Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Local Residents To Decide How To Spend Money

SHOCK: Local Residents To Decide How To Spend Money!
 Hexham Road estate residents have been given the power to decide how to spend £15,000 on improving the appearance of the estate and the quality of life for people living in the neighbourhood.

The Your Cash, Your Community scheme is a great opportunity to work with the council to share ideas about how to improve your local area or support a community project.

Put Your Idea Forward
If you or a group of your neighbours or fellow residents on the Hexham Road estate have an idea that you think will:

  • Reduce anti-social behaviour
  • Improve the general appearance of the estate
  • Provide activities to increase community spirit
Julie Burnett, RBC Neighbourhood Initiatives Officer, and Carol Shepherd, Chair of Hexham Community Association, will help you develop your idea into a funding bid. They can visit you at home, talk over the phone, or you can come along to the Community Centre on Wednesday 30th May, 10am – 12noon or Wednesday 13th June, 10am – 12noon where we can give you more information and answer your questions about the Your Community, Your Cash scheme.

Presenting Your Bid - And Voting!
All bidders will be asked to present their ideas to the wider community at the Hexham Summer Fun Day on Saturday 7th July 2012. Once all the ideas have been presented we will ask everyone to vote for the projects that could benefit the community the most.

Making Ideas A Reality
We will work with bidders to turn their ideas into reality. If you’re interested in Your Community, Your Cash please contact Julie Burnett, Neighbourhood Initiatives Officer, 0118 937 2685 or email julie.burnett@reading.gov.uk

Come On, You Decide!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Why So Few Bother To Vote

Coalition has weakened link between voters and government

Here's an interesting piece in today's Daily Telegraph about why so few people bother to vote.

Jeff Randall wonders why when "outside wartime, rarely have the political stakes been higher" - the eurozone unravelling, Britain’s double-dip recession, the Leveson Inquiry's examination of dodgy dealing in high places, and Baroness Warsi adding to a suspicion that cheap-and-nasty corruption is the new British disease - yet traditional political engagement is falling away.

In recent local elections, two thirds of those eligible to vote did not bother.

Randall concludes that "Coalition politics is proving a disaster for conventional democracy. Disillusioned citizens are simply dropping out, as they conclude, justifiably, that the system is giving them neither what they were promised nor what they would like."

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

On-Line Questionnaire - University/RBH Area Residents' Parking

Will Pay & Display Come To Redlands?
You can complete the University / Royal Berks Hospial area Residents' Parking questionnaire here:


Monday, 21 May 2012

New Contact Details

Here are my new contact details that residents can use to get in touch:

New email: tony.jones@reading.gov.uk

New telephone: 07714149927

Same postal address for years: 34 Morgan Road, Reading, RG1 5HG

Web: www.tonyjones.info or www.cllrtonyjones.com

Redlands Labour Website: http://redlandslabour.org.uk/ edited by my colleague jan.gavin@reading.gov.uk

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Residents' Parking In The University And Hospital Area - Next Stage Of Consultation

During Autumn 2011 a questionnaire was sent to all households in Redlands and a consultation meeting was held at St Luke’s Hall as part of the University and Hospital Area Transport Study.

The main issues residents told us about related to congestion and parking, as well as vehicle speeds and the need for more pedestrian facilities in the area. We have also received many requests for a Residents’ Parking Scheme in individual streets across the whole area. We are now ready to offer a range of options to residents to see if you think they will help alleviate the issues raised.

The aim of any scheme would be to maximise the availability of on-street parking for residents, allow for other reasonable parking demands for visitors to the area, and minimise displacement of parking demand from one road to another. If a decision is taken to implement such a scheme, residents would receive their first permit free of charge.

To help get a clear understanding of your views and to develop a scheme which addresses the local issues you have raised, we would urge you to complete and return the Residents’ Parking Scheme questionnaire, which has been delivered in the last few days

If residents continue to say that they support the introduction of a Residents’ Parking Scheme, a formal consultation will follow in the summer to define how the scheme will work at an individual street level.

Councillors and officers will be available at a drop in event at: St Luke’s Hall, Erleigh Road on Friday 25th May between 2pm to 7pm to explain the proposals further and to answer any questions you may have. The enclosed consultation materials will also be available to view at the Civic Centre and online at: http://www.reading.gov.uk/council/Consultations/2012consultation
Please note, at this stage we are consulting on whether residents want a permit scheme introduced and which areas may also be suitable for pay and display. If a scheme is supported by residents, we will undertake further formal consultation about how it could work in individual streets.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Ward Surgery - Saturday 12th May

Cllr Jan Gavin and I will be holding the regular Labour Ward Surgery for residents at St Lukes Church Hall, Erleigh Road, between 10.30am and noon.

No appointment is necessary and discussions are strictly confidential.

Ward surgeries are held on the second Saturday of each month, alternating between St Lukes Church Hall and the Hexham Road Community Centre.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Council Elections: Reflections And Predictions

Reading Borough Council elections usually produce a good churn of people and seats, either because seats are won and lost, or because people stand down - and come back - and last week's set of elections was no exception.

Only Abbey, Battle, Norcot, Southcote and Whitley have the same three councillors today as they did before 3 May.

Thames has a different set only because Isobel Ballsdon did the chicken run to Mapledurham. I suspect with her strong elbows, she will be the Conservative Group leader before too much longer. I do not know if she beat off current leader Tim Harris for that particular Tory fiefdom, as Thames is hardly a target marginal, but it does now leave him alone in Church with two Labour councillors. And looking forward to 2014, there doesn't seem tobe too many alternatives open to him, so his council career may be short-lived.

Similarly, Lib Dem leader Daisy Benson stands isolated in Redlands. I suspect she may disappear into London to chase other political opportunities (Lynne Featherstone's seat perhaps?) long before 2014 comes around.

I had previously predicted that Richard Davies would be one to watch in Caversham and that Dave Luckett would lose if he didn't stand down. To his credit, Dave didn't run away from the inevitable, so well done him. It is no coincidence that Labour picked up Katesgrove last year and Caversham this on the back of some brilliant organising work by Duncan Bruce. I suspect that Andrew Cumpsty will now stoically walk into the firing lines in Caversham in 2014 and also lose.

I did think the Lib Dems would lose all three seats they were defending this year as they did last. However, it became apparent during election day that they had already abandoned Katesgrove and Redlands to a reinvigorated Labour machine, to concentrate their resources in Tilehurst against a divided Tory party. Credit to them that their brave decision worked - although being so stretched, suggests that they are probably finished as a significant political force in Reading for years to come.

Daya pal Singh's victory in Kentwood was testament to his hard work and perseverance. In many ways, this is an echo of the way that the Greens have built their base in Park ward, with Rob White chipping away year after year. Sadly, for Labour in Park this year, there was simply too much ground to make up in too short a time for any realistic prospect of success.

All in all, a good night for Labour - including a brilliant result in Minster - and something which our two Tory MPs must feel uneasy about: splits in their party and Labour once again beginning to break out of its core areas and into parts of the town we must build support to stand any chance of taking back the Westminster seats.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Council Election Results 2012

Labour Win In Redlands, Take Overall Control Of Council

Thanks to all Redlands residents who voted for me:

Labour 1,032 votes
Lib Dem 425
Tories 273
Green 251

Labour now has overall control of the council with 26 of the 46 seats. There are no elections next year.