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24 Dec 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I would just like to wish the residents of Battle, and Reading, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

I will be taking a few days off with my family.  The Council's emergency number can be seen in the post below and if you do know of someone in need of company tomorrow, please see here:

http://www.cllrsarahhacker.com/2012/12/spreading-message-of-christmas.html

23 Dec 2012

Could Be Useful: Christmas Opening Hours & Bin Collections

'11/12/2012
Reading Borough Council Press Release

Civic Centre

Visitors and callers to the Civic Centre over the Christmas and New Year period are being reminded of revised opening hours.

The Contact Centre will be open from 8am to 3pm on Christmas and New Year's Eve. Over the rest of the Christmas break it will be business as normal 8am to 6pm (closed Christmas, Boxing and New Year's Day). The 'face to face' service at the Civic Centre will be running from 9am to 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve and 9am to 5pm other days. There will be no late night Revenues and Benefits 'face to face' service on Thursday 27 December

The usual out-of-hours emergency telephone service will operate throughout the Christmas and New Year period. The number to call is 0118 937 3737.

The Post Office at the Civic Centre will close at 12.30pm on Christmas Eve and 4pm on New Year's Eve.

Over at the Museum and Town Hall, they will be closed on Christmas Eve, reopening on Wednesday 2 January

Christmas Bin Collections

The Council's bin crews will be out collecting on normal working days and some Saturdays over the Christmas period, but not on the Bank Holidays over the Christmas period. Residents are advised to check their calendars for revised collection dates or log on to the Council's website at www.reading.gov.uk.

As usual, people are being encouraged to recycle as much of their Christmas waste as possible, putting cardboard, gift wrap and old cards in the red bins / boxes. People are reminded not to put recyclable rubbish in plastic carrier bags and also to put the right waste in their red bins / boxes - paper and card, cans, empty aerosols and plastic bottles only. Residents can also recycle their household batteries by putting them in a clear, sealed sandwich/freezer bag and leaving them on top of their red bin on collection day.

Reading Borough Council has nearly fifty bottle bank sites where people can recycle all their empty bottles and jars. Details of locations and recycling tips are on the Council's website at www.reading.gov.uk/bins..

Residents are being asked to make every effort to ensure that their household waste is contained in the grey bin.

Smallmead Household Waste and Recycling Centre will be open every day from 8am to 6pm, except on Christmas Day. More information at www.re3.org.uk/opening-and-access-times.asp.

Christmas Trees

Trees can be recycled as usual at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Alternatively people can recycle their Christmas trees using the green garden waste collection service. Trees must be chopped into pieces so they fit in the green waste bin or bag. Garden waste collections resume on Monday 21 January. Residents are advised to check their calendars   log on to the council's website at www.reading.gov.uk.

Sport and Leisure Centres

Arthur Hill, Central Pool, Meadway and Palmer Park will be open during the holiday period but closed Christmas, Boxing and New Year's Day. Highdown will be closed from 24 December to 2 January. Please check with each centre for details of holiday opening and closing hours.

Reading Libraries

Reading's Libraries will be open 9am to 1pm on Christmas Eve except Southcote and Whitley which will be closed all day. They are all closed Christmas, Boxing and New Year's Day. On New Year's Eve libraries will close at 4pm except Southcote which will be closed all day and Whitley which will be open 2pm to 4pm.'

21 Dec 2012

Your Council Your News - December

What's been going on? Take a look at this video. At the very end there is a real treat, a performance of Walking In The Air from last nights Civic Carol Concert.

19 Dec 2012

Christmas in Battle Ward


Last night Lieutenant Kenneth Guest led a wonderful carol service at Battle Library joined by the Salvation Army band and the Reading Community Gospel Choir.  

If you missed last night there is a Sing Noel sing-a-long with entertainment at the Emmanuel Methodist Church on Friday 21 December at 7pm.  Argyle Community Church also have a Christmas service at 10.30 on Sunday and a candlelight service on Sunday at 6 followed by mulled juice and mince pies.

Battle Ward has some hard working community groups within it and we are keen to as work with as many as possible.  We have already met some new groups and people through the Keep It Real project and through Battle Community First.

 If you are a resident or group within Battle who would like to help show what a truly great community we have, please get in touch.

'The Salvation Army working in West Reading

Mountain
Sarah and Kenneth are nearly dwarfed by a mountain of toys

Councillor Hacker and I popped in to the Oxford Road Salvation Army to see what they are doing for families in need this Christmas.

Lieutenant Kenneth Guest invited us to pay him a visit to see at first hand the work he and is colleagues and volunteers are doing to bring a little happiness to disadvantaged children this Christmas.
When we arrived black bags were being filled with toys ready for distribution. There were several tables groaning under the weight of toys donated by members of the public. It was a fantastic sight.
Kenneth told us that even in these difficult times donations were flooding in. He said people’s generosity was quite overwhelming.

It is not too late to donate a toy. Even if your donation is not used this year it will be kept and distributed next year. Every child deserves presents at Christmas time.'

14 Dec 2012

7UP Art Club Exhibiting in Battle Library

I am in and out of Battle Library and it's nice they have art on show.  Recently they have had some lovely pieces by a local resident > http://artbyailbhe.me.uk/

Next week the 7Up Art Club will have their work on show.  If you are passing, please pop in and have a look.

'Youngsters Ready to Show Their Art to Community

03/12/2012
Reading Borough Council Press Release

Battle Library's 7Up Art Club will be exhibiting work from its youngsters on Monday December 17.

Battle Library will be opening its doors, from 3.30pm, to the local community and the parents of the '7Up' artists to view their recent creations. The exhibition will be up in the library until 4th January 2013.

In September of this year, as part of their on-going work with children in the local community, Battle Library started the 7up Art Club for children aged over 7. The classes are free to attend and have been very popular, with a long waiting list already for next term.

Reading Borough Council's Lead Councillor for Culture and Sport, Cllr Marian Livingston, said: 'This is a wonderful opportunity for the local community to support young artists. I am delighted to see that the 7Up Art Club has already proven to be a success and I have no doubt it will continue to be so in the future."

8 Dec 2012

Spreading the message of Christmas

I was sent this poster by Lieutenant Kenneth Guest from the Salvation Army in Battle Ward and he asked if I could share it.

.If there is anyone you know who would like to share Christmas Day with the Salvation Army, please pass on this information or even share the poster yourself.  Christmas can be a lonely and difficult time for some.

CLICK HERE FOR A BIGGER VERSION

5 Dec 2012

Severe Weather Emergency Provision

We are facing more cold weather so this information could prove useful.

Launchpad: http://www.launchpadreading.org.uk/

St Mungo's: http://www.mungos.org/services/where_we_work/reading

'Reading Borough Council Press Release

As in previous years, homeless people who find themselves on the streets in Reading are to be offered emergency extra beds during severe cold weather this winter.

The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is a partnership arrangement between Reading Borough Council, Launchpad, Hamble Court, the Salvation Army, Waylen Street and St Mungo's that has existed for many years and is activated whenever the Met Office forecasts three nights or more with a minimum temperature of 0°C or below.

During this time, St Mungo's coordinate extra accommodation in the communal areas of Reading's homeless hostels for anyone who would otherwise be sleeping rough.

St Mungo's are commissioned by Reading Borough Council to provide a street outreach team to support rough sleepers and assist them in moving into appropriate accommodation. During the cold weather, St Mungo's use the opportunity to engage with homeless people who may have been previously reluctant to access accommodation and support services.

In addition, this year Launchpad will be coordinating a breakfast drop-in for the use of SWEP clients. This will provide further opportunity for the St Mungo's team to assess and engage with homeless people and encourage them to access support service available.

Last year, over the winter period, 46 people were offered SWEP accommodation and only 5 refused. 40% of those accommodated in SWEP were from outside of the Borough. When St Mungo's carried out analysis in May of this year, they found that 28 (57% of those offered) of the homeless that had engaged with SWEP had gone on to find settled accommodation.

Reading Borough Council's Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Housing, Rachel Eden, said: "Reading can be proud of the work that the Council, St Mungo's and the rest of the voluntary sector do in partnership all year round to support rough sleepers and help them back into accommodation; but particularly, as the nights draw in, I'd urge anyone who knows of a rough sleeper to contact St Mungo's or the Council so that they can make contact. During any prolonged cold weather, emergency measures are put in place and this can help people access services that can make a long term difference.'

Anyone concerned about a rough sleeper at any time of the year in Reading should contact Street Concern on 0118 9585002 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or email streetconcern@mungos.org'

2 Dec 2012

Victoria Groulef - Our Parliamentary Candidate For Reading West

Just a short post to introduce Victoria Groulef, Labour parliamentary candidate for Reading West.  She was selected today by Labour members in the Reading West constituency.

Victoria is a candidate bringing a wealth of experience.  She understands the challenges facing residents in Reading West and has been campaigning with us for a year around Reading and in Battle Ward.  I am very happy she has been selected and look forward to working with her in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

Victoria Groulef (centre camel coat) with Labour members, Councillors and former MP Martin Salter
















You can find out about Victoria here:http://www.victoriagroulef.co.uk

Follow her on twitter here: @VictoriaGroulef