Ash pearce - Labour Church Ward Councillor
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Ward News

Ward News

Potential new artwork for Church Ward

One of the potential new art installations I

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

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Jeremy Corbyn visits Reading-Again!

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.


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Secretive NHS plans move forward

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.

More can be found here.

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Cressingham Road repairs take place

The dip in the road now repaired.

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.

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Council owned company to run children’s services

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.

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Church Ward survey

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.

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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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