A council meeting is the big budget production of Reading Borough Council meetings, which all councillors are summoned to attend. Katesgrove’s three councillors were there for the last full council meeting before the May elections. Katesgrove councillor Rose Williams (Labour) is standing for re-election in May.
Election fever was in the air with some dramatic and passionate exchanges throughout proceedings.
Will the lead councillor comment on the assertion by Green councillors that the proposed east Reading mass rapid transit scheme “is a new version of the infamous cross town route” ?
This gave the lead councillor and the Green Party an opportunity to provide an encore of their performances at the strategic environment, transport and planning committee of 24 November 2015 (next performance 5 April 2016).
In a second solo performance, Matt Rodda asked councillor Paul Gittings, lead councillor for culture, sport and consumer services:
Can the lead member for trading standards update the council on action to stop unscrupulous developers advertising flats which do not have planning permission and are not going to be built ?
This follows a shocking case in Katesgrove where potential tenants were offered flats which were not built and which did not have planning permission. I’m concerned that a very serious misunderstanding could take place which could lead to potential tenants losing money and at the very least having their hopes of a home dashed by unscrupulous developers.
The response by councillor Gittings began:
In the case councillor Rodda refers to, officers from trading standards acted quickly to investigate the advertisement. No evidence was found that any money had been taken, or that anyone had been misled by the advert. Officers warned the company that the advertisements were potentially misleading and they were immediately changed to reflect the advice.
The meeting lasted three hours and other business included a motion on the local NHS re-organisation proposed by NHS England. The proposed re-organisation would include Reading within Berkshire West, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
This council agrees to:
- request that the managing director write to the chief executive of NHS England and the secretary of state for health detailing the council’s objections to these proposals
- instruct the managing director and senior officers to continue with their dialogue with local NHS partners to propose measures to protect the position of locally driven and responsive health and care services by:
- securing an absolute commitment to maintain local integration plans based on local needs and priorities,
- exploring how Reading health resources can be ring-fenced and protected for Reading residents,
- securing a commitment that Reading Borough Council will have a role and be consulted on developing NHS sustainability and transformation plans,
- continuing to impress on health partners that social care is an essential part of providing better care for our residents and is central to delivering the NHS five year plan.
The lead councillor for health, Graeme Hoskin led the debate which lasted almost three-quarters of an hour. It concluded with a vote of 34 in favour and eight against.
- Council meeting 22 March 2016 agenda and papers
- Reading councillors 2015-16
- Webcast of council meeting – each agenda item features separately
- NHS England