Matt Rodda at Rabsons Rec for the South Reading fun day.
THANK YOU! Reading East returned a Labour MP in Matt Rodda who ousted Tory incumbent Rob Wilson by over 3500 votes. In our ward Labour won by over 500 votes and this couldn’t have been done without you. Voting, talking to others, having a poster up, delivering, door knocking and gate duty are all things we are thankful that you, the residents have done.
I have known Matt for over 5 years and he has been a local Councillor in nearby Katesgrove since 2011. Matt was the first local politician to knock on my door to try and engage me and has helped me along the way. He will be a hard working MP with who will always put the needs of Reading First.
A motion put forward by Cllr Ashley Pearce was unanimously passed by Reading Cllrs at March’s Full Council meeting. The motion pointed out that South Reading was 150th out of 150 CCG’s (clinical commissioning groups) in terms of funding across the UK. It also made clear the unfairness in the health funding gaps across Reading. South Reading residents receive the lowest funding per head in the country, over £200 less than the average of £1221. This has in part led to a life expectancy gap of over ten years between areas of South and North Reading. The motion has called for an urgent meeting between the CCG’s, MP’s and the relevant local Councillors to redress the balance.
Your local Labour Councillors have began asking residents to sign a petition to ensife the NHS in South Reading receives fairer funding. Your local health services will be underfunded by £479m a year by 2020. We are calling on Reading’s MP’s -Alok Sharma and Rob Wilson- to end the underfunding of NHS services in Reading. We are also calling on Reading’s NHS clinical commissioning groups to ensure the provision of a comprehensive and effective health service for all local patients.
Please sign the petition linked here , to let your MPs know how you feel.
The popular South Reading calendar has started to drop through letter boxes in Church Ward. The calendar has lots of local events and listings in one place from many local organisations. It will be delivered to over 4000 homes and updated for the second half of the year.
Two notice boards that have been unused for the past few years have recently been brought back into use after pressure from Councillors. The disused notice boards both off of Linden Road have been revamped thanks to Affinity housing and Reading Council and will now hold relevant local information to help keep residents informed. If you would like any information to be displayed please contact Ashley to let him know.
Reading Council and Whitley Community development association (the group who oversee the spending of the £1m lottery funding), have recently been working on a project for a New South Reading hub. The new project would see the closure of the libraries current building at the bottom of Cressingham road and for this to be relocated to the South Reading community centre. This would see the Whitley cafe improve its current toilet and kitchen facilities as well as the library being located opposite in a new community hub. This would see facilities upgraded, meeting spaces maintained and entrances rationalized. The project has come about due to continued Government cuts to the Council’s funding but due to the work of WCDA, Reading Council and local Councillors, we believe we have come up with a proposal that will improve local facilities. It will see an upgrading of current facilities, a better library location with greater footfall and a hub offering a wider range of services. A consultation for the project starts on January 4th and we would be interested to hear your views. The link can be found here
Ashley attended the annual Launchpad carols by candlelight ceremony at Reading Minster Church this week. The annual event organised by Readings homeless charity saw carols, readings and a guest appearance from Rogue traders Matt Allbright. The event raised a much needed £7800 for the charity and a huge thank you to all involved.
Ashley and Eileen were out speaking with the public in the town centre yesterday to raise awareness of the Tory Governments planned NHS cuts. Secretive Government plans that have had no public consultation could see up to £34m worth of cuts in Berkshire West which includes the Royal Berks. Plans could also see services merged together and some surgeries closed down.
The secrecy of the plans was condemned by political and medical experts in Reading, who said the NHS should not have tried to hide the proposals. Reading Borough Council took a stand against the NHS by publishing their damning report, despite being asked not to do so.
Cllr Jo Lovelock, leader of the authority, added: “It is absolutely essential that draft proposals of this magnitude are brought into the open, publicly discussed and given proper consideration, which is why we have taken the decision to publish the plans today, and give local people and patients the opportunity to see the NHS proposals and comment. The document itself contains a claim that the NHS has been working with Local Government on these proposals, but from Reading’s perspective that is certainly not true.”
A single fare on the number 9 & 3 bus routes within Reading’s boundaries will tomorrow fall by 20p a journey to £1.70 to bring it inline with the number 5 route in the south of the ward. The fares in South Reading are the lowest in the town and demonstrates Reading Councils commitment to helping residents in the area. More can be read here.
The South Reading Neighbourhood Action Group had its launch event at Whitley Wood Rec in October. Organised by South Reading FC with help from Reading Council, the event incorporated a 6 a side football tournament and BBQ whilst raising awareness and donations for ReadiFood, Reading’s food bank. The event was set up to raise awareness of the launch of South Reading’s NAG whose next meeting will be on Thursday 27th October at Whitley Wood community centre on Northumberland Avenue.
Claire McEnoy and others at the Whitley Big local project have conducted some research into the attitudes and experiences of people from Whitley. Councillors plan to use this research to help our future decision making and whatever can do to assist in the future. The research results can be found here.
Children in Reading are being asked to use their artistic talents to create a recycling mascot for the council. Pupils at primary schools across the borough have been invited to enter a competition to design a character who will be used by the council to inspire their mums and dads to recycle more.
Teachers are also being offered the chance to host free special assemblies, classes or group sessions with members of the council’s waste and recycling team.
Youngsters are being challenged to design a mascot, maybe a Waste Warrior or eco-friendly animal, with a catchy to used in future council publicity about recycling. The team can give talks at assemblies, hold interactive classroom sessions or run smaller group talks with pupils.
Councillor Liz Terry, Reading Borough Council’s lead member for neighbourhoods, said: “We are calling on primary pupils across the borough to create fabulous mascots to help us boost recycling in Reading. I would encourage schools to take up the offer of free visits from our recycling officers to help inspire children to learn about recycling and to come up with a character for the competition. The younger we get the recycling message across, the better our chances of cutting down the amount of waste buried in landfill in the future.”
Any schools interested in booking a session or after more information can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley recently attended the relaunched South Reading Neighbourhood action group where the local neighbourhood police gave an update. Recently three motorbikes have been seized by the police after anti social behaviour had been reported by members of the community.
If you would like a Motrobike diary recording sheet which helps the police stop the issue as it can give times and residence, please call Liz Herbert on 01189536250.
If you would like to contact your neighbourhood policing team you can call the non emergency 101 number, email them on WhitleyandChurchNHPT@thamesvalley.Penn.police.uk or you can also follow them on Twitter @tvp_reading#NHPTRDG.
Church Ward Councillors were on hand at the 11th annual South Reading Churches fun day at Rabsons Rec on Saturday. The popular event was again full with people viewing different stalls including WEC, Faith, the local police and Blagdon nursery. There was also free food and music to entertain the crowds. Huge thanks to all of the organisers for putting on this great event for the people of South Reading.
A council-owned children’s home in Cressingham Road which was “filled with joy and laughter” has been ranked outstanding by Ofsted.Cressingham Children’s Home provides respite care for children and young people with disabilities was commended for providing “highly effective services” which led to significantly improved outcomes. The manager and staff were also praised for providing high-quality care. A big well done to everyone involved, more can be read here.
Church Ward Councillors were present at this year’s WhitFest which was again a great success. There was music from local bands and local schools, as well as different stalls including the pop up Whitley museum, the scouts and Reading University. Councillors were there to meet local residents and ask their opinion of the possibility of a 20mph zone in the ward.
Council tenants in South Reading will all see a reduction in their rent after Reading Council decided to implement the rent cut to Affinity tenants that other Council tenants across the Borough received.
The policy committee agreed to the proposal which will see a 1.98 per cent decrease in rent until April 2017 which will mean an average rent decrease of £2.16 per week. Service charges will increase by £2 a week. Whitley Affinity tenants will now see the same cut in rent as Reading Borough Council tenants.