Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
We’re told in report after report that Reading is one of the best, if not the best, place to live in the country. However, there are a number of problems in our town that get overlooked in reports like that.
We love Reading. But we want Reading to be a town where everyone can live healthy happy lives, not just the rich. However, this doesn’t always seem to be the case. As part of our job we get to talk to lots of people about a lot of different things, and many of the stories we’re told are at times either heart breaking or infuriating. Like the people who are trying to move house, but are being charged by letting agents £1,000+ for all the checks and references that need to be gotten. That’s over £1,000 before we’ve even thought about the cripplingly high monthly rental charges.
Or some of the stories told to us by elderly people. You’d have thought that living in a society where the council provide carers for people would be a good thing. But what if that carer can’t attend for whatever reason – say they’re stuck on traffic? Did you know that you still have to pay the full cost as if the carer had been there? This may be the only time they talk to someone during the day; this may be the day the carer was going to go shopping for them because the cupboards are bare; this may have been the time they were going to be able to wash themselves this week. And there’s no one there. And they’re still being charged full price for it.
What about the news reported by Launchpad that homelessness has increased in Reading by 800%? This is, of course, just the figures that can be counted. Yet there is no night shelter in Reading and the council were disapproving of the ‘A Bed For The Night’ initiative (where a group of churches got together to provide rough sleepers a safe place to spend the night, 7 nights a week for the month of January. Which was so necessary that it’s being ran for both January and February this year). And then we hear about entire streets being forced to leave their houses because the letting agents were bought out and the new letting agents wanted to raise the rents, so are refusing to renew any contracts on that street.
So, ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
But don’t let it get you down, get angry. Join ACORN and join the growing movement to take a stand against these injustices. We are a group of concerned citizens who feel that Reading should be a great place for us all to live, not just the wealthy. We are organising within our communities to create better lives for ourselves and better futures for our children. Tell us (you can connect through facebook or twitter) what needs to change in our communities, come and stand with us, and we can make Reading and the nation a better place.