Thursday 8th June 2006
Present: Paul Gallagher, Margaret
Ormonde, Bill Harper, Brenda Deller, Vera Bodman Tara Taylor, Brian
Warren Jill Verran, Diana Hartrup, Bob Cruickshank, Mark Hutchings
1. Apologies: None
2. Minutes of the last meeting (Tuesday
7th March 2006) were approved.
3. Matters arising
Woodland Carvings :
Steps would be taken to source suitable logs, so the project could
be resurrected. Anne Latto (FOCC) to be contacted.
Village Sign :
It was hoped maintenance of the village sign could be carried out
soon. The Berkshire Woodcarvers had been consulted and emphasised
that it was important to remove/bleach out discolouration before
applying stain/preserver. (The Berkshire Woodcarvers currently
have a display of their work on the Civic Offices, Reading).
Coral Betting Office, Junction of Peppard Road/Kidmore End Road
The situation remains the same with yet another withdrawal and re-submission
by Coral to extend into a prime open space. Any suggestion of alternative
premises, including taking over the now empty Balfour store, have
been firmly rejected.
Post Office Closure :
This had been the main on-going concern since the last committee
meeting with lots of activity to seek alternative premises and
encouragement for residents to bombard PO Headquarters with letters.
Cllr Mark Ralph had also organised a petition. Despite this, the
premises were now shut and boarded up. It is a facility in Emmer
Green, which is very sorely missed and pressure needs to be kept
up for a speedy re-opening.
Highdown School Award :
Deputy Head, Mr Loveys, had responded enthusiastically, and details
were being put before the school’s committee. It was thought
an annual sum of around £50 would be appropriate – either
one bigger award or several smaller ones.
A write-up and photo were
in the current edition of The Caversham Bridge
4. Treasurer’s Report
The Association’s funds continued to rise and currently stood
at £6315. Suggestions for minor projects included some which
were already in the pipeline (Clayfield Copse log carvings, Highdown
book award) and new suggestions under AOB.
5. Feedback from Committees
North Reading Youth Project:
Tina Heaford continues to be very positive and proactive. This included
going out and talking to youths on the streets, and would welcome
feedback of where youngsters are ‘hanging around’ particularly
on Friday and Saturday evenings. The shelter near the skateboard
facility in Clayfield Copse was now installed and it was hoped
the lighting would be incorporated soon. It was felt there could
be more for youngsters of all ages in the locality and possibilities
included a basketball goal or football net. Younger children would
enjoy the logs once carved, but for health and safety reasons,
the choice for this age group was limited.
The sports field at Clayfield Copse had unfortunately been home to
an impromptu BBQ. Although much of the debris had been cleared away,
there was an unwelcome charred patch of turf. It was a difficult
scenario and obviously illegal, but not something high on the police
Apparently there had been problems by the river for young canoeists
because of use of a personal helicopter. Hopefully it would be resolved
Safer Caversham Community Forum
Bob Cruickshank has decided to relinquish his role attending forum
meeting. Vera Bodman was happy to return to the task. Thanks to Bob
for his participation and regular feedback in recent times.
Paul Gallagher had attended the meeting. Pat Baxter was the guest
speaker – the subject being Reading’s proposed changes
to the IDR. Wokingham want to take Reading to judicial review over
transport issues which will have knock on effect on their area – IDR
and the 3rd Thames crossing.
6. Planning Issues & Consultations
Coral Betting Office, Junction of Peppard
Road/Kidmore End Road :
See Matters Arising above.
84 Kidmore End Road
application for 5 houses had now been submitted. EGRA had no
Highdown Hill Road
Building of the houses was nearing completion. This lead on to a
discussion about the proliferation of illegal signs in the area.
At one time over 50. The Council had removed them – at taxpayers
expense of course.
CADRA welcomed our support and two ongoing concerns were the old
laundry site in George Street and proposals for a five storey (inappropriate
for the area) residential home in School Lane, near Waitrose.
7. Any Other Business
Proposals to replace the rifle club
(which it is understood had already moved) between Jefferson Close
and Russet Glade, with
three houses, were still being monitored to ensure the retention
of the established footpath.
This was printed copies
of some of our website information which could be given to residents
new to the area, together
with an invitation to join the association, plus the history leaflet
which was printed for the millennium exhibition. The newly updated
EGRA tradesmen’s list would then be given to anyone parting
with the annual subscription.
Open Spaces Society
Old maps already
designated the recreation ground and the allotments beyond as ‘The
with so much infill development it may be worth double-checking the
legal aspect and re-inforcing that position, through the society.
Another area that needed protecting was the path and its surroundings
between Surley Row and Stuart Close. The area had been subject to
a government initiative during the early 1980s, but the path (laid
with hoggin at that time) had received no attention since. Adjacent
land continued to gather rubbish/litter etc. It had been the subject
of a spring walkabout by Councillors and RBC, but no-one could quite
decide which department was responsible and if there was funding
available to improve the well used path. EGRA saw it as an important
right of way, which needed official protection.
St Barnabas Garden Party
be having the usual stall on Saturday 8th July 2.00pm – 4.00pm.
The theme this year was football, and one of the ideas was a guess
game – living or dead.
Grove Road Planters
Tara Taylor was
worried about the dangerous state of planters in front of houses
along the southern section of
Grove Road (near Highdown School). The problem was that trees had
been planted in them and the roots were now pushing out at the brick
walls. It seems it had been an ongoing concern over the last few
years, to the frustration of nearby residents. The subject was discussed
in depth at an RBC/Councillor walkabout in early March – ideas
included replacing the brick walls with railway sleepers, or similar.
However things remained the same and EGRA felt the need for them
to be resolved on safety grounds, with the possibility of some financial
With all the new infill
building in Emmer Green, there was still a distinct lack of ‘starter
It appears any development of less than 15 properties did not have
to consider this, so of course the builders were cunning in organising
things to suit themselves and their profits. It was hoped this loophole
in the law would shortly be changed.
To celebrate the Queen’s
80th birthday, Diana Hartrup suggested EGRA plant a semi-mature tree
in the locality – with
perhaps a plaque alongside it. The location had to be decided – perhaps
near the pond or the church, or in the recreation ground.
Emmer Green was so much cleaner
since our volunteer initiative. It was a great relief that so much
had remained clean
since removal. However one or two bits had crept back, including
some in Brooklyn Drive. A lot of committee members had kits and were
trained, so it was important to report any new ‘artwork’,
so the nearest person could deal with it.
Brenda Deller reported dead Cherry Trees
in Surley Row. Hopefully these would be removed and replaced by the
Council. A detailed map
of the area showing all trees assigned a Tree Preservation Order
was also available for inspection.
Garden Open Day
Bob Cruickshank suggested
for the future we could have an Emmer Green Open Gardens Day to raise
charity. He would be happy to be a participant himself. Mention was
made of the ‘Yellow Book’ from the National Gardens Scheme,
but it wasn’t sure if that would put too much pressure on things
being ‘perfect’ and we would be better just promoting
on a local level.
Maurice Hicks, a neighbour
of committee member Vera Bodman, was worried on two counts – first
radiation levels from the new telecommunications mast, which was
used by the emergency
services. Assurances were given it met with government and European
safety guidelines. Secondly, he had concerns about security around
the reservoir – fly tipping and graffiti in particular. He
was in touch with Thames Water to see if things could be improved.
8. Date of next meeting:
8:00 pm Wednesday 27th September 2006 at
15 The Ridings.