Sunday, 21 July 2013
The programme of road resurfacing is due to start tomorrow, Monday 22nd July, and will last for 7 weeks (weather permitting). The programme should therefore be completed on Friday 6th August.
The resurfacing works will be carried out by Eurovia Infrastructure Limited, on behalf of Reading Borough Council, and have been timed to coincide with the school summer holidays. Advance warning notices will be erected on site and letters delivered to affected properties.
The areas we are intending to resurface and expected durations are as follows:
Rotherfield Way/Southdown Road –
to Evesham Road
(Peppard / Thames Wards) – Monday 22 July, expected to
last 3 days. Working hours 8am to 8pm. Full road closure required with a signed
diversion route in operation.
Prospect Street –
Henley Road to Church Street
(Caversham / Thames Wards) – Thursday 25 July, expected to last 2
days. Working hours 9.30am to 3.30pm. Full road closure required with a signed
diversion route in operation.
Bridge Street, Caversham –
Richfield Avenue to
(Abbey / Caversham Wards) – Saturday 10 August, expected
to last 2 days. Working hours 8am to 8pm. Full road closure required with a
signed diversion route will be in operation.
The Forbury – Sections from Market Place to
(Abbey Ward) – Saturday 17 and Sunday 18
August. Working hours 8am to 8pm. Full road closure required with a signed
diversion route in operation for the duration.
NB: All programmed dates are subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Thursday, 4 July 2013
Many parents in
have had a poor lot for far too long
as far as education for their children is concerned. An historic lack of
strategic planning by the Labour-led Borough Council and a resulting shortage
of places at the best schools has led to widespread parental dissatisfaction
and many children forced to attend schools out of Reading . Reading
Over a decade ago, on offer day, I remember how shocked I was not to be offered a place at either of my two local in-catchment primary schools for my son. Both schools had good reputations, so my husband and I didn’t mind which we were offered, but to have no place whatsoever was alarming and unsettling.
After several anxious weeks, eventually our son was offered a place at our nearest local primary. Naively we thought our school admissions problems were over. However, after he started school the catchment areas were changed by the Council, so our younger child was unlikely to be able to go to her brother’s primary, even though we hadn’t moved house!
Another parent and I then researched the town’s birth rate and proved the local schools north of the river were likely to continue to be oversubscribed every year. We campaigned for siblings like my daughter to have protection and after some months, we were successful. The Labour administration was forced to concede and correct this blatantly unfair admission rule.
|My children in 2001|
Generally however, even back in 2001 there was an annual problem of families in parts of the town failing to get places at their catchment school because of the Labour administration’s failure to deal with the evident lack of places. It was also an era when too many
failing to provide the quality of education expected by parents across the
My experience highlighted to me the importance of providing sufficient school places for children to be able to be with their older siblings in the same primary as each other, and of course for all schools to be offering a good standard of education. I became a Conservative Councillor because I was determined to do what I could to make this become a reality in
It was the Conservatives on Reading Borough Council who supported my campaign back in 2001 and it is a Conservative-led Government which is now leading the way in allowing for more school places and for school improvement. Where the Labour Council has failed to improve
’s schools and
failed to build the new schools necessary to meet the demand, the Government’s
reforms mean motivated and engaged parent groups, backed in some cases by
specialist education providers, can address the shortfall. This
Government’s transformation of the education system is enabling the conversion
of poorly-rated primaries into new academy primaries, the expansion of high
performing existing schools and, where there is the demand, the opening of new
free schools. Reading
I believe a good education, which supports each child to reach their full potential and prepares them for adulthood, in a setting that best suits their individual needs, is what the vast majority of parents want and expect.
From September 2013 teenagers will have the opportunity of going to the new East Reading University Technical College (UTC) where expertise from its IT and engineering sponsors will provide an up-to-the-minute education to complement the national curriculum. Rob Wilson MP led the way in getting this exciting new type of school for
has engaged and energised students which the regular secondary system often
fails to engage. Reading
Also in September 2013 a new
School for pupils with autism will
open, filling a gap between main stream and special schools which will
complement the Ofsted-rated “Outstanding” on the adjacent
site. Avenue School
In September 2014 the West Reading Education Network (WREN) Group is set to open a new secondary school in West Reading, with The Heights Group set to open a new primary school serving
. Both are Free Schools
which would not have been opened under any other Government; they will provide
much needed capacity and are supported by a ground swell of parental and
community support as well as their respective Conservative Members of
Parliament. Caversham Heights
Only the Conservatives have a track record of enabling parents to deliver choice and excellence in education. If you share our aspiration for a better education for all of our children in a school that suits their needs please join us in campaigning for more free schools and academies, free from the dead hand of Reading Labour Party’s control.
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
|Arthur Clark Residential Care Home|
Conservatives turned out in force for last night’s first ever meeting of the Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, and Education Committee in support of campaigners who packed the public gallery. As well as Sandra Vickers (Tilehurst), James Anderson (Kentwood) and me who sit on the committee, Cllrs Tim Harris (Church), Jeanette Skeats (Thames), David Stevens (Thames), Ed Hopper (Thames) and Richard Willis (Peppard) sat in the public gallery behind them with Reading East MP Rob Wilson. Cllr Hopper and Rob Wilson addressed the meeting as members of the public after passionate speeches from campaigner Colin Trinder and Rev Marion Pyke.
It was notable that neither Cllr Richard Davies (Caversham-Labour), or Labour’s Reading East Parliamentary Candidate spoke or even bothered to attend the meeting.
After over an hour and a half of questions, speeches and debate Labour’s Lead Councillor circulated a pre-prepared amended motion which made it clear that the decision to close both the Arthur Clark home and Albert Road Day Centre had already effectively been taken. I picked this up and pointed out that since the motion had been printed prior to the meeting the whole debate had been a waste of time as the Labour Group had already decided to close the two facilities.
Cllr Sandra Vickers spoke about how her own mother had visited Arthur Clark and told how she loved the home and the quality of care provided. Cllr James Anderson urged the Labour administration to consider this a matter for their hearts rather than their heads.
However, at the end of the debate, the Labour Councillors on the Committee voted for the motion to close Arthur Clark Home and Albert Road Day Centre. All other Councillors (apart from the Chairman who abstained) voted against the closure motion.
Cllr Ed Hopper said, “I am hugely disappointed by the decision to close the Arthur Clark Care Home which has been taken by Reading Borough Council’s Labour Administration tonight.
Over 3,600 people plus every Conservative Councillor, our MP Rob Wilson and all other opposition Councillors have all expressed their adamant opposition to this closure.
The consultation which RBC has undertaken is not worthy of the name, having ignored genuine opportunities to work with local residents and businesses to seek ways to keep this valuable Home open.”
Cllr Tim Harris said, “Once again the Labour Group has ignored the wishes of the thousands of local people who signed the petition and those who took time out to attend a second Council meeting to discuss the proposed closure. We asked the Labour administration to consider all options including discussions with possible private care providers but they chose to ignore this and the pleas from the public gallery.”
I said, “Labour is quite prepared to spend around £60m on providing new Civic Offices but they refuse to find less than £1m to undertake the maintenance backlog which has been identified at Arthur Clark home. Tonight’s meeting was a waste of time as Labour had already made their decision before the meeting even started. The consultation was a sham, just as the promised consultation on using the site for ‘extra-care’ housing for the elderly will probably prove to be.”
Speaking after the meeting Conservative Councillors and Rob Wilson MP pledged to help the residents in any way possible to keep up the fight for the future of Arthur Clark home and Albert Road Day Centre.