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Tories reject Wokingham Lib Dems' offer of help

July 1, 2003 12:00 AM

Following the Council Meeting held at Shute End on Thursday (26th June), Wokingham Liberal Democrats are disappointed that the Tories have rejected their offer of help to negotiate a reduction in the number of houses the Government requires to be built.

Councillor Alan Spratling (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) said, "I made my offer in good faith because the Tory Leader of the Council (Frank Browne) felt that a joint approach would be more effective. I very much regret that Frank Browne chose to politicise my offer instead of accept our help. Frank will only work with us as long as the Lib Dems take the blame for the Government's housing allocation.

"This is preposterous, and shows that he is not in the slightest bit interested in reducing the housing numbers. He is only interested in politics and spin. But far worse than that, his actions have probably sealed Wokingham district's fate.

"When Frank Browne took control of Wokingham District Council, the Berkshire Unitary authorities had committed to look into a further reduction in our allocated number by using all the brownfield sites in the county before building on green fields. Frank Browne's ham-fisted negotiation has resulted in the Berkshire Authorities deciding not to review Wokingham's allocation until 2011!

"Frank Browne has said that he won the last local election on his promise to negotiate the housing numbers down. So far, the Tories have not managed to reduce the number by one single house."