Our interview with Tony Page continues with reflections on Reading, its waterways and the Abbey.
Tony Page has been a councillor for 45 years and is lead councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport and deputy leader of Reading Borough Council. The Whitley Pump interviewed him at the beginning of December at the Civic Offices on Bridge Street and we started with a local topic.
Lloyds pharmacy at the Milman Road Health Centre does an excellent job for the community. However, the deliveries, which are not controlled by the local manager, are becoming a danger to people using the road.
The Whitley Pump had a conversation with David Stevens (Conservative), chair of the Reading Borough Council (RBC) Audit & Governance committee (A&G). Over a pint in one of our favourite venues in Reading he helped us understand how he sees his responsibilities and accountability. The good ship RBC is attempting to deliver the accounts 2016/17 for audit by Xmas and the same times as getting to grips with managing the 2017/18 budget, struggling with reconciliations and attempting multiple computer software upgrades and changes.
A dour set of councillors trooped into the council chamber for the Reading Borough Council (RBC) audit and governance committee meeting on 21 November to find out if the captain, chief executive Peter Sloman, and his first mate, strategic finance director Peter Lewis, had any good news for them about their voyage to get the accounts sorted out.
Earlier this year the New Christ Church Primary School entered a competition run by Redcliffe Imaging Ltd, a Bristol-based company who produce wall murals. As part of the entry, the school explained that, with their 150th anniversary coming up, they would really love to have a copy of the 1880 map of Reading which showed the school and its surrounding area.
The Whitley Pump commissioned a design which would capture the identity of Katesgrove and incorporate local landmarks and brickwork. The design is now available on tote bags and back packs.
Courtesy of the “Reading-on-Thames Festival“, which is sadly a misstatement when clearly Reading’s whole history is based on the River Kennet, came free culture in the form Reading Between the Lines Theatre Company’s play The Life and Death of Reading’s King. For the lucky 700 ticket holders on the night of 15 September this was a history making moment.
Reading Full Council Meeting
28 March 2017
I will try to succinctly sum up this meeting, drawing out any local interest matters to our readers on Katesgrove Hill. All resolutions and motions were accepted unanimously except one. I will start with the most fascinating agenda item.
Staging this play presents an amazing challenge for the Progress Theatre. They have to create over 130 characters with 28 actors, create two major battles and many smaller skirmishes, represent 43 locations on a small stage, costume the 130 characters and create puppetry for the daemons (a physical embodiment of a human soul).
The application to demolish Katesgrove’s After Dark Club and replace it with 10 apartments was rejected at Reading Borough Council’s planning applications committee on Wednesday 7 December.
A Whitley Pump opinion
Much was made by the audit & governance committee on 18 November of the problems caused by the transition from the previous auditors, KPMG, to the new ones, Ernst & Young, who were appointed by the Audit Commission to audit Reading Borough Council (RBC) for the next three years.
Do I stay at home to watch England v Scotland on television or should I find out more about King Henry, whose remains are being searched for in Reading’s Abbey Ruins? Culture wins; off to the Catholic Church next to the prison.
This is the story of a wall. Not just any wall, but a wall on Katesgrove Hill.