30 Nov 2011

The truth about N30 - todays strike action


Here is a video of those striking in Reading and their concerns for their futures.One day of action to try and protect potentially 30+ years of retirement.  The Government say they need to make these changes because of the economic situation.  Will they improve public sector workers pensions when the economy picks up?  Highly unlikely....



29 Nov 2011

Council to Submit Multi-Million Pound Lottery Bid For New Abbey Quarter

Reading Borough Council Press Release

Reading Borough Council is to submit an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund next week for £6.7m to create an Abbey Quarter for the town..

Reading's bid to the HLF will transform Reading 's historic heart, conserving and promoting this nationally significant heritage, to encourage more visitors and investment in the area. It will also create opportunities for people to participate and learn about their heritage whilst enjoying this hidden gem right in the town centre.

28 Nov 2011

Concessions introduced for bulky waste collection

As a councilllor I spend a lot of my time reporting dumped and fly-tipped items to the council for collection.  If I see something when I am out with the boys or on the bus I make a note/take a photo and report it.  I also get contacted by residents about abandoned items, like mattresses and sofas.

A bed in Gordon Place
It is important the streets are kept clean but these things shouldn't be dumped in the first place.  They should be taken to the tip, given to charity/recycled if appropriate or residents should arrange for their collection and disposal.

25 Nov 2011

New reward and loyalty scheme for Reading residents

There are a lot of great initiatives going to council Cabinet on Monday.  Here is the press release for proposals to revamp 'Your Reading Passport' with rewards for people who frequently use Reading Borough Councils sport and leisure facilities, libraries and arts and entertainment venues.

"Money Saving Incentives For Residents

21/11/2011
Reading Borough Council Press Release

Money saving incentives for Reading residents could be introduced if a new reward and loyalty scheme gets the go-ahead from councillors.

23 Nov 2011

Charging for dumped trolleys......

Dumped trolleys have been a problem around Reading, and in Battle ward, for many years.  Things got worse when Tesco opened in 2008.  Despite the automatic wheel locks, Tesco trolleys were found all over the place and  residents and councillors were very cross about it.

Earlier this year they finally introduced a £1 deposit scheme.  Things improved but I still see Tesco trolleys, along with ASDA and Waitrose, in the streets and parks.  The supermarkets do collect them if they are told about them but this is usually just once a week.

The Labour administration of Reading Borough Council are now proposing to charge supermarkets for the collection, storage and return of their rogue trollies.  I see no reason why the Council should collect and store trollies for free, as is currently the case.  Councillors Gul Khan, Chris Maskell and myself welcome this proposal and hope we will see fewer and fewer trolleys scattered around Battle ward.

Council press release:

20 Nov 2011

Discounts back to fight Readings rats

A proposal to reduce the cost of pest control, and re-introduce concessions for the elderly, disabled and those on low incomes (through the Your Reading Passport scheme), is to be put before Reading Borough Council cabinet on November 28.  It has become clear that the price rises made by the previous administration made the service unaffordable.


I have been contacted by a few residents in Battle about vermin and suggested they contact the council but the price of the service was a barrier.  These new, reduced, charges should enable people to seek assistance and get their problem under control.

16 Nov 2011

Mayor packing bags at Tesco?

Despite some accusations of being anti-Tesco, it is my local supermarket and the one I use most, mainly because I can walk there with the pram.   With that in mind, this press release from Reading Borough Council made me smile.  Imagine having your bags packed by the Mayor, Cllr Deborah Edwards!  Cllr Edwards is working ever so hard to raise money for the Mayors Fund so why not take advantage and raise some money in the process?


14 Nov 2011

UPDATED: Working Better With You - The Future......

UPDATE:  I have just got back from the 'Working Better With You - The Future' event at the Town Hall.  It was very well attended and started with an overview of feedback so far and an explanation of how the evening was to run.  There were ten working groups but, rather than their theme being pre-determined, the topics for each group came from the floor. 

I visited a couple of groups, one discussing libraries and the other old and young getting together in the community.  Feedback from the event will be on the councils website shortly.  It will make interesting reading, I'm sure.
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This video, from the Reading Borough Council YouTube channel, beautifully explains the Let's Talk events that have happened and invites you to  the 'Working Better With You - The Future' event.


It is at the Town Hall on Thursday 24th November 2011 at 5.30pm and is for you to hear about the views that have been gathered so far.

Whether or not you have already been a part of the programme by joining one of the Let’s Talk events, or completing a questionnaire, this is your opportunity to get involved. More information, and the on-line booking form, can be found here.

Hope to see you there!

11 Nov 2011

In Remembrance

Two ceremonies take place today  to remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in defence of this country.

10 Nov 2011

New non-emergency number for Thames Valley Police

This was brought to the Oxford Road NAG (Neighbourhood Action Group) on Tuesday.  Please read and share:

'The Thames Valley Police non-emergency number is due to change. On 14th November 2011 the new number will be 101. This is the new national single non-emergency number and replaces the 0845 8 505 505 number. Both numbers will run side by side until the end of March 2012, but if demand for the 0845 8 505 505 number drops it may be discontinued earlier.

7 Nov 2011

Reading Abbey: Sites of Significance & Abbey Quarter


Sometimes people accuse Reading of lacking culture and heritage - how wrong can they be?  Reading is packed with history as this video shows.  Reading Borough Council have applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop the Abbey Quarter.  Please have a look at the plans and lend your support for this exciting project.

1 Nov 2011

Getting involved - Transport

On Thursday (3 November) the Transport Management Advisory Panel (TMAP) meets at 6.30 in the Council Chamber.  The first hour of this meeting is open to public participation like the former Transport Users Forum was.  Member of the public can ask questions on transport related issues.  There is quite often a presentation and discussion following.  Anyone can come along to this meeting.