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Save the date! Reading Pride 2018

The date of the 2018 Reading Pride has been announced!  If you want to come to the best (in my opinion) free Pride then pop: Saturday 1 ...

26 Mar 2019

Question to council: William Marshal

Richard Stainthorp to ask the Lead Councillor for Culture Heritage and Recreation: William Marshal As I am sure the Lead Councillor is aware 2019 is the 800th anniversary of William Marshal dying in Caversham. William was eulogized by Stephen Langton as 'the best knight that ever lived‘, he served five English kings and was Lord Protector and regent of the kingdom during the reign of Henry III. As is the case for many of us Caversham was his favourite place. Can the Lead Councillor tell me what plans there are to commemorate the anniversary of this great man's death ? 

REPLY by Councillor Hacker Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation. Thank you for your question Mr Stainthorp and I am indeed aware of the anniversary of the remarkable William Marshal and the strong connection he had to our Borough. Unsurprisingly, we do indeed have plans to commemorate this particularly significant anniversary of his death. 

Reading Museum is leading on work with local partners to mark this historic anniversary with two events on Saturday 11 May (which also coincides with the Forbury Fiesta).

The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens will have a ‘pop-up’ William Marshal exhibition at the Abbey Gateway (10am -3pm), which will also provide another opportunity to visit the newly restored medieval Gateway. While at the Museum there will be an afternoon talk (3pm 4pm, booking essential via the Museum) on William Marshal by Dr Elizabeth Matthew, University of Reading. This fascinating talk is part of the popular continuing series of public lectures relating to the Abbey Quarter organised by the Museum and the Reading Abbey Revealed project.


During May half term on Tuesday 28 May the Museum is running ‘The Greatest Knight!’ family workshops. Children will be inspired by the greatest knight to decorate their own signature helmet and shield (1-hour sessions starting at 10am, 11.15am, 1pm & 2.15pm, booking via the museum).

You may also be interested to learn that after Marshal died at Caversham his body lay in state at the Abbey until it was transported for burial at the Temple church in London. The Abbey is of course famous as the burial place of King Henry I, but other members of the AngloNorman/Angevin family were also buried at this favoured royal abbey. The Reading Abbey Revealed project and the University of Reading are exploring this subject with a one-day conference ‘Royal Death and Burial Reading Abbey in Context’ on Saturday 6 April (9am 5pm, booking essential). Internationally renowned experts will set Reading Abbey in its context as one of the great royal mausoleums of medieval Europe.

Also! Head to www.cadra.org.uk to find out about their plans to provide an information panel on William Marshal on Cavershsm Bridge plus an expert speaker on the subject at their AGM.
Copied using a text scanner -  apologies if there are errors!

23 Feb 2019

#Labwomen2019 - Early Years, Education and Childcare

Today I was honoured to be given the opportunity to deliver a speech at the Labour Women's Conference.

My speech:

Conference,  chairs, Sisters.   My name is Sarah Hacker from Unite the Union and I am speaking in support of the motion. I'm also a councillor, school governor and parent.

Sisters, we know the the biggest barrier to women to work is the lack of good quality, affordable childcare and nursery provision. We also know that this condemn many women to a fire if low incomes leading to low pensions.

A vicious cycle of financial inequality that spans a lifetime.

Recently Philip Alston, the UN poverty envoy,  took evidence from people across the UK and his findings were damn ing.

This Conservative government he said inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive,  mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies.

In the world's fifth largest economy levels of child poverty were not just a disgrace but a social calamity and an economic disaster.

I don't think I've ever heard such enormous condemnation from anyone let alone an envoy from the United Nations.

We always knew that workers have borne the brunt of the 2008 economic crash.

Add to that Universal Credit

Cuts in local funding

Closure of Sure Start centres that provided real improvements in health, parenting and behaviour with the poorest children benefitting most.

And we have a toxic mix of parents reliant on food banks and children reliant on free school meals.

Financial inequality,  the lack of childcare and early years education has a motor impact on child development right up to how they perform at GCSE and beyond.

We can't rely on the Tories to deliver on Early Years Education  and Childcare.  Their solution, as with so many things, is to rely heavily on the private sector who cream off the profits.

We are left with unequal access. Poorly paid and poorly trained staff.

Let me make this clear - people who do thr work are not to blame. It's quite clear where the blame lies.

It lies with austerity.

It lies with tbwclosure of Sure Star Centres by a Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition.

And it lies with this Conservative government who havecutfunding to local authorities to the bone.

Only a Labour government will reverse the cuts and bring in high quality early early childhood education and care provision as a part of a National Education Service ice that is truly cradle -to-grave.

15 Feb 2019

£2.7 million allocated to parks in Reading

Today it was announced that £2.7million has been allocated in the Reading Council budget for parks equipment and other park improvements across the borough, £603k of which followed a public consultation last year on CIL funding. 

I have made it very clear that ensuring our playgrounds are accessible to all children is my priority. Play is vital to the healthy development of our children, physically and mentally, and is a great way to form friendships. I look forward to seeing more accessible play equipment across the borough.

Other improvements will also include full consultation with park users. If you have any ideas ahead of the consultation please get in touch. sarah.hacker@reading.gov.uk

Full press release here: http://news.reading.gov.uk/council-budget-plan-19-20/

Full budget report here: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=138&MId=1842