Whitley MP Alok Sharma says new build leasehold ‘has got to stop’

In a parliamentary debate on 21 December 2017, Reading West MP Alok Sharma (Conservative), who is also the minister for housing in the department for communities and local government, condemned property companies’ practice of imposing high and increasing ground rents on leaseholders.

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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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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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