11th May 2000
Paul Gallagher, Mrs Jill Verran, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mrs Sue Ballard,
Mrs Anne Ayres, Mr G Goldsmith, Mr Bill Goodworth.
Bill Harper, David Miles, Brian Warren, Vera Bodman.
Minutes of the last meeting (2nd March 2000) were approved
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
It was hoped the long awaited resurfacing would begin on 15th May.
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.
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.
Any Other Business
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.
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.
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.
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.
Date of next meeting
Tuesday 22nd August, at 8.00pm. 6 Tredegar Road.