The Wokingham Borough Conservative Group believes in listening to residents and local businesses. It was the case when we ran Wokingham Borough Council. Now as the Opposition, we’re committed to ensuring residents’ voices are heard. We bring your concerns to Council meetings –through petitions, challenging questions, and motions.
From talking to residents, petitions, and consultation results, we know that you want your Council to provide basic universal services paid through your Council Tax. You want weekly bin collections, investment in roads maintenance and scrap Lib/Lab anti-car measures such as the punishing doubling of car parking charges. These priorities will be our policies if we are elected.
Unfortunately, the current Liberal Democrat administration, supported by Labour, has ignored and often undermined too many petitions and consultations. This includes the petition of 1800 residents, against moving to fortnightly bin collections, described as “spurious” by one senior Liberal Democrat councillor.
Liberal Democrats have often failed to consult residents, for example with the litter bin debacle, sneaking in their decision without any thought to residents’ views.
They doubled car parking charges, and implemented fortnightly bin collections for general waste and non-food recycling – despite a petition and consultation where residents indicated they wanted to retain weekly collections. They scrapped free caddy liners last year, again deciding in secret, and they failed to budget for any increase for road maintenance, which means real terms cut in the money for fixing potholes.
Public litter bins, road cleaning, along with grass cutting and weeding are among the most basic universal services residents can expect from their Council. They keep our area clean, tidy, and importantly safe. When Councils cut back on this, it creates a mess that costs an awful lot more to clear up in the long run. At October’s meeting of the Council’s ruling Executive, it decided to go ahead with reductions in road sweeping, weed spraying and grass cutting whilst public pressure forced them to U-turn on litter bins.
Reductions in public bins have only been stopped following Conservative intervention in July pointing out that proper processes hadn’t been followed, and then last month by our petition to Council from 2,000 residents calling for the policy to be scrapped.
As a result of all these cuts, alongside rises in Council tax, fees and charges, under the Liberal Democrats you pay more money in, but get less out of the Council. Since the party took power in 2022, services have been scaled back that have a real impact on all of us.
It doesn’t have to be this way. A Conservative council would put your needs first and invest in your priorities. We’d stop funding pet projects and instead ensure that basic services are properly funded. And we would make sure that your voices are always heard.