|Bracknell Liberal Democrats Public Page|
Secret plans to build an extra 15,000 new houses in Grazeley have been drawn-up by local Conservative and Labour party chiefs.
The aim - to impose a massive development stretching from the borders of Spencers Wood all the way to Mortimer.
It would destroy a large swathe of countryside and "dump" an additional 35,000 people on the area.
The bombshell proposals have been drawn up in strict secrecy by a group comprising of senior Conservatives from Wokingham and West Berkshire councils together with Labour-controlled Reading Borough.
Also backing the move are Wokingham's Tory MP John Redwood and the Engelfield Estate controlled by Newbury's Conservative MP Richard Benyon.
It would mean creating a colossal building site roughly one and half times the size of the Lower Earley development … which was, during its construction in the 1980-90's, the largest housing development in Western Europe.
Details of the shock scheme have been revealed by Wokingham Liberal Democrat Councillor Clive Jones who warns: "All the green space between Reading, Burghfield and Mortimer will disappear under these plans."
Mr Jones, also his party's local parliamentary spokesman, accused the three councils, the MPs plus major developers of attempting to deliberately conceal this huge project from the public.
"I am amazed that they've tried to do this secretly and behind the backs of local people, the very people on whom the scheme will have a massive direct impact."
Fears about the far-reaching consequences of the secret proposals have also alarmed Councillor Lindsay Ferris, the leader of the Lib Dem group on Wokingham Borough Council.
" Back in the late 1990's Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott forced Wokingham to consider the development of over 20,000 houses in the Shinfield/Grazeley area. Back then the Conservatives campaigned against the development. Now they are planning to build all over this area, what hypocrisy. Do we really need to be having so much new development in the Borough.
"Our existing road network won't be able to cope," predicted Cllr. Ferris.
"This kind of development cannot happen without proper investment in infrastructure and massive improvements to what we already have.
"This shows a total lack of respect for local residents … is this how local democracy should work?"asked Clive Jones.
The decision today to expand Heathrow will come as a fresh blow to East Berkshire residents. As Tim Farron has said it's a betrayal of environment and communities.
The Heathrow decision has shown how the Government is out of touch with the very people they were supposed to serve especially our local MP's including the Prime Minister herself who has gone back on her own words.
Ask Windsor residents what they like about living here and you're likely to hear about the sense of community, the sense of history and (aside from the planes above head), the tranquility and open space. However, ask what people don't like and parking comes pretty near to the top of the list.
The simple fact is that most of Windsor's residential roads were built before cars ere even invented. We now have a situation where many families have more than one car. There just isn't the space. This means that residents are often left parking a substantial distance from their home or parking illegally. Ask whether the latter is acceptable, and whether fines should be enforced, and you're in for a heated debate!
It is depressing when the adversarial style of politics which is such a feature of British democracy generates more heat than light. It all too often does. One reason for this is, I believe, the historical domination of politics by males. This has meant that frequently testosterone has rather too much say in determining our political behaviour and the tone of the debates that take place. The rudeness and boorish behaviour that I have experienced in the Council Chamber was not, on the numerous occasions I witnessed it, an edifying experience. So, at one level, at least, it seems to me that we should welcome Theresa May as our second woman Prime Minister. We need more women in politics and more women in top jobs. Her appointment should also remind us of how much more work we as a party must do to increase our own diversity so that we can better represent society as a whole. However, her previous record as Home Secretary is particularly illiberal and does not fill us with optimism when she talks about her 'one nation' aspirations.
Michael Caine reputedly said, "Not a lot of people know that." Now, there are many things of which this could be said but high on list would be the Windsor Liberal Club - or The Acre as it is also known.
There has been a Liberal Club in Windsor for over one hundred and twenty seven years and for much of that time it has been at 4 Victoria Street, where it is currently This site is opposite the barracks and in front of Bachelor's Acre.
An embarrassed Tory councillor behind money saving plans to curb grass cutting across Wokingham borough has been forced to say sorry to the public.
It follows widespread local anger at how road signs have become obscured and paths made impassable by a decision to stop mowing grass verges. As a result many communal areas where local residents take their children or walk their dogs have become unusable and in some places even dangerous.
Local Liberal Democrats claimed the controversial verge-side policy was verging on madness and challenged the Conservative councillor responsible, Angus Ross, to apologise. Now those demands have finally been met with Cllr. Ross admitting at this month's (July) council meeting that his scheme had caused problems and he wanted to apologise to the public.
This was welcomed by Lib Dem group deputy leader Council. Lindsay Ferris who after the meeting said if the grass cutting contract had been properly planned, most of the problems could have been avoided.
"Responsibility lies with Cllr. Ross as it's his job to oversee the service" insisted Coun. Ferriis "However we're pleased he has recognised the need to apologise and now expect him to explain how he will ensure the contract is better managed in future. "Council officers who had to spend time and effort sorting out the grass-cutting problems deserve our thanks ... but they should not have had to do it."
On the 23rd June there was another vote in RBWM, the Sunninghill and South Ascot Ward by-election. We caught up with the Liberal Democrat candidate Tamasin Barnbrook to talk about her experience.
What does being a Liberal Democrat mean to you?
I have been a member on and off since 2010 and have supported the LibDems since I started voting at 18. I chose the party because I felt it best promoted the values of a fair, free & open society which I personally agree with. The Local Party was particularly good at getting this across and at doing things for the local area which to me seems to have more impact on people's lives than national politics. I felt I may be able to do something useful.
Wokingham Liberal Democrats attended that March for Europe in London this weekend. This was a protest in hope that the government would not invoke Article 50 and start the Unitied Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU.
Recently the hashtag #mysticclegg has been trending on twitter because of an article Nick Clegg wrote, with incredible foresight, concerning the referendum and its fallout.
Many articles have been doing the rounds and the internet is getting excited about this isolated event. However, mystic Clegg has been a 'thing' for a good while.
A huge thank you to all our members who were engaged actively in this referendum. We were out canvassing in the rain, we held camp in high streets and stations and we made a difference and, even though it might not seem like it, we won. The Royal Borough voted to Remain. The figures were Remain 44,086 to Leave 37,706. It wasn't enough, but we are so proud that we got out there getting people engaged. For us that's the British spirit, fighting for decent values no matter the odds. Getting our feet on the ground and walking round to people to get them talking.