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Town Centre Regeneration: Wokingham Lib Dems urge Conservatives to follow their lead

June 30, 2014 11:00 AM

In April the Lib Dems announced their alternative town centre plans for Wokingham, a key part of which would help small independent retailers in the town to benefit from the huge growth potential of online shopping and also boost trade for all the shops in our towns across the Borough. Now the lib Dems are urging the Conservative led Wokingham Borough Council to get a move on and address the potential impact of internet shopping on their plans for Wokingham Town Centre.

Cllr Prue Bray Leader of the Lib Dems said "Recent studies and indeed activity in the retail sector backs exactly what we have been saying and now even a Conservative government minister has woken up to the scale and potential of internet shopping for our town centres. Yet the Council is still silent on this issue. Philip Mirfin has recently publically dismissed the idea that on-line shopping is worth looking at. It is really worrying that Wokingham Borough Council's Conservatives are so behind on all this. They are out of touch, won't listen to us or more importantly many of our residents, and have failed to understand what's going on in the retail sector. They seem determined to press on with their plans without taking account of the impact of on line retail and 'Click and Collect'. If they don't take account of this, their £95 million project may fail to regenerate the town. The cost of this project continues to rise and so do the risks for Wokingham Borough council tax payers."

Cllr Lindsay Ferris added "We urge the Conservatives to look at our plans and listen to residents. We urge them not to build unnecessary shops on Elms Field, but to be innovative and make the most of our assets keeping and improving Elms Field as a large green park. We urge the Conservatives to get a move on and adapt their stalled Town Centre plans in line with our alternatives before Wokingham and all our other high streets get left behind."