October 2018

WHAT HAS ACER DONE FOR YOU?

  • Improved public transport: During Autumn 2017 ACER representatives worked with Earley and Woodley Town Council to survey use of the No 12 bus and prepare a report with recommendations regarding this service to WBC. The result was the reinstatement of the original No 19a/c bus route in September 2018.
  • Reduced litter: ACER has worked with EASI (the Earley Adopt a Street Initiative) to ensure that there is now a volunteer litter picker for every street in Whitegates.
  • Protected Bulmershe Open Space: ACER representatives have lobbied WBC regarding protection of the Bulmershe Open Space from illegal encampment. As a result, WBC have replaced missing posts and extended the bund along Woodlands Avenue. ACER continues to monitor WBC plans and proposals to ensure that this valuable open space is protected from harmful development.
  • Reduced speeding: ACER has worked with Thames Valley Police to ensure that one member of the ACER committee is trained to use the Community Speedwatch equipment. ACER has identified those roads in Whitegates which are subject to speeding, and alerted the Speedwatch team. It will now be possible for this equipment to be used to monitor roads of concern and contact drivers who are traveling over 30mph.
  • Improved grass cutting and street cleaning: ACER monitors the condition of the roads and verges in Whitegates at regular intervals and discusses their findings with WBC. ACER has contributed to the current WBC consultation on grass cutting, highlighting areas of concern in Whitegates, and hopes to work with Earley Town Council in the review of the current system to ensure that Whitegates streets are better maintained.
  • Protected our riverside: ACER is now looking carefully at the resubmitted MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) plans from Reading BC. The original plan was rejected by the WBC planning committee. The new plans, displayed at the Waterside premises and designed to ally the objections raised by WBC, show the same bus scheme but the appearance of the concrete bridge has changed. Traffic flow in and out of East Reading will remain the same and a mass movement of passengers on a fast tramway into the centre of Reading is still omitted.
  • Improved public safety: ACER works closely with the Woodley and N Earley Community Forum to identify local policing priorities (currently anti-social behaviour and speeding) and to share public safety information on protection from burglary and fraud. Come to the meeting on 5th December, at the Oakwood Centre, to ensure that concerns of Whitegates residents are made known to the neighbourhood policing team.
  • Preventing unsightly development: An ACER member invited the most senior WBC planning official, Simon Weeks, to see the best and the worst of Whitegates. He was taken aback by some of the more extreme and unsightly extensions and alterations which have taken place under the guise of ‘development’. Fortunately, ACER’s scrutiny of applications means that the worst excesses are no longer repeated, but there is still some way to go before all development is in keeping with the leafy suburb as originally conceived for Whitegates.

Do you own or live in a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)? If so government definition of an HMO is changing and there are new regulations. Check you comply at www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111167359

Would you like to ask a question at a WBC full council meeting?  Contact your WBC councillor / ACER / call WBC on 0118 9746000 / use the link.  www.wokingham.gov.uk/council-and-meetings/meetings/ways-of-participating

 

WHAT DOES ACER WANT TO DO NEXT?
Improve Communications through our new website

Look for www.acerwhitegates.org.uk using your search engine to find the new ACER Website. Would you like to be our website editor and keep the Home page articles up-to-date. Please contact chair@acerwhitegates.org.uk

Increase membership

We would like more Whitegates residents to become involved with ACER so that we are aware of the issues that are of concern to all those living in this area. This will also enable us to communicate relevant information regarding local provision and public safety more widely. Details below about how to join.

Have a representative in every street
The volunteer litter picking system is successful because there is at least one representative for each street. Our ultimate aim is to have an ACER representative for each street so that we have someone who can tell us exactly what is of concern to their neighbours and deliver newsletter and other information. Interested in representing your street? Contact a committee member/email chair@acerwhitegates.org.uk 

Recruit new members to the executive committee
We have recently lost 3 committee members (including the chair) who have moved away from the area. Interested in local community issues? Contact a committee member/email chair@acerwhitegates.org.uk

Update our list of community provision
Our current list of activities available to Whitegates residents can be viewed on the ACER website (under ‘local events’) or email if you would like a copy. Please do get in touch if you know of any provision we should add.

A few reminders

Considerate parking: Parking on the pavement can cause inconvenience to pedestrians. It can create hazards for visually impaired, disabled and elderly people or those with mobility scooters or pushchairs. Parking on the pavement can also damage the kerb, the pavement or the services underneath. Such damage can create more hazards for pedestrians and can be costly to repair. Pavements are for people – please don’t park on them

Are there building works on your road which look out of character? The number of formal Planning Applications for Whitegates is now minimal. Any current work may be under ‘Permitted Development’ rules (similar style/materials to the main property). These apply to many small projects which still have to comply with building regulations. Work may be being done without permission. The most common breaches are non-porous concrete and asphalt laid in former front gardens. Outbuildings also often require planning permits. If you believe work is or has been done incorrectly, it can be reported to Enforcement section of Wokingham BC. It will be investigated but your name will not be disclosed to the owners. Do copy ACER in. Contact ACER or see ACER website for more details.

Sign up at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk to receive the latest information and advice from the local police.

Membership Fees of £2 for 2018/19 are now due.
Online banking –
please email the treasurer (treasurer@acerwhitegates.org.uk) for account details
PayPal –  https://www.paypal.me/ACERWhitegates/2
EMail us with you name and address and we will arrange for someone to collect.

 

ACER CONTACTS – email: chair@acerwhitegates.org.uk
Committee: Siôn Williams (Acting Chair / Treasurer), Eric Ayers, Mary Bather, Jenny Lissaman, Tim Marsh, Chris Wigmore,
Planning Sub-committee: Tim Marsh, Jenny Lissaman, Les Holder

Local Wokingham Borough Councillors:
Andy Croy
  andy.croy@wokingham.gov.uk  07793 767314;
Carl Doran carl.doran@wokingham.gov.uk  07811 157287,
Shahid Younis
    shahid.younis@wokingham.gov.uk   07775 655630

Local Earley Town Councillors:
Alison Swaddle
swaddleal@hotmail.com  07792 104221,
Munir Ahmed  munir592003@yahoo.co.uk 0118 9266889;
Sheena Matthews  sheena.matthews@btinternet.com  07766 424098