Lib Dems call on Conservatives to apologise to residents as Wokingham Borough judged worst council in Berkshire

The Lib Dems are calling on the Conservatives to apologise to residents for the way they have run Wokingham Borough Council following the latest judgement on the council’s performance from the Audit Commission and Ofsted, published on 9th December.

The Audit Commission has rated Wokingham as only “adequate” overall, putting it firmly in the bottom half of councils, the majority of which are “good” or “excellent”.  Wokingham was also only adequate for both the way it manages it performance and for its use of resources.  Slough is the only other council in Berkshire which has not been rated as “good” overall  – and they have received a “good” rating, for the way they managed their performance.

In an even more damning judgement, Ofsted has rated Wokingham’s Children’s Services as “poor” because of shortcomings in the council’s safeguarding service, making it one of the worst in the country.

Leader of the Opposition on the council,  Lib Dem Councillor Prue Bray, said “Wokingham residents have been let down by the Conservatives.  There are no two ways about it.  They have run the council badly and services are not as good as they should be.  Most worryingly, Ofsted has identified a number of failings in the services that are supposed to make sure children are kept safe.  There is a new team now in Children’s Services who are seeking to put things right, and there are signs that they are starting to turn things round.  I really hope they can.  But the Conservatives should never have got the council into this situation in the first place.

“What I find most frustrating is that every time we raise our concerns about Conservative failures, they accuse us of playing politics.  But how can we keep quiet when we can see so many things going wrong?    The Conservatives try to pretend everything they are doing is wonderful.  They would do better to own up to their mistakes – then perhaps we would have a chance of improving council services.”

Published by Woodley & Whitegates Liberal Democrats, 26 Farriers Close Woodley, Reading RG5 3DD.

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