The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

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Planning and building control applications in south Reading for the week ending 28 March

Whitley Pump 1923

Whitley Pump 1923 – in the background Christchurch Conservation Area

There were 21 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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Council suspends green waste collection

Rubbish truck (Huma Jehan)

Rubbish truck (Huma Jehan)

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has suspended its green waste collections. RBC say that coronavirus-related staff shortages mean they need to concentrate resources on collecting recycled (burgundy bin) and non-recycled (black bin) household waste.

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A world tour of Whiteknights Park

The Friendship Bridge at Whiteknights Park, Reading. Oh, and a swan on a nest.

Reading University’s main campus is at Whiteknights Park, 1.3 square kilometers of woodland, lakes, fields and parkland 2.5 km from Reading town centre. The park has a colourful history as the grounds of the aristocratic Whiteknights House. It still contains many reminders of this romantic past, including an abandoned ice house, a grotto and scattering of exotic plants.

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Katesgrove parks are open but play areas are closed

Aveley Walk play area

Aveley Walk play area

On 23 March, the Government announced additional measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The steps included the closure of communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms. Katesgrove’s play areas are now closed.

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Matt Rodda speaks in Parliament about the new coronavirus bill

Matt Rodda, Reading East MP

Matt Rodda, Reading East MP (official portrait courtesy of the UK parliament).

Matt Rodda, MP for Reading East, spoke in the debate on the Coronavirus Bill on 23 March. The bill sets out the Government’s emergency powers to manage the coronavirus crisis in the United Kingdom.

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Register with Reading’s new community hub to help tackle coronavirus welfare needs

Community action response

Reading Voluntary Action (RVA) and Reading Borough Council have joined with the town’s voluntary groups to form the One Reading Community Hub. This will allow volunteers to help tackle the coronavirus crisis and allow anyone to register unmet but urgent welfare needs.

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Urgent meeting of RBC policy committee 24 March at 5pm

Reading Borough Council is closed

Reading Borough Council is closed

Reading Borough Council (RBC) will hold an urgent meeting of the policy committee this evening, 24 March, at 5pm. The first item on the agenda is the RBC response to the coronavirus epidemic. This includes proposals for the organisation of meetings and decision making at the council in the current situation.

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Reading’s Smallmead recycling centre closes until further notice

Re3 recycling site

Re3 recycling site

The re3 recycling centre at Smallmead, off the A33 in Reading, has closed to the public until further notice. They have done this because of the prime minister’s instructions to protect NHS services and vulnerable people by immediately closing non-essential businesses.

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Social distancing day 6: take-away feijoada from Pau Brasil

Feiojada served

Feijoada

The Pau Brasil café on Mount Pleasant, Reading, now offers a take-away food and coffee service for collection. They no longer provide a sit-down service as the Government has instructed restaurants to close because of the coronavirus epidemic. The Whitley Pump tried a take-away feijoada for Sunday lunch.

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Not another Woodley Arms planning application!

One day all of this could be two blocks of student accommodation

Lainston Woodley Arms LLP (LWA) have submitted yet another planning application for the Woodley Arms site. This is an amendment to the approved application to build two blocks comprising 38 units of student accommodation. The proposal would enlarge the footprint of block 2 and reconfigure the accommodation in each block without increasing the number of units.

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Social distancing day 5: In the garden

Whitley Pump correspondents enjoying their garden

Whitley Pump correspondents enjoying their garden

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 22 March.

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Twinned with the Whitley Pump – St John’s Conduit, Bristol

St John's Conduit and urban art

St John’s Conduit and urban art

St John’s Conduit on the side of the church on Nelson Street has recently been restored. The conduit dates from the fourteenth century and is part of Bristol’s extensive medieval water system.

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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 4: a visit to Waterloo Meadows

Waterloo Meadows

Waterloo Meadows

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 21 March.

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Whitley garden wildlife in February

Male chaffinch

What a month of weather February turned out to be! We had two storms, Ciara and Dennis, as well as sleet, mild, warm, cold and windy weather. The average temperature for the month was 11ºC. 22 February was the warmest day at 16ºC and 27 February the coldest at 5ºC. Despite the crazy weather, my Whitley garden was not short of wildlife and there was an unusual level of activity for the time of year.

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Social distancing day 3: The Harris Garden

Footpath Harris Garden

A footpath through the Harris Garden

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 20 March.

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Reading Borough Council coronavirus updates

Reading Borough Crest

Reading Borough Crest

Reading Borough Council has a web page dedicated to changes to their services during the coronavirus epidemic. The civic offices are now closed to the public except if you have an appointment to register a birth or death. If you need to contact the council, then do so online or by phoning them on 0118 937 3787.

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Social distancing day 2: English Heritage free-to-enter sites

A Roman wall at Silchester

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 19 March.

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Progress Theatre cancels season’s shows because of epidemic

Progress Theatre

Reading’s Progress Theatre, on the Mount in Redlands, has temporarily closed its doors from today, and cancelled this season’s shows, because of 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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