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School funding cuts shouldn't deny children a full and varied education

School funding is being cut - there's little doubt about that.  Funding changes and increased costs mean schools in Reading have less mo...

30 Dec 2010

Another day, another policy change

Thankfully this Government have listened to the public and leading authors, and have said they will continue to fund Booktrust.  In a statement on Booktrust's website they say, ''The Department for Education and Booktrust are determined to ensure that reading for pleasure is a gift every child can enjoy. That is why the DFE will continue to fund Booktrust book-gifting programmes in the future.'  Quite right too!

What will the Government change their minds about next?

24 Dec 2010

23 Dec 2010

Bye bye Bookstart

I was so sad to read that this Tory Government withdrawal of funding is going to end Bookstart.  You can read the article here.  All children should be able to benefit from the delights of books from the first few months of their lives and Bookstart was an excellent way to ensure all children had the opportunity.  My eldest son thoroughly enjoyed his free books and now it's seems his baby brother may not be as fortunate.  My boys are lucky to have a house full of books but many other children are not in this position - just another attack on the less privileged and the very children who need the encouragement Bookstart provided.

18 Dec 2010

Follow the snow code

Well the snows arrived.  At 5am there was nothing (the joys of a small baby mean you get to see 5am) and by 10am it was a good 5cms thick.  Already the 'clear your path and be sued' rumours are doing the rounds which are fundamentally untrue.  The snow code gives clear advice on what to do - just be sensible and don't clear a frozen pavement with hot water which will freeze creating an ice rink. If I can find the spade under the snow I'll clear the path outside our house.

Other than a trip to the path, we are staying in.  We use cloth nappies so they won't run out, have enough food to last until Tuesday at the least and we can always walk to the shops if needs be.  We bought a sledge so can slide the shopping home on that.

Not everyone has a home in this cold weather though.  If you or any member of the public find someone sleeping rough in Reading and would like advice or information, please call St Mungo’s on (0118) 958 5002 or email readingspot@mungos.org

Stay safe!

17 Dec 2010

Is snow on the way?

I Tweet and follow lots of interesting people and organisations, one being the Met Office. This morning they Tweeted a Flash Weather Warning for heavy snow - a 60% chance of disruption in Reading.  Bother.
Before last year I would have been overjoyed.  To me snow was fun, time off work and pretty.  Now I just see it as a dangerous and disruptive nuisance.  But because of last year I have decided to get prepared and have rock salt at the ready, a sledge to go shopping with and, if Royal Mail get it to me, a snow shovel.
I have seen the councils winter weather plans and gritting routes and they seem very good.  The gritters were out before our recent snow shower and I hope they will be out today.  Let's hope the Met Office are wrong and it doesn't happen.

15 Dec 2010

Save Our Forests!

I have a little bee buzzing around in my bonnet and it's about the proposals to sell of some of our most loved national forests.  Woodland is a vital part of the landscape.  It's not just pretty but provides many vital services.  There can be few things nicer than a stroll in the dappled, cool shade of a wood on a hot summers day or a tramp through autumn leaves.  As you are walking through these forests you are benefiting your health and mental wellbeing.  They are huge outdoor classrooms.  They provide habitats for our wild animals.  They belong to us.  It should stay this way.   Please click here to go to the petition to Save Our Forests.                                                     

11 Dec 2010

Not had your bins emptied? Read on.....

After questions from the neighbours I asked the council this week when the recycling bins in our area were to be collected.  They weren't collected initially because of the bad road condidtions and the streets round here (Sherwood, Dorset etc) were icy.

I have been told that we are to put our recycling bins out on our collection day and, if they are overspilling, we can pop a box (cardboard being best as the whole thing can go in the lorry) filled with recycling next to the bin for collection.   Our recycling bin is usually the fullest so we have very full bins in our house so that's what I am going to do.  http://www.reading.gov.uk/newsarticle.asp?id=SX9452-A7855446

10 Dec 2010

Fruit and veg

Told you it would be life and politics so here's a bit of life.  I warn you, these blogs are likely to be random. 

I am a keen gardener, although a little slap dash at times, and my sons early arrival in July meant most growing attempts were a disaster.  2011 is going to be different (no babies for a start) and, as I don't go back to work until July, things will have a good beginning.

I have been trying fruit AND veg but usually ended up growing stuff noone ate like french beans.  Next year I am turning the garden into a fruity delight.  I am adding a few patio trees to the raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and existing cherry tree and have a blackberry and tayberry on the patio waiting to go in.  Courgettes and tomatoes will also be grown (technically fruit) and the veg concession will be bucket potatoes.  No point growing things I can buy cheaply at the supermarket (British grown of course) so these new additions should be money saving too.

Fingers crossed!

Having a try at blogging

Well, after giving it much thought I have decided to give blogging a go.  Don't have enough pennies for a website so I guess this is the next best thing.  I expect I shall pop a few thoughts down about life and politics.  Yikes!