Wokingham Today

What have the Romans ever done for us?


Now that the Beast from the East has released us from its icy grip and the first signs of spring are appearing (well, until this weekend at least if forecasts are correct), it would seem that there is also a whiff of electionee­ring in the air.

“We don’t waste your money. We listen you,” wrote Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, leader of Wokingham Borough Council, in The Wokingham Paper, March 9.

Really? Then why the brushing aside of petitions relating to Elms Field and Hare Hatch? Ignoring common sense advice regarding the need for roads before housing?

The erection of a costly ill-sited out-of-town, disabled unfriendly multistore­y car park?

The over-ambitious vanity-led behind schedule, over-budget regenerati­on programme?

Tinkering with the financial reserve?

An almost certainly unsustaina­ble level of borrowing? The purchase, for an undisclose­d sum of public money, of the redundant Peach Street M&S premisses and car park, leasing it for use as yet another charity shop at no doubt reduced business rates, disadvanta­ging other retailers?

Unwarrante­d increases in car parking charges? A near 6% increase in council tax, a chunk of which will no doubt be spent on additional management, consultant­s and administra­tors rather than on frontline staff and services where the money is urgently needed?

Add to the list a string of secretive, behind closed door decisions and the council leader’s claims ring rather hollow.

Yet when the boot is on the other foot, they (the council) don’t like it and, while in no way wishing to leap to her defence, to the contrary, on this occasion my sympathies are with the local authority when

I head them criticise their own Prime Minister, particular­ly on matters relating to their own housing developmen­t, for cocking at them the very same snook that they insist on cocking at others, then perhaps it is time, with local elections just around the corner, for councillor­s to heed the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”!

J W Blaney, Wokingham

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