Directorate of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services

Team Reading

The Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services Directorate is the largest and most diverse directorate in the Council. It includes:

  • Regeneration and Assets
  • Housing and Communities
  • Environmental and Commercial Services
  • Planning
  • Transport and Regulatory Services
  • Culture

Culture

A vibrant and dynamic cultural and leisure offering is an intrinsic part of all great places. This service supports Reading’s economic success and sustainable growth and works to enhance the wellbeing of Reading’s residents through the provision of a high quality cultural and leisure services offer and adult learning service. Main areas of activity include:

  • Arts and Theatres – includes the Hexagon, South Street and the Concert Hall
  • Museum and Town Hall
  • Sport, Leisure and Play
  • Libraries – Reading’s library service operates across the town from a network of seven libraries
  • Archives and Modern Records
  • New Directions adult learning service

 “I got my first job at the Council in 1999, was here for 7 years and then after working in some other authorities I returned ‘home’ in 2016 – and have been here since – Reading is a fantastic town with a brilliant mix of culture, town and green spaces, and a thriving, ambitious cultural and arts sector!” 

Simon, Library Services Manager

Environmental and Commercial Services

The service is made up of several functions including:

  • Waste Operations: Waste collection, recycling and disposal.
  • Parks and Open Spaces: Grounds maintenance of Reading’s parks and open spaces, allotment sites, woodlands and waterway margins, highway verges, as well as public rights of way.
  • Streetcare Services: Highways, drainage and street cleaning.

The council is also undertaking business development to increase the range and scope of commercial, income-generating, activity in the service.

Did you know?

  • We offer many training opportunities including:  Lantra, NPTC Certificate of Competence in the operation of ride-on and pedestrian mowers and/or hand held power tools and/or chainsaws & NPTC PA6A Hand Held Sprayer Pesticide Application
  • Several roles including Refuse loaders can be entitled to contracted overtime.
  • We offer 5 – 10% shift allowances for street workers depending on the shift worked.

Housing and Communities

Addressing housing needs in the borough is one of the council’s main priorities. We work with a range of private and public sector partners to create successful communities that people can be proud of.

Housing service includes housing allocations and voids management, housing management landlord services to tenants, social inclusion and support services, and income recovery and debt advice services.

Housing Property Services provides repairs and planned maintenance to council housing and Homes for Reading.

The Housing Needs Service provides housing advice and ensures the council fulfils its statutory functions in relation to homelessness.

Communities

This service includes our Anti-Social Behaviour Team and Neighbourhood Initiatives Teams and supports a partnership response to neighbourhood-based issues, with a strong emphasis on Community Safety.

Regeneration and Assets

This part of the directorate is made up of a number of services which work together to encourage economic growth and development in the borough. We want to ensure that growth is sustainable and responsible and helps to make Reading a better place to live, work and visit. And there’s an important role to play in making the best use of the council’s own assets, to ensure we can get maximum value on behalf of our residents.

Key services include:

  • Asset and Facilities Management
  • Strategic Regeneration Projects
  • Promoting Regeneration and Housing Developments
  • Valuation, Capital Projects
  • Corporate Property and Repairs and Maintenance Client
  • Economic Development

We work closely with Reading’s Local Enterprise Partnership, focusing on key areas such as sustainability and energy management.

Planning

The Service supports the delivery of economic and sustainable growth while providing appropriate regulation to ensure an attractive and safe town. As well as maintaining high levels of performance in terms of managing planning applications, the service also develops policy and systems to secure sustainable development. The team’s work covers:

  • Development Management
  • Planning Policy and Enforcement
  • Natural Environment
  • Trees

Transport and Regulatory services

Transport Strategy and Infrastructure: includes development and delivery of the council’s Local Transport Plan, development of business cases to seek external funding on behalf of the council, transport development control for planning applications, and concessionary fares on public transport.

Network Management and Enforcement: is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of parking restrictions and bus lanes, road safety programmes, urban traffic management and control, and coordination of works/events on the highway network.

Transport Programmes and Projects: project manage the delivery of the council’s major transport capital programme and support the delivery of the outcomes identified in the council’s transport and parking transformation programme.

Regulatory services support and regulate businesses in relation to fair trading, food standards and hygiene, product safety, health and safety and premises and taxi licensing. Regulatory Services also work to protect the environment against statutory nuisances, pollution, and work to improve air quality in Reading. Many of these functions support the delivery of Reading Festival, one of the biggest festivals in the UK. They are also responsible for improvements to housing standards, supporting residents to live independently in their homes for longer and taking action to ensure that empty homes return to the market as quickly as possible. Finally, the service manages the Berkshire Coroners Service.