Summer Pledge #1: our NHS

This summer the Labour Party has announced 6 pledges that illustrate how a Labour government would do things differently. Unlike the Tories we would run our country in the interests of the many. Our first pledge is on investment in our NHS. We face a number of issues in our …

Meeting with Ericsson

Today I met with Ericsson staff to discuss why they had moved to Reading, the benefits they are getting from being located in our town, as well as the work they are doing to improve their sustainability as a business. We also discussed Brexit and the concerns they have about …

Meeting with Me2Club

I met with Tess from Me2Club today, a great charity that help children with additional needs and disabilities access mainstream activities. They support children across Wokingham and are looking at expanding into Reading, really looking forward to seeing the work they do

TV Licence promise broken

Last week, the BBC announced that the TV licence concession for over-75s will be linked to Pension Credit in future. The 2017 Tory manifesto promised to protect the free TV licence for over 75s for the duration of this Parliament – until 2022. That promise has now been broken. It …

Reading Borough Council to go “Plastics-Free”

Reading Council will go “plastics-free” if it approves a proposal from the Labour candidate for Reading West, Councillor Rachel Eden. A motion backed by the ruling Labour Group will be discussed at the next Full Council meeting on June 25th. It will propose banning single-use plastic products like straws, cups and disposable bottles from all the Council’s internal and commissioned services, except where strictly necessary for example for care of older people, as soon as possible and will require the Council to publish a plan with a timetable to implement the ban.

Rachel Eden commented “Like so many people I’ve been alarmed by the impact single-use plastic is having on our oceans and rivers. As well as many adults I’ve been told by children at schools including Geoffrey Field Junior and St Michael’s that it’s one of the top things they want to see change, so I’m bringing this motion to ensure the council works with our communities to tackle it.”

About 300 million tonnes of plastics gets produced worldwide each year with half of that ending up in waterways and, by 2050, they will contain more plastics than fish by weight according to the Ellen McArthur Foundation. Plastics in the environment can release toxic chemicals as they decompose which pose a danger to marine life and, through the food chain, ultimately humans.

Newly appointed Lead Councillor for Corporate and Consumer Services, Ellie Emberson whose portfolio will cover much of the delivery of the ban said “The Council already works in partnership with projects like Refill Reading to reduce the amount of disposable plastic in Reading. We have a commitment to the environment and it is important our processes reflect this.”

The motion will propose that the Council helps and encourages local businesses to find sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics and to get schools involved to help educate young people about the effect of plastic waste on our environment.

Councillor Sophia James, the Lead Member who oversees Reading’s involvement in RE3 recycling and waste-management partnership welcomed the motion saying “Through RE3 we have shown our commitment to recycling and reducing the amount of plastic affecting the environment. This is a strong approach from Reading Borough Council and I look forward to working across Reading and Berkshire to eradicate single use plastics. “

Labour’s new Council Leader Jason Brock lent his weight adding “I have said that the environment would be a key priority for my new administration and I’m delighted to say that the Labour Group will be fully behind Rachel’s proposal to make Reading Council ‘plastics-free’ as soon as we can achieve it.”

You can read the motion to full council here