Ash pearce - Labour Church Ward Councillor
Church's Labour Team, led by our Councillor Ashley Pearce

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Monthly Archives: November 2016

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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December events

  • Councillors surgery- Councillors will be holding their regular monthly surgery at Whitley cafe on Saturday 3rd December from 10.30am-12pm.
  • Whitley community group meeting-The latest meeting of local residents to discuss matters in South Reading is on Thursday December 1st at 7pm at South Reading Youth and community centre.
  • I Daniel Blake film showing- The latest film from acclaimed director Ken Loach is featured at Reading film theatre on Whiteknights campus at the University on Tuesday December 6th at 8pm. You can purchase tickets here
  • Whitley community development association meeting-The last meeting of the year for WCDA (the sterr ing group for the lottery grant money) is on Wednesday December 7th at 7pm in the Whitley cafe.
  • Planning committee-Ashley will be present at the Council planning committee meeting on Wednesday 7th December at 7pm at the Council civic offices on Bridge street. It is expected the application for St Patricks hall redevelopment will appear.
  • Carols by candlelight-Ashley will be attending local homeless charity Launchpad’s Carol service at Minster church on Thursday 8th December at 7pm.
  • Adults children’s services and education meeting-Eileen and Ashley will be at the ACE meeting on Tuesday 13th December at 6.30pm at the Civic centre. 
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Autumn statement failure

This week the Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his autumn statement.  As an economics teacher these statements always intrigue me.  He went through with the usual sound bites.  First up was “Fiscal discipline”, this apparent fiscal discipline includes scrapping the surplus target for 2019 and borrowing more money than ALL Labour Governments ever put together. Whilst your National Insurance went up last year, they can still find room to cut tax on big business. Next up was being “Match fit” for Brexit.  This match fitness apparently includes a huge one month rise in the trade deficit by £0.9bn to £5.1bn.  The crash in sterling does not mean we suddenly import less, it just means the cost of our petrol and weekly shopping basket rises. Match fitness also encompasses a downgrading of future growth in the upcoming years. Then there was “record employment”, firstly with population level at an all-time high this is a given.  Then we need to consider the “2.7m new jobs” & “security for working people”. Nearly 5m of these jobs in “record employment” are self-employed jobs, which the resolution foundation recently discovered were paying less now than in 1995. The recent court ruling against Uber and press around work practices of Deliveroo show that these jobs are anything but secure. With less panache than his predecessor, Hammond delivered the same old smoke & mirrors budget, the Just About Managing households, will be no better off than before.
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Ridgeway primary new building official opening

Ridgeway Primary school will be celebrating its official opening this Friday with a visit from Tony Jones the lead member for Education. The schools expansion demonstrates the Council’s commitment to excellent school facilities in the borough and in South Reading in particular. Ridgeway holds a special place in Cllr Ashley Pearce’s heart, as a Governor at the school for the past 3 years he has helped oversee the expansion. More detail about the opening can be read here.

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