Wednesday 25 March 2015

Bungled Delivery of RBC's Consultation Letter

Two Updates at bottom of post

Residents angered that they’ve not received Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) letter yet should get it through their door by the end of today. 

The letter, in which RBC announces tonight’s public meeting (which starts at 7 pm at Rivermead Leisure Centre) and sets out details of the consultation process to identify a permanent site for The Heights primary school, should all have been delivered by Monday (23 March).  However several roads were left out.

I raised my concern of non-delivery a week ago with RBC officers after a resident alerted me to the problem.  I chased for an answer on Monday and, having still not had a response, spoke directly with RBC’s Managing Director yesterday.

RBC hired a local company to distribute the letter across the Borough as well as the parishes of Mapledurham and Kidmore End.  After mine and other complaints, RBC asked the delivery company to review its GPS tracking to see which homes had actually received the letter and to identify those homes missed *

Kevin McDaniel (RBC's officer in charge of the consultation) told me that the contracted company should complete delivery of the roads omitted, as well as those roads part-done, by the end of today (Wednesday).

The late delivery has made tempers soar in this highly charged debate over where The Heights’ permanent home should go.  One local resident has written to me “I can think of no other possible reason for this omission than a deliberate attempt to exclude the people who are most likely to try and protect Mapledurham Playing Fields as the trustees should be doing. This matter has been known about for well over a week and to be 'looking into the matter' today seems to me an absolute fob. I am by no means assured about anything coming from RBC. This 'consultation' will be a farce.”

Tonight’s meeting is being recorded so anyone unable to attend should be able to watch it (RBC has indicated that the recording will be published on RBC's website in the next few days).

* Please note that homes with a notice “No unsolicited mail” will not receive RBC’s letter to meet with the registered delivery company’s policy.

Also note that parking charges may be suspended at Rivermead tonight, however please check to ensure this is the case!


Following Wednesday night's public meeting lots of people have told me that their road still hasn't received RBC's letter. I've reported the roads through to RBC and this is the latest response:

To: "Ballsdon, Isobel"
Sent: Thursday, 26 March 2015, 16:56
Subject: Roads still without RBC's consultation letter
From: "McDaniel, Kevin"

Hello Isobel,

Thank you for sending these through.  We have asked the supplier to review every single GPS trace to ensure that every street has been covered and to make good any omissions which are not covered by “no circular” instructions or physical impediments (eg locked gates).  They will advise us once that process is complete and I will let you know too.

I trust this will give everyone a letter and that all will take part in the survey.



Further Update

Today (31 March) I an RBC officer said that a further conversation was going to take place tomorrow (Wednesday) morning with the distribution company to find out whether the delivery is yet complete.