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Lib Dems call for crossing in Headley Road

In the last two weeks over 600 Woodley residents have signed a petition calling for a pedestrian crossing to improve safety for people crossing between the Headley Rd Car Park and the Oakwood Centre and Woodford Park.  They believe that a pedestrian crossing will not only improve safety but will also improve access to the Oakwood Centre and Woodford Park for disabled users and improve patient’s pedestrian access to the new doctor’s surgeries at 6 Headley Road.

Beth Rowland says “Last week Cllr Baker (Borough Councillor for Coronation ward) was stated in the local press as saying that to put a crossing outside the Oakwood Centre would be illegal because it is too close to a roundabout.  This is strange as he was quite happy to be shown in the press recently dancing across a new pedestrian crossing within 20m of a roundabout in Wokingham” she added “A crossing 20m from the roundabout would be just right for Headley Rd, so I feel that what’s good for Wokingham, should be good for Woodley as well”

Sam Rahmouni says “I am dismayed that the Executive Member for Highways Keith Baker, a borough councillor for Coronation ward in Woodley, dismisses this reasonable request by Woodley residents so lightly.  Many visitors to the Woodley Festival at the Oakwood Centre last week could not understand why there was no pedestrian crossing from the car park.  I think Cllr Baker should be listening to the requests of the Woodley public and doing whatever he can to implement them, not look for excuses for the failure to act.   Wokingham Borough Council needs to find a solution before someone is hurt”

Patrick Power, Lib Dem Campaigner in Coronation ward says “Since being elected as a councillor for Coronation ward one of Cllr Baker’s main achievements has been to more than double the car parking charges in Woodley.  It is about time the council spent some of this money in Woodley improving access to and from the car park.  I would like council officers to tell me if there is a problem with installing a pedestrian crossing, as I fear that Cllr Baker’s refusal to try to find a solution may just be politicking.”

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Council’s affordable housing shame

Wokingham Liberal Democrats were appalled to learn that Wokingham Borough Council has provided just 20 per cent of the affordable housing it should have done in the past year. Shelter has recently published a report which shows that of the 437 affordable houses needed to be built in the Borough in the last year, only 87 were actually built. There are currently 2,590 households on the waiting list for affordable housing in the Borough, and Shelter has worked out that at current letting rates, this will take nearly 17 years to clear.

Cllr Phil Challis, Wokingham Borough Councillor for Loddon, said: ‘This is just another demonstration of the Council’s complacent treatment of government housing targets. We have seen this time and time again. All of the Council owned houses were supposed to meet the Decent Homes Standard by the end of this year, but the work has only just started and won’t be completed until at least 2013. It is an absolute disgrace.’

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Liberal Democrat dismay at increased respite care charges

Wokingham Liberal Democrats are appalled at the Council’s plans to increase the cost of respite care in the borough.

Malcolm Armstrong (Lib Dem councillor for Winnersh ward) said, ‘This is both mean-spirited and financially short-sighted. At next Thursday’s Council meeting I will be asking the leader of the council how he can justify the increased charges for respite care.’

It is estimated that the hidden army of carers save this country over £87 billion a year. Stephen Conway (Lib Dem councillor for Twyford ward) said: ‘I have written to David Lee, the Conservative leader of the Council, explaining how this move may be counter-productive – without the respite care that gives our invaluable carers a break every now and then, they may not be able to carry on.’

Prue Bray, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wokingham Borough Council, said: ‘The Conservatives are only interested in getting money from the carers in the short-term and have not thought through the long-term implications for the council, carers and the people they after.’

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

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