Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
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    April 29th, 2012jamiewakerdgPlanning Applications

    While trawling planning applications to see what might affect people here in Whitley, I noticed that St James – the developers of Kennet Island – have submitted a planning application to change the use of what was the Dentist (Unit 9) on the piazza so that they can extend their offices.

    This time last year the dentist ceased trading.  It only accepted private patients and many people didn’t use it.  At the time, the Dentist flanked the Piazza alongside a Shop, Unisex Hair Salon and a Cafe.  Now we only have the Island Lounge, a residents gym (managed by Hallmark) and a shop which is trying to regain trust back from the residents.  A proposed Chemist was never completed and promised Cash Machines were never installed either.  Apart from the Island Lounge and the gym, the central piazza is hardly used.

    I belive that St James should be working with residents to identify amenities that they need.  St James should then actively pursue them.  The piazza should be a thriving central part of the Kennet Island Community.  A Surgery, Chemist and Dentist is highly desired by residents.

    Of course, any residents wishing to comment on this Planning Application can do so by visiting the Planning Portal at http://planning.reading.gov.uk and searching for 12/00625/FUL.

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    April 5th, 2012jamiewakerdgkennet island

    Junction between Gillette Way and Manor Farm Road by Kennet IslandAs many of you will know from Kennet Island Update, I launched a petition to fight for improvements to Gillette Way and the junction to Manor Farm Road.  I had set up a petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/safety-drivers-pedestrians-gillette-way-reading/ and although this is still yet to be presented, the TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT ADVISORY PANEL met on the 15th March 2012 to discuss this very subject (minus the crossing).  The report reads:

    “…due to the relatively quiet nature of Gillette Way outside of normal working hours, drivers of articulated vehicles tended to use the road as an overnight parking facility. The existing waiting restrictions permitted this as they only applied during the day. However, since the introduction of the Kennet Island development, the use of Gillette Way and many of the surrounding roads had considerably altered, with regular trips made throughout the day by residents on foot, by car or on the new public transport links. This change had resulted in the overnight parking along Gillette Way causing considerable obstruction along its length, and in particular to the bus services. Therefore, it was proposed to review the existing waiting restriction with a view to altering the hours of operation to protect the route…”

    The report recommended:

    “…(1) That, in consultation with the Chair of the Panel, the Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Transport and Planning and Ward Councillors, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services be authorised to include these requests as part of the 2012 annual waiting restrictions review, and make the appropriate traffic regulation order in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996;
    (2) That any objections received to the traffic regulation order, be reported to the Panel at the appropriate time…”

    This report will be presented to Reading Borough Council Cabinet on 16th April 2012 at 6.30pm.

    Whether someone had noticed that I and others here on Kennet Island were campaigning for this and wanted to act prior to the submission of our petition is irrelavent as at least some sort of action is being taken.  Sadly, there is no mention of a safe crossing which I will of course pursue.

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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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    On Wednesday evening, I was asked to accompany a resident to a meeting with developer, ST James, regarding residents concerns over the ever increasing service charges imposed by management agent, Hallmark. It is quite apparent that residents do not feel they are getting value for money and feel that they are being overcharge as well as being charged for services that they do not receive. The resident that had arranged this meeting was frustrated as she had contacted her elected councillor for help and she felt she was palmed off without any support. I was only too happy to help when other options failed her. The resident also invited a member of the Kennet Island Residents Association to the meeting as they hadn’t met with St James regarding the service charges and to avoid duplication over this issue.

    The meeting did seem proactive and I’ll update residents when agreed actions have been carried out. I will be meeting regularly to pursue the issues surrounding service charges plus any other issues that arise. During this meeting, the issues surrounding broken street lights on Kennet island have been raised. The lack of lighting in areas such as Gweal Avenue have created pockets of darkness by bike sheds and alley ways and seem to be hotspots for burglary. I anticipate ST James resolving this very quickly.

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