Gordon Brown has backed Reading's bid for city status and in his comments specifically mentions the area's community spirit.
I second that. Over the last few days I've been fortunate enough to attend 4 different meetings that show the community spirit.
Firstly there was 'governor's day' at my local primary school where, as well as enjoying 2 very lively maths lessons (yes - bit of a change from when I was at school!) governors, the head and deputy discussed the future of our school community and how we could improve further the great community spirit that there is at the school. Latest plans include a celebration of Reading on St Georges day, following on from the very successful international evening held earlier in the year.
I was then priviledged to be invited to attend the Reading branch of the MDC - a passionate and proud group of people who are not just banding together in difficult circumstances but reaching out to the local community and doing what they can to help those back home in Zimbabwe.
Later that same day I saw a presentation by the Whitley Muslim Educational Trust who are keen to expand their work of educating their children about their faith, put on more English classes and develop links with the rest of the community.
Finally last night, along with councillors, I attended an informal gathering of the committee members of the new Kennet Island Resident's Association who are doing all they can to develop a community spirit in their brand new development and are preparing for their first AGM.
So yes - Reading is full of community spirit and it's important to remember that at this time of year which can feel a bit grey and washed out: we live in a great place and we should be proud of it!