Adrian Abbs Wash Common Ward home page
Adrian Abbs, Home
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  • Welcome to the site

    Welcome to my website

    It contains information about the Wash Common Ward and why I'm now running as an Independent MP

    It contains news, a manifesto and other things that I hope are relevant for your support

  • Which party

    I initially stood as a Liberal Democrat Councillor

    Because the party was the best fit for my beliefs. Lib Dem HQ have proven to me that what they say and what they do are not the same

    I retain the values associated with being a Lib Dem but will act as an Independant

  • Also Greenham

    I was also a Greenham Parish Councillor (next door to Wash Common)

    It overlaps on a key devlopment (Sandleford)

    I'm here to help!

Latest News

My 2024 West Berkshire Council budget amendments

England

22

February 2024
West Berkshire and Reading

This year I have focused on the capital budget for West Berkshire Council (WBC)

With interest rates high, any borrowing to buy and build things has a long-term effect on the revenue budget.

I believe I found 3.5 million that could be saved now or at least delayed until the council is in a better financial state.

My day job is IT Services, so when I see the council wanting to spend money on things like replacing all devices in one go, I get nervous. It’s usually better to negotiate a contract that allows the buying of quantity over time at a pre-agreed price. i.e. replace when it breaks not replace for the sake of it. That is a £168K approx. saving.

Next, when I see the council replacing server infrastructure, I see an organisation living in the IT world of pre-cloud. Every time I have looked at this for my customers, when the total cost of ownership is considered, then public, private or a hybrid of the two comes out cheaper. WBC wants to do things like replace an air con unit to keep servers cool. That’s £100K. They want to replace a Storage Address Network device, another £150K. Also replace a DB server, £75K. We are already at £325K and all this can be done easily and at a lower cost in the cloud. The above does not even consider the energy, staff, maintenance or space costs associated with having this in-house.

Next, I saw £280K per annum for 2 years to get full fibre to schools. So a £560K cost. But hang on, WBC, under the conservatives, announced they had finished full fibre across West Berkshire ages ago. There are 92 schools, so the proposal is to spend £46K per school. My suggestion will be to go to something like Starlink instead. It works everywhere, already delivers 100’s Mbps and costs around £449. i.e. 1/10th of the proposed per school costs. That saves £514K over 2 years.

Finally, I looked at the line item about building extra storage for records across Berkshire. A legal hangover from when Berkshire County Council existed. That is £2.5Million to build plus some extra revenue costs to maintain where it's stored. Then I hear about how well the programme to have staff work from home has gone, and how the Market Street offices of WBC are now underutilised. Combined with that is speculation about building new offices somewhere in the London Road Industrial estate.

Well, if we have spare room, why are we building more storage elsewhere? Store the records at existing offices that have space and save the 2.5 million.

If we use spare office capacity, then this also benefits the other parts of the old Berkshire County Council including Reading. So other authorities also save money!

Adrian Abbs

Independent West Berkshire Councillor

Independent candidate for Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency.

Fighting inappropriate planning

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

12

February 2024
Fighting inappropriate planning

It's only when you talk to local people that you can understand the effects of large developments on a community.

I went along to the latest meeting for the campaign run by the Say NO to Thatcham NE Development team. Mainly to see if I could help in anyway given the experience gained by standing up for the community in Wash Common and the impact the proposed Sandleford development would have. There are a lot of similarities between the 2 sites.

It's not about no housing, but should all be about the right type, at the right price, in the right place with the right infrastructure!

What the campaign is doing now is critical, because once the local plan is adopted, it becomes very hard indeed to stop the actual development. Much discussion was had about getting Sandleford removed from a local plan. Apparently its not that you can’t, but that no one has ever managed it. Compensating developers was one reason I heard – which is ridiculous as all development is speculation.

In our developer-led planning world it's far less about what a community needs and too much about just profit.

There are exceptions of course but they are in the minority.

I think there are 4 things we could change that would help.

1) Move to community-led development where local people describe what they need to keep their local service etc.

2) Carry out land value reform, so that the development of needed housing does not start with the huge hike associated with profiteering from turning land which is worth a few K to land that is worth millions. Direct that profit (not made by the developer usually) to ensure infrastructure is delivered.

3) Schedule the infrastructure improvements and fixes to the early stages of development. Not to the end as so often happens.

4) Give some teeth back to local planners and more weight to local development plans. They know far better what works for a community than the Secretary of State.

A lot of this is managed and controlled by Westminster.

That’s why we need constituency MPs who are willing to stand up for inappropriate development in their areas.

Adrian Abbs

Independent Candidate

Reading West and Mid Berkshire

What to expect from me as your independent West Berkshire Councillor


  • I mean to continue to represent the ward by offering real scrutiny of the decision-making being done.
  • I have lived in and run my business from Newbury for over 20 years. (Expect me to continue to care about local issues) 
  • My career has covered from shovelling peas to running international companies in Europe and the USA so I bring real-world experience to the role and have delivered solutions the council has adopted. 
  • My opinions are fact-driven - Which means what I believe sometimes changes based on new evidence - This is valuable given what I see from some political people i.e. Being locked into never saying they got something wrong
  • Having come from a working-class background I believe in a fair start for all and will look to fight for that in Wash Common. - I have brought and will continue to bring motions to the council to help all residents of the ward
  • I believe education is the fundamental building block of life, it is something needed throughout your career and I want to see what we can do at West Berkshire to help. I want to tackle the move to Multi Trusts that is being imposed on the UK by innovating in West Berkshire
  • I'll be continuing to try and get better than 99% coverage for people in terms of having a de-fib nearby.

Ward Virtual Tour

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Green = Public Space for Play / Exercise / Allotments
Purple = Non-School Learning 
Red = Memorial
Pink = Sports Ground

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