Reading Liberal Democrats



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Norman Baker’s Visit

Lib Dem transport minister Norman Baker MP was welcomed to Reading by Cllr Kirsten Bayes, Deputy Leader of Reading Borough Council and Leader of the Lib Dem Group, “Securing government funding for this exciting project is fantastic news.’

‘The railway has long played a major part in the growth of Reading as a town and improving the station will help Reading continue to progress on to the fast track of economic growth for the benefit of local residents and businesses.”

Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson, Cllr Ricky Duveen also welcomed the additional funding and commented ‘We very much hope that the Council, Network Rail and Reading Buses can work together to provide the best possible transport interchange for visitors to Reading alongside the splendid new station.’

Reading, Pioneering Heating Systems of the Future

Reading Borough Council is the only local authority in Britain to benefit from £100,000 worth of funding to develop an approach which will enable more innovative low carbon heating systems to be installed across Europe and save council tax payers money in future years, it has been announced.

‘Geo.Power is a European funded programme which enables partners to work together on the introduction of ‘ground source’ heat pumps.

This innovative low carbon method of heating buildings uses the constant heat which exists below the ground by capturing it, compressing it and distributing it to warm buildings. In Summer the process can be reversed, taking heat from the building and putting it in the ground. Considerable carbon, energy and financial savings can be made as a result.

Reading Borough Council has been selected as the only partner in the UK to benefit and is one of 12 partners spanning eight different countries – England, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, Estonia and Belgium.

The funding is worth just over £100,000, and will help further develop Reading’s pro-active approach in playing its own part in tackling Climate Change.

The council already has ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions while providing value for money for the local council tax payer. Now, over the next two years, it will be playing a leading role in the pioneering project which will eventually help cut carbon emissions across Britain and the Continent.

The innovative low carbon method of heating buildings has already been installed at the state of the art Avenue Centre, some council buildings and one of the buildings at Prospect School.

Reading Borough Council will now be working closely with the other partners on the two-year European funded programme to share technology and experiences of installing and using ground source heat pumps. At the end of the two years all the work will be pulled together to set out a way forward as to how more ground source heat pumps could be installed to help reduce carbon emissions across Europe and benefit from the new Renewable Heat Incentive from the Government to be announced next year.

Warren Swaine, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Environment and Sustainability, said: ‘Winning this bid shows that our Council is prepared to take a lead in developing a sustainable future - not just for Reading but for the rest of the country. Congratulations to the sustainability team for their hard work putting together this successful bid.’

Ben Burfoot, Sustainability Manager at Reading Borough Council, added: ‘This project gives us the opportunity to pave the way for using this technology in new and existing buildings in Reading, as well as enabling us to maximise the use of ground source heat pumps nationally to provide the low carbon heating systems of the future.”

Lib Dems welcome freeze on car park charges

Reading Lib Dems today welcomed the announcement by the Council of the new car park charges for the coming year. Short stay car park charges are being frozen and long stay charges are being significantly reduced despite requests to raise charges from NCP who run the car parks under contract to the Council.

Transport Spokesperson Cllr Ricky Duveen said, ‘this is a good deal for Reading motorists and I think the council has done well to keep the car park charges down.’

Ricky was particularly pleased that the recently introduced charges for car parks in Tilehurst and Caversham were being frozen as in each case they were essential to local shops. Tilehurst and Chester Street shoppers can still park free for the first hour, something that is vital for local traders especially during tough economic times.

Councillor welcomes plans to reduce Housing tenancy fraud in Reading

A report to Reading Borough Council’s Community Care, Housing and Health Scrutiny Panel this evening (7 December) has revealed that following concerns initially raised by Cllr Daisy Benson and anti-fraud officers, the Council is  taking a more robust approach to identifying and reducing housing tenancy fraud in Council housing in Reading.

This is already paying dividends with 21 potential frauds investigated and a number of properties re-let.

Endorsing the findings of the report, Cllr Daisy Benson, Lead Member for Housing on Reading Borough Council said:

“I raised serious questions in 2009 about the robustness of the Council’s procedures in relation to tracking and cracking down on potential housing tenacy fraud after nationally it was revealed that illegal tenancy fraud is rife in many towns and cities.”

“I am pleased to see as a result of the concerns I raised the Council is now taking a more robust approach including raising awareness with staff and Council tenants to identify fraud and get action taken.”

“People who fraduently sub-let Council properties are defrauding the public purse and putting additional, unwanted pressure on Council housing in Reading which is already  in high demand.

“The cost to the Council of every fraud is estimated at £11,000 which equals the cost of putting up families in temporary accomodation.”

“This is wholly unacceptable and the Coalition Administration of Reading Borough Council is committed to taking further steps to identifying potential fraud and action against offenders.

“This is in stark contrast to the complacent approach of the previous Labour administration which could have cost taxpayers dear.”

For more details about the actions taken by the Council since March 2010 please view the housing fraud report.

Upcoming Events

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Events on August 30, 2014
  • Reading Pride
    Starts: 12:00 am
    Ends: August 31, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Location: Kings Meadow, Napier Road, Reading, United Kingdom
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Events on August 31, 2014
  • Liberal Drinks
    Starts: 7:30 pm
    Ends: August 31, 2014 - 10:30 pm
    Location: The Abbot Cook, 153 London Rd, Reading, United Kingdom

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