Victoria Groulef has given her support to the RSPB's 'vote for Bob' campaign to highlight the importance of nature and wildlife.
Victoria has become one of the first politicians in Reading to back the new campaign by wildlife charity the RSPB to help put nature at the heart of the political agenda. The RSPB is asking people to vote for Bob, a red squirrel who is the mascot of the new campaign.
The 'Vote for Bob' campaign seeks to raise the issue of disappearing wildlife; for instance since 1977 house sparrow populations have declined by 64% and the number of hedgehogs has halved. It also highlights the decline in natural habitats, the majority of flower filled meadowland has been lost, taking bees and many insects with it.
MPs are being asked to sign up and support the campaign, signalling that they understand the importance of nature to our lives and that they will work to protect the natural environment.
Victoria said: "Nature is vital to all of us. I have already campaigned on a number of issues to protect our local open spaces and woodland. I know that in a fast developing place like Reading it is really important we get the balance right about growth and protecting our natural world.
"I am pleased to say I will be voting for Bob and I hope others across Reading will get involved too."
The campaign website is www.voteforbob.co.uk
Victoria Groulef is calling on local Councils and the Environment Agency to ensure that appropriate work has been undertaken on the Holy Brook to prevent a repeat of flooding experienced earlier this year.
Local residents have contacted Victoria to raise concerns that there are a number of fallen trees in the Holy Brook and that in a number of places debris is building up.
Residents are worried that any debris build up could increase the risk of flooding, particularly if we experience heavy rainfall.
Victoria said: "I have written to Reading Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and the Environment Agency asking them to look into the matter.
"Many local people, such as Chris White (pictured) have been in touch to raise their concerns, understandably they want assurances that remedial and maintenance work has been undertaken on the Holy Brook.
"Residents are very concerned that they will experience flooding again and with winter around the corner work must be undertaken a matter of urgency."
Following concerns about road safety Victoria Groulef and the Labour team in Battle ward are calling on Tesco to stop delivering when children are walking to and from school.
Local parents say that Tesco Express on the Oxford Road often has lorries delivering and backing out onto the main road at the times children are walking to school and are using the crossing, raising serious concerns about safety.
Victoria and Councillor Sarah Hacker met with local parents and are now calling on Tesco to take concerns seriously.
Victoria said: “Lorries are arriving and leaving the Tesco Express forecourt at the same time children and parents are walking to Oxford Road Community School, which is directly opposite the store. Many parents have been in touch to say how concerned they are about safety and that’s why I am calling on Tesco to do the right thing and avoid deliveries at school pick up and drop off times.”
Councillor Sarah Hacker said: “Battle councillors fought hard against this planning application, and Reading Borough Council refused it because of concerns about road safety. Despite this the government inspector saw fit to overturn this judgement. Sadly it appears we are being proved right. We will do anything in our power to ensure children are kept safe on their way to school."
Today over 200 local people attended a public meeting about the future of Circuit Lane Surgery. The meeting was called by Victoria and local Southcote Councillors following news that the GP Partners at Circuit Lane Surgery had taken the decision to tender their resignations with NHS England (their contract with the surgery) and had given 6 months notice. Their contract comes to an end on 31st January 2015.
Victoria said: "The NHS are reassuring the Surgery's patients that they will continue to receive high quality, local GP service and that a process has already started to find a new provider from February 2015 onwards. However residents are still very concerned and that's why as a community we have launched a petition to retain a local GP surgery at Circuit Lane in Southcote and to explore every possibility of retaining the current GPs, including as part of any temporary process.
Local people are also calling on NHS England and the Minister of Health not to hand over the running of our surgery to a commercial private company and want to be fully involved in the decision making process about the future of the surgery. It is vital that the views and opinions of local people are heard."
Victoria concluded: "I think we need a world-class health and care service that is equipped to address the modern challenges that come from a growing population, an ageing population and more people living with chronic conditions. At the heart of this are our community GP's and that's just one of the reasons why I'm up for the fight to ensure that we keep the kind of local surgery people want at Circuit Lane."
You can sign the petition online here.
Victoria has welcomed plans by Reading's Labour-run Borough Council to build 1000 homes over the next 30 years, with the first phase taking place in Reading West constituency.
Demand for affordable homes in Reading is growing as private rents spiral. Reading Labour's proposal could deliver 100-plus new homes over the first phase of home building, including more than 40 at Conwy Close in West Reading. A further 250 new homes will be proposed over the next 5 years. The proposal goes before the Council's Policy Committee on Monday 22nd September.
Reading's Labour administration also has plans to invest in programmes that tackle the cost of heating for current Council tenants. New energy efficiency measures will strengthen the solar panel project pledged last November. Funds come from the Council's Housing Revenue Account, which is ring-fenced for meeting Reading people's housing needs.
Councillor Richard Davies, Lead Member for Housing said, "Only a Labour Administration would bring forward strong plans to tackle what I call Reading's housing crisis. Thousands of households are in need and homelessness in the town has trebled since 2011.
"The addition of up to 1000 homes - alongside improvements to the Council's existing accommodation represents a significant investment. This, on top of the newly delivered 40 homes for elderly people at Cedar Court and recently announced Supported Living Scheme nearby, furthers the Labour Council's commitment to providing good quality, affordable housing for people in our town."
Victoria said "I know people are struggling to afford a home in the private rental market. That's why building council homes with much more affordable rent is so important. I am very excited by these proposals and hope that plans go forward."
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