Thursday, 26 September 2013

RBH School: No Playing Fields, More Parking

RBH School: No Playing Fields, More Parking
Reading East MP Rob Wilson presses ahead with his ill-considered plan to turn the Royal Berks Hospital London Road buildings into a secondary school for east Reading.
There is no doubt that we need additional secondary school places in east Reading, but it would be much better if the development of any free school was in consultation with the local education authority which has responsibility for planning school places and we hope that the hospital and Education Funding Agency will meet with us soon to discuss their plans.
While I understand that the condition of this hugely significant listed and iconic building is a problem the RBH has to deal with, it seems likely that the cost of refurbishing it and turning it into a free school would be very high.
There will also be significant planning issues which need to be looked at - everything from traffic to the protection of the listed building. I would also have questions about obvious issues such as where there could be outside space for sport and recreation which all schools need.
And it will certainly be the case that residents in Redlands ward will not welcome even more car parking being squeezed on to our streets.
Rob Wilson seems to be determined to seek any site other than the one recently purchased by the council at Crescent Road, adjacent to the new UTC, in the heart of east Reading. Perhaps he should put his ego to one side and work with the council to come up with the best solution for the future school needs in the area.
Come on Rob, the RBH site on London Road is the wrong place.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Arthur Hill Pool And Fitness Studio Re-Opened

Residents are reminded that the Arthur Hill Pool and Fitness Studio has re-opened following a four  month closure for essential repairs.The leisure centre had to be temporarily closed at the beginning of May for a structural survey followed by essential repairs.

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

“I am certain regular users of Arthur Hill will be pleased to see it is now re-open. These were essential works and I’d like to thank all of those people for their patience while the centre was closed.”
Areas of work completed during the closure which included:
  • Repairs to the main concrete and steel beams in plant room
  • Repairs to leaking mains water supply
  • Installation of additional steel frame support to repaired concrete beams in plant room
  • Cracks in pool tank repaired
  • Leaks in pipes repaired
  • Windows made safe
  • New door fitted to the mens’ toilet
  • Specialist floor coating on pool side to prevent water ingress
  • Hand rails in disabled change
  • Cycle racks back in to use
Arthur Hill Pool & Fitness Studio is the oldest of the sports facility in Reading. Built in 1911 it retains much of its original character. The Gym offers an excellent range of equipment and a circuit training facility, while the centre also offers a good programme of swimming courses, sessions and classes along with a dedicated 'Spin Studio'.

For details of facilities available for public use at Arthur Hill, please call 0118 937 5057 or go to

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Wilson's Barmy Plan: RBH To Become School

Royal Berks Free School Anyone?
News has reached me that Reading East MP Rob Wilson has been busying himself (at last) trying to find a site for a new free school in east Reading. It is nearly a year since a public meeting was told that he was "60% there" in securing a workable plan.

Now, twelve months on, central government officials have been in contact with Reading council to ask if we supported Wilson's plan to turn the historic old front buildings into a free school. Council officers, I understand, were less than impressed with such a barmy plan!

Not put off, I also hear that NHS land at Craven Road is also the subject of some frantic speculation.

We will see. I think the best bet for a new school in east Reading is still at the Crescent Road site - recently purchased back by Reading council - land which others seemed content should be used for housing.