30 Sep 2013

Arts Forum! Here's the agenda....

Tomorrow (1 October) I will be chairing the Arts Forum.  I have chaired this forum for a few years now and resurrected it after it was scrapped during the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition.

 It's always a highlight for me and it's attended by people really passionate about the arts in Reading.  We have some great discussions and I always learn something new.

I sometimes hear criticism that there is nothing happening with the arts in Reading but scratch the curafce and there's a huge amount going on.

The Arts Forum is in the Kennet Room at 6.  Here's the agenda:

  • Reading Prison/Arts Centre Redevelopment
  • The Reading Art Exhibition
  • Reading Arts Business CLub Artists/Busineses Speed Networking Event October 29th 2013
  • AOB
  • Future meeting dates 8th January 2014 & 8th April 2014
We always like to see new faces and would welcome organisations suggesting agenda items for future meetings.

29 Sep 2013

#NHS299 - There in spirit to #SaveOurNHS

Today thousands of people are marching in Manchester to protest against the damage the Conservative led government is doing to our NHS.  Don't forget it's ours - we pay for it!

I'd have loved to have been there but time is scarce when you have a young family and instead we spent a couple of hours in the golden sunshine on my allotment.

Time with my children is precious, all the more so for the reasons I explain in this video I recorded for the Labour Party as part of the NHS's 65th anniversary celebrations:


Labour, if elected at the general election in 2015, have said they will repeal the Health and Social Care Act which is privatising the NHS - bit by bit.

Labour will repeal Camreon's NHS market

18 Sep 2013

Battle 106 consultation: the results are in!

Earlier this year Battle councillors made sure residents were consulted on how £1.5 million from the Battle Hospital redevelopment should be spent.

The results from this consultation are now being presented to the Policy Committee next Monday.  You can view the report and results here:

Battle 106 Policy Committee Report

Battle 106 Consultation Results

It is clear health and wellbeing are still high priorities which makes it more the shame the PCT decided not to go ahead with the Medical Centre on the site.  The council will be sharing these results with the Care Commisioning Group (CCG) for the area and working in partnership to find solutions to local residents' concerns.

Education is also a high priority and we are pleased to say that since the consultation approval has been given for a new primary school in the Oxford Road area which should go some way to relieving school places pressure.  Labour led Reading Borough Council have reacted proactivily to the school places challenge.

Transport was also popular.  You will see in the report that many of the concerns raised will be dealt with as part of the Oxford Road Corridor Study.  This will swing into action later in the year and will look at transforming the Oxford Road ahead of the new Cow Lane Bridges opening.  This will be funded in addition to this £1.5 million which is great for Battle ward. Keep your eyes peeled for more information.

I am pleased to be part of the steering group that will be looking, with officers, at ways to spend this money to best benefit local residents.



11 Sep 2013

Hot off the press: Oxford Road NAG public meeting!

I regularly attend the Oxford Road Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG).  It's a very effective NAG, gets a lot done and we councillors get to hear about things we maybe weren't aware of. 

We also use it as an opportunity to bring issues to the table to make sure other community groups and residents know what we have been doing, share expereinces and also formulate actions.  The NAG is also attended by the Police and Reading Borough Council Officers, so is an opportunity to ask questions and hear updates - the policing updates are especially interesting.

Last night it was agreed that there will be a public meeting to annouce the results of the latest NAG survey.  It would be great to see as many people there as possible as the results of the survey influence the NAGs priorities and, you as residents, can be vital in making a difference.

Oxford Road NAG Public Meeting

Tuesday 15 October

7.30-8.30pm

Salvation Army Oxford Road