John Redwood MP: Blue bin bags, buildings and Wokingham electionsBy Victoria Smith
May 09, 2012
It’s time to say thank you to all those people, from all parties, who stood as candidates, who went out in the rain to deliver leaflets and canvass views, to give voters a choice last week.
I met many people on doorsteps over recent weeks as we campaigned for the Wokingham Borough Council elections.
I was out and about in Wokingham and Winnersh, in Earley and Shinfield, where nine councillor jobs were up for election.
It is the hard work and commitment of all in local politics which keeps the wheels of our democracy turning.
I also congratulate the eight Conservatives and one Liberal Democrat who were elected.
I look forward to working with them, where local and national issues overlap and where our shared voters expect a good combined service.
The elections brought up two important local matters.
The first was a debate about the new refuse system.
I hope by now that many of you have found what I have found.
The new blue bags do hold a lot, and it’s better having weekly rather than fortnightly collection of recycling items.
I do hope Lib Dems and Greens locally will see that this new policy was chosen to cut down the amount the council has to send to the dump.
It should be better to recycle more, and it will certainly keep the council’s bill down, now landfill disposal is so expensive.
If they have improvements which will help us cut costs further, and recycle more, I am sure the council will be interested.
The second was a debate about planning and new building in several places, especially in Shinfield.
People living near to planned new developments want to know that the council will take their views into account.
There are ways of avoiding a bad impact on an existing local community.
It entails choosing the right sites, putting in the right screening and making sure there are proper new facilities to allow congestion-free access, good schooling and proper social and medical care.
The council leadership assures me this is why they want to concentrate development in a few locations.
That way they reckon they can plan it properly, and secure enough development gain money to put in the facilities for the new development, to avoid strain on the existing communities.
Residents should use their local councillors to get their point of view across, and to act as their voice in the important planning decisions our local councillors take for us.
It was interesting in Shinfield South, where the Green candidate increased the Green vote substantially and rushed into second place, the main issues I picked up were about development.
The mood on the doorstep about the national government confirmed what I have been hearing for many months through emails, conversations and in response to www.johnredwood.com.
Many of you feel family budgets have been squeezed too much by rising prices and higher taxes.
Like me, you want the government to promote faster recovery. We need some more optimism and confidence. People need more of their own money to spend on what matters to them and their loved ones.
I have been writing, speaking and discussing with ministers about what more can and should be done.
My opposed agenda includes tax breaks, better functioning and more competitive domestic banks, and more private financed investment in broadband, new energy supplies and transport.
Close to home we look to the new council to press on with the replacement train station and the first phase of the town centre redevelopment.
More jobs brings better incomes and more tax revenues.