Wokingham Times

As work nears completion on the new road link from the Station to the Reading Road in Wokingham, so we should expect work to begin this year on major improvements to the Coppid Beech roundabout to improve the capacity of that busy junction. The Council will receive a government grant to pay for much of the work from the Local Pinch Point Fund, just as it received financial help with the Station link. It is good to see the Council pressing on with practical schemes which should make it easier for people to get to work, to take children to school , and to assist local business.

I was also pleased to read this week that recorded crime is now down by 28% compared to June 2010 when the Coalition government took over. I would like to thank all who have played an active part in achieving this. It takes work by the police, witnesses and sometimes from the families of those might otherwise commit crimes.

The UK seems to be living through a period of rapid growth in jobs. Here in Wokingham unemployment is down to 1%, and there are jobs available for those who need one. The best way to boost a family’s living standards is to get a job, and the best way to a better paid job is to take a junior or not very well paid role and work your way up. Many people in Wokingham agree and are showing that it is possible to get out there and find a job.

The Opposition in Parliament point to a cost of living crisis. They are right in saying that between 2008 and now average living standards have gone down. The biggest fall occurred during the Great Recession of 2008-9. The government is taking action to curb energy bills where it can, by cutting levies and taxes and reducing heavily subsidised and expensive power projects. Recently there has been welcome relief at the petrol pumps with some falls in price. There are signs that at last average pay is edging ahead of price rises. We all want to see more progress for people to be better off. That means keeping taxes down, helping keep prices down where government has a role, and above all creating the conditions where there can be more and better paid jobs. Things seem to be moving in the right direction for now, but there is a long way to go to restore fully the position before the crash of 2008.