We always knew Ivan wouldn’t live forever, but we didn’t expect to lose him so young and so suddenly. He leaves a hole in our life so big that words can’t describe it. Bed time, bath time, meal time – nothing will feel the same again.
We console ourselves knowing that he won’t suffer anymore, that his end was quick, and that he is in a better place. But we all just miss him so desperately.
When we were first told the extent of Ivan’s disability I thought that we would suffer having to care for him but at least he would benefit from our care. Now as I look back I see that it was all the other way round. It was only him that ever really suffered and it was us – Sam, me, Nancy and Elwen – who gained more than I ever believed possible from having and loving such a wonderfully special and beautiful boy.”
As promised in an earlier posting, here are the answers I received to the questions I put at the Council meeting on Tuesday night:
Q1. Would the Leader of the Council tell me what plans she has to celebrate Armed Forces Day on 27 June this year?
A. The Council will be marking Armed Forces Day (formerly Veterans Day) in Reading’s Forbury Gardens on Sunday 28 June, from 12 noon to 5pm. This will be part of the national programme of events taking place up and down the country to honour Britain’s Armed Forces, past present and future.
Local military units, associations and related charities have been invited to attend to showcase the work they do through offering a range of activities such as an information stands, demonstrations, talks, music or children’s activities.The Reading Central Salvation Army Band will play from the bandstand and additional musical entertainment is being programmed. We also hope to incorporate a Veterans’ Badging Ceremony.
The Museum of Reading will have on display evacuee cases and WW1 and WW2 loans boxes to tie in with the event.
In addition we have secured the MOD’s (Ministry Of Defence) ‘We Were There’ exhibition, which will be hosted by the Broad Street Mall in the week running up to the event (20 – 28 June). The exhibition will be open to the public throughout the Mall’s opening hours.
We are currently finalising an application for MOD funding and if successful, this will allow us to develop the event further.
Q15. Would the Leader of the Council inform me how many Council employees have remuneration packages worth more than £50,000 in the current financial year? This should include salaries, bonuses, benefits in kind and termination payments, but exclude employee pension contributions. Please indicate how many of the staff listed are directly employed, how many indirectly and how many are teachers or school staff.
A. This information is available in the published accounts for the previous financial year. The information is not yet available for the current financial year. The number of staff who earned more than £50,000 per annum last year was 139, of whom 56 were school-based staff. All staff in this category are directly employed except for school-based staff in foundation or voluntary aided schools.
Q16. Could the Leader of the Council inform me how many staff received bonuses in the 2007/08 financial year. What was the total awarded in bonuses?
A. The Council does not have a system for awarding merit or performance-related bonuses in the commercially accepted sense of the word. Therefore the answer to this question is nil.