Monday, 17 August 2015

Redlands Parking: Public Consultation Announced

New Ideas For Residents Parking In Redlands
Earlier in the summer we promised to work up some new ideas to deal with the ever growing pressures on residents' car parking in Redlands.

So, we can now publish details of those ideas, together with the date of a Public Consultation event.


  1. A Resident Permit (RP) parking is proposed between 8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, to protect parking for residents in residential streets where the majority of households do not have off-street parking.
  2. Pay & Display (P&D) limited hours parking is proposed between 8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, in the areas of highest demand near the Royal Berks Hospital and the University of Reading.
  3. Shared use P&D / RP parking where the majority of households do have off-street parking allowing residents’ permit holders to park all day.
  4. P&D parking charges are proposed to be in line with current charges for the RBH multi-storey car park.
  5. No changes are proposed to the current arrangements on roads with existing RP schemes.
  6. It is proposed to incorporate all roads with RP schemes between Redlands Road and Eastern Avenue (but not including Eastern Avenue) into a wider 15R zone.
  7. Limited free waiting parking provision on Erleigh Road (between Alexander Road and Eastern Ave) to enable parking for the local shops.
  8. The provision of on-street parking in the scheme area has been maximised in accordance with highway rules and the requirements of the emergency services.

 Exhibition and Informal Consultation

Monday 28 September 2015   5:00pm to 7:00pm

St Lukes Church Hall, Erleigh Road
Traffic officers, Fire Brigade and your local
Labour Councillors will be there to hear your views.

 Parking Schemes for Residents Explained In A Nutshell

  • Each household is allowed a maximum of 2 permits.
  • Permits will only be issued to cars registered at an owner’s address within Redlands parking scheme area.
  • The 1st parking permit is FREE, the 2nd costs £120 a year.
  • Each household is entitled to 2 books of 20 half-day visitor tickets FREE each year and more books can be purchased at £22 a book.
  • More details of how the scheme works can be found at:

Please let us know what you think

Contact Tony:   0771 414 9927 @TonyJonesLab
Contact David:   0777 181 9788 @davidabsolom
Contact Jan:   0782 886 7950 @cllrJanGavin
Post to: Redlands Labour Party, 34, Morgan Road, Reading RG1 5HG

Tories Break Care Cap Manifesto Pledge

Guest post by Cllr Rachel Eden, RBC Lead Member for Adult Social Care

Only 100 days in but the Conservatives' broken promise on the care cap will hurt people till 2020

With the Labour leadership ballots going out now it’s worth reminding ourselves of the real thing we are fighting.  Only just having had 100 days this Conservative government seems determined to break its pledges in areas from housing to health. 

Focusing on just one delaying the cap in care costs until 2020 is particularly unfair. 

Some people don’t realise adult social care is means tested until they or their loved ones need it for themselves.  How much care you will need is more or less down to luck – bluntly how much of your life you become ill and frail for. 

We all know or have heard of 90 year olds who live completely independently and live fit and relatively healthy lives yet other people may start to suffer from age related illnesses at a much younger age – and no one really knows what will happen to them. 

Because of this it feels very unfair that some people have to spend many tens of thousands of pounds on their care into old age, and it is a real worry for many people I talk to.  This isn’t just about people who are frail now (although it’s estimated that about 23,000 people would have benefited in 2016-17 alone): several older people I know who are fit and well have expressed their concern about the costs if they were to become ill and it is a quiet fear for many families as their loved ones become older. 

The care cap is a widely supported move to reduce that worry so that the cost of this care is limited.  The Conservatives have now decided to not only delay this from next April to 2020 but have also postponed an increase in the savings which people have to have before they start to contribute to their residential care to 2020.

Local authorities like Reading had already done a huge amount of work to plan how to implement this.  Many councillors had concerns about the impact this would have on councils’ finances and ability to implement what was going to be a complicated system I think it’s fair to say this concern was more about the chronic lack of planning about the system as a whole by this government.  Overall councillors, like most people I know, were positive about the benefits it would bring to residents.

As a country we need to start thinking far more seriously about how we help more and more people to continue to live fulfilling lives as they age.  Part of that should be to ensure that there is some certainty about how people will be able to afford the care they need if they need support. 
Instead this government has already started to break it’s promises to older people – both the frail elderly and older people looking ahead to their future needs.  It is fundamentally letting people down by prevaricating and delaying implementation of a fundamental reform.

The Conservative party was the major choice of pensioners at the election and yet they are breaking promises to the very people who enabled them to form a government.

In just 100 days it has become apparent that the Conservatives alone in government over the next 5 years will be even more damaging than the last 5 years.

Over the coming weeks Labour needs to put itself in the best possible position to win the next general election. 

In the meantime many older people and their families will continue to worry about the costs they may incur through no fault of their own.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Reading A Level Students Celebrate Exam Success

A LEVEL students in the borough are celebrating exam success with 85 per cent achieving A*-C grades, early indicators show.

Provisional figures show 70 per cent achieved A*-B grades and 98 per cent A*-E grades, broadly in line with the success in 2014.

Figures from Blessed Hugh Faringdon secondary school, which is maintained by Reading Borough Council, show improved top grades for the third consecutive year with 53 per cent of results at levels A*- B, compared with 50 per cent last year and 40 per cent in 2013.

The numbers achieving A*-C grades remained at 73 per cent and the proportion of A*-E passes increased by one per cent to 99 per cent.

Reading’s other secondary schools - Kendrick School, Reading School, Highdown School, Prospect School and the John Madejski Academy – are academy schools and run independently of the council.

Councillor Tony Jones, Reading’s lead councillor for education, said: “Although it appears that the numbers of students getting top grades across the country has slipped, these figures still represent a consistent performance in Reading schools.

“But of more importance, behind the figures will be so many personal stories of commitment and hard work by young people supported by their families and the great professionalism of our teachers, and I congratulate them all. 

“I would also say to those who may not have got the results they were hoping for this morning, to stay calm, take the advice available to you and you may discover that more opportunities are available to you than you have first thought."

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Redlands: Better Bus Info And Road Markings

Real Time Passenger Information on Christchurch Road
As councillors we sometimes get involved in big issues or grand schemes which grab the headlines - sometimes they are popular and sometimes because they are not!

However, we all have our wards which elect us and we must stick close to residents to understand what they are thinking and feeling and know where their priorities lie. 

Keep Clear Markings On London Rd / Fatherson Rd
And sometimes it is getting something relatively small and absolutely local delivered that people appreciate as much as any of the head-line grabbing things.

So, after much pressing, I am pleased to report that two "local improvements" - which would not have happened without residents and local ward councillors working together - are in place in Redlands.

The first is the "Real Time Passenger Information" board at the bus stop near the Queens Head on Christchurch Road. Evidence shows that if people know they can rely on information when the next bus is arriving, they will use the bus more often.

Secondly, the painting of the "Keep Clear" markings on London Road opposite the junction with Fatherson Road. Residents had told us how frustrating it could be trying to move in to the early morning traffic which would stop bumper to bumper. Though a "Yellow Box" was not allowed under traffic regulations, the addition of the Keep Clear markings is already helping residents.

If you have an idea for a local improvement - get in touch and we can see if we can make it happen.

We will be releasing details of a new set of wide-ranging residents parking protection ideas very shortly - watch this space!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Free Solar Panels Available to Owners of Community Buildings

Reading Borough Council Press Release 

OWNERS of community buildings can take advantage of a new scheme offering free solar panels.
Groups which manage, own or lease a voluntary, community, faith or not-for-profit sector building in Reading could be eligible.
The Reading Climate Action Network (RCAN) will provide and install the solar panels or solar thermal system and the group will benefit from free daytime electricity or hot water for the life of the panels.
RCAN will receive the Feed in Tariff payments made for the electricity generated which goes into the national grid. The money will go into the Reading Climate Change Partnership community fund to help tackle fuel poverty and related issues.
Any groups applying will need to have the permission of the owner of the building, which will need to have a large unshaded south-facing roof.
The group must be confident it will be based at its current location for the long term and be committed to using the opportunity to educate the building’s users on energy efficiency.
Initial applications for the free solar panels must be made by Thursday 27th August and the panels must be in place by March 2016.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This scheme offers a win-win situation for everyone. The owners of the buildings benefit from free electricity and a reduction in their carbon emissions and the RCAN raises money for the community fund.
I’d encourage organisations to get their applications in as soon as possible.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the scheme can visit:,
email Summreen Sheikh, Sustainability Partnerships Officer at Reading Borough Council, at or call (0118) 937 2100.

Notes for Editors: 
Reading Climate Action Network is made up of organisations and individuals who are committed to reducing their contribution towards manmade climate change. It was launched in 2013, alongside Reading’s Climate Change Strategy, which was written by the Reading Climate Change Partnership (RCCP). RCCP is made up of representatives from the community, business and public sector. Reading Borough Council is an active member of the RCCP board.

Media Contact: David Millward
Tel: (0118) 937 4289