It’s a mad, mad, mad world

The Wokingham Paper - - VIEWPOINTS - Daniel Hin­ton, Wok­ing­ham Cllr Rachel Burgess Labour, Nor­reys Wards Cllr Andy Croy, Wok­ing­ham Labour group leader, Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil Paul, Wok­ing­ham

My let­ter to

(Novem­ber 15) stated the in­crease in Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil’s debt would, by next year, be likely to in­crease by some 11,000%.

I don’t quite know where the un­wanted ad­di­tional nought appeared from, but of course the fig­ure should have read (a still eye­wa­ter­ingly) 1,100 (eleven hun­dred) per cent.

The fig­ure printed in er­ror does the coun­cil an in­jus­tice and I stand suit­ably cor­rected, ad­mon­ished and apolo­get­i­cally red-faced

With new shops / restau­rants and a cin­ema com­ing to the town hope­fully we will have a busier day / nightlife shop­ping around the town.

I think its al­ways too easy to look at the neg­a­tives we have all ex­pe­ri­enced a bit of pain with traf­fic and road­works and shops leav­ing but hope­fully this has now turned a cor­ner and we will be look­ing for­wards to the fu­ture of the town and en­joy­ing a new Wok­ing­ham for years to come.

Sav­ing our Post O ce

On Satur­day I will con­tinue to col­lect sig­na­tures along with other cam­paign­ers for our pe­ti­tion to keep Wok­ing­ham’s Crown Post Of­fice where it be­longs – in the much loved, his­toric post of­fice build­ing.

The Post Of­fice is at the heart of our lo­cal com­mu­nity in a way WHSmith will never, ever be. The Post Of­fice is not just a col­lec­tion of ser­vices – it is a com­mu­nity as­set, owned by us all and a vi­tal part of Wok­ing­ham’s his­toric char­ac­ter.

I was de­lighted to hear from Cllr Munro that Cllr Mirfin will write to the Post Of­fice ask­ing them to keep our Post Of­fice in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion. I was also de­lighted that Cllr Munro com­mit­ted to write to John Red­wood MP.

It is im­por­tant re­mem­ber the Post

In the mean­time, the tur­moil per­vad­ing the cor­ri­dors of Shute End Tow­ers con­tin­ues apace.

The bor­ough coun­cil’s for­mer deputy leader and ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for fi­nance, who chose to walk out in Septem­ber, has now – af­ter Cllr Char­lotte Haitham Tay­lor was dumped on a vote of no con­fi­dence – de­cided, at the drop of a hat, to walk back in again.

It seems that over a rel­a­tively short pe­riod of time, the coun­cil had gained and dis­posed of more lead­ers and deputy lead­ers

Of­fice is owned by HM Gov­ern­ment, and there is a min­is­ter for the Post Of­fice who can in­flu­ence the de­ci­sions made by the Post Of­fice. Mr Red­wood must make ev­ery ef­fort to con­vey to the min­is­ter that we want to keep our Crown Post Of­fice where it be­longs.

My mo­tion to coun­cil last Thurs­day was a clear state­ment of the need for im­me­di­ate ac­tion. I was very dis­ap­pointed that the Lib Dems chose to play a pa­thetic po­lit­i­cal game by amend­ing the mo­tion. They weak­ened the mo­tion to the point of ir­rel­e­vance, purely to score a po­lit­i­cal point.

The hun­dreds of sig­na­tures on our pe­ti­tion, and con­ver­sa­tions with res­i­dents in my ward, have made it very clear: peo­ple want to keep our Post Of­fice where it be­longs. At long last, Tory and LibDem coun­cil­lors have done the right thing and voted against award­ing them­selves a pay rise.

Over the pre­vi­ous three years, only Labour Coun­cil­lors have con­sis­tently voted against the rises.

As re­luc­tant Tories and Lib Dems made clear in Thurs­day’s Coun­cil meet­ing, now is not the right time to in­crease our al­lowances. that you can shake a stick at.

I’m sure res­i­dents of our fair bor­ough look for­ward with bated breath to yet an­other “changed in di­rec­tion”.

With coun­cil tax lev­els to be an­nounced some­time in March and lo­cal elec­tions dur­ing May, will the “not me guv” brigade de­cide to act prag­mat­i­cally in the best in­ter­ests of the elec­torate or choose to take the route of self-preser­va­tion?

Watch this space!

It was not the right time in 2017, 2016 and 2015 ei­ther but those rises are now in the bag.

The Labour Group sill con­tinue to only ac­cept al­lowances at the 2010 pre-aus­ter­ity lev­els.

Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Labour has cam­paigned con­sis­tently against pay rises for coun­cil­lors and I am de­lighted our cam­paign­ing has achieved the de­sired re­sult. Just a lit­tle warn­ing for the peo­ple who shop at Lidl on Molly Mil­lars Lane.

My wife went there a cou­ple of weeks ago and parked up.

She did her shop­ping and when she left she had ap­par­ently over­stayed her wel­come by a few min­utes as they have signs say­ing no park­ing over 90 min­utes, un­like ev­ery other su­per­mar­ket who of­fer two hours park­ing, at least.

They also em­ploy a third party com­pany who use CCTV to give out tick­ets and who will not al­low any ap­peal based on our word, the re­ceipt hav­ing gone in the re­cy­cling.

So be aware of this prac­tice or ac­cept Lidl isn’t the cheap su­per­mar­ket they claim to be.

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