Connect with us

News

Is Oxford Road in Reading West going downhill? (local response to our tweet)

Published

on

I am writing this in response to a recent tweet “It feels like Oxford Road (Reading West) has gone down hill recently, what do you think?”

In the 4 years I have been here, I see much to commend in Oxford Road and yes, some things to lament. 

  • Litter
  • Shop closures
  • Addiction/drinking

Always troubled by litter, it has got even dirtier recently. In conversation with a street cleaner I learnt that this was due to a significant cut in the cleaning streets team.  This has not impacted wealthier areas like parts of Tilehurst and Caversham because they do not have the same amount of takeaways and possibly because the education of the population in general means that individuals litter less. (I know that lays me open to attack on a number of front’s but I’ll say it anyway, with the caveat that it is a question of how you’ve been taught to treat litter, if a child is walking the street and throws a wrapper on the floor, and the carer does not make sure the child picks it up, then the child learns that littering is normal and the behaviour is never adjusted.  The council also has some responsibility in terms of the increased litter in the streets – their recycling team changes and virtually imcomprehensible advice over what will or will not be recycled is quite absurd. Indeed the list of things not being recycled has become more complex and is ridiculously large given the landfill bills that they pay – more innovation is needed. 

Many small businesses have closed/moved from the area; just in the last 10 weeks, an Electrical place closed (the owner died and  no-one has replaced them) a nail shop closed down and one of the best Indians, Bohj has gone.  Are the rents unreasonably high? Certainly that isn’t helping the area…

Parking has become more difficult, and making the Kensington park area an area where you now pay has surely not helped local businesses.  Now it remains empty instead of having people park and shop locally, with business going to the big corporates like Tescos who have big parking spaces. 

You could say then that cuts have severely impacted Oxford Road.  It’s not however just a question of cuts.  It’s decisions. Multi-departmental decisions. Decisions to build expensive new projects in the centre of town and Caversham which is infinitely less affected by poverty; thus not investing the monies available in areas like Oxford road; decisions that mean areas afflicted by drug addiction are not policed as much as they should be; housing decisions resulting in more people with problems housed with other disadvantaged people; decisions to neglect the development of cheaper options in the long term like schemes that would incentivise shop owners to keep their own areas clean (small rent drops) or recycling of cans that would help get people return/collect cans and help the council to meet it’s recycling targets.  

These are the things to lament about Oxford road and nearby streets. The things to celebrate are incomparable to other districts, namely

  • Multiculturalism – indeed multi-everything!
  • A close knit community where peoples enjoy being with other peoples
  • Convenience, it’s own rail station and 17 minute walk to the centre
  • Parks and green spaces
  • Vibrancy

Continue Reading

News

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has tested negative of Coronavirus

Published

on

By

The business Secretary Alok Sharma has tested negative for Covid-19

He went to isolation at his house in Caversham, Reading yesterday and got results today..

As of Wednesday 3 June 2020 there are now 587 confirmed cases of the virus in Reading. UK wide 279,856 have now been diagnosed with the virus. This figure includes 39,728 deaths.

The symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell(anosmia) . If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP.

Continue Reading

News

Progress Theatre wins “The Queens Award” for Voluntary Service

Published

on

By

Reading’s historic and oldest producing theatre, producing a programme of varied, interesting and challenging drama to the highest standard has won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Winners get a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden partyyyyy.

Thank you for providing excellent theatre and arts education to the community of Reading.
Well deserved Award!

Continue Reading

News

Fast-food lovers join queues as McDonald’s reopen drive-thrus across Reading

Published

on

By

Absence makes the heart (and the stomach) grow fonder apparently – judging by the queue outside Mc DOnalds & KFC (Oxford Rd) after the drive-throughs reopened.

Unfortunately, the Mc Donalds restaurant is still not open to diners at Oxford Road but deliveries & drive-through are available.

In fact the restaurant itself may not open until towards September, according to staff.

Drivers are joining a lengthy queue to get their hands on their favourite fast food treats at both venues.

More drive-thrus around the region are starting to open up to take orders from customers as the coronavirus lockdown is eased, see the McDonald branaches have opened

Reading– the branches in Oxford Road, Forbury Retail Park, Bath Road in Calcot and Reading Gate Retail Park are all open.

Slough – McDonald’s in the Bath Road Retail Park, at Slough Uno Bestobell in Buckingham Avenue and in Windsor Road are all open.

Newbury – Newbury Retail Park and Tot Hill Services are also open

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 Reading West Magazine.