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

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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Ridgeway gets new sensory room

Sensory room

The new sensory room at Ridgeway Primary.

Ashley was on hand in his role as a Ridgeway Governor to see the opening up of a new Sensory room at Ridgeway Primary.  A sensory room is a special room designed to develop people’s sense, through special lighting, music, and objects. It can be used as a therapy for children with limited communication skills and will be invaluable to pupils at the school.

The project was funded by the charity Wooden spoon and was officially unveiled by London Irish star Tom Homer.

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October events

Councillors surgery: Saturday 4th October 10.30am South Reading Community Centre (Northumberland Avenue).  Please come and speak to Councillors about any local issues or concerns you have.

Shinfield Road canvassing: Tuesday 7th October 6pm.  Councillors will be out on Shinfield Road conducting a street surgery to listen to any issues or concerns local residents have.

Brybur Close Planning Committee meeting: Wednesday 15th October 6.30pm.  Planning committee to decide upon the planning application for two temporary homes on Brybur Close.

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Church ward pavements get resurfacing


The new pavement surface on Linden Road.

The pavements of Linden Road, Alandale Road and The Lawns (Windemere Road) are to get the resurfacing treatment in the upcoming weeks thanks to the work of ward Councillors Ashley, Paul and Eileen.  The roads have been victims of wear and tear in recent years and this has not gone unnoticed by the Councillors on there visits.  The Councillors furthered the case for these pavements to be resurfaced to Council officers.  A total of 33 pavements on residential streets across Reading are being resurfaced over the coming weeks, signalling an investment of £102,000 by the Council.

Preparation work in advance of the main resurfacing work has already begun, with the resurfacing of pavements beginning on Monday Sept 22nd. The programmed improvement work will run over a 4 week period.

Letters will be delivered to local residents living in the 33 streets before resurfacing is due to start on their pavements. Advanced warning signs will also go up before works start.

Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“The Council has just resurfaced 19 main roads and 27 residential roads as part of our annual summer programme. That was a £1.38 million investment to benefit all road users in Reading. The resurfacing of pavements in residential streets is also a major piece of work the Council is carrying out to benefit all pedestrians, and of course local residents who live in those streets.

“I’d like to thank residents for their patience and co-operation during the period whilst these improvements works take place.”


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Reading girls school rebuild gets Council go ahead

Work at Reading girls school on Northumberland avenue will begin soon after Reading borough Council’s planning committee agreed to approve Interserve construction to build the new school.  It will remain on the same site and the school will remain open throughout the build from November through to March.

The new buildings will provide space for up to 900 pupils, 100 more than now. The developers have made a contribution of £68,000 toward transport schemes that the Council will use for traffic calming measures.

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September canvassing

Your Church ward Councillors will be out speaking to residents about their concerns this month on the following dates and in the following places:

  • Saturday 13th September 10.30am: Tamarisk avenue
  • Wednesday 24th September 6pm: Hillbrow
  • Saturday 27th September 10.30am: Hollydale close

Please talk to us about any issues weband the Council can help with.

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New development and jobs for South Reading

aldi pic

Whitley is to get a new pub, gym and supermarket in a scheme that will create 110 jobs.

Jansons Property has been granted planning consent by Reading Borough Council for the retail and leisure redevelopment, on the site of an empty office building next to Morrisons on Basingstoke Road.

New tenants will include an Aldi store, Pure Gym and a Greene King pub, which is expected to be one of its Hungry Horse brand. Around 70 full-time and 40 part-time jobs will be created.

Work on the three-acre site is due to start in January and be completed by autumn 2015.

This is excellent news for Church residents with many job opportunities and amenities so nearby.

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Brybur Close planning application


Parliamentary candidate Matt Rodda with Church Ward Councillor Paul Woodward at a residents meeting on Brybur close.

Ward Councillors are taking action on the application to put in mobile homes on a small patch of land off of Brybur close.
Many residents have said they oppose the application and we agree that the site is not suitable for such use for access and infrastructure reasons (a previous application for a bungalow was refused) and will actively oppose it.

Matt Rodda, Labour’s Reading East candidate for Parliament is also aware, and will support residents to get this application stopped.

We have called the application in for decision at the next Planning Applications Committee on the 15th October. This means that elected Councillors will decide the matter and has the advantage that Eileen, Ash and Paul can speak up for residents in a public committee.

Please come along if you can, so the committee can understand your strength of feeling on the matter.  Some of you have already sent your objections to planning officers. I would encourage more of you to do so – send them direct or to us and we’ll forward them on.



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Council Encourages Eligible Families to Register for Free School Meals

FAMILIES who are entitled to free school meals are being urged to complete registration forms so that schools continue to receive additional valuable funding.

From the start of this new school term, free school meals will be available to every child in reception, year 1 and year 2.  Children in all years whose parents are in receipt of relevant benefits will continue to be entitled to free school meals as before through the completion and return of a free school meal application form.

These forms, including those for infant-aged children, provide schools with additional Pupil Premium funding – worth £1,300 a year per pupil.   Pupil Premiums are important to schools, as they are used to improve learning opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged children.

The funding is spent on a range of enhancements that can include additional teaching staff, extra curriculum opportunities such as out-of-hours clubs or to pay for equipment. Free school meals save parents money as well as offering children a healthy, balanced diet. Educational attainment also rises when children are healthier and are able to concentrate on school work without the distraction of being hungry.

Children whose parents receive any of the following support payments may be entitled to receive free school meals:

• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
• Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs)

More information can be found on, by calling the School Meals Support Service on 0118 937 4285 or contacting one of your Church Ward Councillors.

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