Thatcham Vision is a voluntary group with no political links. We have a steering group made up of volunteers from the local community as well as two Councillors from the Town Council and two Councillors from West Berkshire Council. Our aim has been to produce a Parish Plan for Thatcham. This we have done, with the help of over 100 local residents. These volunteers gave their time, enthusiasm and expertise and helped us to consult with the people of Thatcham and its surrounding areas. We got over 2,000 responses. A fantastic job was done by everyone. Our new plan covers everything from childcare to senior citizens, transport to safety, infrastructure and leisure.
Thatcham has a strong claim to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the country. Archaeologists can date sites of human occupation to at least 8,400BC with evidence of human activity in the area beyond 10,000BC. Hunter-gatherers would use the river to move later following their game around and settling periodically in the area. Today Thatcham is a small town with four Local Government Wards and a population of 26,000 people. It is the second largest centre of population West Berkshire. If you include the local villages the population is over 42,000. Thatcham is a hub for the local villages around.
Although local districts have their own retail areas, the main shopping centre in Thatcham is in the Broadway and High street and features weekly markets. Local pay and display car-parks make for easy access for local shoppers.
Thatcham's character is primarily formed by its people. Over 40% of the population are below 34 years old, giving our area vigour and good levels of health. There are over 15,000 homes in the centre of Thatcham. There are also many local businesses thriving in the area and we have excellent communication links. The railway station is to the south of the town and has good links to London Paddington and Reading. Nearby Parishes include Bucklebury, Beenham, Bradfield, Greenham and Cold-Ash.
Thatcham is a vibrant, old town, grown from a small village and surrounded by wonderful productive countryside. It is a great place to bring up our families and respect others. There are many features for a prosperous life. We have 9 churches listed, 42 Sports Clubs and 75 other clubs and associations. There are 11 primary schools, 2 secondary schools and 9 private schools in the area. The Kennet Leisure Centre provides indoor sports and Henwick Worthy playing fields provide space for outside sports. There are 15 play parks and 2 outdoor Gyms. We are surrounded by beautiful countryside for walking and cycling in and the Nature Discovery Centre is also a wonderful resource.
Learn more about Thatcham Vision
We have been in existence for over 10 years. Our task is to develop a community plan using your views. We have recently completed our second Community Plan which has been approved by the Town Council and has been presented to West Berkshire Council for approval.
The survey for the plan gained over 2,000 views and comments from the community of Thatcham. These were clarified by further consultations and the most popular were put into our refreshed 'Parish Plan' (the first parish plan for Thatcham having been published in 2005).
The new plan is 176 pages long and includes many useful graphs and statistics about the area and the popularity of each action. You can view the relevant sections of the plan on the action group pages on this website.
The action groups work under the following headings:
- Population, Development and Infrastructure.
- Childcare and Early Years Learning.
- Seniors Citizens.
- Community Safety.
- Travel and Transport.
- We are currently forming a new Leisure and Culture Group.
Thatcham Vision has a part- time project manager who supports and motivates the steering group and the action teams.
In addition, separately constituted organisations have been formed within the ‘Vision family’ to cover specific areas:
These groups have been set up as separate 'stand-alone' brands which in turn reflect their membership and constitutions. They have their own objectives, priorities and timetables and report their progress back via their 'chair' to the Vision steering group. It is expected that some of the actions from the Vision Plan will be executed by these groups.