OF THE 19TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE EMMER GREEN RESIDENTS'
ASSOCIATION, HELD AT ST BARNABAS HALL, EMMER GREEN ON 10TH APRIL
meeting was chaired by Mr Paul Gallagher, and 58 others were present,
including local ward Councillors Bob Green and Annette Hendry
Verran, Joy Lowther, Marie-Christine Weeks, Susie Downer, Eddy & Noreen
Hooper, Geoff Goldsmith, Mr & Mrs Houlder, Mrs Marina Miles, Rev
Derek Chandler, Sadie Cooke, Barbara Tee, Sue Ballard, Julian & Carol
The minutes of the 18th AGM held on the 18th April 2002 had
been circulated and it was agreed they were an accurate record of
the proceedings. The date at the top had been wrongly recorded and
the year was subsequently changed to 2002. They were signed by the
other than those covered in the Chairman's report were raised as follows:
The original application for 35 dwellings had been rejected, but the developer
was appealing against the decision at a public inquiry on 10 June. He had simultaneously
submitted a plan for 13 houses, but that too had been turned down on a minor
technicality regarding layout.
The temporary repairs seemed to be holding out.
Park Open Day
The second Heritage Open Day had been a great success and a recent event at
the Museum to celebrate 60 years of monitoring indicated that there would be
more involvement with local people (security permitting) including schools.
The two plans for dwellings behind Grove Road had been approved and work was
underway to clear the land leading off Unity Court.
Chairman reported that it had been a particularly busy year. Copies of
his report had already been circulated to all members and they were also
available on the Association’s website. The following lists the
topics where additional comments were noted:
Queen’s Golden Jubilee
It was hoped to participate at the St Barnabas Garden Party again this summer
(12th July 2003).
The Council would be asked about their intentions regarding the kerb-side collection
of glass bottles and other items currently not collected.
The trees in question along Peppard Road had been removed and replaced with
tiny saplings. It was hoped these would be able to survive both the elements
and the threat from vandals.
Work on the revision was now complete and it was due to be dispatched to the
printer for a late May publication. Copies could be obtained directly through
MAP READING (Tel:9470922) or Blackwells.
Green Precinct car park
In addition to the parking restrictions there was very poor lighting and a
couple of fallen trees in need of clearance.
Despite the fact that the wet weather had long since passed the Council had
still not undertaken their promise to clear up the mess created in redefining
the size of the plots. Individual allotment holders had been left to manage
as best they could.
work in Surley Row
The verges had now been levelled and reseeded.
Thanks were given to Derek Bartlett of CADRA for organizing the evening which
had been a victim of its own success. Only a handful of the 70 odd questions
that were submitted could be addressed on the night.
Members were able to view the progress of the sign from the samples of the
carved panels displayed on the night. Not all the work had been plain sailing
because a panel with the name on had unfortunately split and had had to be
reordered. The carvers were thanked for their skill, dedication and time. Funding
of the sign was still being debated, but the Association had the reserves to
cover any shortfall if necessary.
Reading Youth Project
It was noted that sufficient cover at the Milestone Centre in Caversham Park
Village had been obtained to keep it open.
EGRA’s term of office as Chair and vice-chairman was due to
end in April with another group taking over the Chair for the next
Members were reminded of the web site address at www.map-reading.co.uk/egra
and Clive Ormonde was thanked for his diligence in maintaining the site on
behalf of the Association.
Area Consultative Committee/ Reading Borough Council
the sudden termination of the ACCs by the Reading Borough Council and
withdrawal of ward grants there was still a possibility that the Emmer
Green village sign might be funded. Other local projects in contention
were the cleaning up of Caversham Library frontage including the clock,
and the skateboard facility at Clayfield Copse. However, the manner in
which the ACCs had been suspended had brought to a head the dissatisfaction
of the Association with the rôle of the Council and their attitude
towards local voluntary groups and the process of consultation. Over
the years committee volunteers had put in many hours of work in the interests
of the community, including sending representatives to a number of Council
initiated committee / consultative meetings etc. In return the Association
expected the Council to respect and respond to the input and observations.
Because the EGRA committee felt this was no longer the case, a proposal
was put to withdraw from formal consultations, until the Council had
put their house in order. Reading Borough Council had been made aware
of this intention and had expressed their concern that matters had reached
such a state. However, the consensus was that we should go ahead with
the proposal but leave the door open for future negotiation if the Council
were seen to be engaging in an open and honest process of consultation.
Hendry interjected to say the funds from the NACC were not lost and
there had even been proposals to transfer the unspent money to the
Safer Reading Fora (Caversham was one such Forum). At this point Derek
Bartlett was invited to say a few words about the small grants committee
process of the Caversham Safer Forum. He mentioned that grants could
only support projects that reduced crime or the fear of crime and that
community projects did not fall within the committee’s remit.
In consequence, they had difficulty spending their existing budget
let alone any extra transferred from the NACC. The Chairman observed
that attendees from Thames Valley Police might take a dim view of the
Fora being hijacked by the Council to cover non-crime related issues.
copy of the treasurer's report had been circulated showing that a balance
of over £3,800 was held in the Portman Building Society. There
was a surplus of £1,095 for the year. Thanks were given to auditor
Julian Pearce for his continued work. The adoption of the accounts was
proposed by Hilary Gallagher, and seconded by Owen Jewiss.
OF OFFICERS, COMMITTEE AND AUDITOR
but two of the committee had agreed to stand for another year. Geoff
Goldsmith was leaving after a spell of three years. Sue Ballard was also
stepping down and was thanked for all the work she had done on both the
exhibition and the book, as well as her involvement in the North Reading
Youth Project. Committee officers were all remaining in their current
posts. Julian Pearce had offered to continue auditing the accounts. The
committee and auditor were proposed by Bob Green and seconded by Lady
Audrey Durant. The Chairman invited any members who wanted to join the
committee to speak to him afterwards and said that anyone was welcome
to attend a committee meeting to see how things worked and what was involved.
first point raised was the fact that the driver of the 44 bus was sometimes
taking a break on the Peppard Road, posing a danger to other traffic
and pedestrians. Reading Buses were to be contacted to get their drivers
to stop at safer places.
was a request for a pedestrian crossing on the Peppard Road, south
of the petrol station. Cllr Hendry said the Council had agreed to this
in principle and the project was on the pending list for when funds
became available. It was possible that funds might come from Central
were still being experienced when insensitive drivers parked at the
post box outside the church restricting the flow of traffic past the
suggestion was mooted to ask for the post box to be relocated and,
although it was felt this would be unlikely, Royal Mail would be approached
with this idea.
Chairman announced that there would be a second Woodlands Day at Clayfield
Copse on Saturday 31st May 2003.
path outside the White Horse Inn had been the cause of several accidents
since the bollards had been removed. Although the Council had promised
to paint white lines along the inside edge action was particularly
slow. An urgent reminder was to be sent.
Horn gave an enlightening talk on his expedition up Mt Kilimanjaro in
support of two charities – over £6,000 had been raised to
date. He had chosen the more challenging route to the summit, pitching
tents every night. A series of slides showed us the stunning scenery
and the people – including a whole team of porters who, among other
skills, were particularly adept at cooking fresh eggs in the middle of
meeting closed and was followed by wine and nibbles.