This is the first of my blog posts updating you on my activities as your councillor.
What has happened so far?
I had my first Caversham ward councillor surgery at the Weller Centre on Amersham Road on the 11th May 2019.
I have chosen the committees and panels I will sit. The committees in question are the planning application committee (Vice Chair), Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education Committee and the parenting panel.
What am I working on?
Reading Climate Change Strategy & Reading Climate Change Partnership
One of the things I really want to focus on during my time as Councillor is sustainability and the environment.
I am working with the Reading Climate Change Partnership (RCCP) and officers at Reading council. The Reading’s Climate Change Strategy 2020-25 will be launched on the 13th June at the Civic Centre 2-5pm. I urge you to register you attendance here (https://readingcanstrategylaunch.eventbrite.com) to engage with representatives about how to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time.
I also refer you to the RCCP website site here (https://readingcan.org.uk/).
Climate Change Educational YouTube Series
As you may already know, I have a YouTube channel where I talk about sustainability. In the next episodes, I will be interviewing the Chair of the Reading Climate Change Partnership, Chris Beale. See his website here (http://www.chrisbeales.net/).
The topics we will be discussing include: climate change and class, climate change and children and how to engage with the great work the RCCP are doing.
Climate Change Knowledge Exchange
I have been working with the researchers at Brunel University and London Climate Change partnership to deliver a workshop providing training on climate change and how to adopt climate change initiative in Reading. This will be open to the public, local businesses and neighboring councils. It will most likely take place in late autumn.
I am looking to transform some of our existing meadows into Bee meadows (this requires planting meadow flowers that help bees and other pollinating insects) and I am keen to develop a pollinator action plan for Reading.
I am working with the council on this concept and am looking to form a community group of environment & ecology enthusiasts. I encourage you to get in touch if you have an interest, or any expertise in environmental science, ecology, biodiversity, etc.
A big thank you to Phillip Box who has supplied me with lots of useful information about what councils can do to help biodiversity. He contacted me before the election on twitter to understand my position on biodiversity and I told him that if elected I want to champion it (that’s is what I intend to do). Please, if you have something your passionate about get in touch with your local councillors! Whether it’s on twitter, email or in person – we’re here for you.
Together we can collate ideas and work to make Caversham and Reading a sustainable, eco-friendly, biodiverse habitat area.
My long-term goals:
- 3rd Bridge/Transportation
I am a huge advocate of a 3rd Bridge.
I am also a fan of the fantastic innovative proposed by Councillor Adele Barnett Ward and Councillor Richard Davies for a Cycle/Pedestrian route from Nire Road to Henley road. I will be supporting this and working hard to deliver this as I believe it will bring real change to Caversham.
I would also like to see a Cycle route from the edge of Caversham to the edge of the Thames Valley Park, with a bridge crossing the Thames as a green solution which provides an alternative transport link to the main town.
- Youth Engagement
I would like to develop and deliver some practical life learning for young people centred around:
- Tax, bills and general finance,
- First aid and medical emergencies (including understanding the dangers of illnesses which specifically target young people i.e. meningitis, glandular fever, etc.).
- Accommodation rights when renting.
- Personal health & fitness supplementary to physical education i.e. teaching young people how to use gyms or how to keep fit and healthy at home – dietary advice, etc.