Ash pearce - Labour Church Ward Councillor
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Ward News

Ward News

Old Whitley library site proposed sale for community use

The old Whitley Library site will go before Councillors at the policy committee next week, where it’s sale will be proposed to turn it into an area for community use. The bidders can’t yet be revealed due to commercial sensitivity and confidentiality but will be known in due course after the meeting.

The sale of this site ensures that the historical frontage of the building will be maintained, and Tree protection orders will be placed on trees to keep these preserved. Additional parking next to the site will also be provided.

We are pleased that the site will remain in community use rather than being over developed in another way. The purchaser is local, with a community ethos and aspirations to provide education support to the local community. I will be attempting to arrange a meeting with the new owners to discuss how we can work together on this as soon as possible.

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Road resurfacing programme

This will understandably now be delayed due to the coronavirus crisis but the full list of roads and years they will be completed in Church Ward can be found  below.

Northumberland Avenue is not on the list as the structural issues it has require a separate pot of money from central Government that we are bidding for. I will be lobbying Reading East MP Matt Rodda and Reading West MP Alok Sharma for support as the road cuts through both constituencies.

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Garden waste collection to resume next week

READING Borough Council’s garden waste collection service will fully resume from Monday 27 April.

The service was temporarily suspended on 27 March to allow the Council to successfully focus on ensuring priority collections of household waste and recycling could continue, despite staff shortages due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The council’s swift redeployment and retraining of staff meant that a full service of household waste and recycling has been maintained throughout, and it is now able to include garden waste collections once again.

Garden waste subscriptions of residents who had already renewed will automatically be updated to start from 27 April for a full year, with no charges for the period that the service was suspended. Existing customers who have not yet renewed, and new customers, can sign up and pay for the service now online at

With the service resuming next week after a month-long absence, residents are being urged to only present their garden waste for collection in the bins or bags provided, as the collection team are unable to take away excess waste placed beside the bins.

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WCDA voluntary work

Whitley Community Development Association (Whitley CDA) is involved with a number of community projects based in Whitley. They are a charity (Charity Number 1165275).

Whitley CDA has been supporting the people of Whitley for six years.

Now more than ever they need your help.

Whether you would like to donate funds for the food surplus project, the defibrillator project, the youth cafe or one of the others please let them know by email.

At the moment the priority is food surplus project and the vital delivery of food parcels to the elderly and vulnerable in Whitley. You can read about this here.

Together we are #TheBeatingHeartOfWhitley

If you are able to donate anything to help them continue their work please click on this link:

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One Reading Community hub

THE One Reading Community Hub action line is now live – a place where people in need of help are connected with volunteers, organisations and services who can support them during the Covid-19 outbreak.

If you are someone in very urgent need of help, then check the Government websites and the Council website for information first.  If you cannot get the help you need to stay safe and healthy, then the action line is there for you.

If you are a person, business or organisation that wants to offer support to voluntary organisations across Reading who are out on the ground helping people, please ring and the hub will pass your details on.

The number to call is 0808 1894325. The phoneline is open 9am-5pm and 5 days a week. Residents, volunteers, businesses and organisations can also get in contact with the One Reading Community Hub online

As the service is only just up and running today,  we would ask people to bear with us as the team works to become fully operational.  People are asked to only ring if their need is urgent and there is no other option.

The One Reading Community Hub will collect information and connect them with the right service or organisation in Reading to provide support, making full use of the town’s wide network of community and voluntary groups.

In terms of volunteers, there is a particular need for people with public service experience and who have counselling skills. It is also helpful if volunteers have a car,  but the hub will register anyone who can offer help.

The public is being urged to only contact the hub if they have urgent welfare needs which a family member or trusted friend cannot help them with. This is so that resources can be directed to the people that need it most at this challenging time. All offers of help and support are welcome from individuals, businesses and other organisations. The hub cannot provide health advice and will direct customers to NHS 111.

The One Reading Community Hub is a partnership between Reading Borough Council, Reading Voluntary Action and Reading’s wide and varied voluntary and community sector.

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Ward news round up

Waiting restrictions: Shinfield Road has become a problem area for parking in recent months and has now been replaced on the waiting restrictions review list. This will be heard at March’s transport committee meeting where if passed, Council officers will undertake further investigations into what actions we can take.

Speeding: on the same agenda at the March transport meeting as the above is potential speeding restrictions on Northcourt Avenue and the surrounding roads. If passed the same process of further investigation by the Council will take place.

Road resurfacing: the Council will soon put into place the biggest investment into repairing our roads ever. This includes many roads in Church Ward to be repaired in the next 3 years. Roads in most need will be prioritised and the full list of roads will be available soon.

Local CIL spending: a small pot of money is available to spend on local projects every couple of years from Community Infrastructure Levy payments. At the end of this year we expect the crossing to Ridgeway School on Whitley Wood Road and on Northumberland Avenue by Reading Girls School to be completed. The next round of funding will be discussed soon and I’m happy to hear from residents. Currently improvements to Shinfield Rec park off Linden Road and improving the Christchurch Road shops area are high on the priority list.

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School streets trial could come to South Reading

A School Street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic at school drop-off and pick-up times. The restriction applies to school traffic and through traffic. The result is a safer, healthier and pleasant environment for everyone.

School Street schemes offer a proactive solution for school communities to tackle air pollution, poor health and road danger reduction. A School Street scheme will encourage a healthier lifestyle and active travel to school for families and lead to a better environment for everyone.

A traffic management order is applied to a street around a school, temporarily restricting access to motorised vehicles. That street will in, effect, become a pedestrian and cycle only zone. Times for the restrictions are determined in agreement with the school. These can be for between 30-45 minutes and only on weekdays and term times.

At a recent Clean Air Safer Transport forum meeting the issue of School Streets was discussed and pilot schools have been sought to test the scheme. Two of our local schools in Whitley have expressed an interest in becoming an area this could be implemented. Discussions with these schools will continue and our ambition to introduce this scheme is also clear in the new transport plan.

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New Reading station Green Park opens in 2020 – final details confirmed

Reading’s new Green Park train station is still set to open by the end of 2020 after plans for its building were finalised.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Transport and Planning, said the station is scheduled to open by the end of 2020 but “hopefully a bit earlier” and is now fully funded.

Green Park train station’s building was given the green light by councillors in September with the condition that the issues over the disabled toilet are resolved.

The building will include a ticket and enquiry desk, ticket office, staff rest and toilet facilities, male and female toilets, one accessible outside toilet, a baby change facility, self-service ticket machines and shops.

The station will be part of the Reading to Basingstoke Line run by GWR.

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Food waste collection coming to Reading in 2020

Between 30% and 40% of the household rubbish put into our grey bins in Reading is food waste. This often ends up in landfill where it rots and releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. When recycled, food waste can be turned into fertiliser for farming and energy. It’s also cheaper – every time we compost a lorry load of food instead of sending it to landfill it saves £100.

We’re introducing weekly kerbside food waste collections from October 2020. Over the coming year we’ll provide you with all the information and equipment you need to take part.

The benefits include:

  • Composted food waste can be turned into electricity fertiliser for farming.
  • Composting food instead of burying it in landfill reduces the amount of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) released into the atmosphere.
  • It’s cheaper – every time we compost a lorry load of food instead of sending it to landfill it saves £100.
  • Separating food waste means you have more room in your black bin to put things you cannot recycle.

You will have two food waste containers, a small indoor kitchen caddy (5 litre) to put in your kitchen and a larger outdoor caddy (23 litre) for you to put outside for collection. These will be delivered to everyone’s home.

The food waste will be collected weekly.

You’ll receive more details nearer the time, including all the information and equipment you need to take part.

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