Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Reading Green News – tow path, playing fields and air quality

Hello all,

Here is a brief update on what Reading Green Party has up to recently:

Reservoir activists lose fight but win support for their campaign

Cut your energy bill in big energy-saving week

Protect our majestic and beautiful birds of prey

Kennet Side tow path finally reopens

Other parties block Green attempt to protect playing fields

Green councillor calls for air quality alerts

And upcoming events:

various Tree Warden events including a practical tidy up session at the cemetery junction cemetery

If you've got any feedback, ideas or want to get more involved please get in touch.

Please feel free to forward this on to other interested people and as always, for more recent news from the Green Party, to join us, or to find out more about our policies, go to:

Best wishes

Rob White

Green Party councillor

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Tree warden events including cemetery junction cemetery

A message from the Tree Warden network:

"Practical Work Days at Reading Old Cemetery, Cemetery Junction - Saturday 10 November, 10.00am - 3.00pm and Thursday 22 November.

Reading Borough Council working with Trees for Cities and The Conservation Volunteers will help the Reading Tree Warden Network lead work parties at this practical work day.  The Conservation Volunteers will provide training and the tasks to be completed are the removal of small self-set trees, cutting back ivy and other conservation work.  If you would like to come along to the event, for the full day or just a couple of hours please let us know or call 0118 9545796.

Guided Tour of Burnham Beeches - Thursday 15 November, registration at the Beeches Cafe for start.

Dr Helen Read, Conservation Officer, will lead us on a guided tour of the ancient site of Burnham Beeches. The trees are not only of great interest in themselves but also provide a stable habitat for over 60 rare and endangered species of plants and animals. She will also tell us something of future plans to preserve this special site. The walk will return to the Beeches Cafe at about when there will be a chance to have a light lunch together. If you would like to attend please email or call 0118 9545796

Trees, Roots and Buildings Talk by: Ian Richardson – owner of the Reading based “Richardson’s Botanical Identifications” 28th November 6.30pm - Committee Room 1, Civic Centre

Ian will be talking about how trees and shrubs can cause damage to buildings, using graphs and illustrations from the past 35 years of doing this work, plus how the business is strongly influenced by building type, weather, soil, etc. Other issues and problems that can be caused by large vegetation in towns – and the options available once an “offending” tree has been found. The talk will be followed by an opportunity for questions. To book for 'Trees, Roots and Buildings' or for information about forthcoming events email or call 0118 9545796

Thanks for your continued support.
Sally Swift"

Berkshire Greenpeace frozen planet event YouTube video #rdg @berksgp

Monday, 22 October 2012

East Reading Festival 2013 committee – people needed

A message from Kennet and Brunel Community Association: "East Reading Festival is a celebration of ‘all things East Reading’, particularly our sense of unity whatever our diverse backgrounds.

A small but dedicated group of volunteers organised East Reading Festival 2012 and it was better than ever, but alas it was hard work! Kennet and Brunel Community Association want to organise 2013's festival and your skills/free time (or somebody else you know!) could make it a whole lot easier this time around. Your help would be greatly appreciated in whatever capacity so please tell us how you would like to be involved -

On the day?
In the month before?
From the outset?

To discuss East Reading Festival 2013 a meeting will be held on:

Monday 12th November 7- 8pm at Sun Street Community Centre in Sun St. Please come along if you would like to be part of it, or contact us on: or 07740 337 697 if you can't make it."

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Photo diary of a day in the life of a Green Party councillor: green jobs, tow path and RESCUE

I started the day by supporting Friends of the Earth with their green jobs flash mob in Reading town centre. This is part of their Clean British Energy campaign.

Rob Green jobs

Next, I went along and supported the Greenpeace Save the Arctic campaign.

Rob and polar bear

After a spot of lunch myself and Melanie Eastwood did a bit of work promoting that the Kennet Side tow path has now been reopened between the Newtown and the town centre – although some of the work finishing the fencing is ongoing.

Rob and Mel and tow path

Finally,  we helped Newtown GLOBE and the Kennet and Brunel Community Association with a Reading RESCUE cleanup at Kennet Mouth and the Thames etc. I finished the day with a cup of tea at the Jolly Anglers.

Rob and Mel RESCUE

Reading Green News – Council tax benefit, HMOs and bus travel

I just sent this out to our monthly e-mail newsletter list. If you are interested in being added to this list please get in contact –

Hello all,

Here is a brief update on what we've been up to recently:

Have your say on council tax benefit changes

Proposed new controls on HMOs

Passengers to benefit from bus lane extension

Consultation: let's talk education

Coming to the RESCUE of Reading's litter hotspots

9 AM bus travel for concessionary fares begins

If you've got any feedback, ideas or want to get more involved please get in touch.

Please feel free to forward this on to other interested people and as always, for more recent news from the Green Party, to join us, or to find out more about our policies, go to:

Best wishes

Rob White

Green Party councillor

Friday, 12 October 2012

Reading RESCUE this weekend

There are Reading RESCUE (Rivers and Environmental Spaces Clean up Event) sessions going on across reading this weekend. See here for more information.

Just a quick reminder that we have the Newtown GLOBE/Kennet and Brunel Community Association litter pick – Reading RESCUE event – on Saturday, October 13 (tomorrow) meeting at 2 PM outside the Jolly Anglers on the Kennet Side.

We should have some bags, litter pickers and gloves, but if you have your own equipment please feel free to bring it.

We will do an hour or two litter picking along the Kennet, Thames and in the Coal wood. Feel free to dip in and out as your time permits.

If you can't find us give me a call on my mobile: 07985923938

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

School places in east Reading, public meeting and what next

Last week there was a public meeting on school places in east Reading at Alfred Sutton school. It was well attended, informative – sort of – and frustrating for some.

The meeting started with a presentation on school places. The headlines are that we currently don't have enough primary school places – which has temporarily been dealt with through bulge classes – and that by 2015 we run out of secondary school places.

We then moved on to comments and questions. A variety of subjects work covered – University Technical College, Crescent Road site, housing developer, playing fields etc.

One of the interesting things that came out of the question and answer session was that Labour who in the past have been critical of the University Technical College were now saying "it is going ahead, support it". Planning permission has not been granted yet though.

It took a while to prise the options the council was considering from the administration. But they seem to be as follows. Option one, a free school on the small bit of the Crescent Road site which a housing developer currently owns. To fit it in it would need to be three stories high! Option two, council to borrow £15 million and spend it on a community school on the same site.

Towards the end of the meeting the MP for Reading East's representative spoke. She said that he is currently pursuing another free school for children from 11 to 16 in the east of Reading. Unfortunately the community is not being involved in the development of this school and no further details were given. A public meeting was promised at some unspecified date in the future.

In conclusion I thought it was a reasonable meeting – although a bit unstructured – as I learnt more about what the different stakeholders are getting up to.

Since the meeting the local community through the Parents for Education in East Reading – via the Facebook group – have organised a meeting to brainstorm free school ideas. Join the Facebook group to find out more.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Kennet Side path update

Thanks to Roger from the Kennet and Brunel Community Association for the update:

"I am writing to give you a further update on the progress of this project. When I last wrote to you in July I informed you that the expected completion date was today, Friday 28 September. Unfortunately our contractor has advised us that it will not be possible to open the path today for safety reasons.
Over the last week there have been further delays largely due to difficulties working around the Thames Water manhole which is approximately half way along the site. The wall is being constructed using a number of standard sized pre cast concrete units which have been designed to slot together. The majority of these unit have been placed with relatively little problem. However the area around the manhole has been more problematic and the contractor has been required to cut down some of the concrete piles and make adjustments to the precast concrete units on site in order to make them fit properly. This has taken longer than they were anticipating. The extra time working in this area has meant a delay in the pouring of concrete for the capping beam and it would not be safe to carry out this task with the path open. In addition to this several days were lost when a boat hit the coffer dam and it had to be rebuilt.
I have been assured by the contractor that they will be able to re-open half width of the footpath at the end of next Friday, 5 October, with the guard railing installation works completed one week later under localised pedestrian management.
The contractor will be erecting signs on site to inform the public of the date the path will be reopened."