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Helen Belcher - Liberal Democrat candidate for the Emmbrook North Wokingham Town Council by-election

January 8, 2016 4:00 PM
By Wokingham Liberal Democrats

On February 4th, 2016 there will be a Wokingham Town Council by-election in Emmbrook North. Wokingham Liberal Democrats have selected Helen Belcher as their candidate.

Helen Belcher

Helen Belcher

Helen has lived in Emmbrook since 1997, and her two teenage children both went to Hawthorns Primary then Emmbrook School. She has been a governor at Emmbrook School for 6 years, and has been closely involved with teaching and learning, staffing and school strategy since September 2011. She has seen the effect of cuts to funding at first hand, and is now very concerned that, in common with schools across Wokingham, it will now be difficult to avoid losing teaching staff. She is also concerned that all schools are losing funding in order to find extra funds for development of an undersubscribed new school in Arborfield.

With teenage children she has watched house prices spiral out of reach over recent years, a topic that comes up a lot on doorsteps. It's obvious that new housing is urgently needed, but Helen believes that development should be done with sensitivity to existing communities. She is appalled by the backtracking on apparent promises by the Conservative administration around the route of the Northern Distributor Road, the schedule of building, the routing of construction traffic down narrow, busy roads and the lack of consideration given to neighbouring home owners on both Matthewsgreen Road and Toutley Road.

Traffic levels are an ever present problem, with frequent queuing on the Reading Road blighting the area. The introduction of more housing in North Wokingham without the infrastructure to support it will only make this worse. Emmbrook residents know how difficult it is to turn onto the Reading Road already.

Helen has run her own computer software business since 2004, which now employs a number of people, lots of them local to Wokingham and Earley. She understands the importance of clear service contracts, having negotiated a number of them with large household names, including some FTSE 100 companies.

Helen is a member of Wokingham Choral Society, and was its chair 4 years ago, successfully steering it through troubled times. She is also a nationally recognised campaigner on human rights and press regulation. Not afraid of standing up to power, she has given evidence to both the Leveson Inquiry and a House of Commons Select Committee, and has been noted by the Independent on Sunday as a leading campaigner for three years running.

In short, Helen is a fighter, who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right, and is a clear thinker who comes up with innovative solutions