Sneaky budget disgrace

Wokingham Liberal Democrats are demanding that Conservative-run Wokingham Borough Council has a more open and honest budget setting process in place before next year.

Cllr Kay Gilder (Lib Dem Councillor for South Lake ward) said: ‘There was some really sneaky stuff hidden away in this year’s Council budget. For example, the only information about car parking charge increases that the Conservatives had previously given out was that season tickets would be rising by an average of 56 per cent.

‘However, now that the list of car parking charges has been published in full, users of car parks in Winnersh, Earley and Wargrave will be shocked to learn that they will be paying 133.5 per cent more for a six month season ticket and a whopping 153 per cent more for a three month season ticket.’

‘Also hidden away was the substantial cut in funding for concessionary travel. This means that more 5,000 residents over the age of 70 will no longer receive travel tokens. The Conservatives did not bother to consult with anyone who receives travel tokens, or even inform the voluntary driver organisations upon whom these vulnerable residents will now have to rely. And even where they showed the cut in funding in their budget, they didn’t say that this meant that elderly residents in the Borough would lose their travel tokens. It is an utter disgrace.’

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

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