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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 Oct 2013

Approx £8,500 available to community groups working in Battle Ward

Once again I am privileged to be on the panel for Battle Community First.  We have just short of £8,500  available to community groups working in Battle Ward and would love to see applications that address our priorities:
  • Improving anti-social behaviour
  • Improving the local environment
  • Improving community cohesion
We like the projects we award funding to to benefit as wide a range of people as possible. for more information please take a look at our blog.  You can also download an application form.  We look forward to receiving a wide range of interestng applications.  You have until the end of the year to apply.



24 Oct 2013

Urgent closure of the Oxford Road

I have just received notofication that part pf the Oxford Road between Alma Street and St Georges Road will be closed from 8 am on Saturday morning.  Closure will be from 8am until 8pm everyday until repairs have been completed - this could take up to two weeks.

The emails reads:
Thames Water has discovered a section of damaged sewer 3.5m under Oxford Road, outside The Albion PH, between Alma Street and St Georges Road. As well as the damage to the pipe and the blockages/customer flooding issues that this is causing, they have discovered large voids under the carriageway. The recent heavy rain will have worsened the voids, which pose a risk to the structural integrity of the carriageway surface. 

There will be signed diversions and Reading Buses have anounced their diversions here:

 http://www.reading-buses.co.uk/articles/closure-of-oxford-road-3/

The road surface will be monitored until the closure begins.
 


17 Oct 2013

Heading to the West Village: street surgery special!

This Saturday (19 October) Battle councillors will be holding a special advice surgery in the West Village. We'll be setting up our red gazebo at 10.30 and we'll be there until 12.  We'd love to hear residents views so please come and see us. 

West Village

Saturday 19 October

10.30-12

Red gazebo in the park

 
Campaigning in West Village on the £1.5 million developers contribution for Battle ward earlier this year




14 Oct 2013

NAG public meeting 15 October: what are residents priorities?

The Oxford Road Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) has a public meeting tomorrow:


7.30-8.30

Tuesday 15 October

Salvation Army Oxford Road

The NAG priorities residents voted for will be annouced and the public will get the chance to ask questions to the panel consiting of the NAG chair, Police, Council and Councillor (me in fact).  I hope to see as many of you there as possible.

11 Oct 2013

We're Battling against energy price hikes! Freeze That Bill!

Tomorrow Reading Labour will be holding a street stall campaiging against energy price hikes
with a petition and will have information about The Freeze That Bill campaign.  We had planned this street stall well before Southern Electric annouced their 8.2% price rise so it is now even more relevent.  Join us:

Outside Battle Library

Saturday 12 October

10.30 am

Apparently Southern Electric only make less than £2 profit a week.  When I got this letter today I wondered if I was meant to feel sorry for them.  They say they will only get about the same profit as last year.  Last year the company behind Southern Electric made half yearly profits of £398 million (see here).

During winter 2012/2013 families struggles to afford fuel.  I know people who had to decide between heat and food - a choice no family should have to face. 

The Labour Party say:

'Since David Cameron entered Downing Street, energy bills have risen by almost £300 a year for families, while businesses say energy is the second biggest cost they face.'

Ed Miliband announced at Labour’s Annual Conference that a One Nation Labour Government will put a stop to unfair price rises by freezing energy bills up to January 2017, saving a typical household £120.

To deliver fairness in the long term, we will reset the energy market, increasing competition and transparency, introduce a simple new tariff structure, and replace OFGEM with a tough new energy watchdog from January 2017.'

Our parliamentary candidate Victoria Groulef said: “When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall.
 
“The bill freeze would help families across our region who are facing a rising cost of living crisis and it encourages the industry to be fairer to its customers. By 2017 Labour would create a tough new energy regulator to ensure that the system remains fair for consumers. 

 “Businesses and people round here need help now, so I’m calling on David Cameron to take action and freeze our bills now before the cold snap hits.”



If you want to see what you can save then use the energy calculator here.