A Fair Deal for Reading

The manifesto of the Reading Liberal Democrats for the local elections in 2024

Manifesto of the Reading Liberal Democrats

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Why do we do what we do?

The Liberal Democrats are unlike Labour and the Conservatives: we aren't bankrolled by trades unions or by big elites or corporations - instead, we rely on small donations from hundreds of thousands of individual supporters.  And we believe power should be dispersed back to the people and their communities, rather than concentrated centrally in the hands of the state or the elite.  We stand up to bullies and stand with the community, the people and the marginalised.

Find out more about our beliefs and why the Reading Liberal Democrats do what we do here.

You can find out more about the national party's beliefs here.


Looking for our national manifesto?

You can find out more about the national party's plan for the country here.


Our Manifesto

Our Six to Fix for Reading

Six simple, achievable things the Liberal Democrats will seek to do with power, if elected to Reading Borough Council:

  1. Joined-up cycle lanes
  2. Kerbside glass recycling
  3. Bus services to all areas
  4. Protected library services
  5. An after-school club or youth centre for every young person
  6. Telling Thames Water "no": stop sewage dumping and fix our water supply

Introduction by James

All across Reading, people are telling us they are tired of excuses from the Labour-run Council and the Conservative Government.

It cannot be right that glass recycling is only done via bottle banks, relying on people to carry heavy bags long distances. Cyclists should not be riding along a cycle path that then dumps them in the middle of heavy traffic.  People in Caversham and Emmer Green have a right to expect a bus service as reliable as every other part of the town.

People love their libraries, sports centres and museums: they are tired of limited opening hours, and being told they have to travel across town because their local service has been cut.

When they report a problem, they want it fixed.  When their kids need support at school, or their elderly relatives need help from the Council, they expect that help to be available.  They are tired of hearing what’s not possible, and having to pay more for it.  And when Thames Water dumps sewage in local water ways or cuts off drinking water to half the town for days on end, they want a Council that stands up for them.

This Manifesto describes how voting Liberal Democrat in the local elections this May will make a difference to you and your family.
It’s time to end the excuses.  It’s time for a fresh start.

It’s time for a fair deal for Reading.

Reading Lib Dem candidates outside the Royal Berkshire Hospital

Health and care for all

People expect to live fuller and longer lives. They expect to be active, have more control over their care, and live in their own homes. 

We will make sure that elderly and disabled people receive the highest standards of care.  Services need to be tailored to individual needs and personal independence.

Help must be accessible both in-person and online -  nobody should be left isolated.

Three kids running and laughing

Helping children and young people

Children and young people are the future of Reading.

We will provide the support they need to do well in school.  Once the school day is over, we will give them somewhere to go, with properly funded after school clubs and youth centres - if we want them to spend less time online, we must make spaces for them to be themselves in the real world.

Reading's Children's Services, now outsourced to a private company, must improve: we will make sure the Council does better for those children and young people most in need of help.

Police officers at an outdoor market

Making communities safer

People have a right to live in their communities without worrying about their safety or that of their families or properties.  People are tired of nuisance behaviour linked to alcohol and drugs.

We will drastically improve the support the Council gives to people experiencing antisocial behaviour.  We will help safer neighbourhood forums improve links with the Police.  And we will make sure that residents’ and  tenants’ associations have the resources they need to tackle crime and nuisance in their areas. 

We will be sure to hold the new Police and Crime Commissioner to account, as well.

Building sustainable communities

People want a high quality environment in their local areas. They expect their Council to tackle problems with recycling and pollution, and ensure there is a decent mix of affordable housing.

We will bring in kerbside recycling for glass. We will make sure that Thames Water is stopped from dumping sewage in local water ways, and that it provides a reliable supply of safe drinking water.

We will make sure tackling air quality is a priority, establishing a comprehensive monitoring system and ensuring polluters are compelled to take action. We will hold developers to account to provide affordable housing, and make sure they build homes that meet the highest environmental and quality standards.

Councillor Anne Thompson holding a Lib Dem diamond by a bus

Improving local transport

People rightly expect safe, affordable and accessible transport choices, especially in a compact borough like Reading.

We will make sure there is a bus service that works for everyone in Reading: everyone should have access to reliable, reasonably priced bus transport which runs at the times they need it, somewhere close to them.

We will make sure cycle lanes are properly joined up: cycling in Reading must become safer. We will make sure rail service providers are held accountable: it is high time that rail commuters from Reading, who pay some of the highest fares in the country, receive a decent rail service.

Protecting culture and leisure services

People rely on cultural and leisure facilities like libraries, sports centres and swimming pools, not only for their quality of life, but to stay healthy, in touch, and mentally, physically, and socially active.  Cultural and leisure facilities have a massive impact on quality of life.

We will protect library services: no more closures, no more strange or shorter hours.  We will make sure that Council-run library, arts and sports venues, including Reading Museum, South Street, and Palmer Park, are properly funded and continue to provide services that enrich the lives of the people of Reading.

A message from Sir Ed Davey

Vote Liberal Democrat on the 2nd of May, and you’ll get a local champion who will get things done in your community.  You’ll get a cleaner, greener neighbourhood where recovery comes first and locals are listened to.

There are over three thousand Liberal Democrat councillors already hard at work serving their communities - people who go the extra mile to get things done, for their communities.  Liberal Democrats are brilliant community volunteers and have been working hard all year round.

Did you know that every local authority bordering Reading has been led by Liberal Democrats for the last year?

Going into these local elections, the Liberal Democrats are the largest party in Berkshire, and that lets us deliver for hundreds of thousands of people all year round.

Our election campaign is all about your community.  How we can help your community stay resilient and protect its people and services.  How we can help local businesses to survive and thrive - and how we can help children in your area to get the best possible future.  If you want that here in Reading, vote Liberal Democrat.

So, on May the 2nd, you have a fantastic opportunity to back your community, by backing people who believe in their community, people who will act for and with their community – your Liberal Democrat candidate.