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
|Founded||1 April 1974|
Chair of the Council
Cllr Carol Jackson-Doerge, Conservative
since 9 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr Graham Jones, Conservative
since 9 May 2017
Length of term
|7 May 2015|
|2 May 2019|
|Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury|
|West Berkshire Council|
The council was formed by the Local Government Act 1972 as the Newbury District Council. It replaced Bradfield Rural District Council, Hungerford Rural District Council, Newbury Borough Council, Newbury Rural District Council and Wantage Rural District Council. The current local authority was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers and prior to the creation of the District of Newbury on 1 April 1974.
It was envisaged through the Local Government Act 1972 that Newbury as a non-metropolitan district council would share power with the Berkshire County Council. This arrangement lasted until 1998 when Berkshire County Council was abolished and the renamed Newbury District Council, now West Berkshire Council, gained responsibility for services that had been provided by the county council.
West Berkshire Council is elected every four years, with currently 52 councillors being elected at each election. From the first election to the unitary authority in 1997 to the 2003 election the Liberal Democrats had a majority and they then kept control with the chairman's casting vote until 2005.
In 2005 the Conservative party gained a majority, which they have held since. The council composition is:
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.Aldermaston
Aldermaston is a mostly rural, dispersed settlement, civil parish and electoral ward in Berkshire, England. In the United Kingdom Census 2011, the parish had a population of 1015. The village is in the south the mid-Kennet alluvial plain and bounds to the south Hampshire. It is roughly equidistant from Newbury, Basingstoke and Reading, centred 46 miles (74 km) west-by-south-west of London.
Aldermaston may have been inhabited as early as 1690 BCE; a number of postholes and remains of cereal grains have been found in the area. Written history of the village is traced back at least as far as the 9th century CE. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles show that the Ealdorman of Berkshire had his country estate in the village. The manor of Aldermaston was established by the early 11th century, when the village was given to the Achard family by Henry I; the manor is documented in the Domesday survey. The village church was established in the 13th century, and some of the original Norman architecture remains in the building's structure.
The last resident Lord of the Manor, Charles Keyser, died in 1929. The manor estate has been subsequently occupied by Associated Electrical Industries, the XIX Tactical Air Command, the Women's Land Army, Collier Macmillan Schools, Blue Circle Industries, and the Compass Group, who ran it as a hotel and corporate venue. It was bought by the Praxis Group in 2013 for £4.7 million and is now subject to plans for restoration that include 227 new homes in order to finance the restoration of the manor house and grounds.
The name "Aldermaston" is well known in connection with the UK's nuclear weapons programme, as well as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which develops, maintains, and disposes of the UK's nuclear weaponry is in the parish. Built on the site of the former RAF Aldermaston, the plant has been the destination of numerous Aldermaston Marches. Until 2006, the village was home to the Aldermaston Pottery, which was established by Alan Caiger-Smith and Geoffrey Eastop in 1955.Anthony Stansfeld
Anthony Stansfeld is the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner. He is the first person to hold the post and was elected on 15 November 2012 as the Conservative Party candidate.He was elected to West Berkshire Council in 2003 representing Kintbury ward, having previously served on Kintbury Parish Council. From 2008–2012 he was appointed to Thames Valley Police Authority, becoming chairman of the Performance Committee in 2011).
He has had a career in both the military and in industry. He enlisted in the Army at 17 and joined the Royal Green Jackets where he saw active service in Borneo and Northern Ireland. He learnt to fly helicopters at Middle Wallop and commanded various Army Air Corps Squadrons, including the Army helicopters in the Falkland Islands in the latter half of 1982.
He spent 2 years as Chief of Staff Intelligence in the Far East. On leaving the Army he was Marketing, and then, for 6 years, Managing Director of the aircraft company Pilatus Britten Norman, which had aircraft in over 100 countries. At the same time he commanded the Army reserve helicopters as a TA officer.
While in the Army he spent 4 months carrying out the reconnaissance for the crossing of the Darien Gap in Panama and Colombia, and led the first stage of Operation Raleigh, taking young people through the jungles of Honduras and Belize. He was, for 8 years, a trustee of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
He has an MSc and studied international terrorism and global security in depth at university.Brimpton Common
Brimpton Common is a village in Berkshire, England. It is part of Brimpton Parish, and part of the Benefice of Aldermaston and Woolhampton in the Diocese of Oxford. It is in the Aldermaston Ward of West Berkshire Council.Burghfield Brook
Burghfield Brook is a small stream in southern England. It rises in Wokefield Common between the Berkshire villages of Mortimer and Burghfield Common. The Burghfield Brook forms Burghfields southern border with Wokefield Parish. A notable feature of this watercourse within Wokefield Common is Pullens Pond, formed where this brook is damned by a forest access road within Wokefield Common. To the East of this area the brook continues into a small valley, locally referred to as Burghfield Slade, which contains a larger reservoir of water. Burghfield Brook then continues to the Northeast, past Culverlands Farm and merges with the Lockram Brook at St.James Farm in Grazeley Green. The watercourse here is particularly liable to flooding and has been the subject of discussion at West Berkshire Council meetings.After merging with Lockram Brook it is not clear as to which name the brook takes for the remainder of its journey, it continues a mile or so to the North East, skirting past AWE Burghfield, and under Burnthouse Bridge, before merging with the much larger Foudry Brook near Burnthouse Farm.John O'Gaunt School
John O'Gaunt School is a mixed comprehensive school in Hungerford, Berkshire for students aged 11 to 16. It was Berkshire's first community school.Lockram Brook
Lockram Brook is a small stream in southern England. It rises near the Berkshire village of Mortimer within various areas of woodland and farmland, including Wokefield Common, Starvale Woods and Lukin's Wood. It travels North East towards Wokefield, passing under Lockrams Lane near Wokefield Farm. There is a pleasant valley here where the brook is dammed to form a small body of water known as Millbarn Pond. Travelling further North East through Rookery Wood and passing under Goring Lane, it merges with Burghfield Brook at St.James Farm in Grazeley Green. The watercourse is particularly liable to flooding and has been the subject of discussion at West Berkshire Council meetings.After merging with Burghfield Brook it is not clear as to which name the brook takes for the remainder of its journey, it continues a mile or so to the North East, skirting past AWE Burghfield, and under Burnthouse Bridge, before merging with the much larger Foudry Brook near Burnthouse Farm.Reading Green Park railway station
Reading Green Park railway station is a planned railway station in Reading, Berkshire, England. The station is intended to serve the proposed Green Park Village residential development, the existing Green Park Business Park and the Madejski Stadium. It is planned to be on the Reading to Basingstoke Line, south of Southcote Junction. The station has planning permission from Reading Borough Council, is awaiting planning permission from West Berkshire Council and is intended to open in March 2020. On 28 July 2017, the Government gave funding to the station.Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service
The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is a statutory fire and rescue service covering the area of the ceremonial county of Berkshire in England. The fire service was formerly administered by Berkshire County Council, but when that was abolished the service became the responsibility of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, made up of representatives from the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest Borough Council, Reading Borough Council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough Borough Council, West Berkshire Council, and Wokingham Borough Council.
The service's headquarters are located at Newsham Court, Pincents Kiln, in the Reading suburb of Calcot. It operates from 18 fire stations across Berkshire.Shaw House, Berkshire
Shaw House is an important example of an early symmetrical H-plan Elizabethan mansion, located at Shaw, on the north-eastern outskirts of Newbury in Berkshire.Snelsmore Common
Snelsmore Common is a common and country park on the western edge of the village of Winterbourne in the English county of Berkshire.It lies near to the M4 and A34 roads, and is located approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north of Newbury. It consists of lowland heathland of heather, gorse, wet bog and small trees and broadleaved woodland. There are several rabbit warrens and it is a home to the smaller breeds of deer and other small mammals, snake, lizards and birds such as kestrels and green woodpeckers. Rarer species include the palmate newt and nightjar.Snelsmore became a common in the medieval period. Extant rights there include the grazing of cattle and ponies, the collection of fallen timber and fuel, the digging of gravel and the shooting of game. The cutting of peat and turf and fishing are also allowed, but not practical. Cattle did indeed return to the common in 1999.
During the Second World War the common was taken over for military uses, and had quantities of petrol stored in jerrycans by the 3900 Quartermaster Gasoline Supply Company stockpiled for the Normandy landings. It became a country park in 1972, and is managed as public open space by the Snelsmore Common Country Park Management Committee for West Berkshire Council.During 1995-6 woodland at the south end of the common became an early base for campaigners protesting against the proposed Newbury bypass. The English band New Model Army immortalized the conflict in their song "Snelsmore Woods". Following eviction of the protesters, the construction of the road went ahead through a part of the common, and an equivalent area of common was added to the west.Theale Green School
Theale Green School is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in the village of Theale, Berkshire, England.
The school has 1,256 pupils on roll, including 210 in the sixth form.West Berkshire
West Berkshire is a local government district in Berkshire, England, administered from Newbury by West Berkshire Council.West Berkshire Council elections
West Berkshire is a unitary authority in Berkshire, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district.