Minutes of Committee Meeting
Spring 2000

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Tuesday 11th May 2000

Present: Mr Paul Gallagher, Mrs Jill Verran, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mrs Sue Ballard, Mrs Anne Ayres, Mr G Goldsmith, Mr Bill Goodworth.

1. Apologies
Bill Harper, David Miles, Brian Warren, Vera Bodman.

2. Minutes of the last meeting (2nd March 2000) were approved

3. Matters arising

Cllr Ian Fenwick
Following on from Ian Fenwick’s discussion on town cleanliness and graffiti, Paul Gallagher had attended the next meeting of the Safer Caversham Forum. A ‘Graffiti Sub Group’ had been formed to help tackle the problems. Two lads had actually been caught daubing graffiti, and it was hoped that if they were made to clean it off that news would filter down to other groups. The Council will come out to clean it off their own property, but the defacement has to be reported to them first. They are supposed to respond within three days, but as the problem spreads they seem to be taking longer to tackle things. A meeting of the North Reading Youth Group was due to take place shortly and the subject would be brought up then.

St Barnabas Road Traffic Island
Parents from Emmer Green Primary School had been balloted and those who had responded were overwhelmingly in favour. The work will be undertaken in due course.

Chambers Copse Footpath
A large number of Emmer Green residents had attended the public enquiry for the appeal against the re-opening of the Chamber’s Copse footpath at the offices of South Oxfordshire District Council in Crowmarsh. The appeal really hinged on a technicality of the law, not on the benefits or aesthetics of preserving a woodland path, and certainly the first half of the day seemed very protracted with Oxfordshire seeming hopelessly inefficient at times, and Mr Lehay, a chartered surveyor, counsel for the appellants sounding quite the opposite, but perhaps being not quite as knowledgeable on the law as he thought he was. Witnesses were called during the afternoon and a visit to the site with the inspector arranged for Friday 12th May. At the end of the Miss Fishwick for SODC gave the final summing up which gave signs for optimism. She sited a prior case law, and because of this Mr Lehay asked for an adjournment and 30 days to study previous case law. After his visit to the site, the inspector will be making a recommendation to the Secretary of State. It was hoped things would be resolved before too long.

Emmer Green Millennium Project
The exhibition was now less than 10 days away, and final arrangements were being made to ensure everything went smoothly. A rota was set up to ensure there were people to welcome visitors and also to guard the IT/TV equipment being loaned to us by Highdown School. About thirty people had been invited to a preview, and it was decided EGRA funds could be used to provide wine and nibbles. Local newspapers had been informed and it was hoped they would both publicise and report the event. A visitors’ book would be provided for the Mayor Bob Green to sign, followed by others if they wished. Jane Moody at Highdown had been working hard to set up a website for us. Most of the 1000 publicity leaflets had now been distributed.

Grove Road Development
Nothing further had happened, but Hicks the builder in their attempts to buy off property had now been left with a little parcel of land at the end of someone’s garden, which they had no access to.

Safer Caversham Forum
Paul Gallagher had been attending the meetings, as Alan Elliott, our former representative had left the committee. Geoff Goldsmith agreed to attend future meetings. There had been a big increase in reported crime during the last reported period. Caversham ward itself was the worst affected with figures up from 53 to 117. A lot of it involved the theft of, or from motor vehicles. It was generally felt that the police were slow to respond to petty vandalism, and that a lack of presence on the ground just seemed to exacerbate things. It was noted that if the regular bobby was on leave, crime went up. The North West co-ordinators were meeting and a campaign for more police would be undertaken.

St Barnabas Road
It was hoped the long awaited resurfacing would begin on 15th May.

Gravel Hill Development
Unfortunately nothing could be done to prevent large delivery lorries from using the road to get to the building site. The developers, however, had promised to fund a study into restricting the traffic along Gravel Hill after building work was complete.

4. Treasurer’s Report
Current balance was £2208.52. There were still around 20 members who hadn’t paid for this year, and they would be reminded. It was also hoped to place forms out at the exhibition in the hope of attracting new members, particularly from areas not previously covered.

5. Any Other Business

North Reading Youth Project
Sue Ballard reported that the Council needed to define whether the role is consultative, as opposed to management. A sub- group has been set up to deal specifically with youth problems. It was hoped to set up computers at the centre with the hope that it might encourage mor older people to learn about IT.

The talk at the AGM by Anne Latto of Friends of Clayfield Copse had been very well received and she hoped many people would be attending the Woodland Day there on 17th June.

Bugs Bottom
It was planned to build 41 houses on land that had previously been set aside for a school. Most of these were large four-bedroomed houses, and the plans even showed building across a footpath.

Identity of Emmer Green
Paul Gallagher had responded to a letter that had been published in the Reading Chronicle the previous week saying that Emmer Green was very much alive and well, and even had its own postcode area! At least we had signs at either end of the main road indicting to people that they were entering Emmer Green territory, even if one of them was not in quite the right place. We hope to pursue the creating of a traditional village sign in due course.

Lyefield Court
Plans had been submitted for seven townhouses to be built on what was formerly unused land behind the recreation ground, adjacent to Lyefield Court. Concerns had been expressed by some of the residents about the effects it might have on the area.

6. Date of next meeting
Tuesday 22nd August, at 8.00pm. 6 Tredegar Road.