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September councillor’s report – at last

September has been busy (and so has October, which is why this report is so late).  I have managed to get some good news for some residents but overall things are not looking so positive.
Council work:
I attended environment scrutiny panel at which we examined some important items and agreed the future work program.  I also attended the Cycling Liaison Group.  I am continuing to get contacted by local residents with concerns, please do feel free to contact me.
Out and about in the ward:
We held our regular surgery in the South of the Ward, Swallowfield Drive this month.  A particularly important piece of casework came up there.
More informally I helped out with replanting the Northumberland Avenue roundabouts (2 other councillors came for the photo), which was a really fun day out!
I also visited all the residents in the ward on Hartland Road and Corrine Close to survey their reaction to some new road markings (if they were out I left the survey – thanks for the many responses that have come in! Watch this space). 
I discussed the planning situation of the old brewery site and Wotton Grange, two key sites in the South of Whitley with council staff.
There have been a few good bits of good news for the ward, which I’m really pleased about, in particular the improved bus services to Kennet Island which I’ve been pushing for for a while.
The Shinfield Road lights has been, and continues to be a key issue.  Whitley’s councillors are standing up for residents.  If you want to see our press release it’s here.  We were covered in the Chronicle, the Post and I was also interviewed on the Andrew Peach show on BBC Berkshire.  We hope to have more information soon.
Labour party and campaigning
I attended Group executive meetings as a back bench representative and also the party GC.  More colourfully I attended Reading Pride, helping out on the Labour party stall and enjoying the atmosphere.  I also helped out Cllr John Ennis with some leaflet delivery in his ward as well as keeping out and about in my own patch.
Next month:
October will be a key month for both national and local politics.  I hope that the spending review on 20th doesn’t hit Reading too badly and that the local council administration shows some common sense with dealing with it, although since they chose to take £1.5million of in year savings straight into children’s services hitting both our successful school improvement program and children’s centres really hard rather than spreading it across the council budgets I’m not hopeful.

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