Wokingham Times

Wokingham is home to much modern technology. We use our computers and smart phones a lot, and are used to finding information and news on the web. It is therefore no surprise to learn that our local newspaper now has to be digital and electronic alone, with no further paper copies after Christmas.

Over the years the local paper has played an interesting role in our community. It has helped charities and good causes. It has made parents and grandparents proud of their childrens’ achievements captured in Wokingham Times photographs. It has tried to explain the workings of our local Councils to voters, and has given a voice to the opponents of those in office. It has asked me to write a fortnightly column to keep people up to date with some of the issues that our national Parliament tackles that matter to us here in the Borough.

I wish the staff who will continue with the on line news and comment every success in keeping it relevant, topical and interesting. There is still a need for people to come together even in an electronic community to celebrate successes, to mourn common tragedies, and to keep each other informed of what is going on. Much of our communication may be digital, but the heart of Wokingham still pulses in the everyday exchanges in the shops and market place, in schools, churches and charities, in the halls and theatres when we meet and come together in person. That needs some recognition, explanation, and sometimes criticism which a local electronic paper can provide.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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