Gaol For Sale!

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Looking down my (admittedly not especially long) list of email subscribers, it’s clear I’ve collected a fair few from the property sector. I’m glad to have you here. My theory being that having some community-led optimism and engagement in the changing face of our town is a positive thing. The world is moving fast, and differences are stark between town and city centres that continually reinvent themselves and, well, Northampton. Reading is the right side of the line, and to stay there we need the people with the money to have confidence to invest locally.

We understand that Reading Gaol is soon to be auctioned off, so below I’ve put together a little investors’ guide to help those considering a bid. Because whilst it’s great you’re keen, on this one specific and rare occasion, in the nicest possible way, please sod off. Continue reading “Gaol For Sale!”

Gaol For Sale!

Supporting a technology tradition

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Contrary to popular belief, I do occasionally venture outside the Greater Reading area.  Last week I was fortunate enough to go to Lisbon for Web Summit, a world-renowned technology conference.  From virtual reality to flying cars, in this post I’ll cover some of the innovations coming down the road (or hovering above it), as well as considering some of the implications for us locally.  Continue reading “Supporting a technology tradition”

Supporting a technology tradition

The Third Reading Bridge

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You can’t write a blog about Reading without tackling the longest standing local talking point.  Awful traffic jams on all approaches to the existing Caversham and Reading Bridges are the bane of lives both sides of the river – it’s not hard to see why more capacity is needed.  When it comes to Reading’s Third Bridge saga, the only difficult question to answer is for exactly how many decades this idea has been discussed and procrastinated: I’m afraid I can’t do any better than ‘many’.

Continue reading “The Third Reading Bridge”

The Third Reading Bridge

Smallmead and Small minds

What can a council do to make itself as unpopular as practically possible?  The bright sparks down the road at West Berks have hit on the perfect formula.  It turns out that there are four key factors to ensure universal discontent:

  1. Mess something up related to household waste – for many the bins are the showpiece local council responsibility – “it’s your one job!”, cries Joe Public
  2. Waste public money – always key to maximising disgruntlement
  3. Bicker amongst yourselves or your neighbours – nothing riles more than seeing elected representatives turning toddler-esque tantrums or taking their toys and sulking in the corner.
  4. Unfairness – if you screw everyone over you’ll only ever achieve a mild grumble.  To truly enrage you have to arbitrarily target one subset of your electorate for your punishment.

Having identified the right recipe, the Newbury authority has validated its accuracy with devastating effect, combining lashings of each ingredient to produce what can only be described as “the mother of all unpopular policies”.

Continue reading “Smallmead and Small minds”

Smallmead and Small minds

Reading 2050 -The plan for the Tram

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What is #Reading2050?

A couple of weeks ago I attended an exhibition in town called Reading 2050.  The initiative seeks to create a vision for the development of the town.  Their representative was an enthusiastic Scottish lady who talked visitors through some glossy but fairly non-specific visuals.  Their document talks of three alternative visions:

Continue reading “Reading 2050 -The plan for the Tram”

Reading 2050 -The plan for the Tram