Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
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    October 19th, 2011jamiewakerdgcommunity, kennet island, local, park, st james

    Today I met with the Area Team Leader for the Youth Engagement Service Reading Borough Council, South and East Reading to discuss how we can provide a service for the young people that live on Kennet Island.

    Whilst the development is being built, there are very few facilities for children on the island leaving them no option but to play in the roads or on piazza which pose risks to the children. A play park was installed for young children but with the absence of green space or a park (the two green areas are too small for older children to plan in) until the next phase is completed, the alternative is to utilise areas away from the island.

    When I was chair of the Kennet Island Residents Association, we envisaged this being a problem. Since then, a number of parents have approached me to share their concerns.

    I can confirm that today’s meeting was very successful and we can have access to a Youth Worker on Monday Evenings providing we can source volunteers to support the running of a service. We also envisage an after school club on a Wednesday. I will be providing further details shortly. Volunteers will receive full training and can work towards an NVQ 2 but will require an Enhanced CRB which Reading Borough Council will fund. Please contact me if you would like to volunteer.

    Understandably, a Youth Club needs a venue and I have approached ST James for access to the meeting room.

    I hope to be able to provide more detailed information shortly.

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    I have just got home from the Annual Kennet Island Fun Day and I can honestly say that the day was a roaring success.  The day is a community day in the purest sense of the word and is organised by a small but hardworking residents association that I once had the privilege of chairing before deciding to stand in Whitley as a Local Councillor.

    Jamie Wake manning a stall at the Kennet Island Fun Day

    Jamie Wake manning a stall at the Kennet Island Fun Day

    Being a resident of Kennet Island, Elections came secondary to me today.  When I wrote the constitution for the Kennet Island Residents Association that became adopted by the officers, I ensured that the association remains impartial politically.  Today I was just a resident who had a stall that represented his Travel Agency.  The Labour Candidate, Kelly Edwards, was on site and I got to meet her with Mike Orton and Rachel Eden.  Understandably, I could only make small talk as today was about the Kennet Island Community – not politics or the elections – and besides, I had a stall to run!

    As well as stalls, there was entertainment for the children and a fancy dress competition.  There was also a raffle and me and my partner both won prizes.  I won a set of wine goblets and my partner won 2 return train tickets on First Great Western to anywhere between Reading and Penzance.  I chose not to talk about the elections with residents when approached as I wanted to enjoy the day with the community.

    Then again, Local Politics is all about the community and I am standing to serve that very community in Whitley.   I think it’s telling that I am the only candidate in this election that actually lives in Whitley and I think all political parties should really take localism on board when selecting candidates.  At the end of the day, who else would understand the area except the people that live there?

    One of the things that we’re reminded of at the Fun Day is the growing number of Children on the development and lack of amenities for them.  KIRA Kids Club did well to get the play area installed earlier and having spoken to the technical manager at St James, the park and Boules Green are set to open Mid August.  With the addition of the reopening of the cafe as the Island Lounge (and applying for an alcohol license), that means all parts of the community are starting to be catered for.  So, on the island we currently have:

    • Cafe / Bistro
    • Hair Salon
    • Convenience Store
    • A Meeting Room
    • 2 Gyms (one on piazza and one in the Hilton)
    • A bar (in the Hilton)
    • A Restaurant (in the Hilton)
    • A Hotel
    • Kids Club
    • A Travel Agency

    Soon we’ll have:

    • A Pharmacy
    • A Hospital
    • A Play Area
    • A Park
    • A Boules Green

    Then think of all the people who are self employed from home who can also provide services!  Photographers, Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Recruitment Consultants – to name just a few that I know of.

    Kennet Island is a thriving community within Whitley and I’m proud and privileged to live here and I’m proud to stand here as a candidate in the local elections.  As my partner said yesterday – Local Issues = a local candidate and as many people in Whitley have told me, they agree and I agree with them too.