OF THE 20TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE EMMER GREEN RESIDENTS'
ASSOCIATION, HELD AT ST BARNABAS HALL, EMMER GREEN ON 14TH APRIL
meeting was chaired by Mr Paul Gallagher, and 57 others were present,
including local ward Councillors Bob Green and Annette Hendry
Joy Lowther, Marie-Christine Weeks, Jim Dunkley, Susie Downer,
Eddy & Noreen Hooper, Owen and Daphne Jewiss, Bob Simpson, Maurice
Hicks, Edith Hawkins, Philip and Alison Hesketh, Audrey Durant, Mr and
Mrs Derek Colverson, Mrs DM Johnson, Peter and Janice Halter.
2. THE MINUTES OF THE 19th AGM held on the 10th April 2003 had
been circulated and it was agreed they were an accurate record of the
proceedings. They were signed by the Chairman.
other than those covered in the Chairman's report were raised as follows:
only real point to note was the committee’s withdrawal from local
committees run by Reading Borough Council in protest at the poor response/support
we get from them. A year has elapsed and the Council was keen for us
to re-engage with them. The situation would be reviewed at the next
committee meeting. Particular concerns/interests were with the Safer
of his report had already been circulated to all members and they were
also available on the Association’s website. The following lists
the topics where additional comments were noted:
The sign had been very successful and the Women’s Institute and the Townswomen’s
Guild were making arrangements with the Berkshire Woodcarvers to have their
own plaque added to the post.
The second edition was published last summer and is selling very well. Copies
can be obtained directly through Margaret Ormonde, MAP READING (Tel:9470922),
or town centre outlets.
had now been finalized and will be circulated to members with the next
newsletter. Thanks to Bob Cruickshank for his efforts. It has been decided
not to put it on the website, but some copies have been reserved to be
included in the welcome pack for householders new to the area.
Gillespie’s team has been doing sterling work in the general area.
Unfortunately the hard work is soon written over. Often the perpetrators
come from far afield.
Green Precinct Car Park
Some improvements in the lighting situation. There has also been discussion
about replacing the community notice board, possibly involving the Berkshire
Woodcarvers, with EGRA helping towards the costs.
Barnabas Church Garden Party
Assuming it takes place this year, EGRA would be happy to partake,
and in fact a second walk sheet is being prepared, similar to last
year’s, but shorter.
The Berkshire Woodcarvers have a new recruit, John Walker, who is currently
attempting to clean up the brass plaque on the sign.
Box near St Barnabas Church
There were problems with inconsiderate car parking near the church /post box
at school time, and the post box was exacerbating things. The Post Office were
not sympathetic with regards to resiting the box and the Council had not even
got the funds to undertake a study to ascertain what possible solutions might
be appropriate in the area generally. The Chairman was very persistent in chasing
things up and will again ask the Council to give the problem some priority.
We always ask for consultation, but yet another tree seems to have been vandalized
without warning, in the name of pollarding. The one in question this time
was at the Twin Oaks junction. The matter will be discussed at the next
Number 76 Kidmore End Road has been demolished and the remaining semi made
good. Building work is underway on land at the back to build 13 houses in the
Marshlands Square development is also well underway with the building
of 35 properties.
Road had a total of 25 houses either underway or planned. Objections
were being made about certain aspects of those in the proposal stages.
Highdown Hill Road two proposals, for either 11 or 13 houses, with
possible future expansion into Highdown Avenue, have been made.
Road had plans for 8 houses near Cavendish Road, and Buckingham Drive
for 13 houses.
there are plans to sell off a parcel of land within the grounds of
Highdown School in the area of the tennis courts. This would be to
help fund a new assembly hall, and would likely be for a minimum of
brings the total to 110+ new properties in the area, and there are
grave concerns that these don’t get the same attention as one
large development even though they had an equal impact on the local
infrastructure and amenities.
objecting to development proposals, particularly small developments,
EGRA focused on local issues, such as degradation of the environment,
road safety, congestion, dwelling design etc, not on issues such as
diminished privacy, loss of light, close proximity of new buildings
that would concern neighbouring householders. It is also essential
that individuals themselves write to complain to illustrate the strength
of feeling about such matters.
Members were reminded of the web site address at www.map-reading.co.uk/egra
and Clive Ormonde was thanked for his hard work in maintaining the site on
behalf of the Association. It really was a mine of information.
were given to the committee members and to Julian Pearce for auditing
the accounts. Thanks were also extended to the local Ward Councillors.
from the floor
David Wilks, Peppard Road
Graffiti. He’d spoken to the councillors about the proliferation
of graffiti, often identifiable tags, particularly on the electricity
sub-station near his
house. Cleaners said Caversham and Emmer Green worst affected areas in Reading.
In favour of adopting a zero tolerance policy. Also wanted Head of Highdown
to address the school and offered a reward to anyone naming the perpetrators.
has been tried but will take time to grow. Rewards haven’t worked
in the past, and also it was felt much of it was done by people from
outside the area. Highdown have not always been quick to respond in the
past with regard to litter problems either. But there are graffiti hotlines
on the Council website. Unfortunately charges are made if it is on private
property. CCTV cameras could be a possibility. The committee is regularly
in touch with Andy Gillespie over the situation and will contact him
about possible additional strategies.
Concerns were expressed that there had been a reduction of police
officers and that ‘unwanted citizens’ had been re-housed
in the area.
A. Paul Gallagher
The beat bobbies had now been restored to full strength, but their presence
was admittedly greater during the daytime, being deployed to other hotspots
in the town at night time. Liberal Democrat Councillors were pushing forward
the idea of street wardens.
decision to reduce police, but sometimes our beat police are sucked in
to what’s happening in the town centre. A hot spots forum has been
set up through Safer Caversham Forum. If there is a particular problem
near your home you can ring up locals Cllrs, beat police or SCF members.
Priority is now been given to areas north of the river for youth services
including mobile units parked in places where youngsters gather.
were expressed about the state of the bus shelters still under the
umbrella of the Council. Complaints to the Council fell upon deaf ears,
particularly about the small local issues.
Bob Green responded by saying he had complained to Council officers
about non-Adshel shelters and the particular shelter in question was
now at the top of the list for repair.
Asked how often the roads should be cleaned.
had recently been an increase in budget on street cleaning, which was
going to residential areas. Should take effect within a month of the
new financial year.
Bodman reported a new trend in burning bus timetables at bus stops.
Burnt out car on the field Clayfield Copse. The car had been removed, but the
Cllr Bob Green
Coherent strategy on infrastructure. Cumulative effect on developments only
stands a chance if residents object with reasons. Quoted the Highdown Hill
Road proposals, which are of concern to a number of residents. But they have
to remember the Council has to abide by planning law and Government requirements.
We have to have strong grounds to refuse, otherwise it will get through on
appeal, with no benefits to the local community. If the Council loses on appeal
it stands to lose such things as help with education and roads from the developer.
Much better to accept with conditions (e.g. a development on the Henley Road
had paid for road improvements).
Article in Reading Chronicle about widening Kidmore End Road alongside the
park. Puzzling as to why this should surface again, but it really had more
disadvantages than benefits regarding safety.
Started year with healthy balance of over £3800, partly thanks to the
sales of the Emmer Green book. Some of this had been used to finance the village
sign but, apart from that, expenditure had been minimal, leaving us with an
end of year balance of £2900. Post-auditing of the yearly accounts, largely
thanks to the persistent efforts of Chairman Paul Gallagher, we were reimbursed
by the Council for the village sign and, after a further payment to the woodcarvers,
funds were currently £5,500. Ideas for projects, such as the new community
board were welcomed.
Proposer: Jill Verran
Seconder: Brian Warren
ELECTION OF COMMITTEE, OFFICERS AND AUDITOR
Current members were introduced together with four members (Brenda Deller,
Tara Taylor, Diana Hartrup and Mark Hutchings) who had expressed an interest
in joining. The constitution allowed for an extra two members but it had been
decided to co-opt all four to help during the coming year, with the possibility
that some of the existing longer standing members will want to retire at the
end of that time.
Julian Pearce agreed to continue auditing the accounts.
Proposer: John Walker
Seconder: Hilary Gallagher
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Jill Verran put in a request for members’ e-mail addresses
so that we may contact them speedily in the future about relevant
Franklin from Cross Lanes Fruit Farm gave a fascinating talk on apples.
They were first introduced to this country by the Romans and there were
currently 2000 varieties, all with different flavours and fruiting at
different times. Cross Lanes provides over 40 of these varieties together
with pears and plums. Apples are from sale in season direct from the
orchard or at local farmers markets.
evening finished off with wine and nibbles allowing members to socialise.