The Wokingham constituency debate

The Radio Berkshire debate yesterday morning between five of the candidates in the election (the BBC did not allow the Independent to participate) produced a range of questions on traffic, transport, road noise,  housing, the provision of school places, Wokingham’s Town Centre and style of life in Wokingham. By holding it in Wokingham Market Place we received no questions about anywhere in the West Berkshire part of the constituency.

There was little disagreement between the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats over the main local  issues. All of us want better railway services, better roads, less congestion, better access to stations with better parking, some limits on development and a flourishing Wokingham Town centre. Most of the matters debated were about decisions which will be taken by Wokingham Borough Council – or would be taken by West Berkshire if we had been asked about that area – rather than decisions to be taken by the next Parliament. The Council enjoys the planning powers to determine where to build and what to build. The Council has the budgets for local roads and the Town Centre redevelopment. The Council forecasts school place demand and makes sure there is sufficient provision.

The only national mater we discussed was the abatement of noise on the M4, a strategic highway under the control of the Department of Transport. I repeated some of the details of the work I have been doing, explained we have now won the battle for sound reducing surfacing, but still need to improve the plans  on sound barriers.

I confirmed that if elected I will resume my lobbying for fairer funding for local schools. I will work with the Council on any permissions and money needed from central government for local road and school building projects and for redevelopment schemes. I will make sure local opinion is considered by Councillors and the Chief Executive of the Council if a significant body of local opinion thinks Council plans need changing. I will continue my long correspondence and exchanges with Ministers and officials over noise reduction from the M4.


Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU