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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...

22 Feb 2011

Parking chaos outside Tesco: What can be done?

The Tesco development is now over 3 years old and, in the main, has been a positive influence on the surrounding area.  One of the problems that has come to light is the small carpark infront of Tesco.  It  has a one hour maximum stay and it is clear that this parking restriction is not being enforced leading to spaces being rare.  Other problems with this carpark include people parking where there aren't spaces (usually behind other cars or on the pavement at the front), misuse of the disabled spaces and traffic congestion caused by right turns in and out of the carpark.

Cllr Chris Maskell and I have asked the council enforce the parking restrictions and ensure illegal parking is stopped.  We have also asked that there be a study into the effect on the Oxford Road of traffic turning right into and out of the carpark.  The carpark is an excellent resource but needs to be used fairly and safely.
 

19 Feb 2011

UPDATED: Outstanding schools in Reading: A question to the Council

West Reading, and the Oxford Road area, have recently had two 'outstanding' reports from Ofsted - Gloucester Road Playgroup in Battle and Wilson Primary School in Norcot.  I have asked the Council if they would consider a small celebration, at the end of the school year, for all 'outstanding' childcare providers, playgroups, pre-schools and schools.  I believe these success stories should be celebrated and that we should be proud of these achievements.  I shall update you with their response.

UPDATE:  I got a response today confirming all 'outstanding' providers will be celebrated:

'Currently all Childminders who receive an Outstanding Ofsted inspection outcome     receive a letter of congratulations from the Head of Early Years. The termly newsletter produced by the Quality team for all Childcare and Early Education Providers records all the Ofsted inspection outcomes under a congratulations banner. In addition the Quality Advisory team will offer congratulation during their visits.

Schools that receive either a good or outstanding outcome receive a letter of congratulations from the Director of Education and Childrens services and the Head of School Improvement.

Since the introduction of the EYFS 11 private or voluntary EY settings and 28 childminders have been judged as outstanding

At the termly Providers Forum on the 28th June 2011 a celebration of achievements will take place. All settings and Childminders who have received an outstanding Ofsted will be presented with a certificate of achievement.'

16 Feb 2011

Good news: Kensington Road fly-tippers beware!

In my previous posts I have highlighted my concerns about fly-tipping at the Kensington Road recycling point.  I pass by on a regular basis when I pick my eldest up from playgroup and nearly everyday there was something new.  I contacted the council who have cleared away the mess and I also asked that something be done about this recurrent problem.

I was contacted today with some good news.  In the near future there will be signs going up reminding people what can be recycled in these recycling bins and that the dumping of any other rubbish is an offence.  Where the tippers have been identified there have been warning letters sent and, in one case, a fixed penalty notice was issued.  Reading Borough Council and the councillors of Battle ward will not tolerate this kind of anti-social behaviour.

8 Feb 2011

Is fly-tipping getting worse?

I walk a fair bit around Battle ward - to and from the library, Tesco and my sons playgroup in the main and from these routes alone I have picked up five cases of fly-tippng in the last week:

  • A sofa at the bottom of Kensington Road
  • A sofa in the Kensington Road carpark.
  • A chair in Elm Lodge Avenue.
  • A whole divan bed and mattress on Gordon Place.
  • A whole heap of full binbags in the Kensington Road recycling point.
Some of the cost saving/money making measures likely to be introduced by the Tory-led council will mean the end of  concessions on bulky waste collection and an increase in charges for everyone else.  I can only see an already bad situation getting worse.

5 Feb 2011

Good morning at Battle Library

Today is Save Our Libraries day.  So far in Reading our libraries have not been touched and I sincerely hope they never are.  As I've said before, Reading libraries are a vital resource for the community.

BBC news story on Save Our Libraries day

Cllr Chris Maskell and I held our surgery there this morning and were quiet busy which was great to see - it's our job to help the people of Battle after all!

We were chatting to Marjorie about all the different groups and activities at the library and she mentioned a family had come in to offer their help on Save Our Libraries day - just shows how important the library is to the people of Battle ward.

4 Feb 2011

Councillor surgery tomorrow

There is a Battle Ward councillors surgery at Battle Library tomorrow, Saturday 5 February, 10.30-12.  Please come along if you have any questions or concerns.  No need to make an appointment, just pop in.  Anything discussed will be treated confidentially.

If you can't make it tomorrow, please do get in touch with us.  Our contact details can be found here.

1 Feb 2011

Who steals from children?

This isn't a political post, just one from a mum who can't believe someone has broken into a playgroup and stolen childrens equipment.  You must be in a pretty sorry state to do something like that.

Gloucester Road playgroup, in Battle ward, received an Outstanding rating from OFSTED before Christmas and started the year on excellent form only to have their computers, cameras and cash stolen over the weekend.  My son attends this fabulous playgroup and the theft is so sad.  The story in GetReading is here.

If anyone can help in any way please get in touch with the playgroup whose contact information can be found here.