Councillor’s advice surgery: Church Ward Councillors will be available to discuss any issues with residents on Saturday 2nd February at 10.30am-12pm at The Whitley Café.
ACE committee meeting: Ashley and Ruth will be in attendance at the Adult, Children services and education committee meeting on Thursday 14th at 6.30pm at the Civic centre. The Council’s Education strategy and a Fair workload charter for teachers will be discussed by Ashley as lead member for education.
Full Council meeting: Church Ward Councillors will be in attendance at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 26th February at 6.30pm at the Civic Centre.
Policy Committee meeting: Ashley will be present in his role as Lead member for education on Monday 18th February at 6.30pm at the Civic Centre.
Surgery at Reading Girls School- Ashley will accompany Matt Rodda MP on Friday 1st February between 5-7pm at Reading Girls School to answer resident concerns.
Whitley Community Development Association AGM- Councillors will be in attendance to hear of the work of WCDA on Saturday 9th February at 12.30pm at the Whitley Cafe.
Canvassing– Councillors and activists will be out speaking to residents on Saturday 2nd February at 11.30am around Ashburton Road and Saturday 9th February at 11am on Elm Road.
Newsletter delivery: The latest edition of the Church Ward Labour Rose newsletter will be delivered to every household across the Ward by our Councillors & volunteers towards the end of the month.
Church Ward Councillors are backing a call from local trades people for action to stop tool theft from vans, which is an increasing problem. Theft from commercial vehicles has a huge impact on tradespeople and small businesses in Reading. Not only is there a high cost in time and money to replace tools and to fix the damage caused, it stops people being able to work, leading to loss of earnings and huge financial impacts.
A Home Office Research Study states that the average cost of theft from a commercial vehicle and contents compared to a domestic vehicle and contents is double. Despite this there is no separate crime theft from a commercial vehicle, creating a new offence of theft from a commercial vehicle could help to deter this crime. Local carpenters Micky Leng, Mark Russell and other trades people are campaigning for parliament to change the law to ensure that this carries a sentence which is proportionate to the cost which includes: replacements; repairing damage; business disruption; customer reimbursement and compensation. Micky Leng says “So many of us have had our vans broken into and it has a massive impact on our work. There needs to be a stronger deterrent so people’s work isn’t affected. I hope everyone will sign our petition and get behind the campaign”.
Church Ward Councillor Paul Woodward added “With vehicle theft on the rise, it particularly affects van drivers – whether self employed or small businesses, I fully support the campaign and I’ll be working to help it succeed.
The future of local Council run nursery schools in England is under threat after March 2020 as adequate funding from the Tory Government has not been confirmed. Church Ward Councillors are urging the Government to take action to ensure maintained nursery schools are financially sustainable into the future. Nursery schools are vital for many children’s start in life and this uncertainty is putting their future in doubt. Labour believes all of our children deserve the best start in life and so our nurseries need to be adequately funded.
In South Reading we are proud of the work our nursery schools such as Blagdon, Little Owls and Geoffrey Field do with our youngsters but the job they do is becoming more difficult every day. Nurseries are facing budget cuts from Central Government of up to 17% and the number of places available has fallen as a consequence. If you want to help us let the Government know we want this to end, please sign the petition.