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Question to council: William Marshal

Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is awar...

5 Jun 2019

A question of creative education

On Saturday Jeremy Corbyn and the Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, will bring people together from across the education system to roll up their sleeves and find innovative approaches to tackling disadvantage at school. This is the question I submitted as I fear the focus on STEM in schools is leaving our children at a disadvantage in the future workforce:

"Although core subjects like maths, english and science are important, I strongly feel creative subjects are just as vital for a rounded education that inspires all children, ensures we have imaginative and innovative adults in our future workforce and strengthens our cultural offer as a country.

How will the National Education Service ensure creative subjects are at the core of any future curriculum?"

One of my proudest achievements to date is the creation of Reading's Cultural Education Partnership which works with our cultural and artistic community to ensure children in Reading have the chance to experience good quality art and culture.

26 Mar 2019

Question to council: William Marshal

Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is aware 2019 is the 800th anniversary of William Marshal dying in Caversham. William was eulogized by Stephen Langton as 'the best knight that ever lived‘, he served five English kings and was Lord Protector and regent of the kingdom during the reign of Henry III. As is the case for many of us Caversham was his favourite place. Can the Lead Councillor tell me what plans there are to commemorate the anniversary of this great man's death ? 

REPLY by Councillor Hacker Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation. Thank you for your question Mr Stainthorp and I am indeed aware of the anniversary of the remarkable William Marshal and the strong connection he had to our Borough. Unsurprisingly, we do indeed have plans to commemorate this particularly significant anniversary of his death. 

Reading Museum is leading on work with local partners to mark this historic anniversary with two events on Saturday 11 May (which also coincides with the Forbury Fiesta).

The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will have a ‘pop-up’ William Marshal exhibition at the Abbey Gateway (10am -3pm), which will also provide another opportunity to visit the newly restored medieval Gateway. While at the Museum there will be an afternoon talk (3pm 4pm, booking essential via the Museum) on William Marshal by Dr Elizabeth Matthew, University of Reading. This fascinating talk is part of the popular continuing series of public lectures relating to the Abbey Quarter organised by the Museum and the Reading Abbey Revealed project.

During May half term on Tuesday 28 May the Museum is running ‘The Greatest Knight!’ family workshops. Children will be inspired by the greatest knight to decorate their own signature helmet and shield (1-hour sessions starting at 10am, 11.15am, 1pm & 2.15pm, booking via the museum).

You may also be interested to learn that after Marshal died at Caversham his body lay in state at the Abbey until it was transported for burial at the Temple church in London. The Abbey is of course famous as the burial place of King Henry I, but other members of the AngloNorman/Angevin family were also buried at this favoured royal abbey. The Reading Abbey Revealed project and the University of Reading are exploring this subject with a one-day conference ‘Royal Death and Burial Reading Abbey in Context’ on Saturday 6 April (9am 5pm, booking essential). Internationally renowned experts will set Reading Abbey in its context as one of the great royal mausoleums of medieval Europe.

Also! Head to www.cadra.org.uk to find out about their plans to provide an information panel on William Marshal on Cavershsm Bridge plus an expert speaker on the subject at their AGM.
Copied using a text scanner -  apologies if there are errors!

23 Feb 2019

#Labwomen2019 - Early Years, Education and Childcare

Today I was honoured to be given the opportunity to deliver a speech at the Labour Women's Conference.

My speech:

Conference,  chairs, Sisters.   My name is Sarah Hacker from Unite the Union and I am speaking in support of the motion. I'm also a councillor, school governor and parent.

Sisters, we know the the biggest barrier to women to work is the lack of good quality, affordable childcare and nursery provision. We also know that this condemn many women to a fire if low incomes leading to low pensions.

A vicious cycle of financial inequality that spans a lifetime.

Recently Philip Alston, the UN poverty envoy,  took evidence from people across the UK and his findings were damn ing.

This Conservative government he said inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive,  mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies.

In the world's fifth largest economy levels of child poverty were not just a disgrace but a social calamity and an economic disaster.

I don't think I've ever heard such enormous condemnation from anyone let alone an envoy from the United Nations.

We always knew that workers have borne the brunt of the 2008 economic crash.

Add to that Universal Credit

Cuts in local funding

Closure of Sure Start centres that provided real improvements in health, parenting and behaviour with the poorest children benefitting most.

And we have a toxic mix of parents reliant on food banks and children reliant on free school meals.

Financial inequality,  the lack of childcare and early years education has a motor impact on child development right up to how they perform at GCSE and beyond.

We can't rely on the Tories to deliver on Early Years Education  and Childcare.  Their solution, as with so many things, is to rely heavily on the private sector who cream off the profits.

We are left with unequal access. Poorly paid and poorly trained staff.

Let me make this clear - people who do thr work are not to blame. It's quite clear where the blame lies.

It lies with austerity.

It lies with tbwclosure of Sure Star Centres by a Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition.

And it lies with this Conservative government who havecutfunding to local authorities to the bone.

Only a Labour government will reverse the cuts and bring in high quality early early childhood education and care provision as a part of a National Education Service ice that is truly cradle -to-grave.

15 Feb 2019

£2.7 million allocated to parks in Reading

Today it was announced that £2.7million has been allocated in the Reading Council budget for parks equipment and other park improvements across the borough, £603k of which followed a public consultation last year on CIL funding. 

I have made it very clear that ensuring our playgrounds are accessible to all children is my priority. Play is vital to the healthy development of our children, physically and mentally, and is a great way to form friendships. I look forward to seeing more accessible play equipment across the borough.

Other improvements will also include full consultation with park users. If you have any ideas ahead of the consultation please get in touch. sarah.hacker@reading.gov.uk

Full press release here: http://news.reading.gov.uk/council-budget-plan-19-20/

Full budget report here: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=138&MId=1842


23 Sep 2018

An historic two days - Labour Conference 2018

Unite’s Sarah Hacker moves historic motion on women
Joy Johnson, Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
From: http://unitelive.org/historic-two-days/ 

Unite’s Sarah Hacker a delegate from the National Women’s Committee and a councillor in Reading made history yesterday (September 22) and today when she moved the motion on Women and the Economy at the National Labour Women’s Conference.

It was history because this was the first Labour Women’s Conference that was not only talking about policy but was making policy.

Yesterday nearly one and a half thousand women came together, and while all four of the motions important and there were powerful personal speeches, it was the motion on Women and the Economy that was chosen to go to Labour’s Annual Conference.

And it was Sarah who moved the motion at Labour Conference 2018 for a second time in two days.

She started her speech by paying tribute to women who had been at the forefront of progress throughout history from the rallying cry of ‘bread and roses’ so that women could live and not just exist to the matchstick-women and girls strikers.

From the machinists at Ford in both Dagenham and Halewood, who went on strike paving the way for equal pay for all women to the magnificent South Asian women who took to the streets in revolt at poor working conditions at Grunwicks.

Sarah also reminded conference that it was the Women’s Conference, all those years back, that first made the case for the national minimum wage.

We owe so much of the progressive change to so many robust and resilient, trade union and Labour women who continue to organise for equality for all women.

“It’s a struggle that goes on, she said, but we will persevere because it is what was do.”

Sarah then laid out why this motion on the economy should be supported starting with the appalling consequences of the Conservative’s policy of austerity.   An austerity that is quite clear an ideological choice and not an economic one.

In a powerful section of the speech Sarah explained that every exploitative aspect of our economy harms women disproportionately.

Women are more likely to be on zero hours contracts. More likely to be in low-paid work – (two thirds of people earning below the Living Wage are women). And in the sixth-richest country in the world up to three million children spend their school holidays at risk of going hungry.

“There are Tories, Sarah said, who say they are proud that we have food banks, but it isn’t pride that they should feel, it is shame”.

She then turned her fire on the disastrous Universal Credit calling on the roll out to be stopped now and the whole policy to be scrapped all together.

“Today,” she said, “we are calling for mandatory equal pay audits and a duty to prevent sexual harassment and all harassment including third party and the enactment of equality act 2010.”

The motion called for more council houses to be built. “With Jeremy Corby in No 10 Downing Street and John McDonnell in No 11,” Sarah said, “we can be confident that they will be built.”

Sarah ended her speech with a rallying cry that we can’t achieve the transformation of our country until we win.

And quoted our new general secretary, Jennie Formby: “When Jennie was ward organiser she was thrilled when her ward won their first seat from the Tories in many years.  And her determination to win has never diminished. Our determination as women will also never diminish.”

So from moving the successful motion at the new policy making Labour Women’s Conference to now from the platform at Labour’s 2018 conference for the first time ever Sarah uttered those immortal words – “I move.”