Labour Leader Jo Lovelock will be asking the Reading Borough Council meeting next week to approve a detailed Labour Administratrion Priorities which the new majority Labour administration is setting out for the year ahead.
She will start her report to Council by restating the party’s belief in the value of public services to local people, communities and businesses, and says “It is our communities that make Reading special. Good local government is about helping people to unlock their potential and giving everyone a fair chance. The money we spend is invested on behalf of the local community and we will seek to involve local residents, in a range of different ways, in planning services.”
The report points out that the Coalition Government will not be announcing the settlement for local government until at least the end of November, and it is likely to mean a further massive reduction in grants for vital services. Cllr Lovelock says that this means the only commitment on Council Tax that can be made at this stage is to plan for the lowest possible level which maintains essential services and is financially prudent. She also stresses that the Council will work with partners to press the Government to change course and stop harming those in need.
The programme includes detailed commitments for all the Council’s service areas, including pledges to protect and develop services for the vulnerable, to use the Olympics to drive an increase in participation in sport, to build a new partnership with Reading schools to improve standards and share good practice, to find ways to provide more school places despite cuts in government funding, to continue the drive to increases apprenticeships, to capitalise on the opportunities for job creation in the new Green economy, to drive up standards in privately rented housing, to campaign to protect the NHS, to give priority to plans to regenerate the Hosier Street area, to bring in the use of Pensioners’ bus passes from 9.00 as soon as possible, to work with local communities to improve residents’ parking schemes, and to continue to fund the voluntary sector at current levels.
Cllr. Lovelock says: “The elections in May gave Labour a mandate to take the Council forward, and we thought it right to take the opportunity of the first Council meeting since the AGM to tell people in detail what we intend to do, so that they can both work with us and hold us to account. These are difficult times with further government cuts and legislation to come which will hurt those least able to defend themselves, but we are determined to do our best to continue to make Reading a place where people pull together, with the support of the Council, to make it a good place to live.”
Details can be found LabourAdministratrionPriorities