Ash pearce - Labour Church Ward Councillor
Church's Labour Team, led by our Councillor Ashley Pearce

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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Free and low cost events for kids this summer

There’s a whole host of supervised activities lined up for 11- to 19-year-olds to enjoy this summer of fun in the sun!  Activities are either free or low cost, to help take the heat off families looking for ways to fill the school holidays.  Reading FC’s Community Trust Kicks Project offers more than just football, with boxercise, paintballing and cheerleading sessions scheduled throughout the school holidays.

Kicks is also organising a West End trip to see the Lion King and a chance to ride the white knuckle rollercoasters on a day trip to Thorpe Park.  Sport sessions from the council’s youth engagement service include free-running, skateboarding, kayaking, mountain biking and basketball.  For less sporty youngsters, the council will run sewing, cooking and origami sessions as a creative way to while away long summer days.

To see the full range of activities click on this link to the: ” Summer in da Boro ”


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Ridgeway School expansion plans


Artists impression of what the new school layout will look like.

Ward Councillor and Ridgeway Governor Ashley Pearce attended the Ridgeway School expansion plan exhibition to meet the architechts and local residents.  The expansion will mean the school becoming a 3 form entry in 2 years time and is part of Reading borough council’s school expansion plans which can be seen here: Schhol expansion plans.

If you have any questions please contact Ashley, Paul or Eileen.

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Affinity Fun Day a great success

affinity day

Affinity fun day beginning to take shape

Rabsons Rec was home to its second fun day in a week this weekend, this time to celebrate 10 years of Affinity housing in Reading.  The completely free event, organised by Marie Bailey saw kids enjoying penalty shoot outs, face painting and bouncy castles.  Perhaps the biggest attraction was the mobile zoo that saw kids interacting with animals includings sheep and pigs.  Church Ward Councillors Paul Woodward and Ashley Pearce were in attendance to speak to residents about any concerns they had.  The event was als attended by Reading East Parliamentary candidate Matt Rodda who had a go at holding some of the animals!


Matt Rodda at the Affinity fun day.

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Sun shines for Whitley fun day

Eden fun day

Reading East Parliamentary candidate Matt Rodda, Ashley and Whitley Councillor Rachel Eden demonstrating some of their balloon modelling.

Thousand attended the South Reading fun day at Rabson’s Rec on Northumberland Avenue in Whitley on Saturday to sample a range of activities for all the family. The community event which keeps growing year on year, was organised by South Reading Churches and Vernon Orr vicar at St Agnes Church in Northumberland Avenue was on hand to show volunteers what needed to be done. The completely free occasion was attended by Church Councillors Eileen, Ashley and Paul, Whitley Councillors Kelly Edwards, Mike Orton and Rachel Eden, Katesgroves Phi James and Mayor Tony Jones as well as Parliamentary candidates Matt Rodda and Victoria Grouleff. Some interesting looking balloons were created by all!  Organiser Vernon said “It is the highlight of the year, it is so enjoyable and there is such a great atmosphere that the feel good factor lasts for months.”

Events to entertain the kids included face painting and balloon modelling with many tiger faces walking around with dog shaped balloons. Penalty shoot outs oragnised by Kickz and Reading FC saw many a shot bulge the net, whilst bouncy castles and rock climbing were also available for the more active. Parents could take a break with a free burger and hydrate with bottles of water. All the while music was provided on stage to keep the party atmosphere going. Also in attendance were the Fire Brigade so kids could get sit in a working fire engine, and ReadiFood to highlight the plight of those in need of food parcels. Other stalls were provided by the Whitley excellent cluster and Reading credit Union to highlight the good work they are doing. The sun shone throughout the three hour event, with many kids spilling out into the play equipment whilst parents ate well deserved ice creams! The event was again themed around “Honour Whitley” with thousands of purple wrist bands handed out on arrival by the army of volunteers that made the day run so smoothly for the 5000 or so attendees. Reverend Orr said “We just want to remind the community it is okay to feel good about itself,”

South Reading Churches’ Fun Day is sponsored by many organisations including the Earley Charity, the Englefield Trust, Business Moves Group, Indigo Planning, Goodman UK Ltd, John Madejski Academy, Thames Valley Housing Trust, Goodman UK Ltd, Berkeley Homes, Tesco and money raised by the churches themselves.  Th

Rabson’s rec will be back in action next week for the Affinity fun day from 12-4pm.

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New Credit Union open for business

Berkshire community savings and loans have teamed up with Hexham Community centre volunteers to open a credit Union.  The branch is open from 10am-12pm on a Wednesday and 11am-3pm on a Friday for general enquiries.

Credit unions are an alternative to high street banks and pay day lenders and guarantee to beat any pay day lender and at least match anything a genuine bank offers.  You need to be a member for 3 months before you take out a loan.  Loans can be anywhere from £10 to £10,000 repayable in terms of up to 5 years.

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Ward Councillor profiles

Ruth McEwan

Cllr Ruth McEwan

Ruth is elected until 2022.

Contact details



Twitter: @ruthmsmc23

Paul Woodward


Church Ward Councillor Paul Woodward.

Paul is elected until 2019 and is currently Chair of the Licensing Applications Committee.  He is also a Governor at the Phoenix nursery, on the board of Reading buses and a keen follower of Reading FC.

Paul was born in Berkshire and has lived in, and close to, Reading since 1982. He has worked here since leaving Bulmershe College in 1990.

He has worked as a Careers Adviser for many years. For the last few years working with teenagers within the Youth Justice system. Currently with the Youth Offending Service but in the past, working in prisons and running crime diversion projects.

He won Church Ward from the Conservatives in 2011. Reading has provided Paul with education, work and friends. He is currently Chair of the RBC Licensing Committee, and a former member of the Planning and Transport Committees.  He is also a Group Whip and a non-executive Director of Reading Transport Ltd.


Contact details

Address: 7 Sherwood street, Reading, RG30 1LJ

Phone: 07776238861


Twitter: @paulRwoodward

Paul’s Council web page


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ReadyBike comes to Church Ward


Church ward Councillors at the ReadyBike post in Academy sport.

Last month a new cycle hire scheme was launched in Reading called ReadyBike. People can now use the distinctive purple and orange bikes located across 27 docking stations in Reading. A 28th and 29th docking station – on the south side of Reading Station and at Earley Station – will be operational later this summer.

For members, use of ReadyBike is free for half an hour at the start of every rental and then £1 a hour after that, with a maximum rental cap of £4. As well as the place to register, is also where members can top-up and manage their accounts – a bit like you do with a ‘pay as you’ go mobile phone account. Annual membership costs £50.

For people who do not want to be members, ReadyBike is also available for occasional or one-off use by users registering their details online. The tariff for non-members is the same as that for members (£1 an hour) but they do not get the first 30 minutes of every rental free and the maximum rental charge is £7.

Docking stations in Church Ward are located at Christchurch Green by the University and Academy Sport on Northumberland Avenue.  Happy cycling!

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Reading Borough Council Corporate plan 2014-17

Reading Borough Council Corporate plan 2014-17

The aim of the Corporate Plan is to set out the Council’s contribution to make Reading better. It is not a list of things that the Council does but focuses on some key issues we want to address. It sets out the key priorities in the medium term and an action plan to achieve the desired outcomes.

The plan has clear milestones and targets for improvements. These activities are in addition to 700 or so services we provide day-to-day.

The actions within this Plan are based on what we have been told through the Let’s Talk events, residents’ surveys as well as data and information we collect that tells us about what things are like within Reading.

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Reading Girls School expansion

Ashley recently attended a public exhibition about the new school plans for Reading Girls School on Northumberland Avenue.  The School is to be rebuilt on its existing site whilst remaining open to pupils.  The designers will now work with the school on a six-month detailed design stage through to close in late October. Construction is due to start from November through to March 2015, with planned completion in August 2016. In the next few months there are many design meetings planned and parents and other interested parties will be asked to attend a meeting to be able to see the plans and hopefully a model of the proposed new school.

If you would like to comment on the proposed plans please email the school at: Or Head teacher Viv Angus at

Below is a link to an artists impression of what the School will look like:

Reading girls school

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July events in Church Ward

Saturday July 12th: 12pm-3pm

Church fun day at Rabson’s Rec (Northumberland Avenue).   There will be numerous events including face painting, balloon modelling and penalty taking.  Councillors McElligott and Pearce will be in attendance.

Saturday July 19th: 12pm-4pm

In May 2014 Affinity (Reading) Limited was 10 years old and to celebrate they have organised a fun day for residents on Saturday 19th July 2014 at the Rabson Recreation Park.  Activities include:

  • Face painting
  • A Travelling Zoo
  • Bouncy Castle
  • Football penalty
  • shoot out
  • Prize draws
  • Food Stalls


Paul, Ashley and Eileen will be out in the Ward asking residents their issues and concerns in the following dates/times in July.  Please come and speak to us!

  • Wednesday July 16th: 6pm-8pm-Barnsdale and Ennerdale Road
  • Saturday July 19th:10.30am-Linden Road
  • Wednesday July 23rd: 6pm-8pm-Blagdon and Torrington Road
  • Saturday July 26th: 10.30am-Foxhays Road
  • Wednesday July 30th: 6pm-8pm-Whitley Wood Road

mass canvass

Ridgeway planning exhibition

The Ridgeway primary School will be holding an exhibition to demonstrate its plans to expand the school premises to become a 3 form entry.  This will take place on Monday 21st July 3.30pm-6pm

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Reading Labour party manifesto 2014

The manifesto includes pledges to:

  • keep Reading clean – with continuing deep cleans across the town and regular street sweeping.
  • promote sustainable transport – with more investment in our award winning bus service and measures to make cycling easier
  • pursue all ways to provide more housing – new council housing and work with the private rented sector
  • invest in more primary and secondary schools – in all areas of Reading, including Caversham and east Reading.
  • extend 20mph zones – extending areas in consultation with local residents
  • build extra care housing and nursing projects – offering more options for older people
  • continue to regenerate central Reading, including pressing for an early start on Station Hill and redevelop the old Civic Offices site
  • seek ways to improve local shopping centres
  • press for action on the much-needed third Thames Bridge
  • continue to support and work in partnership with Reading’s much-valued voluntary sector

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Geoffrey Field set for expansion

Geoffrey Field has announced that it is working on expanding the School to become a three form entry.  This will require additional classroom space and so a formal planning application will be made later this year.  The School is obviously home to many Church ward residents and last month the school held a planning exhibition to demonstrate the schools new plan.  If you have any views on the potential expansion of the School, please contact Ashley, Eileen or Paul.

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The Ridgeway Primary set for expansion

The Ridgeway Primary School off of Linden Road has announced that it is working on expanding the School to become a three form entry.  This will require additional classroom space and so a formal planning application will be made later this year.  The School is obviously home to many Church ward residents and the school will be holding a planning exhibition to demonstrate the schools new plan on Monday 21st July from 3.30pm-6pm.  If you have any views on the potential expansion of the School, please contact Ashley, Eileen or Paul.

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