Tuesday, 11 November 2014

North Reading Green Matters!

Current topics, NHS under threat in UK, poverty and vulnerable in need and 100 years since WW1.

I was very happy to attend the new Interfaith Group for Reading on sunday.

If we do not engage in faiths and all of society's needs, we cannot learn and go forwards. Friendships are built on trust and the need to embrace cultures is ultimately respect for others.

Our NHS in under threat! With over 40% of district nurses gone in a decade and loss of over 2,000 nurses in the year of September 2012, and our GPs leaving in droves because of increase in working conditions and lack of backup to support them, a squeeze is taking place, Mr Bevan (the founder of NHS) must be turning in his grave! And to read today report on vast amounts of money given to people in top jobs in NHS for redundancy and then they go straight back into these jobs two weeks later with large sums of money for their pay??  How fair is that?

With increase in poverty and food banks, ReadiFood have been kindly accepting the generosity of people in Caversham donating tins and food items for the needy this month.

Our planning laws are under threat, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a disaster for the countryside. It throws away 60 years worth of environmental protection. So what can we do to reclaim land? The attempt to introduce a Land Value Tax by MP Caroline Lucas and Jenny Jones in the Lords, is a long overdue first step towards ensuring that the benefits gained from land are shared fairly. A profit for a few isn't fair but ultimately a need to have 'environment' on every business agenda is imperative for existence of our wildlife in UK.

Locally, our Christchurch Meadows is now a building site! With diggers and lots of equipment erecting the new pedestrian bridge. Although this bridge is for cyclists, pedestrians and disabled users, which The Green Party ofcourse advocate using green transport, because of any increase in carbon emissions making climate change which has now this year been fully reported in media and scientists have finally be able to report to the nation that there is a link and we must do more to tackle this, the location and structure of this bridge is quite near to the other one (Reading Bridge) which could have been better looked at to solve our problems in meeting the needs of movement in travel for Reading/Caversham, instead, this was rushed through at great expense and with high cables no thought for the flying swans and geese which adorn this area.  So wrong location, wrong design and more light pollution along our Thames is coming!  Not the way forwards!

To get involved with The Reading Green Party, a party for the people and environment, check out www.readinggreenparty.org.uk

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Green view of Caversham in the Autumn 2014

Another new member for the Green Party very pleased!

It is now autumn, yes it is...   in Caversham.

Almost all the roads have been resurfaced and still line painting to be done in many places though!
Litter bins, new railings and fly tipping amongst many other things, reported on fixmystreet.com  totalling nearly 170 items todate!

Glad to be addressing many issues for the residents in Caversham.

Awful to see large chunk by the river gone to accommodate the new pedestrian bridge on Christchurch Meadows (or as they are now called Thames Park)!

The new play area has been moved and sited right next to the tennis courts and so many mums and dads have agreed with me that all the green area has now been gone?

I will continue to boycott this bridge when it is up, although it is 'green' for cyclists and walkers but it is quite close to the Reading Bridge and takes up so much green meadow (yes it is still really a meadow, although getting carved up at a rate....) why couldn't a walkway be sited on to the side of the existing Reading Bridge instead of taking so much of Christchurch Meadows???

And to make way for the construction of this bridge, 7 poplar trees are being felled on George Street (these beautiful trees iconic viewing from Tilehurst's McIllroy's Park) for access of building materials and machinery into the meadows!

I will push for more wildflower planting and to have replacements for these trees in due course.

Over the weekend I was in Forest of Dean collecting seeds for Woodland Trust. Beautiful there just into Monmouthshire on the border of England/Wales.

If you get a chance, go and enjoy many walks and the River Wye.  Magnificent countryside.

Getting back to Caversham, the Reading Festival has now gone and clearing up started almost straight away with lots of litter to be picked up and tents and boots etc - given to charities to sell I believe.

Enjoyed seeing many friends at www.readinggreendrinks.org.uk meeting every 1st tuesday  6.30 onwards at RISC Reading International Solidary Centre, London Street, Reading.

If you love folk music and also they have many 'green' meetings from tackling environmental issues to celebrating cultures in the World - go and join in www.risk.org.uk 

So much to enjoy in Reading with new eateries, shops and new station. Wow! 

Just need new Theatre and decent swimming pools and Ice Skating Rink, City Farm and more tourism things to get people coming into Reading.

If you go around the World and say you are from Reading UK, people say 'ah yes - Rock Festival'!!  Yes, and although its fab for Reading and Leeds ofcourse, we are not known for our heritage which has been eroded so severely over the decades which is extremely sad for a City in waiting.

So glad to be putting these ideas to the movers and shakers in Reading!!

If you like to get involved and make a difference and love your surroundings, and love green policies, (u can find these on www.Thegreenparty.org.uk)   

join us. www.readinggreenparty.org.uk 

Love to cut your carbon footprint?  Go conference calling more...


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

It's June in Caversham and all green foliage is taking over in many places!

Time to cut back and trim those hedges, lawns and but wait...  keep some lawn for wildflowers instead.

Today we see reforms to pensions, shale-gas exploration, tax-free childcare and new garden cities to be announced in UK.

What with the NHS facing dire challenges and inequality abound in society, glad the Green Party in the UK which I support and a member and hopefully will be elected to be candidate in Caversham for 2015 (General Election year), is for fairness, transparency and the common good. I am very pleased to be highlighting our hard work and we gained 14 more seats in UK.

After the elections, I came third this year but had more voters so I am very pleased. 

Josh Williams in Park Ward and Cllr Rob White for the Reading Green Party were elected. So pleased their hard work has paid off.

In Caversham proposed development of St Martin's Precinct can be found on http://www.stmartinscentre-caversham.co.uk.  Please send your comments on what you would like to have for caversham centre and any issues you feel that are not being addressed, send your views.  

From the recent meeting, many people didn't like the glass and box like building. They wondered where any red bricks were like the other side of the road on Church Street. And people also concerned with any extra flooding risk in the area.

Caversham has Readybikes almost in place. You will be able to join on line then tap in code and hire a bike.

With summer days here (well it is 3rd June)....., many things to celebrate including the Caversham Festival, Reading East Festival, Waterfest, Cinema screenings in Caversham Court Gardens, and ofcourse a sport called Football!   World Cup Football this year! And just having enjoyed The Big Lunch at St John's Church, Caversham - steady stream of guests attending on the day, lovely array of foods to try. Thank you to everyone who participated.

With environmental issues we now have hydropower coming for Caversham Weir. www.GREN.org.uk join if we want to help environment more. About time Reading made more use of its natural assets for energy.

We are lagging behind many countries to cut carbons and have greener energy. US has taken its first step to cap carbon emissions from power plants by the next 15 years! 

We are however, increasingly building more solar farms in UK and incentives are in place until 2015.

Reading Station will officially be opened by the Queen next month the £895M development will also benefit from Cross Rail coming to Reading.

With a new allotment to look after, so excited many things to plant and organise and tend to and casework to do for caversham residents, love my community.

Also holiday time off to look forward to. Hope for sunny days to come.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Election time 22nd May 2014

So its Election time 2014 in Caversham.

I am the Candidate for Caversham, Reading Green Party.

This year if you go on www.fixmystreet.com you can actually see what I have addressed to the Council.
Almost over 2/3rds of what I have reported has been done and so pleased.

I became interested in politics three years ago when the Libraries in the UK were going to be closed down and thought well this is an outrage!!

I liked the Green Party because of their fairness, integrity and transparency and being Green so joined and haven't looked back!

I love nature, I am RSPB campaigner in UK and love my community.

Caversham has grown over the years with influx of people enjoying living close to the Town Centre and we do have some lovely green spaces, although these are at risk with development. So campaigning against the development of leisure facilities on the Christchurch Meadows this year, was my pleasure to do so to protect this area.

With the environment on many peoples mind this year more than ever because of the storms, flooding and scientists finally agreeing that climate change is here, we need to do more to help protect nature and cut carbon emissions.

So pleased to say that locally we now have new community cafe. The 3C's. Located in St John's Church Caversham, for the community to use open tuesdays at the moment, but engaging with the community to call in and enjoy. 

The lovely Caversham Court Gardens are well used in better weather and they even have a theatre in the open in summer months too. Come along and enjoy many events there.

So Lower Caversham right next to the River Thames, so much to do and with our bustling village, many restaurants, shops and hopefully a market in future too.

With increase in population comes increase in traffic in Caversham.

I am also pleased to use my bicycle to get around Caversham, much quicker than being in traffic.

So cutting my carbon and also advising friends of car sharing and using public transport more we can all get around much better.

With sore feet and many people to speak to on the door step whilst canvassing, great to address many issues that residents want tackled.

The Greens in Reading are very active with two Green Councillors and hopefully three or more after 22nd May. And also increase in Green Party in UK is refreshing for many.

With many issues like promoting more Insulating Homes to reduce bills to campaigning on protecting our green spaces and wildlife, look at The Green Party and their manifesto and hey, decide.

If want to get involved go to www.readinggreenparty.org.uk 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Fracking, Food Banks and Flooding

What a heading, but yes, we do have fracking in the UK now, food banks and we have just seen major flooding again.

France has banned fracking in their country and with the USA having problems in the past with this method, why are we going ahead with fracking when we also have fragile chalk lines?

Whilst many residents in the country are still in temporary accommodation because of the floods, is the Government doing enough to tackle climate change? Greens don't think so.

Scientists would say that there is good evidence to suggest our carbon emissions mainly from vehicles are causing more heavy rain fall and a change in our weather patterns that we are seeing today.

Great to have Josh Williams standing for Green Party in Park Ward.  Melanie (who stepped down recently has moved and so wasn't in the area and therefore felt she couldn't give enough time to help residents which is a shame but understandable and we wish her well).

Locally to me in Caversham, the sonning road was shut for around 6 weeks because of the floods. This area has had major aggregate extraction and is very low lying, so when and if we get heavy rain falls again, the road needs to be raised and why it was allowed to have extraction in a low lying area seems ludicrous really!

I am pleased to have been involved with many e-mails to the South Oxfordshire County Council on this matter and the last letter I received states that they are going to raise the height of this road, so hopefully no more snarles up with traffic.

In Spain they take their aggregates off the top of a mountainous region!!  Not on low lying areas which in future might cause flooding issues more in the UK, so is this something for planners to include in the future!

Getting back to issues in Caversham.  Green ones ofcourse!

We have seen yet again very over long vehicles coming through the village which are huge and this small village and in some places very narrow, I am continuing to address this matter with our local MP.
I was so pleased to pressure the Council on getting St Peter's Hill resurfaced and new signage there for safety last Aug/Sept. So although there wasn't any elections last year because of there being County Elections, (Reading is a Borough), I managed to get around 250 items from pot holes to more planting, road cleaning to lobbying on Bedroom Tax in UK.

Today I have been out and about with mums and children doing the Easter Egg Hunt Trail.  It was very busy with some tired children flagging and some smaller ones so excited!!

On wednesday evening we went to our local pub and one resident said 'was that your Greenpeace leaflet you put through my door',  well it was the Green Leaf from the Green Party infact, and we had plenty to discuss.

Thinking of housing, late last year Labour councillors voted to reduce Reading's new build, affordable housing target from 50% to nearer 30%. We have around 10,000 people on the council housing list and our two green councillors will keep working hard to make sure everyone has access to affordable housing.

To help with climate change we can all do our bit by having our homes insulated. The Reading Borough Council does have details of this or write to me on jenny@readinggreenparty.org.uk and I will pass on details of where to get help with insulating your home which also would then help cut bills!  So win, win situation!

With election day coming on the 22nd May and ballot cards are reaching our homes this week.
If you don't vote, you voice isn't heard, so please vote and have your say.

If you want to get involved with the Green Party in Reading go on line www.readinggreenparty.org.uk
For fairness, integrity and transparency.

Friday, 17 January 2014

New Year, Flooding, Rail Prices, Fracking and Spring Flowers!

The New Year has started with a thud.

Residents very cross with high levels of noise from new Reading Station development. To drill, dig and build near homes late at night and very early in the morning, what about good nights sleep while all this is going on?  And who will benefit?  I do hope many people are going to be getting out of their cars and going by train, possibly not because of higher rail fares!!

In Caversham we have been experiencing flooding again. High levels of water across the Christchurch Meadows and many trees damaged due to water logged roots! Why are we still building on floodplains? And if we continue to build into the water table, then this disperses water elsewhere possibly causing flooding where it hasn't been experienced before.

With the change in our weather patterns becoming more extreme, many reports suggest high rate of carbons eg car pollution contributing factor for the change. I have been promoting more cycling for Caversham and the need for 20mph in many areas.
(So pleased to have addressed many issues last year in Caversham for residents as Candidate for Caversham, Reading Green Party.)

The need to address more cheaper Public Transport in UK to get UK moving should be a priority instead we have overcrowded trains and the usual three first class carriages which are usually not used... and ofcourse just after Christmas extra cost of rail travel which restricts many people from being able to visit major landmarks and tourism places in UK.

On the subject of Fracking, which is the extract of shale gas and has been tried in America. The process is you drill down one mile and then drill along to the shale line and extract gas, huge amounts of water are needed to extract this and then a mixture of chemicals and sand are then pumped into the area to fill up the hole where the gas was!!! Ah, but what about all the water that is needed to extract this gas?  Where is all this water going to come from in times of drought in this country? What about gas contamination of our water supply? What about when the sand and chemical mix breaks down in years to come and leaves vast holes everywhere, what if???

If you agree to end Fracking, please write to your MP on faxyourmp.com

We should be promoting hydro and solar more like a lot of other countries. I made my own solar panel in London at Stepney Green City Farm and I had a Somali farmer on the course with me!

Lastly but not least, my spring flowers are just coming through, last week in fact. Lovely to see nature is doing its thing.

If you want to get involved locally in Caversham for Green Issues and interested in Green Party go to www.readinggreenparty.org.uk

Friday, 8 November 2013

Winter Tales/Pedestrian Bridge and Swans

That time of year again.  Wet, getting colder and leaves coming off the trees!   It must be Winter Time again in UK.
Last week enjoyed a walk around Mapledurham, the sun was shining then for a couple of hours before completely disappearing!
Plenty of lovely birds on our walk and many Red Kites very high up in the sky.

Reading Green Party's Campaign under way to get more 20mph limit on roads in Reading.
With Caversham roads very snarled up because of the Whitchurch Bridge closure for 6 months, we are having to deal with more traffic coming this way!

We had one dead swan two weeks ago on the Reading Bridge in Reading.  It was awful to see, its outstretched wings flat on the main road and traffic diverted around until the authorities could come and deal with it. Very sad to see these beautiful creatures lying still on the ground like that.

With the proposed new pedestrian bridge, which I opposed, because of it not being in keeping with the other two bridges and also the close proximity of the Reading Bridge and the erosion on to much loved green space that we call Christchurch Meadows!

Our green spaces in Reading are getting gobbled up at a rate this past year in Reading!!  Allotments in Tilehurst going, Allotments by Cow Lane went last year and even Maidenhead have increased their Allotments there, what are we doing???  Getting rid of them and still building!!

When this new pedestrian bridge is built and the usage isn't clear, because of the width of the bridge, you cannot cycle, walk and have disabled people use this all at the same time?  So bad planning on someones part!  But the real effect of this proposed bridge will be clear in time, with the local wildlife there probably being disturbed and will move up stream, which will be a shame because there is lots of inhabitants there at the moment where the bridge may be built.

Swans and Geese also need a lot of room to take off into flight and there may be a problem with injuries to these creatures if a bridge with beams coming off of it, the creatures fly into it and get hurt.

So did the planners think of these points?

Such a shame that all this consultation and investigation into new bridge over the Thames has come at a huge waste of time and money and there were many objections but the decision was passed anyway!

Such bad news and undemocratic!