Reading Borough Council (RBC) proposes to save £221,000 by losing five environmental neighbourhood officers, which will mean “it will no longer be possible to support community initiatives or run RESCUE events.”
In the council’s Budget proposals 2016-20 they said that the remaining neighbourhood officers will carry out statutory highway inspections and management work rather than environmental enforcement and monitoring. They state that community and neighbourhood initiatives would thenceforward be confined mainly to council housing areas.
The council says:
This scale of the savings, coming after the £65m savings implemented over the past 5 years, represents a greater challenge than anything previously faced by the Council. The savings needed over the next year to both balance 2016/17 and 2017/18 will be the greatest amount the Council has implemented in a single year.
The council adds that their proposed rationalisation of the neighbourhood support team may mean they will not reach their recycling target of 50% by 2020.
You can discuss this with your councillors at their ward surgeries or by contacting them directly. The next Katesgrove ward surgery will be at the Pau Brasil Cafe, 89 Mount Pleasant on 1 October at 10.30am.