Dec 31

Carers Encouraged to Put on Their Boots for New Year Walks

palmer park 2CARERS and the people they care for are being encouraged to join a walking group launching in the New Year.

Reading Council’s Healthy Walks Programme is hosting a series of gentle weekly walks around Palmer Park beginning in January 2016.

The first walk will be held on Wednesday 6th January, starting from the Chalkboard Café in the centre of Palmer Park, at 11am.

The walk will be at a gentle pace, last about 40 minutes and will be led by two trained walk leaders.

People can relax and socialise afterwards with a cup of tea or other refreshments at the café.

Apart from the refreshments, the walk is free, and although this group is primarily aimed at carers (paid or unpaid) and the friends, relatives or clients they care for, it is open to all.

This group is part of a wider series of walks organised by the council aimed at getting more people in Reading active. Walking has a huge number of health benefits, including maintaining a healthy weight, lowering the risk of disease and general stress release by offering a break from spending a lot of time indoors.

Walks take place at several locations around the borough, including South Whitley Park, the River Thames footpath and Prospect Park. People can view more information at

Cllr Rachel Eden, lead member for adult social care, said:

“I’m delighted that the council is expanding its health walks to include a group particularly aimed at carers. A number of people have asked for this as walking is a social and fun way of getting active.

“The council faces very tough times at the moment but helping residents stay healthy means not only a better life for people but also helps to reduce the demand for other services.”

For further information on health walks please email
or call 07709 400986.

Dec 20

No Agreement on a Parking Scheme for Redlands

foxhill-RoadRecent editions of our regular newsletter to residents Redlands Matters have discussed the pressing issue of car parking for residents in the ward. This culminated in an informal public consultation during the Autumn to which many hundreds of residents responded.

The overall picture was inconclusive, with some respondents welcoming the idea of the introduction of new residents parking schemes in their streets, while others in the same streets being opposed.  There were no grounds to believe that an “area-wide” scheme carried a workable level of support.

As a result Labour Councillors have agreed to continue with the position that they have adopted with some success over the past four years, which is:

  • Not seek to impose any residents parking scheme in any street, where there was not a demonstrable level of support from local residents.
  • To work with any group of residents who wish to seek the introduction of parking protection arrangements in their street, if necessary on a street by street basis.


Dec 16

New Safeguarding Video to be Shown at Reading FC this Weekend

safegaurdingA VIDEO which promotes the message that safeguarding is everybody’s business is to be screened before Reading Football Club’s home match for the first time this weekend.

The 90-second film is aimed at raising awareness of safeguarding issues, such as mistreatment, neglect, bullying and exploitation, and how to report a concern.

The video, which carries subtitles, is being shown on the new screen at Madejski Stadium on Sunday (December 20) where Reading FC is playing Blackburn Rovers FC.

It will then be shown at every home match for at least the rest of the season.

The video, which can be seen on the Reading Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) website, will also be distributed to GP’s surgeries and other public venues which have screens.

The black and white video talks about safeguarding issues affecting children and adults and points out that abuse can be physical, sexual or emotional and can also be inflicted online or through social networking sites.

It says anyone can be a victim, sometimes without even realising it at first, and that people can and should speak up if they are concerned about someone else.

Councillor Jan Gavin, Reading’s lead councillor for children’s services, said:

“This is an excellent video which demonstrates the many different types of abuse children and adults can face.

“It also shows that anyone can be a victim but that there are people out there who can help.

“I’m delighted Reading Football Club has agreed to show the video on match days and I would urge other locations, such as GP surgeries, to play it on their screens.”

Cllr Rachel Eden, Reading’s lead councillor for adult social care, said:

“Reading should be a good place for everyone to live and we should all be free from abuse.

“This video brings home powerfully the importance of safeguarding as the bedrock of this and we can all help. If you are worried about anyone, please ring or email in your concerns – you could make all the difference.”

The safeguarding video was initially commissioned by Buckinghamshire LSCB and was adapted for Reading, to include local contact telephone numbers.

Fran Gosling-Thomas, chair of Reading LSCB, said:

“We want this video to be seen by thousands of local people in a wide variety of settings, to raise awareness about abuse of all kinds and to encourage people to report any concerns about a child – ‘if not you, who?’

“This is a good example of agencies working together to safeguard vulnerable children and adults in our communities.”

Anyone worried about a child under 18-years-old should call (0118) 937 3641 or an adult over 18 call (0118) 937 3747. Anyone with an immediate serious concern should call the police.


Dec 10

2015 Council Christmas Information

merry christmasCivic Offices

During the Christmas and New Year period Reading’s Call Centre and Civic Offices will be open from 9am to 5pm as usual, except on the following days:

  • Thursday Dec 24: Open 9am to 3pm
  • Friday Dec 25th: Closed
  • Monday Dec 28th: Closed (Bank Holiday)
  • Thursday Dec 31st: Open 9am to 3pm
  • Friday January 1st: Closed.


All of Reading’s libraries will close at 1pm on Thursday December 24th and will re-open to the public again on Tuesday December 29th with normal opening hours. They will then close at 4pm on Thursday December 31st, with a normal opening hours from Saturday January 2nd onwards.

Leisure Centres

All Reading Sport and Leisure Centres be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

On Thursday 24th December, Arthur Hill, Central and Palmer Park will open from 7am to 3pm, and Meadway from 6.30am to 3pm.

After that, Arthur Hill will be open 8.30 – 2.30pm on the 27th and then 7am to 3pm on the 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st December.

Central will be open 8am to 4pm on the 27th, and then 7am to 3pm on the 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st December.

Meadway will open 9am to 4pm on the 27th, 6.30am to 3pm on the 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st December.

For details of sessions available people are advised to contact the centres or check

Bins, Recycling and Christmas Trees

As usual, bin collection days will change over the Christmas and New Year period. People can check their recycling calendar or visit On the first collection after Christmas people can leave out an extra bag of rubbish next to their grey bin and any extra recycling can be left in a cardboard box next to their red bin or box.

Garden waste collections will finish for the festive season on 18th December and begin again on 18th January. There’s more information on

Since Christmas brings a large amount of extra waste, people are being urged to recycle as much as possible. Christmas card, wrapping paper and plastic bottles can go in the red recycling bin. Please put your recycling in your bin or box loose – no plastic bags!

Glass bottles and jars can be recycled at bottle banks around Reading. Residents can visit to find their nearest recycling sites.

A handy A to Z list on what you can and can’t recycle – and where you can do it – can be found at

Christmas Tree recycling sites open on 2nd January and stay open until 19th January. They will be in car parks at the following locations:

  • Mapledurham Playing Fields
  • Clayfield Copse
  • Hills Meadow
  • Rivermead Leisure Complex
  • Kensington Road Recreation Ground
  • Prospect Park
  • Meadway Recreation Ground
  • Tilehurst allotments, Armour Hill
  • Palmer Park Sports Stadium
  • Whitley Wood Recreation Ground
  • Academy Sports Leisure Centre, Northumberland Avenue

The trees will be chipped by the Council and used in a range of landscaping schemes across the Borough. Residents are being advised not to be alarmed if they see piles of trees as it takes a few days to get round to each location.

The Reading Household Waste and Recycling Centre on Island Road is open during the holiday period, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Opening times are 8am to 6pm, except for Christmas Eve, when the centre closes at 4pm.


Nov 03

Museum Appeals for Local Memorabilia for Major 2016 Year of Culture Railway Exhibition

reading railway1READING MUSEUM’S plans for a major railway themed exhibition during the 2016 Reading Year of Culture are gathering momentum.

The exhibition will trace the growth and impact of railways since the opening of the Great Western Railway Station at Reading in 1840.

The museum is appealing for anyone who has collected railway related souvenirs and memorabilia to include in the exhibition. This could be anything from a train spotter’s notepad to a workman’s shovel or a daily commuter’s first season ticket.

The exhibition is already gathering support from the local rail industry and educational organisations. In July, Great Western Railway agreed to deliver a high profile promotional campaign for the exhibition and UTC Reading is on board as the project’s education and learning partner.

The exhibition was given a further significant boost with the announcement of a sponsorship deal with Resourcing Solutions Ltd, the Reading based rail and engineering recruitment specialist.

Richard Lawrance, CEO of Resourcing Solutions, said:

“During our discussion with Reading Museum it was very interesting to hear about how the opportunities afforded by the railways have had such an important bearing on local business and industry over many years. There are parallels between our company’s success today and how businesses like Sutton Seeds took off and flourished in the past, thanks to the railways. We are delighted to be able to support Reading Museum to tell this fascinating story.”

Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading Lead Member for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said: 

“We are all really looking forward to the 2016 Year of Culture and I’m positive this exhibition will be worthy of the very generous support we have received from our local rail industry partners.

“We are also delighted to have UTC Reading on board as the project’s education and learning partner. The college is equipping young people from Reading to be the future workforce and so I’m sure the science and engineering fun days we are planning together, to complement the exhibition, will be exciting experiences for all the family to join in with.”

Overseeing the project, Museum Manager, Matthew Williams added: “Reading’s railway’s heritage is a huge story and well represented in the social history collection at the museum, but we would really like to discover more personal stories from Reading people who have used or worked on the railways. If people have kept souvenirs, we’d love to see them. We want the exhibition to focus on the people’s history of Reading’s Railway.”

If people have items suitable for the exhibition, please contact: Brendan Carr, Community Engagement Curator, Reading Museum on 0118 9373548 or email


Nov 02

Have Your Say on Cycling in Broad Street

broad stPROPOSALS to allow cycling the entire length of Broad Street will go out to consultation if councillors give their approval at a meeting tomorrow (November 3rd).

Members of the Traffic Management Sub-Committee will be asked to give the go-ahead for the statutory consultation to start this month.

The current position is that there is a historic cycling ban in place on the stretch of Broad Street between St Mary’s Butts and Queen Victoria Street. The ban dates back many years when this stretch of Broad Street was initially part-pedestrianised.

When the full length of Broad Street was pedestrianised years later, a decision was made to allow cyclists to use Broad Street East and Queen Victoria Street. However, the restrictions in the Broad Street West section remained in place.

If approved, the consultation will run through to the end of the year and the results will be reported back to the sub-committee in January.

If the results are positive, cycling could be permitted along the entire length of Broad Street in the spring 2016.

Councillor Tony Page, Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“A review of the current restrictions in Broad Street West will aim to simplify and encourage cycling in and around the town centre.

“The route would provide an important east-west link for cyclists heading through the town and remove inconsistent and difficult to enforce regulations in Broad Street.

“I recognise there are some Reading residents who feel that cycling should be banned along the full length of Broad Street. They should therefore register their opposition to the proposal to allow cycling in Broad St West and give their reasons as well.”


Oct 31

ADVANCE WARNING: Northumberland Avenue partially closed from 9 November

The council needs to carry out urgent carriageway stabilisation works on Northumberland Avenue, between Canterbury Road and Cressingham Road. They are due to start on Monday 9th November and expected to take three weeks to complete. Once the base layers have been strengthened the road will be re-surfaced.

northumberland aveIn order to get the works finished a quickly as possible and to make sure that the workforce and members of the public are kept safe the road will be closed from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

‘Advance Notice Boards/Signs’ have been displayed along the road and letters delivered to the residents directly affected.

Some disruption is inevitable, there will be diversions in operation and the buses will have to be re-routed. So please be patient while the council carries out this urgent work on Northumberland Avenue.

Oct 01

Your Library Services. Your Say.

Palmer pakTHE Council is set to launch a major public consultation exercise to find out more about how, why and where local residents use library services in Reading.

Reading Borough Council estimates it needs to save a further £39 million over the next three years to 2019. This is because since 2013/14 the Government has cut Reading’s grant funding by 40%. The cuts are taking place at a time when demand for local Council services in Reading is increasing.

In July this year the Council put forward a package of savings, efficiencies and income proposals, totalling £7.24million. One part of the proposals is for the Council to review and reorganise library services in Reading.

If agreed at Policy Committee on October 8th, the first of a two-phase public consultation exercise will begin on October 12th to ensure the Council has as much information as possible on how libraries in Reading are being used. The information gathered will then shape detailed proposals which will be consulted on in February.

Cllr Gittings, Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said:

“The scale of the Government cuts mean we are having to make some difficult decisions across all services – including libraries – in order to build a series of budgets over the next three years. We need to find savings from library services, but we want to do that based on accurate and up-to-date information people provide.

“Technology means the way people access books and reading has changed massively over recent years. The role of the modern library is also changing and it is not uncommon these days to find a range of services provided alongside more traditional library services. We want to create a modern and fit-for-purpose library service, well-used by residents because it provides the services they want.

“The proposals which come forward in the February will reflect the information gathered in this consultation. A range of options may be possible, including limiting the hours or days branches are open or re-providing library services in other nearby community buildings which are well-used. The budget position means every local authority needs to make the best possible use of buildings. This library review forms part of that process and I would ask as many people as possible to take some time to respond to the consultation.”

Library Services are delivered from seven locations in Reading.

Battle Library
Caversham Library
Central Library
Palmer Park Library
Southcote Library
Tilehurst Library
Whitley Library

Library Services in Reading also include a Toy Library based from Southcote Library and a Mobile Library Service that visits the elderly and housebound, and makes public stops in Emmer Green.

Major savings have already been made to the library service since 2010 through making the library network more efficient. More than 20 posts have also been lost.

As part of Phase One of the Library Review consultation, the Council wants to hear from as many residents as possible to find out how they are using the library service in Reading and what they are using library services for. That includes how often people are using library services and which libraries they are using. Residents are also being asked if they have any ideas about how library services could be delivered more effectively and efficiently.

When the consultation goes live, people will be able to go to to access and complete the consultation questions. Hard copies of the questionnaires are also available at libraries across Reading, leisure centres, children’s centres and the Civic Offices. Hard copies should be returned to: Library Review, Reading Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU. People can also email comments to:

If approved, Phase One of the consultation would close at 10am on November 23rd. All information will then be examined and used to shape detailed proposals. These will be presented and consulted on in early next year as Phase Two of the consultation. Final decisions will follow in Summer 2016.

The October 8th Policy Committee report can be found at:



Sep 28

WARNING: Emergency Lane Closure on London Road

Cemetery_Junction,_ReadingSouthern Gas Network (SGN) have contacted the Council and informed them that they have located a gas escape on London Road, opposite No. 225, at Cemetery Junction.

The works are of an urgent nature and will take approximately 5 days to repair. During this time they will require a West bound (inbound) lane closure throughout the duration of the works.

Through ventilation of the gas SGN have been able to delay an immediate start until next Monday, 5th October, which will provide time for advance warning to members of the public. SGN will be erecting advance warning information signs, which will be on site from Tuesday and will we be notifying Reading Buses, Taxi association and putting messages on our Variable Message Signs (VMS).

We expect the works to be completed at end of play Friday 9th October.

Sep 21

Put Out Your Toasters, Kettles and Cameras for Collection

PrintAround one million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste is generated in the UK each year.

BROKEN or unwanted toasters, kettles and irons will be among electrical items householders will be able to leave out for collection as part of a new trial.

Seventeen thousand homes will be included in the waste collection trial which gets under way in October.

Reading Borough Council plans to extend the service borough-wide to all properties with red recycling bins or boxes in March 2016.

Residents living in roads which are part of the trial – starting on October 5th – will receive a bin hanger left on their bin with details about the scheme. Further information about the scheme, including the list or roads included in the trial, will be available on the Council’s website.

Householders will be able to leave unwanted small electrical items in an untied carrier bag by the side of their red bins or boxes on their normal recycling collection day. The items will be placed in cages installed on the waste collection vehicles and taken to Smallmead Household Waste Recycling Centre. They will then be sent for reprocessing where they will be broken up and the different metals and plastics used to make new products.

Electrical items left out for collection should not be any bigger than 30cm x 24cm as they will not fit into the cages on the waste collection trucks. Examples of items which can be collected include: kettles, two-slice toasters, irons, hair dryers, cameras, radios, electronic toys and power tools.

Residents are asked to keep cables attached but remove personal data and batteries. Batteries can be placed in a clear plastic bag and left on top of the red recycling bin for collection.

Waste collection vehicles will not be able to take items such as white goods, microwaves, TVs, computer monitors or items with screens. These and other large electrical items can be taken to Smallmead Household Waste Recycling Centre or a bulky waste collection can be arranged for a fee.

Councillor Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, said:

“This scheme aims to further reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and improve recycling and recovery rates.

“After the six month trial we hope to extend collections of small electrical items to the whole borough.

“I would urge householders to take advantage of the new service but if an item is still working, I would encourage people to consider donating it to charity, selling it or advertising it on Freecycle or Freegle.”

The cost of promoting and operating the service borough-wide will be met by £30,000 funding from the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Distributor Takeback Scheme local project fund.


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