Minutes of Committee Meeting
Spring 2001

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Thursday 10th May 2001

Present: Mr Paul Gallagher, Mrs Jill Verran, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mr Bill Harper, Mr David Miles, Mr Brian Warren, Mrs Anne Ayres.

1.Apologies
Mr G Goldsmith Mr B Cruickshank Mrs Sue Ballard

2.Minutes of the last meeting (15th Feb 2001) were approved

3.Matters arising

Grove Road Development
The builder had submitted a modified proposal, and although there was still much local opposition, some of the residents had agreed to sell off parts of their gardens. It was now felt that a smaller development might indeed go ahead, but would have to be carefully monitored to gauge its impact on the area as a whole.

Village Sign
The sign for Caversham was going ahead, funded by the North Area Consultative Committee. They intended to use oak from a tree that had been felled in Caversham Park, and had been approached to ask if there would be enough wood spare for an Emmer Green sign. Things were not entirely clear.

Book on Emmer Green
The book was currently at first draft stage, and being checked and indexed. Concerns were expressed about one or two pages, which were still awaiting information or photographs, but assurances were given that these would be forthcoming over the next few days. Margaret Ormonde was due to visit the printer on May 17th to get a final printing cost. A strategy meeting was set up for 23rd May to finalise the pricing structure.

Precinct Car Park
Although some of the worst potholes had been filled in there was still much to be done to improve things. Wolfe Properties, the owners of the site had been let down by three contractors, but at least they were responding to our concerns.

Safer Routes to Schools Project
Most of the work had now been undertaken with just the areas of red tarmac to be applied.

Highdown Recycling Site / Clayfield Copse Car Park
The Council had agreed that both areas were in a very poor state of repair, but were reluctant to spend out on temporary infilling, which would not last long. The committee felt that in the light of no permanent re-surfacing being imminent, that would be better than nothing.

4.Treasurer’s Report
None was available, but it was only a couple of weeks since the AGM and there was very little change since then.

5.Feedback from Committees

North Reading Youth Project
The problem of surplus funds in the Emmer Green site was still unresolved.

Safer Caversham Forum
The street lighting between Knights way and the pond, and between Stuart Close and Surley Row was due to be installed soon.

The ongoing problem of graffiti was discussed, particularly in the light of a new trend to etch obscenities into glass, mostly to shop windows in Caversham. Fortunately the shop owners had acted quickly in replacing the glass. It was astonishing the amount of money that was being spent in cleaning up after these types of crimes (often with minimal impact), and it was felt that more action was needed by police and others to ensure the perpetrators were not allowed to get away with it. The Milestone Centre in Caversham Park had been cleaned at a cost of £6,500, and although it was still clear at the time of this report, it was sad to see the damage caused to the nearby mural which had been created by local youngsters last summer. Emmer Green itself was less affected, but there were pockets of graffiti on private property in strategic locations and it was suggested the EGRA committee might consider a one off funding to have this removed, taking up the Council’s offer of £35 for an hour’s work. Although there were some even worse spots, such as the pavilion near Clayfield Copse, it was felt it would set a precedent for EGRA to get involved in those areas, which were the responsibility of the Council. Numerous empty paint cans had been found in the vicinity, and it was suggested they were passed to the police as evidence. Many of the Telecential boxes were covered too, but it was doubtful whether the company would do anything about it.

North Reading Area Consultative Committee
This mainly involved the CADRA projects. The screening around the recycling bins in Hills Meadow car park had been installed.

6.Parking & Other Issues from the AGM
An important point had been raised concerning the parking along Kidmore End Road, particularly at the junction with Grove Road. Part of the problem was that not every nearby householder had a space to park outside their own house. Also customers at the pub, would attempt to park as close as possible ( it is not clear since both pubs are no longer owned by the same brewery whether the pub car park is officially open to users of The Black Horse). It was hoped traffic wardens might offer a temporary solution, particularly in the bay outside the Post Office where cars have a tendency to park all day, but a more radical solution was needed elsewhere. The first step should be a survey of households in the area to establish car ownership and the extent of the problem. It was felt this was not a task for the committee however and should be passed to the Councillors. The idea of widening Kidmore End Road was rejected on the grounds of safety. The existing grass verge gives protection to users of the park and to many schoolchildren using that route to school. At least at the moment with cars parked on one side of the road, it does have the effect of slowing the traffic down.

Objections had already been made to the proposed siting of the Tele-com masts, and it was of interest to note that forthcoming legislation stated that local residents must be informed of any proposals. Unfortunately as Parliament had been dissolved it was unlikely to become law for a while. It was hoped to encourage BT Cellnet to make use of existing sites in Emmer Green.

7.Any Other Business

Sustrans Cycleway 5 through the golf course
There were still problems with cars trying to get through from the Highdown Hill Road end. This had not been helped by SODC installing 30mph signs (for cyclists!). An approach to Sustrans was suggested, as they were more likely to have funding for any improvements.

Junction of Kidmore End Road and Peppard Road
The Council had no objections to the relocation of the rubbish bin used by the newsagent, hairdressers and bookmakers. The newsagent had already been approached.

The triangle of grass overlooking the pond had been neglected by the Council and was very long and strewn with rubbish. Some brick paving had been removed from in front of the seat and thrown into the long grass.

8. Website
Clive Ormonde had been invited to the meeting to discuss the possibility of setting up a site for EGRA on the MAP READING site. This would give residents with the Internet access to such things as the minutes of committee meetings, newsletters and other reports. There were no concerns about non-members reading such information, as the membership was intended to be one of support, rather than the association being totally dependant on the subscription. Nevertheless it was hoped to include a form, which interested households could electronically return to the Treasurer. The money would then be collected at a later date. It was also hoped to have links including the Emmer Green history site at Highdown School. There could be a ‘Hot News’ section to inform of the latest happenings.

9.Date of next meeting
Thursday 16th August 2001, at 8.00pm. 6 Tredegar Road.