From the campaign trail - What kind of new hospital do you want?

19 Feb 2024
Clive outside the RBH

Our Royal Berkshire Hospital is one of our most treasured local institutions as the main provider of hospital services for Wokingham and the surrounding area.

 

However the ageing buildings make it difficult to deliver modern healthcare.

 

In 2019 the Conservative government promised 40 new hospitals by 2030 with a new Royal Berks to be one of them. They have not delivered on this promise – in fact we are told that rather than opening by 2030 work may not even have started by then.

 

As a Governor of the hospital I know we need better. Our dedicated professional healthcare workers should not have to work around buckets collecting water dripping from leaking roofs and put up with regular closures to facilities.

 

Whilst we wait for funding, the Hospital Trust wants your views about how a new hospital should be delivered, including whether it should be a brand new hospital on a new site or a rebuilding of the hospital on the existing site.  Please look at the Building Berkshire together website for their survey. You can find the survey at www.buildingberkshiretogether.co.uk.

 

We need more NHS dentists.

 

Back in August 2022 it was revealed that no dentists in Wokingham were accepting new NHS patients.  The Liberal Democrats nationally were calling for a robust and properly funded dental recovery plan and I asked for a government Minister to visit Wokingham to see for themselves the need for more NHS dentists. At the time, our MP John Redwood said that no-one had mentioned this to him and he wasn’t aware of it as a problem in Wokingham.  Last week the government seems to have woken up and launched a dental recovery plan, but the plan has largely been widely discredited by dental health experts who say it does too little (and is too late).  The government should have listened to the Liberal Democrats 18 months ago.

 

Banning bonuses for Water company Directors

 

For over two years the Liberal Democrats have been calling for a ban on directors’ bonuses at Water companies until they deal with their widespread pumping or raw sewage into our rivers and water leaks.  Water company bosses seem to think it’s okay to halve water leaks by 50% between now and 2050 - over 26 years away. I don't think that's good enough and I know most residents don't either.

 

Local fishermen have been telling me how they see raw sewage pass the end of their fishing rods. This should not be happening.

 

I am pleased that Ofwat have finally spoken about acting on directors’ bonuses, but only in the form of a consultation. Since the last general election water company bosses have received £25m in bonuses.  We need action, not words.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

We have begun the new year as we finished 2023 and 2022, calling at the doors of thousands of residents in Wokingham to find out what you think about local and national issues. Since the new year we’ve been out in Twyford, Sonning, Maiden Erlegh, Hillside, Hawkedon, Shinfield, Arborfield, Barkham, Wokingham Without, Finchampstead, Winnersh, Evendons, Emmbrook, Wescott, South Lake and more  We very much appreciate your time telling us what’s important to you, and you support for what we are doing.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact either me or one of our Liberal Democrat team if you need our assistance. Clive.jones@wokinghamlibdems.org.uk

 

Clive Jones

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Wokingham