Not too late for the government to think again on Reading Gaol

Rachel writes: “It is incrediably disappointing that despite pre-election promises that the Government has turned its back on a true community bid submitted on behalf of the community by our council. As we look to build back better following the pandemic the obvious thing would be for the government to …

Campaign for Government to bolster bereavement support in the workplace

National bereavement charity Sue Ryder, which runs Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading, has called on the Government to introduce a minimum of two weeks statutory paid bereavement leave for all UK employees grieving the loss of a close relative or partner. Over the last few years through …

Black Reading Labour members statement in support of justice for George Floyd

I believe that the best voices to listen to in the current situation following the murder of George Floyd are from the community affected. As a member of Reading Labour Party and a Reading Labour Councillor however I am signing up to this statement in solidarity: Black and Asian members …

Save our shops

I am pleased to support USDAW’s campaign to save our high streets. They are calling for a level playing field for high street and online retail as well as fair pay, job security and investment in skills and training for the workforce Our local high streets and shopping centres are …

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

Please help save maintained nurseries

Help save maintained nursery schools like Norcot Nursery:  sign here

The future of maintained nursery schools in England after March 2020 is under threat as adequate funding has not been confirmed after then when supplementary funding ends. 

Nursery schools like Blagdon Nursery, Norcot Nursery, Caversham Nursery and Newbridge Nursery are under threat.

I am therefore joining people across the country in petitioning the Government to take action to ensure maintained nursery schools are financially sustainable.

Nursery schools are vital for many children’s start in life and this uncertainty is putting their future in doubt I am asking you to join the thousands of people who have already signed this petition which you can find at: http://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237044

Public letter on a public vote – from Reading Labour members

A number of  people have been asking Labour Councillors  locally for our views on the current situation on Brexit. Below is the, text of a letter sent to the Reading Chronicle today. I have signed it , both as a councillor who believes that  the residents I represent deserve a final say  and as the person who hopes to become our next  MP who is in despair at the current dangerous nonsense from the government.  My belief is that , unless there …

Please help Save maintained nursery schools

It was bitter-sweet to see the ‘Outstanding’ Oftsted report that Reading Council’s Norcot Nusery again received this week.  Maintained nursery schools like Norcot, Blagrave and Blagdon Road (which many Whitley children attend) provide an amazing and unique environment for children to receive their early years education. Many parents have been …

We must stop Van Tool Theft

When local trades people approached me about the impact that van tool theft is increasingly having on them I knew that there would not be one answer but that a series of measures are needed to tackle this rising problem. It’s a disgusting crime that robs families of their livelihoods.  …

The Rise in Violent Crimes is Linked to Government Cuts to Police Numbers

Worrying figures released on Thursday by the Office of National Statistics reflect the rise in crime in the Thames Valley Police area which includes Reading and West Berkshire.  Figures from ukcrimestats.comreveal a 17% increase in violent crime, a 29% increase in robbery and a 12% rise in vehicle crime over the year to May …

Mothering Sunday

Today I am having a special day with my children and also thankful for my own mum, who because of her work today and my parliamentary selection yesterday I’m not able to see this weekend. But I am also sparing a thought of all those for whom Mothering Sunday doesn’t …

Budget setting: we must campaign for a Labour government and take measures to protect services now

In my speech last night at full council I focused on the government’s abandonment of adult social care and how we are responding in Reading.  If you click on the link you can watch all of our speeches. The text of my speech is below: I know no councillor in …

Reading Council’s social care team making a difference

I’m really proud of the services that Reading Council offers to older and disabled residents in our town.  Despite the unbelievable levels of austerity that we face and the increases in population our dedicated staff makea real difference t opeoples lives.  That comes across in regular inspections from the Care …

Why Vote 100 matters

Today 100 years ago the Royal Assent was given to allow the first women to vote. Of course it was only one step on a longer journey towards equality that we are still on.  Particularly for women of colour, disabled women, lesbian, bi and transgender women and for working class …

Our NHS – we must defend it

Alongside fellow Reading Labour members, including a strong young Labour presence I joined the Emergency NHS march yesterday.  In some ways it was uplifting because of the unity of the campaigners, the solidarity and our belief in the NHS. But it was also saddening that of all the things that …

Blue Monday may be a myth – but let’s look out for each other

Today is known a “Blue Monday” – a date that is supposed to be the most miserable day of the year.  It’s a so-called scientific formula based on likely weather, debt/money worries, post Christmas lull, the failing in new year’s resolutions, and motivational levels. Of course anyone who either has …

Happy New Year

It is easy to forget all that happens in a year.  This one has despite everything had so many highlights for our local Labour team – these pics from my instagram feed were a good reminder: Tea and cake with Jeremy Corbyn, out and about in Whitley for ‘talktober’, the …

Well done to “Good” Whitley Wood Lane respite care home

I’m delighted to be able to share that Reading Borough Council’s service at 188 Whitley Wood Lane –  Respite Care for residents with learning disabilities has been once again been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). “Like the rest of the country, Reading faces huge challenges to ensure we …

Carers Rights Day

Today I was pleased to open the event that marked National Carers Rights Day.  In Reading alone, it is estimated that over 12,000 people provide some form of unpaid care for a friend, relative, or neighbour, who would not be able to cope without their support. The council and local …

A let down budget – not even meeting low expectations

It shouldn’t have been hard for today’s budget to exceed expectations – given the mess this government is in they were incredibly low, and given Philip Hammond’s reputation he should have been able to promise some support. I was following the announcements hoping for relief for under-paid public sector workers …

Guest post: Phoebe Cusden – a doer, a socialist and a Reading hero

Yesterday it was a delight to attend the unveiling of a plaque to Phoebe Cusden, and I was particularly struck by Robert Dimmick’s speech.  He’s kindly allowed me to reproduce it here: Phoebe Cusden was a person of wide and varied interests and commitments, to peace, to her own community, …

Last night’s council shows only Labour will stand up for Reading

Last night’s full council had a large portion of the agenda taken by the important discussion about the future of the Central Club site.   The stand out speech of the night was Cllr Sophia James responding to the petition, you can read her speech here but I would recommend watching it on …

Reading East MP pledges his support to scrap the bedroom tax

I was delighted that yesterday Matt Rodda MP pledged his support to the campaign to scrap the bedroom tax.  Matt joined Labour members, local councillors and local residents in calling on the new housing minister, the current Conservative MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma to scrap the bedroom tax. Matt …

My first reaction to hearing that Theresa May plans to talk about needing to increase council house building in her speech today was a hollow laugh. Throughout the general election campaign housing and the glaring need for council housing came up in my home of Reading West and in the …

National Community Wellbeing Board report back: Standing up for Local Health and Care Services

Today I attended the Local Government Association’s national board meeting on Health and Social Care. Along with 6 other Labour councillors from around the country my role is to put forward Labour’s agenda for health and social care on a cross-party board which is currently chaired by a Conservative.   Full …

#Housingday celebrates social housing but a change of government is needed to save it

Today is celebrated as national Housing Day on social media remembering the positive impact that social housing has on families across our country:  social housing isn’t just a roof over your head.  It’s about creating homes and communities.  Here in Reading our local Labour party is proud to support social housing, …

Fire safety in flats

We all were shocked and appalled last week by the terrible fire in the Grenfell Tower that has killed so many people in Kensington and naturally the Reading community has stepped up to help, from residents collecting through to our Mayor speaking to the council’s emergency planning department asking that …

The dementia tax raises questions about Conservative fitness for government

I was originally going to publish this on Tuesday but due to the awful terrorist attack in Manchester I delayed as all candidates have been avoiding campaigning.  However I believe this issue is so vital I wanted to publish is now that campaigning has restarted. When the dementia tax was …

Government Cuts Force Council Tax Rises

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 3 Feb 2017 15:01Subject: Government Cuts Force Council Tax RisesTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Government Cuts Force Council Tax Rises 03/02/2017 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council is recommending a 4.99% Council Tax increase for next year. It follows repeated and unprecedented cuts …

Reading Borough Council Publishes NHS Local Sustainable Transformation Plan

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 16 Nov 2016 10:05Subject: Reading Borough Council Publishes NHS Local Sustainable Transformation PlanTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Reading Borough Council Publishes NHS Local Sustainable Transformation Plan 16/11/2016 Reading Borough Council Press Release Reading Borough Council today (Nov 16) becomes the latest local authority to publish …

Council’s Community Equipment Recycling Drive Yields Fantastic Results

Great news all round: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 4 Oct 2016 11:06 a.m.Subject: Council’s Community Equipment Recycling Drive Yields Fantastic ResultsTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Council’s Community Equipment Recycling Drive Yields Fantastic Results 04/10/2016 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council’s drive to recover and recycle used community …

Reading Council Celebrates ‘Good’ Rating for Shared Lives Scheme from Inspectors

Very proud of Reading Council staff ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 3 Oct 2016 1:37 p.m.Subject: Reading Council Celebrates ‘Good’ Rating for Shared Lives Scheme from InspectorsTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Reading Council Celebrates ‘Good’ Rating for Shared Lives Scheme from Inspectors 03/10/2016 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING COUNCIL’S …

Care and health services future is bleak unless the government moves from austerity to investment

THE OUTLOOK for care provision and health services in the UK is bleak with Government cuts eating into resources despite rising need for support. A recent report from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), found many councils across the country saying they would struggle to meet their …

New Free Digital Resource for Carers in Berkshire Launched #rdg #rdguk

See below: Reading Borough Council Press Release A NEW online resource for carers in Berkshire launched this month to support them in their caring role. It is free to use and includes a number of useful online resources, including specially tailored Apps, guides and training courses, such as: Jointly – …

Help Shape the future of Mental Health Services in Reading

HE COUNCIL and its local partners are inviting people to help shape the future of Mental Health Services in Reading. A consultation is launching this week which aims to help inform how Reading’s Mental Health Day Services are delivered. The consultation is particularly relevant for people with professional and personal …

Care and Support Conference for Reading – with pics

WELLBEING, scam avoidance, safeguarding and therapeutic poetry are just a few of the topics on offer at the council’s Care and Support networking event on today.The free event, hosted by the council, is taking place at the Town Hall from 9.30am-2.30pm, and brings together service providers and voluntary sector partners, …

Reading Labour is taking action on lettings agents #rdg #rdguk

Following action and pressure from Reading Labour councillors led by Richard Davies, lead member for housing lettings agents and property managers in Reading are being warned to make sure they are displaying the fees they charge or risk a £5,000 penalty. Reading Borough Council believes around 100 letting agents operate …

Hundreds of Households Benefit from £1.8 million Solar Scheme

This is a scheme very close to my heart.  It's a shame it will be hard to replicate in future due to the government's short sighted approach. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 29 Mar 2016 2:14 p.m.Subject: Hundreds of Households Benefit from £1.8 million Solar SchemeTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: …

Carers Encouraged to Contact New Carers Service #rdg

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 29 Mar 2016 10:29 a.m.Subject: Carers Encouraged to Contact New Carers ServiceTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Carers Encouraged to Contact New Carers Service 29/03/2016 Reading Borough Council Press Release A NEW service providing information, advice and support to local carers launches this week. From Friday …

New Council Owned Housing Company Aims to Help Homeless

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 17 Mar 2016 11:29 a.m.Subject: New Council Owned Housing Company Aims to Help HomelessTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: New Council Owned Housing Company Aims to Help Homeless 17/03/2016 Reading Borough Council Press Release A NEW housing company owned by Reading Borough Council will be created …

Reading’s approach to adult social care praised by British Red Cross #rdg #rdguk

I’m really pleased that a new report authored by the British Red Cross has recognised the work that is going on in Reading to help people stay out of care.There’s more to do on this and my big concern is how we’ll be able to keep focused on supporting people …

South Street saved by #rdg council action – official statement

I'm delighted that the future of South Street has been secured.  Full offical statement below: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 23 Feb 2016 11:00Subject: South Street to Remain OpenTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: South Street to Remain Open 23/02/2016 Reading Borough Council Press Release SOUTH Street will remain open after …

Protecting people from avoidable fires

I'm looking forward to talking about this on BBC Berkshire just after 5pm ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 16 Feb 2016 13:00Subject: Joint Agency Work to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Avoidable FiresTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Joint Agency Work to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Avoidable Fires 16/02/2016 Reading Borough Council …

Guest post: Jo Lovelock on the government’s panic over local government funding

We were all stunned by the very obviously panicked announcement yesterday of 'transitional funding' for certain parts of local government, perhaps because most councils have already published their budget plans for next year.  However what's even more shocking is the split of which authorities are getting the lion's share (of …

Have Your Say on Adult Wellbeing in Reading #rdg #rdguk

I'm looking forward to discussing the council's approach to wellbeing at a committee meeting on Wednesday, it's core to all that local government should be about – helping people live fulfilled lives and so many council services and activities support this. Council Encourages Residents to Have Their Say on Adult …

Plan coming to Reading Health and Wellbeing board to support community to #endFGM

There are some wonderful people in our local community working to end the horrific practice of Female Genital Mutilation.  I’m really please that this afternoon we’ll be discussing and agreeing (I hope) a joint plan for the council and the health service plan to help tackle and end FGM in …

ellbeing Vision Aims to Narrow the Health Gaps in Reading

Council press release: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 19 Jan 2016 10:18Subject: Wellbeing Vision Aims to Narrow the Health Gaps in ReadingTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Wellbeing Vision Aims to Narrow the Health Gaps in Reading 19/01/2016 Reading Borough Council Press Release A REPORT going before the Reading Health and …

Carers Encouraged to Put on Their Boots for New Year Walks #rdg

Council Press release: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 30 Dec 2015 10:17Subject: Carers Encouraged to Put on Their Boots for New Year WalksTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Carers Encouraged to Put on Their Boots for New Year Walks 30/12/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release CARERS and the people they care …

Government cuts to Reading £5m more than expected and weeks to find them #rdg #rdguk

Just a few days before Christmas we have an utterly irresponsible decision from the government both to keep changing the target and to attack local authorities’ ability to find them.  I know my fellow councillors am determined to find ways around this and to keep making a difference for our …

Safeguarding is everybody’s business #rdg #rdg – PLEASE SHARE

//www.youtube.com/get_player Reading should be a good place for everyone to live and we should be free from abuse.  The video here brings home powerfully the importance of safeguarding as the bedrock of this.  If you have a concern about a child the number to call is 01189 373641 if you have …

Christmas activities for older people across #rdg – please share #rdguk

With advent officially starting yesterday Reading’s Older People’s neighbourhood team have put together a listing of events and information for older epople across our town.  As a council Reading is committed to working with the people who make Reading a special and better place and I know the aim is …

Reading Council’s Occupational Therapists get national recognition #rdg

Like the rest of the country, Reading faces huge challenges to ensure we can all live fulfilling lives regardless of our needs. In the face of unprecedented Government cuts to health and social care budgets, I want to ensure the council remains committed to providing the high quality care service …

Get involved in the Reading conversation on End of Life care #rdg #rdguk

READING Council is calling on individuals, groups and organisations across town to work together to improve people’s experiences at the end of their lives. The Council wants to work with residents and community groups, as well as organisations and professionals with an interest in end of life care; such as …

Works Starts on Whitley Rise Supported Living Scheme

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 27 Oct 2015 10:47Subject: Works Starts on Whitley Rise Supported Living SchemeTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Works Starts on Whitley Rise Supported Living Scheme 27/10/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release WORK has started on the Whitley Rise Supported Living Scheme, a Reading Borough Council housing …

End of life care – speaking notes from Reading Citizens’ Advice AGM

I was very lucky to be the guest speaker at last night’s Citizens’ Advice AGM.  My speaking notes are below: Thank you for invitation and thanks for the kind introduction.  As Richard said I’m the lead member for adult social care.  Which means I take political responsibility for services that …

Reading Council H=home for people with mental illness rated ‘Good’ #rdg #rdguk

Reading Council Care Home Rated Good by Care Quality Commission Inspectors 12/10/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release THE SERVICE at Focus House in Castle Street has been rated good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Focus House supports people with mental illness to return to independent living. It has facilities for …

Reading cares – could you?

Networking Event Launches Council’s “Home Careers – We Care, Could You?” Campaign 06/10/2015 Reading Borough Council Press ReleaseA NETWORKING event at Reading College this month will aim to match home care providers with students and members of the public interested in a career as a home care worker and demonstrate …

Free Event to Find Out About Welfare Rights and Benefits for People with Disabilities #rdg #rdguk

Free Event to Find Out About Welfare Rights and Benefits for People with Disabilities 05/10/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release THE Physical Disabilities and Sensory Needs Network (PDSN) is helping people with disabilities learn about welfare rights and benefits at a free information event. Experts from Reading Borough Council and …

A private rented sector charter for Reading @ReadingLabour wants you to have your say

A CONSULTATION has been launched on plans by Reading Borough Council to adopt a Private Rented Sector Housing Charter. Landlords, letting agents and other organisations, such as Reading University Students Union and Citizens Advice Bureau, are being invited to comment on the proposed charter which seeks to raise the standard …

Older People’s Day #rdg 1st October – @mayorofreading

Older People’s Day is a great chance to celebrate later life and the huge contribution older people make to our communities.In Reading we’ll be celebrate older people’s achievements and lives and as well as offering residents a chance to try a variety of interesting activities, promoting a lively social life …

Budget Consultation – One Month Left to Have Your Say #rdg

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 16 Sep 2015 11:03Subject: Budget Consultation – One Month Left to Have Your SayTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Budget Consultation – One Month Left to Have Your Say 16/09/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release RESIDENTS, organisations, voluntary groups and businesses have just one month left …

#Rdg Comes Together to Improve Care and Support – 30th September

 Like the rest of the country, Reading faces huge challenges to ensure we can all live fulfilling lives regardless of our needs. Within the government’s budget cuts, Reading Labour councillors are ensuring that Reading’s Council is committed to ensuring locally we all work together so people receive the best possible …

#Rdg council Submits Funding Bid for Reading Abbey Revealed Project

Council Submits Funding Bid for Reading Abbey Revealed Project 01/09/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council has submitted its second round application bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for £1.77 million for its ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ project. The HLF’s decision-making committee will meet in December. If the …

Only 100 days in but the Conservatives’ broken promise on the care cap will hurt people till 2020

With the Labour leadership ballots going out now it’s worth reminding ourselves of the real thing we are fighting.  Only just having had 100 days this Conservative government seems determined to break its pledges in areas from housing to health.  Focusing on just one delaying the cap in care costs …

Planning ahead to support people with #dementia in #rdg to live more fulfilling lives

We need to plan for the future where Dementia and other care needs are concerned, and in the face of the current government’s slash and burn approach to local government it is still possible to take action. Despite the challenging time we face the priority for our town must remain …

Reading & W Berks councils unite & win a small victory against government housing policy

In good news a small, but significant victory has been won against a piece of government housing policy so absurd that that well known bastion of the loony left* West Berkshire council went to court alongside Reading Borough council to stop it. It comes to something when the government is not …

Winner Announced for Reading’s Open Data Challenge

I do some of my work down at Grow@Greenpark – it's great to see some home grown businesses innovating to make life better for all of us in Reading ———- Forwarded message ———From: Reading Borough Council <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 11:47AM, Tue, 7 Jul 2015Subject: Winner Announced for Reading’s Open Data ChallengeTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> …

Ofsted Praises Impressive and Rapid Improvement as Whitley Park Primary Achieves ‘Good’ Rating

I've been re-reading this press release this morning.  So well deserved,  Whitley Park is full of dedicated staff. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 24 Jun 2015 11:03Subject: Ofsted Praises Impressive and Rapid Improvement as Whitley Park Primary Achieves ‘Good’ RatingTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Ofsted Praises Impressive and Rapid Improvement …

Cooperating with Reading’s voluntary sector – a grown up relationship #rdg

It’s no secret that over the coming months and years Reading Council, like local government across the country will face very tough challenges – financial as a result of the chocies we expect the Conservatives in government to date as well as practical issues – yesterday listening to people with learning disabilities I …

Dignity for care workers and dignity for those receiving #homecare in #rdg

I am so proud that after signing the UNISION Ethical Care Charter last year Reading Council has just ‘gone live’ with its new Home Care Framework.  Any provider who receives business from the council under this framework will have to pay their workers for travel time and offer proper training and …

Free Event to Provide Help and Support for #rdg Carers

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 3 Jun 2015 12:33Subject: Free Event to Provide Help and Support for Reading CarersTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Free Event to Provide Help and Support for Reading Carers 03/06/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release ADULTS and children who care for a friend, relative or neighbour …

Fundraising success of Trust House #rdg

Was nice to take some time put from the campaign on Saturday evening ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Supporters of Trust House Reading” <sarc4reading@hotmail.co.uk>Date: 28 Apr 2015 14:44Subject: News. Fundraising success of Trust House ReadingTo: “rachel eden” <racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: A dedicated team of 20 volunteers descended upon Reading on Saturday night (25th April) for their …

Rogue Builder Prosecuted for Defrauding Elderly Residents: council standing up for #rdg

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 17 Apr 2015 15:48Subject: Rogue Builder Prosecuted for Defrauding Elderly ResidentsTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Rogue Builder Prosecuted for Defrauding Elderly Residents 17/04/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council’s Trading Standards Service have successfully prosecuted a local builder for fraud in respect of …

Stay Active with Help from the Council Walks Programme

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 14 Apr 2015 11:48Subject: Stay Active with Help from the Council Walks ProgrammeTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Stay Active with Help from the Council Walks Programme 14/04/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council's Walks Programme is hosting its Annual Walking Forum in the …

Fwd: One Week Left To Register To Vote

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 13 Apr 2015 15:18Subject: One Week Left To Register To VoteTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: One Week Left To Register To Vote 13/04/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release RESIDENTS who want to vote in the up and coming General and Local Elections have just one …

Residents Invited to Give Views on Albert Road Extra Care Scheme in #Caversham #rdg

When the Arthur Clark home and Albert Road day centre were closed many residents were very clear they wanted the site to continue to be used to benefit older people in the Caversham area. There was also a lot of scepticism about whether Reading council would deliver on that. Caversham …

Investment in Day Services for Older People #rdg #rdguk

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 23 Mar 2015 16:17Subject: Investment in Day Services for Older PeopleTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Investment in Day Services for Older People 23/03/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council is asking residents for their views on activities and centre based day services for …

Govenrment cuts #rdg road Repair Budget by £1 Million – #rdguk

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 5 Mar 2015 14:03Subject: Road Repair Budget Cut by £1 MillionTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Road Repair Budget Cut by £1 Million 05/03/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING will receive £1 million less in Government money to repair and resurface roads in 2015/16 than …

Fwd: Care Act consultation shows support for continuing to provide preventative and direct carers services free of charge

———- Forwarded message ———-From: Reading Borough Council <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 9:30 AMSubject: Care Act consultation shows support for continuing to provide preventative and direct carers services free of chargeTo: Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com Care Act consultation shows support for continuing to provide preventative and direct carers services free of charge …

Free Benefits Advice Sessions for Older People in Tilehurst #rdg

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 18 Feb 2015 16:03Subject: Free Benefits Advice Sessions for Older People in TilehurstTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Free Benefits Advice Sessions for Older People in Tilehurst 18/02/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release THE COUNCIL is encouraging older people and their carers in the west of …

New Older People’s Social Club Coming to Southcote #rdg #rdguk

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 20 Jan 2015 10:21Subject: New Older People’s Social Club Coming to SouthcoteTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: New Older People’s Social Club Coming to Southcote 20/01/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council is opening a new social club for older people in Southcote. Attendees …

Fwd: Supported Employment Service Opens in Reading

———- Forwarded message ———-From: Reading Borough Council <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 11:00 AMSubject: Supported Employment Service Opens in ReadingTo: Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com Supported Employment Service Opens in Reading 19/01/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release A NEW supported employment service for people with learning and physical disabilities has been given the green …

Fwd: Whitley Wood the Venue for New Older People’s Club

———- Forwarded message ———-From: Reading Borough Council <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 3:00 PMSubject: Whitley Wood the Venue for New Older People’s ClubTo: Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com Whitley Wood the Venue for New Older People’s Club 12/01/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release A NEW social club for the over 50s in Whitley Wood …

Fwd: Reading Borough Council moves to ensure investment in nursing care in Southcote

———- Forwarded message ———-From: Reading Borough Council <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 10:30 AMSubject: Reading Borough Council moves to ensure investment in nursing care in SouthcoteTo: Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com Reading Borough Council moves to ensure investment in nursing care in Southcote 12/01/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release DEMENTIA care in Reading …

Ensuring Better Care and Support for Reading at Conference this Month

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 8 Jan 2015 12:18Subject: Ensuring Better Care and Support for Reading at Conference this MonthTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Ensuring Better Care and Support for Reading at Conference this Month 08/01/2015 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council is hosting a Care and Support …

Museum’s Collections Put in Online Shop Window #rdg #rdguk – @readingmuseum

This is really exciting for anyone who is interested in Reading's local history! ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 17 Dec 2014 16:53Subject: Museum’s Collections Put in Online Shop WindowTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Museum’s Collections Put in Online Shop Window 17/12/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Museum has created …

National Award for Reading’s Youth Offending Service #rdg #rdguk

For clarity – this team TACKLES youth offending…  great work by the dedicated team! ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 3 Dec 2014 09:33Subject: National Award for Reading’s Youth Offending ServiceTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: National Award for Reading’s Youth Offending Service 03/12/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Youth Offending …

Accessible Christmas shopping evening tonight #rdg #rdguk

DISCOUNTS, prize draws and goodie bags are all part of a special welcome for older and disabled residents during a Christmas shopping evening in the town centre on Monday 1st December, 6-8pm. The festive event, organised by Reading Borough Council in partnership with The Oracle and the British Red Cross, aims …

Opening of Cedar Court this Thursday – first new council housing in #rdg in 25 years

THE MAYOR of Reading will officially open the Council’s brand new extra care housing scheme in Whitley on Thursday(November 27). Reading Mayor Cllr Tony Jones will cut the tape at Cedar Court, the state-of-the-art extra care housing scheme in Basingstoke Road, at10:30am on Thursday, November 27. Cedar Court residents and staff …

Festive Fun at The Maples Grand Christmas Fayre #rdg #rdguk

All are welcome! ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 20 Nov 2014 10:33Subject: Festive Fun at The Maples Grand Christmas FayreTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Festive Fun at The Maples Grand Christmas Fayre 20/11/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release The MAPLES Resource Centre will be hosting a Grand Christmas Fayre on …

Festive Fun at The Maples Grand Christmas Fayre #rdg #rdguk

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 20 Nov 2014 10:33Subject: Festive Fun at The Maples Grand Christmas FayreTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Festive Fun at The Maples Grand Christmas Fayre 20/11/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release The MAPLES Resource Centre will be hosting a Grand Christmas Fayre on Saturday 29th November. …

Helping the Homeless this Winter in #rdg #rdguk

With homelessness and rpugh sleeping still rising across the country and locally it's more important than ever for towns like Reading to act all year as well as in the winter. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 18 Nov 2014 14:18Subject: Helping the Homeless this WinterTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Helping …

Fwd: Access and Disabilities Working Group Host Q&A Session

I'm pleased that one of the Conservative MPs has agreed to take questions on welfare reform from the members of Access and Disabilities working group.  An open invitation remains, on a date of his choosing to the other. Access and Disabilities Working Group Host Q&A Session 18/11/2014 Reading Borough Council …

#rdg Carers Encouraged to Make the Most of their New Rights at Free Event

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 18 Nov 2014 11:18Subject: Carers Encouraged to Make the Most of their New Rights at Free EventTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Carers Encouraged to Make the Most of their New Rights at Free Event 18/11/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release PEOPLE in Reading who care …

Reading will NOT charge carers for services despite government policy & lconsultation on the Care Act #rdg #rdguk

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 13 Nov 2014 16:04Subject: Care Act Consultation LaunchedTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Care Act Consultation Launched 13/11/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council is asking residents for their views on social care ahead of changes being brought in by the Care Act. The …

Reading remembers

The civic remembrance day service is always very moving and this year will be particularly special as it is in the town centre.  We’ll be led by the Mayor and the CO of the 7 Rifles in remembering the sorrow of war. READING’S main annual Remembrance Sunday service and parade will take …

#rdg Event Focuses on Leisure Activities for People with Disabilities

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 10 Nov 2014 10:32Subject: Event Focuses on Leisure Activities for People with DisabilitiesTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Event Focuses on Leisure Activities for People with Disabilities 10/11/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release Reading’s Physical Disability and Sensory Needs (PDSN) Network is hosting a free event …

Winter Watch Will Help Residents Keep Warm #rdg #rdguk

———- Forwarded message ———-From: Reading Borough Council <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 2:30 PMSubject: Winter Watch Will Help Residents Keep WarmTo: Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com Winter Watch Will Help Residents Keep Warm 05/11/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release A SCHEME that helps vulnerable Reading residents keep warm through the winter is about …

Developer to be Chosen for Caversham Extra Care Housing

Council press release: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 24 Oct 2014 16:33Subject: Developer to be Chosen for Caversham Extra Care HousingTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Developer to be Chosen for Caversham Extra Care Housing 24/10/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release PLANS to build new housing for older people in Caversham …

Reading’s Foundation Stage Pupils Outperform National Average

Well done to the littlest pupils in our schools and thier teachers.  More to do to ensure every child succeeds but encouraging news ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 23 Oct 2014 15:03Subject: Reading’s Foundation Stage Pupils Outperform National AverageTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Reading’s Foundation Stage Pupils Outperform National Average …

Better Integrated Support for People Moving on to Social Care from Hospital in Reading

Council press release: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 3 Oct 2014 16:03Subject: Better Integrated Support for People Moving on to Social Care from HospitalTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Better Integrated Support for People Moving on to Social Care from Hospital 03/10/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING health and social …

Better Integrated Support for People Moving on to Social Care from Hospital in Reading

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 3 Oct 2014 16:03Subject: Better Integrated Support for People Moving on to Social Care from HospitalTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Better Integrated Support for People Moving on to Social Care from Hospital 03/10/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING health and social care agencies are …

Reading Bus Journeys Soar by 1.5 Million @cllrtonypage #rdg #rdguk

Not all of these were me travelling round Whitley, the civic etc! ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 29 Sep 2014 15:03Subject: Reading Bus Journeys Soar by 1.5 MillionTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Reading Bus Journeys Soar by 1.5 Million 29/09/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release THE total number of bus …

Reading one of only 5 local authorities to salvage better care fund bid

After Conservative national government ministers made a complete mess of preparations for the better care fund local authorities who had been committed ot making it work had to delay submissions and do substantial rework.   In the end only 5 local authorities have managed to be in the first wave …

Residents Move into First New Council Properties in #rdg in 25 years

IT'S OFFICIAL! Residents Move into First New Council Properties in Reading in 25 years 23/09/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release THE first residents have just moved into Reading’s first new council homes for 25 years. Cedar Court – the brand new extra care housing in Basingstoke Road – will provide …

Policy Committee @ReadingLabour making big decisions for #rdg

The big media story at last night’s Policy Committee was of course the approval of council House Building in Reading but there were also some very serious budget decisions taken.  On the adult social care budget decisions in my opening comments I said: The situation is verty serious and requires a …

Celebrate Older People’s Day at Free #rdg Town Centre Event #fulloflife

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 22 Sep 2014 09:34Subject: Celebrate Older People’s Day at Free Town Centre EventTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Celebrate Older People’s Day at Free Town Centre Event 22/09/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release OLDER people are being invited to a free celebratory event in Reading town …

Plans for 1,000 New Council Homes Unveiled #rdg #rdguk

Reading Labour Councillors, particularly Richard Davies our housing lead, are determined to tackle the housing crisis caused by national government policy and Reading’s economic success. The proposals below include investment for existing tenants and new build – with land at the Meadway on Conway Close identified as an initial site.  …

Reading Comes Together to Tackle Social Care Challenges

Council press release: Reading Comes Together to Tackle Social Care Challenges 02/09/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council, service providers, voluntary sector partners and service users will be coming together for a Care and Support Conference, taking place at the Town Hall on Monday 8th September, 9.00 – 4.30pm. …

Bids requested for New Older People’s Housing and Day Activities in #Caversham #rdg

As Caversham cllr and Housing lead Richard Davies says below this is real progress.  I'm really hoping thst we will get some good bids in from partners who share a vision of independence with community spirit for both Extra Care residents and those living in the local community who I …

Council Prosecutes Unlicensed HMO @ReadingLabour taking action for #rdg tenants

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 8 Aug 2014 10:48Subject: Council Prosecutes Unlicensed HMO To: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Council Prosecutes Unlicensed HMO 08/08/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release TWO Reading men have been fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay more than £2,000 costs after a successful prosecution …

The Willows Care Home Celebrates Opening of New Garden

The Willows Care Home Celebrates Opening of New Garden 22/07/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release A HEXHAM Road care home is celebrating the opening of its new sensory garden with a party for residents and their families. The new dementia-friendly facilities, funded by a government grant, have been designed to …

A government planning for the next 10 months not the next 10 years

There’s been a lot of talk about localism and empowering of local government this week. There’s also been a perfect example of what the Conservatives really mean by that.   The Better Care fund was always a way for the government to rhetorically suggest that they were ‘protecting’ NHS funding …

Access and disabilities – the open invitation to Reading’s MPs stands #rdg #rdguk

As the Public Accounts Committee has recently reported (and let’s face it something anyone involved in anything to do with disability has known for years), people with disabilities have been really affected by the national government’s policies .  Every week it seems I come across some one in Reading who …

Reading Council brings Adult Sensory Needs Service closer to home

Bringing adult sensory needs in house will help improve a service which is vital to support people with hearing and sight needs in living fulfilled lives.  Council press release below: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 26 Jun 2014 12:04Subject: Reading Borough Council to Run Adult Sensory Needs …

Fwd: Residents to Have Their Say on Pharmacy Services in Reading

Council press release: Residents to Have Their Say on Pharmacy Services in Reading 25/06/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release PUBLIC Health in Berkshire is carrying out a survey to find out what Reading residents think about local pharmacies. The survey, which has been rolled out across the county, will be …

Successful Prosecution – Reading Labour standing up for private tenants

The latest Successful prosecution of unscrupulous landlord and lettings agents happens to have been for tenants in a property close to Whitley ward, although they have been all over town. As the lead councillor for Housing Richard Davies says in the council press release below this is about standing up …

Water fest

Waterfest is one of the gems of early summer in Reading.  After last night’s dramatic thunderstorm we were a little nervous about whether it would suffer as it has sometimes done from too much water.  Last year I ended up drying out 2 toddlers in the library and I think …

When you take up your entitlements – Reading benefits!

Reading council today launched a benefit take up campaign, initially particularly aimed at pensioners. With the poisonous narrative from certain politicians and some people in the media about ‘benefit scroungers’ and the idea that anyone who receives a benefit is somehow different or less worthy it’s easy to forget that …

Rest and Relaxation for #rdg Carers

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 4 Jun 2014 12:33Subject: Event Offers Rest and Relaxation for Reading’s Carers To: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Event Offers Rest and Relaxation for Reading’s Carers 04/06/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release PEOPLE in Reading who care or have cared for a friend, relative or neighbour …

Councillor Pete Ruhemann – council statement

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 3 Jun 2014 14:49Subject: Councillor Pete Ruhemann To: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: Councillor Pete Ruhemann 03/06/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release It is with great sadness that Reading Borough Council announces that Councillor Pete Ruhemann passed away in the early hours of this morning. Councillor …

Reading Labour manifesto

Labour’s manifesto for the Reading Borough Council elections on 22 May includes promises to keep Reading clean, promote sustainable transport, pursue all ways to provide more housing, invest in more primary and secondary schools, extend 20mph zones, build extra care housing and nursing projects. Leader of the ruling Labour group on the …

New play area up and running

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: 14 May 2014 11:06Subject: New play area now up and running To: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com>Cc: New play area now up and running 14/05/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release Photocall –4.30pm Monday 19th May, Hexham Road play area A £70k revamp of a popular play …

Full list of European candidates in SE #rdg #rdguk

As published by Reading Borough Council today:   The parties are: An Independence from Europe British National Party Christian People's Alliance Conservative Party English Democrats Green Party Harmony Party Labour Party Liberal Democrats Liberty Great Britain The Peace Party THe Roman Party.AVE The Socialist Party of Great Britain UK Independence …

Elections

I have been blogging less than usual, which as ever is a sign of doing more not less! The main reason is that the local election campaign is in full swing.   I'm honoured to be standing as Whitley's Labour candidate again. My specific message to those of you who …

Caversham Park Village the Venue for New Older People’s Social Club

We promised to increase and promote social activities for older peopke in Reading last summer.  This is about working in partnership and bringing services closer to the community. Council press release about the latest result of this new way of working is below: Caversham Park Village the Venue for New …

Have Your Say on Sports and Leisure Activities for the Over 50s

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Mar 19, 2014 9:33 AM Subject: Have Your Say on Sports and Leisure Activities for the Over 50sTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Have Your Say on Sports and Leisure Activities for the Over 50s 19/03/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING'S over 50s are being …

Great news for @readingmuseum exhibition: Victoria Cross of “The Hero with the Shovel” Comes Home to #rdg

Was really pleased to see this council press release – I think this is one of the most moving stories of the 1st world war and it's great that Reading will be able to commemorate it with an exhibition including the Victoria Cross that Trooper Potts received.   Victoria Cross …

#rdg #rdguk Council Tenants Group best in South – and that’s official!

Congratulations to the TACT group!  Before I moved away from the housing brief this relatively new group had just presented it's first report to council officers and me.  Since then they have gone from strength to strength, and winning an award for the whole Southern Region is well deserved.  It's a great example …

Healthy mind and body event on Wednesday at #rdg #rdguk civic centre

THE PHYSICAL Disability and Sensory Needs (PDSN) network is helping people to keep healthy and active through a free information event on Wednesday 19 February, 10 am – 1 pm in the Kennet Room of the Civic Centre. The ‘Healthy Mind and Body’ information session will provide practical advice and free health …

#rdg “most romantic place in UK” as 35 Year Engagement Ends with Valentine’s Day Wedding

I was reading today that Reading was the most romantic place in the UK (according to a commercial company's probably slightly spurious research!), but this can only be confirmed by the press release below.   A bit of light relief for everyone given current circumstances. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: Reading …

Dementia Action Alliance Launches in Reading

Hope lots of people will get involved in this. Council press release below.  Dementia Action Alliance Launches in Reading 11/02/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release READING Borough Council and partners from the statutory, business and voluntary sectors are working together to transform the quality of life of people with dementia. …

Bite the ballot! #NVRD

<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–> I was with Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Reading West, Victoria Groulef, today and we’ve been encouraging local young people to take part in Britain’s first National Voter Registration Day.  Voter registration is a passion of mine – if you aren’t registered to vote your voice can’t …

Quality for Users of Supported living and a fair deal for support workers

I'm very proud of the proposal announced in the press telease below – it's part of a number of actions Reading's Labour council will be taking to ensure a fair deal for both users of services and those who provide them.  I believe you can't have one without the other. …

Get involved in helping Reading’s Labour council bring Empty Homes Back into Use

My friend and colleague Richard Davies quoted below – nothing to add!Council Helping to Bring Empty Homes Back into Use29/01/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release Reading Borough Council is helping to bring unused accommodation back into use through an on-going empty homes programme. Homes can become empty due to a …

Best in the country: Reading’s A Level Results Top National Exam Tables

Congratulations to all the hardworking students and their teachers! Council press release below:     Reading’s A Level Results Top National Exam Tables 23/01/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release OFFICIAL figures released by the Department for Education today (23rd January) show that Reading is the highest ranking English local authority …

Better support for rape and abuse survivors in Reading – change is happening!

I’ve received an invitation to a launch for stakeholders and interested people ot a launch event for ‘Trust House’ a new support centre for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.  Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever …

Reading’s Labour Council Maintains Grant Support for Voluntary and Community Sector #rdg #rdguk

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Jan 13, 2014 3:19 PM Subject: Council Maintains Grant Support for Reading Voluntary and Community SectorTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Council Maintains Grant Support for Reading Voluntary and Community Sector 13/01/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release THE amount of money the Council gives to voluntary …

Geoffrey Field Junior School Achieves ‘Good’ Ofsted Rating

Well done to a very good Whitley school ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Jan 13, 2014 12:49 PM Subject: Geoffrey Field Junior School Achieves ‘Good’ Ofsted RatingTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Geoffrey Field Junior School Achieves ‘Good’ Ofsted Rating 13/01/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release GEOFFREY FIELD Junior School is …

Don’t Die of Embarrassment – Bowel Cancer Screening Saves Lives

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Jan 10, 2014 3:33 PM Subject: Don’t Die of Embarrassment – Bowel Cancer Screening Saves LivesTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Don’t Die of Embarrassment – Bowel Cancer Screening Saves Lives 10/01/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release A BERKSHIRE-WIDE pharmacy campaign to increase the uptake of …

Could your idea be this year’s beat the street? #rdg #rdguk Funding for Sustainable Travel Ideas

———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Jan 7, 2014 9:49 AMSubject: Second Chance for Funding for Sustainable Travel Ideas To: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Second Chance for Funding for Sustainable Travel Ideas 07/01/2014 Reading Borough Council Press Release CHARITIES, businesses, voluntary groups and residents in Reading are again being invited to …

Local government settlement – unfair but Reading will rise to the challenge

Today was a day that as councillors in local government we’ve been both looking forward to and dreading – looking forward to because it will be an end to the uncertainty about government funding cuts for next year and dreading because the news was likely to be bad.  Apart from …

The Maples Resource Centre Celebrates with Christmas Event

I'm especially looking forward to the 'live' nativity! ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Dec 2, 2013 4:19 PM Subject: The Maples Resource Centre Celebrates with Christmas EventTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> The Maples Resource Centre Celebrates with Christmas Event 02/12/2013 Reading Borough Council Press Release A SPECIALIST support centre for …

Council Set to Ban ‘Pay Day Loan’ Advertising

This follows the council motion that Richard Davies proposed to council in 2012 and its good to get concrete action ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Nov 27, 2013 9:48 AM Subject: Council Set to Ban ‘Pay Day Loan’ AdvertisingTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Council Set to Ban ‘Pay Day Loan’ …

Just lovely!

It’s rare to get a thank you for just turning up and even rarer to get a hand written note so I had to share this!  It’s also a chance to plug the Dementia Friendly Community partnership that Reading is goimg to come together for.  It’s being launched in the …

Information and Support for Older People at Free Town Centre Event #rdg #rdguk

Just giving this a plug, hope it will be well attended and useful.   It's also when the new neighbourhood day services manager will be introduced. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: Reading Borough Council <webmaster@reading.gov.uk> Date: Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 4:00 PMSubject: Information and Support for Older People at Free …

Another success for Labour’s Richard Davies pledge to #evictroguelandlords from Reading

#rdg #rdguk Council press release below ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Nov 4, 2013 9:49 AM Subject: ‘Rich List’ Landlord Prosecuted by CouncilTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> ‘Rich List’ Landlord Prosecuted by Council 04/11/2013 Reading Borough Council Press Release A READING landlord has been prosecuted by the Council after failing …

Major Proposals for New Housing and Day Services for Older People in Reading #rdg #rdguk

Very excited and proud to announce this today. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Oct 31, 2013 11:20 AM Subject: Major Proposals for New Housing and Day Services for Older People in ReadingTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Major Proposals for New Housing and Day Services for Older People in Reading 31/10/2013 …

Phoenix Day Centre Welcomes BP Volunteers

Council press release below.  Great to have corporate volunteers supporting our wonderful day services. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Sep 30, 2013 9:49 AM Subject: Phoenix Day Centre Welcomes BP VolunteersTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Phoenix Day Centre Welcomes BP Volunteers 30/09/2013 Reading Borough Council Press Release PHOENIX Day Centre …

Inconvenient facts

I know that I and many of my friends and constituents are feeling the squeeze at the moment.  I think it’s important ot remember that it’s not just us, it’s not that we have suddenly got worse at budgeting or less careful about what we put in the trolley (if …

Volunteers Help Launch New Neighbourhood Activities for Older People #rdg #rdguk

I'm really looking forward to celebrating the opening of the new activities club for residents of sheltered accomidation across Reading.  It's a testament to the commitment of Sheltered accomodation staff and the skills and contribution our older residents can offer that this has got off the ground so quickly.  The …

Rene Celebrates 101st Birthday at the Phoenix Day Centre

Council press release below: ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Sep 18, 2013 10:04 AM Subject: Rene Celebrates 101st Birthday at the Phoenix Day CentreTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Rene Celebrates 101st Birthday at the Phoenix Day Centre 18/09/2013 Reading Borough Council Press Release A POPULAR centenarian celebrated her 101st birthday …

Housing Allocations Scheme

The sad fact is that there is a shortage of housing of all kinds nationally and locally.  This particularly applies to social housing where despite government tinkering and attacks tenants largely pay a fair rent for a fair service.  As such rationing of social housing is increasingly prevelant at least …

Charities and campaign groups should be allowed to contribute to the debate –

I am both someone who backs campaigns that lobby government and, at times, the recipient of campaigning emails from residents that are part of a wider national or indeed local campaign.Sometimes I am able to give my personal support to a campaign and have even signed the council to a …

GCSE Results for Reading Students – well done!

Some excellent results for Reading's GSCE students.  Whether you are delighted or disappointed get good advice about your next step! Council press release below Excellent GCSE Results for Reading Students 22/08/2013 Reading Borough Council Press Release Early indicators, as supplied by the schools, show that overall local authority results have …

Tributes to Bill Palmer

Bill Palmer a stalwart member of the Reading Labour Party and the Cooperative Party’s funeral is today.I thought it would be good to reproduce a few tributes that have been paid to him: Reading Labour Councillors have described him as:  “a kind and principled man and a true socialist”.  Reading Coop …

Tackling cost of living and poverty is a campaign issue but Labour councils can also act now

Over the last few weeks and months the issue of the cost of living has kept popping up.  This week it’s felt like the issue is something that even if we wanted to avoid it we couldn’t.  Thames Water announcing they want a sudden extra £30 on top of the …

Accessing the internet – desirable yes, it shouldn’t be compulsory

I’m increasingly concerned about the governments ‘digital by default’ position, which is looking more and more like ‘digital by compulsion’.  I am concerned will leave many people with difficulties accessing benefits, work and information.  This will disproportionately affect older people, people with disabilities and people on low incomes:  the very …

Accessible Transport Event 14 August Palmer Park #rdg #rdguk

I think the event below should be a great chance to find out abpit transport options.  I particularly hope people will have a go on the accessible bike. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: Aug 2, 2013 10:40 AM Subject: Accessible Transport EventTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> Accessible Transport Event 02/08/2013 …

Love Clean Reading ap

I’ve been using the love cleam Reading ap during the soft launch phase and found it saves me time, and also saves having to contact councillors’ services so often for simple things like graffiti/litter issues. It’s free and it’s a good way to ensure that hte council get searly reports …

NHS: don’t break the chain – 65th Anniversary

<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–> I’ll be helping Vicky Groulef and the Battle ward councillors  at the Oxford Road fun day later today.  The NHS is certainly not ready to retire and we’re hoping to create a giant paper chain of people’s thoughts about the NHS.  Vicky’s press release is below: …

Great opportunity to find out more about service and activities in Reading for older people, people with learning disabilities, physical or sensory needs

One of my key goals for my, still relatively new role, as lead councillor for adult care is to improve the awareness of the services that are out there to support people living fulfiling lives whatver their needs. The event coming up next week (July 10) is a good way …

Arthur Clark – decision based on evidence but need to support current residents

Last night I voted to close the Arthur Clark care home.  Very rightly residents and their families are concerned and upset.  No-one could make a decision like this lightly and it is a tribute to the dedicated staff how much the service provided at Arthur Clark is valued. We had …

Arthur Clark – doihng all we can for current residents and securing future services for older people in Caversham

I will blog more on this later in the week, but having just got back from committee I wanted to put this on the record straight away. Rachel Eden’s Speaking Notes Re Arthur Clark Care Home – please check against delivery. I want to start by thanking the people who …

‘ACE’ Committee agenda is online – major decisions to be taken

The meeting next Monday of the Adults’, Children’s and Education Services committee is the first one under the new system and will involve councillors of all parties (and the council’s independent cllr) making decisions on a range of major issues. From my own portfolio there are decisions on the future …

There is more to sex than biology and our young people need that message in schools

I am really disappointed that the Conservatives, including my own MP, didn’t vote for an amendment to a bill today that would have put respect in relationships on the national curriculum and ensured our young people are taught about more than the mechanics of sex.  No means no – is …

£500,000 Plan to Tackle Reading’s Pothole Problem

Potholes are one of the most common concernsfor residents in Whitley ward and across Reading.  While this wont be as thorough as a complete resurface it will make a real difference to the condition of the roads across town ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: May 31, 2013 …

Give Your Views on Services for Older People

Council release follows.  As newly lead councillor for Adult Care I'm hoping a good number of people will respond.  We all hope to benefit from these services in the future and it's crucial that they meet people's expectations as far as possible. ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: …

Congratulations to New Directions

Council press release below.  This is great news for a brilliant service ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “Reading Borough Council” <webmaster@reading.gov.uk>Date: May 13, 2013 10:18 AM Subject: New Directions Clinches National AwardTo: <Racheleden.whitley@gmail.com> New Directions Clinches National Award 13/05/2013 Reading Borough Council Press Release THE QUALITY of the advice and support …

51 days and counting for answers on home insurance for residents at flood risk

Reading West’s Parliamentary Candidate Vicky Groulef is standing up for local people on this, but   as she says in her press release (reproduced below) time is running out and the government is failed to renew the agreement that Labour in government came to with the insurance industry. This is shocking and …

Next year’s council administration in full #rdg #rdguk

Labour Press release follows, I’ll blog on how this affects me personally and my close colleague Mike Orton soon: Reading Borough Council Leader Jo Lovelockhas announced the team who will lead the Labour Administration under the new committee system – a system she believes will enable more Councillors to get …

Primary places for #rdg – all children have a place in September, but government needs to act too

At last night’s cabinet meeting the council officers presented on the challenge on primary places for future years.  What struck me and I suspect most in the room was that the government is not only being very slow to respond putting huge strain on local authorities’ ability to plan (for example waiting …

School places in Berkshire, my personal view – thankful that councils are picking up the pieces while national government fails

 I saw the following in the Local Government Daily news digest: Solutions for school places The BBC examines how councils in Berkshire are being forced to innovate to cater for the growing number of children starting school. In Windsor and Maidenhead, the council is searching for “non-traditional” buildings to use as schools. The …

Three timebanks to pilot in Reading #rdg – contact details to get involved

I’m really pleased that I was able to approve the press release today for the launch of three pilot time banks that the council is investing in.  These will hopefully benefit a wide range of people through being able to volunteer time – it’s a great way of giving and …

Letter to Reading Post: Reading deserves better from its MPs

Following the publication in this week’s Reading Post of a letter from Rob Wilson I have sent the following: Dear Editor, I was disappointed by Rob Wilson’s letter in last week’s Reading Post. For those readers’ unsure about what provoked it I can explain.  Public statements by Mr Sharma and …

Below inflation increase in council tax in Reading #rdg – helping to protect vital services

The Reading cabinet will be meeting on Monday and we are considering a recommendation to raise council tax by 1.9% or 47p a week for a band D household.  As the council leader Jo Lovelock said this is not an easy choice and we have been discussing it back and …

Reading Conservatives refuse to provide clarity about their own policies

I received the following email from one of our Conservative MPs late last week  (I have waited a couple of days to put it on in case the other wanted to reply separately). I am somewhat disappointed that he has not only failed to apologise for the misleading statements made prior to the …

Southcote community improvements – neighbourhood working in action!

A council press release has just gone out inviting local people to attend an open day and parties to celebrate the improvements to the Southcote community centre.  This is not just about the improved physical facilities but a bit of a renaissance in terms of the community activities that local …

Rough sleeping figures locally and nationally – why is #rdg bucking the trend?

Today very sad figures were published showing that the numbers of people sleeping rough are up 31% since 2010:  Communities and Local Government department figures show the number of rough sleepers in a single-night snapshot in autumn 2012 was 2,309 up from 1,768 in autumn 2010.Reading Borough’s figures have actually …

RAPE SUPPORT CAMPAIGN TO JOIN FORCES WITH SURVIVORS TRUST FOR QUIZ NIGHT

I’ve just sent the following press release out to various contacts. On 13th February campaigners, local organisations and general knowledge buffs will come together for a fun evening to raise funds and awareness for survivors of sexual abuse.  The ultimate goal is a centre to provide support for rape and sexual …

Campaign for a rape support centre in #rdg – update #onebillionrising

This time last year I was drafting a motion to council in support of the idea of better support for rape and abuse victims in Reading and the surrounding area. Things may have publicly seemed a bit quiet but don’t let that fool you.  A lot of work has been going on behind the …

My open letter to #rdg Conservative MPs on social housing policy

I have sent the following letter tonight.  Before the election Rob Wilson MP and then candidate Alok Sharma demanded an apology from Reading Labour claiming that they “100%” “Absolutely” would guarantee secure tenancies.  Last week Cllr Ballsdon claimed that ‘the country cannot afford to let residents new into social housing have a …

Equal marriage – vote is tomorrow – Reading MPs still not #out4marriage

At Reading Pride 2012 Amazingly the two Reading MPs have yet to confirm how they plan to vote.  I am personally very much in favour of this bill – I believe in marriage (being married myself!) and I see it as a commitment that should be available to people to …

Action not hot air on climate change from Reading council #rdg

Council press release below:The Council made a commitment to reduce its emissions by 4% each year in the current Reading Climate Change Strategy, but in the last financial year (2011/2012) the Council’s emissions were down by a whopping 7.5%.. That is almost double the Council’s target thanks to reductions found …

For the record – affordable housing completions in #rdg historically

This is taken from the council’s official documents 1997/98 1361998/99 2751998/99 731999/00 692000/01 55 During the 2000s 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 TOTAL 173  149    302       360   311   180    302    294   184      2255 Apologies for the …

Do you have a sustainable travel idea for #rdg costing between £500 and £50,000? Read on!

Charities, businesses, voluntary groups and residents in Reading who can come up with innovative ways to get people to consider more sustainable ways of travelling around town are being encouraged to bid for funding from Reading Borough Council. Whether it’s a local community group with an idea to help friends …

No action to improve private renting: Alok Sharma – out of touch again!

There was at late notice short debate on Wednesday on the private rented sector.  Both Reading MPs voted (neither spoke as far as I know).Alok Sharma and Rob Wilson voted against this:That this House recognises the private rented sector’s growing role in meeting housing need; notes that there are 8.5 million people, including more …