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ACORN | Union for the Community opening branch in Reading

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They’re putting together a branch of ACORN here in Reading and are looking for people who would like to get involved.

ACORN is a community Union that focuses on tennant, renter and housing rights. They help deal with dangerous or unhealthy living conditions, with rent rises and even unfair threats of evictions.

They’re looking to help organise within the community to fight back against rising poverty by focusing our efforts together. Nationally ACORN has been expanding rapidly and with Oxford finally having a formal branch set up they thought it was about time Reading did too!

If you want to get involved, or importantly if you are having housing issues that you need help with, please reach out to us and they’ll do what they can.

Check out their Website for more information!

Acorn Community Union

About ACORN

Founded in Bristol in 2014, ACORN is a mass membership organisation and network of low-income people organising for a fairer deal for our communities.

The idea is simple but ambitious – to build a national community organisation along the lines of a trade union; organising our communities and fighting for a better quality of life. What began with a few local residents trying to tackle slum housing in their neighbourhood has quickly developed into a national organisation with thousands of members and branches across the country.

They think inequality and social problems are about power. They believe that the only way they’ll see meaningful action is if they can counter the power of money and establishment politics with the power of people taking collective action. Everyone has the right to a place at the table and ACORN puts community organisation at the heart of the fight for economic and social justice.

Every day they hear the issues facing our communities: rising housing costs, stagnant wages and brutal cuts that have starved our public services. Wealth is being transferred upwards, and the only solution is for people to get organised and win it back.

Nurses, shop workers, delivery drivers, carers and parents: they raise the young, support the elderly, and produce the country’s wealth. They power society, and they are entitled to our fair share.

They know they can win because they’ve already started. In a few years they have grown from a small group in a single neighbourhood into a national organisation that is influencing politics at the highest levels, taking-on big banks, rogue landlords and multinational companies. Our victories already add up to £millions, but ACORN is more than just pounds and pence – they are showing that, by working together, they can refresh and rebuild democracy and the fabric of our communities.

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Battle Library Reopens next week!

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Battle Library reopens next week! The library is due to reopen next Tue 6 April, initially for 9 hours per week (Tuesday 1-5, Friday 10-12, Saturday 10-1).

Working in line with current national safety guidance, from 6 April, Battle Library will offer:

📚 Returns – to entrance when the library is open, book drop when closed.
📗 Order and collect (book online at https://www.reading.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/libraries-reopening/ or via 0118 937 5950) – you can order specific or a general collection of items
💻 Limited computer bookings (via 0118 937 5950)

Visitors to the library will be reminded to follow safety precautions, including the wearing of masks inside the building and for the use of computers, test and trace registration will be required.

They will look to continue the planned phase of reopening of wider library services where possible and with safety at the forefront of all our plans. The Library Service hopes to confirm the reopening details for its other branch libraries at Whitley, Southcote and Palmer Park shortly.

Book drops are currently available at Central, Caversham – and shortly at Battle library – and no fines are being charged.

The Library Service’s popular e-service continues to be available. Over the past year, we have had 2,623 people join the service and They’ve issued a staggering 65,000 eResources!

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Banksy’s artwork appears on side of former Reading Prison

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A piece of graffiti painted by Banksy has appeared overnight on the side of Reading Prison.

In the early hours of Monday (1 March) morning, the artwork was spotted on the side of the now-closed institution.

It shows a man dressed in a striped prisoner’s uniform scaling the side of the building on a knotted rope.

Beneath the man, the chain is shown to be made of paper and coming out of a typewriter.

Banksy has named the piece ‘The Create Escape’.

In a video featuring TV artist Bob Ross, the Bristol-based artist – whose identity is a closely guarded secret – shows how he created the painting.
please see below.

Some have speculated that the man is meant to represent Irish poet Oscar Wilde, who was imprisoned at the jail from 1895 to 1897 on charges of gross indecency with other men.

A campaign was recently launched to save the Grade II listed building after it was closed in 2014.

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RBC highest agency manager has a day rate of £975

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Revealed by the “The Reading Chronicle“, concerns have been raised about the money spent on agency & temporary staff.

The highest agency manager at the RBC has a day rate of £975, one temporary manager at the children’s services company Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) has been working for 24 months, this are two examples among others.

One former RBC contractor who want to remain anonymous said the headline fees skew the reality. “Overall, contractors cost a similar amount to permanent employees as there are no benefits like pensions and paid holidays. On top of that many live far away from Reading, as it was my case, and have to pay for travel and sometime accommodation out of their rate,” he said.

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