So now that I’m the Labour candidate for Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe, I’d better get campaigning, right?
Well, becoming the candidate hasn’t really changed a great deal from my point of view. I’m still fighting the same battles I was before, over the same issues as before. Particularly, the library.
Today saw me down at the library, joining in with the Save Our Libraries campaign. What really gets me about the library is just how little input by anyone other than the Council executive there has been. The privatisation issue wasn’t mentioned at all during the campaigning for the recent elections (which, I feel I must say, saw the Tories gain two seats). And it’s been rolled out so quickly, that it has to have been planned beforehand. The “competitive tendering” process has already closed, less than two months after the votes were counted. So why no mention in your campaign literature, Wokingham Conservative Association?
And beyond that, there hasn’t even been a consultation. The Tory party like to shout about democracy and the will of the people, but why not here? Could it be because the local residents wouldn’t stand for such shocking treatment of their library services? Government by the Tories, for the Tories, it seems. And as a result, a truly fantastic library is being put at risk. The place goes beyond the lending of books. Ros Fernley and her team run a great community service, providing an endless cavalcade of fascinating events.
So what can I do in all of this? Well, for residents of Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe, I’m offering you an alternative. A genuine alternative, not just the non-choice between blue and yellow. I live locally, I’m active locally and I’m always happy to listen to residents. This, it seems, is a heck of a lot more than the Tories have been willing to do. I would urge every local resident who wants to protect the library to sign the petition (if you haven’t already). But beyond that, when you go down to the polling station on 21st July, cast your vote for a candidate who will represent you and your interests in local government. Vote for me, and I will always stand up for local residents, and not give in to ideological experiments to the detriment of public services.