Wednesday 4th December 2002
Paul Gallagher, Mr Bob Cruickshank, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mr Bill
David Miles, Mrs Anne Ayres, Mrs Jill Verran, Mr Geoff Goldsmith,
Mrs Sue Ballard, Mrs Vera Bodman, Mr Brian Warren
of the last meeting (25th September 2002) were approved.
along Kidmore End Road
There was little change reported in the unresolved car parking
situation. Cllrs Bob Green and Annette Hendry had approached
the owners of Budgens’ car
park, in the hope that spaces could be allotted to local residents, but the
suggestion had been rejected. It was felt, in any case, it was too far from
the car owners’ property from the security point of view. Other local
car parks had suffered from theft and vandalism. After a quiet period, the
traffic wardens had begun paying regular visits again often catching residents
early in the morning before they had a chance to leave for work.
wood for the sign has been delivered, and the preliminary stages
of carving have begun, based on the designs submitted by EGRA. The
work is usually undertaken at New Town School on Friday mornings
and the Berkshire Woodcarvers welcome visitors. It is hoped that
both the Woodcarvers and visitors make a photographic record of its
progress. There was still some ambiguity over the funding for the
project, as the promised contribution from the North Reading Area
Consultative Committee had been put on hold whilst the future of
all the local consultative committees was decided. There was an anomaly,
however, in so much as an area in the west of Reading appeared to
have been granted £4000 for a bus stop and seat from their
Area Consultative Committee. It was noted that CADRA and Nomad (The
Bridge newspaper) had been very supportive in our request for the
the fact that a letter had been written to Highdown School about
the desperate state of the school playing fields, no reply had been
received. The next step would be to involve Faber Thorndike from
the Council and perhaps the Local Education Authority. As well as
being unsightly, the consequenses of litter were that it attracted
vermin. Sightings of rats had been reported in other areas of Emmer
Green. It was noted that a resident of Grove Road, not far from the
school, took a pride in his immediate area and was regularly seen
clearing things up.
pavilion was still in the same sorry state and the surface car park
continued to get worse. The Council had been informed of the state
Reading buses replied saying that in principle they had no objection to the
bus stop reverting to its original location, but feared the car parking difficulties
could cause problems. The committee decided to ask them to move it for a trial
A dead tree at the bottom of Courtenay Drive had now been removed.
The illuminated sign had been lowered as requested and looked much more appropriate.
elderly residents from Lyefield Court were concerned that the bollards
had been removed from alongside a narrow strip of pavement, making
it unsafe. As they were on private land the Council had no powers
to get them reinstated. One solution could be for the Council to
paint the edge of the inner kerb in a bright colour to make it
The current balance was just over £3700, the major difference being explained
by the deposit for the village sign of around £1350. A couple of new
members had joined, and only seventeen out of over 80 renewals had proved fruitless.
This was probably because the original householders had moved or for some other
reason no longer lived in the house. Ninety-five renewals were due for 2003
and when the reminder letter was sent out it was felt there should be an invitation
for new occupants to join.
North Reading Youth Project
Sue Ballard attended the meeting on the 3rd October. The Council had promised
to advertise for a senior youth worker at Emmer Green and a Site Controller
to cover the North Reading area. However things had proceeded much more slowly
than had been hope and adverts were not scheduled to appear until January 2003.
trainee, Liz Heading, meanwhile had been doing a valiant job, holding
a number of workshops and outdoor activities. It was hoped that
Chris Evans from ‘Splash’ (Methodist Church) might
also given a helping hand. Contractors had been to the skateboard
facility at Clayfield Copse to quote for repairing the existing
This was considered one of the strongest and most effective forums in Reading,
meeting twice as often as the others. It had good representation from Emmer
Green, which had one of the safest crime records in Reading. Serious incidents
were thankfully very rare and most reported crime was of a petty nature. Areas
of focus had been on the general improvement of house and garage security,
and reminding the more vulnerable in the community of the dangers of distraction
burglary. Stolen cars had been traced to a garage in the Oxford Road. There
had been improvements in the Amersham Road area in the summer, but the dark
evenings had brought new concerns. Halloween night had brought a spate of mindless
vandalism in the Caversham Park area. Unfortunately Neighbourhood Watch had
less contact than they used to, and the Caversham Chat, which detailed all
crime in the area, was sorely missed.
Local Strategic Partnership
seems to be a real attempt to widen local democracy and has been
under way in Reading since October 2001. The LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT
2000 gave Councils a new duty and new power of social, economic and
environmental well-being. The idea was to develop a Community Strategy
to ensure that these aims were met, particularly in the most deprived
October 2001 over 150 partners and stakeholders attended a special
Council meeting to debate the key issues impacting on the future
of Reading. At the end of the meeting the decision was taken to
form the partnership.
consists of a Board of twenty elected members, seven Delivery Groups
and a Forum.
the Extraordinary Council Meeting in October this year, attended
by EGRA representative Bob Cruickshank, there was aspirational
talk of what could be achieved in the future. How truly democratic
it is remains to be seen. We have come a year late to this and
we do not know how one may seek election to the Board but we suspect
that for us it will be through the READING FEDERATION of TENANTS
and RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (see below).
(Reading Federation of Tenants and Residents’ Associations)
Membership was not totally appropriate, because issues discussed covered the
town at large. One reason for EGRA to become affiliated to this association
was because it was often used by the Council to filter important local issues
through to the community. We are now officially affiliated. Their AGM was held
at the end of September and the new committee is chaired by Don Loader.
6. Winter Newsletter
the first time several committee members had contributed articles
for inclusion. In order to keep it to a reasonable length, some editing
would need to be undertaken, but otherwise the contents were agreed
and it should be ready for distribution before the end of the year.
A couple of points were raised, such as the extension of the doorstop
recycling collection . It was also mentioned that work near the water
tower was nearing completion and that the pavement had been reinstated.
Sue Ballard said she would provide a piece on the NRYP.
Draft Interim Licensing Policy
The Council is developing a licensing policy for the management
licensing activities, because liquor licensing is about to be transferred from
the magistrates to local authorities. There was general support for the policy
in that it provided a precise framework on which to judge and make representation
on licensing applications. However, there were some concerns, including such
thing as making sure there was written notification to local residents’ associations,
and some ambiguous wording of some sections. The Secretary would write to Clare
Bradley with a detailed response on behalf of the Association. In Emmer Green
it was felt that the three pubs and various restaurants were well run, there
could be an application to change future use and powers may be needed to back
Any Other Business
Emmer Green book had sold out shortly after its first print run.
There was still demand for it and there was a list of around 180
people who had ordered copies. It was agreed that if it was to be
re-printed in 2003 that it should be done as a commercial enterprise,
with the production being taken over by MAP READING. The Emmer Green
Residents Association would retain the copyright and MAP READING
would pay a small sum as a royalty (yet to be decided) to the Association.
Warren received a summary of the planning information on a weekly
basis. There had been approval for houses at the back of Grove
Road, and a double garage in Highdown Hill Road. A proposal to
develop land behind Autumn Close was of concern and opposition
was being co-ordinated by member Dr N Morgan. Opposition to plans
for an additional property in Brooklyn Drive were also being co-ordinated
by a member, Peter Ambrose.
chairman had received an e-mail from Berkshire Express asking if
we would notify local businesses through the EGRA web site of their
advertising facilities. It was agreed that this was not an appropriate
activity in which the Association had any role to play.
leaves on the pavement along Surley Row had been swept once, but
were now almost as bad as before. A request was to be put in again
and should include St Barnabas Road, the footpath behind the Surgery
and the section of Peppard Road from The Ridings to Rosehill. A
tree had fallen on the Peppard Road near The Ridings, leaving pedestrians
having to walk into the road to avoid it.
had been undertaking some repairs in Surley Row and following recourse
to the regulator about the dangerous state of things work had recommenced.
property in Grove Road was endangering the public because of the
vegetation overhanging the pavement. The Council were to be informed.
were now tree preservation orders on individual trees on the golf
course. Should the number of trees be increased? Richard Stimpson
was to be approached on this matter.
9. 2003 AGM
date was set for Thursday 10th April 2003. The speaker was to be Graham
Horn on his adventures ascending Mt Kilimanjaro. It was a fund-raising
event and the committee would be offering a contribution from EGRA
and it was hoped that members of the audience would donate as well.
of next meeting
8:00 pm Tuesday 11th March 2003 at 23 Tredegar Road.