Liberal Democrats are not surprised that at the Extraordinary Council meeting on 4th December the Conservatives decided to continue with their plans to build on Elms Field despite the strength of public feeling against them.
Leader of the Lib Dems Prue Bray (Winnersh ward) said “At the meeting hundreds of local residents made it quite clear how they feel about this scheme. Although the Conservatives seem wedded to their out of date and unimaginative plans for the Town Centre Regeneration, there is still a lot that can still be done to try to stop them destroying Elms Field.
The Conservatives dismissed the opposition to their unpopular plans. But the Lib Dems are listening to residents and will not walk away from this difficult issue. We have lots of ideas for the next steps in the campaign. The planning application is now in and it raises many questions about the viability and suitability of the scheme. We want the town centre to thrive, but the Conservative plans are not the right way forward.”
The Lib Dems will continue to try and get the Conservatives to listen and are determined to get them to change their minds over how much of Elms Field will be built on. IT’S NOT OVER YET!
Clive Jones, Liberal Democrat prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham has welcomed the Government’s Autumn statement. He says, “Thanks to the Lib Dems in Government, disposable income was higher last year than in any of the 13 years under Labour. “By beginning to fix the economy we have helped keep interest rates at historic lows, saving £2000 per year for a family with a standard fixed rate mortgage of £100,000.
“We have delivered an increase in tax thresholds which means 24,000,000 people pay £700 a year less tax. This was the first policy in the 2010 Lib Dem manifesto – the Tories said it could not be done (see the ITV leaders’ debates in April 2010). When Labour left office we started to pay tax on earnings over £6450: from April 2014 it will only be on earnings over £10,000. Thanks to the Lib Dem policy, 5000 of the lowest paid people in Wokingham now pay no tax at all on their incomes.
“Our freezing of Labour’s Fuel duty rises means we are saving people £7 every time they fill up their cars. Fuel is 20p a litre cheaper than it would have been under Labour.
“We have created over 1.5million apprenticeships since 2010, and over 1 million new jobs. Employment in 2010 was 28.93m, today it is 29.95m; unemployment was 7.9% in 2010, it is now 7.6% – Labour said unemployment would increase, not decrease!
“During this Parliament we have delivered the biggest ever rise in basic state pensions. With the increase announced today of an extra £2.95 a week, the basic state pension has risen over £15 a week since 2010. Labour would never have done this – remember Gordon Brown’s insulting rise of 75p a week? And the Tories would never have done it without the Lib Dems. The Tories didn’t help pensioners between 1979-97 – in fact they took away the vital link between pensions and prices. It was the Lib Dems who brought that back to make it fairer for our pensioners.
“Free school meals are being given to children in reception classes, year 1 and year 2 from September next year. This is a policy of Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
“We went into Government to fix Labour’s mess, giving the country a stable government, and our policies are beginning to work”, says Clive Jones.
Wokingham Lib Dems are delighted that public questions for the Elms Field petition debate are flooding in. The debate takes place at a special council meeting to be held at St Crispin’s School on 4th December at 7:30pm.
Cllr Tom McCann (Loddon ward) said “This flood of questions is no surprise; we know huge numbers of residents have grave concerns about some aspects of the Conservatives’ Regeneration plans. The petition and the coming debate have given residents the opportunity to voice those concerns.”
Tom added “There are so many questions that we can see there won’t be enough time for them all to be answered in the 30-minute slot. So at the start of Wednesday’s meeting, the Lib Dems will ask that the formal rules for the time limit be suspended. This would mean that all residents get the opportunity to ask their questions and get answers on the night.”