in some way?

No timescales are given in the Executive papers for the proposed closure or whether any time is to be allowed for the Theale community to assemble a proposal to keep the library open and to put together a business case.

I note that transitional funding is proposed to be used to keep the other libraries open in 2016/17. What is proposed to happen in 2017/18 or when the government’s transition grant funding expires in 2018/19? If it is proposed to move the other branch libraries to some other mode of operation to reduce Council spending on them then, why cannot the same be done for Theale?

Please reconsider this decision, even at this late stage. At the very least, give the community several months to allow the community to assemble a proposal and a business case to keep the library open in some way.


 

Note:  Below is a list of those who should understand our dissatisfaction – you can send one email addressed to them all!:

Theale Rail Station Update – 7th March 2016

tracksLast week Theale’s Future (TF) requested an update on the Theale Station project, and we received word that the project has stalled once again.

The Secretary of State for Transport had instructed Sir Peter Hendy to review all projects undertaken by Network Rail. Sir Peter has produced The Hendy Report, which is now open for consultation to the public.

hendy_report
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Theale Station Project is part of the Access for All (“AfA”) project of Network Rail.  The report does not specifically mention Theale, but it does state that the AfA project would deliver “significantly” by March 2019 and complete by March 2024(!)  Now, the Theale Station project is only a small part of “AfA”, and so could be complete within a few months once the rail programmes restart, but there is also the risk that it may not be complete until 2024. The report is not that detailed.

We are invited to give our views to the Hendy Report, but we have only until Friday, 18th March to submit our views.   Please make your voice heard! 

Providing Your Feedback
You can provide feedback by sending an email to hendyconsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk, or in writing to:

Hendy Consultation
4th Floor
Department for Transport
Great Minister House
33 Horseferry Road
London,
SW1P 4DR

Please provide the following information along with your feedback:

  • Given name
  • Surname
  • Postcode (first half only)
  • Age Range 18-25; 26-38; 39-45; 46-55; 56-64; 65+
  • Reasons for Travel: Leisure/Commute/Business
  • Most frequently used route: From/To
  • Do you require reduced mobility access when travelling?

In addition to the above, it would be best to state that you are user of Theale station.

More details are on the Theale Station Upgrade page.

Theale Library Potential Closure – West Berks Council “Phase 2″ Budget Proposals Consultation

Budget ProposalsYou may have heard the news earlier this week of the potential plan of West Berkshire Council (WBC) to close most of the libraries in West Berkshire.

Theale library is one of those proposed for closure.

The closure of Theale library is one of a number of libraries expected to be impacted, and is one proposal with a wider set which West Berkshire Council has named “Phase 2″ of its budget proposals. WBC has announced a consultation period commencing on Monday 15th February and ending Monday 7th March 2016.

To view all the Phase 2 proposals, West Berkshire Council is publishing them online from 15th February 2016 at:

http://www.westberks.gov.uk/budgetproposals.

(Please note that “Phase 1″ proposals may also be visible when you view the proposals on the WBC website. The consultation period for these Phase 1 proposals has already ended.)

If you want to have your say regarding the changes proposed, please provide your comments to West Berkshire Council. (Contact details are provided on the WBC website.) As an alternative to viewing online, you can request a printed copy of the proposals by from the Council by calling 01635 503043.