Tag Archives: west berkshire council

West Berkshire turns orange

After 18 years of Conservative control, the Liberal Democrats won control of West Berkshire Council in the most stunning fashion.

Starting from a base of 16 seats, the Lib Dems leap frogged to 29 seats out of 43, winning in traditional Tory rural heartlands such as Bucklebury.

Local issues included a saga involving Newbury’s football pitch, potholes and the Local Plan. There was also a backcloth of local Tory in-fighting and the national picture.

You have to go back 32 years in the district to when control of the main local council changed from Tory to LibDem hands – that was in 1991.

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Greenham Common: A unique reminder of the Cold War opens to the public


Embed from Getty Images

Over the weekend, Greenham Common Control Tower opened to the public as a permanent visitor centre, set up to share the story of Greenham Common.

Greenham and Crookham Commons cover a thousand acres of open, public land in Berkshire. Inhabited in prehistoric times and used for cattle grazing for centuries, the Commons were turned into an airfield in 1942 and used by the RAF and USAAF during the Second World War. The airfield was used a springboard for glider-borne troops landing in France on D-Day. General (later, President) Eisenhower visited the troops at Greenham on the eve of D-Day and made his famous “The Eyes of the world are upon you” speech there.

But, perhaps, Greenham’s most famous period was during the Cold War from 1951 to 1992. The runway was extended to 12,000 feet long in 1980. This was thought to be the longest aircraft runway in Europe at the time. The base was home to many aircraft, most notably the B-47 Stratojets, which were capable of routinely flying 3,000 mile long missions. Around 4,000 American air personnel and their families lived at Greenham at its height. The base was effectively a US town. They drove on the right and had their US groceries flown in from the States by Galaxy transport plane.

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Long-serving West Berkshire Councillor Keith Lock passes away

Liberal Democrat Councillor Keith Lock, who represented Mortimer Ward in West Berkshire, died on Saturday night in hospital in Reading, having broken his hip a few weeks ago.

Keith had been a Councillor for West Berkshire and the predecessor Newbury District Council for 38 years. During that time he had twice held the positions of Leader and Chairman of Council.

The Reading Chronicle reports:

The Lib Dem councillor, who was born in Welling, Kent, moved to Mortimer in 1969 and sat on West Berkshire Council from its formation in 1998, having also served on its predecessor, Newbury District Council, since it was

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It’s not just MPs who’ve got problems with their expenses

There looks to be a growing story in Berkshire with, amongst other news, a Tory councillor in West Berkshire (Joe Mooney) ordered to stop claiming for first class train travel. More news on Reading List.

UPDATE: The council have been in touch, stating that Joe Mooney has never claimed for first class train travel from the council and nor has any instruction been issued to him about his expense claims. We’re happy to put the record straight and apologies for highlighting an erroneous story.

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