Friday, 31 May 2013

Big Lunch street parties this weekend #rdguk

Following our lobbying for the Council to offer free road closures again – this year for Big Lunch street parties – it's good to see that many are happening this weekend:

Saturday 1 June – afternoon * Newport Road * Lydford Road (from Cardigan Road to Foxhill Road)

Sunday 2 June – afternoon * Baker Street (from Howard Street to Carey Street) * Kenilworth Avenue * St Peters Road (from Clarendon Road to Lennox Road) * Carnarvon Road * Talfourd Avenue * Matlock Road, Caversham * Harrogate Road (from Matlock Road to Buxton Avenue)

Sunday 2 June – evening * Oakley Road (from Albert Road to Kidmore Road)

Also taking part in the Big Lunch is the Sun Street Community Garden in Newtown, which is holding a barbecue on Sunday 2 June between 2pm and 4pm - just bring your food to share.

Good luck to everyone, the weather forecast looks good!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Future of the Three Tuns pub up in the air #rdguk

Regulars of the Three Tuns pub – Wokingham Road, Church Road crossroads – have alleged that the owners are planning to turn it into more of a pub restaurant and a bookable venue, rather than the existing community pub that it is.

Residents have set up a Facebook group here. CAMRA are organising a small informal meeting, details on the Facebook group, open to everyone to try and establish the facts and get the best result for the community. I am happily helping.

As we saw with the campaign to defend the Jolly Anglers the more local to get involved the better the chance of preserving community facilities like these.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Dawn chorus walk at Reading Old cemetery #rdguk

One for the early birds!
09-Jun-2013 4:15 AM - 09-Jun-2013 6:30 AM
Location: Reading Old Cemetery, Cemetery Junction, RG1 3AQ
Reading Old Cemetery
Come along and join us as the sun comes up, for a gentle wander around the cemetery to hear our local dawn chorus.
Our leader will be wildlife enthusiast Adrian Lawson.

This is an Econet event organised by the Friends of Cemetery Junction


Thursday, 23 May 2013

End of University term waste collection #rdguk

As usual, the council is having a push to keep the area tidy as students move out. Let me know of any problems and I can pass them on.

University Clearance Programme 2013

Refuse and recycling collections

The university summer term ends Friday 28th June 2013

Domestic waste (extra bags) will be collected –

W/commencing 12th June 2013

W/commencing 26th June 2013

Recycling waste (extra bags) will be collected

W/commencing 19th June 2013

W/commencing 3rd July 2013

  • Crews will collect all domestic or recycled bagged waste adjacent to bins throughout a three week period on the relevant week, in the lead up to a single additional Saturday collection on 6 July.
  • It is anticipated that the majority of bagged waste not collected during the preceding weeks will be presented in front gardens for collection on Saturday 6th July. Waste operations staff will collect all bagged waste from the area on this extra date.
  • The Waste Operation Management Team will survey the area daily (excluding weekends) and identify any properties with visible excess bagged waste. The team will arrange for the crew attending that property to take extra bagged waste on the domestic week following Saturday 6th July 2013.
  • Any complaints or councillor enquiries received by Streetcare Admin will be cleared without investigation by the attending crew on the next domestic collection after Saturday 6th July 2013.
  • As in previous years, no bulky waste collections will be made by Waste Operation staff. These are available to residents and landlords on request at a cost. Streetcare Environment Team to deliver Bulky Waste leaflets once students have vacated properties. The University will also advertise the service as part of the build up to the end of term.
  • Environmental Wardens will have previously visited various areas and have written to occupiers regarding items found in front gardens.
  • Environmental Wardens on late shifts each week will be tasked to knock on known student properties if possible to ensure as much household waste is presented in good time ahead of scheduled refuse collection each week.
  • Streetcare Environment Team to monitor properties after students move out to ensure landlords remove and dispose of appropriately bulky items and waste from gardens.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

East Reading Festival detailed programme and information #rdguk

What’s happening at East Reading Festival 2013?
East Reading Festival.  Sunday 16th June, 2013
12 noon till 6pm.  Palmer Park, Wokingham Road, RG6 1LF

There’ll be:
1.     3 music and performance marquees!
2.     Over 40 stalls! 
3.     Lots of fantastic food!

Stalls – There’ll be . . .
·        Henna, facepainting and Samosas.
·        Organic soap, Nepalese dumplings, and Free health advice.
·        Jewellery, Jerk Chicken and butternut squash.
·        Crazy cakes, telescopes and children’s clothes.
·        Basket ball, books and black eyed peas.

Music – There’ll be . . .
·        Belly dancers, break dancers and Brazilian dancers.
·        Circus skills, comedy and choirs.
·        Ukuleles, Singer songwriters, and close harmony.
And much much more!

Plus  +++ Bouncy castles    +++ Ice cream van   +++ Fairground rides
·        It’s going to be a really fun day, there is so much going on!
·        We have searched through East Reading to bring you the best local acts.
·        There will be fun and entertainment for everyone, young and old.
·        The festival is a fun day for families and ANYONE who lives in East Reading.
         We’ve made sure there will be entertainment for everyone.

East Reading Festival is a REAL community festival.
We’re proud of our community and proud of our unity.
We want to celebrate everything that is good about East Reading.
And have a great day showing the world what we can do.
We have so much talent in this area it’s unbelievable!

** Come along and see for yourself why we’re so proud of our community! **

East Reading Festival.  Sunday 16th June.  12 till 6pm.  Palmer Park, Wokingham Road, RG6 1LF

Music at East Reading Festival 2013
Wow!  Look what’s on!

Music Marquee
12.00 – Opening Ceremony
12.15 – Children from the Pakistan Community Centre – Delightful performance by local youngsters.
12.35 – Bhangracise with Rajeev Gupta – Get fit and have fun at the same time!
12.55 – Nepalese dance – Beautiful to watch.
13.10 – Zarand of La Mort Subite – Real Hurdy Gurdy player!
13.50 - St Josephs school choir – What a lovely sound!
14.25 – Jack Cade - Country, Americana and Folk.
15.05 – Reading Ukulele Group - Ukulele's galore!
15.45 – Bear & the woods - A unique Folk 'n' Roll four piece from Reading.
16.25 – The Retreat Singers – Close harmony, Andrew’s sisters, gospel and folk.
16.55 – World renowned performer Rahi Bains and pupils.
17.20 – The Floydian Doors – Stunning tribute band.

Reading College Stage
12.05-12.15 Punam-Nepalese dance
12.15-12.25 Gopal
12.25-12.35 Calvin Brown
12.35-12.50 Andy Robbins
12.50-13.05 Sean Best
From 1 till 3 .300pm - Four bands from the level 3 music course at Reading College
15.25 – C’nergi
16.05 – Airlocked band
16.45 – Risen Solution
17.25 – Ija & the Acoustic Messengers

Music & Performance Marquee
Belly dancers,  Break dancers and  Brazilian dancers!
Circus skills and Comedy!
2.30 – Anand Thapa
2.45 - Savour the Flavour
Local talent - Singer songwriters from ERAPA.

Please pass this information on.

Save the King's Meadows baths #rdguk

Monday, 13 May 2013

Arthur Hill report due #rdguk #rdg

I just had another briefing from a manager in Parks about the Arthur Hill Baths. Surveyors have done a report on the problem – a corroded beam – and his expectation was that it will be with the Council later today. The report will set out a number of options to get the baths open again, each coming at a particular price and each with its pros and cons. Hopefully I will get updated on this either later today or tomorrow.

The feeling that I got was that it should be possible to reopen the baths, but obviously it will come at a price outside the normal maintenance budget for the site, and this money will have to come from somewhere. This will be a councillor decision, not sure though whether it will be taken by the existing lead member or under the new committee system, I guess it depends on how quickly things move.

When I find out any more I will post it up on my blog.

How are people getting on without access to the baths and gym?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Fair deal for your local campaign launched at Jolly Anglers #rdguk

Rob White fair deal photoThe Fair Deal for Your Local, a national campaign to ensure that the government gives local pubs a fair deal, launched Thursday 2nd May.

The Fair Deal for Your Local campaign has been launched by 10 leading organisations who are CAMRA, the Federation of Small Businesses, Forum of Private Business, the Guild of Master Victualler, Fair Pint, Licensees Supporting Licensees, Licensees Unite, Justice for Licensees, Pubs Advisory Service, and Greg Mulholland MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group.

The campaign was launched at the Jolly Anglers; this venue was chosen as it shows the positive future that reform would lead to, compared with the reality of life under the pubco tied model. The Jolly Anglers was shut down, boarded up and for sale. It was bought and reopened as a pub by the same landlord who is free to buy beer from local breweries instead of being forced to pay huge pubco prices. The Jolly Anglers is now a successful community business.

Green Party parliamentary candidate for Reading East, Rob White said: “Being involved with the campaign to reopen the Jolly Anglers, this is an issue close to my heart. Too many pubs have closed or are facing closure as a result of the large companies’ practices, and it is time the government stepped in to prevent this systematic abuse.”

The campaign is calling for the government to give local pubs a fair deal – through much needed reform of the tied model operated by large pub owning companies. The fundamental problem is that some of the large pub owning companies are taking far more than is fair or sustainable from pub profits therefore making it difficult for many licensees to make a living and causing pub closures.

The government has committed to introducing a statutory code of practice for the large companies that will enshrine in the law the long accepted but largely ignored principle that the tied licensee should not be worse off than a free-of-tie licensee.

The fair Deal for Your Local campaign believes that the only way to ensure fairness is to include in the new code an option for the tied landlords of large companies to pay rent only to the pub owning company.

The consultation ends on the 14th June 2013 and the people across the country are being urged to have their say and back a fair deal for local pubs.

People are being asked to show their support for a Fair Deal for Your Local by signing up online at by taking part in the government’s consultation, and by lobbying their MP to support a fair deal for Britain’s pubs.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Had a good time at Vaisakhi #rdg with Jamie

Green councillor Jamie Whitham and myself had a good time talking to people at this Sikh festival. The first picture is of Jamie as the men with swords and the float go past. The second picture is of me enjoying a samosas.

Jamie with flag at sikh festival

Rob eating food at sikh festival