Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
  • scissors
    May 4th, 2014jamiewakerdgEight to get Straight, kennet island

    parking on kennet islandBeing a resident of Kennet Island, I share the residents frustrations – especially when it comes to the Parking Management and its Enforcement on Kennet Island.  Following consultation with residents, I developed my ‘Eight to get Straight’ on Kennet Island with Improved Parking Management being top of the list.

    Historically, there have always been issues with parking on Kennet Island.  There are simply not enough parking spaces available for the number of residents that live here.  This issue has been acknowledged by St James who have added further spaces in later phases of the development.  The parking situation has not been helped by the introduction of Parking Enforcement Companies.  The first, PCM, clamped vehicles in their spaces and even attempted to clamp supermarket delivery vehicle and we’re told attempted to clamp an ambulance!  Their threatening behaviour forced residents to call police on occasions and on one night, a group of residents attempted to block the clamper in.  Their customer service was poor and in many cases, residents clamped by mistake had to pay PCM the release fee and advised to appeal afterwards.

    Of course these stories reached the local press and the development became known as ‘Clampit Island’

    Kennet Islanders marooned by parking clampers

    Kennet Island parking row

    Support grows to fight ‘barmy’ car parking rule

    Clamped – but I had a permit

    Extra spaces should ease parking woes

    I was proud to be chair of the residents association at the time and we successfully had PCM removed from Kennet Island although they were replaced by UKPC who issues tickets.  UKPC decided to leave Kennet Island this year (Hallmark inform me that this was following ‘…a serious offence…’) and Hallmark replaced them with PCM without consultation with residents.  A petition has been launched to challenge this decision but we fear that this will be ignored by Hallmark.  After all, they manage to park in the visitors bays on Whale Avenue all day without a ticket.  Seems they have one rule for them and one rule for residents.

    Other issues with Parking on Kennet Island include the threat of a ban on commercial vehicles on Kennet Island – even if they were parked in a residents own parking bay.  This again was successfully challenged.

    Whilst UKPC were contracted, replacement and/or additional permits were charged at £5 whilst Hallmark were only charged 50p by UKPC.  Upon questioning, Pauline Southam of Hallmark insisted that the difference of £4.50 was deposited back in the developments Service Charge as income – even though there is not an entry on the service charge statements to verify this.  This is still being chased.

    PCM Park in residents bay for an hourTo give an example of PCM’s poor service, the PCM employee parked in a residents space today preventing the resident to be able to park in their own bay for an hour! A resident sent me the image to contact Hallmark and St James.

    As you can see, the current parking enforcement needs an overhaul.  That’s why its one of my ‘Eight to get Straight’ on Kennet Island.

    I will ensure that any appointed contractor by Hallmark/St James offers the residents of Kennet Island fairness, consistency and transparency.  PCM’s website state that there is potential client revenue generation from their appointment and I believe that any income generated from their appointment (or any other company) such as through the issuing of permits and any commissioned earnt should be accounted for and clearly displayed on the service charge statement and returned to residents through their service charge.

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  • scissors
    April 22nd, 2014jamiewakerdgEight to get Straight

    As a resident intending to stand as an independent candidate in the forthcoming Reading Borough Council local elections, my manifesto is not decided by a local/national political party.  I believe that it should be decided by the local residents – after all, local elections are about the local area where local residents live.  If elected on 22nd May to represent Whitley, being independent I won’t be ‘whipped’.  Being ‘whipped’ means that the respective party groups usually decide in advance how every member will vote. By having an independent councillor you’ll have a councillor who actually cares about the local needs of their residents and who will vote according to the local needs of their residents.  The residents of Kennet Island were surveyed and their needs have formed my ‘Eight to get Straight’ on Kennet Island:

    1. Improved Parking Management
      Parking and it’s control has always been a focal topic on Kennet Island.  I will ensure any appointed contractor offers fairness, consistency and transparency.  Any income generated from their appointment such as through the issuing of permits and any commissioned earnt should be accounted for, itemised on Service Charge Statements and returned to residents through their service charge.
    2. Service Charge
      Residents are concerned about the increasing service charge.  I will ensure that service charges are fair, accurate and offer residents value for money. I will propose that the management agent for the developer issues an easy-to-understand annual breakdown of how residents’ money is being spent and why certain contractors are appointed. I will also ask that they review excessive charges such as the £350 fee to issue a service charge statement if a resident decides to move.
    3. Faster Broadband
      I will continue lobbying for Superfast broadband for residents experiencing slow speeds and unable to obtain fibre broadband. SAY NO 2 GO SLOW!
    4. Safer Streets
      I will work with police and neigbourhood action groups to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. I also champion and seek to establish third-party reporting to enable and encourage residents to report incidents discretely when they occur.
    5. Cut Speeding on Roads
      One death on the road is too many. I will contiue to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding to local businesses including Royal Mail.
    6. Better facilities for Young People
      I will ensure that young people have something to do.  For example, establishing youth clubs and activities which will take them off the streets.
    7. Neighbourhood Planning
      I will ensure that the local community is consulted with correctly to ensure that there is suitable affordable housing and ensure there are adequate suitable local school places. I will also ensure that planning decisions in the future are community-based, sustainable and in the best interests of the local community and not developers.
    8. Give Power back to Local People
      Many residents feel left out of the decisions made that affect their lives.  I will ensure that local forums and residents groups are able to be established and supported to give residents a stronger voice.

    These ‘eight to get straight’ are areas of concern for the residents that live on Kennet Island and as a fellow resident, I appreciate why these have been raised as local issues.  Look out for my ‘Eight to Get Straight’ in Whitley.

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  • scissors
    May 20th, 2012jamiewakerdgkennet island, Planning Applications

    Drake Way Kennet IslandOn the 3rd November 2011, a report was made to the Traffic Management Advisory Panel at reading Borough Council about installing waiting restriction along Drake Way on Kennet Island – Drake Way is the adopted road on the Island that does not currently have parking restrictions – this is a godsend to residents living here considering there is a great lack of parking spaces for residents and visitors on Kennet Island!

    The report reads as follows:

    1. PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    1.1 As the Kennet Island development progresses, access concerns have been raised by existing occupiers and future occupiers with regards the on street parking which occurs along Drake Way during weekdays. This on street parking can result in large vehicles being unable to reach there destinations safely while undertaking deliveries. These occurrences are likely to increase when the private Circle Hospital is completed and occupied in the summer of 2012 and when future development to the south of the Hilton Hotel commences.

    1.2 When the Hospital and further development (which is included in the adopted Master plan for Kennet island) is completed, there is concern that the current levels of parking may obstruct emergency vehicles.

    2. RECOMMENDED ACTION

    2.1

    That the Advisory Panel not this report.

    2.2

    That the following recommendation is made to Cabinet.

    2.3

    That in consultation with the Chair of the Advisory Panel, Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Transport & Planning and Ward Councillors, the Head of Legal Services be authorised to carry out statutory consultation on the relevant proposals as shown on drawings 24400/005/002 and 2440/005/003 where appropriate and subject to no objections being received that the Head of Transport implements the scheme.

    2.4

    If objections are received to the statutory consultations, those objections will be reported back to a future meeting of the Panel

    3. POLICY CONTEXT

    3.1

    The proposals are in line with current Transport and Planning Policy.

    4. THE PROPOSAL

    4.1

    Planning consent was granted for the redevelopment of the former Whitley Sewage works to a mixed used scheme (App 05/00548/OUT) and subsequently separate reserved matters planning applications have been submitted to cover the various plots on the site. These include Phases 1 and 2 of the residential scheme (App 09/00235/REM), the Hilton Hotel (08-00893-Ful) and the Circle Hospital (09/02187/FUL).

    4.2

    Following the completion of Phases 1 and 2 of the residential scheme and the opening of the hotel, deliveries to the hotel have been obstructed during the weekdays by on street parking along the west side of Drake Way. Safety has been further compromised by indiscriminate parking at the junction of Drake Way and Lindisfarne Way, which results in vehicles obscuring sight lines. When the non emergency private hospital opens and when the commercial developments commence on the vacant land to the south of the hotel, the potential for further obstructions to occur, will increase.

    4.3

    While parking occurs along Drakes Way in the evenings and weekends it is not to the same level as that which occurs during weekdays and the free flow of vehicular traffic is not severely hindered.

    4.4

    Therefore in order to provide clear access during the weekday it is proposed to introduce a limited waiting restriction of “Monday to Friday, No Waiting 8am to 6pm”, on the west side of Drake Way between the junction of Lindisfarne Road and Drakes Way and a point 140 metres south of this junction. This is the current adoptable length of Drake Way

    4.5

    However the developer is aware of the parking concerns within Kennet Island and therefore when the second phase of Drake Way is completed, the section adjacent to the Circle Hospital, parallel parking bays will be provided adjacent to the carriageway to accommodate the displaced parking. The developer has also confirmed that if the parking restrictions are approved, they will not be installed until after the new parking bays have been provided. This second phase of Drake Way is due for completion in summer 2012, prior to the opening of the Circle Hospital.

    4.6

    It should be noted that as the parking restrictions along Drake Way will only be between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, this will still allow visitors to the residential dwellings to park here during weekday evenings and weekends. Therefore, given the provision of the additional spaces on the second phase of Drake Way, the parking provision for the development will actually increase during these periods.

    4.7

    To approve the safety at the Drake Way / Lindisfarne Way junction it is proposed to introduce a “No Parking at any time” restriction on the 4 radii of

    the junction (junction protection markings), to prevent the indiscriminate parking here continuing.

    4.8

    It is also proposed to add junction protection markings to all the other junctions along Drake Way, including those within the length currently under construction, to prevent the indiscriminate parking transferring to these locations again to the detriment of road safety.

    4.9

    Parking bays exist along the east side of Drake Way and these are private bays for the residential units which are adjacent to the road. To ensure that these are not obstructed, access protections markings will also be placed along the carriageway edge in front these parking bays.

    4.10

    Appendix A contains Drawings 24400/005/002 and 24400/005/003 which indicate the proposals together with photographs of the existing on street parking issues.

    5. CONTRIBUTION TO STRATEGIC AIMS

    5.1 To promote equality, social inclusion and a safe and healthy environment for all

    6. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND INFORMATION

    6.1 Statutory consultation will be carried out in accordance with the Local Authorities Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. Additional local consultation will be carried out as required.

    7. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

    7.1 Any proposals for waiting/ movement restrictions are advertised

    under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

    8. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

    8.1 The works will be wholly funded by the Developer.

    9. BACKGROUND PAPERS

    9.1

    Planning Consents for Kennet Island

    9.2

    Section 38 Agreement for Drake Way

    I won’t upload the plans but these can be found at the RBC website at http://www.reading.gov.uk/meetings/details/3367/.

    Very few residents know about the consultation that ends tomorrow, 19th May 2012.  No letters have been recieved by residents and when quizzed at the KIRA AGM, Cllr Mike Orton didn’t seem to have any further information either.  In fact, RBC have not even contacted KIRA.  I objected on these grounds:

    Hi Chris

    I understand that the consultation into the above ends on 19th May 2012 and I would like to submit my objection on the grounds that the consultation has not been carried out to encompass all of the residents on Kennet Island that make use of Drake Way.  Signs have been sighted along Drake Way but residents along Drake Way do not appear to have any letters through their door, nor other island residents in other parts of the development, and the Kennet Island Residents Association has not been approached (of which I am a committee member and now Co-Chair) with details of this consultation.

    As you will probably be aware, residents parking on Kennet island is extremely limited meaning that in most cases, family and friends are unable to visit due to a distinct lack of  parking spaces.  The only option, if lucky to be able to obtain one, is to make use of the road side along Drake Way – this applies day or night.  This also applies to people unable to find parking for local businesses such as the Island Lounge or Hudsons Convenience store.

    Whilst I and other residents appreciate that the developers have raised concerns that large vehicles may not reach their destinations safely, I am more concerned that large vehicles are putting residents – including children – at risk by travelling through a residential area which includes Drake Way.  Surely the safest way would be to make use of an entrance via Commercial Way which is already used to such traffic?

    The developer says that they are aware of the parking concerns within Kennet Island – something that seems to have been ignored in subsequent planning applications for Kennet Island – but fails to state that the proposed parallel parking spaces will be equal in number to the spaces lost from Drake Way.

    Whilst this consultation appears to benefit the developers, it has done very little to engage with residents or offer any benefit to them.  On those grounds, I object.

    Kind regards

    Jamie Wake

    I sent this by email to Chris Saunders only to find he is on annual leave so had to send to Jane Hicks and Darren Cook – I hope they acknowledge it!

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