Covid-19 Insight Research from West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire

18

November 2020

From West Berkshire Council:

We need your help on how we can communicate key COVID-19 messages across West Berkshire in an engaging and motivating way.

Our Insights survey has been designed to understand people’s views and attitudes towards Covid-19, national guidance and existing communications.

We are offering a chance to win a £50 shopping voucher as a thank you for taking part.

Please follow this link to complete the survey in full. There’s a link on the page for people to use if they want help with translation. The survey closes on Sunday, 22 November.

This survey is being carried out by Social Change UK, an independent research company. All of the answers will be stored securely and kept confidential.

West Berkshire Council Supports Campaign to Wrap up Christmas for those in need

West Berkshire

16

November 2020

West Berkshire Council is supporting two great Christmas gift giving campaigns this year to show people in need that others in their community are thinking of them.

The Council is launching its annual Giving Tree campaign, which provides gifts for victims of Domestic Abuse and their families over Christmas. This year we’ve also created a special Community Santa project for people who have been experiencing hardship due to Covid and have been nominated by their communities to receive a gift.

Due to restrictions as a result of the pandemic, this is being done digitally this year and the Council is asking people to choose a recipient via two digital pages for Community Santa and Giving Tree at https://info.westberks.gov.uk/Christmas.

They will be able to select a label with anonymised information on the person they will be buying for, for example ‘Girl age 9’ or ‘Man age 82’. Once they have made their choice, they will receive details on how to arrange delivery of the gift to the council, which will then arrange for gifts to be distributed to individuals.

The campaign also provides a good opportunity to support local businesses by buying gifts from local retailers. West Berkshire Council will be using its social media channels to encourage gift givers to ‘Shop Local’ this Christmas, whether online where necessary or in person when possible.

Graham Pask, Chairman of West Berkshire Council said: “We are proud to be supporting The Giving Tree again this year as it has shown great success in previous years and are also excited to have developed the new Community Santa campaign so that more people in need can experience a little festive cheer.

“Although the pandemic has added a layer of complexity to how we’re running the campaigns, we have worked hard to make sure both can take place in a Covid secure way.

“We’ve seen incredible community support and strength during Covid and this is reflected in the number of nominations for gifts that we are receiving for Community Santa.

The Giving Tree remains as important as ever during a time of stress and upheaval for many people who are suffering Domestic Abuse and having to leave their homes in order for them and their families to stay safe.”

“We asking local people to go to https://info.westberks.gov.uk/Christmas and donate a gift to a fellow resident who is having a particularly difficult year. Of course, we know that many gift givers will themselves have been affected so we’re asking them to donate what they can as every donation, regardless of size, is so very welcome.”

WBC Leader to answer questions on Facebook Live Event - 17th November

West Berkshire

11

November 2020

Council leader will answer questions on Coronavirus response during Facebook Live event

Cllr Lynne Doherty, the Leader of West Berkshire Council, will be answering the public's questions regarding the Council's ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic next week.

The online chat will be streamed live on the Council's Facebook Page at at 6pm on Tuesday 17th November. Coming mid-way through the second national lockdown, residents can find out more about how the Council is supporting local communities and businesses as well as asking questions about the response to, and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch live online from 6pm. Residents can submit questions in advance email questions in advance via pr@westberks.gov.uk.

Cllr Doherty said:

"Coronavirus continues to have a huge impact on how we are living our lives. Here at the Council, we are working hard to support our communities and our businesses through this difficult period. Next week I'll be providing an update on the response in West Berkshire as we approach the half-way point in the second lockdown, and answering questions too. The last time we did this it was well attended and I hope people will come and get involved again this time around."

Take part in the event at www.facebook.com/westberkshire. The video will remain available to watch on the Facebook page after the event, and will also be available on the Council's YouTube channel.

Council Leader Lynne Doherty and Chief Executive Nick Carter write a weekly update on how the Council is responding to coronavirus. You can sign up to receive this direct to your inbox here.

Scams - be aware!

East Ilsley

09

November 2020

Hi everyone, there are a number of scams at the moment and some have been doing the rounds for a number of years and also some new ones.

The Amazon Prime scam involves victims receiving an automated call informing them that they have been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription and to press 1 to cancel the transaction. Do not press 1 or any other number mentioned on any of the automated scams.

Fake emails and texts pretending to be from TV Licensing or DVLA.

HMRC automated phone call scam which will tell you that they are filing a lawsuit against you, and to press 1 to speak to a caseworker to make a payment. If you receive such a call, please put the phone down immediately. The callers use a variety of numbers and HMRC would like you to report full details of the scam by email to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk including date of the call, phone number and content of the call.

Halifax, TSB, Lloyds and other banking scams are being sent by text, automated phone call or email, so do not respond and always go to the genuine websites or phone your bank if you wish confirmation that this is a scam.

BT scam via emailadvising “our payment processor has detected incorrect or out of date billing information which needs updating immediately. Please log into your MyBt account by clicking the buttton below, and update your billing information to prevent suspension or termination of your service(s)”.

Cadbury’s competition on Facebook asking you to like or share this post to other people. By sharing, tagging, and commenting, you’ll be spamming on behalf of the scammers and exposing your friends and family to the scam as well. This time of year there are Supermarket voucher scams and other competitions on Facebook, so please do not fall for them.

Trading Standards and Action Fraud are making people aware of the following email scam, which is a hoaxand the email asks you to circulate this around especially as Christmas is fast approaching - and that it has been confirmed by Royal Mail:

“A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number). DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.”

PhonepayPlus, is aware that a chain e-mail about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus' former name).

PhonepayPlus appreciates that recipients of the email may want to find out more information about the alleged scam and has therefore issued the following statement: The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 6611911) that was shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005. PhonepayPlus subsequently fined the company that was operating the service, Studio Telecom (based in Belize), £10,000.

If you receive this email just delete it and do not forward it to anyone.

Hi everyone

Courier Scam and Courier Delivery Scam. Two very different scams and there are variations of these, which have both happened locally over the last few weeks.

Courier Scam. In most cases of courier fraud, a fraudster phones their victim and claims to be from their bank, the police or other law enforcement authority. They then con the victim into revealing their PIN and credit or debit card details.

Examples of courier fraud: A scammer calls you, claiming to be from your bank or a police officer. They tell you either that a fraudulent payment has been spotted on your card that needs sorting out, your card has been cloned or that someone has been arrested using your details and card. You may be asked to call your bank using the phone number on the back of your card. This convinces you that the call is genuine but the scammer has kept the line open at their end, so when you make the call, you are unknowingly connected straight back to them or their friends. They’ll either ask you for your PIN or ask you to key it into your phone. No bank or other legitimate service will ever ask you for your PIN. The scammer then sends a courier or taxi to pick up the card from your home. Even the driver may not know they’re being used as part of the scam. Once the scammer has both your card and PIN they can withdraw cash and spend in retail outlets or online.

If you should receive a similar call and they ask you to phone your Bank, come off the line and use another phone to contact your Bank. These people are crafty as they put a recording of the dialling tone by the phone so that you are fooled into dialling your Bank but the call has not been disconnected. Please remember that your Bank or the Police will never arrange to collect your bank card and would never ask for your PIN. If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via their website. In an emergency, dial 999.

The Courier Delivery Scam. You receive a phone call, either before, or just after the delivery of a parcel, usually containing new mobile phones, laptops etc., which you did not order. The person on the phone explains that there has been a terrible mistake and the parcel has been delivered to you in error. He/she will send someone to collect it immediately and ask you to leave it outside your front door, so that they do not have to disturb you. A person arrives, collects the parcel and drives off.

The fraudster has created an account in your name using your card details and ordered the product(s), they can track their delivery online and be outside your house for when they arrive. In one case, the victim took down the car registration number of the man who collected the parcel. The Police checked the vehicle details and the owner’s address but the householder was completely innocent. There was no way to track or trace the offenders and the poor victim got the bill.

A local resident recently had a delivery of a laptop and shortly afterwards had a knock on the door to say it had been delivered to them in error and they had not received a phone call. It appears that this had been ordered from Amazon using their address and their credit card but the fraudster had given his mobile number so that they would know when it was going to be delivered. Fortunately, the resident acted quickly and stopped the card transaction being made.

If this happens to you and you are not expecting a parcel, phone the Police on 101 or tell the Courier that you have taken the package to the Police Station and he can collect it from there!


Best wishes

Angela Money BEM
Neighbourhood Watch

New National Lockdown - Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December 2020

East Ilsley

05

November 2020

England are now in Lockdown 2, from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Although not as restrictive as Lockdown 1 there are still implications.  West Berkshire Council have issued us with this poster which we attach for you here.

The Emergency Response Team in the Village are back in operation, if you need them call 07912 565665 or email clerk@eastilsley-pc.gov.uk

Get Safe Online

15

October 2020

This month Get Safe Online's campaign is 'Back to Basics' - providing tips and advice on how to stay safe online. Attached is a useful leaflet providing tips and advice directly from our team of experts.

If you'd like to learn more we'd also like to invite you to join an exclusive webinar that is taking place this Thursday 15th October at 11am to raise awareness of the risks of going online and what you can do to protect yourself.

Our CEO and leading expert Tony Neate will be joined by online safety experts from the City of London Police, Microsoft and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. It will be led by award winning journalist Linda McAuley - so will be engaging and helpful.

We'd love to see you there and if it's of interest the Zoom sign up page can be found here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4O-wb9oTQFGlWWsKB8V7Vg

You'll have the opportunity to put your questions to the panel as well as hear from a university lecturer who was conned out of £25,000 of his savings.

Also, a handy guide has been produced to show you all the ways you can stay safe online.  Have a read of it here

Competition Time!

15

October 2020

Any budding photographers out there?  We are looking for a photograph that best depicts village life in East Ilsley to be the cover photo for issue 101 of the East Ilsley Communicator Magazine.

If you would like to enter please email your photographs to clerk@eastilsley-pc.gov.uk no later than 26th October 2020 for a chance to have your photo on the front cover.

Portrait mode pictures will work better rather than landscape mode as the magazine is A4 portrait.  You can also WhatsApp your pictures of 07912 565665 to enter as well!

Good luck!

Phased Return of Schools in West Berkshire – 1st June 2020

West Berkshire

01

June 2020

The Wider Opening of West Berkshire Schools

Head teachers across West Berkshire covering all provisions have been working exceptionally hard in the background to fully understand the large volumes of guidance for the wider opening of schools that has been published by central government recently.

The announcement focussed on welcoming more children back into schools, colleges and early year’s settings from Monday 1 June, if it remains safe to do so, whereas for some this might be from a later date.

Throughout this period of ‘lockdown’, council officers have maintained a constant dialogue with heads, both supporting current limited opening arrangements, and thinking through how schools might safely open for more children, in the year groups specified by the Prime Minister.

Cllr Dominic Boeck, Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People at West Berkshire Council, said: “We understand parents across the district have many questions on what this recent announcement means for them and their children going back to school. We want to assure parents that our education team are continually working closely with the Head teachers and staff members in schools who have already been doing an amazing job supporting children of critical workers and vulnerable children since 23 March.

“We know schools have been keeping in touch with parents and carers through newsletters, emails and phone calls, and assisting with home learning; though when more children return and teachers are in front of groups, their capacity to support the latter may be diminished.

“Organising to open educational and childcare settings more widely involves a great deal of preparation work, and school leaders will be organising staff availability, buildings, layouts, systems, and the number of children returning based on risk assessments. Undoubtedly, these arrangements will be refined as we all learn from this new way of working.

“We also acknowledge and accept some parents will not send their children back because they remain anxious. However, it is important to remember that what works for one school, may not work in another and Head teachers are keen to make sure parents are well informed and reassured their children will be as safe as possible.

“For many this may mean the operation of a part-time timetable and rota system. Individual schools will have worked out what is feasible and best, and will be in touch with parents and carers about local arrangements. Though what is planned could change in the light of the government’s review on 28 May and progress on testing and tracking.

“We know how important it is for parents and their children’s mental well-being to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers. Children returning to educational and childcare settings in greater numbers will also allow more families to return to work.

“We all look forward to a time when schools can return to something that looks more normal but until then, safety has to be our collective top priority.”

Glass Bottle Banks – update

East Ilsley Parish Council

01

June 2020

1st June 2020 all glass banks will be removed from:

  • Hillers Garden Centre, Hermitage
  • WBC Station Car Park, Hungerford
  • Waitrose, Newbury
  • Station Car Park, Theale
  • Willink School, Burghfield
  • Waitrose, Thatcham
  • Sainsburys, Newbury

Residents will still be able to recycle their glass bottles and jars in their kerbside box or at one of our recycling centres (Newtown Road, Newbury or Padworth – www.westberks.gov.uk/recyclingcentres)

Additional green kerbside boxes for their glass (or any other recycling materials: plastic bottles, aerosols, cans/tins, paper and card), can be requested online – www.westberks.gov.uk/extrabins

WBC launches Covid-19 Survey

East Ilsley Parish Council

21

May 2020

West Berkshire Council is to launch a residents’ survey to gain insight into the impact of Covid-19 on the district.

The survey, which will be available from the 22nd May until 9am on Monday 8th June, asks residents a number of questions about how their circumstances have changed as a result of the Public Health Emergency. It also invites residents to give their thoughts on the Council’s response to the current situation as well as the implications for the local recovery.

It forms part of the Council’s ongoing engagement programme and responses will be analysed as West Berkshire Council develops a local Recovery Strategy with partners in the coming months. The Council intends to repeat the survey at regular intervals in the next year to ensure that any changes to public feeling are considered.

Commenting on the survey, Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said:

“We’re really pleased to be launching this survey, which is a key part of engaging with our residents and involving them in our decision-making process.

“The current situation is having an impact on all of us and we are keen to find out more about local people are feeling at this time. Doing so will ensure that the specific needs of local people inform the district’s recovery efforts.

“We would urge all of those who live in West Berkshire to fill in the survey to help shape our future work.”

The survey and contact details for the Consultation Team can be found at:

https://info.westberks.gov.uk/residentsurvey-covid19

Paper copies of the form can be requested by calling 01635 503043.

West Berkshire Council working to reopen recycling centres

East Ilsley Parish Council

01

May 2020

Message from WBC:

West Berkshire Council is working to reopen its recycling centres as soon as arrangements can be made to do so safely.

The Council is working hard behind the scenes to reopen the recycling centres as soon as it possibly can, once the Government has confirmed that driving to the recycling centres is seen as an essential journey.

The aim is to open both of our recycling centres, which are located in Newbury and Padworth. The Council will also look to collect as many of the typical household waste types as practicable at the sites when they reopen. Further details will be provided once confirmed ahead of reopening.

To minimise the spread of the virus and adhere to social distancing rules, only one person will be allowed out of the car while on site – only bring what you can carry without the help of a member of staff. Only be one car will be allowed in each area.

Residents should not come to the recycling centres if they are:

  • symptomatic with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • in a 14-day household isolation
  • extremely vulnerable and are remaining at home for “shielding” purposes

A number of changes will be introduced to help maintain social distancing on the sites – in the interest of the safety of our residents and site staff. A robust traffic management plan will be in place to help minimise the impact of traffic congestion on local roads. The Council is also actively exploring the use of a booking system for residents wishing to visit the sites.

Residents need to be prepared for long queues and we are advising people to only visit if they cannot safely store their waste at home for the next couple of weeks. The Council and its waste contractor have been successful in maintaining kerbside waste collections including the garden waste subscription service without any disruptions, throughout this challenging period. Our chargeable kerbside bulky waste collection service has also been restarted after a temporary pause should residents need to use this in the meantime.

Further details about when recycling centres will open and any local arrangements will be published soon on the Council’s website and via relevant social media channels.

Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for Environment, said: “I want to thank residents for their patience in recent weeks while our recycling centres have been closed. We’re working hard to open them again as soon as we can but the health of our residents, our waste team and the Veolia crews are our priority. We will only open when we are absolutely sure it can be done safely.”

“We expect demand for the recycling centres to be very high when they do reopen and I would ask people to delay their visits for a while longer if they can safely store materials at home. To begin with, there may well be a lengthy queue to get onto the site. I would ask people to expect a wait, and to be patient if they are coming to the recycling centres in the first few weeks.”

For more information about waste services – including the collection of bulky and garden waste – please visit www.westberks.gov.uk/rubbishandrecycling

West Berkshire Recycling Centres to Re-Open

East Ilsley Parish Council

01

May 2020

Message from WBC:

West Berkshire Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are set to reopen to allow residents the opportunity to dispose of waste and recycling that cannot be safely stored at home. This follows publication by the government of updated guidance indicating that visits to recycling centres can be considered essential under certain conditions.

From Thursday 14 May both of our recycling centres, which are located at Newtown Road in Newbury and Padworth Lane, near Aldermaston, will be reopened. The sites were closed temporarily on 24 March following announcements by the government of lockdown restrictions. In order to manage demand, a booking system is in place and you will not be able to simply turn up at the recycling centres.

The booking system will be live on the morning of Wednesday 13 May and residents need to book their appointment here: https://citizen.westberks.gov.uk/clickandtip.

When the recycling centres reopen, and to stay within the government’s Covid-19 guidelines on essential travel, please remember that journeys to these sites during lockdown should only be made if waste cannot be stored any longer at home without causing a risk to your health and safety. The sites will be open seven days a week from 9:00am to 6:00pm, with the last booking appointment available at 4:30pm.

Working with Veolia, who are our waste contractors, precautionary measures will be introduced to help maintain social distancing on our sites for our residents and staff protection. We will also implement a robust traffic management plan which will help us minimise impacts of traffic congestion on the local road network and to control the number of visitors to the site at any one time.

Residents need to book an appointment and be prepared for the possibility of long queues. We are advising delaying a visit until things are a bit quieter in a few weeks’ time or to only visit if you cannot safely store waste at home for the next couple of weeks. Our kerbside waste collections for recycling, rubbish, the garden and food waste subscription scheme and chargeable kerbside bulky waste collection service is still operating normally and residents are advised to make use of them, wherever practicable, in the meantime.

Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment at West Berkshire Council, said: “In line with Government guidance, the decision to reopen the recycling sites has been a priority for the Council.  

“Staff at the recycling sites will ensure that social distancing guidelines of keeping at least 2 metres apart are adhered to. Therefore we urge all visitors to please be patient and leave plenty of time for their visit.

“The two sites that are reopening will be open from 9:00am to 6:00pm, seven days a week, and we intend to make as many appointment slots as possible available via the Council’s website. Please be patient if you don’t manage to get a booking initially due to high demand. We will collect as many of the typical household waste types as practicable at the sites when they reopen.

“With the reopening of both sites, it means that anyone with accumulated waste, that cannot safely be stored, can now dispose of it properly. Please remember to only use the sites if you have a valid booking.

“We are grateful to our residents for their patience and continued cooperation during these challenging times.”

Making your visit run smoothly

The experience of visiting our household recycling centres will be different and you should only visit the recycling centres if you cannot safely store your waste at home.

Please ensure you:

  • Have booked an available appointment online: https://citizen.westberks.gov.uk/clickandtip – this will available from Wednesday 13 May in the morning.
  • Check online to see if all waste materials can still be taken to the site.
  • Check the site layout when loading waste into your car. Use these site maps to help you when packing your vehicle: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/recyclingcentres.
  • Check travel times and any restrictions in place. Please arrive at your allocated time that you have booked online and not any earlier. There may be delays accessing the site and possibly queues of waiting vehicles. Please bear with us as we work safely on the site to limit contact between people.
  • Have your permit, or ID and proof of West Berkshire address with you.
  • Have a copy of your booking confirmation with you – either a print out or on your phone.
  • Only bring what you can physically carry as we are operating a one person per car restriction – our staff cannot help with your waste when you are unloading your vehicle. Under exceptional circumstances only, and at the sole discretion of site staff, two people may be allowed to leave the vehicle to dispose of the waste e.g. if they are removing a heavy or bulky waste item.
  • Follow the instructions that site staff will give you and also be polite to members of staff.
  • Observe the social distancing measures in place by keeping at least 2 metres apart at all times when visiting the recycling centres.
  • Follow Public Health England guidance – residents who are vulnerable, or who are showing symptoms which may indicate Coronavirus, should not visit household recycling centres.

For more in depth information, please read our FAQs.

SSE Priority Services

East Ilsley Parish Council

01

May 2020

Message from SSEN regarding power outages and vulnerable people.

SSEN are offering free extra support to vulnerable people during power cuts.

Please share to all those who are considered vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Register for Priority Services today:
Fill in the form or call FREE 0800 294 3259
or visit this link: www.ssen.co.uk/psr

The document (including the form) can be viewed and downloaded from here: SSEN Priority Services

Road works near East Ilsley

East Ilsley Parish Council

01

May 2020

Update from Highways England:

In 2019 we started work to refresh the road markings and install new LED road studs at the West Ilsley junction, Chilton junction, Milton Interchange, Hinksey Hill junction and the Botley Interchange, to improve safety to road users.

It was hoped that work would be completed during February, however some areas of work still remain outstanding. To complete this work, we will need to close the A34 north and southbound carriageways overnight (between 9pm and 6am) on the following dates:

  • Monday 4 May for two nights – closure of the A34 southbound carriageway from the A420 Botley Interchange to the A4130 Milton Interchange, with a signed diversion in place via the A420, A338, Wantage and the A417
  • Wednesday 6 May for two nights – closure of the A34 northbound carriageway from the A423 Hinksey Hill junction to the A44 Peartree Interchange, with a signed diversion in place via the Oxford ring-road
  • Monday 18 May for three nights – closure of the A34 southbound carriageway from the A4130 Milton Interchange to the M4 (Chieveley), with a signed diversion in place via the A417, Wantage, A338 and A4
  • Thursday 21 May for one night – closure of the A34 northbound carriageway from the A4185 Chilton Interchange to the A4130 Milton Interchange

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles on blue light calls only.

Please be aware that due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic, all our works are subject to change due to available resource by our Supply Chain, as well as possible adverse weather conditions – please check the yellow signs placed in advance alongside the road for confirmation of the closures dates/timings.

We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption during our work. If you have any questions, or if you’d like you know more about our work please email us at info@highwaysengland.co.uk or call us on 0300 123 5000.

Alternatively, to view our weekly report of full closures please visit https://highwaysengland.co.uk/roads, scroll down and under Roadworks click on ‘Check for Roadworks’, then scroll down and under Planned full closures click on ‘Check for Roadworks’ (this will open a Microsoft Excel file that will allow you to filter by day and road).

Yours faithfully
Kathryn Blofield
Area 3 Communications Coordinator
South East Region
www.highways.gov.uk

Notification of Road Closures: M4 Junctions 12 (Theale, West Berkshire) to 15 (Swindon, Wiltshire) – Resurfacing

East Ilsley Parish Council

30

April 2020

M4 Junctions 12 (Theale, West Berkshire) to 15 (Swindon, Wiltshire) – Resurfacing

We are resurfacing various sections of the M4 east and westbound carriageways between junctions 12 and 15, to ensure the network remains in a safe condition. For the safety of our workforce and customers, during the Spring and Summer we will need to close the sections of the M4 eastbound and westbound overnight (between 9pm and 6am, Monday to Friday only).

For May 2020, the following closures are planned:

  • Monday 27 April to Monday 4 May – Lane closures on the westbound carriageway between junction 13 and junction 14
  • Tuesday 5 May to Friday 15 May – Full closures of the westbound carriageway between junction 13 and junction 14, with a signed diversion via A34 south to Speen, west along the A4 to Hungerford, then north on the A338 to the M4
  • Monday 18 May to Thursday 21 May – Lane closures on the westbound carriageway between junction 13 and junction 14
  • Tuesday 26 May to Thursday 28 May – Full closures of the westbound carriageway between junction 13 and junction 14, with a signed diversion via A34 south to Speen, west along the A4 to Hungerford, then north on the A338 to the M4

Please note works are currently not scheduled to take place between Friday 22 to Monday 25 May due to the Bank Holiday weekend.

Due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic, all our works are subject to change due to available resource by our Supply Chain. We will therefore provide an update in late-May with the planned closures for June.

The confirmed dates/timings for all closures will be displayed in advance on large yellow signs alongside the M4.

Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles on blue light calls.

M4 Weekend Closures

Some sections of resurfacing will require replacement of all layers down to the foundations, and therefore part of this work will be done whilst closing the M4 over an entire weekend periods. We are led by the safety of road users and our workers when we plan roadworks. As this section of road is busy and we need time for materials to harden.

These weekend closures will take place on the following dates, which do not clash with the current M4 Smart Motorway Project:

  • Friday 3 to Monday 6 July – M4 westbound between junction 13 and junction 14
  • Friday 4 to Monday 7 September – M4 westbound between junction 13 and junction 14
  • Friday 11 to Monday 14 September – M4 eastbound between junction 15 and junction 14
  • Friday 2 to Monday 5 October – M4 eastbound between junction 13 and junction 12

Confirmation of these weekend closures will be provided to you nearer the time.

Significant delays are expected during these weekend closures. We advise you to plan your journey and allow extra time or avoid this route if possible.

We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption during our work. If you have any questions, or if you’d like you know more about our work please email us at info@highwaysengland.co.uk or call us on 0300 123 5000.

Alternatively, to view our weekly report of full closures please visit https://highwaysengland.co.uk/roads, scroll down and under Roadworks click on ‘Check for Roadworks’, then scroll down and under Planned full closures click on ‘Check for Roadworks’ (this will open a Microsoft Excel file that will allow you to filter by day and road).

West Berkshire Council launches Advice Bot to answer Coronavirus (Covid-19) questions online

East Ilsley Parish Council

15

April 2020

Press Release from WBC:

West Berkshire Council have worked with their partners, We Build Bots Ltd (WBB), to develop an Advice Bot which will answer questions and signpost visitors on our website to the latest information they need relating specifically to the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

West Berkshire Council has been working with WBB for a number of months to develop a sophisticated AI Advice Bot which will handle a number of popular Council related requests, for example, missed bin collections or green waste. In this time of emergency we were able to take advantage of this relationship to quickly develop a Chat Bot solely related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) information with the aim of easing pressure on our busy contact centre.

Howard Woollaston, Executive Council Member for Internal Governance at West Berkshire Council, said: “We are pleased that our basic text based Advice Bot is available to help answer questions that our residents and business may have during this unprecedented time. We want to be able to answer the influx of queries to the customer services team as quickly as possible and now we can. There are queries, often complex, that are best suited by talking to a human, but for those simpler jobs let’s use the Advice Bot.

“The Advice Bot will give users a series of options to choose from that takes them directly to the information. At the moment the Advice Bot will concentrate on signposting users to update them on Council services that are affected from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic along with directing residents and businesses to our dedicated advice and guidance pages.

“The Advice Bot is another way to get in touch with the Council and over the next few weeks we will developing the Advice Bot to make it more intelligent and better able to handle more complicated questions.” 

The Advice Bot is live on our website now. You’ll see the icon on the bottom right hand corner on all pages across the website.

Link to Advice Bot: https://www.westberks.gov.uk/ 
click on purple and white bubble at bottom of page.

Car Park Charging to return in West Berkshire

East Ilsley Parish Council

01

April 2020

Since the end of March, car parks operated by West Berkshire Council have been free to help make life easier for key and essential workers at this difficult time.

From Monday 1 June we are starting to reintroduce charging again as the restrictions on lockdown are starting to ease, allowing more people to go to work if they can and for visitors to venture out to the towns and villages across the district.

It should be noted that PaybyPhone is available in all Council Car Parks and we would recommend this option or contactless payment (where available). We are working with our suppliers to add further contactless options in more of our car parks.

Social distancing still needs to be adhered to and there will be plenty of signage across all car parks to highlight this.

Cllr Richard Somner, Executive Member for Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said: “Like the rest of England, we are seeing an increase in vehicles and footfall across our towns since the restrictions were relaxed a few weeks ago. In turn this has meant that our car parks, which have been free for the last few months, are starting to get busy again as more and more people are heading back to work, shopping or venturing out for their exercise.

“We have received praise from key and essential workers about keeping car parks open and not charging while they carried out their vital roles. Residents have done the right thing by staying home to save lives but we feel now is the right time to start reintroducing the car park charges across all council owned car parks in West Berkshire as we all start to head back into some sort of normality.”

For more information on which car parks are open or closed and their charges, please visit our website.