Friday 31 May 2019

Programme of Works to Mapledurham Playing Fields

As mentioned on my Facebook page, Reading Borough Council (RBC) officers have helpfully created an information page for residents on the council's website to update residents about the works at Mapledurham Playing Fields (MPF).

letter has been sent to 70 properties around MPF which sets out the two separate pieces of work taking place.

  • Kier Construction Ltd is building the new home for The Heights primary school on behalf of the Department for Education The letter provides the contact information for the project manager, John Hempton
  • RBC is improving the drainage and durability of the pitches so that more football can be played on MPF. This is necessary because Sports England, and by extension the Charity Commission, required that there was no loss in the ability to play football despite of the school's footprint using up over an acre of MPF
On 17 June Agripower Ltd is starting the changes to the sports pitches on behalf of RBC. In July/August the Council will also carry out works to install a new western side perimeter footpath connecting the new children's play area. This work will be enclosed by heras fencing. Prior to this the Parks department will carry out maintenance work to the vegetation along the western side of the playing fields in preparation for the footpath installation.

There is a dedicated RBC email address for all enquiries relating to the landscape improvement works which is:  Do copy me in so that I can help follow up your queries:

Thursday 30 May 2019

Precursor for a Work Place Parking Levy in Reading?

Exhaust fumes to justify tax on work place parking?
Reading Borough Council's Labour administration this week has launched a survey of private car parking in Reading under the limited pretext the "results will help inform Reading Borough Council's new Local Transport Plan".

This however does not fully allude to all the contents of the minutes of the July 2018 Policy Committee, nor the resolutions voted through by Labour.

On pages 6-8 of the minutes it says "The report stated that the car parking and air quality strategy would consider the introduction of local transport charging schemes, under powers given to highway authorities in the Transport Act 2000. Charging schemes could take the form of a road user charge and/or a workplace parking levy (WPL), and could be complemented by Clean Air or Low Emission Zones targeting higher polluting vehicles."

Amongst other things the Policy Committee resolved "that officers undertake a borough-wide parking survey and consultation to inform investigations into the potential measures set out in the report."

On the surface it might seem a positive initiative to encourage people out of their cars onto public transport. However for residents in my ward, the bus service is a far cry from the enviably regular Number 17 service that goes across the centre of Reading east/west every 7 minutes. For Caversham Heights' residents the bus timetable simply does not offer a realistic alternative to the car. I myself tried for 6 months.

If the administration is serious about improving Reading's air quality, first it needs to drastically improve the frequency of buses to Wards such as the one I represent. Bringing in a work place parking levy without this would once again * be targeting taxes on my residents.

* The 20% hike in April 2019 of the green waste collection annual charge has hit a large proportion of my ward residents as the uptake for the service is very high in Mapledurham Ward.

Saturday 11 May 2019

Try your hand at Tennis and Croquet this weekend!

Today, 11 May, Mapledurham Lawn Tennis Club is opening its courts up to the public for their "Try Tennis for Free Open Day".

From 10 am until 2 pm the public are invited along to the club which is based on a corner of Mapledurham Playing Fields, Upper Woodcote Road, Caversham Heights, Reading RG4 7LD.

If you're unable to make it to the event, why not book a free taster lesson for another day?

For more details, see the poster to the right.

You can access background information about Mapledurham LTC here. The reverse side of the flyer can be accessed here.

Tomorrow, 12 May, between 10 am and 5 pm, Supporters of Albert Road Park are hosting a free "Croquet Open Day" at the Croquet Club in the park.

The event marks National Croquet Day. Equipment and tuition will all be provided for free.

Croquet is a sport suitable for all ages.