At last Thursday’s Executive meeting Cllr Phil Challis (Liberal Democrat Councillor for Loddon Ward) asked about the failure of the town centre regeneration committee to meet.
Following the meeting, Cllr Challis said: ‘Can the Conservatives be trusted to manage the multi-million pound investment in the Wokingham town centre regeneration project? The answer is we just don’t know.
‘The Executive’s response to my question was along the lines of everything is ok, trust us.
‘I believe that good governance is not saying that you are going to do the right thing, but actually demonstrating publicly that you are. One of the major themes of the coalition government is open and transparent governance. Wokingham Borough Council still has a great deal to learn in this regard.’
Wokingham Liberal Democrats have issued their response to the coalition government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
Prue Bray (leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wokingham Borough Council) said: ‘The Comprehensive Spending Review, as a settlement for councils, is going to be tough, but it has been announced as it was trailed. It contained some good news for schools, as their budgets are to be protected. But we don’t have any detail as yet about how things will be affected locally.
‘What is clear is that it will be left up to councils to make their own decision as to how they allocate money. Wokingham Borough Council will be able to decide upon its own priorities. The Liberal Democrats think the highest priority in the Borough should be looking after vulnerable people. We will be looking hard at how the Conservatives in Wokingham choose to spend the money, and hope that they too share our priority of looking after vulnerable people.’
Wokingham Liberal Democrats were appalled at the shambolic way in which the Extraordinary Executive meeting on Thursday was conducted, at which vital decisions affecting all Wokingham Borough residents, were decided.
Prue Bray said: ‘What a shambles! A key decision on the multi-million pound project to regenerate Wokingham town centre was taken in a couple of minutes, with very little discussion and seconds to spare on the deadline, because of the Conservatives’ inability to control their own Executive members.
‘The Conservative Executive were in complete disarray. A packed room of local residents watched on in astonishment as the meeting descended into chaos, with adjournments, unexpected amendments and absolute confusion. In all my years as a councillor, I have never seen an Executive meeting run in such a shambolic way.
‘The Liberal Democrats are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of attention to detail shown by this Executive in dealing with issues of such important to the residents of Wokingham Borough. If they can’t run a meeting, how can they be trusted to run the multi-million Wokingham town centre regeneration project?’