Local Lib Dems have mounted a furious attack on the Conservatives over their plans to focus spending on Wokingham as their “key” town, to the exclusion of all other parts of the Borough. The Conservatives have announced plans to spend almost £100 million on Wokingham town centre, including a new station link road and a revamped railway station, with almost no money planned to be spent on improvements elsewhere in the Borough.
Lib Dem leader, Cllr Prue Bray (Winnersh ward) said “This borough is not like Bracknell Forest or Reading, with one big town and a few satellite communities. We have three communities roughly the same size in Earley, Woodley and Wokingham town, and a whole host of villages. Wokingham town is getting nearly all the money, and nearly all the attention. It feels like the Conservatives have forgotten that this council has a responsibility to the whole borough, not just to one corner of it.
The Conservatives constructed their budget in isolation without consultation with anyone outside their group. They ignore what the borough’s residents are calling for – not expensive schemes but basic services – for example, public toilets, a decent library in Twyford, and tackling illegal parking problems. The council is pouring the best part of £100 million into Wokingham town centre. The whole of the rest of the borough has to make do with only a tiny fraction of that amount.”
Cllr Dee Tomlin (Twyford ward) added “For years we have campaigned to replace Twyford’s grotty dilapidated portacabin library with a decent community facility. But in this budget there is no money for Twyford – or anywhere else. Wokingham town gets a whole feast of investment. And the rest of us are left with – well, not even scraps. “
Wokingham Borough’s Lib Dems have vowed to continue to fight for a fair deal for residents across the Borough.