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.”
In February 2017 the bin collection date times and arrangements will be changing for the first time in a decade to improve efficiency. Details of the changes can be found here.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Ashley recently attended the relaunched South Reading Neighbourhood action group where the local neighbourhood police gave an update. Recently three motorbikes have been seized by the police after anti social behaviour had been reported by members of the community.
If you would like a Motrobike diary recording sheet which helps the police stop the issue as it can give times and residence, please call Liz Herbert on 01189536250.
If you would like to contact your neighbourhood policing team you can call the non emergency 101 number, email them on WhitleyandChurchNHPT@thamesvalley.Penn.police.uk or you can also follow them on Twitter @tvp_reading#NHPTRDG.
Church Ward Councillors were on hand at the 11th annual South Reading Churches fun day at Rabsons Rec on Saturday. The popular event was again full with people viewing different stalls including WEC, Faith, the local police and Blagdon nursery. There was also free food and music to entertain the crowds. Huge thanks to all of the organisers for putting on this great event for the people of South Reading.
A council-owned children’s home in Cressingham Road which was “filled with joy and laughter” has been ranked outstanding by Ofsted. Cressingham Children’s Home provides respite care for children and young people with disabilities was commended for providing “highly effective services” which led to significantly improved outcomes. The manager and staff were also praised for providing high-quality care. A big well done to everyone involved, more can be read here.
Church Ward Councillors were present at this year’s WhitFest which was again a great success. There was music from local bands and local schools, as well as different stalls including the pop up Whitley museum, the scouts and Reading University. Councillors were there to meet local residents and ask their opinion of the possibility of a 20mph zone in the ward.
Council tenants in South Reading will all see a reduction in their rent after Reading Council decided to implement the rent cut to Affinity tenants that other Council tenants across the Borough received.
The policy committee agreed to the proposal which will see a 1.98 per cent decrease in rent until April 2017 which will mean an average rent decrease of £2.16 per week. Service charges will increase by £2 a week. Whitley Affinity tenants will now see the same cut in rent as Reading Borough Council tenants.
The stretch of Northumberland Avenue between Cantebury road and Cressingham Road is to undergo strengthening works from 20th June for approximately 4 weeks. During this time we will be excavating and removing areas of carriageway where the existing underlying concrete has deteriorated and failed, and reinstating ready to resurface in the school annual surface programme to be carried out between 8th August and 2nd September 2016 and the road will be resurfaced during these dates. Many residents have got on contact with us about this road and we hope these works help improve the state of the road. Diversions will be in place and this includes to the number 5 bus services.
The scarlet red number 9 bus route is under consultation to change It’s route. The proposal looks for the bus to be rerouted down Cressingham Road which has long been suggested by many residents. The Council owned bus company want to serve residents as is best possible and we would also like to thank Whitley Big Local for their work on this.. The suggested new route can be seen below.
The consultation can be found here and you can email feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillors are keen to hear your views on the area you live in and so a survey has been produced to gather more information. The survey gives you a chance to say what you appreciate about the area and what can be improved. Councillors will be knocking on doors to gather results and copies will soon be available at The Whitley Cafe. The survey is also available here to complete online.
The BBC regional news programme was shown live from Academy Sport tonight with a special report on Whitley. The show highlighted the good work of Reading buses, Whitley Big local and the Council in helping tackle South Reading’s issues. It also discussed Reading Councils schools strategy encompassing all Reading schools that aims to raise school standards.
Clips can be viewed here
Cllr Eileen McElligott has been re-elected for another four years in Church Ward. With nearly one thousand votes and nearly 350 ahead of her nearest rival, it shows the people of Church Ward want a strong Labour voice on the Council. A big thank you to all activists, supporters and voters. The hard work now conginues in helping our residents.