Front­bencher quits party over leader

The Wokingham Paper - - COUNCIL NEWS -

A CON­SER­VA­TIVE front­bencher has re­signed and will now sit on the coun­cil as an in­de­pen­dent.

Cllr Richard Dolin­ski, who was Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber for Adult So­cial Care, Health and Well­be­ing, was due to an­nounce his de­ci­sion at the start of the coun­cil meet­ing but left the cham­ber in­stead.

A pre­pared state­ment from him was would have seen him said: “It is with sad­ness that with the change of coun­cil leader I have de­cided to re­sign from the Con­ser­va­tive Party and will there­fore stand down as Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­ber for Adult So­cial Care, Health and Well­be­ing.

“I want to take the op­por­tu­nity to thank the pre­vi­ous leader,

Cllr Haitham Tay­lor, for the trust she placed in me in lead­ing on what is a chal­leng­ing port­fo­lio.

THE COUN­CIL will be hop­ing that a let­ter won’t get lost in the post – it re­lates to the pro­pos­als to close Wok­ing­ham’s town cen­tre Post Of­fice and swap it for a kiosk in WH Smith.

James Box said that the pro­pos­als had “caused a lot of con­cern” and wanted to know what the coun­cil would be do­ing to save this val­ued ser­vice.

Cllr Stu­art Munro said: “Cllr Philip Mirfin will be writ­ing to

Post Of­fice Coun­ters Ltd to ask that they re­con­sider their position of mov­ing the Wok­ing­ham Post Of­fice into the WH Smith store in light of the in­vest­ment that has been made in town cen­tre re­gen­er­a­tion”.

A full de­bate took place later in the evening. A re­port ap­pears on our web­site.

“I want to ex­press my grat­i­tude to the ex­cep­tional Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil of­fi­cers, the staff of Op­talis and our part­ners for their ded­i­ca­tion and hard work.

“I am par­tic­u­larly proud of the con­sid­er­a­tion out­comes we were able to achieve for our res­i­dents.

“I have thor­oughly en­joyed serv­ing the res­i­dents of Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough and will con­tinue to do so as an in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor.

“I have no fur­ther com­ments to make.”

A CON­SUL­TA­TION into a pro­posed new park and ride site at Thames Val­ley Park will take place early next year.

Cllr An­thony Pol­lock, the ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for high­ways and trans­port, was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion by a cam­paigner for the group Save Our An­cient River­side (SOAR), which wants to stop a sin­gle lane bus lane bridge be­ing built over the his­toric Thame­side.

RES­I­DENTS anger over plans to build more than 1,000 homes in Barkham were brought to the coun­cil cham­ber on Thurs­day night.

In Septem­ber, a pe­ti­tion was pre­sented to the coun­cil trig­ger­ing the de­bate. It urged coun­cil­lors to dis­cuss pro­pos­als which would be in ad­di­tion to the 3,500 homes

al­ready planned for the area.

Chris Heyliger opened the de­bate by set­ting out the views of the res­i­dents they rep­re­sented.

Mr Heyliger said that the res­i­dents had been told they were wast­ing their time as the bor­ough didn’t lis­ten.

“Given this strength of feel­ing I sug­gested it was time to be­gin lis­ten­ing and demon­strate your com­mit­ment by ini­ti­at­ing ac­tions, mak­ing res­o­lu­tions and de­liv­er­ing re­sults that ad­dress the con­cerns of th­ese peo­ple.”

Bor­ough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser tem­po­rar­ily stood down so he could take part in the de­bate and rep­re­sent his res­i­dents, re­veal­ing that Wok­ing­ham MP John Red­wood was sup­port­ive.

A fuller re­port on this de­bate will ap­pear on our web­site.

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