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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...

28 Nov 2012

Christmas Rhymetime!

Yet again the very popular Rhymetime is heading to the Hexagon for a Christmas special.  My youngest and I have got our tickets and it's firmly in the diary. See you there!

28/11/2012
Reading Borough Council Press Release

Reading Borough Libraries are celebrating the success of the Rhymetimes events for children under 5 years with a special Christmas performance at the Hexagon on Thursday 20th December.

From 11.00am to 11.45am, Library staff will be singing along with and an audience of regular 'Rhymetimers'.

The Mayor will be coming along to join in the fun and the money raised from the ticket sales (£1 per adult, children go free) will be donated to the Mayor's Charity.

Rhymetimes support the development of language skills for very young children, provide a structure for parents on how to engage with their child in reading and literacy activities and install a love of the fun of reading, books and libraries. There are 18 sessions each week, taking place across all Reading Borough libraries. Between April 2011 and March 2012, more than 52,400 people (under 5s, parents and carers) visited Reading libraries for Rhymetime sessions.

Reading Borough Council's Lead Councillor for Culture and Sport, Marian Livingston, said: 'Reading Libraries Christmas Rhymetime Celebration has become an annual tradition. It's a way to celebrate the successful sessions and thank all the staff and families who make rhymetimes so popular.'

Mayor of Reading, Cllr Jennifer Rynn, said: 'The Christmas Rhymtime is a lovely way to round off the year. Rhymtime is the perfect way of getting our young children to be interested in reading and improve their literacy. I am sure this will help them develop a love of books as they grow older.'

26 Nov 2012

Some useful flood information

Few would realise but Battle Ward is at risk of flooding as we are close to the Thames.  This morning some Battle residents, who had signed up the the Environment Agency's Flood Warnings Direct service, were called and advised of  risk of flooding.  The properties most at risk are those near to Portman Road.

For up to date information you can call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 171213

To receive future alerts you can sign up for Flood Warnings Direct here > https://fwd.environment-agency.gov.uk/app/olr/home

The current flood warning can be seen here > http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/34681.aspx?area=061FWF23ReadCav&page=1&type=Town&term=reading

Reading Borough Councils flood information can been seen here > http://www.reading.gov.uk/news/2012/nov/flooding-alert-river-thames-reading/

16 Nov 2012

World Prematurity Day - What It Means To Me

Saturday 17 November is world prematurity day.  60,000 babies in the UK are born too soon and in 2010 one of these babies was my youngest son.  There were no indications anything was amiss with my pregnancy.  It was just the same as his older brothers but, for no reason, he was born 9 1/2 weeks early.

My waters broke early so we had a few days to get our heads round the idea that he may arrive soon but, on the other hand, we were told he could stay put until he was full term.  Unfortunately this wasn't the case and 5 days later he arrived.  We missed the birth as I had to have a general anaesthetic and we then had to wait to hear how he was doing.  Thankfully he was a strong little fellow and we were told he was breathing for himself, with a little help.

For the following 4 weeks and 2 days he was under the fantastic care of Buscot Ward and the Royal Berkshire Hospital.  We visited everyday, watching him grow bigger and learn to feed.  The support from the staff was great, as was the information from Bliss and when I should have been 35 weeks pregnant we took a tiny 4lb 9oz baby boy home with us.


World Prematurity Day is to raise awareness of the support early babies and their families need, not just in the UK, but cross the world.  Please take time to check out the Bliss website, share your story or donate if you can.  There is also a World Prematurity Day Facebook group so you can keep up to date with what's happening across the world.

 We were lucky but sadly 1 million premature babies die across the world every year.  Other babies survive but need lifelong support.  Please do what you can.


11 Nov 2012

Labour: “Use your vote on Thursday to protect policing in Reading!”



Reading & District Labour Party Media Release 
11 November 2012

Labour’s Tim Starkey visited Reading on Saturday to remind voters of the importance of the upcoming Police and Crime commissioner elections.  He spent time in Whitley talking to local Labour Councillor Rachel Eden and former MP for Reading West Martin Salter about how dispersal orders have successfully been used to tackle crime and anti – social behaviour in the area. Tim also warned about the government’s plans for a 20% cut in police funding which would hit Reading hard.


Remembrance Sunday Parade

I attended the Remembrance Service at Brock Barracks today.  It was a very well attended and moving service remembering those who have lost their life in defence of us, as well as those who survived past wars and those still serving.

After the service there was a parade of veterans, serving personnel then civilians groups.  It was lovely to see them march past including my former Girl Guide group, 2nd Reading from St Georges.  Here are a few pictures from the parade.




4 Nov 2012

Love Apps and Clean Streets? You'll Love This... UPDATED

 I've known about the Love Clean Reading app being trialled for a while and, typically, it all goes public when I am holiday in West Sussex with next to no internet access.  Oh well! 

I report a lot of fly-tipping, graffiti etc as I pass through Battle Ward, usually by emailing councillor services.  I now have an alternative.  It's downloaded and waiting for it's first thing to report.  Councillors are being encouraged to trial this app and, if used, it should free up councillors services to deal with casework, rather than Streetcare reporting.  I have already seen positive comments on #rdg about it and I am looking forward to trying it out.


UPDATED:  I have used it four times now.  Once for dog fouling and to report a dumped suitcase, speakers & shelving and a tv stand.  You tap begin, I used my phones gps for the location, you take a pic, add a short description and allocate it to one of the categories listed and hit send!

Once you report something you get a confirmation email then an email when the report is accepted.  Your pictures are shared on the Love Clean Reading website, as are their location.  The status of your case is updated by email and also online.  The website is here: http://loveclean.reading.gov.uk/Reports

You can also use the website to report things.

'Council To Trial Free 'Love Clean Reading' App

29/10/2012
Reading Borough Council Press Release

Reading Borough Council is inviting a group of local residents to help
trial a free new 'app' which will allow people to report things like
litter, graffiti or flytipping direct to the Council whilst they are out
and about.

The new app   called 'Love Clean Reading'   is a quick and easy way for
residents to help the Council keep their local neighbourhood clean by
taking photos of litter, fly tipping, dog mess or graffiti they come
across. All they have to do is take a picture and then use the
downloaded app on their smartphone or tablet to send it directly to the
Council's Sreetcare Team.