Liberal Democrat councillor Ricky Duveen used Reading Borough Council‘s (RBC) full council meeting on 25 February to say that the “never-ending issues with producing the council’s accounts are a disgrace.”
Reading Borough Council (RBC) have published their unaudited accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019. These, along with “all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to those accounts”, can be inspected on weekdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm until 9 April 2020. This is nine months after the statutory deadline of early June 2019, but it is an improvement on the previous year when the inspection period opened over a year late.
Reading Borough Council (RBC) has a schedule of charges for everything from overdue library book fines to planning fees and advertising on the Whitley Pump roundabout. The list covers 26 pages and is a fascinating insight into the minutiae of local government, Reading style.
Supermarkets Marks and Spencer, Morrisons and Aldi and wholesaler Bidfood are now donating their unsold produce to the Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA) at 252 Northumberland Avenue in Whitley, Reading. The food is available for free; this is not a formal food bank, so neither social services nor any charity has to refer anyone. People do not have to fill out any forms or identify themselves to take the food they can use.
Reading Borough Council (RBC) will discuss a 3.99% increase in council tax at the full council meeting on 25 February. This includes a general increase of 1.99% (2019/20 2.99%) as well as an additional 2% which will be spent solely on adult social care. RBC is also responsible for collecting ‘precepts’ for the police and fire authorities with council tax payments.
The Reading UK community interest company will host an information evening about Heritage Open Days on Wednesday 4 March at 5pm. The information evening will be at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) on Redlands Road and the open days themselves run from 11 September to 20 September this year.
Councillors at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 17 February opted for a quick meeting. The time was taken up with three questions from a member of the public and three from Councillor Rob White. In the answer to his first question we learnt that Katesgrove is almost at the bottom of Reading’s tree cover league.
The office for standards in education in England, Ofsted, inspected the John Madejski Academy (JMA) in January 2020 and reported that the school ‘requires improvement‘. Ofsted noted that the school is already improving, adding that there were problems with some teachers’ lack of expertise as well as pupil attendance. The JMA principal Camilla Thornalley agreed that the school is improving, saying that they had been aware of the problems Ofsted raised and had plans to address them.
The great Coley Park black poplar was, for me at least, one of the most iconic trees in Reading.
Prestige Student Living are advertising that their student accommodation at 79 Silver Street will be open in September 2020. The student rooms and apartments available vary in price from £250 per person per week to over £310 per person per week for a 51 week tenancy starting from 12 September.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) intend to modernise the electricity mains on Milman Road, Spring Gardens, Essex Street, Mellor Walk, Aveley Walk and Elizabeth Walk between 17 February and 6 April. This will lead to 30 minute electrical power outages whilst the electricity supply is switched from the old to the new mains cable.