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Lib Dems celebrate with Dr Phillip Lee

Wokingham Liberal Democrats - fighting for Wokingham residents



  • Wokingham Liberal Democrat councillors holding the rainbow flag partially aloft in front of the borough council offices
    Article: Nov 23, 2020
    By Cllr Imogen Shepherd-DuBey

    The Liberal Democrat Constitution begins by stating that the Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. It then goes on to specify that we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.

  • Imogen shepherd-DuBey
    Article: Nov 22, 2020
    By Cllr Imogen Shepherd-DuBey & Cllr Maria Gee

    Let's say you are putting aside money every month, saving up to buy a new kitchen that will cost £8,000. So far, you have saved up £7,000 in your kitchen fund, and it is in an interest-earning account, even better! You dream of that new kitchen in a few months' time. Wow, it will be fab-u-lous.

    You happen see a car that you like, it's a great price, £6,000. You need £2,000 for a deposit and then you can purchase the car with a loan of £4,000 from the car finance company. You think, 'A-ha, I can just borrow the money for the deposit from my kitchen fund, I can have my cake and eat it too! I get the car now, and I can continue to put money aside for my kitchen.'

    You buy the car, and you are happily driving around when a month later, all of a sudden, there is a serious water leak in your existing kitchen. Oh no! Your insurance covers the basic repair, but you urgently need a new kitchen. Hmmm… you no longer have the kitchen fund that you need to replace the kitchen. You are very sad, looking at the soggy kitchen cupboards. You cannot sell the car to replace the kitchen, because you need it to travel to work. You are going to have to save up again for the new kitchen.

    Well, this is how the Wokingham Conservatives are managing Wokingham Borough Council's Finances. They have taken out lots of borrowing. The Council also has lots of assets, but they cannot sell them because they need them to run the Council. Having assets does not mean that the Council will have the money when they need it and still have to pay off their debts at some point.

    The Conservatives say that internal borrowing is not really borrowing, because it is all the Council's money anyway. They say the loans from banks are fine because the Council has assets worth more than the loans. Is this complacency justified? What are the effects of internal and external borrowing on the Council's finances? What happens if you already have lots of borrowing and something unexpected happens?

    Under the direction of the Conservatives, Wokingham Borough Council has borrowed from its kitchen fund, and it calls this 'internal borrowing'. They are planning to have internal borrowings of £201M, and external loans of £476M in March 2023. That's a total of almost £700M borrowings in two and a half year's time. Using the internal borrowings for current projects costs £2M in lost interest and the annual finance cost of the external loans this year is almost £8M. They are big numbers!

    This is fine so long as there is not an unexpected event. Your unexpected event was the water leak. The Council's unexpected event might be the financial hit from Covid. If it loses income, how will it pay the interest on the loans from banks, how will it replenish its 'kitchen fund', and how will it repay the loans from the banks and elsewhere? These are the questions you need to ask your local Conservative Councillor.

  • Article: Nov 21, 2020

    It's #askhertostand day! We need more women MPs and local councillors from ALL backgrounds.

    Wokingham's youngest councillor was elected when she was 18.

    Interested? Sign up below or get in touch at https://wokinghamlibdems.org.uk/en/contact

  • London Road cycle lane
    Article: Nov 21, 2020
    By Paul Fishwick
    On 12th November Wokingham Borough Council announced the completion of the A329 London Road cycle route, stating "The new off-road cycleway will provide a link for cyclists from the Coppid Beech/A329M roundabout into the town centre." In reality, however, the off road route (a shared footway and cycleway) ends at a point between Rances Lane and Binfield Road (see photo), just over 1 KM short of the town centre.
  • abstract art
    Article: Nov 9, 2020
    By Sarah Kerr
    Wokingham Borough Council is currently consulting on it's Arts & Culture strategy. We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to complete the survey which can be found here - https://www.wokingham.gov.uk/.../current-consultations/.... The deadline for responses is 20th November.
    Most of the questions are straight forward, but it's best to keep in mind that this is a longer term strategy that will go beyond the restrictions we face due to Covid. It's also an arts & culture strategy, so if you can have a think about the broad spectrum of cultural activities as well as artistic/creative ones, that would be very helpful to the team putting this together. It's worth considering activities/events that either you are directly involved in, such as a book club or a community choir, or that you like to experience, such as watching something at the cinema or the theatre.