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The view from Katesgrove Hill

Category: Minster ward (page 1 of 5)

Ghosts of the Meadows

Matt and me

Matt and me

I see very few people over the Kennet meadows. Especially at the moment as they have been under water for so long.

They are still saturated and very muddy and not an attractive proposition for a walk. The marshy nature of the floodplain does attract a lot of birds, and April, as they migrate northwards lots of new birds appear. I spend a lot of time looking, and despite finding over 60 different species this month it takes a lot of time. Often I am out at dawn and get to see the sun rise from a vantage point that gives me a good view over one area or another.

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Planning and building control applications in south Reading for the week ending 21 March

Former Car Park East Street - student accommodation under construction

Former Car Park East Street – student accommodation under construction

There were 10 new planning and building control applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees which are subject to change and alternative arrangements during the coronavirus epidemic.

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Social Distancing Day 1: a walk to Fobney Island

Fobney Island Wetland Nature Reserve

On 23 March the Government published stricter guidance on staying at home and away from others that superseded the advice in place at the time of writing on 18 March.

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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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Decking over the IDR – a conversation with Reg Vastern-King

Hexagon, Broad St Mall and Fountain House

Hexagon, Broad St Mall and Fountain House

Reg Vastern-King chair and founder of the Friends of the IDR had watched the events unfolding at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning applications committee when the proposal to build four residential towers at Broad St Mall was discussed. I met Reg at his favourite hostelry, the Reindeer on Southampton Street to ask him what he thought about it all.

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Planning and building control applications in south Reading for the week ending 15 February

Looking west down Ennerdale Road

Looking west down Ennerdale Road

There were seven new planning and building control applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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Goodbye to the Coley Park Black Poplar

The Coley Park black poplar after storm Ciara

The Coley Park black poplar after storm Ciara, February 2020. Photo: © Adrian Lawson.

The great Coley Park black poplar was, for me at least, one of the most iconic trees in Reading.

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Planning applications in south Reading for the week ending 8 February

Red Lion January 2020

There were eight new planning applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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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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Meet your Whitley councillors at the Community café on 1 February

Whitley Community Hub, Northumberland Avenue

Image (c) Huma Jehan

Meet your Reading Borough councillors at the Whitley Labour Party Ward Surgery on Saturday 1 February at 10.30am. They will be at the Community café, Northumberland Avenue, Reading for an hour and a half.

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Christchurch Green at risk of becoming ‘devastated’ by planning decisions

Christchurch Road parade

Parade of shops on Christchurch Road

Northcourt Avenue Residents’ Association (NARA) chair Simone Illger told Reading Borough Council (RBC) that the Christchurch Green in Reading was being “devastated” by unsympathetic development, at the planning applications committee on 15 January. RBC nonetheless approved the change of use of the ground floor 60 Christchurch Road from a dry cleaners into a restaurant, saying that their own local plan didn’t allow them to choose otherwise.

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Planning and building control applications in south Reading for the week ending 11 January

Watlington Street

There were 11 new planning and building control applications in south Reading this week. They may be discussed at one of the next Reading Borough Council planning applications committees.

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Matt Rodda re-elected MP in Reading East and Alok Sharma re-elected in Reading West

Matt Rodda (Labour) has been re-elected member of parliament (MP) for Reading East and Alok Sharma (Conservative) has been re-elected as MP for Reading West.

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2019 General Election turnout in Reading

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Reading’s political parties discuss climate change, a fairer society and the EU at the Quaker Hustings

Reading GE hustings 2019 at the Quaker Meeting House

From L-> R: Matt Rodda & Rachel Eden (Labour), Yemi Awolola (CPA), convenor John Crosfield, timekeeper Christina Hughes Nind, Imogen Shepherd-DuBey (Liberal Democrat), Jamie Whitham & David McElroy (Green).

An estimated 60 people attended the parliamentary hustings at the Quaker Meeting House in Katesgrove, Reading on Thursday 28 November. Candidates Matt Rodda and Rachel Eden (Labour), Jamie Whitham and David McElroy (Green), Imogen Shepherd-DuBey (Liberal Democrat) and Yemi Awolola (Christian Peoples Alliance, CPA) answered questions from the Reading public about the UK’s future relationship with Europe, a fairer society and the climate emergency.

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General election hustings at RISC on London Street on Wednesday 4 December

General election 2019 hustings at RISC

Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) and Global Justice Reading are holding a hustings on Wednesday 4 December when people can ask questions of some of the candidates standing in the 12 December general election.

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Gritters and grit bins plans for winter 2019-20

Alpine Street grit bin in the sun July 2019

Katesgrove’s VIP grit bin tuned in to the webcast from Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee on the evening of 20 November to find out about the gritter and grit bins plans for this winter.

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Council gets £3 million to complete Green Park railway station

Proposed Green Park railway station building

Proposed Green Park railway station building. Image (c) Reading Borough Council

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has secured £2.4 million from the central government’s new stations fund and £550,000 from Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s local growth fund for completing Green Park railway station. This new station on the Basingstoke line in the south of Reading is now budgeted to cost just over £20 million and is scheduled to open in winter 2020.

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Meet your parliamentary election candidates at the Quaker Meeting House on Thursday 28 November

Reading Quakers have invited all the candidates standing for election to the Reading East and Reading West parliamentary constituencies to a hustings at the Quaker Meeting House, 2 Church Street, RG1 2SB on Thursday 28 November at 7.30pm.

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The Berkshire Data Observatory


The Berkshire Data Observatory is a new website that presents data about the local population, crime, housing and economics. It has been compiled and is kept up to date by ‘Public Health for Berkshire’ together with Berkshire’s six local authorities, including Reading Borough Council (RBC).

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