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January and February Councillor’s reports (late!)


January and February – a long time ago, but I still thought it would be worth putting this up.  There has been so much happening, and I’m sorry for not doing a separate January report, but I was literally about to draft it when I received the phone call that told me that Jim Hanley had died.  The other very major event has been the council meeting that set the budget.  So all round a difficult couple of months for the council.  This is a bit briefer than usual, not because I’ve been less busy but rather the opposite so haven’t time to flesh out more.

We had two council meetings the second of which set the budget.  I blogged about them here and here.  I had to give my apologies to the SACRE meeting due to family reasons.  I attended cabinet on Valentine’s Day (yes my husband was very impressed!) to ask ask a question of Cllr Ralph and support Carla Allamby, the local parent who submitted the Whitley Excellence Cluster petition.

I also had a large number of discussions with officers (council staff) about ward matters some of which have been more successful than others.

Out and about in the ward:

We held our regular monthly surgeries both in the Whitley Advice Shop on Northumberland Avenue.
I also met parents at school gates around the ward including Whitley Park, Geoffrey Field and Christ the King.  Although outside the ward a number of resident’s children go to George Palmer so it was good to do some campaigning there with our excellent Redland’s candidate Jan Gavin (who is a school governor there), and bump in to some familiar faces.  Additionally I did visits, phone calls and general walk abouts!

Labour party and campaigning
 We’ve been counting down to the local elections and I’ve been helping out around town with canvassing, leaflet delivery and other campaign support.  I’ve been mostly focused on Church ward (the neighbouring ward to Whitley) and Whitley ward although I have also been helping out with other wards as well.  There’s a lot to do and help is always welcome – just drop me a line!  We’re determined that we will take as many seats as possible from the Conservatives and Libdems in May.
I also joined the RCRE and other members of the public in a public display of unity in reiterating the Reading declaration, which is our commitment to a diverse but united town and against discrimination (this was before the political storm between RCRE and the Conservative/Libdem administration)

Looking ahead to March/April:
This month has continued to be packed full of activity, which is one reason why you’ve have noticed my blogging has been sporadic.  April looks to be similar!

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