Wednesday 25th September 2002
Paul Gallagher, Mr Bob Cruickshank, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mr Bill
Harper, Mr David Miles, Mrs Anne Ayres, Mrs Jill Verran
Mr Geoff Goldsmith Mrs Sue Ballard
of the last meeting (5th June 2002) were approved and
the Secretary thanked for doing the minutes efficiently.
along Kidmore End Road
Unfortunately things had come to a standstill on this problem, and
recently the car park of the White Horse has had a barrier installed
across the entrance,
denying access to non-customers. It was felt all the work that had gone into
undertaking the survey was of little use. The traffic wardens had been less
vigilant over the past few months, but there was no indication that they
wouldn’t return at some point in the future. Cllr Annette Hendry was
to be contacted by e-mail to see if there had in fact been any progress.
After consultation with the committee a number of images were passed to the
Berkshire Woodcarvers and the timber has been ordered and final size sketches
The scenes decided were:
name EMMER GREEN would be carved over the top. Although the sign
would not be painted, different shades of stain would be used to
emphasise designs. It was still hoped that funds would be forthcoming
from the ward allocation of funds held by the North Reading Area
Consultative Committee. Planning consent had been granted by the
Council. In due course decisions will be made about the plinth,
which it is hoped will feature local flints. It was thought there
might be water pipes in the area, so the location would have to
avoid that. Bill Harper was to investigate.
The St Barnabas Garden Party on the 6th July had a Jubilee theme
and EGRA took part. It was a very successful afternoon and a
small sum of money was
raised for the church’s charitable cause. EGRA’s Vice Chairman
underwent a transformation during the afternoon, and whilst he did not make
national headlines, managed to get his painted face into the local press!
We hope things will be even better next year and plan to purchase some display
boards to enhance our stand.
The Caversham Jubilee Festival on 14th September had been a big success (over
4000 people), if not necessarily a big money spinner. Neither CADRA or EGRA
were represented at the festival – something which we may wish to consider
in the future.
There were regular monthly up-dates on the site and over the past couple
of months members who had submitted e-mail addresses were informed of
the up-date. There had been a very favourable response to this.
The seat, which had been donated by EGRA in 1995 was in need of maintenance
to preserve it. David Miles had undertaken this task, sanding down the
seat and applying two coats of varnish. This was now the best looking
seat in the village.
The books were all now sold and the combined balance in the Association’s
accounts was just under £5,100, including the recent contribution of £250.00
to the doctors’ surgery for the heart monitor in memory of Bill Goodworth.
Members’ subscriptions since January 2002 amounted to £373. It
was agreed that the division in the accounts between book funds and Association
funds was no longer necessary. If such information was required at a future
date the historical record could be reviewed.
Reading Youth Project
Sue Ballard was due to attend the next meeting on the 3rd October. However,
it was reported that youth worker Dominic Salter had regrettably moved abroad
and that the Council were having great difficulty recruiting a replacement.
This was a problem in Reading generally.
was no capital money to improve the skateboard facilities at Clayfield
Copse this year, but RBC were considering expenditure over the
next 24 months, with a view to perhaps doing things in stages.
Cost was expected to be between £20,000 and £25,000.
Ben Stanesby, the Parks Manager, had in the meantime met with a
couple of local lads to discuss the skateboarding facilities in
the town generally.
David Miles had chaired a meeting at St Anne’s Church Hall on 13th
August. It was attended by representatives of other local residents’ associations,
Thames Valley Police, Reading Borough Council and a couple of audit commissioners.
Many of the topics covered were outside Emmer Green, but it was important
that we look at and contribute to issues beyond our own boundaries. Amersham
Road was again at the forefront of discussion, but it was felt that things
were improving and that steps were being taken to make the residents feel
less isolated. The feeling that it had become a better place to live was
endorsed by Christian Digance of the Ealing Housing Association. A BMX track
(and possibly a shelter for young people) was to be built on some Council
owned land in the area.
Distraction Burglary Project (DBP) had been set up to help vulnerable
people. There were initiatives in place to visit those people who
weren’t yet aware of the scheme to let them know that help
was at hand. The scheme had the support of Social Services.
was expressed by the EGRA committee that the Caversham Chat (including
the local crime figures) was no longer being published. Emmer Green
and Caversham still had very low crime rates. There was concern
that future statistics might distort the figures unfavourably because
all reported crime has to be recorded even if it turns out to be
a false alarm. ‘Wise-up’ cards had been produced to
distribute to local children to encourage them to protect their
Reading Area Consultative Committee
Area Consultative Committees currently advise RBC on projects
that should be supported from central government grants, which
amount to £2,000
per ward per annum. Other Consultative Committees in Reading are not as well
attended as the North Reading one and there is now a real danger that they
may all be discontinued. Current unspent funding across the whole town is £30,000
with about £4,000 for the three wards north of the river. In the past
Peppard Ward had allocated its share to other local projects in Thames/Caversham
wards on the understanding that there would be future allocation of funds
towards the Emmer Green village sign. Concerns have been expressed that this
may not now be forthcoming and, perhaps more importantly, the future of this
committee was in doubt.
There had been a liaison meeting between residents’ associations in
the area. This mainly focused on such issues as flood plain development,
but agreed there was a need for us to support each other generally. It transpired
that EGRA’s concerns about not always being informed by the Council
about important local issues was also being experienced by other associations.
It was felt that if we became affiliated to RFTRA, which represented Housing
Association tenants, information and consultations would automatically be
filtered through before it was too late. Affiliation was free and the chairman
took an action to contact RFTRA.
6. Any Other Business
was an ever worsening problem with litter at Highdown School, particularly
around the edges of the playing fields where it tended not to get
picked up by the grass cutters. The chairman took an action to
write to the school again about this on going problem.
was to be a Special Council Meeting – ‘Moving forward
in Partnership’ on the 15th October at the Town Hall. Bob
Cruickshank agreed to attend.
had been a minor incident along St Barnabas Road whereby a lot
of Sunday Mail newspapers had been dumped. Their origins were never
Verran reported a dead tree at the bottom of Courtenay Drive and
was informed the council officer to contact was Richard Stimpson.
She also repeated her concerns about the continued deplorable state
of the Clayfield Copse car park.
member had requested that we ask Reading Buses if they were prepared
to move the No 45 bus stop from the northern end of Grove Road
back to its original location at the eastern end of Kidmore End
Road. Reasons given were that the pavement along Grove Road was
narrow. The bus no longer turns right at the junction, so in theory
there would be no reason for it not to revert. The secretary took
an action to seek the views of Reading Buses and in particular
Ayres announced that Abbey Rugby Club was keen to improve its links
with Emmer Green, and had offered the use of its facilities to
anyone who was interested.
White Horse pub had recently undergone major refurbishments again.
Unfortunately a new large sign had been positioned far too high
above the wall in the garden, spoiling what was otherwise a worthwhile
job. The site foreman and area manager had already agree it needed
to be changed, but as the deadline for comments to the Council
was 30th September, it was felt as well to inform them of the situation.
The secretary would monitor the situation.
Plans had been submitted to the Council for a development of 35 flats/maisonettes.
Some of these were low cost housing, which was felt was very appropriate
and much needed in an expensive area. Car parking spaces had been allocated
although not sufficient for every property. It was decided EGRA would not
object to the development but would seek guidance on the density of dwellings
in regard to the allocated parking.
of next meeting
8:00 pm Wednesday 4th December 2002 at 6 Tredegar Road.