Saturday, 13 January 2018

Urgently Needed: A New Secondary School In Reading

Reproduced below is a post from this blog on Monday, 4 September 2017.

However since then there has been a suggestion that Reading will in fact need two more secondary schools in the foreseeable future.

Cllr Tony Jones: Top priority is to find site for new school

While that assertion will need further scrutiny, what is clear is that Reading urgently needs to identify at least one site and a development partner for a new secondary school with six classes a year entry level as early as possible this year. This calculation is based on all places in existing secondary schools in Reading and immediately outside the town's borders being full.

Lead member for Education councillor Tony Jones said "Reading is a growing town with a strong economy and excellent transport links. However growth brings pressure on the town's infrastructure, roads, health services and schools. 

My top priority this year is to start the process of finding the site and development partner for at least one new secondary school and scope out any future needs. 

I know there will be those with strong views and loud voices telling us where we should not build a new school, but I would welcome any constructive dialogue and suggestions." 

Original post - 4 September 2017

A New Secondary School In Central Reading

Find A Site For A New Secondary School In Reading
In recent years Reading Borough Council has invested heavily in meeting the demand for extra places in the town's primary schools. 

However, by 2019/20 that expanded school population, together with a general growth in population, will be needing places to move on to secondary schools, with a large proportion based around central Reading.

The problem for Reading and the government's Education Skills and Funding Agency, is where can we find an appropriate site?

Redlands Public Surgery Today

Councilllors David Absolom, Jan Gavin and Tony Jones hold public surgeries for residents in Redlands all the year round.

"Just Walk In" surgeries are held on the second Saturday of every month, alternately at St Lukes Parish Hall, Erleigh Road and at the Hexham Road Community Centre. 

Surgery hours are 10.30am until noon.

No appointment is necessary, and all discussions are confidential.

Today's surgery is at St Lukes Parish Hall, Erleigh Road.

We also undertake regular "street surgeries" on most other Saturdays in the year. This is where we deliver notices to you a day or two beforehand, then on the following Saturday morning, if you want to see us you all  you have to do is put up the "Please Call In" notice in your window

Monday, 1 January 2018

Challenges for 2018

2018 will be a year of great challenge.


The year on year cuts to central government support for Reading Borough Council means that all services continue to be under the combined pressures of often increased demand and reduced resources. 

There will be calls from many saying "We do appreciate that the council has to make some tough decisions, but please protect (... fill in personal cause, project or service...)".

The Labour Group of councillors will, as required by law, set a balanced budget - though do expect the usual mixture of posturing (Green Party), trivia (Lib Dems) and vacuous talk (Conservatives) from the other parties. 

It will all be available for the record on the council's webcasting site.


On a more exciting front, the process to select the next Labour parliamentary candidate for the Reading West seat will shortly get underway.

As a resident of Reading East I have no say in these matters, so I simply offer the following observations:

The successful candidate will be an existing Reading Labour councillor - and frankly it is hard to see past either Rachel Eden or Sarah Hacker, both of whom offer very strong local credentials.

And with an expanded and rejuvenated party membership under Jeremy Corbyn's national leadership, each can be confident of unseating the current Tory MP in Reading West whenever May dares call the next general election.


The council is in the middle of consulting on the extension or introduction of resident parking zones across the borough. But more news of that in the next few days ...