Friday, 23 June 2017

School Holiday Dates In Reading

Following representations from parents and headteachers, Reading Borough Council will adopt new school term dates for the academic year 2018-19, so giving everyone time to plan for the changes.

This will mean that Reading will adopt the October holiday (22nd-26th Oct 2018) and Easter (8th-23rd April 2019) in line with other local authorities.

There will be no change to the dates already published for 2017-18.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Reporting Illegally Parked Vehicles

The extension of the residents parking scheme in Redlands has proved hugely popular.

However, there are times when vehicles without permits ignore the rules.

If that's the case you can report them by visiting the enforcement service at: 

Click on "Report an illegally parked vehicle" and then you can either log on or "continue without an account".

You will be asked for details of the vehicle, registration number, colour, location. The reports are sent directly to the Civil Enforcement Officer base for them to review and action. If there is a CEO in the area, they can be directed to the road ASAP.

Let us know how you get on.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Thank You For Giving Us A Labour MP!

Thank you to all the door knockers, envelope stuffers, polling station counters, leaflet deliverers and countless other helpers who delivered the campaign to make Matt Rodda as our Labour MP in Reading East.

In Redlands we pride ourselves in working all the year round and now we have an MP who will match that commitment.

Get in touch if want to be part of our winning team.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Redlands Ward Public Surgery - Saturday, 10 June

Cllrs David Absolom, Jan Gavin and I will be holding our regular Labour Councillors' Ward Public Surgery for residents at Hexham Road Community Centre, Hexham Road, between 10.30am and noon tomorrow.

No appointment is necessary and discussions are strictly confidential.

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

David, Jan and I also undertake "street surgeries" on other Saturdays and weekdays - so watch out for the window poster coming through your letter-box!

And The News Keeps Getting Better ...

Anneliese Dodds and John Howarth
With the largely expected news of the election of Anneliese Dodds in Oxford East thoughts will soon turn to her position as an MEP.

The European Parliament procedures say that should she choose to resign that position in order to concentrate on her new role as an MP in Westminster, then her place would be open to be taken by the next candidate on the Labour Party South East list at the time of the last European Elections in 2014.

That person is former Reading and Berkshire councillor John Howarth.

If it works out this way John would be a great advocate for Reading and the South East in Brussels.

Reading East: Job Done

Well done Matt Rodda, Labour MP.
A pretty rotten night for all the other parties in Reading East.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Schools In Reading Are Improving

This is a copy of my opinion article in this week's READING CHRONICLE

Schools in Reading are improving

A quick glance at our Key Stage 2 results shows that of 152 councils in England, Reading was judged to be 149th in 2013, 130th in 2014, 103rd in 2015 and 50th in 2016. And this year for the first time in 10 years schools in the borough achieved above the national average results.

This progress should not be taken for granted. We can note, but not be complacent, that the majority of children in Reading already study in good or outstanding schools. Our vision is for ALL pupils have that facility as soon as possible.

We must continue to offer school leaders, teachers, pupils and their families, a positive message of hope and constructive help. Practical steps have already included:

  • Undertaking a £61million school expansion plan, ranging from 10 new classrooms at Alfred Sutton Primary to a completely brand new school at Reading Girls.
  • Launching a 3 year schools’ performance improvement plan, which specifically includes support for closing the gaps in academic achievement and reducing the obstacles to recruiting and retaining teachers and school staff.

However, it is frustrating how little direct power the council actually has on the delivery of education in the town. For example:

  • The long-awaited decisions on the possible development of a new primary at Mapledurham is stuck somewhere in Whitehall
  • Oxfordshire County council recently launched a consultation on closing a secondary school where the majority of pupils come from Reading without even telling us.
  • Free schools can pop up anywhere rather than where a new school may be needed, regardless of the impact on existing schools.
  • Schools can decide to turn themselves into academies without any refunding of millions of pounds borrowed by the council for their improvement.

I am proud of the work Reading Council does in a relentless search to improve schools for all.