Ash pearce - Labour Church Ward Councillor
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Ward News

Ward News

WhitFest 2017 a big success!

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.

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Matt Rodda Reading East MP

Matt Rodda as the MP for Readng East wants to be an accessible MP who is there to serve his constituents. There are numerous ways you can keep in contact with Matt:



Twitter: @MattRodda

Phone: 07746 642938


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South Reading events calendar

The latest version of the South Reading events calendar will soon be dropping through letter boxes if it has not already!

Thanks to everyone that has contributed and we hope more people will contribute in future. The online calendar can be viewed here

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Reading Neighbourhood network survey

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.


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Matt Rodda is Labour MP for Reading East

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.

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Council put pressure on MP’s to act on South Reading’s underfunded health services

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.

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Fair funding for South Reading NHS petition.

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.


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Notice boards back in action

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.

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South Reading community hub consultation

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

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Carols by candleligt for Launchpad

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.

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Church Ward Councillors help raise awareness of NHS cuts

Ashley, Eileen and activists in the town centre.

Ashley, Eileen and activists in the town centre.

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.”

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Number 9 bus fares fall to £1.70

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.

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South Reading 6 a side & NAG launch

Ashley at the event at Whitley Wood Rec.

Ashley at the event at Whitley Wood Rec.

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.

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Whitley research

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.

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Local schools chance to design “Waste warrior”

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:

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