Protestors disrupt council policy meeting

Peter Burt, from the Save Arthur Hill Baths campaign

Protestors from Reclaim Reading, a group who use art and provocative actions to ask who controls Reading, served a ‘public information notice’ at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy meeting on Monday 24 September.

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Could St Laurence’s drinking fountain flow again?

St Laurence’s Church Fountain

Always a nice moment when conflicting agendas collide and something good comes of it for everyone. During the ‘questions from the public and councillors’ section of an edgy and rancorous Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 24 September, councillor Tony Page seemed to suggest that St Laurence’s drinking fountain could flow again.

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That’s the way to do it!

By Scaramouche.

The abrasive relationship between Reading’s Green and Labour parties hit another of its troubled patches at Reading Borough Council‘s (RBC) traffic management sub-committee on 12 September. It devolved into the kind of public row that leads to television news stories where neighbours stare sadly at bloodstained driveways and say “they seemed such a nice couple… ”

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Reading East MP Matt Rodda criticises tenant fee bill

In the House of Commons on 5 September, Reading East MP Matt Rodda expressed concern that the government’s Tenant Fees Bill didn’t adequately protect tenants from unreasonable landlord fees. He voted for amendments suggested by the opposition Labour party, but these were defeated by the Government.

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Glen’s Blue Collar Food

Glen Dinning, of the Blue Collar Food Market

Glen Dinning is the 25 year old enthusiast behind Blue Collar Food, which can be found at the Butter Market on Wednesdays, the summer foodie events at the Forbury and other recent well-received markets in Henley and Guildford. In a town where a wagon-train-like huddle of feisty independent shops and cafés survive and sometimes thrive amongst a Scooby Doo background of chain coffee shops and retail, Glen is a true innovator and entrepreneur, but he’s not a bit like Del Boy or the Wolf of Wall Street. He is a friendly Reading geezer with a blue and white hooped heart who has already achieved great things with a smile on his face and a large portion of savvy and sheer bottle. He agreed to meet me over a pot of tea to give up some of his business secrets and tell of future plans (and perhaps seek investment in my toast business). He had his phone turned off and he paid for the tea.

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Whitley Library: the architecture of hope

Whitley library

Whitley library was built in 1935 in the classical and confident municipal style of the time, and is a stand-alone building in smart red brick, with a lovely scrolled Bath stone cartouche at the top with “LIBRARY” written on it. It stands on Northumberland Avenue next to a roundabout at the heart of south Reading. There is a very similar library building in Palmer Park and the style does seem to project a pride in civic life, education and the burgeoning welfare state with that glorious dawn of the National Health Service just a war away.

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Is east Reading’s MP voting for his constituency?

Cemetery Junction

The MP for Reading East, Rob Wilson, voted in parliament in February to give the prime minister power to trigger ‘article 50’ that begins the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. There was the briefest of Twitter storms at about the same time whether the Reading East constituency had voted to leave or to remain in the EU, and whether Rob Wilson was representing his constituents.

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