Jamie Wake 2014 Independent Candidate for Whitley ward in the Reading Local Elections
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    May 20th, 2012jamiewakerdgkennet island

    Jamie Wake and BlenhamAs you will have seen in the press, the Kennet Island developers, St James, and their management company, Hallmark wanted to charge leaseholders a fee of £36 per pet to obtain a license to be able to keep them in their property.  A poor written letter was posted to residents threatening to have pets removed if the fee wasn’t paid.  Understandably residents were extremely upset by this and I sprung into action by contacting St James and setting up a petition to evidence the residents’ bad feeling towards a money making scheme for Hallmark.

    Get Reading 18th May 2012 pet taxThankfully, St James and Hallmark have now seen sense and whilst they will still continuing with the scheme, they will now no longer charge for a license.  Our local Labour Cllrs are of course taking credit for this action (because they had a meeting with Hallmark) even though it was the residents here that were campaigning hard against this scheme and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate those residents that worked really hard in getting people to sign the petition, speak to the press and contact St James and Hallmark.  Obviously our pro-active Cllrs sent a press release to the papers (you have to publicise your successes) but thankfully our local papers phoned residents for further clarity and comments.  If you’re interested, the Labour site for Whitley, Whitley News says:

    Whitley Ward’s councillors have intervened to secure an agreement not to impose the controversial fee proposed for pet licenses to leaseholders on Kennet Island.
    Many residents have expressed their strong concerns about the proposal from the Kennet Island management company, Hallmark, to charge £36 to leaseholders for a license to own a pet. This has been reported in the local Press.
    Whitley councillors Mike Orton and Kelly Edwards met with Hallmark to discuss the issue. As a result of the meeting agreement has been reached not to continue with the proposal to charge a fee. Hallmark say they are very willing to discuss the issue with anyone who wants to meet with them about it.
    Mike Orton says, “I know this was causing a lot of concern to a lot of people and I’m pleased we’ve been able to act as ward councillors to bring about changes and help resolve the issue.”

    It’s a shame they didn’t want to mention the residents petition in their press release or any of the other actions residents have carried out but I guess that’s politics for you!  When Cllr Mike Orton (who I have a lot of time for) spoke at the KIRA AGM, he stated that they will never take credit for things other people have done!

    Politics aside, this was a good result for residents and now that I have been elected co-chair of the Kennet Island Residents Association, I am in a better position to do a lot more for residents here, where we live.

    When I get a bit more time, I will copy and paste the emails between myself and St James as they make for interesting reading!

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