Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Demonstration against East Reading park-and-ride tonight

Guest blog post:

Tonight (Wednesday November 9) the Wokingham Borough Council planning committee will decide on plans to build a destructive new park-and-ride carpark near to the River Thames near the Wokingham waterside centre. A demonstration will be taking place before the meeting protesting against the park-and-ride – details below.

Over 2000 Reading residents have signed a petition stating “No park-and-ride on the Thameside”. The signatures reflect the concerns over the impact the park-and-ride will have on the surrounding areas.

The proposed park-and-ride will be floodlit in the evening. This will have an impact on the nearby river environment. Campaigners are also concerned about the loss of green space and that this scheme won’t tackle congestion and air pollution problems on London Road. At the council meeting alternatives to the new park-and-ride will be raised by campaigners, such as building a second level on the existing Winnersh triangle park-and-ride.

The demonstration against the park-and-ride will take place at 6:30 PM outside Wokingham Borough Council’s offices ahead of the planning meeting which starts at 7 PM. Join the Don't Trash The Thames Protest Facebook group to find out more.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Whiteknights Road single lane closure

The council has informed us that due to the works on Whiteknights Dam, there will be a single lane closure along Whiteknights Road, in the vicinity of the dam, managed by temporary traffic signals, from approximately the 4th November until the 20th December 2016.

During peak travel times there will be some delays. Please let us know how this goes and we can feed this back to the council.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Palmer Park library to close temporarily

See below for an update from the council about Palmer Park library closing temporarily so repair works can be done. When I get more information I will post it here.

"Palmer Park Library will temporarily close in November for five weeks for essential maintenance work following a routine inspection from the Council’s property services team. An issue has been identified with plaster coming away from the walls in several areas around the library, necessitating its removal and replacement.  Affected areas inside the library have been cordoned off since July whilst the nature of the problem was assessed.

It is expected that the library will close at 4pm on November 12th and re open at 9am on Monday 19th December 2016 – we will confirm this by Thursday 20 October. The work is expected to take approximately 5 weeks during which time the library will not be available for use by the public. The site will need to be emptied of books due to the nature of the works and the likely dust created by plaster being stripped back from an unstable position. Staff will be redeployed elsewhere in the service for the closure period. Property Services colleagues are aware of the imperative to complete works to the agreed timescales and to re-open as published.

To keep customers informed we will clearly publicise the reasons for the temporary closure and the anticipated timescales for reopening.  Please note that:

*We will extend return dates on borrowed items so that none are due back during the period of the works - this will commence from 3 weeks in advance of the works so public awareness will be raised (fairly soon).
*Books can be returned to any of the other Reading libraries as at all times.
*We are looking to see if any local venues are able to host our popular Rhymetime sessions whilst the library is unavailable.
*Dates at present are still subject to confirmation, however, if there is further delay it is likely to happen in 2017, due to the Christmas period.

We are still working with Reading College on a partnership model for the provision of library services from Palmer Park from the spring, as per the Policy Committee report which was approved on 18 July."

Bad news on Arthur Hill but the fight goes on

Disappointing news, at the council meeting on Tuesday all Labour councillors voted for closing Arthur Hill swimming pool in December. However, all is not lost...

Labour councillors also voted down the Green amendment, to keep the pool open until the end of the financial year so a rescue plan could be developed – the amendment was supported by the Lib Dems and Conservatives.

Well done to everyone who has been part of the campaign and especially those that Labour made wait a very long time at the meeting until the debate on Arthur Hill swimming pool started. It was a shame Labour ignored my request to move it up the agenda.

The swimming pool isn’t closed yet though. We have put the council on notice about a legal challenge. Our asset of community value application is in, as is the community right to challenge form.

As Peter Burt said at the meeting “this isn’t over. You will be hearing from us again.”

Best wishes
Rob and the Friends’ of Arthur Hill

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Tackling speeding on London Road by the hospital

Green councillors are often contacted by people raising speeding on London Road in the Cemetery Junction/hospital area. We have been working with police on this for a while. Update below. The headline is that they are now enforcing this area. Let us know what you think.

"Thank you for your recent letter about speed enforcement. I have taken the liberty of emailing you in reply to make sure you get a timely reply.

We deploy safety cameras and officers to tackle road safety issues. We  focus them mainly on enforcement of the so called “fatal 4” offences of speed, mobile phone use, drink/drug driving and seatbelt offences. This is because it I shown that targeted enforcement of these offences can positively impact on reducing the volume of killed or seriously injured collisions.

Clearly catching offenders is an important part of our role as without this there would be no deterrent, nor a route to educating drivers (through diversion courses where applicable).

In relation to the stretch of the A4 which you mention, we have a mobile camera enforcement site there. The site was approved in August 2014 and runs from Cemetery junction to the junction with Eldon Road which is just prior to the Royal Berkshire Hospital. I understand that you were supportive of the initial request for enforcement there.

In the last 12 months there have been 34 visits by the mobile camera van which have detected 1040 offences. These were supplemented by officer led enforcement on both an ad-hoc and targeted basis.

In the last 5 years (01/07/2016 to 30/06/2016) there have been 9 reported personal injury collisions along this section of the A4, 2 of which were serious injury collisions."

Monday, 10 October 2016

Help with tree planting in Palmer Park...

See below for a message from Kate about tree planting in Palmer Park:

Cultivation Field is planting 420 Woodland Trust tree saplings in Palmer Park, Reading, on the weekend of 12th-13th November 2016. RBC has given permission to plant the Woodland Trust trees. This project incorporates the local community, artists and groups including Transition Town Reading and the Green Party. We will be continuing a line of trees planted a few years ago along the fence next to the railway line.
For the tree planting on 12th November, we will start at 11am. Meet either in front of the sports centre or find us at the fence next to the railway line behind the back sports centre, (close to Palmer Park Avenue). Please bring your own digging tools, (spade, fork or trowel). If you would like to participate in this project please contact Cultivation Field through our contact page.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Community meeting to save Arthur Hill pool

Well done again to Peter for presenting the petition to the council, Kizzi for asking a question and everyone for coming to the demo and signing the petition. We now have a public meeting to discuss how we can save Arthur Hill swimming pool.

Customers and friends of Arthur Hill Pool are invited to a Community Meeting to discuss the future of Arthur Hill Swimming Pool and Reading Borough Council plans to close the pool.

7.30 – 9.30 pm, Thursday 6th October
The Warehouse Centre, 1A Cumberland Road, Reading, RG1 3LB

Come along and have your say.

Bring your ideas to keep the pool open!

All welcome – admission free

Best wishes
Rob White and the Friends’ of Arthur Hill