True to form, Wokingham’s Tories didn’t listen and will plough on with ill-thought-out and rushed cuts to local youth and children’s services. This is despite cross-party committee agreement that consultation on the plans to make cuts had not been done well and had failed to get across to local residents the full implication of what was happening and the impact the cuts might have on the Borough’s young people.
Local Lib Dems have consistently tried to get the Conservatives to stop, listen and think about what they were planning to do. This month the Lib Dems formally challenged the decision of the Conservative Executive. This was after Conservatives at a full council meeting refused to back a Lib Dem motion also calling for Conservatives to stop and listen to residents’ concerns.
Cllr Lindsay Ferris (Twyford ward) presented the Lib Dem challenge saying “This call-in has been made not so much because there has been a cut in the Youth & Children’s Services budget, but because of how the process of consultation took place and in particular the lack of openness that has occurred.” Following the meeting Lindsay, said “we forced the Conservatives to admit that the consultation wasn’t good enough, but still they all voted to plough on regardless.”
Lib Dem Cllr Beth Rowland (South Lake ward) was furious that the Conservatives voted to continue with their plans despite criticism from the cross-party committee. Beth said “Conservatives just can’t listen because they always think they know what’s best for everyone. Well they don’t. It was clear at the meeting that the Lib Dems won the arguments but the Conservatives just won’t listen.”