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Thank you from the Wokingham Liberal Democrats

May 14, 2019 9:19 PM
By Sarah Kerr

In the early hours of Friday morning, 3rd May, there was a huge cheer from within the main hall at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre. It was around 3am that the announcement came that Dr Maria Gee became Councillor Maria Gee for the ward of Wescott, knocking out the leader of Wokingham Borough Council.

The whole evening had felt electric, despite the late hour. Many of us had been up since the crack of dawn, and we were tired, but being in that hall as the results came in was worth it. Maria was not the only success of the evening. Over the course of the evening, Wokingham Borough Liberal Democrats doubled in size from 8 to 16, bringing to the council an even wider range of skills, including financial expertise, highways expertise and economics expertise among many others.

The following day, the results of the town and parish council elections came in. In one fell swoop, we became the ruling party of Earley Town Council and the party with the most seats (although no overall control) of Wokingham Town Council (having previously held just 1 seat on the latter).

We have been working hard for months now, many of us out canvassing since September last year, talking to residents on a weekly basis, usually several times a week. We also distribute leaflets across the Borough keeping residents informed of the work we're doing. When we canvass, we tend to work as a team, helping out in each other's wards, and as such, we've spoken with thousands of residents from across the borough. Whilst there are a few ward specific concerns residents have, there are a number of concerns coming out across all the wards - house building numbers, infrastructure, council spending and the town centre regeneration being top of the list. The point is, whilst Brexit was sometimes raised on the doorstep and would have influenced to some extent voting intentions, it was predominantly local issues that brought about the results of this local election.

What we have been able to demonstrate is that working together as a group, and listening, engaging and working hard for our residents, has resulted in the residents of Wokingham Borough having faith in us to represent them. We are incredibly grateful to the voters of Wokingham Borough for this opportunity, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Whilst we are still in opposition, we have a much louder voice, and one that we intend to use to work towards making Wokingham Borough the best it can be.