Hoardings go up at Former Lok n’Store site

Hoardings have gone up around the former Lok n’Store site on Berkeley Avenue. Site clearance work is taking place behind the metal barriers.

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South Reading community hub takes shape on Northumberland Avenue

WCDA, RBC and Beard Construction at the South Reading Community Centre, December 2017

Reading Borough Council (RBC) is transforming the South Reading Community Centre on Northumberland Avenue into a ‘community hub’ that will include a library, children’s centre and meeting spaces together with the existing Whitley Social Club and Café.

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Whitley Social Club and Cafe is community centre “for the first time in thirty years”

From L: Micky Leng, Chris Bloomfield, Steve Kirby (back), Imke Wilson (with book, front), Ian Holt (red shirt, back), Trisha Bennett (with scarf, front), Charles Carrington (with hat, back), Matthew Farrall (striped shirt, front), Liz Grugeon, Derek Chapman.

The Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA) elected officers for the coming year at a well-attended annual general meeting on 13 December. Community development co-ordinator Trisha Bennett and funding and finance officer Mo McSevney also explained in detail what the WCDA does and how it has evolved throughout 2017.

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Up Holy Brook without a paddle: Interview with Audit and Governance Chair

Interview with David Stevens.
Venue: Sweeney & Todd.
Date: Friday 1 December 2017 @ 18:00

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.

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Matt Rodda interview: My priorities as Reading East MP

Matt Rodda with fellow Katesgrove councillors Sophia James (L) and Rose Williams (R) at the Katesgrove councillors’ surgery at Pau Brasil on Silver Street

The Whitley Pump met Matt Rodda, still Katesgrove councillor but more preoccupied with Westminster business these days, in the Global Cafe at RISC on London Street. He explained how he was pushing for things in Parliament that local people wanted and his top three priorities were to fight austerity, fight against hard Brexit and provide more affordable housing.

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Adrian Lawson: teaching English to our refugees

Adrian Lawson

Reading based naturalist and bicycle kitchen pioneer Adrian Lawson makes an unlikely Professor Higgins, but for the last three years he has been helping refugees learn to speak English at the Reading Refugee Support Group. We met up for a relaxing carafe of loose leaf tea in the smart C.U.P. café at St. Mary’s Butts for a chat about his voluntary work.

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The next episode of “up Holy Brook without a paddle”: the RBC Audit and Governance committee – a satire?

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.

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