Councillors and volunteers after a successful mornings clean up.
Church and Whitley Ward Councillors joined volunteers to help clean up Rabsons Rec. Church Ward’s Ashley Pearce and Eileen McElligott donned high viz jackets and grabbed litter pickers to work their way round the Rec. Half a dozen bags worth of rubbish was collected leaving the park in a cleaner state than before.
Academy Sports swimming pool will temporarily close on October 2nd for urgent refurbishment works. The Northumberland Avenue pool was transferred back into the management of Reading Sport and Leisure this year, after being operated and managed by the John Madejski Academy since 2007.
The Council is now replacing much of the original plant and equipment at the pool as part of a major investment programme which will allow the pool to operate in future years. Work on the site will include fitting a new boiler to heat the pool and installing a new ventilation system. The council has reprogrammed school swimming lessons while it is closed.
Councillor Sarah Hacker, lead member for sport, said: There is never an ideal time to close a pool, particularly for this length of time, but I hope regular users of the facilities will appreciate that these are major improvement works, which make a complete closure unavoidable.
“Much of the fabric of the pool at Academy Sport has been in place since it opened in 1983 and now needs complete replacement. Officers are taking the opportunity to carry out a number of improvement works at the same time to avoid future inconvenience. We expect the pool to be open again early in the New Year when swimmers can look forward to a much more pleasant swimming environment and more reliable facilities.”
Church Ward could potentially gain 2 new art installations soon if passed at this month’s planning committee. The art work is part of the funding received from the new Tesco depot in Whitley, part of which promised money for new art in South Reading. The wire structures will be on Northumberland Avenue by Geoffrey Field School, one of a Rabsons Rivers player and the other a set of dinnerladies from the school.
More information on the application can be found here
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.