Meet your Reading Borough councillors at the Whitley Labour Party Ward Surgery on Saturday 17 August at 10.30am. They will be at the Whitley Wood Community Centre, Swallowfield Drive, Reading RG2 8UH for an hour and a half.
Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) statement of accounts for the year ended 31 March 2017 were signed off by the auditors Ernst & Young (EY) on 19 July. The RBC audit and governance committee on 23 July was informed of the completion of the tortuous and frustrating process that the audit had become. EY’s audit results report sets out numerous failings in the accounts which mean that the audit report has been qualified.
Last Monday night’s policy committee agreed to recommend an increase of two councillors, bringing the total in Reading Borough to 48, as part of the ward boundary review being carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBCE). Continuance of the current programme of electing one third of councillors in three out of four years was also approved. Leader of the council Jason Brock took the opportunity to deliver a lecture on democracy and the changing nature of the role of councillors, which is available on webcast.
Katesgrove councillor Rose Williams has been appointed as a non-executive director of Reading Transport Ltd, which is wholly owned by Reading Borough Council (RBC). The council’s policy committee acts as the shareholder and, among other duties, is responsible for appointing directors to the company.
Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East and shadow minister for transport (buses), took part in the Active Travel debate in Parliament on 9 July. The Whitley Pump called “house!” at the end of his speech, having completed at least one line in any direction as well as all four corners of our political buzzword bingo card, with a bonus prize for the mention of Reading.
Leader of Reading Borough Council (RBC), Councillor Jason Brock proposed a motion to the full council meeting on 25 June to increase councillors’ special responsibility allowances (SRAs). In the motion, the 183% increase for the leader of the council and lead councillors which had been suggested by the independent review panel was reduced to 164% and 149% respectively.
Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) independent remuneration panel has recommended significant increases in the allowances paid to councillors, such as lead councillors and committee chairs, who have additional responsibilities. The basic councillor allowance of £8220 per annum will not change. The report from the panel will be considered at the RBC full council meeting on 25 June.
This week, Reading Borough Council (RBC) will again review the premises licence for the After Dark night club on London Street. At the last review in April, there had been complaints by local residents of loud music beyond licensed hours, alleged breaches of noise abatement notices, and concern from Thames Valley Police (TVP) about drug use and violence on the premises.
Alok Sharma, Conservative MP for Reading West and the minister of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), took part in a debate on Universal Credit and Debt on Wednesday 5 June. The debate had been requested by Ruth George, Labour MP for High Peak and took place in Westminster Hall.