Reading needs a change: a change from failure, a change from complacency. Reading deserves better than its current leadership locally and nationally - and the Liberal Democrats are demanding a fair deal for Reading.
Liberal Democrats offer that change through our commitment to the environment, to the freedoms and duties that strengthen our society, to getting a better deal on public services, cutting crime and radical policies to return power to local communities.
We offer a positive agenda – but it is change that we want to see, to match our ambition for the area.
There is no evidence that other parties offer any real change from the waste and spin that have characterised decisions such as the one-way IDR, the abandoned MRT, botched bin collections, the council's equal pay shame, late accounts, and the white elephant of a third Thames bridge. But criticism itself does not show the sort of leadership that a successful and growing town needs: leadership to tackle the challenges Reading faces, and to serve all our residents better.
The Liberal Democrats stand firm on seven core values: liberty, equality, democracy, community, human rights, internationalism, and environmentalism. Each of these underpin the party's specific policy proposals.
Simply put, for the most part, Conservatives want to concentrate power in the hands of the elite and do things to you; Labour want to concentrate power in the hands of the state and do things for you; Liberal Democrats want to spread power and return it to the people, and do things along with you.
As Liberal Democrats, we believe that power should be dispersed into communities, rather than concentrated anywhere. We believe that communities and individuals should have the power and resources to make the best of themselves and society as a whole. Safeguarding the environment, and safeguarding and expanding our hard-won civic rights and freedoms (particularly for disadvantaged groups), are at the heart of what we believe. We allow evidence to lead us and our beliefs to guide us: Liberal Democrats are often more willing to work with others to achieve our aims; if someone has a good idea, we will listen, and we will approach issues and decisions on their merits.
If you want to find out more about what Lib Dems believe, the Preamble to the Federal Constitution is the best expression of our values; if you want to find out how we'd put those values into practice in Reading, have a look at our most recent manifesto. If you'd like to know how we run our local party, you can read our own local constitution below too.
And if you like what you see - why not join us?