We are delighted that the Council has listened to us and has removed compost that contains peat from its operations,” said Liberal Democrat climate change spokesperson Cllr Sarah Kerr. “It is imperative that in order to tackle the climate emergency, the Council leads by example and doesn’t continue with practices that are detrimental.”
Peat bogs are carbon sinks, storing carbon away for ever. When we mine peat for gardening, the carbon is unlocked, releasing it and methane into the atmosphere. It also changes the biodiversity with rare birds, butterflies, dragonflies and plants disappearing.
“When we discovered that the Council was using compost that contains peat with its bedding plants, we requested that an alternative supplier was sourced,” added Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson Cllr Ian Shenton. “We hope that by setting the right example, others will follow. There are a number of local garden centres that sell peat-free compost.
Conservative councillors refused to support a motion to replace litter bins owned by WBC with dual litter and recycling bins citing costs as the reason.
Cllr Clive Jones, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat group said that "The Conservatives have totally exaggerated the costs of these bins to support their refusal. They must be expecting their business chums who sold the government overpriced PPE and test and trace contracts to supply the new bins!"
"They claim that the proposal hasn't been properly costed," continued Cllr Jones. "This is a bit rich coming from a Conservative group who at the same meeting decided to spend more than £20m on 1 solar farm without providing a proper business case AND without proper scrutiny."
"It is frustrating because as bins need replacing over time, putting in dual use bins is very simple and cost effective," added Cllr Imogen Shepherd-Dubey, leader of Wokingham Town Council. "At Wokingham Town Council we have had dual use bins for a while now to help people recycle and it's been very straightforward. This seems to simply be a case of the Conservatives not wanting to support an opposition motion rather than doing the right thing."
Wokingham LibDems want to hear what's important to you, and will be delivering survey forms to as many addresses as we can over the coming few months.
If you can't wait, you can fill in our survey online at https://www.wokinghamlibdems.org.uk/survey.
If you're completing the survey online please do include your name and postcode so that we can ensure your view is genuinely local. Thank you!
We applaud Wokingham Borough Council’s prompt action in beginning the process to re-settle locally some of the thousands of people fleeing from the horrific events in Afghanistan. We share the belief of so many in our community that we in Britain have a huge debt of honour to those Afghans who gave so much support to our British Forces to bring stability to Afghanistan and beyond. Their fearless and brave efforts have now placed them and their loved ones in grave danger. Our response locally and as a nation will literally be life-changing for thousands.
We understand the reasons why our Council has said that it hopes to be able to settle two or three Afghan families. But we ask that this be treated as an initial commitment. Nationally, the numbers needing resettlement are enormous. The reality is that all of us will need to step up to the mark and be as generous as possible to those Afghans seeking sanctuary.
We appreciate the utmost urgency of identifying places for resettlement. Safe homes and supports are needed now. We repeat again our support for the actions taken by our Council so far. But let this just be the beginning. Let’s see the offer to provide safe haven for two or three Afghan families as a starting point.
We believe that our local community wishes our Council to be as generous as possible to those brave Afghans who have suffered unimaginably. Let our community rally to this challenge and show Wokingham Borough and all of our residents at our very best.
We pledge to support the Council and local organisations, and to do everything within our power to help those Afghans fleeing to the UK in their time of dire need.
Wokingham Borough Council Liberal Democrats.
Councillor Sarah Kerr, Liberal Democrat member for Evendons ward and local party spokesperson on the climate emergency and air quality, received news this week that she has passed the accreditation process for ‘Green’ status within the Liberal Democrat party.
“I am delighted to receive the news that I’ve been successful and can now officially call myself a Green Liberal Democrat,” said Cllr Kerr. “I am an avid environmentalist and have spent a large amount of my time since being elected in 2019 on policy development both locally and nationally to tackle the environmental threats we face. I also put aside time to educate myself further on the subject to ensure I can base policy ideas and scrutinise council and government reports onfacts, evidence and the necessary pragmatism.”
The Green Liberal Democrats are an associated organisation within the Liberal Democrats. One of their goals is to promote a green approach to policy formation within the wider party. Amongst their membership are a number ofindustry experts.
Cllr Lindsay Ferris, Leader of the Wokingham Liberal Democrats added that “accredited members of the Green Liberal Democrats have to demonstrate, through an interview process, that they uphold the values of the party through their actions, both personally in their day to day lives, and as campaigners. With the support of colleagues, Sarah has successfully campaigned on getting particulate (PM2.5) air quality monitors and no vehicle idling zones into the borough which will both be installed this Autumn and commitments to develop a car club strategy and introduce green walling at schools. She is also pursuing a number of other campaigns including getting the council to declare an ecological emergency with a number of associated actions to improve nature, the development and implementation of a network of safe and attractive walking and cycling routes that reduce car usage and pushing for measures to retrofit people’s homes to reduce carbon emissions, to name just a few.”
Cllr Lindsay Ferris further added that “Sarah has been working hard for our local community on climate and air quality issues, as well as helping shape our local and national party’s approach. We are so pleased that her hard work and dedication to the cause has been recognised.”
Cllr Kerr concluded that “I am particularly grateful to my colleagues as we work as a team, and the environmental groups and activists in the community who provide insight and a sounding board to help shape our direction. Collectively we can make Wokingham Borough ‘Green to the Core.’”
The Liberal Democrats shock triumph in the Chesham and Amersham by-election would see some 154 seats across the country flip to the party after they sent shockwaves through the Tory blue wall.
The Liberal Democrats gained a 25% swing in Chesham and Amersham electing their 12th MP Sarah Green.
Wokingham would be one of 154 constituencies that would turn Liberal Democrat at an election.
The 25% from Chesham and Amersham has put blue wall seats like Wokingham “on notice” with South East Liberal Democrat being the leading opposition to the Conservatives.
The Liberal Democrats are winning against the Conservatives. At the May 2021 local elections the party gained a host of seats and Councils from them at the local elections last month - from gaining control of Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire Council for the first time ever, to gaining seats in Wiltshire, Woking, Surrey, Tunbridge Wells at many more.
The Lib Dems have said many Conservative MPs such as John Redwood MP are looking over their shoulders and feeling worried about the party making gains in their area.
Commenting Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the South East said:
“Our huge triumph in Chesham and Amersham has shown that the Liberal Democrats are a serious and credible opposition to this Convervative party.
“Their blue wall isn't just on notice; it has been shaken at its foundations by the Liberal Democrats in both the Chesham and Amersham by-election and the last set of local elections.
“Residents do not like being taken for granted and that’s exactly what this Conservative party is doing time and time again.”
Commenting on the Chesham and Amersham by-election success, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:
"This is a huge victory for the Liberal Democrats. The people of Chesham and Amersham have sent a shockwave through British politics.
"We were told it was impossible for any party to beat the Tories here in Buckinghamshire. We were told this seat was too safe and the Tories too strong. This Liberal Democrat win has proved them utterly wrong.
"Across the south, the Tory Blue Wall is beginning to crumble. Here and in great swathes of the country, only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives and breach their Blue Wall.
"This amazing win will strengthen our fight to safeguard our precious natural environment and build a fairer, greener, more caring country."