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Never been happier to see road closures! Cow Lane bridges update

Lots of things make me happy.  My family and friends, a really good curry, prosecco, getting through a body pump class without having ...

27 Oct 2012

Fun at Fridayfest

I was very kindly invited to Fridayfest at the University of Readings Institute of Education yesterday.  It was a day full of arts activities for local primary aged children.  Geoffrey Field, Emmer Green and Katesgrove children were there.

I first visited the music session with Geoffrey Feild children and they were a very well behaved bunch.  They learned about rhythm and how to make sounds without instruments. 

The second session was puppet making with Katesgrove.  Another well behaved group with great imagination!  The puppets were made from newspapers and they had to 'breathe'.  Some of the puppets danced, sang and one swam!

I didn't get to see a session with Emmer Green.

Overall it was a great afternoon and the children clearly enjoyed themselves.  Many thanks for the invitation!

25 Oct 2012

Do You Have 'Environment Fatigue'?

The environment has been important to me for as long as I can remember.  Aspects of my degree covered environmental impact and management and how environmental and agricultural issues interact and I have still remained interested in the scientific side of environmental new ever since.


I am a member of the Woodland Trust and was interested to read this blog by The Woodland Trust on how this government is failing to be 'The Greenest Government Ever' and how, during difficult financial times, people turn away from environmental issues:

'The report concludes that there is a combination of growing pressures from the recession and an increasing scepticism about environmental issues, particularly climate change – there is a rising sense of “environment fatigue”.'

I do what I can to mitigate my families impact on the environment including using cloth nappies, recycling all we can and using detergents that do not harm the aquatic environment.  The nappies are a big money saver but other eco-friendly products can be expensive and I can understand that, with food and fuel prices rising, economy in the household budget is vital.  It is in my household!

 In regard to scepticism about environmental issues, some are a 'no-brainer'.  We can't keep dumping our waste in holes in the ground - we will run out of space!  I am also pretty convinced the climate is changing.  The last few years have produced some frankly bizarre weather (see this article) and, right now, my daffodils seem to believe it's spring. 

I definitely don't have environment fatigue but is this the case with you?  Have your environmental priorities changed?  Are you sceptical about environmental issues?  Do you have environment fatigue?  I'd be interested to know how many others feel the same.

My daffodils, taken this morning.  It's not spring!

20 Oct 2012

Save Money On Your Energy Bills!

So the big energy companies are increasing their prices again.  That, combined with rising food costs because of the wet summer, means we are all facing increases in the cost of living.  It is starting to feel a little relentless as we also watch fuel prices go up as well and residents who are in the Thames Water region facing a price hike in water bills in the next couple of years too.

You can do something to ensure you are paying no more than you need to.

The Labour Party have launched Switch Together to help people club together to negotiate a cheaper deal on energy prices.

Reading Borough Council are taking part in 'Big Energy Saving Week' 22-29 October.  This is a national campaign to help people with their energy costs through energy saving advice and how to make sure you are getting the best energy deal.

You can also use the many price comparison websites.  One thing that won't save you money is doing nothing.

Cut Your Energy Bill in 'Big Energy Saving Week'

'Reading Borough Council Press Release

Residents struggling to cope with spiralling energy costs are being urged to take a few simple steps to help them slash their bills and put money back in their pockets.

17 Oct 2012

Tim Starkey: Candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner Thames Valley

Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley

In November of this year you will have the opportunity to vote for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Police Area. The Home Office state that Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will
  • ensure the policing needs of their communities are met as effectively as possible,
  • bring communities closer to the police,
  • build confidence in the system and restore trust.
PCCs will make and influence key decisions that will impact on how your local area looks and feels – from CCTV, street lighting and graffiti to tackling gangs and drug-dealing.
Reading Council’s Crime and Disorder Partnership (CSP) are providing residents, businesses and organisations a chance to ask the candidates questions directly on issues that affect them on 24th October at Reading Town Hall.
The election is on Thursday 15th November.

More details will be available soon.

The Labour candidate for this vital position of power over how our town will be policed into the future is Tim Starkey, his key priorities are:

Protect The Operational Independence Of The Police
Who to investigate, arrest and charge must be decided by Police Officers not politicians

Put Victims At The Heart Of The Criminal Justice System
Protect Victim Support

Fight The Cuts
20% cuts to police funding are criminal! Stop further cuts to Police numbers in Thames Valley

Stop Police Privatisation
Outsourcing patrolling our streets to private firms like G4S is not the answer!

Create A More Efficient Service
Use technology to reduce bureaucracy and keep victims/witnesses better informed

Keep Decision Making Local
Give local communities the power to decide police priorities in their area

More information can be found on his website here and you can follow him on Twitter
@TimLabour

We urge to make sure you cast your vote in this important election.

From www.redlandslabour.org.uk


13 Oct 2012

NAG Public Meeting: Prostitution

Prostitution on the Oxford Road is still a  major concern for residents and for Battle councillors.  We have brought this up at the NAG and in scrutiny at the council.  We have been told the number of girls is increasing in part due to welfare reforms which is shocking and sad.  Help is being offered to streetworkers to help them move away from this kind of work and there are successes.

The Oxford Road NAG will be holding a further meeting for residents to discuss progress on Wednesday 17 October 2012 at Oxford Road Primary School from 7.30 - 8.30pm. At this meeting Jo Daley, Reading Borough Council’s (RBCs) anti-social behaviour (ASB) manager, will be providing an update on the feedback on diary sheets. The police will also be able to answer concerns raised by residents.
 Any residents who would like diary sheets sent to them can either contact Jo Anderson at RBC on 0118 937 4258 or they can use the contact us option on the Oxford Road NAG webpage, http://www.uknags.org.uk/

8 Oct 2012

Let's Talk Education: We Want To Hear Your Views


As the parent of a reception age child I know only too well the anxiety and worry school allocation caused this year. The shortage of places was predicted but the location of these shortages was not. It quickly became apparent there was a problem in Battle and the Oxford Road corridor and I ensured the concerns of parents were made known in the various meetings I attended while the bulge classes were identified and transport problems resolved.

It was suggested early on that a good subject for Let's Talk would be education and school places are an ongoing challenge. The event in Battle is Thursday 25 October at 4pm at Oxford Road Community School, 146 Oxford Road, RG1 7P. I urge as many people to attend as possible as this is a very important subject.

If you are unable to attend please complete the survey.  I have included the link in the top right hand corner.  Just click Let's Talk Education.  Battle is in the Central West planning area.

Please see below the press release from Reading Borough Council:

5 Oct 2012

What's on at Battle Library?

We popped into the library to change the boys books today and I picked up a 'What's on for you at Battle Library' leaflet.  I knew a few of the things they offer but was impressed by the variety of activities.  Here are a few:

Coffee Morning every 3rd Thursday 10.30-11.30 with guest speakers.

Coffee and Craft every Tuesday 9.30-10.30 where you can have a coffee and a natter over your crochet/knitting etc

The National Careers Service are at the library every Monday and Friday offering free careers and skills advice.  Call 0800195 4700 for an appointment.  www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

SATS Study Club for year 6 pupils Tuesdays in term-time 3.30-4.45.  Booking essential.

Saturday Storytime11.30-12

Thames Valley Sling Babies for advice on babywearing, slings and cloth nappies. www.thamesvalleyslingbabies.co.uk

There are loads of other things.  Call 0118 901100 or go to www.reading.gov.uk/libraries for more info or speak to a member of staff.