Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

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bobby1413

Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

I saw a post about Reading Prison and the fact that it's now been backed by a few people. In the article it mentions that it could help with a possibly City status bid in 2022 for the queens diamond jubilee.

Post: http://www.tvproperty.co.uk/news/help-m ... -come-true

I also saw the following post regarding Ipswich that is preparing and intending to bid for City Status in 2022.

http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/suffo ... -1-5301212


There are some competition if we did go for this, as this article above mentions, Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, Ipswich are fairly strong contenders I'd imagine and probably similar to Reading in some ways. If we did go for it, I'm not sure how we would fair against them.

I personally think we'd be foolish not to try. I know some residents are anti the idea and don't see the point, but I think it would be great to finally achieve it.

So really, the questions are:

1) do you think Reading will try again?

2) what do you think of our chances ... not sure why we missed out before, do they ever say why a certain place gets chosen and others don't?

3) Compared to last time, I'd imagine in many ways we'd be a stronger contender than before... cross rail, new developments... Royal Elm Park, an Ikea :wink:

...

If Reading was going to go for it, then they should really get started now. 4 years is a good amount of time to prepare and plan.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by ash »

To answer your questions from my point of view:

1) I think Reading will try again.

2) This is the difficult question, the chances are really hard to predict. As far as I'm aware, there is no set criteria for a place to gain city status, and each time there is a bidding process, they do not give out feedback on why a place gets city status/why a place is unsuccessful in their bid. From a personal perspective, I would have liked much more transparency on this part of the process, to show the reasoning behind decisions.

Ive been following the city status bids for Reading for some time, and had previously been a big supporter of Reading gaining formal recognition of being a city. However, after the bid in 2012 and even in 2002, I'm not actually sure it would be a good thing.

To be named a 'city' would now place you on a level playing field as places such as St Asaph (2012 winner) in terms of settlement definitions. I don't mean to show any disrespect at all to St Asaph, and many congratulations on winning their bid. But to compare a town the size of Reading (maybe c.300k+ people) to a small settlement of only c.3.3k population, is quite confusing to me. I think the definition of a 'city' is not at all clear, whereas being the largest town in the country does have a certain ring to it!
bobby1413

Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

In regards to being "the biggest town" - I really like that title! I am half wondering if we may be over taken by someone like Milton Keynes.

I've said this before, but they don't appear to have any boundary issues, they just build where they want and the place expands naturally outwards. Reading is continually battling for space, and if you look at our boundaries and surroundings, we are kind of crushed geographically into a small area

I think the next census is in 2020 ... we may end up losing the title of the biggest town then. I hope not though
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by windrush »

I hope it bids (and gets) city status otherwise this thorny subject will be raised again every other year without fail, as it has been since Adam (and me!) were both lads! :whistle1:

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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by BOY RACER »

I must confess that I find it strange that The Royal County of Berkshire does not have a City. As we know to be a City “size does not matter” So if The Royal County of Berkshire is to have a City I feel that it should be Windsor. The Castle is a Royal residence and a magnet for tourism.

As for Reading it has become an important travel hub and work hub and is the biggest Town in England. What is best, to be a small fish in a large pond or a big fish in a small pond. I prefer the latter, and RBC could add to its signs which say “You are entering Reading” “The largest Town. In England” I rather like the sound of it, much grander.
I may be a founder member of the “Grumpy Old Men’s Club” but I never complain. :whistle1:
bobby1413

Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

The whole big fish in a little pond means nothing. No one knows we are the biggest town except a small percentage of locals.

There's nothing grand about being a town in my view

I can see your point about Windsor. I'm surprised it's never tried before. Reading would be good for a city being in the middle of the county and the biggest place.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by windrush »

We used to run caravan rallies near Cranleigh, Surrey, and a sign entering it proudly proclaimed that it was 'The Largest Village In England' although various different criterior dispute that and there are several claimants to the crown. Based on area it is though!

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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by jonbryce »

I don't think Windsor can apply because it doesn't have its own council. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead could though.

Reading must have a better chance this time, purely because the some of the stronger candidates in previous rounds were awarded city status, and therefore are no longer in the running.

We are already way ahead of everyone else in terms of rail links, so I don't think Crossrail will make that much of a difference.
bobby1413

Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

My doubts over our chances come from thinking of who our possible competition could be:

Ipswich - don't know anything about it. Guess it's like Reading a bit, being a big town.

Middlesbrough

Bournemouth - popular tourist spot, decent uni, etc...

Blackburn

.....

Randomly looking at the list of other big towns and it includes:

Swindon, Bolton, Blackpool

...

Obviously it's not known if any of these (except Ipswich) would apply. It's just possibilities.

Not to mention completely random places like St Asaph that somehow got it.

I can't stand Milton Keynes but it would be just like them to win it. They continually refer to themselves as a city. Local news do it, signage, the council, locals, everyone. As a new town I'm guessing there's always development and improvements happening. If they did try then I would think they'd be strong contenders.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by mikejee »

Afraid I cannot see why on earth anyone, other than councillors who will use it to have lots of "Jollies", is bothered about it
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Ditto
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by maggieaitch »

And me. Complete waste of time and money.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by OLDMAN »

And think of the outrage when RBC keep blathering on about not having any money in the pot now

To spend loads (and it cost a lot to do) on this would cause riots


And I will be arranging them so anyone wanting to join please get in touch :whistle1:
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

I can fully see the value and think it would be a worthy thing to pursue
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by ReadingT »

bobby1413 wrote: 14 Feb 2018 08:23 I can fully see the value and think it would be a worthy thing to pursue
Same.

We are a city in all but name pretty much.
bobby1413

Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

A study completed in 2011 showed that towns who became cities saw increases in investment and reductions in unemployment when based on previous years.

Preston in 2002 saw them get into the top 5 areas of the country for private sector growth after their successful bid in 2002.

The average bid to become a city costs £10'000 - which in my view is a really small sum when we're talking about council money which is spent in far more careless ways.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by THC »

I think Reading should bid for village or hamlet status, in doing so all of the changes of the last 100 years or so could be reversed !
Bob deBilda

Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Bob deBilda »

bobby1413 wrote: 14 Feb 2018 12:38 A study completed in 2011 showed that towns who became cities saw increases in investment and reductions in unemployment when based on previous years.
We have pretty much full employment for anyone who can work and wants to work. More vacancies just means more people moving or commuting in, and I can't see the benefit in that. More vacancies also means wage increases, and as wages go up, so do property prices.

In short, we're pretty full up, doing ok, and if we want the trappings of a big city, there's one just up the line. Leave it as it is, or you deprive future generations the opportunity to recycle this discussion.

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OLDMAN
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by OLDMAN »

bobby1413 wrote: 14 Feb 2018 12:38 .................

The average bid to become a city costs £10'000 - which in my view is a really small sum when we're talking about council money which is spent in far more careless ways.
£10000 is the tip of an iceberg and only the cost of the bid

If successful it’s the on-cost of things like changing road / building signs, headed paperwork and everything else associated with it that costs more as far as the council is concerned
And form our taxes etc


And that will also impact on costs for companies to do the same


RBC once made the mistake of speeding a lot of money on doing all the changes believing we were going to get it

But we failed………and the signs etc stayed up for a few years as they didn’t have enough to change them all back again
Oldman........

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they annoyed me........................

I hug everybody –
It’s not affection, I’m just measuring up how big a hole I need to dig for the body!
bobby1413

Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

Bob deBilda wrote: 14 Feb 2018 13:45
bobby1413 wrote: 14 Feb 2018 12:38 A study completed in 2011 showed that towns who became cities saw increases in investment and reductions in unemployment when based on previous years.
We have pretty much full employment for anyone who can work and wants to work. More vacancies just means more people moving or commuting in, and I can't see the benefit in that. More vacancies also means wage increases, and as wages go up, so do property prices.

In short, we're pretty full up, doing ok, and if we want the trappings of a big city, there's one just up the line. Leave it as it is, or you deprive future generations the opportunity to recycle this discussion.

Regards
Bob
[Presently in a very large Texan city.]
My original post was not intended to show a literal representation of what would happen here. It was to show that some who say "it means nothing" are wrong in my view.

It shows that it can boost the area, employment, investment, business developments, transport, education, more on the international map, etc...
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mikejee
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by mikejee »

As has already been pointed out, we have almost full employment for those who want to work, so it would mean yet more people travelling in likely by car, thus increasing the traffic congestion, or people coming in, which would increase house prices and make it more difficult to maintain the green areas around the town and put a further burden on schools.It would be unlikely that any significant transport improvements would occur. But the councillors would be pleased
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Jude »

I am sure the bid itself would cost ATLEAST ten times that amount, probably a hundred times it or more.
bobby1413

Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

mikejee wrote: 14 Feb 2018 22:45 As has already been pointed out, we have almost full employment for those who want to work, so it would mean yet more people travelling in likely by car, thus increasing the traffic congestion, or people coming in, which would increase house prices and make it more difficult to maintain the green areas around the town and put a further burden on schools.It would be unlikely that any significant transport improvements would occur. But the councillors would be pleased

This is not a personal dig at you as I can see the reality/reasoning in what you're saying.

I feel it's a bit sad to have that attitude that we don't want more people travelling into Reading, to work here or to live here. All mainly because of traffic, and maintaining of amenities.

Again that's not aimed at you. I guess it's more of a dig at the council and road designers maybe.

The only way I will challenge you here is that other larger places/cities must have the same issues. Places like Coventry, Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge all must have lots of people travelling in or moving there for work.

Are their road systems struggling like hours. Sometimes I think when people moan about Reading they forget it's a country wide issue. There's just too many cars on the road for the infrastructure to take
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by MickEdge »

I am wondering why I’ve joined this discussion. I suppose it’s because I like Reading, it’s my home town and I want other people to like Reading and when they don’t, I don’t like it, even when they might be right. Being granted city status would be a compliment, some group of people liked Reading, even if they don’t divulge why; and as far I can find out, they are governing ministers i.e. politicians! If it brings in more investment that probably justifies it for me, as long I can see it doing good, such as developing the prison area, not just for commercial purposes, and more money for transport and traffic management. Reading seems to be growing pretty well now and keeps popping up in top tens, so I’m not sure city status will add much. Promotion to the Premiership and staying there would probably do more to promote the town, which for me is what it will always be.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by D6equj5 »

I see it as purely a PR stunt and suspect the RBC PR department are under threat by the latest round of service cuts and are attempting to boost their imagined self-worth by promoting this hair-brained scheme.

Edited: typo
Last edited by D6equj5 on 16 Feb 2018 20:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Don’t think your far wrong there D6. Who does city status really benefit? The town? As mickedge gets points out, it’s growing pretty well as it is and has been for some time. The residents? Most wouldn’t give a wet noodle for city status as it means zilch to them personally I suspect. As a native I’m very proud of it as it is and making it a city makes me no prouder. Potential investors? Well, that’s exactly and only what they are - investors to make money for themselves. City status could be a draw for them I guess. New incommeres? I don’t know - would being a city infer high prices and cost of living as well as potential jobs? As for football, for goats sake, it’s only a game and as a business it’s not all that! IDK. To my mind, city status confers prestige and recognition on the probably usual,old boys network of councillors and politicians who bring the idea, but not the money, to the table, so they can put it on their CV and receive copious back slaps from their peers.

The City of Reading. Looks ridiculous in print and costly in practice.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by mikejee »

PR departments are definitely the first thing I would close in any cuts, even ahead of football agents, though I suppose they are very much the same thing
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Ollycat »

Bournemouth football team doing better than ours!!
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by bobby1413 »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 15 Feb 2018 10:16 The City of Reading. Looks ridiculous in print and costly in practice.
That is just a ridiculous statement to say. It looks ridiculous to you because it's new and for your entire life it's always been "Reading Town Centre" and not "Reading City Centre".

If we were made a city, then those in 20 years wouldn't even bat an eyelid at it being referred to as a City. It's just the way it is (or would be).

I can see your other points though, I do think investors and busiensses probably would notice it and it may draw some over places like Maidenhead, Basingstoke, Swindon. I do agree also that we are growing quite well as it is - but i'd still like the status myself!
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Pooneil »

D6equj5 wrote: 15 Feb 2018 09:32 I see it as purely a PR stunt and suspect the RBC PR department are under threat by the latest round of service cuts and are attempting to boost their imagined self-worth but promoting this hair-brained scheme.
Ah but look at it this way - given the two ways that the word "Reading" can be pronounced/interpreted, there's no way they could proclaim themselves "The City of Reading" and not have a half-decent library system - the tabloids would have a field day with making that a national joke!
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Yeah, thanks for telling me how to think bobby. My opinion is it looks ridiculous. My. Opinion.
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by piwacket »

Pooneil wrote: 16 Feb 2018 18:14 Ah but look at it this way - given the two ways that the word "Reading" can be pronounced/interpreted, there's no way they could proclaim themselves "The City of Reading" and not have a half-decent library system - the tabloids would have a field day with making that a national joke!
:)) Good point Poo!

And what else is different about the town since the last application to make it more likely it would be successful?

Minuses:
More homeless and beggars - (and druggies?)
More traffic and hold-ups + more parking restrictions and costs.
More and more flats + more and more housing development, thus adding to the first point.
Those are just the ones that immediately come to my mind

So what are pluses?
There's no such thing as a free lunch
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by Pooneil »

piwacket wrote: 16 Feb 2018 22:19 And what else is different about the town since the last application to make it more likely it would be successful?

Minuses:
More homeless and beggars - (and druggies?)
More traffic and hold-ups + more parking restrictions and costs.
More and more flats + more and more housing development, thus adding to the first point.
Those are just the ones that immediately come to my mind

So what are pluses?
I'm not sure that more flats and housing are a minus in themself - and I'm not sure they necessarily cause more homeless and beggars.

I think Reading has a better set of drinking and dining establishments than it did last time.
The station certainly looks swankier, and that appalling eyesore the Western Tower has gone.

And there surely can't be any more obscure Welsh historical settlements to swipe a city status! :wink:
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by piwacket »

Ah OOps!
I should have said that more flat and housing developments - added to point two (not the first point)
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Re: Would Reading bid for City status in 2022?

Post by MickEdge »

I do like Pooneil’s “City of Reading”, pronounced reeding. It makes us seem very bookish and learned, which I am sure we are. It would help us compete with that city further upstream. Then we could bid for an annual city of culture award. Perhaps if we are stuck with the name we should all start pronouncing it reeding. Maybe I’ll try that out for a while. Or since Reading is such a nuisance in Google searches, why don’t we revert to the Roman Readingum or the Anglo Saxon Readingas, quite like the sound of the latter.
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