West Berkshire

West Berkshire is a local government district in Berkshire, England, administered from Newbury by West Berkshire Council.

West Berkshire
West Berkshire shown within Berkshire
West Berkshire shown within Berkshire
Coordinates: 51°24′03″N 1°19′25″W / 51.4009°N 1.3235°WCoordinates: 51°24′03″N 1°19′25″W / 51.4009°N 1.3235°W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Ceremonial countyBerkshire
StatusUnitary authority
Incorporated1 April 1974
Admin HQNewbury
Government
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyWest Berkshire Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsRichard Benyon
John Redwood
Alok Sharma
Area
 • Total271.88 sq mi (704.17 km2)
Area rank55th (of 317)
Population
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total158,527
 • Rank125th (of 317)
 • Density580/sq mi (230/km2)
 • Ethnicity[1]
95.0% White
1.7% Asian
1.1% Black
1.3% Mixed Race
0.9% Chinese or other
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code00MB (ONS) E06000037 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSU4705467146
Websitewww.westberks.gov.uk

History

The district of Newbury was formed on 1 April 1974, as a merger of the borough of Newbury, Bradfield Rural District, Hungerford Rural District and Newbury Rural District, along with part of Wantage Rural District.

Until 1 April 1998, Newbury District Council and Berkshire County council were responsible for the region at local government level. On 1 April 1998, Berkshire County Council was abolished and Newbury District Council changed its name to West Berkshire Council and took on the former County Council's responsibilities within its area.

Geography

West Berkshire is semi-rural in character, with most of the population living in the wooded Kennet valley.[2] Apart from Newbury, the other main centres in the district include Thatcham, Hungerford, Pangbourne and Lambourn. 30% of the population resides in the East of the district, which is centred around Tilehurst and Calcot. Larger villages include Theale, Purley-on-Thames, Burghfield, Mortimer and Hermitage. West Berkshire borders Hampshire to the south, Wiltshire to the west, Oxfordshire to the north and both the Reading and Wokingham authorities to the east. Around three-quarters of the land is designated North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ranging from the Berkshire Downs to the Thames Valley.

The highest point in southeast/south-central England is located in West Berkshire at Walbury Hill with a summit height of 297 m (974 ft) 2 km to the south of the village of Inkpen, though the hill is not particularly prominent.

West Berkshire has a number of water courses running through the area. In addition to the River Thames, there are the Rivers Lambourn, Kennet, Pang, Bourne and the Kennet and Avon Canal and a number of tributaries that feed these rivers. Properties within flood plains may be at risk of flooding from rising river waters or from water coming up through the ground in some periods of heavy and/or prolonged periods of rain.[3] Purley and Pangbourne are particularly at risk.[4]

Economy

West Berkshire has the 21st largest economy in England,[5] characterised by low unemployment, above average wages, and abundance of jobs in technology and financial sectors. The presence of Vodafone has created a cluster of around 80 mobile phone related businesses in Newbury,[5] while the Lambourn area is the second most important centre for the racehorse industry in Great Britain, employing over 800 people directly, and producing an annual income of £20 million.[6]

West Berkshire is also home to Atomic Weapons Establishment, near Aldermaston, Wolseley plc, Bayer and Pepsico.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms for West Berkshire was established in 1974 for Newbury District Council. Upon the creation of the unitary authority it was inherited by West Berkshire Council.

The colours of red and gold in the arms represent industry and the richness of the area, whilst the interwoven cross represents the weaving industry which was important to Newbury in past centuries. The corn on the shield represents the agriculture industry which is important to the area, whilst the cogwheels represent manufacturing and manufacturing achievement. The mural crown represents local government and the grassy mount symbolises the downs of the surrounding area. Finally, the horseman represents the two battles of Newbury in the English civil war.

Politics

Since 5 May 2005 the West Berkshire Council is Conservative-controlled because of a by-election in Thatcham North. Before that, the Liberal Democrats and Conservative Party had an equal number of seats but the Liberal Democrats had control due to the casting vote of the council chairman. The Liberal Democrats had first taken power in 1991.

The district is approximately coterminous with the parliamentary constituency of Newbury, except for areas to the east where parts of West Berkshire are incorporated into the constituencies of Wokingham and Reading West.

Education

There are 10 state-funded secondary schools operating in West Berkshire as well as numerous primary schools and a special school provision. There are also a number of independent schools.

Further and higher education in the area is provided by Newbury College, however there are no universities, the nearest being the University of Reading and one of the University of West London campuses, both in the neighbouring Reading Borough.

Notable people

References

  1. ^ "Check Browser Settings". statistics.gov.uk.
  2. ^ "West Berkshire Council". westberks.gov.uk.
  3. ^ "West Berkshire Council". westberks.gov.uk.
  4. ^ Newbury Today Pangbourne and Purley braced for floods Mon, 23 July 2007
  5. ^ a b "West Berkshire Council". westberks.gov.uk.
  6. ^ [1] Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links

2000 West Berkshire Council election

The 2000 West Berkshire Council election took place on 4 May 2000 to elect members of West Berkshire Council in Berkshire, England. The whole council was up for election and the Liberal Democrats stayed in overall control of the council.

2003 West Berkshire Council election

The 2003 West Berkshire Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of West Berkshire Council in Berkshire, England. The whole council was up for election with boundary changes since the last election in 2000 reducing the number of seats by 2. The Liberal Democrats lost overall control of the council to no overall control.

2007 West Berkshire Council election

The 2007 West Berkshire Council election took place on 3 May 2007 to elect members of West Berkshire Council in Berkshire, England. The whole council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2011 West Berkshire Council election

The 2011 West Berkshire Council election took place on 5 May 2011 to elect members of West Berkshire Council in Berkshire, England. The whole council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.

2015 West Berkshire Council election

The 2015 West Berkshire Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect members of West Berkshire Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The whole council was up for election and the Conservative party retained overall control of the council.

2019 West Berkshire Council election

The 2019 West Berkshire Council election took place on 2 May 2019 to elect members of West Berkshire Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. The whole council was up for election and the Conservative party retained overall control of the council, despite significant gains by the Liberal Democrats and the election of the first Green Party councillors in West Berkshire.

Denefield School

Denefield School is a secondary school located in Tilehurst, Reading, Berkshire, England. The school offers education for mixed students from aged 11 to 18.

Holybrook

Holybrook is a civil parish, forming a contiguous part of Reading in West Berkshire and is a mixture of urban, suburban land with watercourses and flood meadows in Berkshire, England. The parish takes its name from the Holy Brook, a watercourse which forms its southern boundary and which is a corollary of the River Kennet. Its main settlements are part of Calcot those commonly known as Beansheaf Farm and Fords Farm, Holybrook and occasionally considered part of Calcot or Southcote which overlaps with this area.

Kintbury

Kintbury is a village and civil parish in West Berkshire, England, between the towns of Newbury and Hungerford.

The village has a convenient railway to London and Reading, proximity to other transport and local cultural destinations, including Roman and Norman sites, and forms part of a very large Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Wessex Downs which extends from the River Thames at Streatley to West Wiltshire.

List of places in Berkshire

This is a list of places in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, England. It does not include places which were formerly in Berkshire. For places which were formerly in Berkshire, see list of places transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire in 1974, and for places which were transferred from Berkshire in 1844 and 1889, see list of Berkshire boundary changes.

List of schools in West Berkshire

This is a list of schools in West Berkshire, in the English county of Berkshire.

RG postcode area

The RG postcode area, also known as the Reading postcode area, is a group of thirty postcode districts in England, which are subdivisions of twelve post towns. These postcode districts cover west and central Berkshire (including Reading, Bracknell, Crowthorne, Hungerford, Newbury, Thatcham and Wokingham) and north Hampshire (including Basingstoke, Hook, Tadley and Whitchurch), plus a small part of south-east Oxfordshire (including Henley-on-Thames) and very small parts of Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire.

Mail for the area is sorted at the Thames Valley Mail Centre in Swindon. It was previously sorted at the Reading Mail Centre, which closed in 2010.

The original RG3 district for west Reading was recoded to RG30 and RG31 in January 1995, due to the rise in population in that area. In the same year, the original RG11 district for Wokingham and Crowthorne was recoded to RG40, RG41 and RG45, while the northern part of the RG12 district for Bracknell was recoded to RG42.

Shaw-cum-Donnington

Shaw-cum-Donnington is a civil parish in West Berkshire, Berkshire, England with all of its urban or suburban area immediately north of (contiguous with) the largest town in the district, Newbury. It comprises the villages of Shaw and Donnington and contains the partially ruined castle of Donnington Castle which has most of its various outside walls intact.

The Downs School, Compton

The Downs School is a comprehensive secondary school in the village of Compton, Berkshire, England. It is a state school run by West Berkshire Education Authority.

The Willink School

The Willink School is a co-educational comprehensive in the village of Burghfield Common in the English county of Berkshire. The school was founded in 1957, becoming fully comprehensive in 1975. It has around 1,000 pupils aged 11 to 18. The head teacher is Peter Fry.The school was awarded language college status in the mid-1990s – one of the first schools in the county with the status. All KS3 pupils at The Willink study two languages from Year 8 (12/13 years old) onwards. Languages on offer for Key Stages 3 and 4 include French, Spanish and German.At its most recent Ofsted inspection, carried out in February 2014 the school was judged to be good with behaviour judged as outstanding.

Tilehurst Without (civil parish)

Tilehurst Without is a civil parish in the district of West Berkshire, in the English county of Berkshire. It includes that part of the larger Reading suburb of Tilehurst that lies outside the Reading Borough boundary, together with the northern part of the adjoining suburb of Calcot, and a small rural area west of the two suburbs.

The parish is bordered by the Borough of Reading, and the West Berkshire civil parishes of Holybrook, Theale, Sulham, and Purley on Thames. It lies entirely within the Reading West parliamentary constituency.In the 2001 census there were 14,683 residents of the parish. Of these, 7,323 were male and 7,360 female, distributed among 5,571 households. Of these, 11 people lived in communal establishments. The ratio of employed to unemployed residents is approximately 10:1. In addition to this are the 24% of residents who are neither employed nor unemployed but "economically inactive". The average working resident works approximately 40 hours per week in managerial or professional employment.The mean age of a parish resident is 37.47; the median is 38.00.

West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council is the local authority of West Berkshire in Berkshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. West Berkshire is divided into 30 wards, electing 52 councillors. The council was created by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Newbury District Council and replaced five local authorities: Bradfield Rural District Council, Hungerford Rural District Council, Newbury Borough Council, Newbury Rural District Council and Wantage Rural District Council. On 1 April 1998 it was renamed West Berkshire Council and since then has been a unitary authority, assuming the powers and functions of Berkshire County Council. In the 2015 election the Conservatives won 48 out of 52 seats. In 2019, they won 24 seats losing half of their councillors.

West Berkshire Council elections

West Berkshire is a unitary authority in Berkshire, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district.

World's End, Berkshire

World's End is a hamlet in Berkshire, England. It is in the district of West Berkshire, near the A34 road north of Newbury. To the north is the village of Beedon (where, according to the Grid Ref the 2011 Census population was included); to the south lie Downend and Chieveley.

World's End is in the parish of Beedon.

Settlements in West Berkshire
Towns
Civil parishes
Other villages
and hamlets
Unitary authorities
Major settlements
Topics
Berkshire
Buckinghamshire
East Sussex
Hampshire
Isle of Wight
Kent
Oxfordshire
Surrey
West Sussex
Districts
Councils
Local elections

Languages

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.