Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Free dog chipping event at Cemetery Junction #rdguk

Thought people might be interested in this.

Thames Valley Police, alongside the Dogs Trust Charity and Reading Borough Council’s Dog Wardens department, have arranged a free dog micro-chipping event in Reading.
The free event will be held on Wednesday 11 June at the Cemetery Arch, Reading Cemetery, London Road, Reading, RG1 3AQ between 11am and 3pm.

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Sue Roff, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all dog owners who have not yet micro-chipped their dog to do so for free.

“From 6 April 2016 the law is changing and anyone that owns a dog must have it micro-chipped.

“The Dogs Trust is providing this fantastic service alongside Reading Borough Council’s Dog Wardens, so I would encourage anyone with a dog to come down on the day and have their dog chipped.

“We will also be combining this with a crime prevention event as well for those who attend.”

Monday, 26 May 2014

Thanks for supporting the Green Party at the elections, now join us to celebrate #rdguk

Thanks to everyone for your support at the local elections, our hard work has again paid off and we will be having a celebration tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

I would especially like to thank outgoing Green Party councillor Melanie Eastwood for all of her efforts.

As others have mentioned as well as both Josh and I being elected, we both got over 50% of the vote.

Across Reading we increased our vote in many wards and we are now the third largest party ahead of the Lib Dems.

On Tuesday, May 27 we will be having a celebration. Everyone welcome and feel free to bring a friend or two. We will start off at Riddlers coffee shop – 199 London Road, next to the Co-op at Cemetery Junction – from 6 PM to 7 PM. We will then move across the road to the Abbot Cook for the rest of the evening. It will be very informal so feel free to pop in for as little or as long as you like.

It would be great to see you there.

Best wishes

Rob White, Josh Williams and Jamie Whitham

Green Party councillors, Reading

PS We are a membership organisation and all of our work is funded and done by volunteers, click here to see how you can get more involved.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

East Reading Festival on Sunday, June 8 in Palmer Park #rdguk

Thought people might be interested in the following:


I am so excited to tell you the new about East Reading Festival coming to Palmer Park on Sunday 8 June 12- 6pm.

We have over 70 stalls participating with a range of food, crafts, charities and organisations. We have 2 fantastic music stages with a line-up covering all tastes and styles of music. We also have a brand new activity/performance arena with some wonderful activities your to to take part in. It is also not too late to volunteer to help us.

This year we are also providing a covered seating area for those less able to stand and enjoy the music, plus a baby feeding and changing area by our festival information stall.

The full line-up and stall information can be found at www.eastreadingfestival.co.uk.

All in all it is going to be a great day out for all the family and we really hope to see you there. Attached is our flyer to give you a little bit more information about the day.

Please feel free to print it out and stick it up at home, in the office, in a shop, or pass it on to your mailing list, or anywhere you think people might like to hear about us.

See you on Sunday 8th!"

Monday, 19 May 2014

Holiday clubs in East Reading #rdguk

Following concern from residents over the discontinuation of the Council's holiday club in East Reading I asked for an update and got the following:

Briefing Holiday clubs – Hamilton Road and Green Park

  • RBC provided school holiday provision at St Joseph’s College in east Reading for over ten years. St Joseph’s College informed RBC play service in late March 2013 that we would no longer be able to run from their site after Easter 2013, as they were intending to deliver their own holiday provision going forward. St Josephs had been our busiest site averaging 27 children on a daily basis with peaks of up to 45 children in the summer holidays.
  • In April 2013 we began to search for new premises within the East Reading area. We decided to go for Hamilton Road, as this is an existing RBC site and there was already some youth and early years services based there. It was also close to the vicinity to St Josephs and could therefore continue to meet the need of the previous users.
  • The holiday club based at Hamilton Rd opened for the summer holiday 2013. The site was advertised extensively and had all the same activities planned that had previously been on offer at St Josephs, so there was no change to the programme and what was on offer or the cost of fees to parents.
  • At Hamilton Rd the average attendance over the summer period in 2013 was an average of 12 children, with a low of 6 children. St Joseph’s in the meantime continued to provide their holiday club. This explained some of the low take up of places we offered at Hamilton Rd during this summer. Clearly some parents continued with the provision at St Josephs.
  • The take up of places remained constantly low for future holiday clubs based at Hamilton rd in October and February half terms. The average was again 12 children.
  • In Easter 2014 we reviewed whether it was viable to continue to run at Hamilton Rd as during the financial year 2013/14 we had calculated a loss of £7k. This was largely due to lost income from the fees which offsets the cost of providing this service to the council.
  • Prior to the Easter holidays there were 15 booking for the first week and 4 in the second week at Hamilton Rd. We provided the first week of holiday club at Hamilton Rd and numbers were average 15 a day. The second week was cancelled as it wasn’t financially sustainable to provide this service for an average of 4 children. On one day there were no children booked in. The 4 children that were booked in to Hamilton Rd were offered to transfer to Waterloo Meadows holiday club and only one declined this option. Waterloo Meadows is approximately a mile away from St Joseph.
  • The situation at Hamilton Rd had been a growing concern due to increasingly low take up of the provision, it is proving unsustainable. There are several other providers in the east Reading area. St Joseph’s continue to deliver their own provision which we were in effect competing with, and Waterloo Meadows approximately a mile away is RBCs most sustainable holiday provision. On this basis we are not offering a Hamilton Rd session in the next half-term, and have offered previous customers Waterloo Meadows.
  • We will be reviewing the supply, budget and viability of the Hamilton Rd summer provision in June.
  • We were recently approached by the Mad House based in Green Park with regard to taking on their holiday playclub in March 2014 and after checking the site and assessing the options it was decided this would be suitable to pursue. There is currently no provision on this area of Reading. The facilities on offer are of a good standard. There is access to soft play included within the hire arrangement. Interest and demand for holiday provision by workers within Green Park was evident. To ensure we could maintain or increase our income streams and prevent any further budget pressures the decision to offer a new provision in this area was made.
  • The opportunity to do this is a very recent development. We have moved quickly to make the most of this opportunity as we want to test this over the May half term and consider of this would be a good site for future holiday provision as there seems to be a growing demand in this area.

Plan showing road safety and improvement works which have started at Cemetery Junction #rdguk

The plan below shows what is going on at Cemetery Junction – clicking on the map should give you a bigger version. Lots of road safety, walking, cycling, public transport etc improvements and some trees being planted. More information on our press release here.

Cemetery Junction works plan-page-001 v1


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Relative away on polling day? Never fear, still time to register for a proxy vote

Do you have a spouse, civil partner, child, parent, grandparent or grandchild who is on the register but is going to be away from home on May 22?  Print out a proxy vote form

http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register_to_vote/apply_to_vote_by_proxy.aspx  (NB SCROLL RIGHT DOWN AND CHOOSE THE "PARTICULAR ELECTION" LINK).

Get your relative to fill it in naming you as the proxy. But hurry. The deadline for submitting these is Wednesday 14 May, 5pm.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Drugs raids in Newtown and across Reading

A number of people have raised concerns with me about the increase in visible drug dealing in East Reading. I just received the press release from the police below. As always if you have any concerns the police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.

In reality though, we are not going to see real progress on drugs without serious reform, which Caroline Lucas has been campaigning for.

Thames Valley police press release:

Thames Valley Police has carried out a number of warrants in address across Reading this morning (7/5) as part of an operation to crack down on the supply of class A drugs.

More than 80 officers executed the warrants under The Misuse of Drugs Act at ten addresses across the town, as part of an investigation known as Operation Embankment.

Warrants have been executed at properties in the following locations:

  • Eastgate Court, East Reading
  • Wokingham Road, East Reading
  • Dee Road, Tilehurst
  • Rothwell Walk, Caversham
  • Foxhays Road, Whitley
  • Blandford Road, Whitley
  • Two addresses in Hexham Road, Whitley
  • Two address in Wincanton Road, Whitley

For further updates about the warrants please visit our website and Reading Twitter account @TVP_Reading

LPA Commander for Reading, Supt Stuart Greenfield said: “We would like to thank the residents of Reading for the support they have already given us in relation to Operation Embankment.

“I realise that carrying out such warrants can be distressing for communities, so I thank residents for their cooperation and patience.

“We will be conducting extra patrols in areas where warrants have been executed to provide reassurance to residents

“If you have any further information that might aid our operation then please contact the Force via the Thames Valley Police Enquiry centre on 101.

“If you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.”

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Supporting local shops at Cemetery Junction: Junction Grocery

With news that Tesco is coming to Cemetery Junction I have been working with other residents to raise the profile of some of the local shops. Here is an interview that we did with Junction Grocery. Please support your local shops.

Man from Junction Groceries

Q. What is your name and shop called?

A. Man Gurung and my shop is Junction Grocery, in between the barbers and post office at Cemetery Junction

Q. How long have you been here?

A. 5 years

q. How did you become a shopkeeper?

a. I was a security officer before and I worked in the army. I wanted to start my own business and here I am now with Junction Groceries.

q. What do you sell?

a. Asian food (fresh, tinned, dried), alcohol, and general groceries

q. Where do you get your produce?

a. I get the food from the local area. As well as from London Wholesale. I also get the products from Nepal and India.

q. What is the most unusual product you sell?

a. I sell lots of Asian food. Some of the Korean food is unusual. Plus the products from Nepal are different. The bitter gourd, which looks like a green knobbly courgette is a bit different and very good for you too! To keep the vegetables fresh they are right at the back of the shop in the cool area.

q. What are your customers like that enter your shop?

a. Most of them are happy with the shop and friendly. They come here because it is convenient for them.

q. How do you feel about Tesco coming to cemetery junction?

a. The new Tesco’s will take away some of my customers. However most of the products I sell you cannot find in Tesco. Coriander for example, I sell it at 69p per bunch. You won’t find anything like that at Tesco!



Josh Williams a Green voice for Park Ward, from Park Ward #rdguk

COPY Josh head and shoulders with white backgroundA message from Green Party Park Ward by-election candidate Josh Williams:

I’m Josh Williams and I’ve lived in Reading for more than 15 years, moving to Newtown with my partner six years ago. We feel the vibrancy of the area with its great mix of cultures and friendly atmosphere is perfect for us. From a political family, and after working for a decade in IT, I am now a writer of historical fiction, and a community activist and campaigner.

As a writer I have the flexibility to devote time to local causes.

I am passionate about my local community and over the last few years have been involved in:

· Raising money and awareness for local charities
· Working with a group of volunteers who go into local schools and provide one to one learning time with children having difficulty reading.
· Reading RESCUE to clearing up litter and flytipping
· the amazing PlayStreets schemes so children can get outside and play with other children.
· The Greens, as someone who lives in the heart of Newtown
· campaigning for road safety and against dangerous parking
· collecting signatures from local residents to ask for 20MPH zones near all our homes and schools
· presenting a petition to the full Council meeting asking them to sort out the serious traffic problems on the Wokingham Road
· working alongside the fantastic team of local volunteers that help Rob, Jamie and the Green party

I understand the local issues, because I am local. I have the experience and commitment to work hard for our Ward. I will be a voice for Park, from Park.

I will:

· work hard all year round
· defend our public services on the council
· defend our local and small businesses
· keep a constant watch on how decisions affect our cherished green spaces
· stand up for all residents of Park Ward

I’m proud to live in Park Ward, and I’d be prouder still to represent us on the Council.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Photos from Vaisakhi May 2014

Happy Vaisakhi.Here are some photos of Josh Williams, Jamie and I out at at the celebrations today. We had a great time, good weather, communities coming together and lovely food. Well done to the organisers.

Josh, Rob at Vaisakhi

2014-05-04 10.54.00 Jamie at Vaisakhi