Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by readingguy »

I’ve lived in Reading for 17 years and never owned a car (yes I do have a licence), in that time I’ve lived in Central Reading, Wokingham, Spencer’s Wood, West Reading, Caversham Heights and in the University area. I’ve always made it work for me, making small lifestyle adjustments where necessary and utilising friends with cars if necessary. Reading is one of the best connected places in the UK and not owning a car has never made me feel ‘cut off’ from anything, though I appreciate personal circumstance has a part to play in that.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by lizwing »

It must be harder for people with children living in a flat in central Reading without a car, schools aren’t always conveniently next door to one another so if you have more than one child and they’re at different schools that’s going to be a problem. Going out together as a family isn’t easy if you have to get a bus or a train either. My son drives but doesn’t own a car because he lives in the centre of Liverpool and finds it easy to get around by tram or bus, or just walking but that’s not Reading and he doesn’t have a family.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by MickEdge »

I don’t think the answer is to build higher and higher, with limited parking. Tower blocks do seem to have had a bad history in the UK. And yes, Reading is a long way off being big enough to provide a good place to live without a car. OLDMAN’s reference to RBC’s limiting boundaries and other councils makes me think the unitary experiment has not worked. Great for politicians, as it creates lots of little fiefdoms for them to run. However, the pressure to provide jobs and homes in the South East needs a wider view and I don’t mean just by central government. Maybe the time has come to move the boundaries to their natural geographic positions. Wokingham, Bracknell, Henley, much of South Oxfordshire and to the west to include the villages that look to Reading, rather than West Berkshire. Won’t happen of course and not even if it’s judged to be a bad idea. Politics reigns over the people.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by buseng »

A bit OT, but at least this one is stopped. Somebody actually knows how to say NO. a slight twist is that the application was pulled before the council could say no. Egg on developers faces at long last. Hope it continues.
https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/after ... st-minute/
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by chris_j_wood »

MickEdge wrote: 28 Apr 2018 08:03 And yes, Reading is a long way off being big enough to provide a good place to live without a car.
I don't agree. I ran a car for many years in Reading, but about five years ago I decided I couldn't continue to justify the cost (both in terms of money and time) involved and, when my last car needed a lot of expense to keep it on the road, decided to see what life would be like without a car. I've never looked back. I walk, use buses and the occasional taxi to get around the town. Trains to go further. I still have a driving licence, and when I need to do something that none of those work for, I'll hire a car for a few days. Typically that is two or three times a year.

Whilst I do encounter the occasional inconvenience and irritation through not having a car on tap, on the whole I think my lifestyle has improved. No having to worry about MOTs and servicing, no having to go out of your way because all trips have to be circular back to where you parked your car, no having to say no to impromptu invitations to go for a pint because you are driving. I can stop off in the town centre on my way to and/or from work for a coffee, a bite to eat or to do some shopping without having to pay for parking. And I walk a lot more, which has to be healthy.
MickEdge wrote: 28 Apr 2018 08:03 OLDMAN’s reference to RBC’s limiting boundaries and other councils makes me think the unitary experiment has not worked. Great for politicians, as it creates lots of little fiefdoms for them to run. However, the pressure to provide jobs and homes in the South East needs a wider view and I don’t mean just by central government. Maybe the time has come to move the boundaries to their natural geographic positions. Wokingham, Bracknell, Henley, much of South Oxfordshire and to the west to include the villages that look to Reading, rather than West Berkshire. Won’t happen of course and not even if it’s judged to be a bad idea. Politics reigns over the people.
Hum. I'm in two minds on that. There is no question but that the old Berkshire County Council used Reading as a cash cow, and chose to spend most of its money in the more rural parts of Berkshire, and I certainly wouldn't want to go back to that. But equally the boundaries are very constraining. Not sure.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by chris_j_wood »

buseng wrote: 28 Apr 2018 10:42 A bit OT, but at least this one is stopped. Somebody actually knows how to say NO. a slight twist is that the application was pulled before the council could say no. Egg on developers faces at long last. Hope it continues.
https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/after ... st-minute/
I wouldn't guarantee that lasting; they will be back. Whilst this is a real shame from the point of view of losing the After Dark Club (not to mention my neighbour Neil losing his livelihood), as a development it is very small beer. The sort of infill development that should, in general if not in this specific case, be supported.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by MickEdge »

I salute your environmental credentials, chris_j_wood, by doing without a car and pleased it has worked out well for you. Trouble is I like having a car, something I suspect most of us do. One of my off-spring has lived in London for well over ten years and until now has never owned a car. Walking, a bike, public transport, Uber and hire cars have worked well for him, but when a baby arrived, that all changed! He used to hire Zip cars, that are parked in the street, which you have for as long as you require (hours or days) and then return to the same place. In Reading there is Co-wheels, which seem to have about six cars. Maybe if we had a few more these, more of us could manage without owning a car. I know some bike hire schemes allow you to leave the bike anywhere. This would be a bit more tricky for care hire, but not impossible with modern technology, and it would increase the appeal. Perhaps some of the parking spaces for new flats could be reserved for such cars. However, for many of us, the ability to jump in our own car and head off whenever, is a habit that will be hard to break.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by dave m »

Reading university has a kind of car club and I understand that there are reserved spaces for them
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by OLDMAN »

Trouble is it all comes down to circumstance and personal life

I travel 12 miles to work – I can do the journey in 25mins average, at a cost of about £4:00 (including running costs)
So, the round trip is 24miles / 50-60min / £7:00

And only walking is house – car / car – office

Can’t cycle due to arthritic knees

By bus it would be 30min walking, 35min bus – total of 2hr 10mins day and at £4:30 (all in ticket) slightly less if a got a ‘season ticket’

Train is 45min walk and 15min train – total of 2hr per day and at £4:70


So, it a no brainer to have / use the car


If I cud find a job that meant I could walk or bus to then I would think again
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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For me, it’s also a time thing. I don’t have time to walk to the bus stop, wait for a bus, travel on the bus, walk from the bus stop to the place of work and then reverse the entire thing each evening. I would estimate it would take a good hour using the bus, plus or minus traffic conditions. I’d be pretty much tied to particular bus times and routes, whereas I can come and go as I please routewise in a car.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by chris_j_wood »

I wouldn't pretend that my journeys don't take longer. For me it is about 40 minutes on the bus (plus 6 or 7 walking) as against about 25 driving. But driving is dead time (ie. I cannot do anything else) whilst bus travel isn't. I use it to check my mail, read the news, sometimes I even post to the forum.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Which is fine if that’s what you want/like/need to do. I often buy groceries on the way home, for example, and need to get back to make the meal etc, so every minute spent sitting on a bus or lugging great bags of food around, is dead time to me. As OM says, it’s what suits your lifestyle, and being careless doesn’t.

I like the relatively quiet time to myself, concentrating on nothing but driving. It’s my own personal space, which is a rarity these days. I just do not like the public, of public transport. On the occasions I use the bus, I end up more stressed, annoyed and sometimes quite disgusted, by the fellow passengers verbal and personal habits.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Urban myth »

Looks like Network Rail have moved out of the old post office site. Not sure whether that means the units will be demolished or just a more unhindered site for the tumbleweed to blow across.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by OneGorman »

Still no start date for the flats?
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by buseng »

OneGorman wrote: 05 Sep 2018 09:13 Still no start date for the flats?
Keep it that way! At this rate Reading will be renamed Flat Town. The forum might go the same way.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by OLDMAN »

No different to any other towns I've visited

Where I work in Bracknell is a surrounded by new flats and converted offices!
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by OneGorman »

buseng wrote: 05 Sep 2018 12:17
OneGorman wrote: 05 Sep 2018 09:13 Still no start date for the flats?
Keep it that way! At this rate Reading will be renamed Flat Town. The forum might go the same way.
We can thank the conservatives for that. RBC are only doing as they and all the other towns and cities are being told.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by ash »

From what I understand, only a scoping opinion has been submitted to the planners. They haven't actually submitted a detailed planning application so it will probably be ages before any construction starts.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by bobby1413 »

OneGorman wrote: 05 Sep 2018 22:35
buseng wrote: 05 Sep 2018 12:17
OneGorman wrote: 05 Sep 2018 09:13 Still no start date for the flats?
Keep it that way! At this rate Reading will be renamed Flat Town. The forum might go the same way.
We can thank the conservatives for that. RBC are only doing as they and all the other towns and cities are being told.

There's nothing more exhausting, boring and sh*te than constantly getting political with cheap throwaway comments like this.

My political view is irrelevant here but do you really think one specific political party is responsible for the fact that flats and apartments are popular and being built?

Maybe it's more to do with demand, that there is a housing shortage.

Anyone who argues that "<insert political party> wouldn't have done that" is just deluded.

They're all the same.

Same with Brexit. People saying Theresa May isn't suitable, no one is. It's a bloody mess. It's complimented and we will never "win". There's no right person here and there's no right party. They're all weak, all have their own flaky agendas. And they'll all screw up something and be blamed then compared with others.

(Sorry that was far bigger a rant than I intended).

Oh and FYI I think flats and apartments are just flavour of the month (decade). It's the modern world. It's Yokelism to be anti flats and anti apartments when they're in central locations and built up areas. Or maybe it's just old fashioned and out of touch?
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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I agree with some of your post, but not all ;

As far as I am concerned Brexit is the direct result of the Conservative Parties inability to function as a whole and be united with Europe being the main issue. and to solve the matter Cameron went to the country....and you are right, it's complicated and a jolly fine mess it is too.

Theresa May is there by default rather than any great passion for the project, I suspect she is desperately trying to do her very best, she's that sort of person...only history will tell whether she is right or not.
Labour would just have chosen another issue, oh, wait a minute, they seem to be doing their very best to split apart with anti semitism as the issue...the only thing us that with them it's a party matter and while it may change forever the Labour Party, it won't have the effect on all of us that Brexit will.

It's a long time since I could be called a yokel...but hey, if it's trendy, why not...except that isn't the reason I don't like the mumber of flats. Reading is a town that has developed at a speed it's services have failed to cope with....references would be two GP surgeries closing this year and no replacements plus the debacle over the Heights school ( which illustrates just how bad RBC are at looking forward ) or the failure to increase the size of RBH....now, as several blocks of flats being built contain two bed apartments and human nature being what it is, it's only a matter of time before the population of children, all wanting and needing an education increases and there is no provision and none planned either.
Is it unreasonable to want the needs of the people already here to be addressed before adding to the pressure ? I doubt the developers are building these blocks to answer current housing shortages locally, no, in the most part they are looking to attract commuters...and just add to the problems...lets only make minimal provision for cars and hope that none of them need to use a bus, because hey, we've cut those too !

You call it yolkelism if you like....I'll call it common sense !
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by dave m »

You can't blame the council for granting permission for flats.
Nobody in their right mind would build a few semis with gardens on the Royal Mail site, and RCC can only grant permission to what is offered. Refusal can only be a solution if the criteria fit, as central government wrote the rules in developers' favour

RBC didn't control the RBH decision.
Again, central government made the decision to close Battle. The R BH site cannot be sold, so all services had to be concentrated on that site. Plans had been discussed where an out of town hospital was proposed but they were upset by the original site restriction, plus objections about transport
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Mayfield »

The fact remains though, that there are not supporting facilities. Is RBC really obliged to say yes to all these applications or could it insist on less density for example ?


The other day I happened upon a planning application for 42 dwellings, 30 flats and 12 houses. The developer had told the council that if he had to supply social housing within this, per regulations the project wouldn't be profitable enough for him, so instead they are to pay £250,000 . I wondered what happens to this money ? Does it just go in a general fund or help toward other social housing projects ? And how many times does this happen ? No property, just a cash fine ?
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by OLDMAN »

dave m wrote: 07 Sep 2018 09:03...........
RBC didn't control the RBH decision.
Again, central government made the decision to close Battle. The R BH site cannot be sold, so all services had to be concentrated on that site. Plans had been discussed where an out of town hospital was proposed but they were upset by the original site restriction, plus objections about transport
Interesting comment about RBH ‘can’t’ be sold – how come they were talking about selling part of it off a few years back for a new school that was another dumb idea of dib**** Rob Wilson?
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by dave m »

Rob Wilson didn't do his research - or assumed that they would lease? Dunno
But his idea was news to the Royal Berks .

Under terms of the land gift , the site cannot be sold or used for anything but medical care
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by OLDMAN »

At the time I did wonder if it would allowed and thought there was something covering it all
And heard about them knowing nothing about it

Just shows how much he cocked it up

Good info
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by MickEdge »

dave m wrote: 07 Sep 2018 10:31 Rob Wilson didn't do his research - or assumed that they would lease? Dunno
But his idea was news to the Royal Berks .

Under terms of the land gift , the site cannot be sold or used for anything but medical care
Can’t a compulsory purchase order be made to overcome a covenant? I know it tends to be for transport developments or by utility companies, but I am sure if all parties agree it can be removed.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by dave m »

I don't know but presumably it has been researched.
There was a scandal a few years ago (decade?) where the C of E sold some Victorian schools and spent the money, only to discover that if the land was sold, the original donor would be entitled to it

Lord addington donated the land to RBH which was built by subscription - don't know if the issue was land or property based
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by MickEdge »

If you can get 1,000 flats on the site, could you build a multi-storey hospital instead, probably not. However, it wouldn’t need a car park, or involve awkward journeys for patients and visitors to get there.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by dave m »

I had a little scope around the CPO regs.
If they applied a CPO they would have to pay the full market price, for what they already have
They'd still be stuck with a listed building

You'd never get permission to build highrise on the RBH site

From memory, green park was a suggested location at one point for a new hospital
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

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MickEdge wrote: 07 Sep 2018 18:02 If you can get 1,000 flats on the site, could you build a multi-storey hospital instead, probably not. However, it wouldn’t need a car park, or involve awkward journeys for patients and visitors to get there.
Umm... Mick are you suggesting a hospital be built on the RBH site, or the Royal Mail site?
Why wouldn’t either of them need a Car Park? All the staff alone, let alone some very sick patients can’t all walk or go by bus.
There's no such thing as a free lunch
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by bobby1413 »

People keep calling Reading a town. It is but I think that is indicative of the attitude. Some are seeing it as some sleepy outlying, commuter town with a few thousand people passing through.

It's not. It is a "city" with a whole myriad of issues, and assocaited problems. It is heavily populated. It is business critical. It is the heart of the bloody UK silicon valley for god' sake.

Some need to get with the programme and stop worrying about "where will these people shop"... "where will their kids go to school".... "where will they park".....

The vast majority of these types don't have kids, cars, and the need to do the "big shop".

They're not middle class yokels from Woodley with 2 brats in need of a garden.
They are well paid professionals who either work in Thames Valley Park or somewhere nearby, or they get on the 25 minute train into Paddington and work in the City.

Parking is the last thing on their mind.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Oi, steady on. Well paid professionals work in plenty of other places than the oft touted but really not all that TVP and/or up the smoke, still live in Woodley and other parts of Reading and are neither middle class nor yokels and I’m sure they’d not be too pleased to hear their kids called brats, thanks. For years there have been more people coming in to Reading to work than leave it.

Of course people worry about the infrastructure supporting the population of any large town. Unless you don’t have kids or plan not to need a dentist, doctor or ever be sick in hospital, it should concern you too.
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by piwacket »

bobby1413 wrote: 07 Sep 2018 19:55
They're not middle class yokels from Woodley with 2 brats in need of a garden.
They are well paid professionals who either work in Thames Valley Park or somewhere nearby, or they get on the 25 minute train into Paddington and work in the City.

Parking is the last thing on their mind.
Yes, I can see your vision ....

... and they never get older whilst they’re here - they just move on to the next IT Metropolis? Nor get married and/or have children.
Or ever get sick (from all that stress?) or break a leg or whatever...

Nor have a Mum or Dad or other relations they may - or not - wish to visit at weekends

They just eat to live, to get back to their desks the next morning ...

So are they Automatons, programmed by Central,Office?

I was a business woman most of my working life, working very long hours - but I had outside interests when I had the time. I got married, on occasion I got sick too. Parents who didn’t leave near by, and a sister in the other direction, as did OH. I didn’t want to live in an apartment in a bland block!
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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by windrush »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 07 Sep 2018 20:06 Oi, steady on. Well paid professionals work in plenty of other places than the oft touted but really not all that TVP and/or up the smoke, still live in Woodley and other parts of Reading and are neither middle class nor yokels and I’m sure they’d not be too pleased to hear their kids called brats, thanks. For years there have been more people coming in to Reading to work than leave it.

Of course people worry about the infrastructure supporting the population of any large town. Unless you don’t have kids or plan not to need a dentist, doctor or ever be sick in hospital, it should concern you too.


I live in a small town and we have exactly the same issues! I am on the PG at the surgery and they admit that they struggle to cope now, the schools are at capacity already and there are approx 500 extra homes being built on every spare inch of land including flood plains and land deemed unstable only a few years ago. Our town centre roundabout is working way beyond the government guidelines for traffic flow/polution levels and our local hospital is partly being closed down as well. Oh, and we have not much in the way of employment for any of them to earn a living by either! :? Robotic androids would seem to be the logical answer? :?

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Re: Royal Mail Site - 1000 New Flats

Post by Mayfield »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 07 Sep 2018 20:06 Oi, steady on. Well paid professionals work in plenty of other places than the oft touted but really not all that TVP and/or up the smoke, still live in Woodley and other parts of Reading and are neither middle class nor yokels and I’m sure they’d not be too pleased to hear their kids called brats, thanks. For years there have been more people coming in to Reading to work than leave it.

Of course people worry about the infrastructure supporting the population of any large town. Unless you don’t have kids or plan not to need a dentist, doctor or ever be sick in hospital, it should concern you too.
:goodposting:

The thing is that when you are in A and E waiting for goodness knows how long, or on the end of a long waiting list for a painful condition or your child is struggling in a class of 35 or 40, you don't care who is in charge of what ...you just want things to be better !
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