Newsletter – Autumn 2019

WHAT HAS ACER BEEN UP TO?

  • Traffic Tailbacks and Transport Planning  ACER attended the Earley meeting of the Local Transport Plan Working Party, at which officials and advisors on the new Transport Plan listened to our feedback on traffic issues in Whitegates.  This included the recent extra long tailbacks along Church Road and Woodlands Avenue caused by changes to the traffic lights by the Three Tuns.  In addition, the problem of parking by Reading commuters and residents in Whitegates due to the recent tightening of parking restrictions in Reading was highlighted.  It was pointed out that both problems were caused by Reading who had not consulted Wokingham Borough Council.  Several other problems were brought to the consultant’s attention including the difficulty and hazards of walking small children to school across busy roads and along narrow pavements close to fast moving traffic.  A summary of our input was sent to the traffic officials, together with our recent response to the idea of double yellow lines at junctions and the earlier paper on the impact of increasing car ownership.  All three documents can be seen on our website.
  • Parking on Pavements Wokingham Borough Council traffic wardens are not authorised to take action against vehicles parked on pavements or causing obstructions, as these are still a matter for the Police. Following pressure by Councillors, WBC have agreed that Traffic Wardens can place Parking Infringement notices on vehicles blocking pavements or causing obstructions.. Persistent offenders will be reported to the Police.
  • Preventing unsuitable development: ACER continues to monitor all Planning Applications.  ACER attends Earley Town Council planning meetings on your behalf, as required, and has influenced decisions made by the ETC Planning Committee.   If there are changes in your street which look out of character, check the WBC planning website https://www.wokingham.gov.uk/planning/planning-applications  and let ACER know.
  • Improving public safety: ACER works closely with Woodley and North Earley Community Forum (WANE)to identify local policing priorities.. Future meetings – Wednesday 20th November 2019 and Wednesday 12th February 2020. 7-9pm at the Oakwood Centre, Woodley..
  • Grass Cutting: Houses backing onto the A3290 reported that undergrowth at the edge of the cutting was invading their gardens.  This was taken up with WBC who found that they had omitted to include these areas  when new contractors  were  appointed.  This was rectified  and the undergrowth has been cleared.
  • Street Cleaning. Members have reported some streets are not being swept of leaves and the drains not cleared due to parked cars. Pressure is being exerted on WBC to bring forward Traffic Orders to get parked vehicles temporarily moved and for the streets to be cleaned in accordance with the day stated on the WBC schedule
  • HMO’s (Houses of Multiple Occupation).  These are rented properties where three or more unrelated people live in the same house and share some of the facilities.   Such properties can present problems to neighbours from parking etc and can present health , wellbeing and safety problems to tenants.  WBC are updating their lists of HMO’s.  If you know or suspect that a property is an HMO let ACER  or WBC Environmental Health know, to ensure all HMO’s are checked and licenced.
  • Climate Emergency  WBC are asking residents for their ideas on combating climate change . WBC have started erecting ‘cut your engines’ signs on roads which often have  stationary traffic.  Other ideas are restoration of green front gardens and tree planting. Contact the WBC website and put Climate Emergency Consultation into the search box. to submit your ideas.  The Consultation will remain open until the end of December.  ACER may be able to get some free trees from the Woodlands Trust.  If you can identify suitable locations for trees, we will ask.. let us know.
  • Litter Picking  Earley Adopt-a-Street Initiative (EASI) is a voluntary group of friendly  litter pickers, some of whom you may have seen. EASI still need pickers for Bridges, part of Church Rd, Oldfield and part of London Rd.. Contact  easilittergroup@gmail.com or visit the EASI Facebook Page ‘EASI Litter Pickers – Earley’.

Security Reminders

Leave a timer operated  light on in the evenings in your house if you are not getting back till after dark.

Burglars are getting smarter. They know when you are out on short trips e.g.  school runs and are often in and out within 10 minutes

. Sign up atwww.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk for the latest local information and advice from Thames Valley Police.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSO). Sadly, due to shortage of money, the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police has stated that, the local PCSO’s will not be  replaced once they have retired or moved on.

Residents Social Evening held on 15th September

The Social Evening was well attended and groups of residents enjoyed being able to meet up and chat over a drink and nibbles both before and after formal proceedings.   Before the formal proceedings started, residents were invited to add items to the Agenda and six topics were added for discussion. Four of our local Councillors were able to attend and they were able to answer several of the questions raised by residents. Following the success of the evening, ACER will be having further social events in the future.

The main points raised at the meeting are in a report on our website www.acerwwhitegates.org.uk:

PLEASE NOTE: Next Door Whitegates. This organisation HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ACER. Members are advised that a company called Next Door is behind this website which seeks  to access all your contacts. Some members have reported that letters received in the post with a neighbours name on it turned out not to have knowingly authorised the use of their name. Many messages seen are from further afield e.g. Caversham or Hurst, so not just Whitegates as implied by the invitation letter.

Your committee hope that this newsletter throws a light on work that ACER does on behalf of Whitegates residents.

ACER wants to have more members in every street so that it can fully reflect your views.

You can come along to Committee meetings or chat to us informally, whatever your views.

A C E R –  OF THE COMMUNITY –  FOR THE COMMUNITY

ACER CONTACTSemail: chair@acerwhitegates.org.uk      Committee:Tim Marsh (Vice Chair,  Acting Chair)       Siôn Williams ( Treasurer), Eric Ayers, Mary Bather, Jenny Lissaman, Graham May, Chris Wigmore,

Local Wokingham Borough Councillors:  

Local Earley Town Councillors: