The following summarises the numerous
issues that the Association has been involved in since the last Annual
General Meeting on 19 April 2006.
Emmer Green Post Office:
The Post Office was closed and boarded-up in June, but after much fruitless
correspondence between the Association and the Post Office it appears
that a post office will open in the florist shop in 'Pictures Art Gallery'
on the precinct. This has been taken over by Ian and Kim Legg, and the
latter has been approved by the PO to be sub-postmistress. It will cost
about £30,000 to buy the franchise and equip the shop with counters
etc, and there is no grant available from the Post Office. However, Cllr
Hendry has been active in identifying a number of organisations that
might provide financial support, although in most cases applications
need to be made by a community organisation rather than an individual.
The Association is considering offering to submit such an application
on behalf of the community, and Cllr Hendry has circulated a questionnaire
to Emmer Green residents asking them to provide information in support
of such an application.
Road layout changes in Emmer Green
In February the Association helped to widen Reading’s consultation
on road safety initiatives in Emmer Green. The proposals include new
roundabouts at the junction of Kidmore End Road and Buckingham Drive
and at the junction of Lowfield Road and Buckingham Drive (opposite the
pond). It is also proposed to make the pedestrian crossing a controlled
Precinct car park
For the last few years the Association has been requesting the precinct
landlord, Wolfe Properties, to make good the atrocious state of the precinct
car park. As part of the above Local Area Enhancement scheme, the Peppard
ward councillors met with the Council’s Transport Department to
agree with Wolfe Properties that the Council’s contractors fill
in the potholes, while they are doing the other work in Lowfield Road.
Also discussed were the removal of the tree planters, which could act
as a trip hazard, and the removal of the dead tree in front of unit 12.
The first of these tasks (i.e. the potholes) has been completed, and
hopefully Wolfe Properties will complete the other work in the near future.
Work around the Pond
Following much discussion between the Association’s secretary and
the Council, work to thin out the trees and bushes around the pond has
been completed. Much to the secretary’s dismay, this was quite
fierce and the result is that large gaps have been created in the surrounding
vegetation. Undoubtedly this will regrow and hopefully by summer will
look much better.
Grove Road tree planters
Over the years damage has been done by the alders in the brick planter
boxes in Grove Road near Highdown School. Concern has been expressed
of possible injury to schoolchildren or other pedestrians from the
crumbling brickwork. Working with Cllr Hendry, the Association’s
secretary has agreed a set of maintenance measures, and some of the
alders have now been pollarded and parts of the crumbling brickwork
removed. In time all of the brickwork will be removed and new trees
planted directly into the ground.
Queen’s 80th Birthday commemoration
A Turner’s Oak, in commemoration of the Queen’s 80th birthday,
has been planted by Reading Borough Council on behalf of the Association
at the edge of the recreation grounds, roughly opposite 60 Kidmore End
Road. Thanks go to committee member Diana Hartrup who organised the acquisition
of the tree and the sturdy protective surround.
A suitable seat is now being sought upon which a commemorate plaque can
be affixed, and at that time a small formal dedication ceremony will
Animal carvings at Clayfield Copse
A very large oak tree in the field bordering Caversham Park Road was
partially felled last autumn as it had split down the middle and was
unsafe. Several extremely large logs resulted and the Association has
obtained the support of the Council to have these carved into animal
shapes. A local craftsman, Andrew Noyes, whom the Association retained
to remake the Community Notice Board, has agreed to undertake this
project. He has involved a group of young people in the animal designs
and they will assist in the carving of some of the finer detail and
maybe painting areas such as eyes. The first suggested shape is that
of a dragon.
Mapledurham Playing Fields
Reading Borough Council consulted on proposals for development at the
Mapledurham Playing Fields, funded by the sale of part of the playing
fields, in order to build a replacement pavilion. Some of the options
required compensatory public open space to be made available and land
at Clayfield Copse was identified. The Council received 2950 responses
and 71% favoured the option involving the loss of the smallest parcel
of land at the playing fields, which does not require compensatory
land being taken at Clayfield Copse. This option includes demolition
of the existing hall with the provision of changing rooms for sports
pitches at a cost of about £100,000 and possible loss of 0.075
hectares of land. RBC is however investigating ways of delivering this
option without any loss of land at the Playing Fields.
Footpath from Russet Glade
Blocking of the footpath between Jefferson Close and Russet Glade was
threatened by possible development at the rifle club site, and several
local residents submitted written evidence forms, and gave oral statements
to the legal department at Reading Borough Council, to have the footpath
formally added it to the definitive map and statement. Notice of a
Modification Order was published in the local press in early November,
and notices were posted at the ends of the footpath. However, a resident
in Jefferson Close has made an objection and the papers will now have
to be forwarded to the secretary of state for a ruling or the appointment
of an inquiry.
St Barnabas Church Garden Party
We again participated in the St Barnabas Garden Party on a pleasant sunny
Saturday last July. With the World Cup in progress the organisers had
chosen football as the theme. The Association had an ‘identify
the celebrity’ game, including several footballers but also film
stars, royalty, cartoon characters and politicians. This proved very
popular and a contribution of about £25 was raised for the charitable
Daynes Education Trust. We also recruited several new members at the
stall, which was very encouraging.
Art work at Clayfield Copse
Local artist Jenny Leach, who spoke at our last AGM, has kept the Association
informed on her progress regarding the artwork proposed for Clayfield
Copse. She has gained the support of RBC Parks Department and pupils
at Highdown School are now involved. Jenny has now submitted a bid
for a grant of about £5K from the Arts Council, and the Association
has provided a written statement in support of the proposal.
North Area Youth Project (NRYP)
Tina Heaford, the Youth Leader, and her team are working very hard and
the youth provision in the north Reading area has increased fourfold
in the last year. The provision has forged a good working relationship
with Highdown School and the young people have responded very positively.
There is now a much greater diversity of opportunities within the Youth
Service for the young people of the area. Association member, Tara
Taylor, continues to provide representation on the management committee,
and, overall, things are very encouraging in the North Reading Youth
Caversham Safer Community Forum (CSCF)
The Forum held a Community Safety Fair in Westfield Road Recreation Park
on 22 June, which provided children’s entertainments, competitions,
crime reduction freebies and refreshments. The event also gave visitors
a chance to have their say on a SAFER READING, and over 500 questionnaires
The CHURCH HOUSE facility is working well. The Police Office is opened
on the first Monday of each month from 5pm to 8pm. They are averaging
18/25 visits per evening and this has led to 2 drug convictions and a
lowering of anti-social behaviour. The police undertake to resolve all
real issues within 2 weeks.
NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING will come into force in February 2007, which will
mean a different approach to local policing as the priorities will be
chosen by the public as well as focusing on national priorities like
burglary, drugs and robbery. It will take at least 2 years before it
is rolled out across the Force during which time NEIGHBOURHOOD ACTION
GROUPS will be set up to include the Police, Local Authority officials,
and relevant agencies, residents` groups, school, publicans etc. There
will be more newspaper, TV and radio publicity when the scheme gets underway.
One disappointment during the past years was that the lighting that had
been provided along with the youth shelter and the skateboard ramp at
Clayfield Copse was vandalised very shortly after it was installed. The
repaired light now has stronger reinforcement of the breakable parts
and the height of the lights has been raised slightly.
Thanks are due to Bob Cruickshank and Vera Bodman for representing the
Association on the Forum.
The Association has continued to be active in cleaning off graffiti from
traffic signs, road signs, NTL boxes, etc.
This has resulted in Emmer Green looking much more cared for than other
areas north of the Thames. It has been noticed that NTL have repainted
some of their boxes in lower Caversham with paint that helps graffiti
to be more easily removed, and we are asking NTL to repaint all the boxes
in Emmer Green with the same paint.
Continued in-fill development continues to blight many streets throughout
the village and the following are some of those that have concerned
the Association in the last year.
Betting shop (Coral Estates) 1 Kidmore End Road - single storey front
372-390 Peppard Road – 12 houses.
9 Buckingham Drive – block of 10 flats.
161 ‘Old’ Peppard Road - 4 houses.
Lyefield Court (Cedarcot) - 9 new dwellings.
58 Crawshay Drive - block of 8 two-bedroom flats or 3 detached houses.
41-49 Grove Road – 9 houses.
94 Kidmore End Road - block of 8 flats.
44 & 46 Kidmore End Road - a 2-storey 2-bedroom house.
Rifle club building (off Jefferson Close) - 3 detached houses.
72-80 George Street (Whiteknights Laundry) - 76 residential units (mainly
T-Mobile lamp-post antenna & base station, Esso Garage, Buckingham
Hutchinson 3G lamp-post antenna & base station, Evesham Road and
Association’s web site
The Association’s web site, which can be found at www.map-reading.co.uk/egra,
contains current and previous newsletters, minutes of committee meetings,
a current issues page, AGM minutes and reports plus links to other web
sites of interest. Again, thanks are due to Clive Ormonde who not only
skilfully maintains the site for us, but who has revamped the site this
last year. Members who have access to the internet are encouraged to
join the email group by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org This
will enable the membership secretary to provide you with current news
Many thanks as usual to all the committee members for their active and
invaluable support throughout the year and the time they have unselfishly
devoted to pursuing matters brought to their attention by members of
the Association. Thank you also to Julian Pearce for again auditing
the Association’s accounts. And thank you to the local (Peppard)
ward councillors for their continuing interest and support of the Association’s