Richard Willis's Blog

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Reading Conservatives Launch Local Election Manifesto

Reading Conservatives have launched their local election manifesto for the 5th May elections with pledges to at least freeze Council Tax again next year and to investigate a discount for Reading’s pensioners. If Conservatives continue to lead the Council after the elections they will continue to remove unnecessary traffic lights, introduce a London-style cycle hire scheme and develop a network of voluntary “grit wardens” to tackle icy pavements in severe weather. More 20mph zones will be introduced where residents support them and powers will be pursued to allow the Council to tackle inconsiderate parking on pavements and cycle paths.

Conservatives will continue to prioritise support to the voluntary and community sector building on this year’s increase in funding. They pledge to work for the development of the “Abbey Quarter”, protecting and enhancing Reading’s historic and important Abbey ruins in the heart of the town. The manifesto promises to continue funding tree planting around the town and to invest in the Borough’s libraries, swimming pools and leisure centres. You can read the whole document here.

Conservative Leader and Leader of the Council, Cllr Andrew Cumpsty said, “This is an ambitious but realistic manifesto which sets out our key priorities for the town we love. The Manifesto highlights many important achievements in the eleven months that we have run the Council with our Liberal Democrat colleagues. After years of Labour waste and inefficiency we have plotted a new course with no increase in Council Tax, and measures to get spending and debt under control. Labour has offered no alternative in successive Council and Cabinet meetings and seems to be devoid of ideas. We know that if Labour were to ever gain control of the Council in the future we would see above inflation increases in Council Tax, the restoration of funding of trade union posts, more traffic lights and cuts in grants to many organisations in order to fund their favoured groups.”

I note that Labour have launched their manifesto today with lots of mood music but virtually no substance. More on this later!


April 22, 2011 - Posted by | Local


  1. No rise in council tax…..nothing to do with the special grant of £1.7m for doing so I suppose!

    Comment by Howard Thomas | April 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Howard – this was a Conservative pledge long before Central government provided some additional funds for those Councils who kept their Council Tax frozen. Would you prefer that we hadn’t frozen it and had not received the extra grant?

      Comment by Richard Willis | April 22, 2011 | Reply

  2. Richard….Clearly not, but there was no other decision to make. The government had already made it.

    Comment by Howard Thomas | April 23, 2011 | Reply

  3. Freezing Council Tax and them making everyone pay for services that the Tax previously included is not worthy of boasting about.

    Comment by Gideon Mack | April 23, 2011 | Reply

  4. It doesn’t say anything about the extortionate £300 per year charge for a discretionary parking permit which will cost me far more than labour’s doubling of council tax bills.

    Comment by Jonathan | April 25, 2011 | Reply

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