Minutes of the 2001 AGM

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The meeting was chaired by Mr Paul Gallagher, and 50 others were present, including Councillors Ian Fenwick and Annette Hendry.

Bob Simpson, Joy Lowther, Bill Harper, Dorothy and Derek Colverson, Dr Owen Jewiss, Rev Derek Chandler, John Ballard, Eileen Aldred, Cllr Bob Green, Susie Downer, Ruth Witcher

2. The minutes of the 16th AGM held on the 13th April 2000 had been circulated and it was agreed they were an accurate record of the proceedings. They were signed by the Chairman.

The only observation was that the proposal to relocate the telephone box to a more open site was abandoned because residents would be expected to contribute towards the cost.


EGRA Millennium Projects - Emmer Green Past and Present
The exhibition had been a success, and thanks were given to Margaret Ormonde and those who had helped organise it. Special mention was made of nonagenarian John Dean who made a valiant journey from Dorset to view the display. Unfortunately he had recently died.

The book, which was being produced following suggestions by visitors to the exhibition, was nearing first draft stage. It was hoped to shortly work out a pricing structure to enable members to get a discount.

Chamber's Copse Footpath
It was disappointing that after so much effort, particularly by Jill Verran, and support by residents, that the case had been lost and there was to be no public access.

St Barnabas Road & Grove Road
St Barnabas Road re-surfacing was completed last year and the same team of workers were employed on the 'safer schools initiative'. They were not the most tidy of workers and it was hoped they would clear away some of the debris from the resurfacing of St Barnabas Road last year and reinstate the grass verges.

Heathcroft Home
The purpose-built residential care home had been in Emmer Green for 25 years, and was due to close. Social Services had been re-assuring in stating that adequate provision had been secured elsewhere in Reading. It was hoped that the residents' association would be consulted over future development of the site.

Reading Buses
The difficulties with the current service had continued, and a proposal had been put forward by Reading buses to discontinue the 24 altogether, and divert the 44 and 45 to cover Courtenay Drive area. This would mean buses in both directions along Kidmore End Road, and the feasibility of this would need investigating.

Safer Caversham Forum
Work on new lighting in dark areas was due to start soon.

North Area Consultative Committee
It had been stated that there was not really any funding for bus shelters, but Caversham had been successful in bidding for funding for a village sign. It was hoped there would be money for us next year.

Planning Applications
There were concerns over the enforcement of planning regulations with builders regularly flouting the rules. Rachel Walmsley was our contact at the council over this matter.

Grove Road
The appellants have returned with yet another proposal to build houses in the gardens between Grove Road and Knights Way. It is expected that the residents' association would be objecting again.

Site adjacent to Lyefield Court
There had been damage to the hedge facing on to Kidmore End Road. Rachel Walmsley confirmed that hedges are to be retained. Any die back was to be replaced with mature hedging.

The company building the above site had also applied to build behind properties on the other side of Kidmore End Road. Objections had been raised on the grounds of overcrowding and safety.

The chairman then thanked committee members for their work throughout the year. Bill Goodworth had decided to stand down after sixteen years of dedicated service, including rôles as Vice-Chairman and Secretary. Paul Gallagher presented him with an inscribed pewter tankard in recognition of his service. Bill responded saying how he had enjoyed participating and how lucky the residents were to have such a group.

A copy of the treasurer's report has been circulated showing that a balance of nearly £2300 is held in the Portman Building Society. A separate account had been done and audited for the exhibition (for which we received a grant was received), but although these were not brought along to the meeting Jill Verran said anyone who was interested was welcome to contact her to inspect them. Things were very healthy, but some money had been earmarked to help with the book until we recouped it from the sales. Thanks were given to auditor Julian Pearce for his continued work. The adoption of the accounts was proposed by Bill Goodworth, and seconded by Brian Warren. There had been 43 new members throughout the year bringing the total to a record 313 households.

Julian Pearce had agreed to continue auditing the accounts for another year. The vacancy on the committee was to be filled by Bob Cruickshank. Other officers were all remaining in their current posts. This was proposed by Hilary Gallagher and seconded by Geoff Goldsmith.


Concerns were expressed about the proposed building of 41 new houses at the southern end of Bugs Bottom. It was on the land originally earmarked for a school. Assurances were given that the access would be from Kidmore Road, and that there would be a barrier to prevent vehicles from crossing the valley.

Jon Barklay mentioned the recent newspaper report on the proposed siting of mobile phone masts in the middle of Emmer Green. Both the EGRA committee and the Councillors had been consulted and objections sent to the Council. As there were already masts at Highdown School and the water tower it was hoped that these could be used rather than inflicting more upon us.

Another resident had been receiving mail, which had been slit open, and wondered if anyone else in the area had suffered. It had occurred before, but not in recent years.

Car Parking in the centre of Emmer Green, particularly around the Kidmore End Road/Grove Road junction was reaching crisis levels, with a number of cars regularly blocking the pavement. Although it was hoped traffic wardens might have some effect, it was felt the problem required much deeper consideration. Whilst there was little sympathy for car owners visiting the pub, who were too lazy to park elsewhere, there were genuine difficulties for residents of nearby houses. The problem was compounded by the fact that Fisher's Cottages had no parking facilities outside their homes. Another problem raised was the fact that cars were apt to park all day in the bay outside Balfour's newsagents, when its purpose was short term parking. The problems were to be discussed at the next committee meeting and raised with Sgt Matt Gray at the Safer Caversham Forum.

Bet Tickner from the BBC Monitoring Station gave an illustrated talk on the life and workings of the set up, from its beginnings here in 1943 through to the present day. It was hoped a visit might be arranged during the summer, so that the residents could have a chance to see, at least the grounds, which do not have public access.