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

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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Council budget priorities out for consultation

Reading Borough Council estimates it needs to save a further £39 million over the next three years to 2019. This is because since 2013/14 the Conservative Government have cut Reading’s grant funding by 40%. These cuts are taking place at a time when demand for local Council services in Reading is increasing.

Over the next three years the Council will be making a series of budget proposals to make the savings needed. The latest of these packages of savings, efficiencies and income proposals were agreed for consultation at a meeting of the Council’s Policy Committee on 20 July 2015.

We want you to be aware of the proposals being made and to have your say.
You can find details of the individual proposals and have your say here. Under each of the proposals is a section where you can leave your comments. You can choose to comment on just one, or as many of the proposals as you would like to.

Please take some time to tell us what you think, these are your council services so make sure you have your say.  The consultation runs until 5pm on Friday 16th October 2015 and all feedback will be considered before decisions are made.

More details about the proposals can be found here: Budget_Consultation_Leaflet

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Whitley Big Local Update

Whitley Big Local are the steering group in charge of how to distribute lottery funding of £1m. They have already brought the Whitley cafe to South Reading as well as helping many other smaller projects. This week they had their AGM, where Cllr Ashley Pearce was elected as Vice-Chair and ideas were shared amongst local representatives from the University, schools, charities and others. The next major plans include revamping their website and working to get parking for the cafe. If you wish to contribute any ideas or thoughts, please email


Whitley Big local secured use of the community centre for the Whitley cafe.

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Sun shines for WhitFest

Councillor Ashley Pearce was in attendance at a hugely successful WhitFest on Saturday. The event organised by Aspire2 saw stalls from local groups Whitley Growalot, The Ridgeway Primary school (cake decorating) and Whitley Big local among many others. The event showcased the talents of local people and luckily the sun shone on the event all day.

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Osborne’s cuts to hit Reading families

Despite the bluster in George Osborne’s Summer budget, he once again failed to realise the issues of families across Reading. £12bn in welfare cuts will see working age benefits (tax credits and child benefit included) cut in real terms, the public sector will see pay rises capped at 1% (compared to 11% for our MP’s), maintenance grants for poorer students to attend University have been scrapped and 18-21 year olds have been hit with draconian measures on housing benefit. The Chancellor did manage to find money to cut corporation tax for big businesses, but not business rates for small firms.

For Reading, the issues of high housing costs were ignored.  There were no plans for a desperately needed house building programme or to deal with sky high private rents but subsidies for social housing are to be phased out. Reading Borough Council will see further unfair cuts to its budget, with funding per head cut by £103 in Reading compared to £38 per head in Wokingham. The Council will have to deliver vital services such as social care and educational improvement, with less and less money. The Government say they are helping families, whilst taking money away from them in tax credits. As usual with this Chancellor, the rhetoric was somewhat different to the reality.

Get Reading have more here

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ReadyBike celebrates its first year.

Reading’s cycle hire scheme run by the Council recently celebrated its first year anniversary. The bikes that can be hired out on a time by time basis or from a membership scheme have seen steady numbers across the town including in South Reading. Remember docking stations in the area are at Christchurch Green by the Uni and Academy sports across from JMA. The town centre has many docking stations so why not give it a go?! More information can be found on the website here.

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Northummberland training academy


Church Ward Councillors would like to promote the work of Northumberland training academy who run courses in Whitley. The academy based at Reading girls school site has an open day every Thursday but visitors are welcome everyday between 9am-4pm and enrolment for courses is now open for 2015/16. The website can be found here:

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Another successful clean up at Shinfield Rec


Eileen and Ashley with the haul.

Church Ward Councillors Eileen and Ashley alongside volunteers helped clean up Shinfield Road rec on a sunny July day recently. The Council provided the equipment and picked up the haul which included some heavy duty items dumped around the park. Councillors would like to ask residents help in keeping an eye out for anyone dumping or fly tipping at the park, if you see anything please let us or the Council know. We have also asked for additional bins at the park and enquired as to the viability of CCTV. If there is anywhere else across the Ward that you think needs the clean up treatment, please let us know.

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Linden Road traffic survey

Over the past months Councillors have listened to concerns regarding the traffic flows on Linden Road and want to work with residents and the Council to come up with solutions. Residents will have different views on what should be done and we are restricted by a lack of resources thanks to central Government cuts. However we want to see what you want and then what we can offer from the Council. Councillors will be out on Linden Road to speak to residents on Wednesday July 15th (late afternoon-early evening) when we will drop off surveys with a return address. Alternatively you can log on (any phones or tablets can access) to our very quick and easy survey here:

Linder Road traffic survey

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