Monday, 14 September 2015

Update on Shepherds Lane Campaign against Speeding

Local residents and me in March
Back in March this year Vivienne Anderson presented a petition asking Reading Borough Council (RBC) to tackle the speeding in Shepherds Lane.  Agreement was reached that officers would investigate the situation and report back in due course.

On Wednesday, 16 September, officers' update report will be presented to RBC's Traffic Management Sub-Committee.

TVP speed checking with me
The report states that RBC carried out a speed survey on Thursday 6 August and the mean speed was 28.4 mph. Residents I have spoken with are unhappy the survey was done in August, because it is the least busy time of year.  The speed check Thames Valley Police (TVP) carried out with me on 25 March caught a number of vehicles speeding in just 30 minutes in the road.

Unfortunately though the report's recommended action is that because no accidents have been recorded in the last 3 years, added to the fact that RBC gets more requests for speed calming than it has funds to do, Shepherds Lane is not of a high enough priority at the moment for action to be taken.  RBC will therefore continue to monitor the situation.

Should residents wish to attend the meeting, here are the details.  Please note there is no opportunity for public speaking in this agenda item.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Resurfacing Works Woodcote Road

Today resurfacing works are starting in Caversham Heights on patches of the A4074 Woodcote Road between the junctions with Woodcote Way and St Peters Avenue and also between the junctions with Highmoor and Ilkley Roads.

As mains replacement works by SGN are yet to be completed, the planned resurfacing works between Highmoor and Ilkley Road junctions of the A4074 will not be resurfaced this year.

Update:  RBC has just announced that the extent of resurfacing will be even more limited as unexpectedly the contractor has found road tar.  Apparently tar bound material is classified as hazardous when it is excavated and has to be specially treated disposed of separately.  As RBC was unaware, no suitable arrangements had been made which has delayed work.

I've been reassured that those areas the contractor is unable to resurface this year will be included in next year's contract when RBC will have been able to plan for the safe disposal of the material and the associated costs.

Monday, 17 August 2015

EFA Confirms MPF for The Heights

BREAKING: Rob Wilson MP has just published letters with the news that the Education Funding Agency (EFA) has decided to pursue Mapledurham Playing Fields (MPF) for the permanent siting of The Heights primary school. 

The results of Reading Borough Council's (RBC's) consultation clearly influenced the EFA's decision, as the public's choice was strongly in support of MPF over the four other sites.

Rob Wilson MP has offered to set up a new meeting of stakeholders to ensure ongoing public engagement and involvement with the EFA's plans.  

I echo Rob’s call for constructive dialogue with residents, all users of MPF, RBC and the EFA.  

As the local councillor for the area and Chairman of Mapledurham Playing Fields Management, I have been listening to the concerns about possible implications of the EFA’s decision.  I am pleased therefore that the parameters I had identified before now have been included by Rob in his response to the EFA. 

I will ensure that all issues voiced to me are fed into the appropriate channels so they can be given full consideration so that The Heights primary school will be able to benefit the community for generations to come.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Mental Health Care Report

Concerns have been raised that public services such as NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, are failing to work together to ensure there is round the clock access to crisis care.  

In addition it has been found that healthcare professionals, eg those in A&E can appear to lack compassion and warmth in how to care for and speak to people who are having a crisis including those who have harmed themselves.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) which regulates health and social care providers was asked by the Government to investigate the treatment received by mental health sufferers in crisis.  CQC’s report has highlighted a disparity in the care and compassion that mental health sufferers have received in contrast to patients with other medical illnesses.

Reading was not one of the areas covered in CQC's investigation, however as mental illness is suffered by a large number of the population and the findings should be acted upon, here is CQC's report.  Do also read about the Charlie Waller Trust which is a local charity set up to help people with mental health illness.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Published: The Heights Consultation Results

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has just published the keenly awaited results of the public consultation.  Residents were asked to list in order of preference the five possible sites for locating The Heights Primary School.

The results can be read on RBC's website.  The EFA will now review the consultation responses as part of its further work to decide which site it will pursue as the permanent site for the Heights Free School. It aims to announce how it will move forward in July.

Update: The Reading Chronicle's report

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Publication of The Heights Consultation results

The question on most people's lips in Caversham Heights over the last few weeks has been 'when will The Heights Consultation results be published?'

I am not privy to the results (though I assume the Labour administration is), as the RBC officer in charge has replied this evening to my question:
"We will be sending all of the information to Luke Kennedy of the Education Funding Agency in a large parcel early this week.  It is their decision about what is released and when, however I hope that residents will not have to wait too much longer for a view of the survey response,  while a decision by the EFA may take a while."
I will write again as soon as I have further information.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Update: Bungled Delivery of RBC’s Consultation Letter

As I reported on 25 March, many residents did not receive Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) letter in which RBC announced the public meeting held that night and set out details of the consultation process to identify a permanent site for The Heights primary school.

On 1 April I was sent the following response from Kevin McDaniel, RBC:

“As you know the Council hired a local distribution company to carry out the letter drop in the Borough. We have asked the company to review the roads they distributed to as a matter of urgency.  The company in question provides GPS tracking information on deliveries and the Council asked them to review this data, particularly those roads where we have been contacted by residents.  Their investigation showed that one distributor did not deliver as comprehensively as he should have. We understand his contract has already been terminated because of this. The company have apologised and have revisited missed roads over the past week.

“Apart from the letter drop, the consultation has been widely publicised, and all consultation details are listed on the website at More than 500 people attended the public meeting last week, and the Public Survey part of the consultation process formally started on Monday May 30, for which we have already received a large number of responses. This survey runs until May 1 so all residents will have the opportunity to have their say.”

However yesterday (Thursday) I was notified by a resident that people in Nuney Green, in Mapledurham Parish, still had not received RBC’s consultation letter.  An RBC press officer told me that although a local distribution company had been contracted to deliver RBC’s letter across Reading, the Parish of Mapledurham was too rural for the contractor so RBC staff had taken on the job.

As the public meeting happened over a week ago I asked RBC’s press officer to produce a poster with details of the consultation and asked for it to be displayed in Mapledurham Village’s notice board, sent to Mapledurham Estate and to the Clerk of Mapledurham & Kidmore End Parish Councils.  In addition I asked for copies of the poster to be put through the doors of homes on Nuney Green.