The year on Katesgrove Hill

Some years are defined by great songs, some by great personalities, some by great tragedies. This year has been alarming both nationally and internationally, but on the oft-ignored local level, the year was defined by the sound of the tide going out on civic society. The world clearly has bigger problems than the damage wrought by the tortured thrashing of Reading Borough Council as it gets strangled by central government, but one can only be dismayed at the prospect of more of the same next year, exacerbated by the council’s difficulty in controlling its finances.

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A year in planning

Reading Borough Council Civic Offices

The apparently relentless drive to convert the area’s pubs, offices and vacant lots into flats and HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) continued apace this year. Some proposals, including the demolition of the After Dark Club and the Woodley Arms, were rejected, whilst others, such as the new residential care home near the Rising Sun Arts Centre, will proceed. The saving of the South Street Arts Centre was a major success in keeping Katesgrove at the front of Reading’s arts scene.

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