The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Author: Evelyn Williams (page 3 of 39)

Community support from Reading’s volunteers during the coronavirus epidemic

Community action response

Reading Borough Council (RBC) and the town’s voluntary organisations have formed a community response group to provide support to residents during the coronavirus epidemic. The group’s first meeting will take place today, 18 March.

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Reading’s Biodiversity Action Plan

Kennet in January 2020

Kennet in January 2020

Reading does not currently have a biodiversity action plan (BAP). The 2005-15 plan has expired but the Reading Borough Council (RBC) Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee may approve a new one for public consultation tonight, 16 March. The illustrated document is a fascinating overview of Reading’s natural environment.

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Thames Valley Police come to Greggs on Whitley Street on 18 March

This event has been CANCELLED  due to the current coronavirus outbreak. TVP has announced that all Have Your Say meetings have been cancelled until 20 April 2020 when the situation will be reviewed.

Greggs is open

The Katesgrove neighbourhood policing team will hold a Have Your Say meeting at Greggs on Whitley Street on Wednesday 18 March at 11.00am. This replaces the cancelled meeting of 11 March.

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Tom Cartmill at the Caversham Picture Framer

Tom Cartmill

Tom Cartmill at the Caversham Picture Framer

Katesgrove artist Tom Cartmill has a selection of his works on show at the Caversham Picture Framer. We went along to the meet the artist event on 7 March to see the exhibition.

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Reading rivals Southend in bid for city status

Southend Pier on a wet day in 2016

The MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, is determined to see Southend granted city status. He is so determined that he secured an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the subject before MPs left Parliament for Christmas on 20 December. Reading, like Southend, lost out in 2012 when three new cities were created as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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Reading Cultural Awards 2020

Reading Cultural Awards 2020 are now open for nominations for activities and events that took place between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. Anyone can nominate an event or an organisation for one of the 13 awards. There is a new category this year, school of the year, for a school that has shown outstanding dedication to the arts.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Liskeard Pipe Well

Liskeard Pipe Well

Liskeard Pipe Well – September 2019

Water from the Pipe Well in Liskeard was once a major contributor to the Cornish town’s water supply; it was declared unfit to drink in 1976. The well’s gates were open during Liskeard Unlocked, the town’s Heritage Open Day in 2019, when there was a costumed interpreter on hand to answer questions and the well was decorated with bunting and garlands.

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Problems with council accounts ‘a disgrace’ says Councillor Ricky Duveen

Civic Offices April 2019

Liberal Democrat councillor Ricky Duveen used Reading Borough Council‘s (RBC) full council meeting on 25 February to say that the “never-ending issues with producing the council’s accounts are a disgrace.”

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RBC unaudited accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019 can now be inspected


An Inca quipucamayoc with quipu and yupana

Reading Borough Council (RBC) have published their unaudited accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019. These, along with “all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to those accounts”,  can be inspected on weekdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm until 9 April 2020. This is nine months after the statutory deadline of early June 2019, but it is an improvement on the previous year when the inspection period opened over a year late.

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Changes to Reading Borough Council fees and charges from 1 April

Whitley Pump - May 2016

Whitley Pump roundabout

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has a schedule of charges for everything from overdue library book fines to planning fees and advertising on the Whitley Pump roundabout. The list covers 26 pages and is a fascinating insight into the minutiae of local government, Reading style.

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Council tax proposals for next year will be discussed at Tuesday’s council meeting

Reading Borough Council Civic Offices

Reading Borough Council (RBC) will discuss a 3.99% increase in council tax at the full council meeting on 25 February. This includes a general increase of 1.99% (2019/20 2.99%) as well as an additional 2% which will be spent solely on adult social care. RBC is also responsible for collecting ‘precepts’ for the police and fire authorities with council tax payments.
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Heritage Open Days information evening at the MERL on 4 March

The Reading UK community interest company will host an information evening about Heritage Open Days on Wednesday 4 March at 5pm. The information evening will be at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) on Redlands Road and the open days themselves run from 11 September to 20 September this year.

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Tree cover in Katesgrove

Reading Borough Council Civic Offices

Councillors at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 17 February opted for a quick meeting. The time was taken up with three questions from a member of the public and three from Councillor Rob White. In the answer to his first question we learnt that Katesgrove is almost at the bottom of Reading’s tree cover league.

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A talk about the Old Redlands Estate

Old Redlands Estate

This month’s History of Reading Society talk on Wednesday 19 February, Redlands Estate or ‘Shakels Fields’, will be about Redlands’ place in the development of Reading. The speaker is Keith Jerrome who lived in Redlands for 40 years.

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Student accommodation at 79 Silver Street expected to open in September

79 Silver Street – February 2020

Prestige Student Living are advertising that their student accommodation at 79 Silver Street will be open in September 2020. The student rooms and apartments available vary in price from £250 per person per week to over £310 per person per week for a 51 week tenancy starting from 12 September.

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Reading Food Growing Network AGM and talk on 16 February

Reading Food Growing Network AGM

The Reading Food Growing Network (RFGN) are holding their AGM in the conference hall at the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) on London Street on Sunday 16 February starting at 4.30pm. It will be followed by a talk on Growing Climate Friendly Food given by Dave Richards who co-ordinates RISC’s work on food and gardens.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – Sedgehill Spring

Sedgehill Spring

We are very grateful to an Old Reading Plus Facebook group contributor for pointing us towards the Sedgehill Spring. The spring is a delightful discovery nestled in the Chiltern woodlands near Sonning Common.

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Boundary commission proposes big changes to Reading electoral wards

LGBCE draft recommendations for Reading.
Map contains Ordnance Survey data (c) Crown copyright and database rights 2018.

England’s Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBCE) has proposed big changes to Reading’s electoral wards. The town’s residents have until 13 April to give their opinion before the LGBCE present their final recommendation on 1 September. If they go ahead, the boundary changes will affect all wards in Reading except Park.

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Spot the stinkpipe – the Brexit special

This beautiful petite stinkpipe sporting a jester’s hat appeared out of hiding recently because of the bare trees around it and possibly some recent shrub clearance.

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To dream the impossible dream…

Pipe Roll of 1194

The first Reading Borough Council (RBC) audit and governance committee of 2020 will take place on Thursday 30 January. Council officers told the committee in September that they anticipated that audits of RBC’s accounts for the years ended 31 March 2018 and 31 March 2019 would be completed by the end of 2019. We are still waiting, and yet again hopes that accounts production was under control have been dashed.

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