Tactical vote?

Bracknell is my constituency. Over the past general and local elections, I have voted for all three main political parties.

I would like to ask the Bracknell branch of the Conservative Association why they have selected a candidate who appears to have had little or no interest in Bracknell up to now. Were there no suitably qualified local candidates, so that they had to resort to the central Conservative party list? Or was Colonel Sunderland imposed on them by Conservative Central office? I find it hard to believe that in a town which has undergone such a successful regeneration that they could not find someone with appropriate experience.

Would I be right in thinking that if a potential candidate is on that list, he or she has agreed to stand in whatever constituency Central Office offers them? This hardly demonstrates local loyalty or affiliations. Has Colonel Sunderland been parachuted in as a “yes” man; someone who toes the party line whether or not it is to the benefit of the people of Bracknell? I fear we have been landed with a candidate who yet again fits the current party mould. Male, white, privately educated; right school, right accent.

Presumably his remit is to push the message “Get Brexit done”, whatever that means. After all, Bracknell voted leave in 2016 didn’t it? But look at the figures again: 41% of the electorate voted to leave, and 35 per cent voted to remain. In other words, 59% did not vote in favour of leave. Who will represent their interests? A candidate imposed on this constituency?

Maybe the Bracknell electorate would do well to consider voting tactically.

Sent in by Elisabeth Mitchell

Sainsbury's store concern

The planned closure of Sainsbury’s in Princess Square will make shopping much more difficult for a lot of people, especially older or disabled folk who rely on having a convenient, reasonably priced, supermarket in the town centre near to the bus station.

It is not at all easy to get to the Bagshot Road store by bus from certain parts of the town.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson has apparently said that the Bagshot Road store is ‘only a 6 minute drive away’, and another person commented, ‘In this modern day , is a town centre supermarket still viable?’ Well, here’s news for them that might shock them - Many people do not have a car!

As for the alternatives in the town centre, M&S and Waitrose are much more expensive and a long way to push a heavy trolley of shopping to the bus station, especially for less able people.

Morrisons is also a long walk to the bus station. If Sainsbury’s cannot be persuaded to stay, we need another reasonably priced supermarket to go into Princess Square, it should not just be filled up with more coffee shops etc.

These, along with the other new shops in the Lexicon, all have their place, but there are plenty of them. Another good homeware store would also be welcome in the town centre. I hope the Regeneration Partnership will take note.

Sent in by R A Hawkins