HOUSING was at the forefront of the Liberal Democrat local manifesto presentation last week.

Lindsay Ferris, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Wokingham Borough Council revealed the manifesto for the 2018/19 local elections at Wokingham Town Hall on Tuesday September 26.

Mr Ferris used this speech to criticise Conservative leadership of the Borough, and claimed that the town was at risk of too much housing. 

He claimed: "Firstly we would lobby for a fairer system to decide the housing numbers, one that takes account of local views and local knowledge.

"We would also press for more real local decision making on housing numbers and also the type of homes being proposed.

"We would fight for a significant reduction in the housing numbers being proposed. They are unsustainable and would destroy the very character of our area.

"We would also fight any development on Green Belt. There is only a limited amount of this in our Borough and to use Green Belt land would have a significant detrimental impact on the Northern Parishes of our Borough."

Many believe that schools are under-funded, and over the summer we saw The Forest School headteacher resign due to lack of funding. 

Mr Ferris explained what he would do to combat this, while claiming that Wokingham schools are the lowest funded in the country. 

"We would continue to put pressure on the Government to increase revenue funding for all of our schools, not just secondary schools. 

"At the same time lobby for capital funding to ensure all our Schools are fit for the 21st Century. There is also urgent need to reassess the school support capability provided by Wokingham Borough Council."

After discussing schools, Mr Ferris then claimed that if successful in the local elections, he would scale back the redevelopment proposals in the town, especially on Elms Field and Carnival Pool. 

He said: "We believe the Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration Project is out of control. Not only is it destroying the local character of the area, such as Elms Field, the costs are escalating.

"The latest estimate of cost of Regeneration is now over £140M & still growing. Such large sums put the Council at potential risk, plus any borrowing has interest to pay. This project alone represents over 50% of the Councils projected debt for 2019 which currently stands at £271M"