Minutes of Committee Meeting
Summer 2001

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Thursday 23rd August 2001

Present: Mr Paul Gallagher, Mrs Jill Verran, Mrs Margaret Ormonde, Mr David Miles, Mr Brian Warren, Mrs Anne Ayres, Mr B Cruickshank, Mr G Goldsmith

Mrs Sue Ballard Mr Bill Harper Mrs Vera Bodman

2.Minutes of the last meeting (10th May 2001) were approved

3.Matters arising

Precinct Car Park
Work had been undertaken to repair the paving slabs outside the shops and generally improve the area. A barrier had been erected at the entrance to the car park to prevent tall vehicles entering, and although this had been demolished once, it had now been replaced.

Highdown Recycling Site / Clayfield Copse Car Park
No real progress had been made on improving the surfaces of these sites. The chairman took an action to chase RBC for a progress report.

Parking along Kidmore End Road
The situation remained the same with regard to car parking along the road, particularly at the junction with Grove Road. The problem had been exacerbated by the new bus route, which meant that no less than six buses an hour were now using the road. However it wasn’t a simple issue of sending up the traffic wardens, as often, local residents had nowhere else to park. Margaret Ormonde agreed to contact Annette Hendry to see if the Councillors still had plans to conduct a survey of car owners in the vicinity.

Communications Masts
Concerns continued, and a petition organised by Julian Pollock of Peppard Road had successfully persuaded Reading Borough Council not to go ahead with the proposed mast on the triangle of land at the junction of Surley Row and Peppard Road. However they were now obliged to find an alternative site in the area. The 15 metre mast destined for the White Horse was on private property, and as it wasn’t illegal its fate was in the hands of Greene King the brewers. Paul Gallagher was to pursue Chris Brown the new Lib Dem Councillor to see how things stood, and whether local residents should actively protest.

Junction of Kidmore End Road and Peppard Road
Committee members had ensured that the Council did not forget to cut the triangle of grass overlooking the pond, although things were far from perfect. The missing bricks had been found and replaced. There were concerns when the roof of the Bookies had been refelted, because the tar was being prepared on the bricked paving, but this had largely been cleared away. Unfortunately the RBC refuse bin assigned to the Newsagent still remains at the front of the premises, creating a local eyesore. Both the Hairdressers and the Bookies have no objections to it returning to its former location, the Council approve and the Newsagent says he agrees.

St Barnabas Road Verges
Bob Cruickshank reported that the council had arranged for a team of workmen from Bolton to replace the missing topsoil, and for those householders who were lucky enough to be home on the day, remove debris left behind when the road was resurfaced.

The website, created and maintained by association member Clive Ormonde was now up and running and had attracted at least one person to contact the association through the site. Despite attempts to ensure we were on a search engine this had not materialised and it was thought it might help if we established links to our site from other groups. Some posters had been put up advertising the site, but Caversham Library had not yet displayed theirs.

4.Treasurer’s Report
This was circulated and showed both the cash flow position for the Millennium book account and the Associations Building Society account. The former had a total inflow of £5,022.24 and the latter a balance of £2,474.92.

5.Feedback from Committees

North Reading Youth Project
Some of the surplus funds had been used to improve facilities within the Emmer Green Community Centre, such as resurfacing the floor and providing a frieze made by local art students.

Safer Caversham Forum
The proposed street lighting had been abandoned because of objections from nearby residents, but extra lighting along the walkway from the surgery to Eric Avenue was being proposed by Cllr Hendry.

Anti-Car Crime Week
Members of the Emmer Green Residents’ Association were singled out for praise for their contribution to the volunteer workforce. The work involved checking parked cars to ensure they were locked and that no valuables had been left on display. A friendly reminder was stuck to the windscreen where it was felt security needed to be improved. Particularly enlightening was the session at the Hill’s Meadow car park where stolen goods were spotted, and a sleeping baby left in an unattended car.

North Reading Area Consultative Committee
There had been now recent meeting of this group and thus there was nothing to report.

6.Any Other Business

Petty Crime
Air gun pellets had been shot through a window of a kitchen in St Barnabas Road. The police did respond eventually, but no action was taken apart from a letter offering counselling for the victim. There was a spate of vandalism and petty crime at the northern end of Highdown Hill Road. It was known who the perpetrators were, but things were not pursued because of a lack of evidence. Committee member Brian Warren lived very near to the area and was a useful point of contact for those affected.

Planning Applications
The rush to infill land with new houses continued unabated, and although the committee didn’t oppose this in principal, it was concerned that the housing suited the area, and that the majority of local residents were happy with the development and construction caused the least disruption. Bell Court, behind the recreation ground was now nearing completion, and although there had been some minor differences over the retention of the hedge, the buildings themselves were quite stylish and fitted well into the area. There was no news on the site opposite, but further down Kidmore End Road behind nos. 46-52 Mr Ralph Ivens of Barnstaple had submitted plans for two large detached high quality houses. Whilst the committee had no objections to building on the site it was felt that consideration should be given to the type and size of property, and perhaps, also to compatibility with existing surrounding dwellings.

Water Problems
Mr Geoff Goldsmith reported that due to problems with the water pressure, there had been a mini flood in Rosehill Park, causing the roadway to rise. Repairs had since been carried out, but the road surface had been left in a bit of a mess.

Chambers Copse
In the light of new evidence, there had been an appeal hearing at SODC on 16th August, and new witnesses called to speak. Unfortunately, things were no different from last year and it was highly unlikely that the path would be re-opened whilst under the present ownership.

7. Date of next meeting
8:00 Thursday 22 November at 23 Tredegar Road.