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Priority Area: 5. Thriving communities with a strong local voice

Thriving Communities with a Strong Local Voice - details about goals, outcomes and actions


5.A. Encourage and support our local communities to take the lead in driving what is important to them

5.1. Closer and more effective working with our communities and partner organisations (including Town and Parish Councils and the private sector commissioned service providers) so residents achieve the outcomes that they need  

  • 5.1.1. Re-establish community forums to pro-actively invite residents' input and feedback at in-person meetings, committing to report back on our resulting action plan within four weeks of each meeting
  • 5.1.2. Town Councils will be offered the chair of the steering group that determines the priorities for implementation within their Town Centre Masterplans
  • 5.1.3. Continue to support local communities in developing their own Neighbourhood Development Plans  
  • 5.1.4. Work with Town and Parish councils to fund youth workers in their areas.

5.2. Enable the seldom heard, including young people, to have a voice in local issues, including by involving the new Youth Council and holding a Community Forum for Young People


5.B. Help our residents lead fulfilled and active lives

5.3. Improved health and wellbeing of our residents, including those with long-term conditions, through our own actions and working with partner  organisations

5.4. West Berkshire continues to be a safe place, through our own actions and working with partner organisations

  • 5.4.1. Deliver initiatives with partner organisations to prevent and reduce crime
  • 5.4.2. Enable 20 mph limits for residential streets where residents want it

5.5. Increased number of visits to Council-owned culture, arts and heritage facilities

5.6. More people enabled to be physically active supported by the sports and leisure opportunities available in the District

  • 5.6.1. Begin a programme of renewal and re-provision of our Council-owned leisure facilities. Plan with annual objectives in 2024
  • 5.6.2. Open the refurbished Newbury Lido and look to expand opening times even further
  • 5.6.3. Re-open the grass football pitch at Faraday Road in 2023
  • 5.6.4. Refresh the playing pitch strategy by early 2024

5.7. Reduced social isolation, especially in rural areas and for young people  

  • 5.7.1. Plan a programme to tackle social isolation (in 2024)  
  • 5.7.2. Start implementation in 2025

5.8. Valued improvements delivered by residents working with Members by continuing the successful Members Bid Programme

  • 5.8.1. Continue the successful Members Bids programme, to enable Members to work with residents and community groups in their wards, to  deliver improvements they value


5.C. Work with partners and the local communities to enhance our main towns and large villages

5.9. Town and village centres prioritise enhancements outlined in their respective Masterplans

  • 5.9.1. Work with the town councils, the local communities and stakeholders in Hungerford, Newbury and Thatcham to first prioritise the potential enhancements outlined in their respective Masterplans, and then begin implementation in 2024
  • 5.9.2. Commission Masterplans for Lambourn in 2025 and Theale in 2026

5.10. Kennet & Avon Canal maintained and enhanced as an important asset of the district

  • 5.10.1. We recognise the canal as an important part of West Berkshire life and will resurrect the Kennet & Avon Canal partnership (in 2024) to ensure    we can effectively maintain and enhance this wonderful asset

5.11. Our town centres remain vibrant and accessible, by working with our partner organisations

  • 5.11.1. Introducing a local ticketing systems (in 2025) that links to discounted bus / train travel  
  • 5.11.2. Create a fund starting (in 2025) to offer a package of targeted lower cost / free parking, in consultation with town & parish councils


5.D. Help our villages to remain vibrant long term

5.12. Villages remain vibrant in the long term by working with local communities, as they develop their local plans

5.12.1. As our villages develop their local plans, make sure they are clear what their village needs, in the medium and long term, so that local amenities  like schools, shops, pubs and local businesses can be sustained, and that their plans reflect these needs
5.12.2. Plan a refreshed offer for Home to School Transport in 2024, and begin to implement in 2025
5.12.3. Support ongoing viability of  local village halls with grants for solar panels and better digital connectivity, starting in 2024
5.12.4. Increase the number of Electric Vehicle charge points in our villages



The Priority 5 visual strategy


To view the Priority 5 strategy in full, please download our accessible PDF file.

Icon for pdf West Berkshire Council Strategy - Priority 5 [202KB]




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