Minutes of Committee Meeting
Summer 2008

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Tuesday 8th July 2008

Present: Margaret Ormonde, Diana Hartrup, Bill Harper, Barry Prior, Kate Manton, Jill Verran, Cathi Edwards, Vera Bodman

1. Apologies Carol Sutton, Tara Taylor

2. Minutes of the last meeting (Wednesday 13th May 2008) were approved.

3. Matters arising:

Committee Roles
(a) MO undertaking planning role for the time being as no-one has volunteered as yet; BP offered to assist. MO gets list from RBC once a week which she scans for local interest: so far only about one per month and small scale. MO contacts members who live close to the planned development. MO/BP met with CADRA (Ruth Perkins/Helen Lambert) re planning which was very helpful.
(b) Maintenance of village sign: BH to action.
(c) Write-ups of roles – 3 in, MO encouraged others to complete.

25th Anniversary Celebrations
KM reported on sub-committee meeting held 12th June. Committee agreed that we could offer to assist Emmer Green School with purchase of display boards (KM). JV to approach cake maker. KM to write to invite mayor to the event. BH has secured services of Red Cross first-aider. Committee also agreed that we should invite local charities to promote activities or fund-raise: BP to action. MO asked to design and produce publicity material.

Book Award
VB/MO visited The Hill school on 7th July; they talked to the Head and were shown around by 2 year 6 girls. MO offered EGRA help with publicising events at the school. Also consider paying for bird feeders, or similar for new wildlife area at the school. The school has bought 2 books with the £25.00 (one on the history of Reading and one on football). MO also promised to ask at next NAG meeting (9th July) why police visits to the school have stopped. Highdown book awards – BH attending school 17th July. MO to chase up our payment to Highdown.

Recruitment Drive
Agreed to focus on 80 houses in Highdown Hill Road area; JV to ask for local volunteers from the existing membership.

Subs owing
6 collected, 6 deleted because gone away. JV asked committee members still to chase to do so.

Emmer Green School safety
CE informed the committee that RBC has agreed to pay for a crossing superintendent (by school gates) although there are still other safety issues; CE/BP to raise road safety issues at NAG meeting. CE has further meeting Friday 11th July.

Summer Newsletter
Printed, and distributed as planned by DH.

Visit to Houses of Parliament
All places now taken, waiting list begun.

St Barnabas Garden Party
CS/CE attended, fete well attended. Collected 4 new subs on the day with 4 taking forms for later. MO proposed £10 donation to the church (agreed) as game abandoned due to windy weather.

2009 AGM
Richard Bennett (chair of Reading Civic Society) will speak. BH to get dates for hall availability.

4. Treasurer’s Report

BH informed the committee of changes to banking arrangements as Nationwide closing the type of account we use. JV suggested that BH look into Post Office accounts, otherwise will transfer to other type of account Nationwide are offering. Once BH has decided, he will get MO signed up as 3rd signature on the account.

5. Feedback from Committees

NAG (Neighbourhood Action Group) Meeting.
CE/BP attended last meeting; nothing to report re Emmer Green other than school safety (see above). CE/BP attending next meeting July 9th with instructions from committee to resist the idea of amalgamating Emmer Green NAG with Amersham Road NAG. There also had been reports from members on anti-social behaviour at the shops, which would also be a topic of discussion.

VB attended 2nd July and reported that there are changes to personnel. With Insp Penny Mackenzie replacing Insp Graham Dix. Police reported problems in various open spaces and plans to create drinking restriction zones.

TT and MO to attend AGM on 16th July

Age Concern 50++
VB reported that according to the police, crime is up in Emmer Green. They are targeting known criminals especially those involved in drugs. Also, Tai Chi class starting on Weds 10-12.00, Over 50’s conference 28th Aug at South Reading Leisure Centre. Talk from Fire Service: over 50’s can get RBFRS to fit smoke alarms for free and check out their house for fire risk.

6. Planning

St Benets Way. Planning committee rejected proposals, developer has appealed. Proposal to demolish 1 Rosehill Pak and replace with flats – due to come before planning committee on 21st July.

7. Any other business

Transport Commission
BP reported back. Key points: abandon 1 way IDR; all local authorities should work together to form local transport authority and apply for state aid; park and ride in each quadrant; selective road pricing; development of Reading station should discourage access by private cars; cycling to be encouraged (although not believed it will make much difference to congestion); enforce parking and yellow box rules. BP requested MO to circulate email he had sent to her.

Housing/Joint Environment Committee
BP attended 2nd June. Labour chairs all the committees still with other parties chairing scrutinising committees. Kieran Roughan (senior planner) spoke: Reading to get 611 houses per year for the next 10 years, to be regional hub. S Reading seen as key area for development, with N Reading not seen as a planning hotspot. BP offered to go to next meeting if available.

Jefferson Close Footpath
No definite news.

Bugs Bottom DVD
David Miles has video of 1987 protest march which Clive Ormonde has converted to DVD for lending to members.

Tennis Courts expansion
Some of the car park has been taken. Planning permission for this since 2003 (lasts for 5 years) but no record in EGRA minutes of this being discussed. Lottery Grant for 2 additional courts and a club house.

Tradesmen’s list
BP offered to store information as back-up for Bob Cruickshank.

Caversham Festival 13th Sept
Committee agreed that EGRA would not participate as too far outside area.

JV requested help in maintaining. BP suggested asking member who lives over the shops, otherwise VB and other committee members to keep an eye on it. JV to invite members.

8. Date and venue of next meeting
Tuesday 30th September at VB house, 15 The Ridings at 8 pm.