Thursday 25th November
Present: Paul Gallagher, Margaret Ormonde, David Miles, Anne Ayres,
Jill Verran, Mark Hutchings, Diana Hartrup, Brenda Deller, Bill Harper,
Bob Cruickshank, Vera Bodman
1. Apologies Brian Warren, Tara Taylor
2. Minutes of the last meeting (Thursday 12th August
2004) were approved.
3. Matters arising:
After the survey of Emmer Green’s graffiti was completed and
the map distributed, a second meeting took place between EGRA representatives
and Andy Gillespie (Parks) and Tracey Ward (Street Cleansing) from
RBC. The proposals were to second volunteers from the community and
to assist Kendel Falconer (RBC) in clearing the graffiti from high
profile areas, beginning with the changing rooms on the recreation
ground. In addition to this the street cleansing department were
happy to issue anti-graffiti cleaning kits. These needed to be applied
for and were for use on localised tags rather than any major works.
The first clean–up (with volunteers from EGRA) took place at
the very end of October and was very effective for a few weeks. A
second removal was due to take place soon, and it was hoped by dealing
with it effectively and quickly the perpetrators would quickly tire
of having to re-paint their inappropriate ‘artwork’.
Communication had also taken place with Stephen Taylor from NTL with
regard to the green cable boxes. It appeared because of various health
and safety issues he felt obliged to work through the Council and
a meeting was due to be arranged between himself, representatives
from the Street Cleansing department and EGRA, to see how best to
take things forward.
Limited success had been achieved in convincing others of the effectiveness
of CCTV cameras.
Community Notice Board
Wood carver Andrew Noyes had been working
on the new frame for the community notice board, and was just awaiting
delivery of the new oak posts. EGRA had funded the materials and
labour and thanks to the efforts of Paul Gallagher, Cllrs Annette
Hendry and Mark Ralph, Reading Borough Council agreed to fund the
installation of the finished board.
The autumn was a particularly bad time for street
cleansing with fallen leaves creating quite a hazard for pedestrians
in some areas where the pavements were narrow (Surley Row for example).
Constant reminders were needed to the Council.
4. Treasurer’s Report
The Association still had a healthy
balance of nearly £5800. Some funding was required for the
new community notice board, but it still left an amount suitable
for another worthwhile project. Ideas were to be welcomed.
North Reading Youth Project
This was a very well attended meeting and EGRA was represented by
Tara Taylor and Paul Gallagher.
Lee Middleton was a very good youth leader and spoke about possibilities
of a renewed skateboard facility at Clayfield Copse, his experiences
of the effectiveness elsewhere of designated graffiti walls, as well
as a specially equipped (computers games etc) van which travelled
to ‘hot spots’ and was very popular. Discussion also
ensued with regard to funding the erection of a covered meeting place
for young people. An appropriate location was still under discussion.
Safer Caversham Forum
Bob Cruickshank continued to represent EGRA, but again there was
nothing specific to the Emmer Green area. CCTV was being tested in
the Tilehurst area and its effectiveness was to be monitored.
In future, electronic crime statistics were to be made available
to the meetings.
6. Planning Consents
Various infill sites throughout
Emmer Green were either well under construction – Kidmore End
Road, Cavendish Road, Marshlands Square/Buckingham Drive, Grove Road
permission had been granted near to the Water Tower. Others, where
permission had been refused, were in a state of appeal. The sensitive
issue of selling school playing fields for building meant the Highdown
plans were on hold and it was hoped funding would be available separately
for the long awaited and deserved school hall. Again, it was worrying
the impact all this new development was having on the local infrastructure
and transport in particular. It was hoped representatives of the
six residents’ associations north of the Thames could arrange
a meeting with the local planning authority to re-emphasise their
7. Draft Winter Newsletter
Copies of this had been circulated to committee members for appraisal/additions.
It included updates on the community notice board, graffiti, Clayfield
Copse, local committees and the never ending planning issues.
8. Any Other Business
Friends of Clayfield Copse had been successful in their application
for a grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund to support the third Woodlands
Day on 4th June 2005. EGRA would be supporting this and had a particular
interest in the provision of chainsaw carved animals near the car
park, which might provide a permanent interest once the day itself
Peppard Ward Event
A circular had been sent via e-mail by Cllr Mark Ralph to see if
there was enough support for an event to be held in the Clayfield
Copse area in midsummer. EGRA felt in view of their commitment to
the Woodlands Day in early June, and the annual St Barnabas Garden
Party in mid-July, it was not appropriate for 2005 for us to get
involved and there was a majority view that it was not something
EGRA would want to organise at any future time. In addition, most
schools in the area already had their own fund-raising/community
events, including a major fayre at Highdown School in May.
Dying Street Trees
It was noted that many trees planted in streets some fifty years
ago were now reaching the end of their lives and in some cases dying
off. It was the responsibility of the Council to replace as necessary,
but it was noted that these were often being replaced by completely
different species, meaning some streets noted for their avenues of
spring blossom were now losing their character.
Budgen’s Car Park Lights
Valiant efforts had been made
in the past to chase up the owners of the car park to repair the
Unfortunately little success had resulted. Cllr Mark Ralph was to
be approached to see if he was happy to take up the cause.
The responsibility for licensing premises was moving from Central
to Local government and all concerned would have to re-apply between
February and August 2005. The three main applicants in Emmer Green
were The White Horse, The Black Horse and The Gardeners Arms. There
was a possibility these applications would include some changes to
the status quo. Notices would be pinned up outside the establishments
for local viewing and also in the local newspapers.
Recycling old computers
There were not really enough of
these to justify collection in Emmer Green alone and RFTRA were to
to see if the idea could be spread wider within the Reading community.
9. Date of next meeting
8:00 pm Thursday 24th February
2005 at 42 Surley Row