Schools and transport before homes

Some residents are asking if the Council can put in the facilities needed before allowing more new homes to be built.

They are right to expect that school places will be available when new children need them. That is why three new primaries were placed in Wokingham for this academic year, in advance of many of the new homes. It is also why the Council is pressing on with plans for additional secondary school provision. That of course needs to go through a proper independent process of assessment for planning and building consent purposes, which might lead to altered plans. The Council intends to provide all the places children need when they need them.

It is also crucial that more transport capacity is put in, as we do not have sufficient for current users. The government has with Network Rail just completed a major capacity expansion on the railway at Reading to help constituents get to and from London and elsewhere. We do now have a better and larger Wokingham station. The Station link road is the first part of ambitious schemes for Wokingham’s roads and will open shortly. The Council is making progress with its plans for the Arborfield and Shinfield by passes.

I understand people’s impatience to see these much need new facilities available and will do all I can to smooth their passage where they need government money and approvals.


  1. Kevin Lohse
    February 1, 2015

    Thee’s no such thing as Government money, there is only taxpayer’s money. Baroness Thatcher.

  2. alan jutson
    February 4, 2015

    The new combined Healthcare Clinic in Town introduced telephone consultations last year on the basis that it would be far more efficient, and would be able to communicate with more patients per day, and save wasted appointments with people not turning up.

    Rang up today to make an appointment for said service to be told its fully booked, can I please ring back tomorrow.

    Asked why can I not be put on the list for the Doctor to ring me tomorrow, informed that cannot be done as that is not how the system works.
    There is no list for tomorrow, until tomorrow.
    Thus I need to ring again.
    All seems rather daft, as the time taken to explain to me that Doctor was already fully booked with telephone consultations, and the system did not allow anyone to book next days in advance, took longer than to simply write my name down on a list for tomorrow.

    They can do this because they have a captive audience.

    Can you imagine Amazon running their Business like this !
    No you cannot order today, we are full up packing items already ordered, ring again tomorrow !

    Goodness knows what will happen when the many thousands of the new residents register, who are due to occupy the 10,000 new houses being built..

    Perhaps the solution is to turn up at A&E and simply wait.

  3. JB
    February 5, 2015

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the insightful post and while I agree that having facilities in place before building more homes is a good idea, the facts do of course speak for themselves. Over the past 10 years (according to Nationwide) the house price inflation in Wokingham has been 34%. Of course across the UK, the figures are not really much different with prices outstripping wage inflation.

    The simple fact is we are not building enough homes to keep up with demand, and I don’t think this has been helped by policies of the last 30 years or so – allowing people to buy their council house and then not replacing the stock, is a prime example here.

    So let me end by saying that it is of equal importance that we do not overlook the desperate need for more affordable housing which is leaving the current generation with nothing more than a distant dream of owning a home.

    Reply We are not overlooking the issue of affordable housing. I went to a meeting about it this week which I will write up soon. The purchase of a home by the existing tenant does not worsen the position at all – the same family lives in it after the purchase as before. One of the things that does make a difference is a high rate of migration into the country.

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