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Winter 2009/10

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7:30pm Tuesday 19th January 2010

Present: Margaret Ormonde, Barry Prior, Bill Harper, Jill Verran, Vera Bodman, Carol Gibson.

1. Apologies Jenny Leach, Cathi Edwards.

2. Minutes of the last meeting (Monday 7th December 2009) were approved.

3. Matters arising:

Committee Vacancies and Long-term Recruitment
MO and JV prepared to continue on committee, but only for another year. Transition would be eased if newcomers found to understudy present holders of posts. Personal approaches to be made to likely individuals, who would be invited to the next committee meetings to see what goes on. It was appreciated time-wise the more demanding roles would suit retired or part-time workers. Our younger contributors continue to be valuable, even if they had a smaller workload. Possibilities of roles sharing.

No 24 Bus Route
Thanks given by MO to BP and JV for their help in campaign. One of the reasons the 23/24 set up has remained is to give Caversham Park residents direct access to Caversham via the Hemdean Road. However, by curtailing the Courtenay Drive loop, residents in that area have been denied the same opportunity. The subsidised 28 will provide a very limited option. Conflict of interest, as RBC run the buses, via Reading Transport Ltd and are also the regulating authority. Motts Travel also provides one daily bus into Reading via Caversham. ReadiBus services were also being promoted. Residents urged to use buses as much as possible to maintain services.
EGRA members on email have already been notified and thanked. Laminated notices had been attached to bus stops and information is also in detail on the website. Any non-email member who wrote to EGRA has now received a paper response. A proposal to leaflet all residents in the area was rejected.

Drinking Fountain
JL has been working hard on the project. Application for £1,000 grant was turned down. Situation to be discussed with RBC’s landscape architect Marianna Pentek, who will work on new playground. Possible alternative sources of funds: Biffa recycling company's small grant scheme (up to £5,000) or Waitrose Community Matters grants.

Jefferson Close path and housing file in RBC legal department: awaiting information. (BP) Hicks appealing against planning permission refusal. Footpath hearing on 20th April.

Highdown School
Display boards enquiry in hand. (BP)

25th Anniversary Celebrations
EMC Jazz Band soundtrack not possible at present. (BP)

28 April 2010 at 8pm at the Grace Church. Awaiting details of Network Rail speaker. (MO)

Caversham Court
14 May 2010 at 7pm.

Hill School
Awaiting news of invitation to attend school council meeting.

Trees Replacement in Park
Awaiting news from RBC.

Clayfield Copse Wood Carvings
BP had surveyed site with Anne Latto. In hand.

Sustainable Iroko preferred. Awaiting response from RBC. Seat by shops - MO to chase.

Both accepted. Subscriptions should cover expenditure at present level. BP will investigate insurance when comes due in April. Substantial amount of funds in bank at present; only small amount necessary. Guidelines for expenditure: if committee not all agreed, can consult membership.


Neighbourhood Action Group
Will be re-launched at Highdown School on 9 February 2010, 6-8pm.

Helen Lambert of CADRA informed of meeting of Safer Reading Forum at Civic Centre to discuss matter. Merger of both NAGs and Safer Caversham Forum agreed so as not to duplicate efforts. However the proposal to merge Upper and Lower Caversham NAGs was controversial. MO attended and supported Insp Penny McKenzie that Upper and Lower Caversham should be separate, as their needs differ.

The new community led group will meet every two months or less. If no-one comes forward to act as Chair, local Councillor will. Upper Caversham venue problem is now resolved. Upper Caversham is largely a low crime area with a few hot spots. Unless residents are personally affected, won't attend meetings.
EGRA will help with publicity campaign in the hope of good attendance at the re-launch.

North Reading Youth Project
AGM on 20 January. MO will attend. Emmer Green Community Centre extensions likely to cause traffic disruption in surrounding area from summer 2010 to planned completion of building in spring 2011.

Age Concern 50+ Meeting
25 January at St Barnabas Church Hall. VB will attend, taking leaflets.

6. AOB

Ice and Snow
More grit/sand boxes needed, especially on hills; with telephone number for refill on box. Awaiting feedback from Councillors and MP on RBC’s reaction to and plans for future similar conditions.

Open Third Bridge Meeting with CADRA
Proposed for 25 February 2010 at Baptist Church Hall (near Waitrose), when more progress has been made with arrangements. Could be held jointly with EGRA.

Wednesday 10 March at 7.30 pm at BH 37 Kidmore End Road.