Newly elected councillors in Wokingham have said they will be more active in their wards and communities than their predecessors—and put this promise down to their success in the local elections.

The Liberal Democrats increased their number of councillors on Wokingham Borough Council by three in local elections on May 4 —making them the largest party on the council, with 26 seats.

Labour also took two additional seats, bringing their number up to five. The Conservatives, meanwhile, got four councillors elected, but lost four, reducing them to a total of 22.

Jordan Montgomery is a newly-elected Liberal Democrat councillor in Wokingham Without ward. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service his party’s win there had been “a long time coming.”

“I believe the Conservatives have taken Wokingham Without for granted for far too long,” he said. “I want to try and get down in person more and not rely as much on email and social media.”

Marie-Louise Weighill, newly elected for Labour in Norreys ward, promised similar. “I was inspired to run by Rachel Burgess, by her work as local Labour leader,” she said.

“She was working visibly for everybody in the community – doing things, chasing up things, responding to people. It was so well appreciated that it’s formed the foundations for my winning as well.”

Cllr Montgomery said he thought his focus on local campaigning was the reason for his victory. “On the doorstep I haven’t been talking about many national issues at all,” he said.

“Our biggest priorities throughout the campaign have all been regarding protecting the Pinewood Centre, fighting overdevelopment locally, and improving road surfaces and road safety.”

READ MORE: Good local elections for Lib Dems in Wokingham Borough

But Andrew Gray, who was newly elected for Labour in Shinfield North, thought national politics were a big factor in the local elections.

He said: “The biggest concern I’ve had on the doorstep from people is the cost of living crisis.”

“People are using the local elections to send a big message to the Conservative government and say they want something different. They don’t want the Conservatives in control nationally and locally.”

Wokingham Conservatives chair Dave Edmonds also said the election had proved “a difficult day because of the national polling situation.” But, he added, the Conservatives had made progress in some areas of Wokingham.

He said: “a lot of the results were significantly closer than we thought they were going to be. If you look at the Hillside result, we lost by hundreds of votes last year. This year we were only lost by 25, so that was a positive.

“In Shinfield South, we only lost by 35 votes, which cut into the Liberal majority. So although in Wokingham Borough we’ve lost seats there were some positives as well.”