Reading East MP Matt Rodda with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid a visit to Reading for the second time in three months to speak to local residents about fuel poverty and the housing crisis in Reading. Mr Corbyn, alongside our new MP Matt Rodda, spoke with homeless charity Launchpad about the acute housing shortage in the South East and the problems it is causing. He also blasted the Government for not allowing Reading Council to build more Council homes. Mr Corbyn said “The root cause of homelessness in places like Reading is expensive private sector houses. Ultimately the answer is investment in council housing, but it is also giving local authorities the power to convert former industrial properties and office properties into social housing.” Mr Corbyn then visited a resident in Whitley to discuss the growing problem of fuel poverty and rising energy prices. Labour would cap energy prices and provide a boost to all households.
The 4 local Clinical commissioning groups or CCG’s that make the decisions on health care planning for the Royal Berks and local GP’s are to merge. This has been done due to Tory Government NHS budget cuts and takes decisions further away from local people. These plans have been drawn up behind closed doors and without any accountability.
The long standing issue of a dip in the road surface of Cressingham Road has finally been repaired after months of Councillor complaints passed on from residents. If there are any issues on roads near you, please let us know and we will do all we can to get the Council to take action.
Reading Borough Council proposes to move to a new model for delivering children’s services in the form of a Council-owned company.
As part of its ongoing improvement journey, the Council is recommending setting up a wholly-owned Council company to build on progress made to date and to deliver long-term and sustainable improvements for children and young people in Reading.
The stand-alone company will focus solely on the operation of children’s services, allowing social workers and other staff to concentrate on their core day to day activity of helping to keep children safe and delivering a range of other services to children, young people and their families.
It would have its own independent board and a decision-making process, separate to the Councils. It would also operate within its own ring-fenced budget. The Council will however, continue to hold the company to account for performance.
Reading Borough Council has been successful in a £2.3m funding bid for the new Green park train station in South Reading. The new station could be up and running by 2019, providing local jobs and improved transport links in the area. More can be read below:
As Councillors we are your representatives to Reading Borough Council. We want to hear your views so we can help shape your community in your vision.
We have created a short survey that will only take a few seconds to fill in. This will help us understand what national and local issues are important to you, and if you are a Labour member, how you may be able to help us.
The survey will only take around a minute and can be found here.
Cllr Ashley Pearce helping to run one of the WhitFest stalls.
This year’s WhitFest (the arts festival for South Reading) was excellently hosted by the John Madejski academy. There were various stalls for kids and adults to enjoy as usual, with charities such as Age Concern and ABC to read represented as well as local crafts people displaying their works. Cllr Pearce and Reading East MP Matt Rodda helped run the WhitFest doodle stall where youngsters were encouraged to write down what Whitley meant to them. The day was topped off with some excellent entertainment in the form of singing and dancing from the JMA students themselves. The event continues to grow every year and I look forward to being involved again next year.
Reading Neighbourhood Network (RNN) is an umbrella organisation of residents and neighbourhood groups active across Reading. They provide information, support and training through peer support and events.
The network has two main aims:
to increase the level of community activity at a neighbourhood level
to increase the voice of residents through neighbourhood groups
Reading Neighbourhood Network would like to invite current and potential members to complete their survey, to find out more about your group and what you would like to see from RNN.
Please take a few moments to complete the survey below.
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.”