This page was last changed on
30th November 2010
by Clive Ormonde

 

Winter 2010-11 Newsletter

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The EGRA committee wishes everyone a joyful Christmas and fruitful New Year.

Committee member Carol Gibson, a highly valued member of the local community, will shortly be leaving the area. We wish her well in her retirement. Jane Handley who joined the committee in the summer has kindly agreed to take on the role of Minute Secretary.

If you have an email account and wish its address to be added to our database (for EGRA use only) please pass it on to EGRA at egra.memb@ntlworld.com . It really will make a big difference to both parties.

Help Required

In order to sustain EGRA’s viability we really do need more assistance, both on and off the committee. We have been lucky over the years to have a strong team of keen volunteers. But in the natural course of events, people come and go.

Please consider giving up a bit of your time to help us out. Jill Verran has been looking after the membership now for 25 years and her enthusiasm for the task has never waned. We now need someone to assist Jill with the database, with the possibility of taking over in time. We also have non-specific committee vacancies.

We have teams of people who maintain the community notice board and others who deliver the newsletters. We really appreciate, this and please come forward if you feel able to join either of the teams. Please respond to egramargaret@googlemail.com or phone 0118 9470922.

Outings

EGRA’s Barry Prior is organising a future outing to the Thames Valley Police Museum at Sulhamstead http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/aboutus/aboutus-museum.htm . This will take place on Thursday 17th March at 10.30am, but places are limited. If you are interested, please email barry.prior@backhouses.co.uk or phone 0118 9461150 to add your name to the list. Transport will be co-ordinated.


Travel

Buses:

Some Vitality 2 evening and night bus services were cut from 25th October due to lack of use.

The subsidised 28 Buses will remain on its current route but one concession has been promised, which is to provide an extra afternoon service in the school holidays (when it is not being used to ferry schoolchildren). Thanks to a team effort, Reading Buses are now to provide two extra bus stops (inbound and outbound) north of the Courtenay Drive/Peppard Road junction. Thanks to Cllr Richard Willis for keeping us informed.

All new bus shelters are now in place and hopefully everyone agrees they are well worth the wait. EGRA requested the family donated bench at the bottom end of Courtenay Drive be relocated at the top. There are also two new bus stops at the northern end of Peppard Road.

Rail:
Station
No trains will be using the Reading Station between 25th December and 4th January, except on New Years Eve when services will run. The period will be used for replacing and adding to the Caversham Road and Reading Bridge track decks.

Town Centre
Between now and April major road works will take place throughout the town centre. Work has already begun in St Mary’s Butts/West Street and Friar Street.

In February work will take place around the station area. Eventually the strip of road between Forbury Road and Station Hill Approach will be closed and a new bus circulatory system around Blagrave Street and The Forbury will be created.
St Mary’s Butts, West Street and Friar Street will have a contraflow system for buses, taxis and bikes.
Taxis presently based outside the station will no longer be able to travel east and north, but a new rank will be set up outside the new northern entrance to the station. It is thought that the Railair coach service and Gatwick rail service will operate from the north of the station.

A Drop-in information office has been set up by RBC at 6, Cross Street. Information on rail services and the station works should be available on the FGW and Network Rail websites.

Tredegar Road Traffic Survey
Thanks to all those email members who responded to our questions about possible increased traffic levels down Tredegar Road. It appears it is a knock on effect from the Gravel Hill road closure and hopefully in time drivers will update their maps and sat navs.

Transport Users Forum
Meetings chaired by Cllr Richard Willis, the next being Thursday 2nd December 6.30pm - Kennet Room, Civic Centre
.


Planning for the Future

New planning applications remain fairly quiet, however, we continue to monitor all local planning applications and respond to consultations as necessary. Cllr Isobel Ballsdon (Thames Ward – which covers some areas of Emmer Green) is now Chair of the Planning Committee.

Emmer Green now has a new development of eco friendly houses at the top of Grove Hill.


Environmental Issues

Cobra Light Bulb Initiative
Reading is to become the first place in the country to implement a unique new community recycling initiative, which will see volunteers help to collect low-energy light bulbs for recycling. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should email cobra@recolight.co.uk or call 0845 601 7749. www.recolight.co.uk

Aluminium recycling
For those who have not visited the Milestone Centre recently, you can now deposit clean aluminium foil in a receptacle there (no plastic bags please).

Grit Bins
The bins have only been removed for the summer and should have been put back into positions in October. EGRA passed members’ feedback on to the Council and hopefully all those locations requested have been implemented.

Graffiti
Bob Cruickshank currently heads our graffiti clean up team and he asks for you to report to him on 0118 9482900 or email deecbee@talktalk.net . Thankfully things are very much better than they were, but if you would like to help out please get in touch.

Grove Road Green
The Council have successfully procured a grant, from the Decent Neighbourhood Fund, to install a metal knee-high rail fencing around the area, with metal bollards to be installed on the smaller areas. The work should be carried out this autumn after tree planting has taken place.

Clayfield Copse
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 on 0118 9484454 or email anne_latto@yahoo.co.uk.

EGRA is currently in talks with FOCC concerning funding the repair and replacement of the decaying waymarks.

Tree Warden Scheme
To be launched by RBC on 1st December 2010 to involve the community in looking after the local environment.


School Reports and Young People

Highdown School
EGRA’s Barry Prior attended the end of year ceremony at Highdown School to present the 3rd of our annual book prizes to pupils of the school who have shown an interest in the community.
We congratulate the school on its recent achievement in attaining academy status. All the pupils are looking very smart in their new blazers too!

Recreation Ground
Emmer Green is fortunate to have enhanced play facilities for our young people. We have been informed that landscaping, including tree planting, should still be going ahead over the winter.


Police Matters

Thames Valley Police Neighbourhood Update
For the latest monthly updates from your Local Neighbourhood Policing Team:
Caversham North http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/yournh/yournh-tvp-pol-area/yournh-tvp-pol-area-berksw/yournh-tvp-pol-area-berksw-reading/pub-pg-nh-upds-N130?id=151501.

The Neighbourhood Action Group

At the last meeting on 16th November speeding was one of the priorities. The second speedwatch campaign will target Kiln Road and Kidmore End Road and the police are asking for volunteers to use equipment. Please let us know if you are interested and we can pass on the information. Please be burglar aware over the Christmas period. The next meeting is on 18th January 2011, 6.30pm at Highdown School. Please show your support and use this opportunity to engage with local police.

Anyone wishing to register on the Upper Caversham NAG website should go to www.uknags.org.uk/view_group.php?nag=1. Click on ‘NAG Member Registration’ on the blue bar at the top, if you haven’t already done so.

Environment Visual Audits (EVAs)
Are open to members of the public to live in the named areas and who may want to report a hazard or discuss local problems. Advance notice of walkabouts relevant to Emmer Green in 2011 are:
Peppard Road at junction with The Ridings 7th April
Knights Road at junction with Evesham Road 2nd June
Peppard Road at junction with Chiltern Road 4th August
Meet ups commence at 10.30am


Snippets

Age Concern 50 Plus +
A date for the first meeting of next year are still to be announced, but we have been informed that Age Concern are thinking of holding a Photography Walk in Caversham in the Spring.

Tradesmen's List
We are again sending out electronically the Tradesman’s list, which was compiled in the summer. Please make sure you print it out or save it on your computer.

True Food Community Co-op
Chris Aldridge, Director of our new community food shop has agreed to speak at our 2011 AGM. Date to be announced.

They have number of community events in the run up to Christmas and from the New Year will be running monthly cookery classes. www.truefood.coop

St Barnabas church
Following on from the new Parish Centre last year, the church has successfully raised money to create an attractive landscaped garden. The EGRA stall at the summer garden party raised £34 towards this.

Caversham Good Neighbours
This voluntary organisation based in Caversham helps residents of Caversham and Emmer Green by offering transport to local surgeries, hospital etc. and home visits. They would like to recruit more volunteers and also promote the service they offer. Please phone the office on 0118 9483466 Monday to Friday 9.30am -11.30am
or Secretary Pat Rawlings on 0118 9477778.


Diamond Picnic in the Park

We already have a countdown to the Olympics in 2012, but another memorable event occurs that year, which is the Diamond Anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen’s accession to the throne. An extra public holiday has already been announced. There is a possibility that we could use the Recreation Ground for celebrations to mark the event. We have an old photograph from the Coronation showing the park in full party mode and would like to emulate this to mark what should be an historic occasion. It is most important that such an event be community led and supported. The committee has initially favoured the idea, but what we need is feedback from members. It maybe very early to even be thinking of such things, but if you like the basic idea, please could you let us know.


Committee

Chairman Margaret Ormonde
Vice Chairman Barry Prior
Secretary/Tradesmen's List Jane Handley
Treasurer Bill Harper
Membership Secretary Jill Verran
Environment Jenny Leach
Schools’ Liason Cathi Edwards
NAG/Age Concern Vera Bodman


Committee Support

Graffiti Bob Cruickshank
Newsletter Distribution Diana Hartrup
Website Management Clive Ormonde
North Reading Youth Project Tara Taylor

Thanks go our teams of volunteers who deliver the newsletters and monitor the notice board.

Margaret Ormonde, Chair. Tel: 0118 9470922 email: egramargaret@googlemail.com