Minutes of the 2006 AGM

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The meeting was chaired by Mr Paul Gallagher, and 54 others were present, including local ward Councillors Bob Green, Annette Hendry and Mark Ralph.

Vera Bodman, Susie Downer, Eddy & Noreen Hooper, Joy Lowther, Patricia Walker, Peter and Janice Halter, Sadie Cooke, Mr and Mrs Kendrick.

2. THE MINUTES OF THE 21st AGM held on the 20th April 2005 had been circulated and it was agreed they were an accurate record of the proceedings. They were signed by the Chairman.

Topics other than those covered in the Chairman's report were raised as follows:

The success of the graffiti clean-up campaign were evident and particular thanks were given to Bob Cruickshank who did a regular litter pick too.

It was hoped the Clayfield Copse wood sculpting would eventually proceed with the project being undertaken by Andy Noyes. It was also hoped Andy would also take on a regular contract to maintain both the village sign and the community notice board. It was noted that EGRA had received funding from Reading Borough Council towards the construction of the latter.

The Highdown Hill Road Development had been allowed on the second appeal, but at least the density of housing was reduced. As building work progressed there had been infringements by the developers to the planning constraints, but following complaints from local residents the builder had made a positive response to the problem.

The School Admissions problem of last year had not had a satisfactory outcome and some of the affected parents had opted for South Oxfordshire schools.

Copies of his report had already been circulated to all members and they were also available on the Association’s website www.map-reading.co.uk/egra . The following lists the topics where additional comments were noted:

North Area Access Study:
The full report on the consultation on transport issues north of the river can be found on the RBC website. There were no firm proposals as yet, but it was encouraging to see that local concerns had been considered. Dramatic changes to Reading’s IDR were also at the forefront and would have a big knock-on effect and impact on surrounding traffic areas.

Pub licensing hours
Due to the team efforts from EGRA and local councillors there had been a very positive outcome to the new licenses granted for all three pubs in Emmer Green.

Inner Distribution Road (IDR):
It is projected that over the next house building period as defined by SEERA there would be an 18% increase in private motor vehicles in the town (equivalent to school term-time traffic in non-term times), so something needs to be done. But the one-way proposals remain controversial and a lot of consultation and consideration will still be needed.

Local Tradesmen’s list
This has been updated, and would shortly be available electronically, with the rest being distributed with the summer newsletter.

St Barnabas Church Garden Party:
A reminder that EGRA would be having a stand at this year’s event from 2-4pm on Saturday 8th July.

North Area Youth Project (NRYP)
Committee member Tara Taylor was thanked for attending these meetings and giving regular feedback. One update was that as well as the improved skateboard facilities at Clayfield Copse, the youngsters had a new lighted shelter as a meeting place.

Caversham Safer Community Forum (CSCF)
Thanks to Bob Cruickshank for attending these meetings on behalf of EGRA. Leaflets were distributed highlighting attempts to combat underage drinking, and giving other tips and contact telephone numbers. And of course the Police Surgery is available now in Church House, Caversham, on the first Monday in the month 5pm – 8pm.

Thames Crossing Councils Group (TCCG)
EGRA has already hosted one of these meetings in St Barnabas Church Hall (EGRA representative Brenda Deller was thanked for organising that meeting). South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) now have reference for a third Thames bridge in their new Transport Plan.

Post Office
The closure (hopefully only temporary) of the Post Office is imminent (June) and one possibility of an alternative location is Cherry Thompson’s florist’s shop. Although there was a financial obstacle, in as much as whoever took on the Post Office would need to provide a substantial initial outlay, it was thought this could be resolved by a number of means, including grant aid through the Council. The real stumbling block was that the host shop would also be required to be responsible for providing the Sub-postmaster. It was hoped in due course someone would come forward.

Julian Pearce (auditor) and Clive Ormonde (webmaster) were singled out for thanks and the local ward councilors were also thanked for their invaluable support. Jill Verran encouraged more members to register on to the EGRA e-mail list in order to receive urgent updates and current news.