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Climate Emergency: Reading Borough Council not commit to double its tree count

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We’re facing a climate emergency but Reading Borough Council won’t commit.

Reading Borough Council has NOT committed to increasing biodiversity in the town and last night we found out that we won’t join Oxford, Bristol, Bath and others and commit to doubling tree cover.

Trees help to protect the climate, improve air quality, support more wildlife, reduce flood risk and improve people’s well-being. This briefing, compiled by Friends of the Earth’s Trees campaigning team, details how councils can access land and money to double local tree cover.

In order to tackle the climate emergency and reach net zero emissions as early as possible, the UK needs to double woodland cover, according to research by Friends of the Earth and the Centre for Alternative Technology.

By publicly supporting a target to double local tree cover, councils can send a strong signal to the government to unlock more funding for trees, and encourage local landowners to grow more trees.

Many local authorities – including rural and urban councils controlled by the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party – have already publicly announced a goal of doubling local tree cover and are devising plans to access money and land to deliver it. Here are a few examples:

  • Bath & North East Somerset has announced plans to double woodland cover across the district.
  • Bristol City Council committed to double tree canopy cover by 2045 as part its One City Plan .
  • Hackney Council has plans to double on-street canopy cover and plant 30,000 trees in parks and green spaces.
  • Leeds City Council approved a report calling on tree canopy cover to be almost doubled across the local authority area.
  • Oxford City Council has publicly supported doubling tree cover across Oxfordshire.
  • South Gloucestershire has pledged to double tree cover by 2030 by working with landowners across the local authority area.
  • Wirral Council has pledged to “at least double Wirral’s tree coverage by 2030”.

Call on your councillors to double tree cover

Councils often control large expanses of land with plenty of space for more trees. So will you ask your councillors to commit to doubling tree cover in your area?

Please click the link below & fill the form, it’ll only take a minute. You can personalise it if you want to have even more impact.

Call on your councillors to double tree cover

Let’s double tree cover and create a better future for people and wildlife.

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Reading’s Christmas lights 2020

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Reading’s Christmas lights come on from Saturday 21 November. The centrepiece is a dazzling natural Christmas tree in Broad Street. Across the town centre there are over 400,000 twinkling lights, making Reading one of the largest displays in the south east.

The lead up to Christmas officially begins in Reading this weekend as the lights are switched on around the town.


Important Notice Reading, like the rest of England, is currently operating under new national COVID-related restrictions from 5 November – 2 December. This means that people MUST:-
  • Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  • Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  • Close certain businesses and venues
These restrictions mean that it is not possible to visit Reading for the time being. We hope to be able to welcome you in December and throughout 2021. Please enjoy the information on these pages to help you plan a future visit and check back regularly to see if the situation has changed.

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Don’t be daft – we don’t need to ban fireworks

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Some of your happiest memories when I was a child were at family or school fireworks displays. Freezing cold, eating jacket potatoes, sparklers in hands and ‘oo-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’ over the pretty explosions which lit up the inky, night sky.

Whether you called it Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night, November 5 was one of the few times each year we got together with family and friends.

Now you are older, with a rescue dog, cat or a child who has always been sensitive to loud noises, you are less keen on the night.

Especially as it no longer lasts just one evening but fireworks can generally be heard from now until January. But an outright ban, or even allowing them only at official events is nonsense.

At the moment, thosands of people have signed a petition to ban fireworks in public – which means the government will have to respond.

I won’t call these people fun police or killjoys as some people have, I can see why they want to put restrictions on fireworks displays.

As they say themselves, they ’cause alarm, distress and anxiety to many people and animals’.

What is needed instead though is better education on the danger of fireworks, tougher penalties for those misusing them and police cracking down on those who flout the rules, particularly those who give/sell them to under 18s.

If organising a garden display, just be a considerate human being.

Make sure your neighbours are aware, perhaps even invite them over.

It’s easy to let people know – most of us are on social media and there are plenty of local noticeboards you can post on to let people know if you plan to let fireworks off for a lengthy amount of time.

If not, knock a few doors, particularly if you have elderly neighbours and those with children or pets.

Choose low noise or quiet fireworks (yes, they do exist) as well as follow safety advice and take precautions before setting them off.

And don’t be a git and let them off past 11pm.

If we all followed these general rules it would probably help a lot.

Banning things rarely has the desired effect and will only mean that a ‘black market’ will open up which will make it even more dangerous and fireworks more likely to fall into the hands of youngsters and those who would act irresponsibly.

People point to the environmental damage caused by fireworks – perhaps then a green tax should be introduced to pay towards offsetting the damage caused?

And there are plenty of things which are more dangerous and/or cause more environmental damage than fireworks such as cars, dairy farming – should we also ban them?

We all have to live with things which annoy or upset us but we can’t go around and ban everything that upsets someone.

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Sixth Oxford Road shop faces alcohol licence review

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The police crackdown on newsagents and off licences in Oxford Road, Reading has continued, with a sixth store now facing a licence review.

Willis & Short Newsagents at 341 Oxford Road West Reading is the latest shop to be added to the list of off licences under review in the town.

As all other shops, Thames Valley Police (TVP) submitted this application for review in order to address the failure of the premises licence holder to promote the licensing objectives via their insufficient measures to ensure due diligence and full reasonably expected compliance of their licence conditions.

So far five Oxford Road shops are currently having their licences reviewed by Reading Borough Council:
Anrish News, no. 102
Today’s Express, no. 107
I&R Convenience, no. 202
Butts Convenience Store, no. 205
K B Superstores, no. 337

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