PEOPLE fromWest Berkshire were recognised in the New Year Honours List. Among them was the chief executive of the NHS Simon Stevens, who was given a knighthood. Sir Simon moved to Newbury with his parents at the age of 11, and attended sixth form at St Bartholomew’s School, where he was head boy in 1983/84. Mr Stevens described his upbringing in Newbury as “a very happy time in my life” . The Cabinet Office said: “Simon Stevens is an outstand- ing chief executive of the English National Health Service, successfully leading it over the past six years through the most economically chal- lenging period in its history.” Lambourn racehorse trainer Nicky Henderson (pictured) was appointed an OBE for his contribution to the sport. Mr Henderson is a five-time
Welford Park’s famous snowdrops attracted hundreds of visitors
Mayor’s symbolic gift
Newbury has links with the 460-year-old independent school, located in Horsham, West Sussex, through the West family, dating back to the 17th century. John West was a wealthy merchant and a charity was set up under his wills to provide pensions and scholarships for the blind and poor.
NEWBURY mayor Elizabeth O’Keeffe presented a symbolic gift to a Christ’s Hospital school scholar, continuing a long-standing tradition. Mrs O’Keeffe made the presentation of a £10 book token to Honey Frampton following Newbury Town Council’s carol service at St Nicolas’ Church. WEST Berkshire was ranked in the top 10 areas to be a girl in the UK. The district was placed sixth in Plan International UK’s State of Girls’ Rights report. The charity, which strives to advance children ’s rights and equality for girls all over the world, assessed local authori- ties on educational attain- ment, child poverty, child obesity, teenage conception rates, NEET status (not in education, employment or training) status and disabil- ity-free life expectancy. The Orkney Islands was placed top, while Blackpool was bottom. West Berkshire was placed fifth in terms of disability- free life expectancy in the UK
John Darvell leads the dance class
New year, new dance NEW Year, fresh goals... and why not, said contemporary dancer John Darvell, make one of them learning to dance with West Berkshire-based company NOCTURN. The company had been leading the charge of building a vibrant and welcoming contempo- rary dance community in Newbury for more than five years, with regular weekly classes in the Corn Exchange Learning Centre aimed at adult beginners, the over-55s and teenagers. Now, they were ringing in the New Year by expanding with another new class within the state-of-the-art dance and performance space at Newbury College. The Forum at Newbury College featured a sprung dance floor, mirrored walls and a free car park, which NOCTURN artistic director John Darvell believed would bring a wealth of new opportunities and growth for the company. He said: “I’m so thrilled to expand our offer with a new class in this wonderful space, which will allow us to meet the tremendous demand and passion for dance in and around Newbury.”
company which produces wheelchair accessible vehicles – working her way up to managing director, until her departure in 2008. She then set up the Accessible Motor Company – now trading as Fleximobility– and has worked for the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Convertors Association (WAVCA) for the past 14 years.
champion trainer and he tweeted: “It is a tremendous honour, not just for me, but us all at Seven Barrows and I am hugely grateful.” A Wash Common woman who has devoted more than 30 years of her life to improving services for disabled people, was honoured with an MBE. Linda Ling, 69, spent 25 years at Gowrings Mobility– a
Good place to be a girl
Sundial row breaks out THE Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service angered Hungerford Twinning Association after its contractors broke a sundial gifted to the town – then refused to pay for it. The sundial was donated by French twin town Ligueil 10 years ago and was a feature on the old fire station wall. When the new tri-station was built to replace it, there was reportedly an agreement that the sundial would be carefully removed and then replaced. But it was found broken in two and apparently discarded beneath a pile of rubble. A stonemason said the ornament is beyond repair and a replacement would cost £3,540.
and fourth for NEET status. West Berkshire Council leader Lynne Doherty (pictured) said the rating reflected the work of the district’s schools and educa- tion support addressing issues such as consent, social media and online safety.