Labour councillor for Reading Borough Council
I was honoured to be elected as the youngest ever female councillor on 3rd May with 1308 votes. Young people might be a minority in the population but are 100% the future and it is important that young people step up for what matters to them, get involved and represent their communities.
So many different issues were raised on the doorstep, from bins to Brexit I think I heard it all! I met with local residents that were concerned about housing, crime, parking, recycling, education, bin collections, potholes and so many more issues.
But the underlying issue is this, our vital services are being cut, our police force is being cut, our NHS is being cut and these cuts have consequences.
Potholes was an issue raised consistently but with cuts being made and demand on the rise it is right that the AA’s director of insurance, Janet Connor said the government need to look at funding specific to potholes to help local authorities who have had “budgets…squeezed to the extent that competing priorities mean they don’t have the resources to keep their roads up to scratch”.
The reality is this, Labour councils across the UK have been hit the hardest and are making difficult decisions up and down the country. What were Conservative candidates promising during the local election? Empty promises – pledges to reduce council tax, resurface roads and scrap the green bin charge. This are false promises and served only one purpose: getting votes.
Reading Borough Council lost its annual central government funding of £58 million in 2011 and have had to cut services back as well as commit to job losses. These pie in the sky pledges from the Conservatives are ignorant and fail to address the ongoing local government funding problem we have.
And the repeated argument from Conservatives, that Labour cannot manage their money properly, is both boring and dull. If that is the case why did the Conservative council Northampton County Council go bust? Councils of all political colour majorities are struggling to deal with the consequence of Tory cuts.
Ultimately, local government needs more funding from central government to ensure demand is met in areas such as social care. The Conservative government need to take a long look at funding in local government rather than offer empty promises to the electorate.