Thursday 22nd November 2001
Paul Gallagher, Mrs Jill Verran, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mr David Miles,
Mr Brian Warren, Mrs Anne Ayres, Mr Bob Cruickshank, Mrs Sue Ballard,
Mrs Vera Bodman.
Mr G Goldsmith
of the last meeting (23rd August 2001) were approved
The Council had now agreed to improve and re-surface this area. Although
the Association had been asked for a contribution towards the costs,
subscriptions of only £1.00 a year, it was not deemed an appropriate
use of funds.
along Kidmore End Road
Local Councillors had met staff from RBC Highways department in the summer.
Various proposals were due to be put before a meeting of the transport committee
in November, then local residents would be consulted. The idea was to reorganise
the parking but retain the same number of parking spaces. In recent months
traffic wardens have been patrolling the area and this has had a temporary
effect of clearing the streets in the worst areas.
Disappointingly the Council had made a mistake when they agreed to find an
alternative site for the proposed mast at the junction of Buckingham Drive
and the old Peppard Road (near Surley Row). However, a meeting had taken place
between Angela Johnston from BT Cellnet, the Association, Councillor Chris
Brown and nearby residents. There was now a possibility that the antenna could
be incorporated into a nearby lamppost and that more sensitive consideration
would be given to the siting of the control boxes. Residents near the other
proposed mast behind the White Horse pub, were also concerned about the 15
metre mast. It could not be stopped on legal grounds (as radiation levels met
European standards) and the fact that it was on private property made things
even less flexible. The file at the Council offices showed plans of a single
monopole, which was due to be sited at the back of the car park amongst trees.
Despite a lengthy letter from the occupant of no.9 Grove Road expressing worries
about the effect it may have on her small children, the Council had deemed
it to be a favourable site.
dishes were to be added to the Water Tower to serve the next generation
of technology. Nearby residents had been informed.
The original planning application to build properties behind 76-78 Kidmore
End Road had been refused. Although new plans had been submitted, details of
those had not yet been passed to the Association. The application to build
two large detached houses behind 46-52 Kidmore End Road had been rejected on
the grounds that they were out of keeping with surrounding properties.
The surface of the car park continued to deteriorate with no sign of the Council
even attempting to repair the many pot-holes. Consideration was also given
during the meeting to the provision of play facilities for young children visiting
Clayfield Copse. The sculptures and the carved pig had been a great success
and it was wondered what else could be done. The main concerns were the level
of vandalism in the area, not helped by the fact that it would be in a fairly
isolated location. Friends of Clayfield Copse were to be approached for their
views on both matters.
Book on Emmer Green
Any doubts lingering from the last meeting that the book might not succeed
were cast aside, when thanks to a pre-sales campaign and special launch, a
total of 400 books were ordered and paid for with a further 100 sold on the
day. About 50 complimentary copies were distributed to contributors and relevant
organisations. The remaining 300 copies were sold direct by the Association
within the next four weeks. This was partly helped by the landlord of The Black
Horse, Andrew Simpson, who had sold over 60 to his customers. Jill Verran was
thanked for handling the sales and accounts, as were those selling at the launch.
Write-ups and photos had appeared in local newspapers and letters of appreciation
had been received. The initial rush to buy books had passed, but there were
still some requests for books, and there had also been an approach by commercial
outlets asking to sell them. Copies were now available for loan from local
libraries. No discussion took place on the future of the book. Margaret Ormonde
was officially thanked for all her hard work on the project.
to a grant from the Millennium Festival Awards for All, the Association
was able to meet all its costs and offer a generous discount to local
residents and other customers. A summary had been completed and sent
to the Millennium Festival Awards for All. It was proposed that some
of the money be donated to the Bill Goodworth fund at the local surgery.
This had been set up to replace the ECG heart machine with a new one.
An initial sum of £250 was agreed, and Paul Gallagher was to
contact the surgery to see how the fund stood.
There was now a possibility that the village sign, first proposed a couple
of years ago, could become a reality. A neighbour of Brian Warren had contacts
in the local timber industry, and the firm which was out in Woodcote, was sympathetic
to community projects. There was also a possibility of some timber being available
from a felled tree in Caversham Park. The Berkshire Woodcarvers would need
to be contacted again for a revised estimate. Slow progress had been made on
the sign for Caversham which had received a grant through the North Area Consultative
Councillor Steve Waite was proposing marking the Queen’s Golden Jubilee
in June with a festival in Caversham, either at Westfield Park or Caversham
Court. Whilst general support was given to the idea, the feeling was that Emmer
Green should have its own celebrations, perhaps at a different time to those
in Caversham, so that people could attend both. The Queen’s Coronation
in 1953 prompted a large-scale party in the Emmer Green recreation ground,
and the Silver Jubilee was marked by a number of local street parties in 1977.
The Millennium Year in Emmer Green had seen the historical exhibition, Woodlands
Day at Clayfield Copse, and Flower Festival at the church. The Highdown Show
was the main local event now and was already scheduled for May 2002. Although
it was suggested we contact other local organisations, such as the church,
scouts, guides, schools TG and WI, Friends of Clayfield Copse to see if they
wanted to join in, it was thought the site for such an event should be fairly
central to the village – the recreation ground for a fairly large event,
or perhaps something on smaller lines would be more suited to the green opposite
the St Barnabas Church. Suggestions for a large picnic, or ‘open gardens’ day
were put forward. Jill Verran offered to spearhead the initiative, assisted
by Vera Bodman. Suggestions, or offers of help from the general association
membership would be more than welcome. There was also a possibility of grants
being available for such an event.
The books were all now sold and the combined balance in the Associations
accounts was just over £4700. The membership stands at a record
375, with an additional 73 new members recruited as part of the marketing
of the book. It was good
that people were joining because they wanted to be part of a thriving group,
not just because there was a problem they wanted help with, or a common cause
to fight. In 2002 there would be over 80 membership renewals.
North Reading Youth Project
Senior youth worker, Steve Green, who had been doing valiant work at Emmer
Green Youth and Community Centre over a number of years, had built up a very
good rapport with the youngsters. He had been successful in obtaining a six
months secondment to manager the Sure Start facility in Whitley, which was
a government project for mothers-to-be and mothers with young children. It
was felt unlikely that he would return to Emmer Green. He had produced a detailed
exit report, but there were concerns about a lack of replacement, and on some
nights it had been left to a trainee youth worker to manage the facilities
at the centre. It was felt that if things were allowed to run down more youngsters
were likely to get in to mischief.
The officer on the Peppard beat had already been lost, and although crime statistics
seemed to be up generally, with a spate of incidents in Surley Row, we were
reminded that the area north of the Thames, Peppard Ward in particular, is
one of the safest in Reading. A draft Community Safety Strategy was passed
around. The proposed street lighting along the walkway from the surgery to
Eric Avenue was being progressed by Cllr Hendry.
Reading Area Consultative Committee
There had been no recent meeting of this group and thus there was nothing to
report. Bob Cruickshank had agreed to attend the next meeting as the Chairman
would be on holiday.
The re-routing and re-numbering of the service to and from Emmer Green had
been a big success. One observation was that buses returning to Reading
and stopping to wait below Chalgrove Way were doing so with their headlights
on, confusing car drivers coming in the opposite direction. Margaret Ormonde
agreed to inform Colin Thompson.
Traffic calming measures were being installed near the school entrance in Surley
Road was still victim to speeding cars.
It had been suggested that we should forge closer links with CADRA and CPV.
They are already sent details of the minutes and newsletters and of course
there is access to information through the website.
The date was set for Thursday 18th April at 8.00pm. Lady Audrey Durant was
to be invited to speak on the history of Surley Row. As it was Jubilee year
it was suggested rounding off the meeting with cheese and wine.
The website had been running for a few months now, long enough to see how effective
it is and whether those ideas formulated for it, by those present at the
meeting in May, are working. Although there is an opportunity for people
logging on to respond via e-mail, either to comment or to apply to join,
or send photos in, very few had done so, so far. Jill Verran had been highly
successful in asking other sites to set up links to us and it was hoped
in due course that we would reciprocate. It was agreed that we could provide
political links as long as all parties were included. There was evidence
too that we were starting to appear on search engines. There was discussion
on how the site could be made more interesting, with a possible expansion
into a community site. Clive Ormonde had set up the site and was willing
to continue maintaining it if that was what was wanted. There are currently
monthly updates from Chairman, Paul Gallagher, and this seemed to work
quite well. Any expansion of the site would involve other members taking
on responsibility for maintaining those areas and supplying updates. Ideas
were being formulated for further consultation.
Date of next meeting
8:00 Thursday 21st February 2002 at 15 The Ridings.