The EGRA committee wishes everyone a joyful Christmas
and fruitful New Year.
Our 25th Anniversary celebrations in May seem a distant memory now.
If anyone has any photos they took on the day, please forward them
EGRA has a few projects in the pipeline for 2010. Most are in the early
stages of investigation, so details will be revealed early next year.
We welcome Jenny Leach on to the committee. Jenny, an accomplished
artist, has a keen interest in environmental matters.
The 2010 AGM will again be held at The Grace Church, Peppard Road on
Wednesday April 28th.
Planning for the Future
We continue to monitor all local planning applications and respond
to consultations as necessary. There is excellent planning guidance
on the EGRA
EGRA will respond to reflect the wishes of nearby residents, or if
there are implications for the wider community. One such recent case
has been land adjacent to 54 Highdown Hill Road, where a request has
been submitted to build four houses on ancient woodland and a sensitive
wildlife area. We have requested the land continue to be protected
for the future and have just learnt that the application has been refused.
Reading Borough Council is in the process
identifying sites for specific purposes. As part of this, at the
end of 2008, the Site Allocations
Document was issued showing a number of sites, which have been suggested
for development or protection. Additional sites have now been put forward
for consultation and one of these was land at Reading Golf Club. EGRA
leafleted every house in the vicinity, encouraging all to respond to
the Council. EGRA’s own response reflected members’ wishes
and we cited traffic and access as a main concern.
A recent application for Jefferson Close was rejected and at the time
of print, outline plans to develop land belonging to 43 Grove Hill
and 3 Kiln Cottages are pending consideration.
The temporary experimental closure of Gravel Hill commenced on 17th
June. Due to the impact on local people, EGRA conducted an email
survey of members within a reasonable area who were potentially the
most affected. We had a high percentage of response and analysed
that information. Although unofficial, the collective results were
forwarded to interested parties. Objections to the closure are being
accepted by the Council for a period of 6 months from its date of
introduction. These should be addressed to: Head of Legal Services,
Reading Borough Council, Civic Centre, Reading RG1 7AE. Members who
wish to receive a copy of the EGRA survey analysis should contact
In response to a member’s concern, the Council were very quick
to respond to EGRA’s request to repaint the white border on the
pavement outside the White Horse pub.
Upper Caversham Neighbourhood Action
Group will be re-launched on Tuesday 9th February 2010,
6.00-8.00pm at Highdown School’s hall.
The results of the recent residents’ survey showed the top three
Road Traffic Issues – speeding, cycling on the footpath and volume
Burglary - to homes, cycle theft
Environmental issues – litter, lighting and noise
Please watch out for publicity on the re-launch meeting, when these
issues will form the basis of discussion. Homes will be leafleted nearer
the time and the local December Update on the TVP
website will have
Members of the public are now able to report
non-urgent crimes electronically, in a secure way, to Thames Valley
Police. The system will be introduced
in several phases, beginning with an electronic crime and incident
reporting form, which can be found on the website. This should not replace the non-emergency number (0845 8 505 505) for
more serious matters, and 999 for anything urgent.
Trees In Recreation Ground
The EGRA committee has been consulted by Reading Borough Council about
their replacing of dead and damaged young trees in the area and we
look forward to activity before too long.
Litter / street-cleaning / verges /hedges / graffiti
We regularly monitor grass and hedge cutting, and feedback to the Council
anything reported to us. The Council’s resources are limited,
but generally things are encouraging.
Bob Cruickshank heads our graffiti clean up team and he asks for you
to report to him on 0118 9482900 or email email@example.com .
Smallmead site has won the Civic Amenity Site of the Year category
in the prestigious ‘letsrecycle.com’ Awards for Excellence
in Recycling and Waste Management. The award winners were announced
in October at a ceremony in London, hosted by television personality
and newsreader Dermot Murnaghan. For anyone who missed out on EGRA’s
March visit to the site, we have been assured there will be another
public Open Day early in the New Year. Date to be announced.
Caversham Globe have set up a volunteer battery recycling scheme.
There are three collection points where redundant household batteries,
V & I Hardware in the precinct.
Friends of Clayfield Copse continue to meet for active conservation
work on the first Sunday of each month. They also arrange guided walks
through the woods. Contact Anne Latto email firstname.lastname@example.org
EGRA is looking into ways it can help support the restoration of some
of the waymark sculptures.
The second of our annual book prize went to two pupils of the school
who have shown an interest in the community. In return EGRA was presented
with a 2009 Highdown School Achievement Award medal. If anyone was
at The Grove school in the mid 1960s and can recall details of a
time capsule being buried in the grounds can you please get in touch.
CADRA held an open meeting on the 10th November to hear and discuss
the future of school places north of the river. It was declared there
would be no extra schools, but an adjustment of primary catchment
areas for 2010. The main view on secondary schools was that Highdown
should not expand but should have closer links with Chiltern Edge
so that there continues to be choice. Discussions are underway with
Oxfordshire Education Department.
As the new school term begins we need be aware of danger spots. The
area around Emmer Green Primary is particularly vulnerable and a
vacancy still exists for a school crossing patrol person. Unfortunately
some drivers have been parking on the green itself at collection/
drop off time. The land is Council owned and they actively discourage
the practise. Traffic wardens have patrolled the area at key times,
but it’s up to parents to act responsibly.
Emmer Green Youth & Community
There are still hopes to expand the footprint of the centre for a base
for the North Children’s Action Team, a multi agency team supporting
children and young people. However, due to emergency vehicle access
problems, the plans are being redrawn before final consideration
Age Concern 50 Plus+ Forum
For those interested in the popular meetings
organised by Age Concern in St Barnabas Church Hall, the date of the
next is Monday 25th January 2010 at 2.00pm. Please respond to Marveta
Hinds on 0118 9594242.
EGRA also had a representative at the recent
Reading Older People’ Partnership ‘Big
Care Debate, where we heard about ways to help people to stay independent
for longer and possible fair ways of funding the proposals. Feedback
Cllr Mark Ralph (0118 9481615) also introduced his ‘Buddy Scheme’,
which is being trialled in Peppard Ward.
St Barnabas Church
Thankfully the rain stayed away for this year’s garden party.
Cream teas were served in the splendid new Parish Centre and there
were the usual stalls to entertain. EGRA was able to donate £10
to the Daynes Educational Trust. The Parish Centre is a real asset
to the community and opens on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday mornings
for tea and coffee. A leaflet (available at the centre) has been published
giving more details on this and future proposals.
True Food Community Co-operative
This is not-for-profit community co-operative based in Reading, that
currently has 5 mobile markets selling a wide variety of organic produce
from loose foods to fresh vegetables.
Thanks to the help of a Lottery Grant, awarded as part of the Local
Food Initiative, the Co-op is able to take this opportunity to expand
into its first fixed shop at Grove Road. It is regarded as a community
venture involving volunteers. The shop is due to open next spring and
if you wish to help contact the store manager Alex Trott at email@example.com
Caversham Court Gardens reopened formerly on 7th August. Apparently
the restoration work was under budget, so seat donations were not
However in response to members’ requests, EGRA investigated
the feasibility relocation of an existing seat in Emmer Green to
by the main shops. We leafleted 40 nearby houses/shops in the consultation
process. The response has been very positive and we hope that matters
will proceed before too long.
New Play Equipment In Park
Cllr Mark Ralph informed us that Reading has been awarded a Lottery
grant and ‘Playbuilder’ funding from the DCSF. Staff
from RBC’s Parks and Children’s Services sought views
on current facilities in the recreation ground and opportunities
Caversham Good Neighbours
is a group of volunteers who serve people in the Caversham, Emmer Green,
Mapledurham. If you can spare
any time, ring the Caversham Bridge Office on 0118 948 3466
Thanks to committee
members Barry Prior and Bill Harper, who spruced up the seat north
of the pond
Chairman Margaret Ormonde,
Vice Chairman Barry Prior,
Minute Secretary Carol Gibson,
Treasurer Bill Harper,
Membership Secretary Jill Verran,
Environment Jenny Leach,
Schools’ Liason Cathi Edwards,
Safer Caversham / Age Concern Vera Bodman
Graffiti/ Tradesmen's List Bob Cruickshank
Newsletter Distribution Diana Hartrup
Website Management Clive Ormonde
North Reading Youth Project Tara Taylor
Thanks go our teams of volunteers who help deliver the newsletters
and keep an eye on the notice board.
WE VALUE ALL HELP AND SUPPORT. THERE ARE VACANCIES ON THE COMMITTEE.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FIND OUT MORE.
Margaret Ormonde, Chair. Tel: 0118 470922 email: firstname.lastname@example.org .