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Do you know who exactly you are voting for? Watch this space….

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Another general election is almost upon us and the majority of the candidates have already been announced ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

As most of us know, the general election takes place next month, on December 12. What you may not know, and this is important, is that there will be two elections in Reading, with the town and surrounding areas split into two constituencies. Please note, in this article, we are endeavouring to maintain neutrality – a neutrality which, of course, a writer rarely really feels….

Reading East includes wards in Reading (Abbey, Caversham, Church, Katesgrove, Mapledurham, Park, Peppard, Redlands, and Thames) and Wokingham (Bulmershe and Whitegates, Loddon, and South Lake).

And our fab Reading West, which includes wards in Reading (Battle, Kentwood, Minster, Norcot, Southcote, Tilehurst, and Whitley) and West Berkshire (Birch Copse, Calcot, Pangbourne, Purley on Thames, Theale, and Westwood).

Below are the main candidates for Reading West…

Alok Sharma, Conservative
Alok Sharma (born 7 September 1967) is a British politician, serving as the Secretary of State for International Development since July 2019. He was elected in 2010 as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Reading West.

Sharma previously served as Housing Minister between 2017 and 2018, and as Employment Minister from 2018 to 2019.

Sharma is married and lives in Caversham with his wife and two daughters. His wife is Swedish.

Jamie Whitham, Green Party
Jamie Whitham is the Green Party candidate in the constituency of Reading West in the UK Parliament elections.

Jamie was born in Reading in 1974 attending Coley Park Primary School for a number of years from 1978. After a spell away from Reading in the 1980s he returned in 1995 to study Cybernetics and Control Engineering at The University of Reading.

Jamie joined the Green Party in 2010 after helping Reading’s first Green Councillor Rob White, to be elected.

In 2012 Jamie was elected as the third Green Party councillor on Reading Borough Council. During his four years on the council he sat on the Traffic Management Sub-Committee, Planning Applications Committee, Cycle Forum, Strategic Environment Planning & Transport Committee as well as others.

Jamie is a keen cyclist having recently completed a ride from the equator just north of Quito in Ecuador all the way to Ushuaia at the southern most tip of Argentina. We have to say, knowing this territory to some degree, that this is really, but really far…

Meri O’Connell, Liberal Democrat
Meri has a background in public service, working in children’s homes and as a Youth Justice Worker, helping young people find employment and training opportunities.

Elected as a councillor to Reading Borough Council in 2012, her campaigns have included making Tilehurst Triangle safer for pedestrians, and opposing the closure of the Arthur Clarke care home, where she successfully persuaded the council to ensure the land would only be used for elderly care.

Mr Sharma won 48.9 per cent of the vote in 2017, beating Labour challenger Olivia Bailey by just under 3,000 votes which makes this election much closer. One thing is – who ever you stand for (and think hard about your values and what kind of future you want for your country and all of it’s people), do make sure you vote!

Rachel Eden, Labour and Co-operative
Labour and Cooperative parliamentary candidate for Reading West constituency.
She is a councillor for Whitley ward, Reading and the lead councillor on Reading Borough Council for Adult Social Care.

Rachel Eden has experience of standing as a parliamentary candidate, after unsuccessfully fighting the Tory seat of Wantage last year is back this time moving to Reading west.

Watch this space for more, as we find out more through our investigations, on the above candidates! We will tell you the truths and facts that we find out, in what promises to be a rather, murky and manipulated election.

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Business Secretary Alok Sharma has tested negative of Coronavirus

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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.

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Progress Theatre wins “The Queens Award” for Voluntary Service

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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!

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

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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

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