Monday, 26 January 2015

Parents' meeting on Maiden Erlegh in Reading

The following email has hopefully gone out to parents today about an information meeting for parents regarding the new Maiden Early school in Reading.

From my meeting with the Head of the school I understand that there should be a lot of new information at the meeting building designs, plans, uniform and so on. Email below:

Dear Parents,

We are on target to open Maiden Erlegh School in Reading as planned in September 2015. You are therefore cordially invited to a meeting for interested parents on Wednesday 11th February, 2015 at 7pm at the UTC, Crescent Road, Reading.

Much has been happening since we last contacted you and we would like to update you on these exciting new developments. In particular, we would like to share with you the architects' designs and contractors' plans for the school, so that you can see for yourselves the modern, attractive and technologically innovative environment being created for your children. We would also like to canvass your ideas and opinions on important issues such as uniform, the House system and the programme of extra-curricular activities, all of which will directly affect your children.

We would be delighted if you could join us on Wednesday 11th February so that you can have the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the staff and governors of the new school, as well as our architects and building contractors. You will be able to ask questions and discuss the developments with the people who are directly involved in creating the physical environment, the curriculum and the pastoral system of Maiden Erlegh School in Reading.

It would be helpful to know if you are able to attend the meeting on 11th February. Please let us know by replying to this email, otherwise feel free to join us without notice. Any parent interested in applying for a place for their child at Maiden Erlegh School in Reading, whether for September 2015 or in the future, will be very welcome.

Yours sincerely

Peter Thomas, Headteacher and Ian May, Chairman of Governors

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Good news, Alfred Sutton expansion cost-cutting minimal

I went along to the Alfred Sutton school expansion exhibition yesterday. As per my previous blog post on this there is some money-saving by going for lower specification doors and so on but people shouldn't notice any difference.

Last time I was briefed on this the council was talking about "de-scoping" some of the projects and not implementing the full planning application straightaway to save money. At the time the detail was still being worked out.

The good news for Alfred Sutton is that this has turned out to be fairly minimal in the end – well done to the head and governors whom I'm sure have worked hard on this. The admin block was going to have a draught lobby at its entrance, to keep it warmer, but it no longer will have. This is the full extent of the de-scoping.

Works to start on January 26, 2015 and to be finished by February 16, 2016.

Your Green councillors will keep an eye on this though to make sure that the project is as good as possible.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Alfred Sutton school expansion exhibition today #rdguk

Jamie outside Alfred Sutton schoolDetails of today’s Alfred Sutton primary school expansion meeting below. It says the start time is 3:30 PM but I understand that people will be there from the end of the school day.

Dear Residents,


I write regarding our upcoming extensions to Alfred Sutton Primary School to provide additional teaching and learning space. As you are aware following the planning exhibitions held earlier in the year, a formal planning application was submitted to Reading Borough Council’s planning department. At the planning committee held on 10th September 2014 permission was granted to go ahead with the works.

The main contractor for this project is Galliford Try, who will begin the set-up of their compound on the school’s site imminently via Wokingham Road.

Due to the close down of the construction industry over the Christmas period, building work will not be starting on site until Monday 26th January.

On the Monday prior to this (19th January), Reading Borough Council will be hosting a pre-start exhibition between 3.30-5.00pm at Alfred Sutton Primary School. This will give you the opportunity to view and discuss information on the timescales for construction and site arrangements.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support - if you have any further comments, then please feel free to contact me at the above address.

Kind regards

Saturday, 17 January 2015

86% towards raising £800 and reaching 45,000 households in #rdguk

UPDATE: you may have seen the email below, we are now 86% to hitting our £800 target. Donate now and yours could be the pledge which gets us over the line.

Hello Rob,

As we prepare for May's elections, we need your help to get the Green message out to as many people as possible. Donate and make a difference.

Click here and watch me explain how, despite the Green Party being excluded from the leadership debates, you can help us take advantage of a great opportunity. It will allow us to get our message of a fairer, healthier and more affordable town out to 45,000 homes in Reading ahead of the general election.

All we need to do is raise £800 by February – that’s just 80 people donating £10!

Rob crowdfunding YouTube video
Your pledge of £5, £10, or whatever you can afford will make a real difference.Please donate and ask your friends and family to do the same.

Best wishes
Rob White

Green Party councillor and Parliamentary candidate for Reading East

Monday, 5 January 2015

Cuts to #rdguk school building programme, some specifics

Jamie outside Alfred Sutton schoolJust before Christmas I was briefed on the cuts to the school building programme and the impact this is going to have on expansions such as at Alfred Sutton.

In brief the costs have gone up by 20% so we are now £9 million short on a £61 million budget.

It doesn’t look like the government is going to cough up so the council is cutting the program in various ways:

  • Buildings will look the same but be built differently, so soft wood doors instead of hardwood, cheaper heating system. This saves about £2 million
  • Raniket expansion has been put on hold saving £5 million
  • The scope has been reduced of some projects. For example with Alfred Sutton the classrooms will go ahead as planned but some of the access changes may not go ahead until a few years down the track. This saves a further £2 million

No one is happy about cuts to their part of the programme. This is still all a fast moving situation. Revised drawings for parts of the programme which are further ahead like Alfred Sutton should be available sometime in January. Newtown primary isn’t as far ahead so drawings won’t be available till later in the year.